South American Real Estate News

The decline of prices in the iconic Kavanagh Building is reflected in the asking price of their most prestigious apartment, which has been for sale for 14 years, having been reduced by 57%

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Its owner is an English lord who acquired the property in 2003. In 2007, he put it up for sale for USD 7.9 million. Today, he offers it at USD 3.4 million. In the building, once one of the most sought-after in Buenos Aires, there are already at least 15 units for sale due to the impact of the pandemic.

The iconic Kavanagh building Located in the heart of Retiro a few meters from Plaza San Martín hides one of the most exciting stories of love and passion in the City of Buenos Aires. The most emblematic apartment “14 A”, has already accumulated 14 years for sale, but even lowering its price by half, will it get a buyer?

Located in Florida 1065, was inaugurated in January 1936. The work was completed in record time in less than two years and quickly became the tallest skyscraper in South America and the concrete structure highest in the world.

With a height of 110 m and 30 floors, it has five staircases and twelve differentiated elevators for each column of departments. In total it houses 105 apartments. “It is not suitable for professional use so all the units are residential, although many of them are rented under temporary contracts,” he explained Iuri Izrastzoff director of a local real estate company.

The story goes that Corina Kavanagh had a crush on Aaron Anchorena, son of Mercedes Castellanos de Anchorena, who lived in what is now the Chancellery and who ordered the construction of the Basilica of the Blessed Sacrament. But as was often the case, the young man’s mother did not accept the romance.

Corina, a spiteful woman, knew that the Anchorena family was about to buy a lot in front of the church to protect the church view over the park. Corina acquired this land first and ordered the Kavanagh to be built under great secrecy with the sole objective of preventing the Anchorena family from seeing a view other than the back of her apartment building.

This story is but one of a few I know, true or not it is part of one of the most important myths of the City of Buenos Aires and gives a special value to this building that for years he stood out for his innovative style for the time.

The 14th floor is the most emblematic. Corina Kavanagh lived there, then it passed into the hands of the Roberts banking family and then in 2003 it reached Englishman Lord Alain Levenfiche.

“He was a multi-millionaire real estate investor. At that time he was buying real estate in Thailand, the Ivory Coast, Spain and Miami. What he did was acquire the apartment with the idea of renovating it and adding value for a resale “, explains Izrastzoff who sold the unit in 2007.

At first after renovation, it went on sale for a very high value of USD 7,900,000. It then settled down for a price of USD 6,000,000. The truth is that since the owner did not get a buyer started offering it for temporary rent and it generated a good business, “explained a source.

The apartment is 740 m2 in total, 475 m2 covered. It has a total of 8 rooms, 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms and a unique 360 ° view of the City of Buenos Aires.

“The reality is that when it was refurbished it lost most of its charm. The reception hall is a true Ibiza bowling alley. It has smoke machines and even lights on the floors. The bathrooms are upmarket with white marbles and unique details, “describes Izrastzoff.

In 1999, the building was declared by UNESCO, World Heritage of Modern Architecture. City taxes are $ 25,000 pesos of ABL. Body Corp expenses exceed $ 100,000 pesos per month.

Although its owner a tycoon and playboy, who according to industry sources, no longer visits Argentina, for years rented the property to foreigners and polo players who came to compete in the country. However, the pandemic changed all his plans and forced him to continue lowering the sale price of the unit; with only one goal: to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

Today the property has a publication price of USD 3,400,000, but for now, there are still no interested parties. “The area is not what it used to be, the proximity of the slums at Villa 31 and the lack of people moving around the central city make that for many, not an attractive area to live “, sums up the real estate experts.

“It is a niche market that is interested in this type of unit. There is not a lot of internal movement and it is a building that generates fanaticism. The truth is there is less interest year after year in this building“, adds the specialist.

Why is it not selling

But Why doesn’t the emblematic 14th floor get a buyer? The main reason is that whoever wants to get a unit in the Kavanagh building can do so for much less money.

Today there are on average 15 apartments for sale. Those units with 4 rooms have a value of USD 390,000 and those with 5 rooms cost just over USD 550,000. With offers of USD 300,000 in the case of apartments with little maintenance that need to be refurbished.

“Today it is difficult to sell these units. There is more vacancy than usual, but this happens due to the context that the sector is going through and the pandemic that fully damaged the downtown area of the Capital “ Izrastzoff argues.

Members of the Pérez Companc family, the Ezkenazi family (the former owners of YPF), José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz and Carlos Corach passed through the Kavanagh. But, the high maintenance costs and the lack of amenities and garages mean that for many it is no longer attractive and only becomes a monument.

Source: El Cronista

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