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Macklowe Files to Convert 137 Apartments in Manhattan to Condos

Harry Macklowe, the New York developer, has filed plans to convert two rental apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper East Side to condominiums.

The proposals were submitted this month to the New York state attorney general’s office on behalf of 737 Park Ave. and 150 East 72nd St., said Stuart Saft, head of the real estate group at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, who drafted and filed the plans for Macklowe.

Sales of the converted units may be completed as early as late next year or the first quarter of 2013 as long as the plans are approved by July 2012, Saft said. State law requires developers of condos and co-ops to file an offering plan, or prospectus, for review before selling units to the public, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s website.

“The expectation is that we probably will be out of the recession by then and the economy will be booming and it will just be the right time to start selling apartments,” Saft said today in a telephone interview.

Macklowe’s proposal for 737 Park Ave. calls for converting all 103 units into condos ranging from $2.9 million for a one-bedroom unit to $18 million for a penthouse apartment, Saft said. Macklowe acquired the prewar building near 71st Street for $253 million in August, according to city property records.

At the 72nd Street property, the 34 units will be converted into the same number of condos, all either two- or three-bedroom units, according to Saft. Prices will range from $3.5 million to $6 million, he said. A limited-liability company that shares offices with Macklowe Properties acquired the building in July for $70 million, according to city records.

Macklowe was forced in 2008 to relinquish control of seven Manhattan office towers after he was unable to refinance $7 billion of short-term debt used to buy the properties. The credit crisis forced his company to sell its crown jewel, the General Motors Building at the southeast corner of Central Park.

Macklowe Properties sold three apartment buildings last year to Chicago-based Equity Residential, the real estate investment trust founded by billionaire Sam Zell.

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