NEW YORK CITY-Three years after listings began at m127, thehigh-end condominium project at 127 Madison Ave. has achieved asellout using a method reportedly not seen in Manhattan for atleast two decades: an auction by the property’s developer. Sunday’sauction was held at the Roosevelt Hotel, drew more than 400attendees and sold the remaining six of nine units in less thanhalf an hour, a spokeswoman for Paramount Realty USA, whichconducted the auction on behalf of developer Cardinal Investments,tells GlobeSt.com.

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Five two-bedroom apartments sold for prices ranging from $1.23million to $1.42 million. The sixth unit, a three-bedroom duplexpenthouse, sold for slightly more than $2 million after originallybeing priced as high as $3.4 million.

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“Sunday’s results are proof that auctions represent a smart wayto market and sell real estate,” says Misha Haghani, one of the twoprincipals at Paramount Realty, in a release. “The trend willcontinue to grow here in Manhattan and elsewhere.”

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After the first three units sold in early 2008, sales stalled asthe residential market turned downward. With foreclosure on a$9-million loan “certainly a possibility in the long term,”Cardinal cofounder Kyle Ransford told the New York Timesin May, the El Segundo-CA-based developer hired locally-basedParamount to organize an auction.

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“We feel that now is an opportune time to re-launch the buildingand introduce a totally new and exciting marketing strategy,”Ransford said in a release last month. Prior to Sunday’s auction,Paramount announced that the debt to the lender, the Bank ofSmithtown, had been “satisfied,” the spokeswoman says.

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Paramount held four consecutive weekends of open houses in theweeks before the auction, giving potential buyers an opportunity totour the residences. At the auction itself, potential buyers wererequired to show a certified, bank or cashier’s check for specifiedamounts in order to be allowed to bid. Buyers were then required tosign the contract and tender the specified deposit immediately uponplacing the winning bid.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.