THE MARCH OF THE CONVERSIONS

New York Times

THE MARCH OF THE CONVERSIONS
July 12, 2010

IN the hierarchy of tradeoffs that a Manhattan apartment buyer inevitably has to make, one in particular has reigned supreme: if you wanted prewar charm you were probably going to end up in a co-op. Although that is still the case, things are changing. Over the past decade or so, conversion to condominiums has become the preferred path for developers seeking to shift a rental building over to ownership. At this moment, a number of interesting and distinctive prewar buildings are being converted to condos. From 36 Gramercy Park East, a gargoyle-studded apartment house fronting a storied private park, to Devonshire House, an Emery Roth building in Greenwich Village, conversions are presenting buyers with a chance to escape the scrutiny of co-op boards while acquiring some modern conveniences along with that coveted old-fashioned detail (converted buildings usually go through extensive renovations).