CONDOS TO GO ON AUCTION BLOCK

MetropolitanThe building, nearing completion, stands on the former site of Dorn’s Photography and several old houses.

The developer of The Metropolitan, a 37-unit condo project on Wallace Street in Red Bank, will auction off 31 of them at deeply slashed opening bids next month.

Just_in

Ad ad in today’s New York Times says starting bids at the event, to be held January 24 at the Molly Pitcher Inn, will be $295,000. As of yesterday, the lowest-priced unit was priced at $601,000, according to the Monmouth-Ocean Multiple Listing Service.

The auction, which is believed to be the first of its kind for a multifamily project in Red Bank since the partially completed homes at the Bluffs on West Front Street were sold nearly two decades ago, is the latest and perhaps more glaring sign of the impact of the realty-based economic slowdown spreading around the globe.

“This is a distress-marketing type of tactic,” said one area broker who asked not to be identified.

Balcony

But the Metropolitan may also suffer from location issues, as many of the units look onto the backs of Broad Street buildings and municipal parking lots. A photo on the project’s website shows an arched balcony proscenium framing a sea of black asphalt and parked cars.

All units in the four-story building feature two bedrooms and two baths except for the two penthouses, which have an extra half-bath. The units have between 1,266 and 1,865 square feet of living space; the penthouses are 2,200 and 2,500 SF in area.

One of the penthouses is scheduled to go to closing today, we’re told, though at a price less than the $1.2 million price advertised. Four other units are reported to be under contract.

The building features underground parking with two spaces per unit and is to have eight hours of doorman service daily.

Heritage House/Sotheby’s International is handling the auction.

The project was built by Pyramid Properties, which also built The Blu and the Asbury Grand, both in Asbury Park. A related firm, Onyx Partners, bought the building that houses Murphy Style Grill on Broad Street, but not the restaurant itself, 15 months ago for $2.5 million.

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