Project Update: Yonkers Firm Looks to Complete Ultra-Luxury St. Regis Residences Next Year
John Jordan | August 2019
RYE—A little over a year after breaking ground on the project and just a few months after sales at the development were officially launched, buyer activity has been brisk at the St. Regis Residences, Rye.
Construction continues on the 55-and-older development that will include 95 one-to-four bedroom luxury condominiums in five interconnected three-to-four story buildings with prices beginning at $1.03 million. The property will also feature a heated underground parking garage. Residents of the luxury condo development must have at least one resident at or over the age of 55.
Real Estate In-Depth recently sat down with Alan Weissman, principal of Alfred Weissman Real Estate of Harrison, which has designed and is developing the project at 120 Old Post Road. The development will be the first St. Regis Residence property to be built without a hotel component and the construction of the project is being financed by RXR Realty. At full-build-out, there will be two luxury hotel room units at the property, but they will be reserved for resident guest exclusively. Marriott International will manage the property once construction is completed.
This unique development that sources say will cost more than $100 million to complete will feature gated entrances, lushly manicured gardens, a large central courtyard, walking paths and a grand drive court entrance with porte cochere. All units will come with a patio.
The 7.5-acre St. Regis Residences property formerly served as the headquarters of Dictaphone and later housed operations of Mobius Management. The 70,000-square-foot office building was demolished to make way for the new luxury development. The Weissman firm, which has a portfolio of retail, office and industrial properties, as well as student housing and hotels, acquired the property approximately 20 years ago
He related he and his father, company founder Alfred Weissman, decided after Mobius Management’s lease expired to try something different at the property in response to a slow office market at the time.
“At the end of the day, we came upon the idea of doing a super-luxury 55-and-older development,” Alan Weissman said. “It doesn’t compete with the schools, it provides a great tax base and it gives the downsizers a real opportunity to find someplace (local).”
The firm secured the zoning necessary to move forward with the project as Rye was looking for a development that would allow residents “to age in place” and later partnered with St. Regis on the project.
The development is intended to offer residents a five-star hotel experience, combined with attractive high-end services and amenities. Residents of The St. Regis Residences, Rye will experience exceptional, bespoke services provided by a Marriott International-trained St. Regis staff. These services include the signature St. Regis butler service, a 24-hour concierge, full-time property management, valet parking, package and mail delivery and doorman and porter services.
The building offers more than 25,000 square feet of luxurious amenities, including a large fitness center with exercise studio; a private 12-seat boardroom named after St. Regis founder, John Jacob Astor; a 50-foot indoor pool and whirlpool spa; a wellness complex with relaxing saunas, steam showers and spa treatment rooms; a 15-seat theater-style screening room; a library featuring a two-sided fireplace and local artwork; and a selection of lounges, including The Cognac Room where residents can gather to watch sporting events or revel in a game of billiards and The Drawing Room where residents can enjoy afternoon tea or a book by the fire.
The center of the property will feature a one-acre courtyard with an indoor-outdoor Pavilion, numerous lounge areas, a cascading water fountain and a fire feature where residents can relax and socialize.
“We are delighted with the enthusiastic response to this exceptional property that offers the elegance, sophistication and style that are the hallmarks of the St. Regis brand. The levels of services and amenities that we are providing are simply unmatched in this region,” said Alan Weissman. He noted that a recent open house at the Sales Gallery drew more than 85 Realtors and said that sales thus far at the property have exceeded expectations.
The development will have at least one Realtor among its residents. Pegeen Costa, a licensed real estate salesperson with Houlihan Lawrence’s Rye office, has purchased a home at the property.
She said, “As both a homeowner ready to downsize, as well as a Realtor looking to meet my client’s needs, I was impressed with these luxury, hotel-branded residences. Located in a prime location, The St. Regis Residences, Rye offers attractive taxes, incomparable services and an amenity-filled lifestyle.”
Adrienne Albert, CEO of The Marketing Directors, the exclusive marketing and sales agent for The Residences, said of the sales effort thus far, “The market’s response to these extraordinary residences has been extremely positive, and sales have been robust. We have found that we are particularly attractive to discerning homebuyers who seek a lifestyle of glamour, sophistication and refinement.”
She added, “This unique opportunity to live in a beautifully designed home with the impeccable services and amenities of St. Regis at your fingertips is unprecedented in this market.”
Unit amenities include: expansive windows, gas fireplaces and nine- to 10-foot ceilings, with generous outdoor space, as well as five-fixture master bathrooms appointed with European oak vanities with marble countertops and fixtures by Kohler and Kaldewei. The units also offer modern kitchens with contemporary, Italian-crafted wood and lacquer cabinets, quartz countertops, wine refrigerators and high-end appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf and Bosch.
Weissman, who said that construction on the project should be finished in 12 months, in pointing out the long list of luxury amenities and services, said, “It’s not just you are living in your apartment, you are living in a community. You really get to enjoy all these amenities. It is like living in a five-star hotel.”
Thus far, The St. Regis Residences, Rye is attracting buyers from surrounding communities including Rye, Harrison and Scarsdale as well as from Greenwich and Westport, CT. Many of these buyers were looking to downsize, but also wished to remain near their communities and family and friends, Weissman noted. The Residences are also attracting purchasers who have second and third homes in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. The property has also attracted foreign investment including a recent buyer who hails from rural Canada.
Weissman noted that the recent SALT cap deductions imposed by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act, has benefitted the St. Regis project due to the favorable tax treatment of condominiums in New York State.
He said the SALT cap advantages are not driving sales at the property, but no doubt is a factor when they decide on whether to purchase a unit. He also noted that the soft luxury market has not had a material impact on sales at the development since many of the buyers are looking to downsize.
“The reason people are moving here is because they want to have a luxurious lifestyle,” Weissman said. “They have lived in a single-family home for many years and they don’t want the responsibilities anymore. They don’t want the maintenance headaches anymore, they don’t want to live in a big house by themselves anymore. They want to live in a community, but they want these great amenities and great services.”
Weissman related that while he is very pleased with sales activity thus far, he has some mixed feelings since the St. Regis was the last project his father Alfred shephered through the approval process before his passing in 2016.
The elder Weissman was involved in the original vision, but had passed on prior to St. Regis becoming involved in the venture.
“He would be really proud of it and what it has turned into” Alan Weissman said. “Over time, my friends have driven by it and they say, “Oh, I wish your Dad could see it.’”
Alfred Weissman Real Estate is looking to build similar luxury condo projects outside of Westchester County on Long Island and in New Jersey.,
Outside of the St. Regis Residences, Weissman said that his firm acquired its fourth hotel—a Hilton-flagged property in Gaithersburg, MD—earlier this year and has launched a major capital improvement program at the property. The firm also owns the Hampton Inn Hotel in Yonkers, the Heritage Hotel in Southbury, CT and Doubletree Hotel in Binghamton, NY.