Elevators Might Be The Trick to Spur Watchcase Townhouse Sales


Elevators are being installed in all seven freestanding townhouses that were built on Church and Sage streets five years ago as part of Cape Advisor’s redevelopment of the former Bulova Watchcase Factory, since rebranded as “Watchcase,” a luxury condominium development.

While 87 percent of the 46 condominium units in the factory building have been sold, according to associate broker Deborah Srb of Sotheby’s International Reality, all nine of the units in the seven townhouse structures remain on the market at prices ranging from $2.75 million up to $4.6 million.

Ms. Srb said on Tuesday she was expecting a contract to be signed for one of the Sage Street units any day.

The elevator installation came up at the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustee’s December 10 meeting, when village trustee James Larocca noted that seven elevator inspections were listed on the Building Department’s activity report for November.

Building Inspector Thomas Preiato explained from the audience that a lack of elevators in buildings that are three stories high — and up to five including ground-floor units that include rear entries — had been identified “as one of the reasons they’re not selling.”

Ms. Srb of Sotheby’s didn’t bat an eye when told of Mr. Preiato’s comment. Not only reducing prices but adding elevators was “one of the conditions, if you will, that I take on the listing” for the townhouses and five remaining unsold units in the factory building, she said.

Elevators were included in Cape Advisor’s original plans but the developer “never got the permits and installed them,” Ms. Srb said, leaving it to buyers to treat them as an option.

Wiring and plumbing changes necessary to install the elevator cabs required the November inspections, she said, adding that the installations “have been slowly going on” since summer, with the priority now on the Sage Street townhouse with the pending contract.