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Monday, April 03, 2006

Sundari captures NRI interest

Ever wondered why having the right name matters? Well William Shakespeare certainly pondered this question because it apparently does matter. A luxury high-rise built in Manhattan is able to sell a few condominiums to Indian-Americans simply because the building's name appealed to them.

Coming up at 158 Madison Avenue in the Madison Square North neighbourhood and just a couple of blocks from the Empire State Building, is the first luxury building in the city with a distinctly Indian name - Sundari Lofts and Tower. And for nearly a million dollars or more, this address could soon be yours.

Sundari Lofts and Tower is billed as a collection of luxury high-end condominiums, containing 50 residential units. The apartments, ranging from studio lofts to three- bedroom units and penthouses, are priced between $700,000 and $2.8 million.

Residents can feast on gorgeous views of Manhattan, and the apartments have state-of-the-art kitchen, an on-site gym, sauna and pool and a Zen-like reflection garden, complete with a waterfall. Units range in size from 545 to 1,916 square feet.

The developer, Thorwood Real Estate, wanted a name that would reflect the Asian features of the development. Thorwood Real Estate is a joint venture between Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities and Andrew Heiberger of Buttonwood Real Estate and the condos are being marketed by City Habitats Marketing Group.

The apartment is targeted at young, successful professionals in their 30s or 40s, who may want to be a short walk away from work in midtown Manhattan. But once word got around, the developers were intrigued by enquiries from Indians who were simply drawn by the name. Soon, Thorwood sensed an opportunity and advertised in Indian publications in the United States.

Brad Meadow of the Thorwood Real Estate told CNBC-TV18, "We chose the name actually, just for its meaning - beautiful. But some friends I had spoken to, told me that in the Indian culture, the word resonates very much and has a deep meaning to Indians and Indian-Americans. So one of my friends suggested the Indian market might be a good one to reach, to see if there was any interest in the building and we got some good responses."

The building has been designed by Ishmael Levya Architects. Work on Sundari Lofts and Tower began in June this year, and construction is scheduled to be completed in December 2006. And once all the approvals are in place, the units are likely to be up for sale by the end of this year or early next year.

For more information click here: www.sundarinyc.com

Written for www.moneycontrol.com

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