Bullish on Central Park West

29 January, 2009 posted by: Emily Beare

As we usher in the Chinese Lunar New Year of The Ox, let’s all hope for the return of a bovine presence on Wall Street.

On another famous street in New York City at the high-profile 15 Central Park West, there have been strong indicators of a resurgent market. Two exclusive rental listings occupying the entire south side of the 35th floor in The Tower section of the building have seen tremendous activity in the past two weeks with visits from magnates in every professional arena. These exceptional residences have garnered the attention of well-heeled clientele since the first day they were listed in mid January with the owner entertaining two offers for the entire floor.

Prospective tenants truly appreciate the privacy the building offers but are wary of dispensing the cash to purchase. They prefer to afford the hefty monthly outlay while investigating the option to buy.

Who knows, maybe one of the bull riders competing at Madison Square Garden recently will stick around New York in some fancy new digs?


New Energy Solutions

23 January, 2009 posted by: Simon T Anderson

A friend of mine investing in Tri-State Biodiesel invited me to attend a special screening of the 2008 Sundance Best Documentary Winner, FUEL, the other night at Café Notte. This compelling exposé highlights the far-reaching effects of oil dependence and offers real-world solutions at this crucial juncture in global society’s dilemmas today.

The film premiers February 6th in New York City. Expect to see this important feature in wide distribution later this year.


CORE Real Time Report Released

13 January, 2009 posted by: Simon T Anderson

The Monthly CORE Real Time Report is the first of its kind in the Manhattan residential market. It is an analysis of real-time information that tracks current contract pricing and absorption. This report is different from other published reports because it reflects existing contract data, not sold and closed data, which often takes months or years to be recorded. In order to get an accurate snapshot of the current market, contract data is the most pertinent information. Sold and closed data reflects historical market information and cannot be accurately attributed to a specific time in the market due to the nature of the length of a transaction. This is further skewed with new development transactions which can sometimes reflect more than a two year period from contract signing to closing. As is the case with all residential reports, the accuracy of this report is not 100%, but this is a very reliable snapshot of current market conditions. The information in this report is gathered from numerous sources and includes parameters in Manhattan below 96th Street and does not include new development data unless otherwise noted.


Who’s In Control of My New Condo?

12 January, 2009 posted by: David Grossmann

Now that the 2009 ship has sailed, there are numerous new development condominium projects that were bought in 2007 and 2008 that are now starting to close.  Many people are anxious to move into their new homes and (hopefully) meet their new neighbors.

Did you know that it is legally permissible for the sponsor to retain board control in a new development even if only 1 unit remains unsold, as long as it was fully disclosed both in the bylaws and in the special risks section of the offering plan?  The rules change for a conversion that requires a sponsor to give up control of the board after five years or upon the sale of at least 50 percent of the units, whichever occurs first. This is according to New York Real Estate attorney Mark Axinn.

However, should the sponsor give up control of the board of managers, the sponsor cannot designate or nominate the majority of the managers. In this case, the sponsor is not prevented from voting with its percentage of common interest for unit owners who have similar views, as long as the unit owners are not on the sponsor’s payroll or otherwise given money by the sponsor.


Upgrade to a Larger Space, in this Market?

09 January, 2009 posted by: Steven Gallagher

Is this the time for one and two bedroom owners to upgrade to larger apartments even though market volume and pricing is down significantly?

That may be the case depending on a number of factors.  Usually we see an upgrade to a larger space because of a growing family and the need for extra bedrooms to accommodate a larger brood.  That is still happening, but not with the same frequency as it has in the past. There is a wait-and see attitude with buyers now on the presumption that the market has not yet hit it’s plateau, and that they will hold off on the purchase for three to six months, or longer, until they can feel assured that the market has bottomed out.  With owners who have purchased their one and two bedroom units five years or earlier, there is still a tremendous upside to selling now and purchasing a larger apartment. The reason for this is that the proportional increase in the value of the apartment has been significant since the purchase price at that time was averaging $500 a square foot or less!  Also bear in mind that a gain in equity up to $500,000 for a married couple, and $250,000 for a single owner, is as a general rule considered tax free gains on the sale of said property.  That tax free equity can be utilized as part of a down payment on the new, larger space. Read the rest of this entry »


You Can’t Spell “Exotic” without “Toxic” and Other Themes to Watch in 2009

08 January, 2009 posted by: Shaun Osher

This is traditionally the time of year when all the pundits come out and give us opinions, forecasts, analysis, and speculation.

Woody Heller and Will Silverman from Studley are two successful industry peers who I highly respect and regard as class acts. Will sent me a note today, and with his permission I am posting it here. It is insightful, smart, and refreshingly intuitive.

“The earth has thankfully cycled through the last of its 365.25 rotations of 2008. As we look ahead, we’d like to offer our view on the emerging themes in 2009. This letter is not meant to be a market overview referencing charts, economic data or historical metrics. Our view of specific predictions is that they are conjecture in good times and dangerous in bad. The only certainty about the future is that it will be governed by presently unforeseen events. Therefore, we focus on themes that appear relevant at present to the business climate in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »



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