March 8, 2006
By JEFFREY B. COHEN, Courant Staff Writer
Ten new penthouse condominiums will
soon raise the roof of the Metropolitan residential project on Pearl
Street in Hartford, promising prospective buyers less noise, better
views and - according to the building's backers - a bit of ego as
"There's the panache of hitting
PH on the elevator key," said real estate agent John Hoye of
Prudential Connecticut Realty, who added that the somewhat-delayed
closings on the condominiums should begin within two months.
David Nyberg, developer of The Metropolitan Condominiums at 266
Pearl St., won city approval last week to add 10 penthouse units
to the top of the five-story building, reconfirming his confidence
in the property despite the delays in its opening, officials said.
The new top floor, the fifth residential
floor, has always been part of the building's design plan. Its condominiums,
arranged in the same plan as the floors below, will sell for roughly
8 percent more than their lower-floor counterparts.
"If you've got initial interest,
it brings an additional bang for the buck," Hoye said. "The
developer, he's crunched his numbers, and he's thinking it's worth
The Metropolitan made waves last summer
when its small-for-suburbia units began listing at high-for-Hartford
prices. The smallest, nearly 700-square-foot units, begin at roughly
$275,000, while the largest, 1,200-square-foot units, go from $350,000
to upward of $400,000. Those prices include the penthouse condos.
Twenty of the building's 50 units are
under deposit, including three of the planned penthouse units, Hoye
"It makes sense," John F.
Palmieri, the city's director of development, said of the penthouse
project. "It demonstrates the demand is there, or the perceived
demand on the developer's part. ... Everything is in place. He just
runs the utilities up, he doesn't have to excavate - it's not a
slam dunk, but he's taking advantage of his property."
Hoye said delays in the complex's opening
are due to normal construction and compliance issues, as well as
the technicality of drawing up condominium documents.
Meanwhile, as some prospective buyers
have come and gone, others have taken their place, Hoye said.
City officials said adding a floor
to a historic structure is a challenge for architects, but one that
"It's a beautiful and historically
significant structure, so it was critically important that we gain
satisfaction with the treatment that they presented," Palmieri
said. "Their architect came up from Philadelphia, and they
did a good job."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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