Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz!

05 November, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

Watching the election results with New York’s resident ANIMAL, Bucky Turco, last night made for an interesting evening. His confidence in an Obama victory was steadfast but I was still wary of the initial undecided outcome of the 2000 election and general uncertainty in a weakened economy. Not long after midnight we were all able to breathe a collective sigh of relief knowing the path this country has chosen and looking to a brighter future for all. Thank goodness we didn’t have to watch any of those old goofy commercials.




Money with a Twist

04 November, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

A friend in Boston just told me about a creative approach to financing in this topsy-turvy world of late, brought to you by the intrepid uber-entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson. Virgin Money operates on all levels of finance for a multitude of needs including mortgages, seller financing, small business and even student loans. The idea is to eliminate the bank and make all elements of the process a more informal affair. With the level of creativity required to keep deals going forward, this may be one approach that fits the bill.




Risky Business

13 October, 2008 posted by: Harsha Chanrai

I’m flying right now from New York to London, a journey I’m pretty used to by now, sometimes for a long weekend, this time for a wedding. I’ve become so “hungry” in this market, since moving to New York in January with only a small handful of possible potential international buyers, that I now have the mentality that the person sitting next to me could be my next client, or friend of client.  This applies on the subway, in a restaurant, coffee shop, nail spa and in this case, on a plane.

So we’re sitting side by side on our laptops, and while I’m hoping he’s not reading what I’m writing, I see him also on Word, formulating a business plan, using the non-interrupted seven hours away from our blackberries to do things we never get around to doing, accounts, business plans, writing something for Core Talks…. Read the rest of this entry »


Actionable Data – Streeteasy’s Michael Smith

08 October, 2008 posted by: Shaun Osher

New York City is one of the only cities in the United States that has never had a comprehensive one-stop-shop for listing data (current or historic). For years, the major power brokers tried to “get together” to create an MLS , but we all know how that turned out. Michael Smith is the CEO and Founder of Streeteasy. He has confronted this monumental task head on and has revolutionized how people search for available listings on the web, and research historical data. I sat down with him recently and discussed his company.

Shaun: How old is the company?

Michael: The company is almost 3 years old.

Shaun: And your title is?

Michael: CEO

Shaun: How many people is the company comprised of?

Michael: Ten. A big group of ten.

Shaun: Must be ten very efficient people.  What hours do you work? (Laughing)  Is there some advantage to owning a web based company, where your hours are not traditional?

Michael: I think so. We have an employee in California.  Today we’ve been able to do a lot with very few people. Ten for us is actually quit a big number.  For the first two years it was much smaller than that.

Shaun: Why did you start the company?

Michael: In a very basic sense, we started the company because we felt there was a real lack of actionable data for consumers, when it came to residential real estate. Read the rest of this entry »


Garage Sale!

02 October, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

I am one of those financially irresponsible Manhattanites that must have a car. I have parked  a string of cars at Pier 40, Red Ball Garage and now at the Automotion facility in the new 123 Baxter condominium. Each garage has cost more than the last.

A friend of mine’s father lived at Lexington and 89th Street in a rent stabilized apartment about ten years ago and paid more for his parking spot in the building than he did for his home! A useful tool to understand garage rates throughout New York City revealed that you can pay as much as $1,200 a month to park on either the Upper East or West Sides. I am sure a number of residents of these areas are paying less than that for apartments with stabilized leases.

As outdoor lots and older garages fall prey to development and parking availability dwindles, skyrocketing prices are sure to remain a reality for those that must drive. Not long ago, private spaces in a few CORE Group Marketing projects sold at unheard of prices. Is the advent of the half million dollar parking spot not far away?




The World’s Biggest Weekend Open House

01 October, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

The Sixth Annual Open House New York Weekend is fast approaching. This fantastic series of events will take place this coming weekend, October 4th and 5th, at hundreds of locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Some tours are very popular and require advance reservations so call now to book early after visiting the official site to plan your urban adventure.




Race to Sell?

30 September, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

I ran in the Hamptons Marathon this past weekend in the pouring rain and driving wind. The bucolic and maritime scenery on the East End was spectacular despite the weather and I managed to post a fairly respectable time of just over four hours.

Along the 26.2 mile course I set about the task of counting FOR SALE signs in varying areas and neighborhoods to get a better understanding of the current housing market in this rarefied territory. A cursory evaluation told me that the larger seasonal dwellings had signs in evidence while those homes with year round residents did not.

Maybe those contractors, landscapers, painters and pool maintenance people are not so bad off after all?



Governor’s Island – A Quick Trip

29 September, 2008 posted by: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Having been curious about Governor’s Island for quite a long time (a girl in my 8th grade class lived there since her dad was in the Coast Guard), I finally went to visit earlier this summer to see the place with my own eyes.

If you don’t know the Island, it’s a short ferry ride away from the tip of southern Manhattan . While long on military history, the place has been having a bit of an identity crisis for the past 10 years, ever since it was vacated by the US Coast Guard, its last military occupant. Fortunately, change is afoot thanks to the efforts of the State, City and the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation. Read the rest of this entry »


Sore Feet

25 September, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

Over the years I have logged a lot of miles on foot throughout New York City. One task I set for myself was to walk across all bridges connecting Manhattan to other parts of the world. Some days I have crossed more than one to return back to Manhattan from an outer borough. This list of river crossings is a long one and an undertaking sure to occupy many more afternoon ambles.

Here is the list of those bridges I have crossed on foot: Brooklyn, Manhattan, Willliamsburgh, Queensborough, Roosevelt, George Washington,  and Wards Island.

Those still on the list awaiting exploration are: Triborough, Willis Avenue, Third Avenue, Park Avenue Railroad, Madison Avenue, 145th Street, Macombs Dam, High, Alexander Hamilton, Washington, University Heights, Broadway, Henry Hudson, Hell’s Gate and Spuyten Duyvil Railroad.

Obviously, some are not accessible by foot, but who knew there were so many ways to get to the rest of the world?




Pier Pressure

23 September, 2008 posted by: Simon T Anderson

Ever since the new World Financial Center Ferry Terminal arrived from Brooklyn to the banks of the Hudson River in June, I have had the opportunity to view the construction progress as I run by early every morning. The design is striking and a real compliment to the fantastic land forming and sculptures in nearby North Cove and Rockefeller Park. There have been significant delays and cost over runs with this project but I am confident that its anticipated rescheduled opening before the end of 2008 will greatly improve ferry service from Hoboken, NJ and other Gold Coast locations with multiple slips and new concessions for the over 7,500 daily ferry commuters.

Keep your eyes open for the grand opening of this exciting transportation addition to New York City waterways.


20040422JOB 1/1 A New York Waterway ferry makes it way across the Hudson River .  NEW YORK, NY  4/22/04  8:09:19 AM  JOHN O'BOYLE/THE STAR-LEDGER  Taken at F 4.0, shutter 1/8000, ISO 640 white balance Cloudy  sharpening Standard/0 Canon EOS-1D 29134

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