Ugly Views on Water Street

There’s a little spat brewing at 275 Water Street. It started with this news from Curbed in January:

The views from the South Street Seaport-area apartments at 275 Water Street are pretty sweet… sweet enough to price this two-bedroom loft at $1.2 million. But as a Curbed reader points out, it’s caveat emptor:

What none of the brokers will tell you is that these apartments won’t have views for long.

Now at Felix Salmon there’s news of some people who are pretty pissed off at one broker in particular for not warning them about new developements that could destroy the water view. The post ends like this:

So maybe the first thing you should do if you’re worried about a vanishing view isn’t look at Property Shark: it’s look at the broker. If it’s Jon Phillips of Halstead, run away.

I must say that I’m not surpirised at the “alleged” dishonesty of a broker to line his pockets with cash. I am greatly surprised, however, and disturbed that the accused is Jon Philips. I have worked with Jon who I believe to be one of the more knowledgeable brokers in the industry. He and his wife were a pleasure to work with and incredibly forthcoming with information during our transaction together where I represented the buyer; also on Water Street.
That said, my standard response when a client asks about development possibilities surrounding a property that I’m representing is that there are no guarantees that zoning won’t change, and that a building can be built anywhere in the city.
Of course, I would always let a client know if I was privy to information regarding a project in the pipeline.
The unfortunate part of this story to me is that many sellers specifically seek out brokers who will withold information and sell their property for the highest price at any cost, even if it means compromising integrity. When it’s cash vs. integrity, all too often cash seems to win.

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