Condo sales, disrupted by a 2009 sheriff's sale, to resume at 1352 Lofts

The six-story 1352 Lofts , near Broad. On Thursday, 42 unsold units will go on sale. Until recently, many of the units had been rented, but some remained vacant. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
The six-story 1352 Lofts , near Broad. On Thursday, 42 unsold units will go on sale. Until recently, many of the units had been rented, but some remained vacant. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
Posted: September 20, 2013

In another sign of the recovery of the Center City condo market, sales will resume Thursday at 1352 Lofts on South Street near Broad, a little less than four years after the unsold units went to sheriff's sale.

Ben Oller, principal in the Condo Shop, which is handling sales, said the remaining 42 units at the six-story building would be sold at prices ranging from $380 to $500 a square foot.

No new units have been sold since the lender, Amalgamated Bank of New York, bought all but one of the remaining condos at the December 2009 sheriff's sale in Philadelphia.

Until recently, many of the 42 units had been rented, but others - including some penthouses - remained vacant.

In the intervening years, there have been some condo resales, a few for units bank-owned after foreclosures, according to Zillow.com.

Oller's price projections fit what the units were selling for before the lender took over the project from developer Rimas Properties L.L.C. A 1,362-square-foot unit that sold in April 2007 went for about $400 a square foot, according to data from Zillow. A 1,060-square-foot unit sold in February 2007 for about the same price.

In all, 1352 Lofts has 72 units, ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 square feet. Four years remain on its tax abatement, Oller said, and deeded parking is available.

The condo building joins other troubled projects on the road back, notably the Reef Tower at Waterfront Square and 10 Rittenhouse Square.

Waterfront Square units are averaging $315 a square foot, with that price rising as the condos do in the 22-story building. Ten Rittenhouse's remaining units are selling for more than $1,000 a square foot, reflecting the shortage of new construction on or near the square.

Prudential Fox & Roach's Mark Wade said 1352 Lofts "certainly fills a niche in Center City that has not yet been explored - the high-end, contemporary loft style, new-construction condos with parking."

"The segment has little competition, and the neighborhood has changed quite a bit since ground was initially broken some eight years ago," Wade said.

In 2005, Rimas Properties and its principal, Samir Benakmoume, borrowed $33 million from Amalgamated Bank, which is owned by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union of America, and bought a tract in the 1300 block of South Street, near the emerging Avenue of the Arts.

The first units were ready just before the real estate market collapsed in August 2007, sweeping 1352 Lofts up in the financial upheaval. The bank foreclosed on the unsold units, which then went to sheriff's sale.

Rimas sued in U.S. District Court, challenging the sale under the state's Deficiency Act 42. The court's ruling went in favor of Amalgamated. Rimas appealed, but the decision was upheld in November 2011.


BY THE NUMBERS

72

total number

of units at

1352 Lofts

1,100

-2,500

size range

in square feet

of units

42

units left

to be sold

$380

-$500

projected

price range per square foot for unsold units


Contact Alan J. Heavens at 215-854-2472, aheavens@phillynews.com, or @alheavens at Twitter.

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