The J. Crew CEO's Apartment Looks Exactly Like You Think It Does

Huffington PostFebruary 01, 2016

All you need is a cool $25 million.


Hold on to your henleys, people. Curbed reports J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler hasre-listed his massive New York City pad -- and when we get a look into the home of a J. Crew exec, we take it. 


At $25 million, Drexler's home is listed for $10 million below the asking price when it was listed for sale back in 2015 (what a bargain!). The home has 6,226 square feet - a mansion by Manhattan standards- and features an open floor plan. The five-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom home has three walk-in closets and is located in the heart of NYC's coveted Tribeca neighborhood.


With its floor-to-ceiling windows and mid-century vibe, the apartment is downright stunning.


A spokeswoman for the listing real estate brokerage firm, Core, declined to comment on the sale, but you can get more information on the property at

Luxury Apartment Flippers are Getting Left Flat on Their Backs

Crain'sJanuary 31, 2016

In March 2014, a JP Morgan Chase managing director named Leslie Perkins paid $5 million for an Upper East Side condominium at 141 E. 88th St. Almost exactly a year later, she sold it for $6.5 million—a 30% return before taxes and fees.


Perkins, who could not be reached to comment for this story, is a type of well-heeled New York City investor who has made fast money in recent years by buying apartments in new condominiums, in some cases so early on that units hadn’t even hit the market. Because the attorney general’s office does not sign off on new condominium offerings or conversions until 15% of a development’s apartments are in contract, developers tend to start selling units at a discount. Investors willing to take a risk on a building not yet completed, are there to pounce.


"There is a herd mentality in real estate," said Leonard Steinberg, president of residential brokerage Compass. "And if someone is going to support a building early on, there has to be some incentive or some reward." In 2015, the best apartment flippers saw seven-figure gains within 18 months of buying their units, according to data compiled by listings website CityRealty. Among them were Robert and Kathleen Kaswell, founder of a real estate firm and a former CEO of Nine West Group, respectively. The husband and wife profited more than 50% on their unit in Walker Tower, located at 212 W. 18th St. in Chelsea.


After closing on the 17th-floor apartment in December 2013, they sold it for $10.7 million to Andrew Liveris, the chief executive of Dow Chemical, in February 2015. During the same time period, Dow Chemical stock rose by a modest 4%—which illustrates why this particular real estate play can be so attractive.


"Whether [my clients] could retire or make that their business I don’t always know," said Bruce Cohen, a partner at real estate law firm Cohen & Frankel who puts together contracts for condo buyers. "But there are some who have made boatloads of money." But the most lucrative flips of 2015 may be some of the last. Manhattan sales data show that quick resales are becoming less profitable. Returns fell by half in the past year, to an average of 15%. And real estate experts believe that as more luxury condos in new towers come onto the market, supply will far outstrip demand.


 'Everybody's retirement plan'


A flip isn’t defined by an exact time period, but most brokers would consider it buying and selling for a profit within a year or two (the legal definition technically refers to a much rarer occurrence of reselling a signed contract before the deal has closed). Friends and family members of developers, along with real estate brokers and savvy investors, have been flipping for decades.


"In the ’80s, this was everybody’s retirement plan," said Jonathan Miller, head of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. What makes for a good flip varies. The most common explanation for big deals is the simplest: Developers discount some units by as much 30% to entice early buyers. In exchange, builders get something even more valuable.


New York State is regulated by a special office under the state attorney general called the Real Estate Finance Bureau. Before developers can start signing contracts, bureau staffers must vet highly detailed project plans. Vornado Realty Trust, for example, submitted 554 pages for its luxury tower at 220 Central Park South. The plans disclosed everything from how the condo board will function to the offering price of every unit in the building.


Once 15% of the apartments are in contract and the bureau declares a new building plan effective, developers typically begin to jack up prices to discourage potential buyers from waiting too long to sign a contract. At 220 Central Park South last year, Vornado raised prices by a collective $659 million over seven months, according to records from the real estate bureau.


These price gains can create instant equity for early buyers, who can then cash out by reselling their units. It is too soon to know whether early 220 Central Park South buyers will flip, but Vornado announced last year it had sold $1.1 billion worth of apartments without even opening its sales office to the public.


"Early on, the [developer] and the broker are [often] offering low-hanging fruit," said Nancy Packes, who runs a namesake real estate consulting firm. Typically, smaller units on the lower floors, which net the lowest profit anyway, are the ones that are underpriced. Penthouses and more valuable offerings are held longer until prices climb. Of the 10 biggest Manhattan flips in 2015, three were units purchased directly from the developer below the 10th floor, according to data collected by CityRealty.


Most developers write clauses into their contracts forbidding the buyer to flip within a year of closing, to avoid competition."If a developer has nine three-bedroom apartments for sale, it’s not good if you’re out there trying to flip a three-bedroom as well," said Andrew Heiberger, founder of brokerage Town Residential.


Developer Steve Witkoff, on the other hand, allowed buyers to resell units before they had even closed on their contracts at his West Village development 150 Charles—and then took a cut of the profits.


Last year's winners 


The flippers of 2015 tended to be successful entrepreneurs or finance professionals. In other words: investors with cash. Dax DaSilva is a Canadian tech entrepreneur who co-founded Lightspeed, a company that provides point-of-sale systems for small businesses. In March 2014, a trust registered in his name closed on an apartment in Walker Tower for $4.6 million; 18 months later, the trust sold it for $7.7 million.


Jonathan Ostrow, the founder of website, closed on a $2.8 million apartment in HFZ Capital’s One Madison in November 2014 and resold it just three months later for a 50% gain. In many cases, these flippers actually signed a contract months—and sometimes more than a year, before actually closing.


Daniel Collin, co-chief executive of private-equity firm Monomoy Capital Partners, already owned a unit on the seventh floor of 415 Greenwich in March 2015 with his wife, Lindsey, when they purchased the building’s penthouse for $7.7 million. Nine months later, they sold it for $11.5 million.


Location and timing are also key to these flips’ success. Walker Tower, Verizon’s former Art Deco building along West 18th Street in Chelsea, is one of a number of projects, including One Madison and 150 Charles, where several flips have transpired.


In this case, JDS Development Group launched the Walker Tower project in 2012, which was so early in the condo boom that its units were precious commodities. Some of the apartments there increased in value so rapidly because of high demand that early buyers who were planning to live in the units were enticed to flip instead.


The Kaswells inked their contract before the attorney general’s office fully signed off on the project’s plans. By the time they closed and began prepping their move in 2014, their needs had changed, and they discussed the unit’s new value with residential brokerage Core. “Eyebrows were raised,” said the Core agent, Christian Rogers. The couple made $3.77 million.


Uncertain Future


The biggest flips typically happen at the outset of a boom, when prices increase rapidly, noted Donna Olshan, head of brokerage and consulting firm Olshan Realty. “I don’t think you can count on this as the model now,” said Olshan. Many real estate experts believe that the high-end condo market is being saturated with units, which is leading to longer sale times and smaller price gains.


“Developers will probably still prime the pump,” said Miller, whose firm analyzed Manhattan apartment flips over the past two years for Crain’s. “But the market might not be able to support two, three or four price increases—meaning the initial investor won’t get the same instant equity.”


Miller’s data show that in the past two years, about 240 apartments were sold in Manhattan that had been purchased only a year before. These units cost between $1 million and $2 million; the median price for a Manhattan home in the fourth quarter of 2015 was $1 million. Flippers averaged at least a 20% profit. That is easily enough to cover broker fees and taxes that typically make up 10% of an apartment’s price or more, if an apartment is flipped within a year and is subject to short-term capital-gains taxes. But by April 2015, average gains had fallen below 20%, and Miller doesn’t think they will rise above that mark any time soon.


That doesn’t necessarily mean that buying early in new condo developments has become a bad investment, Compass’ Steinberg said. It just means that it won’t be a quick one. “Markets don’t go up indefinitely, but in big cities like London and New York, they recover very quickly,” he said. “If you have the ability to ride out a correction and can rely on renting the unit out, you will more than likely make money.”

Inside J Crew CEO’s Tribeca Loft

Vogue UKJanuary 29, 2016

J CREW is known for its colorful, eclectic aesthetic, so it's no surprise that the apartment owned by the company's CEO, Mickey Drexler, should be just as quirky and covetable. Originally listed last year for $35 million before being withdrawn, Drexler's Tribeca loft is back on the market with a revised price tag of $25 million. Decorated by interior designer Thierry Despont, the apartment occupies more than 6,000 sq ft and boasts five bedrooms, three walk-in closets and a custom "billiards area". Step inside the space, here.

5 Truths About a Brokerage’s Company Culture

InmanJanuary 28, 2016

Run the show from the top without forgetting about your employees.


NEW YORK — The concept of company culture is oftentimes elusive and slippery. Or, as moderator Katie Maxwell of Intero Real Estate Services put it — culture sounds like total BS, until you’ve experienced the effects of a negative one firsthand.


“I came from a brokerage, and I was indebted to them,” Maxwell said. “But there was no culture — the marketing wasn’t uniform.”


Shaun Osher, founder of CORE; Amy Bayer, co-founder of Porchlight Group; and Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman took the stage at Inman Connect New York to reveal how they build a reputation of amazing culture around their brand. Here are five takeaways from their discussion.


1. Your actions as a leader trickle down


Every company does have a culture, and it all starts at the top. The tone of your core values will not go unnoticed. They will affect every employee from your high-level producers to the assistant who answers the phone. Whatever “vibe” is created internally also infiltrates the treatment of your customers.


“How people feel is really the most important thing,” Osher said. “As an agent, the people you work with, the way you interact and spend your days — it’s all important to feeling like you’re part of something. They embrace it.”


When you build up large opaque walls (both physically and figuratively) and hit people over the head with hierarchy, don’t expect people to be inspired. Rarely is the best work drawn out through fear.


2. Large companies may fare better when split into smaller teams


Keeping 150 people on the same page is like trying to steady a plane, Bayer said. To handle this problem, she splits her agents into groups of 20 who work well together. “Not everybody is going to get along,” she said. You can make things fun with creative team names and friendly competitions.


3. Collaboration should be contagious


Go beyond inclusion and making everyone feel like they matter. Empower your employees from the bottom. Osher said that he encourages agents lead brainstorming sessions and contribute ideas.


Adding to that, Herman said, “We have an open door policy and our people know that.”


4. Squash gossip and listen to marginalized employees


What’s the best strategy: putting the kibosh on toxic employees, or working with them toward improvement?


It depends, the panelists said, especially on the size of the company (one difficult employee makes a bigger difference if there are only 10 of you).


But Herman (who works with 6,000 agents) made an interesting point about office talk. “Before I would throw somebody out, I wouldn’t just listen to everyone telling me what was going on. I would try to determine it myself … and talk to that person.”


5. The golden rule applies to professionals, too


We’re not on the playground anymore, but we’re still human. “Not just being a number at someone’s company I think makes a big difference,” Herman said.

Inman Connect New York 2016, Patrick Lilly

InmanJanuary 26, 2016

Patrick Lilly holds a coveted position in the world of New York real estate as not only a top-tier producer, but a sought-after expert who has been spotlighted in books, the media and seminars. A mainstay in the industry for over 25 years, Lilly has excelled to great heights in his field thanks to his exceptional market knowledge, proven flair for successful deals and strong relationships with clients and peers alike.


Strong sales success has led Lilly to win multiple awards including, most recently, Keller Williams' “Pinnacle Award”, bestowed to the top 20 agents nationally. In addition, Lilly has consistently led his team to be named to The Wall Street Journal’s list of top 250 national teams of real estate agents over the past several years, where they were ranked #110 in 2012.


Originally from Maryland, Lilly earned his BS in Psychology and Mathematics from Missouri State University and a MBA in Marketing and International Business from New York University. His illustrious real estate career has encompassed an association with leading-name brokerage firms, in addition to running his own thriving boutique company, Patrick Lilly Inc., which he operated for 10 years.

Inman Connect New York 2016, Douglas Heddings

InmanJanuary 26, 2016

Douglas Heddings is Executive Vice President – Sales, responsible for overseeing and growing sales and business development for CORE’s resale division. His roles include recruiting, agent support, as well as meeting company sales goals and projections. A 23-year veteran and a top producer at one of Manhattan’s largest firms, Heddings was most recently the founder of The Heddings Property Group, LLC. As a real estate expert, Heddings is a certified Department of State instructor and he sits on the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). 


In addition to being featured as a contributing writer for several publications, he has been featured on The Today Show, CNBC, Fox Business, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and NY1 among others. He loves spending his free time with his wife Kate, the Deputy Editor of Food & Wine magazine, and their two children.

Inman Connect New York 2016, Maggie Kent

InmanJanuary 26, 2016

Maggie Kent thrives on being highly knowledgeable and up to the moment on both the Manhattan and global real estate markets. She is a skilled negotiator who focuses on getting her clients the best deal possible while maintaining an understanding of the emotional and financial demands of any transaction. She dedicates herself to getting results, whether a client is looking to buy or sell a home, invest or relocate. 


A downtown resident for 20 years, Kent specializes in new developments, re-sales, residential coops, lofts and townhouses in her surrounding neighborhoods and beyond, with a keen eye for marketing innovation. Kent's exuberance, endurance and tenacity were apparent when she shepherded over 35 apartments to contract within 90 days as Co-Director of Sales at CORE's new development project in Chelsea at 305W16. All the while, Kent broke price per square footage records for her sellers in a variety of other buildings. In addition, she has starred on HGTV's hit television series, Selling New York since its premiere season and consistently garners press in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Real Deal.


Kent comes to real estate organically. Her family firm won numerous awards in the highest grossing real estate region in Canada, her country of origin. In addition, Kent's background in the arts and events promotion gives her an extraordinary marketing edge with a unique sensitivity when working with her high profile clientele. Previously a top producer and Managing Vice President of a New York City boutique real estate firm, Kent brings her years of insight, experience and dedicated service to ensure her clients get the results they need. Her personal motto is: "Think it, make it, believe it."

What You’ll Get Across NYC for $550,000

Brick UndergroundJanuary 25, 2016

A $600,000 budget allows you to pick from studios, one-, two- and even three-bedrooms throughout the city, including a house in Staten Island and a multi-family home in the Bronx. 


LINCOLN SQUARE, MANHATTAN: A corner one-bedroom co-op with high ceilings and newly stained dark hardwood floors in an elevator building with common laundry facilities and a live-in super at 255 West End Avenue (between West 71st and West 72nd). $550,000 plus $1,527/month maintenance.

Pricey Digs

Luxury Listings NYCJanuary 21, 2016

Emily Beare's listing at 39 Fifth Avenue was featured in the January/February issue.

NYC Real Estate: What Under $1 Million Will Buy You In Manhattan

Am New YorkJanuary 15, 2016

You don't have to be a millionaire to be a Manhattanite! From priceless views of the Hudson River, Empire State Building and even Central Park, you can own a few square feet of this city without a massively painful price tag. Start saving, here's what you can buy for less than a million dollars in NYC today.



What: 18 E. 63rd St. No. 1 is a one-bed, two-bath co-op

How much: $899,000

Maintenance: $1,861

How big: Unlisted

Features: Rain shower, washer/dryer, elevator

Prices Drop for Luxury New York Real Estate

The New York TimesJanuary 15, 2016

New York City real estate continues to sell for astronomical prices, but there are signs the market is heading back toward earth. Bidding wars, brokers say, are less frequent. Few open houses have lines out the door. And asking prices, while still lofty, are increasingly moving down, especially for luxury properties.


“I have seen more broker incentives and price reductions in the last few months than I’ve seen in the last three years combined,” said Leonard Steinberg, the president of the real estate brokerage firm Compass. “The market got carried away with itself in the first half of 2015. Some people went in with crazy pricing expectations.”


In the last four months of 2015, about 1,040 available listings in Manhattan cut their asking prices, said Bennett Rosnick, an analyst at Compass. That’s 20 percent of the roughly 5,120 properties on the market then, up from nearly 10 percent during the same period of the previous year, when about 520 properties out of some 5,380 available listings had price cuts.


Among the discounted listings circulated by brokers and publicists in recent weeks: “$7 Million Price Drop!!” for a five-bedroom at 110 Central Park South, listed for $17.995 million; “1 Million Price Reduction!” for a three-bedroom penthouse at 15 West 20th Street, listed for $7 million; “Hot Deal. *$150K Price Drop*” for a one-bedroom at 280 Park Avenue South asking nearly $1.4 million; “Price Reduced” by $14 million in November, and further reduced by a total $18.5 million, for a historic townhouse at 684 Park Avenue, listed for $29.5 million. And the list goes on.


Despite the all-caps discounts, there are few real bargains. Most of the reductions are coming off price tags that were too high in the first place, brokers said.  “There is never a market for overpriced listings,” said Hall F. Willkie, the president of Brown Harris Stevens. “If you haven’t had offers or are not getting the proper amount of showings, the market is telling you there is no interest, and you have to reduce the price.”


Part of the problem, brokers say, is that record-setting deals at the top of the market have received so much attention that many sellers are shooting for the stars. “You can have a huge divide between what sellers of existing properties for resale expect to get and pricing of properties for brand-new buildings like 432 Park or One57,” said Mr. Steinberg of Compass. The thinking is, “If I can see that building from my window, surely mine should cost the same or close,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.”


In the art of property pricing, size, location, condition and features like outdoor space, prewar character and other details come into play. Then, the property must be compared with what nearby homes with similar attributes have sold for. If a property is priced too ambitiously, brokers say, that will quickly become clear when it is placed on the market.


Still, some sellers don’t get the message right away. “It’s almost like the boyfriend or the girlfriend who stops calling,” said Mr. Willkie of Brown Harris Stevens. “They didn’t tell me they didn’t like me anymore,’ ” he said, quoting the jilted. “Well, no, but they didn’t call you.” In real estate, he said, “it’s the same thing.”


Loath to resort to discounts, some developers and high-end brokers are quietly ratcheting up commissions and other incentives they offer real estate agents to try to increase sales. The Oosten, a 216-unit condominium in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which began sales more than a year ago, is offering a $5,000 American Express gift card to brokers who can deliver a signed contract for one of its 78 remaining units, listed for $1.14 million for a one-bedroom to $6.42 million for a six-bedroom penthouse.


In November, 200 East 62nd Street, a 115-unit condominium conversion that began sales earlier last year, introduced a $10,000 broker bonus for one-bedroom deals closed by the end of December, $20,000 for two-bedrooms and $30,000 for three-bedrooms. In Midtown, a new 93-unit condominium at 252 East 57th Street, which topped out in October, began offering brokers a 1 percent commission within 60 days of a signed contract — even if the buyer does not ultimately close. Normally, brokers aren’t paid until a sale officially closes, which can take as long as two years in developments under construction.


“We’re doing this to try to raise awareness among brokers who have not been to the building,” said Steven Rutter, the director of Stribling Marketing Associates, which is handling sales. Despite the increase in price reductions, industry experts say the market remains strong. “If a property is worth $1 million and you ask $1.4 million and reduce it to $1.3 million, it’s not an indication of a problem in the market,” said Mr. Willkie of Brown Harris Stevens. “It’s a problem with overpricing.”


Sales remain robust for the bulk of the market, with competition particularly heated for two-bedrooms, where there are still too few apartments to go around. It’s the high end where sales volume has begun to slow. “We still see interesting things happening, including record-setting prices closing,” said Michael Graves, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “There just happens to be a lot more uber-luxury product coming to market.” As a result, he said, “buyers are much more patient, and some of the exuberance we saw last year has faded away.”


Over all, 189 apartments were sold for $10 million or more in 2015, down nearly 12 percent from the record 214 in 2014, according to CityRealty, which tracks co-op and condo sales. Donna Olshan, a broker who keeps track of contracts of $4 million or more, said sales volume has become “erratic” at the high end. “September was lousy, October was worse,” she said, citing a total of 153 contracts signed at prices of $4 million or more, compared with 216 for the same period last year. November rallied with 140 contracts signed, versus 124 in November 2014. But December was back down. “Over all, the market is not what it was,” she said.


Shaun Osher, the founder and chief executive of the brokerage firm CORE, calls the situation “the tale of two markets,” adding, “We’re seeing an incredible dichotomy in the market, where certain projects are selling better and quicker and for higher prices than ever seen in history, and there are projects where very little is happening.” What that shows, he said, “is that the fundamentals of real estate are starting to come back into play.”


A spate of new luxury condominiums is creating more competition for sellers at the top. In Manhattan, there were 3,513 unsold new-development units in the third quarter of 2015, up from 2,402 in that same quarter in 2014, according to the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. And more units are coming down the pike: An estimated 5,740 apartments across some 140 buildings are expected to come to market next year in Manhattan alone, most of which are aimed at the high end.


Faced with more options, luxury shoppers can afford to be choosier. “Buyers are in less of a rush and they’re coming back two, three, four times,” said Mr. Rutter of Stribling, noting that sales at 252 East 57th Street have been strong for apartments $8 million or less, but less robust for units priced at $10 million or more. “Whenever they have more choices, it’s a little bit more difficult.”


To spur sales, nine five-bedroom apartments that were listed for $10 million and up are being reduced. Similarly, Douglas C. Yearley Jr., the chief executive of Toll Brothers, told investors in a December conference call that the company planned “to be a bit more aggressive in pricing” for the remaining units at 400 Park Avenue South, an 81-unit condominium in NoMad designed by Christian de Portzamparc. Prices have been slashed for 16 of the remaining units, which range from a nearly $1.9 million one-bedroom, down from $2.28 million, to a $12.9 million penthouse, down from nearly $17 million.


Prices have also come down roughly 10 percent at 1110 Park Avenue, a nine-unit limestone condominium on the Upper East Side, which has five remaining units available, from an $8 million three-bedroom to a $31.5 million five-bedroom penthouse. Changes to asking prices for remaining units are being made “through price amendments” and “one-off negotiations with buyers,” said David von Spreckelsen, the president of Toll Brothers City Living, New York. “In a market where there is more supply, you really need to do everything right.”

Bluelight Special: Price Cuts, Broker Incentives Increase

The Real DealJanuary 15, 2016

20% of Manhattan listings saw prices slashed between Sept.-Dec. 2015. Forget bidding wars and packed open houses. These days, bargain hunters have the upper hand as overpriced Manhattan properties experience rampant price chops.


Roughly 20 percent of Manhattan listings saw prices slashed during the last four months of 2015, according to data from startup brokerage Compass and cited by the New York Times. That’s compared with 10 percent of pads that had discounts during the same time in 2014. “I have seen more broker incentives and price reductions in the last few months than I’ve seen in the last three years combined,” Compass’ Leonard Steinberg told the Times. And the price cuts are hefty.


The seller of a sprawling five-bedroom at 110 Central Park South knocked $7 million of the asking price, which is now $17.7995 million, and the seller of a penthouse at 15 West 20th Street took $1 million off the price, now $7 million. Brokers said part of the problem is record-setting condo deals in 2014 and 2015 prompted some sellers of resale units to overprice their homes.


But the influx of luxury condos is increasing competition for high-end buyers. There were more than 3,500 new development units for sale during the third quarter of 2015, up from more than 2,400 units during the same time in 2014, according to Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.


While most developers haven’t yet turned to discounts at new condos, some are offering incentives to brokers. At the Oosten, a 216-unit condo in Williamsburg, developer XIN Development Group International is now offering brokers a $5,000 American Express gift cards for delivering signed contracts for any of the project’s 78 unsold units, which range from $1.4 million to $6.42 million.


Last year, O’Connor Capital Partners started offering brokers at 200 East 62nd Street bonuses ranging from $10,000 to $30,000. And World Wide Group and Rose Associates’ 252 East 57 Street is offering a one percent commission within 60 days of a signed contract, rather than paying the broker commission when the condos close.


“We’re doing this to try to raise awareness among brokers who have not been to the building,” according to Steven Rutter, the director of Stribling Marketing Associates, which is leading sales. Nine five-bedrooms condos listed for $10 million and up have had price cuts.


Although real estate execs said price cuts are a function of overpricing, the sale of apartments over $10 million dropped 12 percent in 2015 compared with 2014, according to CityRealty. “We’re seeing an incredible dichotomy in the market, where certain projects are selling better and quicker and for higher prices than ever seen in history, and there are projects where very little is happening,” said Shaun Osher, CEO of brokerage firm CORE, who evoked a “tale of two markets” in his description.

On the Market: J.Crew CEO Lists $25M Condo

New York ObserverJanuary 15, 2016

J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler has listed his 6,226-square-foot Tribeca condo for $25 million, according to Curbed. Mr. Drexler put the Thierry Despont-designed five-bedroom pad at 140 Franklin on the market last year for a full $35 million, so if you think about it, it’s really a steal.

J. Crew CEO's Designer Tribeca Apartment Is Back For $25M

CurbedJanuary 14, 2016

J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler first listed his apartment, with interiors by celebrated designer Thierry Despont, back in early 2015 for $35 million. And there it sat for only a few months before being de-listed in July, after a price chop that took it to $29 million. Now, the apartment is back on the market with new listings photos (which show off Despont's quirky-but-swanky design) and an even bigger price chop: it's asking "just" $25 million. The 6,226-square-foot apartment has five bedrooms, more than five bathrooms, and plenty of over-the-top features, including three walk-in closets, 11-foot ceilings, and a custom "billiards area," if that's your thing. "This is, quite simply, the kind of loft that everyone imagines and desires, yet never finds," so sayeth the brokerbabble—all you need is $25 million.

Industry Experts Weigh in on 2016 Residential Market

New York ObserverJanuary 13, 2016

After a year filled with talk of both $100 million sales and a softening at the top of the luxury sales market, opinions on 2016’s direction are as disparate as they are authoritative. Below, a poll of industry experts on what to expect from this unpredictable market.


Richard Grossman, executive vice president and senior managing director, Halstead

“I think the highest neighborhood on the market will still be the 57th Street corridor—quite frankly, just like how 20 years ago, you were living in the 60s or 70s on Fifth or Park—but there’s a whole different level of arrival to say you have an apartment on the 57th Street corridor. It’s a whole different dynamic; I still think at the end of the day, for a lot of people that is going to be the trophy property of people saying, ‘I’ve arrived!’ ”


Julia Boland, broker, Corcoran

“Hamilton Heights is really emerging as a chill neighborhood, slower-paced than Central Harlem. Buyers are coming from different areas. People coming from downtown who have just said, ‘it’s too expensive, it’s too crazy.’ They cash out, and then they can buy an entire townhouse [in Harlem] for $4 million. The area has seen an explosion of cute restaurants popping up—they’re not huge. That’s becoming very appealing, and getting a great neighborhood vibe. I see that continuing to grow. People are going to find a very different feel than they get in Central Harlem, which is much busier.”


Stuart Siegel, president, Engel & Völkers

“I really think the far West Side, just north of Riverside Boulevard, is a neighborhood to watch—the Riverside Center area. I think you’ve got amazing potential to be a true mixed-use destination. There’s retail, food—and anything touching the river or overlooking the river, river views! The kind of community and the urban-planned aspect of it will be very attractive to buyers.”


 “I think the biggest change [from 2015] is a change of psychology and the introduction of anxiety into a market. I think we are in a transition market right now—sellers think they are selling 18 months ago and buyers think they are buying 18 months from now. The anxiety now is, ‘how do you close that gap?’ In the mid-high end, the $2,500- and $3,000-per-square-foot condo market, there are all these new units coming on, there is going to be a flood of inventory. We’re going to have to be very aggressive about pricing and, for a change, passionately proactive about buying—it’s no longer ‘build it and they will come!’ ”


Darren Sukenik, broker, Douglas Elliman

“People are buying where they want to live. The people who are serious in the market right now are the people who are buying second and third homes, and who are actually going to be living in their properties. I see a need to buy in luxury neighborhoods like West Chelsea, West Tribeca and West Village. Everyone seems to be wanting the same thing, so there’s some competition! Buyers are all looking for amenities—the obvious amenities have become a staple, like a doorman and a pool. View has become the ultimate, most coveted amenity, and you either have it or you don’t. Anything that has a spectacular view is going very quickly—buildings like 150 Charles and 111 Murray; buildings that have a completely open view are the ultimate amenity. People want to live a very comfortable, suburban lifestyle in an urban environment.”


Kenneth Scheff, uptown brokerage manager, Stribling

“A great place for people to be buying is the east, East Side. I think that the Second Avenue subway, scheduled to open December of 2016, is going to be huge for the eastern part of the Upper East Side. The thing about the Second Avenue subway that I think most people don’t understand is that it’s going to be a continuation of the Q train. I think it’ll have a tremendous impact. I’ve already noticed that on Second Avenue, a lot of storefronts are coming back, and leases. I think it’s a great time for people to be investing over there. We’ve been saying this for years now, but it really does look like the end is near.”


George van der Ploeg, broker, Douglas Elliman

“I think we are in a correction that began and will become more evident in terms of sold and closed transactions for 2016. It’ll be a year with a further reduction in the number of sales in the resale market for both houses and apartments. I predict somewhat lower prices—we could be talking about 5 to 10 percent off peak. What we are benefitting more from is that we are the safest haven in the world for capital, and that is something that is not being reflected quite so much in resale as in new development. It’s the tale of two cities; the tale of two markets!”


“Unless you want to go to Harlem, the only place you can get something nice for under $5 million is Murray Hill. You can’t buy a house on the Upper East Side for less than $5 million, and you can’t really do it in the Upper West Side. You can’t do it in the Village, Chelsea, or Gramercy.”


Hall Willkie, president, Brown Harris Stevens

“The best buys are on the far Upper East Side, east of Third, and especially east of Second. I think that it’s a neighborhood that has in many ways been neglected over a few years, and I think [has] a lot of great space for the price, and with the coming of the Second Avenue subway, it will be more accessible. I think as a neighborhood, [it] has the best value. I think the best part of it is that the Upper East Side is really the best New York traditional neighborhood, and then there have been so many neighborhoods that have popped up over the years, and been gentrified and been more exciting, but now it’s back to basics. It’s not the Upper East Side that we used to think of—I think it’s exciting. It represents good value, good real estate, good pace.”


Tim Crowley, director of new development, CORE

“The Financial District will be the best piece of theater in real estate in 2016. We’re going to see a lot of Financial District inventory come to the market in 2016—from what I know of these projects, they’re going to be expensive. Buyers in the Financial District have been always attracted by more affordability, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’re attracted to premium price condos in the neighborhood.”


“Buyers are going to become incredibly picky about what they’re buying into. Projects that are extraordinarily well located and have a successful concept will do well; buyers will gravitate to those. Some of the harder to understand concepts, locations, and price points—I think buyers almost en masse will avoid those projects, or not be tempted by them. Eight-figure price points in what have traditionally been six-figure locations will be interesting to watch.”


Rebecca Mason, downtown brokerage manager, Stribling

“We are going to see much more limited inventory in 2016, and I think we are really going to see a separation from new development on the market versus resales on the market. I think we are going to see, perhaps, a return to the popularity of the co-op, not only for value—I see co-ops maybe coming back a little bit more than resale condos, [because] I think resale condos are not in an ideal position competing with new developments.”


Dottie Herman, president and CEO, Douglas Elliman

“Today, people really like new; they like places that have already been done—people don’t really want to take a lot of time to be redoing things all over again. They want to move into it and have it done the way they like it. And no matter what, everyone who looks at real estate looks at neighborhoods. One of the biggest places I’d look in terms of up-and-coming is the Lower East Side; there’s a lot of inventory that will be coming on the market—that was the last holdout. Developers are flocking to the area, and they should be cheaper than a lot of places. It’s not going to be cheap, but cheaper. It’ll be younger buyers; people that want to live in the city and want to find something new.”

On the Market

New York ObserverJanuary 12, 2016

The penthouse at 224 Mulberry Street has sold for $21 million, Curbed reports. Stephen Zide, a senior advisor at Bain Capital, is the new owner of the 5,646-square-foot four-bedroom duplex, which is one of six units throughout the condo’s eight floors. CORE handled sales and marketing for the building—the penthouse was the priciest sale of the week, but it sold for nearly $3 million under the $23.75 listing price.

Flank's Nolita Condos Sell Out With $21M Penthouse Purchase

CurbedJanuary 11, 2016

The penthouse at the coveted 224 Mulberry Street has sold for $21 million, Curbed has learned, which at the time of it's sale in the week after Thanksgiving last year, was the priciest sale that week, according to CORE, who handled the sales and marketing for the development. The owner who shelled out the big bucks is Stephen Zide, according to property records. He works as a senior advisor at global investment firm, Bain Capital, a company that was co-founded by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The duplex apartment has four bedrooms spread out over 5,646 square feet of space. It has an astonishing four private terraces that offer views of the downtown bridges and One World Trade Center on the south side and the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building on the north.


Some of the other highlights of the apartment include custom-designed marble countertops in the kitchen, two wood-burning fireplaces, and a cast iron bathtub in the master bedroom's en-suite bathroom.


Designed and developed by Flank, 224 Mulberry Street has six units spread out over its eight floors. Amenities include a 24-hour concierge, a rooftop terrace, and a fitness center. Construction started in the summer of 2013, and sales launched the following January. Most units had sold out within six months of the launch. The penthouse was the final unit to sell at the development. The average price per square foot in the building at $3,115 is 27 percent higher than the neighborhood average of $2,259, according to CORE, and the highest price per square foot average in the neighborhood for a sold out new development. The penthouse, which was originally listed for $23.75 million, sold for almost $3 million below its asking amount.

For $26 Million, Terraces in Greenwich Village

The New York TimesJanuary 08, 2016

A duplex penthouse at the Greenwich Lane condominium complex, which is rising at the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital campus in Greenwich Village, sold for $26,030,475.81 and was the most expensive closed sale of the week, according to city records.


The loft-like sponsor unit with ample outdoor space, PH8, at 140 West 12th Street, between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue, has monthly carrying costs totaling $16,769, according to; its most recent list price was $26.5 million.


Richard Ziegelasch and John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens represented the buyer, identified by the Pennsylvania limited liability company 140 Greenwich Lane.


Closed sales at the Greenwich Lane complex have been heating up in recent weeks. In late December, PH6B, a full-floor unit in the same building, with five bedrooms and five and a half baths but no outdoor space, officially sold for $21.16 million. Another penthouse there, PH7B, closed in mid-December for $20.14 million, while several units closed at another building, 145 West 11th Street.


The apartment in the most recent sale has three bedrooms and three and a half baths, along with a media room and a spacious entry gallery spread over 4,027 square feet. There is also a total of 3,148 square feet of outdoor space, which includes a 1,114-square-foot terrace off the living room, dining area and kitchen, as well as a 186-square-foot balcony off the media and living rooms.


The master suite, which opens onto an 1,848-square-foot wraparound terrace, takes up the entire second level and features a fireplace and a windowed dressing room and bathroom. The two other en-suite bedrooms just below overlook a lush central garden through large casement windows.


The building at 140 West 12th is the second of the five condominiums to be completed in the 200-unit Greenwich Lane development by the Rudin family and Global Holdings; five separate townhouses are also planned. The Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group is handling sales for the development.


The week’s runner-up, at $21,000,000, according to city records, was the sale of a penthouse on the seventh and eighth floors of 224 Mulberry Street in NoLIta, the new condo by the architecture and development firm Flank.


The sponsor unit, No. 7, which has monthly carrying charges of $16,956, has four bedrooms, four full baths and two half baths spread over 5,646 square feet. There are also two wood-burning fireplaces and four terraces.


The listing brokers were Emily Beare and Tim Crowley of CORE. The buyer’s identity was shielded by the limited liability company JS Property NY.

The Flynn, the Latest Luxe Chelsea Condo, Launches Sales

CurbedJanuary 07, 2016

Name/Address: The Flynn, 155 West 18th Street

Developer: IGI-USA

Architect: ODA New York

Size: 11 floors, 30 units

Prices: Starting from $1.775 million

Sales and Marketing: CORE


The hotly anticipated ODA New York-designed condo The Flynn quietly launched sales over the holiday season, and has already sold 25 percent of its units. (Some of that success may be attributed to developer IGI-USA's marketing campaign, which included an animated film, a thriving Instagram account, and a theatrical production on-site.) But sales officially launch to the public today, and Curbed has the exclusive on the pricing for the apartments. One-bedrooms, which have just under 700 square feet of space, start at $1.775 million, followed by two-bedrooms starting at $2.3 million, and three-bedrooms starting in the high $3 million range. Prices for the four duplex penthouses with private terraces have yet to be released. The building is notable for its Jet Mist-clad facade, floor-to-ceiling French glass doors, and European-style balconies. Amenities include a gym, a rooftop garden, and private parking.

5 New York City Apartments You Can Nab For Under $600,000

CurbedJanuary 04, 2016

Every once in a while, a listing comes along in New York that is priced so low, it seems like it must be a prank. Bad news: it usually is (if Craigslist has anything to do with it), but some six-figure apartments do exist within the confines of this fine (and astronomically expensive) city. We set out looking for a selection of affordable pads after the Post ran a story about a $126,750 apartment—the buyer "got an amazing deal" because she already lived in the building—and while none of what our search turned back is quite so inexpensive, it did reinvigorate hope that you don't have to be a bajillionaire to settle down here. Here now, ten one-bedrooms asking less than $600,000.


On the Upper West Side, $599,000 nets a spacious one-bedroom co-op. Nestled on West 75th Street between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue, the co-op has a corner bedroom with a customized walk-in closet and en suite bathroom (which just so happens to be the only bathroom in the apartment.) Monthly maintenance is $1,412.

14 Gorgeous New York City Homes That Went On the Market in 2015

CurbedDecember 31, 2015

In between the mansions and luxury condos and teeny-tiny apartments that hit the market in New York City in 2015, there were plenty of places that stood out simply because we thought they were stunning. Check out 14 of our favorites below—they run the gamut from a detached Victorian in Ditmas Park to an Upper East Side megamansion to a huge penthouse in a domed Nolita building.


Celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus listed his three-bedroom Greenwich Village duplex for $10.5 million, which is noteworthy because it's a whopping $4.5 million more than he paid for it in 2013. Some of its stellar features include windowed walk-in closets, three wood-burning fireplaces, and a double-doored terrace. It's still up for grabs.

5 Reasons Why 2016 Will Be Gotham’s Biggest Year in Luxe Living

New York PostDecember 30, 2015

This year may have been a record for New York City property sales, but 2016 promises to bring even bigger, grander and far luxer real estate designs and developments.


Sure, naysayers now warn that the market could be cooling. But that doesn’t mean sales will cease — or even necessarily slow down.


For buyers looking to score, new trends ranging from the rise of condo hotels to new Brooklyn condo towers await eager buyers.


Here are the five top trends to look for next year.


$100M+ apartments


Last December, a penthouse at Midtown goliath One57 sold for $100.5 million, shattering the record for the most expensive apartment ever sold in NYC. But given the pace at which new condos are appearing — and the sums they are asking — that record might not last long.


Just consider this list of mega properties with price tags to match: The penthouse at the Woolworth Tower Residences (dubbed The Pinnacle) is slated to ask $110 million; there will be a $130 million triplex atop an under-construction classic limestone tower at 520 Park Ave., and there’s a $150 million apartment said to be in the works for the topmost floors of the Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower.


Topping them all are rumors that there’s a deep-pocketed buyer cobbling together three floors at 220 Central Park South — to the tune of $200 million.


The king of this caliber of apartment? It’s indubitably Robert A.M. Stern of 520 Park, the Sony Tower conversion and 200 Central Park South, former dean of Yale’s architecture school and current designer du jour of the city’s fanciest residences.


Hotel condos


It often goes unacknowledged by its everyday denizens, but almost every major NYC hotel has affiliated apartments: from grand dames like the Waldorf to newer buildings like the Trump SoHo. Hand in hand with the area’s overall construction boom comes the latest wave of these two-faceted buildings.


On the Lower East Side, at 215 Chrystie St., Ian Schrager is putting up a 370-room Public Hotel with 11 edgy condos on top, where a penthouse asks $18.75 million. On a more affordable level, the AKA brand announced apartment sales at three of its New York extended-stay hotels in the last year, one of which is in the Midtown East neighborhood Sutton Place, where prices now start at $1.2 million. British architect David Chipperfield’s first New York project is The Bryant, just southeast of Bryant Park; it will contain 230 hotel rooms and 57 condos. Here, a one-bedroom asks $2.25 million.


Next up: the Crown Building, an architectural gem on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, which developer Michael Shvo bought a chunk of earlier this year. Though official plans haven’t yet been announced, Shvo is known for developing expensive apartments. And part of Shvo’s investment team here is Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin of luxury hotel label Amanresorts, so keep your eyes peeled.


Teen rooms


Sure, a bunch of new residential developments have playrooms for kids, and — for the adult crowd — bar-equipped lounges. But what about recreational space for those too old for building blocks and too young for cocktails? Previously overlooked, developers are increasingly adding teen rooms to their amenity plans.


“Mom and Dad are buying the apartment, but [the whole family] is living there; it’s important we did something for every member at every age,” says Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers, of 111 Murray St. This 157-unit tower, which Fisher is developing with Witkoff and New Valley, will come with a 1,692-square-foot Teen Lounge, featuring an arcade, plus a separate nook with a television and couches. Prices here now start at $2.02 million.


There’s also fun to be had at the 43-unit 20 East End Ave. (a penthouse currently asks $35 million here), where a 500-square-foot “Junior Lounge” will deliver televisions, old-school arcade staples like Ms. Pac-Man and more. But it’s not just games — the 12-unit Brooklyn Trust Company Building features a teen room with study space and room for lounging (units from $3.24 million).


“Developers are starting to think differently,” says CORE broker John Harrison, who was on the sales team at the 2012-constructed One Museum Mile, which boasts a teen room with games, like Wii and air hockey. “‘How can we get everybody to be really happy?’”


Brooklyn on high


Low-slung Brooklyn has a skyscraping future in store.


Earlier this month, Extell filed preliminary plans for a 57-story residential structure at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn, reports say. Just before that, new plans emerged for Chetrit Group and JDS Development’s 90-story 340 Flatbush Ave. Extension — a mixed-use structure with 550 units that will be Brooklyn’s tallest tower.


Recent zoning changes now allow developers to reach heavenly heights in certain enclaves, but the flurry also owes itself to residents’ demands for Manhattan-style living.


“The market is very receptive to apartments on higher floors with views and will generally pay a premium for them,” says Martin Piazzola of AvalonBay, which developed the new 57-story, 826-unit AVA DoBro rental project at 100 Willoughby St. Pre-leasing here began this past summer; prices begin at $2,605.


The Stahl Organization’s 53-story 388 Bridge — a project with 144 condos and 238 rentals — is another example.


But it’s not just views that are great (they’re panoramic here); towering heights also give developers greater space for amenities.


This project has a media room, roof terrace and lounge.


These tall towers pack in nice perks for residents, and they also help builders stand out.


“[It] gives developers more creativity with what to build and doesn’t make it as monotonous as it otherwise might be,” notes Doug Steiner, of Steiner NYC, which is crafting The HUB — a recently topped-out 56-story rental in Boerum Hill that’s gunning for a fall 2016 occupancy.


New meets old


The Fitzroy, a 14-unit condominium in West Chelsea, will bear a prominent design that sets it apart from its ultra-glassy, modern-looking neighbors: a classic green-tone terra cotta facade with copper windows. It’s reminiscent of Art Deco-style grandeur, but most of all, this Roman and Williams-designed structure, where prices begin at $5.35 million, is the latest ground-up project to shy away from glass in favor of older, more classic construction materials. And there are more buildings like it to come.


At the Morris Adjmi-designed 55 W. 17th St. condo, which stands near the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, a facade of handmade brick will help this building fit into its historical surroundings.


“We wanted to respect the period architecture of this great neighborhood by designing a masonry building,” said David Von Spreckelsen, of Toll Brothers City Living, which is developing this under-construction, 54-unit project, where a penthouse listed for $15.24 million is now in contract.


Meanwhile, the 16-unit BKSK-designed 1 Great Jones Alley in NoHo, which launches sales in January, boasts terra cotta fins juxtaposed with Corten steel and glass — a nod to the area’s older-world aesthetic. And Robert A.M. Stern adorned the facade of mega-luxe 30 Park Place’s residential entry with limestone and custom-designed bronze sconces — the classic New York look.

In 2015, Shattering Records in New York City Real Estate

The New York TimesDecember 24, 2015

In the realm of New York City real estate, what goes up just keeps going up, and up.


This past year prices again punctured records, with the official closing of a $100.47 million penthouse at the pinnacle of Extell Development’s One57, the vitreous Midtown skyscraper and popular abode for billionaires worldwide seeking to park their cash.


Other sales in the Central Park-facing condominium, at 157 West 57th Street, flirted with the nine-digit mark. And across Manhattan, records were set for co-ops and extravagant prices paid for other condos and townhouses. Brooklyn, which is becoming ever more desirable (and dear) as a home address, also posted a record for the most expensive sale for a single residence, in Cobble Hill.


“We shattered just about every record that pre-existed,” said Shaun Osher, the chief executive of the brokerage firm Core. “It was the year of the big sale.”


But the record books are almost certain to be rewritten in the months ahead as new “billionaire bunkers” are added to the city’s ever-evolving skyline, like 220 Central Park South, 432 and 520 Park, and 56 Leonard, to name just a few.


The current record price will be surpassed — make that doubled — when another megadeal is filed with the city in the next couple of years. The hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin, whose net worth totals $7 billion by Forbes’s estimate, entered into a contract in late summer to buy a triplex at 220 Central Park South for around $200 million, according to sources familiar with the sale who, like others in this article, requested anonymity so as not to jeopardize a current or future deal. This purchase would not only be the city’s largest sale of a single residence, but also the country’s, usurping the $147 million sale of an 18-acre East Hampton, N.Y., estate in 2014, according to Jonathan J. Miller, who runs the Miller Samuel appraisal firm. He wonders, though, how long this upward trajectory will endure: “Developers and those observing the market are asking how many $10 million-and-up buyers are really out there.”


So far, roughly half the 118 or so apartments are under contract at 220 Central Park South, the 65-story limestone-clad building designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects and at the ninth floor of construction, according to Steven Roth, the chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust, the developer. Fourteen of those units went for $50 million or more, he said in a recent earnings conference call.


Real estate brokers and market observers say that at least for the next few years, more of these astronomical sale prices will surface as signed contracts in the city’s nascent developments finally close. (Most of the units at 56 Leonard, for instance, are spoken for, said Kelly Kennedy Mack, the president of the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, adding that full-floor units are listed for above $20 million, and the most expensive penthouse is around $50 million.) There are unsold units, too, at completed developments like One57 and those nearing completion, like the Greenwich Lane in Greenwich Village. And then there are the resales.


 “With the inventory out there, the extraordinary amount of wealth, and the continued demand for New York real estate, we will continue to see robust sales in the superluxury market,” said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive of the Corcoran Group. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing is handling sales for 220 Central Park South.


Daniel Levy, the chief executive of CityRealty, which tracks condo and co-op sales, shares this opinion: “There seems to be plenty of demand for all these buildings,” he said. “Next year the story will be 432 Park and 56 Leonard; the following years will be 220 Central Park South and 520 Park.”


For 2015, the story, of course, was the Christian de Portzamparc-designed One57, where eight of the 20 biggest big-ticket sales took place — that is, those that were signed, sealed and officially recorded with the city.


All the year’s top 20 sales were for more than $30 million, and the top 10 for above $45 million. They included three co-ops, two townhouses, one condop and several other luxury condos, among them, two units at 15 Central Park West, which was designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects and where another apartment had held the record until this year for the city’s most expensive residence, at $88 million. That was the full-floor penthouse the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought in 2012, through a trust benefiting his daughter, from Sanford I. Weill, the former Citigroup chairman.




The city’s record $100.47 million sale (and the seventh priciest in the nation, according to Mr. Miller) was for the 89th and 90th floors of the brash blue tower, a.k.a. unit No. 90, a 10,923-square-foot aerie with a reception gallery and grand salon. Extell initially marketed the duplex for $98.5 million, then raised the price to $115 million, according to the state attorney general’s office. Only a handful of people know the identity of its new owner, who, like most others buying these ultraluxury digs, hid under the mantle of a limited liability company. The buyer actually made the purchase in late December 2014, but it didn’t pop up in city records until mid-January.


While that deal was covert, the buyer of the city’s second most expensive residence (and No. 12 nationally), at $91.54 million, was more forthcoming. The hedge fund mogul William A. Ackman revealed his purchase of a six-bedroom on the 75th and 76th floors months before it officially closed in April. The apartment, known as the Winter Garden, is distinctive for, among other things, its 2,500-square-foot curved-glass atrium that opens to the sky.


In February, Guoqing Chen, a founder along with his brother, Chen Feng, of Hainan Airlines, part of the HNA Group, one of China’s largest private airline companies, paid $47.37 million for an apartment taking up the entire 86th floor. Two months later, at nearly the identical price, another full-floor apartment, on the 88th floor, was bought through a limited liability company associated with HNA’s New York subsidiary. Could this one be for Chen Feng?


Many of the buyers in the building are foreigners, particularly from China. “They are really looking to park money here because of the uncertainties of their governments,” Dorothy Herman, the chief executive of Douglas Elliman Real Estate said of this building and others like it.


Among the other big closed sales at One57: Unit No. 85 for $55.56 million and No. 77, $47.78 million.


Other Condos


Most of the top sales this year happened in condominiums, and several involved recognizable names.


The Related Companies’ Time Warner Center, one of the priciest buildingsof the early 2000s and a favorite of Russian buyers, registered a record of its own. In late July, the Russian financier Andrey Vavilov sold his penthouse on the full 78th floor of the south tower, at 25 Columbus Circle, for $50.92 million. Mr. Vavilov served as deputy finance minister during the presidency of Boris N. Yeltsin and made a fortune when his oil company was taken over by a state-controlled enterprise in 2003. According to Mr. Levy of CityRealty, the sale of his six-bedroom apartment surpassed the building’s previous highest price, $37.5 million in 2009 — for the same unit.


Nearby, at Zeckendorf Development’s 202-unit 15 Central Park West, apartments sold for $45 million and $35 million, both around the same time in the fall. Then there was the $33 million sale in January of a penthouse at 1 Central Park West, a.k.a. the Trump International Hotel and Tower.


Speaking of Trump, the real estate developer and presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump sold one of his two investment penthouses at Trump ParkAvenue, at 502 Park Avenue, last summer for $21.38 million to a founder of the supermarket chain Fresh Market, Ray D. Berry.


In other celebrity sales, the palatial triplex where the comic Joan Rivers lived for more than a quarter of a century until her death last year at age 81, was sold by her estate in July for $28 million. The buyer of the apartment, at 1 East 62nd Street, was said to be Middle Eastern royalty.
Also, Jon Bon Jovi, the rock star, sold his penthouse at the New Museum Building, at 158 Mercer Street, a.k.a. 583 Broadway, for $34 million.
And Stephen Griggs, whose family business had owned the British footwear company behind the Dr. Martens brand of boots, paid $17.26 million for an apartment at 35XV, Alchemy Properties’ glass-and-stone high-rise at 35 West 15th Street.


The Carlton House condop at 21 East 61st Street, meanwhile, had a $52 million penthouse sale.


Two of the year’s top five sales were co-op apartments, including one that shattered the city’s record for co-ops: the $77.5 million purchase of a duplex on the 11th and 12th floors of 834 Fifth Avenue, designed by Rosario Candela.

The unit was sold in early spring by Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets, to the Ukrainian-born billionaire Leonard Blavatnik. The previous co-op record was set in 2014, when the hedge fund manager Israel Englander paid $71.28 million for a duplex at another Candela building, 740 Park Avenue.

The same week the new record-holder surfaced in late March so, too, did the official closing of the year’s second most expensive co-op at $67.5 million: a full-floor apartment on the 18th floor of the Sherry-Netherland, at 781 Fifth Avenue. The seller was Gilbert Haroche, a founder of Liberty Travel. And in early May, a triplex at 775 Park Avenue sold for $35.14 million; the buyers were Elizabeth Right, the daughter of Stephen A. Schwarzman, a founder of the Blackstone Group, and her husband, Andrew Right.

There were other boldface deals in co-ops. This past spring, Paul McCartney and his wife, Nancy Shevell, bought a duplex at 1045 Fifth Avenue for $15.5 million.

Just down the street and a few months later, Jeff T. Blau, the chief executive of the Related Companies, sold his apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue, yet another Candela building, for $30 million. And across the park, the architect Cesar Pelli, known for the design of some of the world’s tallest buildings, bought a lower-floor apartment at the San Remo, at 145 Central Park West, for $17.5 million.


Two other big sales took place on Central Park West. T-Mobile’s chief executive, John J. Legere, paid $18 million in October for a duplex penthouse once occupied by William Randolph Hearst, at 91 Central Park West. And the estate of Lauren Bacall sold for $21 million the apartment at the Dakota, at 1 West 72nd Street, that the legendary actress called home for more than half a century until her death last year at age 89. Ronald N. Beck, a hedge fund manager, and his wife, Cynthia Lewis Beck, were the buyers.




The year’s most expensive townhouse, at 125-127 East 70th Street, sold for $37 million. (The record is still the 2006 sale of the Harkness Mansion at 4 East 75th Street, for $53 million.)


But most of the buzz seemed to center over the $18.25 million sale of a townhouse owned by Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick. The famous couple took a loss on the 25-foot-wide Greek Revival-style townhouse, at 20 East 10th Street in Greenwich Village, for which they paid nearly $19 million in 2011, and likely spent more on upgrades. A nearby house that they were once reportedly in contract to buy, at 16 East 10th Street, sold for a tidy profit, at $32 million. The developer David Amirian, and his business partner, Warren Hammerschlag, an orthopedic surgeon, had paid $11.2 million in 2012 for the house, which had been owned by Pen and Brush, a nonprofit group for female artists and writers.


Mr. Levy noted that some buyers see townhouses as relative bargains. “Generally speaking, we’re seeing price per foot substantially less than in new buildings, so certain people see them as a value proposition given the size,” he said.


In another notable sale, a Facebook founder (no, not that one) was the likely buyer of a $22.3 million four-story Greenwich Village townhouse with a separate rear studio, at 157 West 12th Street. Chris Hughes, one of the five founders and a roommate at Harvard of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, bought the property, according to a source familiar with the private transaction who requested anonymity. The seller was Michael P. Stewart, a money manager.




The borough broke a record for its most expensive residence with the $15.5 million sale of a nearly 27-foot-wide, three-story brick townhouse in a historic district of Cobble Hill. The photographer Jay Maisel bought the house, at 177 Pacific Street, after selling his previous home and studio — the gritty six-story former Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery in Manhattan — to Aby J. Rosen’s RFR Holding for $55 million.


Mr. Osher of Core predicted more record closing sales in Brooklyn’s townhouse market in 2016. “We’ll see a $20 million-plus sale,” he said. “Once the townhouse buyer realizes they can’t get what they want in Manhattan, they’ll be looking in Brooklyn.”

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