Laight Street Condominium

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A new sweeping upscale development hits Tribeca

By Wickham Boyle

Tribeca is no stranger to high-end development-after all, Forbes Magazine dubbed it the richest ZIP code in New York City in 2006. Even though it fell to a not-so-shabby seventh in the most recent listings, one can't help but wonder how many high-end buildings can fit in one small neighborhood. Real estate developers and agents hawking lush wood floors, top-of-the-line finishing touches and swank addresses must firmly believe there is still room for many more clambering for a place at the table.

Gloria Sokolin, with the Fox Residential Group, is one of two agents representing one such new property, at 50-52 Laight St. She said this offering was created by joining two former garage buildings and giving them a new brick facade and a limestone base. The renderings, at least, look as if the amalgamated building has been below Canal Street since the 19th century.

Sokolin said that the property's owner/developer is Laurel Capital LLC, with a Japanese lead investor. They are the same folks who developed 25 N. Moore St. and bought a few properties on Mercer Street when the New Museum decamped-they have credentials and roots in the area. The group first purchased one garage, then Sokolin knocked on the neighboring door to ask, "Can we make a deal?" Poof, it was good-bye garage, hello upscale real estate. Sokolin says the previous owner's response was that for the right price they were happy to sell-one hopes they traded in their wrenches and tire irons for a beach somewhere.

"This was never meant to be a modern monstrosity, but rather a historic conversion," said Sokolin. It is a conversion from wholecloth, as the garage buildings were reconstructed to resemble historic buildings like those that dot the landscape. The new plans are well-wrought, restful and luxurious, with eight windows facing the glorious southern light.

The development will have units ranging from 1,945 to 2,761 square feet, each home designed to blend 19th-century elegance with the modern trend to sophistication and technological ease. The homes are priced from just under $3 million to $6.9 million for the penthouse.

Sokolin extolled the unusual feature of a virtual doorman, one who "has key fob activations for doors and private elevator landings." Other features are Wi-Fi throughout, walnut floors and the usual high-end appliances, from stovetops to in-home washer-dryers. These are among some of the newest homes offered in Tribeca, featuring stunning light, great rooms, a floor plan for parties and a neighborhood where takeout abounds and strollers and town cars compete with old-school artist residents for space.

Renderings of the penthouse at 50-52 Laight St. (above) and the building's exterior (left). PHOTO COUTESY OF FOX RESIDENTIAL

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