News

Center Stage: Home Makeovers that Appeal to a Wide Variety of Buyers Pay Off

New York ObserverSeptember 02, 2015

“Let’s make it just like a James Bond-type character lives here,” Interior Marketing Group president Cheryl Eisen declared when she entered an empty penthouse on Warren Street with Douglas Elliman brokers—and Million Dollar Listing stars—Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes.

 

To create a “bachelor-pad-type loft” atmosphere, Ms. Eisen, whose home staging company specializes in high-end city real estate, added a white leather couch, sleek Philippe Starck-style black chairs, and a low, modern black bed to create a minimalist master suite. 

 

Once the 12-day staging process—Ms. Eisen was clear she never exceeds the designated 12-day time period—was complete, the Tribeca duplex that had been languishing on the market for a year was in the midst of a bidding war, and the victor emerged as no less than 007 himself—actor Daniel Craig, with an all-cash $1.9 million offer.

 

“You only have one chance to make a first impression, and you don’t want to miss that opportunity,” Core broker Emily Beare told the Observer. Especially in a quick-moving market with lots of liquid buyers, the spaces that put them quickly at ease are those that they are more likely to buy right away. Voilà, the ascent of home staging.

 

Staging—which involves arranging a home in such a way as to maximize its curb appeal—is nothing new. “The whole idea of staging really started in California, which makes sense because it’s the land of television and movies, and props and staging,” Corcoran broker Deanna Kory opined. “But the staging world has expanded. Fifteen years ago, I started staging probably before anyone else did. I had a vacant apartment in the Majestic on Central Park West, and I couldn’t sell for a price the owner wanted—she wanted $1.3 million; we kept getting $1.27 million. I told them that in California, they had this thing called staging—no one had heard about it here. I said, ‘Let me see if I can rent some furniture, and see if we can show people a sense of what it might be.’ ” Ms. Kory, who has staged many homes herself, convinced the owners to put $10,000 into staging, and “the next week, we got $1.5 million.”

 

Whether done by a broker with a background in staging or a certified professional stager, the process seems to reap dividends. According to Susan Goldstein, principal of home staging company SBSC Design, staged units show off their qualities more effectively. “As time went on, people saw places going into contract much faster—brokers became believers. It’s not just sellers, but brokers having a very specific idea of what they want to see in what they bring into the apartment.”

 

Staging is typically done before a home is listed, and television shows like Million Dollar Listing and HGTV’s Selling New York have helped brokers by “easing the groundwork” for buyers, who aren’t as taken aback these days when a broker tells them to remove their personal belongings, noted Douglas Elliman broker Ann Cutbill Lenane.

 

“People often feel connected to their overly decorated spaces, but television shows have helped us so much. It’s hard when people have spent a ton of money, especially when they might be a little eccentric … you have to be careful, and make sure you don’t get into an ego issue,” Ms. Lenane added. 

 

Usually hired before a home goes on the market, or to help spruce up a listing that hasn’t sold, home stagers like Ms. Goldstein will go through a space, select what pieces (if any) can remain, and then use furniture from warehouses, rental stores, or loaned designer pieces to create an atmosphere that is appealing to the desired buyer. “First, I go in, and I take pictures. Then I come back, sit at my computer, and figure out what I need,” said Ms. Goldstein. “My assistant and I sit with my inventory [at a warehouse in Brooklyn] and decide what will work. If we need something that will have to be ordered, it could take up to two weeks before I can begin staging. If we already have a lot and can use local vendors, I can start in a week.” Once she begins staging, Ms. Goldstein said that she is usually done within three days, max.

 

Staging costs vary widely; if a stager is unable to use any furnishings already in the unit, the price can go up significantly. A three-month contract by Ms. Goldstein’s SBSG Design can begin as low as $9,500 for a one-bedroom and grow to more than $150,000 for more extravagant townhouses and penthouses.

 

Stagers can face another obstacle when a home has already been expensively decorated by an interior designer. “Staging is the antithesis of interior design, because the designer creates space just for you,” noted Sid Pinkerton of Manhattan Staging. “People who’ve spent a boatload of money are very resistant to someone coming and saying they need to change the space, but if we compromise, it might affect the final result of staging. Staging isn’t just about creating a pretty picture—it’s about showing off the attributes of an apartment in the best way possible.”

 

Ms. Eisen shared a similar sentiment, noting that interior designers make a home taste-specific, tailored to the client’s preferences. When it comes time to sell, however, that space will “feel like someone else’s home to a prospective buyer walking in.” 

 

Such was the case at an apartment she worked on at 949 Park Avenue. “They had some interior designer do it, and it had paisley wallpaper. It didn’t sell for over a year. We came in and saw a few things wrong—it was so taste-specific, and there was no dining room. So we took the paisley wallpaper down, created a formal dining area in that space, and it sold immediately at full price.”

 

Most of Ms. Eisen’s jobs fall into the $35,000-$120,000 range, though “In staging, we do it on as low a budget as possible so our margins are good—that’s our model, that’s everyone’s model,” she said. “But it does look extravagant. People go into our stagings, and it looks like an interior designer did it.” According to Ms. Eisen, the projects she works on typically get an accepted offer within the first 30 days.

 

One Upper East Side townhouse Ms. Eisen worked on was a quirky mix of “weird strangeness,” including maroon walls and top hat light fixtures. It had been on the market for over a year before Fredrik Eklund got the listing. He immediately called Ms. Eisen, who “staged the whole thing—it sold completely furnished immediately after we staged it, they wanted everything. It was an Upper East Side townhouse, so we added original artwork. It looks like an art collector’s home. It sold for $13.5 million.”

 

Ms. Eisen has a formula when it comes to assessing properties she’s working on: “Don’t compete with the architecture. Enhance the space enough to really show off its selling features, and accessorize so it looks warm and homey.” She added her company also “assesses the demographic—an Upper East Side family will have different taste than the downtown Tribeca bachelor. We speak to that story; we tell the story of the buyer. We do so with luxury furniture and eclectic accents, which are a mix of vintage and new pieces.”

 

For a penthouse on Greene Street, “The Winklevoss twins saw it twice, and the second time they said, ‘forget it,’ ” Ms. Eisen recounted. The owner had done a “beautiful construction job, but it needed something else. We populated it with really unique, beautiful textural furniture. As soon as you walk in, there’s a really comfy, cozy, nutty-looking cocktail area. It was very downtown, very Greene Street bachelor pad. When the interior designer did it, it was very cold. Where there used to be art, we replaced it with mirrors. We made the living room more grand, more ‘wow!’ ”

 

“After we staged it, Fredrik [Eklund] called their broker. At first the broker said no, they weren’t interested. But they did come back, and they bought it immediately … My guess is that it had a personality that they identified with. I think that made a difference.”

 

The Winklevii must have thought so—they paid $14.5 million for the Soho triplex.

 

And sometimes, stagers can do their job almost too well. Ms. Lenane once had a listing where, after she staged the space, the seller decided they weren’t quite as unhappy in it as they thought. “We clean it up, we get rid of unwanted things—the ottomans, the husband’s leather recliner the wife had been wanting out—and they realize they aren’t so miserable in the apartment.”

 

“It’s not exactly what you want as a broker,” Ms. Lenane said. “But staging is a wonderful thing.” 

$1.795M Penthouse at PS 90 Has 1,900-Sq Ft Terrace

StreetEasy BlogSeptember 02, 2015

For most of us New Yorkers, penthouse apartments are the dream we strive for. Often coming with gorgeous views, gigantic windows, luxuries and amenities we can only begin to imagine, and almost insultingly large square footage, penthouses are the ultimate hallmark that you’ve made it.

 

Penthouse C at 220 West 148th Street, also called PS 90, is certainly an embodiment of all of those qualities. Currently for sale for $1,795,000, this apartment features 1,400 square feet of interior space, but the clincher for this property is the outdoor terrace, which is over 1,900 square feet and private. That’s right — no sharing with anyone, except your friends, of course.

 

This kind of outdoor space is a goldmine and is practically unheard of, especially when the outdoor area exceeds the already generous inside space by 500 square feet!

 

Inside, the penthouse features Caesarstone countertops, marble-finished bathrooms, hardwood flooring, and an in-unit washer and dryer. The terrace offers uniquely designed landscaping, automatic lighting and a sound system, and not one, but two vegetable gardens. It also has its own five-zone irrigation system to keep all the trees, shrubs, and other plants watered, as well as coming with two seating areas equipped for outdoor dining, hanging out with friends and hosting possibly the coolest party in the neighborhood.

 

“Getting listings with this amount of significant outdoor space is rare,” says Adrian Noriega, the broker for Penthouse C. “This kind of quality and this kind of size doesn’t come by often.”

 

“One of the things I really love about this space,” Noriega continues, “is the sense of privacy, even when you’re outdoors. There’s no noise up there, no real sense that you can be watched by anyone. If it weren’t for the amazing view of the skyline, you wouldn’t even realize you were in New York.”

 

The median asking price in Central Harlem is around $800,000, which is incidentally about how much Penthouse C was listed and sold for back in 2010. Central Harlem apartments have a median sales price of $760,000 and a 100.5 percent sale-to-list price ratio, which means units are selling for asking price or above.

 

The terrace features custom landscaping, two seating areas, and even a sound system.

On the Market in New York City

The New York TimesAugust 28, 2015

Homes for Sale in Brooklyn and Manhattan

 

• In Lenox Hill, a three-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath with a fireplace and washer/dryer in a full-service doorman building.


• On the Upper East Side, a duplex studio with a Murphy bed and a shared roof deck in a walk-up.


• In Park Slope, a one-bedroom one-bath unit with a living/dining room, an open kitchen, three exposures and a balcony in a gated 31-unit, pet-friendly co-op building with a common roof deck, storage and laundry facilities and a live-in superintendent.

Upper East Side Co-Op $425,000

 

Manhattan 227 East 87th Street, #4A

 

A duplex studio with a Murphy bed and a shared roof deck in a walk-up. Matthew Cohen, CORE (201) 410-5496. Maintenance $750 a month

 

PROS A brick wall and a decorative fireplace add charm to this sunny unit. The kitchen is nicely renovated. A staircase leads to a closet as well as a roof deck that is shared with an adjacent unit. 

 

CONS The apartment is on the fourth floor. The blue sink, toilet and tiles in the bathroom could use an update. 

Tour a Majestic Home Designed by George Brown Post in Bernardsville, New Jersey

Architectural DigestAugust 27, 2015

A grand Beaux Arts manor in rural Bernardsville is up for sale.

 

Built in 1886 by architect George Brown Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange building in Manhattan, this Beaux Arts–style home has all the grandeur of a Parisian manse. Known as “Stronghold,” the home was later used by Gill St. Bernard's School for the second half of the 20th century. It was completely restored in 2013. Located in the exclusive area of Bernardsville, in rural Somerset County, the residence is just over an hour from Manhattan.

 

Beyond the stone façade, the interiors were constructed from fieldstone, wood, and terra-cotta, as seen in the study. In the den many of the original materials remain, including the stone masonry and Corinthian columns. The property consists of two expansive wings: One houses the dining room (shown here), kitchen, and great room, and the other houses the garage. Nearly 32 acres of manicured grounds surround the home. Additionally, a separate carriage house makes for the perfect guest quarters.

Jill Damico: Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CORE

The Native SocietyAugust 25, 2015

Bio:

 

Jill Damico started her career in Manhattan real estate in 2010. She has extensive experience working with both buyers and sellers, and has transacted deals in co-ops and condos throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Jill has also worked with local and foreign investors, and prides herself on helping her clients make smart decisions by presenting them with pertinent market data and facts.

 

Jill strives to provide her clients with the best service possible while going above and beyond to help them reach their unique goals. Known for being honest, ethical and perseverant, she always protects her clients’ best interest which has helped her forge lasting relationships and build a largely based referral business. She is also a Certified Negotiation Expert, and known for her creative and tenacious approach.

 

Jill is an avid sailor and traveler. She has run the New York City Marathon twice, where she’s fundraised for the American Cancer Society.

 

What do you do best?

I have a great ability to form strong and trusting relationships with all different types of personalities. I understand people well and make them feel comfortable around me.

 

What makes you the best?

My attention to detail, honesty, and ability to listen. Additionally, my sense of humor allows me to have fun with my clients throughout an often stressful process.

 

How will you stay the best?

By keeping myself educated, pushing myself beyond my comfort zones, and learning from each new experience. It’s also important not to compare yourself to others and stay focused on your goals.

 

Biggest success?

This is a tough question. I would say completing my first marathon, because I proved to myself I can do anything I set my mind to. I cried tears of joy when I crossed the finish line.

 

What are your aspirations?

Personal: To have a well-balanced, happy and healthy life, and to keep learning.  I love traveling and experiencing new things, I think it keeps your perspective grounded.

 

Business: Any agent’s goal is to continue building their business, but beyond that, I would like to keep building strong and lasting relationships with my client’s as well as maintain a solid reputation among my peers.

 

Most challenging moment?

This brings me back to the former question of what is your biggest success. The last 4-5 miles of a marathon are the most challenging moments I have yet to experience.

 

What fascinates you?

People who take risks to follow their dreams, it’s a trait I thoroughly admire.

 

Favorite Motto:

I don’t have a favorite one.

 

Favorite People:

My parents- there’s no one in the world I love more.

 

Favorite Places:

I grew up in Setauket, a beautiful, historic town on the north shore of Long Island. My parents’ home sits on a cliff overlooking the Long Island Sound. It’s truly “home” to me and I feel at peace there. I also love Spain and Italy. They both having amazing food and cultures, as well as beautiful scenery.

 

Favorite Products:

I can’t decide, but I will say I do love Fresh soy face cleanser.

 

Current Passions:

My family and my dog, Memphis. I am also a sailor, and have been sailing since I was an infant. I used to teach sailing during the summer as a teenager. It’s a hobby and sport that I love and hope to teach my children someday.

Jessica Silver: Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CORE

The Native SocietyAugust 25, 2015

Bio:

 

Jessica is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with CORE.  Her dedicated and client-focused approach enabled her to seamlessly transition from a successful career in advertising sales to real estate. Her real estate deals have covered a wide range of neighborhoods, from Brooklyn, to Manhattan, to Queens; no neighborhood is off limits in the search for the perfect home.

 

A native New Yorker, Jessica grew up in Westchester County and has lived in New York City for 25 years. She owns a co-op on the Upper East Side and enjoys New York City restaurants, museums, parks, shows, and everything else the city has to offer. In her spare time, you can find her on a yoga mat or volunteering with Animal Haven, an animal shelter located in SoHo.

 

What do you do best?  

Whether you're buying or selling, this can be overwhelming.   I make sure my clients feel comfortable with each step, and know that we are partners through the entire process.

 

What makes you the best? 

I believe in being honest and managing people's expectations. This establishes trust and leads to a successful, long-lasting relationship.  I have a solution focused approach and listening to my clients is priority one. In the event that obstacles rise, I have the skills to overcome them and find alternatives that remain within their preferences. My clients understand that I’m not just trying to close a deal. They know that I put their best interests first and seek their ultimate satisfaction.  Referrals are a core part of our business as well, and this can only come from happy clients.  

 

How will you stay the best?  

Keep up to date on the ever-changing industry, and make sure my clients are well-informed.  I continue to challenge myself so I can stay on top and not become complacent.  Every deal is a learning experience and no two are alike.  Losses present an opportunity to learn as well: What could I have done differently? What did I get from this and how I can I use it in the future?  If you're not out there fighting and learning every day, someone else will come along and take your spot.

 

Biggest success? 

Every success is a big success

 

What are your aspirations?

Personal: I've always been somewhat of a workaholic, setting my personal life aside as a result. In an ideal world, I would like to have a better balance of both.   

Business: One thing I love about this business is the non-stop education; every day brings a new experience/opportunity.  My goal is to have a strong business built on respect and knowledge, while continuing to grow and learn.

 

What fascinates you?

People, in general, fascinate me; I like to guess the story of complete strangers.   I enjoy learning about people's lives and what forms their unique personalities.

 

Favorite Motto:  

I love inspirational quotes, they can really change your perspective or reinforce what you're already feeling. The one that really stands out is one that everyone should consider  "Before you speak, ask yourself this: Is it true? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?  Our words have the power to hurt others, however they also have the power to heal. Choose them wisely"

 

Favorite People: 

My favorite people are my family and good friends.

 

Favorite Places:  

I'm not a beach person, I prefer active vacations and have been various places in the world for yoga retreats and bike trips.  My favorite spot would have to be the Galapagos, a trip which had no biking or yoga. I loved experiencing the individual beauty of each island, and seeing the animals in their protected and natural habitat.  We did hike every day and go snorkeling, so I guess you can say this was also an active vacation.

 

Favorite Products:

Avon skin care

Vince Camuto and Stuart Weitzman (you need comfortable shoes in this business)

Jo Malone scented candles

 

Current Passions: 

Pre-war architecture, rooftop views, yoga, anything with truffles, all animals, crossword puzzles, a nice chilled white wine.

From $380K to $1.4 Million, 7 NYC Apartments That Are Also Smart Investments

BrickUndergroundAugust 24, 2015

Looking for an apartment in NYC is oddly similar to looking for love—you need to be willing to woo and be wooed, know how to beat out the competition, and of course, be prepared for rejection. But at least with apartment-hunting—unlike dating—there’s an easy way to figure out whether or not pursuing a particular prospect is worth it.

 

In addition to offering up the usual details found in most listings, RealtyHop — the new sales-focused website from the people behind RentHop — also provides a given property’s estimated investment potential if you should ever decide to rent the space out. This cap rate represents the annual operating profit—which is the estimated rental income minus yearly expenses and common charges, divided by the asking price. (This estimated rental income is based on the asking rents of comparable properties in the neighborhood, assumes 100% occupancy, and doesn’t take into account things such as the cost of repairs, advertising, closing costs or sublet fees paid to the board.)

 

Just remember that because many co-op buildings either severely limit or completely prohibit subletting, this cap rate is more useful if you’re searching for a condo.

 

In this week’s round-up, you’ll find an Alphabet City co-op that allows pieds-à-terre, a Lincoln Square two-bedroom with a functioning electric fireplace, and an East Williamsburg one-bedroom with a Bluetooth sound system and in-ceiling speakers. All have estimated cap rates of between two and six percent, which makes them wise investments, says RealtyHop.

 

Two-bedroom, 2-bath Lincoln Square condo at 43 West 61st Street, #19J for $1,275,000 

 

A functioning electric fireplace heats up this newly renovated Lincoln Square condo loft, which also features high-end finishes and an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The boutique building has a full-time doorman, a live-in super and a private circular driveway. Maintenance is $970 a month, taxes are $947 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.48%.

 

Studio, 1-bathroom Lower Manhattan co-op at 215 Park Row, #3G for $380,000

 

With a wall of oversized windows that look out on open city and garden views, a windowed eat-in kitchen, loads of closets, and a separate dressing area, this 500-square-foot studio feels even larger than it is. The co-op building, Chatham Green, has a live-in super, a full maintenance staff and a laundry room. Amenities include a community room, a library/book-sharing room, a bike room, a game room with a kitchen, and on-site parking for just $200 a month. Maintenance is $692 a month and the estimated cap rate is 5.31%.

 

Two-bedroom, 1-bathroom Alphabet City co-op at 55 Avenue C, #9 for $735,000

 

This downtown Manhattan two-bedroom has high ceilings, a windowed kitchen, a windowed bathroom, and relatively low maintenance charges of $300 a month. The co-op building has a large landscaped backyard, a bike room, a super, and permits both parental purchases and pieds-à-terre. The estimated cap rate is 4.98%.

 

One-bedroom, 1-bathroom Financial District condo at 56 Pine Street, #8B for $715,000 

 

This one-bedroom is located in a full-service doorman building with a concierge, a fitness center, a relaxation lounge, a party room with a wet bar, a billiards room, a media room and laundry on every floor. Maintenance is $855 a month, taxes are $176, and the estimated cap rate is 4.27%.

 

One-bedroom, 1-bathroom Boerum Hill condo at 46 Bergen Street, #2 for $849,555 

 

This sunny, high-ceilinged Brooklyn one-bedroom has in-unit laundry, an open chef’s kitchen with a large granite island/breakfast bar, and a marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The pet-friendly boutique building offers private storage and bike storage, and has a J51 tax abatement and low monthlies—maintenance is $251 a month, and taxes are just $120. The estimated cap rate is 4.24%.

 

Two-bedroom, 2-bathroom East Williamsburg condo at 629 Grand Street, #2 for $1,425,000

 

Located in the heart of East Williamsburg, this two-bedroom condo offers up 10-foot ceilings, a state-of-the-art Bluetooth sound system with in-ceiling speakers, and a large kitchen. The pet-friendly building has on-site laundry. Monthly maintenance is $594, taxes are $175, and the estimated cap rate is 2.64%.

 

Two-bedroom, one-bathroom Brooklyn Heights condo at 51 Columbia Place, #3, for $1,025,000

 

Just one block from Brooklyn Bridge Park, this two-bedroom floor-through condo in Brooklyn Heights has a large, open-plan entertaining room; a chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances; spacious bedrooms; and a renovated bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The pet-friendly condo building has a free washer/dryer in the common basement, as well as shared storage.  The unit is listed for $1,025,000, maintenance is $350 a month, taxes are $376 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.13%.

The Price of a Parking Space in New York City Has Reached $1 Million

Business Insider AustraliaAugust 22, 2015

For Manhattanites who require a set of wheels and a guaranteed place to park it, the cost of the car itself is a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to expenses.

 

DNAinfo has called the parking space the new “ultimate status symbol.”

 

At least two new condo developments in New York City are charging $US1 million for a permanent place to park a single car, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 

The development 42 Crosby St. is building 10 units in New York’s Soho district (which used to be an actual parking lot) and has 10 underground parking spots available on a first-come-first-serve basis for that magically round million-dollar price tag.

 

The spots measure approximately 150- to 200-square-feet, which, as the The New York Times notes, makes their price per square foot higher than that of the actual apartment units upstairs.

 

The cheapest apartment price per square foot at 42 Crosby St. is $US3,140; the parking spots below the building are $US5,000 per square foot.

 

Another building, located at 15 Renwick St. in the Hudson Square district, has only three $US1 million spaces. The WSJ reports that developers said the parking space prices are high because they expect them to be purchased in conjunction with the building’s two penthouses, which are on the market for $US7 and $US11 million.

 

The New York Post did the maths and these top-tier parking spots work out to be the same as getting a $US115 parking ticket every day for 24 years.

 

However, these $US1 million parking spaces don’t actually represent the market rate. Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the WSJ that the most expensive parking space he’s seen was for $US325,000 and the market rate is closer to that number.

The Race to the $1 Million Parking Space

Daily MailAugust 22, 2015

Luxury condo developers in Manhattan asking for extortionate price for single spot.

 

Parking spaces have become so scarce in some big cities that wealthy buyers of luxury condos will have to fork out $1million to secure a single spot to park their cars.

 

Prices for parking have reached an all-time high in large cities, including New York, Boston and San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal.

 

At least two new residential developments in Manhattan are asking for the extortionate sum for a single parking space.

 

And developers are even marketing the small spaces as sought-after luxury amenities with fancy brochures and promotional videos.

 

In Manhattan’s trendy Soho, a parking space will set buyers back around four times the cost of an average family home in the country.


At 42 Crosby Street in Soho, a 10-unit condominium building is currently under construction by Atlas Capital Group and expected to be complete next year.

 

It has 10 parking spaces being built underground. Each space is available for $1million, which is more expensive in terms of square footage than the apartments upstairs.

 

At 15 Renwick in Soho, designed by ODA-Architecture, prices for units start from $2.1million for a three-bedroom condo up to $11million for a penthouse duplex.

 

But three private parking spots are priced at $1million each.

 

Tim Crowley, the director of new development at Core, which is handling the marketing for 15 Renwick, said the high prices is because developers hope the spaces will be sold with one of the building’s two penthouses.

 

Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the Journal that the highest actual sales price has seen for a single parking space in Manhattan is $325,000.

 

He explained that million-dollar parking spaces are not close to market rate, but instead are priced proportionally to the high price tags of units in the building. 

In Manhattan, The Rise of the $1M Parking Spot

The Real DealAugust 22, 2015

With Manhattan land prices growing ever pricier, it shouldn’t be surprising that parking comes at a dizzying premium. But increasingly, developers are asking $1 million or more for a humble parking spot, with at least two new developments in the city asking seven figures for their spots.

 

At Soho’s 42 Crosby Street — a 10-unit luxury condo that is currently under construction – just 10 underground parking spaces are asking $1 million. That’s roughly four times the cost of an average single-family home in the U.S. and higher price per square foot than the condos upstairs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

 

And just half a mile down the road at Soho’s 15 Renwick, three parking spaces are also asking $1 million each. Core’s Tim Crowley, who handles marketing for the development, told the Journal that the developers hope the spots will sell with the building’s penthouses, priced between $7 million and $11 million.

 

Still, those insane asking prices still don’t reflect reality. The highest actual sales price for a single parking space in Manhattan is still just $325,000, according to real estate appraiser, Jonathan Miller. 

What Does 15 CPW’s Midsummer Sales Rush Mean?

New York ObserverAugust 21, 2015

When a thirty-eight floor unit at 15 Central Park West hit the market last week asking $36.5 million, it brought the grand total of for-sale apartments currently available in the luxury condo to ten, raising the question of what exactly is going on in the building?

 

“It’s somewhat befuddling,” said Stribling’s Kirk Henckels, “especially for August, it’s a little weird.” Mr. Henckels added that 15 CPW is “the most sought after condo, certainly in the resale market,” and that it was remarkable how it has held its own, even against new buildings.

 

He said that the listings rush might just be random, or people trying to seize what they see as a moment in the market.

 

Then again, perhaps it’s all relative. Brown Harris Stevens broker Paula Del Nunzio pointed out that there are 201 units in the building, “so there are actually very few available when you think about how many there are in total.”

 

“What is amazing,” Ms. Del Nunzio continued, who has the listing for Leroy Schecter’s $55 million 15 CPW penthouse, is not the number of listings, but “that the resales are so strong.” “There is no other building at that level,” she explained, as no other building has the prime location directly on Central Park West.

 

“Part of it could be that people are putting apartments on the market now because a lot of the owners are away,” Core broker Emily Beare offered. “Especially at a building like 15 Central Park West where owners have multiple homes.” What more ideal time to have buyers come through, after all, than when you’re summering elsewhere? The downside, of course, is that potential buyers are also apt to summering elsewhere.

 

“Many brokers will take apartments from sellers who say, ‘If you can get this price, I’ll sell it,’” Douglas Elliman’s Ann Cutbill Lenane told the Observer, though they don’t often have a real need to aggressively find a buyer.

 

So, will those who have put their coveted 15 CPW apartments on the market get that big return they’re looking for? It’s hard to say, of course, Ms. Del Nunzio cautioned, but suggested that the past could serve as some indicator if one looks at “what the new owners paid versus what they sell for.”

 

Though there’s a very real question of just how many ambitious flips even the finest real estate can sustain, even in a building known for outrageous resales. There is, for instance, a two-bedroom purchased for $5.9 million in 2008 that asked $29 million earlier this year, now decreased to $20.5 million), and a duplex spanning the 18th and 19th floors that’s asking a $65 million although the owner paid $48 million just a year ago.

 

Then again, this is the same building where Sandy Weill, who famously sold his penthouse for $88 million, was also able to flip his so-called “maid’s room” apartment for five times the original sales price. 

The $1 Million Parking Spot is Here

FortuneAugust 20, 2015

It’s not diamond encrusted, or made of gold. Just asphalt and capitalism.

 

Ever wondered where billionaires park their cars?

 

The Wall Street Journal might have the answer. In cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Boston, parking prices have reached an all-time high, according to the Journal, with at least two new developments in Manhattan asking $1 million for a single parking spot.

 

“Condominium developers are touting parking spaces with glossy brochures and promotional videos, marketing the small patches of concrete as luxury amenities,” the Journal said.

 

Stories of a $1 million parking spot graced the Internet last year when the new development at 42 Crosby Street in Manhattan set that record, high-bar price.

 

Supply and demand in real estate has rarely seemed quite so pronounced—unless the asphalt is literally diamond encrusted. In which case, it will really go well with your brand new Ferrari.

 

In SoHo, Shaun Osher, chief executive of the brokerage firm CORE, which is responsible for the sales and marketing at 42 Crosby, told the Times in September: “There are ‘few to no options’ for parking, let alone a private spot in your own building.” He added that: “In real estate, location defines value and parking is no exception to that rule.”

 

With parking prices in major metropolitan areas on the rise—a parking spot in San Francisco sold, for example, at $82,000 last year—the amount of asphalt for us to share is dwindling, and building owners are cashing in.

From Farkas to Eklund: A Roundup of Panelists at TRD’s Shanghai Showcase

The Real DealAugust 20, 2015

With The Real Deal’s U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum in Shanghai just weeks away, a rundown of the experts set to participate on panels there reads like a who’s who of U.S. real estate and development.

 

The list of panelists in alphabetical order includes:

 

(A-M) Scott Alper of the Witkoff Group; Veronica Cervera of Cervera Real Estate; Mark Chu of Eastdil Secured; Tony Cho of Metro 1; Shang Dai of Kuafu Properties; I-Fei Chang of Greenland USA; Daniel Cordeiro of Corcoran Sunshine; Fredrik Eklund of Douglas Elliman; Andrew Farkas of Island Capital; Nikki Field of Sotheby’s International Realty; Josh Flagg of Rodeo Realty; Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica; Stan Gale Jr. of Gale International; Vanessa Grout of CMC Real Estate; Andrew Heiberger of Town Residential; Kate Kalmykov of Greenberg Traurig; Stephen Kliegerman of Halstead Property Development Marketing; Daniel Kodsi of Royal Palm Communities; John Liang of Xinyuan Real Estate; Nicholas Mastroianni II of U.S. Immigration Fund; Sean Mei of Partners Trust China; Howard Michaels of Carlton Group; Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel; and Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield.

 

(N-Z) Miki Naftali of Naftali Group; Rodrigo Nino of Prodigy; Shaun Osher of CORE; Stephen Owens of Swire Properties; Eran Polack of HAP Investments; Dan Riordan of Turnberry; Shlomi Reuveni of Town Residential; Billy Rose of the Agency; Rotem Rosen of Sapir; Rick Rush of Hodges Ward Elliott; Jonathan Simon of Simon Baron Development; Philip Spiegelman of International Sales Group; Eliot Spitzer of Spitzer Enterprises; Neal Sroka of Douglas Elliman; Clem Turner of Homeier & Law; Mauricio Umansky of the Agency; Allen Wu of Fenwick Keats; and Yong Zhang of Xinyuan Real Estate.

 

The show will be held at the Jing-An Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai from Sept. 10-12. It will feature networking events, breakout workshops, a showcase of 100 developments, as well as the panels, which will cover a full range of topics about investing in U.S. real estate.

Related Matters

New York ObserverAugust 20, 2015

Emily and Elizabeth Beare's listing at 1040 Fifth Avenue was featured in the Transfers column. 

Soho A-Go Go

New York PostAugust 20, 2015

Shaun Osher and 42 Crosby are featured in the neighborhood piece about Soho.

The Race to the $1 Million Parking Spot

The Wall Street JournalAugust 19, 2015

Buyers of luxury condos have a new place to park their cash: in their parking spots.

 

In cities like San Francisco, New York and Boston, parking prices have reached an all-time high. At least two new developments in Manhattan are asking $1 million for a single parking spot. Condominium developers are touting parking spaces with glossy brochures and promotional videos, marketing the small patches of concrete as luxury amenities.

 

Price tags are rising as parking options become scarce in major cities. Until recently, the rule of thumb for San Francisco developers in prime, central areas was to build one parking space for every unit, the maximum allowed by the city planning department in some locations, says Alan Mark, the president and CEO of the Mark Company, which handles sales and marketing for condo and apartment buildings. Now, the maximum allowed in many central locations is an average of half a parking space for each unit, after a change in local rules.

 

Prices now run as high as $125,000 for a single parking space in a prime San Francisco neighborhood, compared with $40,000 to $70,000 per spot several years ago, says Mr. Mark.

 

For about four times the cost of an average single-family home in the U.S., buyers can purchase a parking space in New York’s Soho. At 42 Crosby Street, a 10-unit luxury building under construction in Soho, 10 underground parking spaces are asking $1 million—more on a price-per-square foot basis than the units upstairs. The building’s developers declined to comment.

 

At 15 Renwick, also in Soho, there are three parking spots priced at $1 million each. Tim Crowley, director of new development at Core, which handles marketing for 15 Renwick, says parking is priced at a premium because developers hope the spots will be sold with the building’s two penthouses, priced between $7 million and $11 million.

 

Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, says the highest actual sales price he’s seen for a single parking space in Manhattan is $325,000. Million-dollar parking spaces, he says, aren’t anything close to market rate, but rather are priced proportionally to the high price tags of units in the building.

 

A single parking spot typically requires about 300 square feet of space, including aisles and driveways—roughly the size of a small studio apartment, says Jeffrey Tumlin, the director of strategy at Nelson\Nygaard, a transportation consultant. The median construction cost for a parking spot in the U.S. is about $20,000.

 

In more car-dependent cities like Miami, vehicle parking is typically included in the cost of a condo or offered for a small additional charge. But while a parking space has traditionally been considered a basic feature, Miami agents and developers say they are increasingly marketing parking as a luxury perk, on par with a high-end fitness center, in an effort to stand out from the competition.

 

Muse, a new 68-unit development under construction in Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami, will allot between two and five spaces per unit, depending on unit size, with parking on 27 floors. A mechanical system will stack the cars, which can be retrieved for residents by a fulltime valet.

 

Marc Schmulian, President of S2 Development, the co-developer of Muse, says for the first time, the company has featured images of parking in their marketing materials, dedicating part of the promotional video to visuals of the parking lot.

 

Porsche Design Tower, another new high-rise in Sunny Isles Beach, was designed around parking, with spots inside every condo, reachable by an automated car elevator. Residents can view their cars from their living rooms, behind a glass fire-rated wall. The building is expected to be completed in June 2016; currently six of the 132 units are unsold.

 

The building also has six “man caves” priced from $1.5 million to $2.5 million that hold up to nine cars and have room for a bar and billiard table. Two are still available.

 

Gil Dezer, the building’s developer, says the choice made financial sense. Local rules required that the developer provide 1.5 parking spots for each unit. By putting the required parking inside the units themselves, he was able to develop and sell space he would have otherwise had to allot for parking—which he says has brought in an extra $240 million in revenue.

 

Some developers are converting parking garages into condo buildings—a factor that’s contributing to the scarcity of parking in some cities. Flank, a New York-based development company, purchased a four-story parking garage in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood and converted it into an eight-story condo with seven units priced from $10.75 million to $28 million. Because the building was already zoned for parking, developers included two deeded parking spots with each condo.

 

“We have a lot more families moving downtown,” says Mick Walsdorf, a developer with Flank. “Where you have families, you will have cars.”

A Gorgeous Upstate Getaway Dubbed the Mission House Is Asking $1.4 Million

6sqftAugust 19, 2015

Have you spent the summer dreaming about where you want to escape to in upstate New York? This listing won’t make you feel any better. Called the Mission House, it is a beautiful modern mansion located in East Fishkill, a charming town on the southern border of Dutchess County, New York. The house itself is gorgeous, with stunning landscaping, modern design, and tons of space. Get this: the house covers 4,000 square feet, with an additional 2,400 square feet of decks. Of course, it isn’t cheap, but you’ll still get more bang for your buck up here than down in Manhattan—for the whole mansion, the asking price is $1.4 million, cheaper than many NYC apartments. (And keep reading for a way to stay here without forking over all that cash.)

 

The main level of the house features an open concept living, dining, kitchen and library. How much would you enjoy that wood-burning fireplace in the middle of an upstate winter? And through those nine-foot-tall windows, you have views of the pond outside.

 

Soaring ceilings, tall windows and big skylights bring tons of light into this modern space. The kitchen has a 13-foot marble island, multiple ovens, and great chandeliers.

 

Dark wood detailing and stone walls are quirky elements to be found throughout the home. Although this looks like it could be an older building, it is actually new construction. Many of the interior details, including a reclaimed exposed beam, have been collected by the current owners of the house over the years.

 

There are four bedrooms throughout the house. This one is our favorite, with a view of the pond and direct access onto a terrace with a sitting area.

 

When you’ve got 4,000 square feet to spare, there’s got to be a rec room! As the photo shows, it’s accessed by a spiral staircase.

 

And of course, the home is on plenty of beautiful land. Although it’s about five minutes off the Taconic Parkway (and a little more than an hour away from NYC), you’re in the middle of a secluded, wooded four acres. The pond and surrounding land is full of fish, frogs and birds, and there’s a creek on the other side of the pond. If you’re not into exploring the outdoors, you can just enjoy it from the many outdoor spaces around the house.

 

So you don’t have the $1.4 million to buy this property immediately? Well, you can spend a little less—$800 a night—to enjoy it through Airbnb. 

SoHo Braces For New Wave of Posh Pads

New York PostAugust 19, 2015

If you thought an apartment in a spiffy new building within heavily landmarked SoHo was unattainable these days, think again.

 

Just look at 150 Wooster St., where developer KUB Capital filed permits this month to erect a six-apartment building.

 

There’s also 30 Thompson St., where color-loving Karim Rashid is designing a flashy eight- to 10-unit condominium reportedly slated for completion in 2017.

 

Long after the neighborhood morphed into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive districts, residential developers are racing to put up a flurry of new buildings that are thrusting SoHo into the limelight once again.

 

The reason? They’re responding to deep-pocketed buyers’ demand to live in chic surroundings. Industry experts peg the area’s recent activity to SoHo’s coveted location, smack-dab in the middle of booming downtown development in nearby areas like TriBeCa and NoHo. Beyond projects in the planning phases, the nabe has several others gearing up for sales in the coming months. More supply means good news for buyers looking to score plush pads in this prime area.

 

“[SoHo] has the perfect appeal for the local and international buyer because it’s an established neighborhood,” says CORE honcho Shaun Osher. His firm is handling sales and marketing for the Annabelle Selldorf-designed 42 Crosby St. This 10-unit ground-up condo  made famous by its $1 million parking spots last year  will start at $8.25 million when listings hit the market this winter.

 

“It’s centrally located … it’s like the bull’s-eye of downtown. You can walk anywhere within five minutes,” Osher says.

 

Also alluring for buyers is SoHo’s charm. Cobblestone streets and the world’s largest collection of cast-iron buildings create an atmosphere that everyone agree is one of a kind.

 

“[It’s] got a magic to it,” says Douglas Elliman broker Tal Alexander, who, along with his brother and business partner Oren, lives and handles a number of deals in the neighborhood. “You can only understand it if you live here.”

 

And don’t forget the shopping! SoHo’s luxe offerings have long given the area prominent standing. New stores continue to attract tourists and would-be residents.

 

One recent arrival includes Moschino, which just opened on Wooster Street. This spring, Versace inked a 10-year lease for a store on Greene Street.

 

It’s no surprise that demand has pushed SoHo prices to jump at a double-digit clip. In the second quarter of 2015, median asking prices rose 21.24 percent to $3.69 million over the same period last year, according to StreetEasy.

 

Soon, there will be (slightly) more inventory to ease buyers’ appetites. Next month brings the sales launch of 52 Wooster St., a four-unit project developed by Continental Ventures. With architecture by Arpad Baska and interiors by GRADE New York, the units will measure roughly 2,044 to 4,263 square feet. Also listing this fall is the ground-up XOCO 325 condo at 325 West Broadway. Designed, developed and managed by DDG, this project will have 21 apartments.

 

In addition, the 20-unit Cary Tamarkin-designed new-build condo tower at 10 Sullivan St., a distinct triangular-shaped structure that began sales last year, will add four new townhouses to its count. Measuring roughly 6,500 square feet apiece, each spread will stand 25 feet wide and have backyards. They’ll ask $18 to $20 million when listed late this year.

 

For Kevin Maloney, the founder and principal of Property Markets Group, which is co-developing 10 Sullivan with Madison Equities, building in this neighborhood was simply a matter of responding to the downtown heat.

 

“I live on the Upper West Side, where it’s residential and boring … [SoHo] is a much younger, more vibrant neighborhood,” he says. “It’s a place where people are choosing to live.”

 

They’re also choosing to live west of Sixth Avenue — SoHo’s traditional western boundary. When discussing local real estate, it’s hard to ignore the activity that’s spread into this area, known as Hudson Square; it experienced its own development boom following a 2013 rezoning. Though some industry sources consider this former manufacturing district its own neighborhood (sources say NoCa, or North of Canal, is an emerging name), others insist it’s simply a western swath of SoHo.

 

Whatever it’s called, construction there sure is easier.

 

“Hudson Square presents a unique opportunity for SoHo in that it’s not landmarked,” says Robert Dankner, president of Prime Manhattan Residential, a brokerage active in the SoHo market. “There are lots, land and buildings with unutilized air rights.”

 

“The rezoning for us was the impetus,” says Tony Mannarino, executive vice president of development at Extell, which is developing 70 Charlton St., two 22-story towers that began sales in June with prices from $1.47 million. Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle with interiors by Workshop/APD, the project will have 122 units — 29 of which are affordable rentals, with the remainder being condops. “We felt it was a great opportunity to create luxury product given what’s going on in SoHo and TriBeCa … it presents a real opportunity for buyers as well. They’re getting in when the neighborhood is in transition and there’s more down the road.”

 

It’s also convenient — and that’s a big draw for buyers. This includes Nest Seekers International broker Ryan Serhant, a star of “Million Dollar Listing New York,” who bought a full-floor penthouse at 22 Renwick St. last year for $3.7 million.

 

“I can walk to TriBeCa, SoHo and the Village to get dinner,” he says. “The location is incredibly important.”

 

Several other projects are in the pipeline. One of them is 82 King St., an 18-story condo to be developed by Toll Brothers City Living that will open for sales in mid-2018. There’s also the 115-unit, 290-foot-tall 565 Broome St. — Pritzker Prize-winner Renzo Piano’s first New York residential building, which commences sales in 2016.

 

“[SoHo’s] in need of full-service, ultra-luxury development, which it doesn’t have,” says Michael Shvo, one of several developers behind Piano’s building.

 

The building boom isn’t limited to residential buildings.

 

A $6 million renovation of a half-acre open space at Spring Street and Sixth Avenue will begin in 2016 to create a community park dubbed SoHo Square.

 

Hotel Hugo opened last year bearing an Italian eatery and a rooftop bar — great additions to the area, which sources say still lacks commercial options.

 

Overall, there’s potential for appreciation, which is why Sonu Batra, CEO of real estate investment and development firm EastShore Management, snagged a pied-a-terre at 15 Renwick. Batra inked a $2.25 million contract for a roughly 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom condo last October.

 

“[Today], similar units with similar square footage are going for $2.55 million-plus,” he says. “You want to go where the next boom is going to be. It’s not only a personal move — it’s making the right investment.”

Tiny Yorkville Studio With Private Roof Deck Asks $425K

CurbedAugust 17, 2015

The duplex studio on East 87th Street looks like it was renovated recently, which makes sense because it last sold for $225,000 in 2013 and is now asking almost double that: $425,000. The murphy bed is definitely new, according to the listing, and everything else looks pretty bright and shiny as well. Though definitely not large, the place is pretty charming, and, most importantly, it comes with a private roof deck (which is actually bigger than the apartment itself).

Related C.E.O Sells Co-op for $30 Million

The New York TimesAugust 14, 2015

Jeff T. Blau, the chief executive of the Related Companies, one of the city’s largest private developers, sold the co-op he had bought more than seven years ago in an exclusive Rosario Candela-designed apartment house on Fifth Avenue to an unidentified buyer for $30,000,000 in the most expensive closed sale of the week, according to city records.

 

Mr. Blau, who has been at the helm of Related alongside the founder, Stephen M. Ross, since early 2012, had paid $21.42 million for the 10-room residence, No. 14A, at 1040 Fifth Avenue, near 85th Street, in January 2008; he purchased the unit from Scott A. Bommer, the founder of the hedge fund SAB Capital Management. The monthly maintenance is $12,040.

 

Mr. Blau and his wife, Lisa, commissioned an extensive three-year renovation of the four-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath apartment with Shelton, Mindel and Associates, and then put the property back on the market last year for $43 million. The most recent asking price was $34.5 million, according to StreetEasy.com. Emily and Elizabeth Beare of CORE, a mother-daughter team were the listing brokers. The buyer’s identity was shielded by the limited liability company Tulpe, which is the German word for “tulip.”

 

Mr. Blau declined to comment on the sale, or on published reports that he was the mystery buyer of a 30-foot-wide new-Georgian mansion at 113-115 East 70th Street, which was sold in early 2014 for $51 million by Reed Krakoff, formerly the executive director of the Coach brand.

 

The apartment on Fifth Avenue, which encompasses the entire 14th floor and includes a private elevator landing, features an abundance of windows (the listings say there are 26) that provide unobstructed views of Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, named for the former first lady who once lived on the 15th floor of the building. There is also a library; a formal dining room with a planting terrace; and an enormous living room with a wood-burning fireplace. The master suite includes a sitting room, walk-in closets and a terrae. And like most of the other 27 units in the 17-story 1930 building, the apartment has a staff wing.

 

The runner-up last week, at $20,063,025, according to city records, is a four-bedroom four-and-a-half-bath apartment on the 49th floor of One57, Extell Development’s blue-glass skyscraper, where the priciest transaction for a single-family residence took place. The sponsor unit, No. 49C, at 157 West 57th Street, has 3,466 square feet of space that includes a 21-by-43-foot grand salon. The monthly carrying chargers are $6,492.

 

Nataly Rothschild and Julie Zelman of Engle and Völkers New York brought the buyer, who was identified as Peralta LLC.

 

Ms. Rothschild said the purchaser was a European who paid all cash and planned to use the apartment as a pied-á-terre. She said the buyer was drawn to the “spectacular views of Central Park and the iconic Essex House,” along with the amenities available from the Park Hyatt New York hotel at the base of the building.

 

Big Ticket includes closed sales from the previous week, ending Wednesday.

Top Residential Agents of the Week

The Real DealAugust 14, 2015

Price: $30,000,000

Listing brokers: Emily and Elizabeth Beare of CORE

Address: 1040 Fifth Avenue

 

 

Price: $18,500,000

Listing broker: John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens

Address: 52 West 76th Street

 

 

Price: $16,000,000

Listing broker: Andrea Daniels of Warburg Realty

Address: 145-146 Central Park West

 

 

Price: $15,500,000

Listing broker: Ryan Serhant of Nestseekers International

Address: 56-62 Cooper Square

 

 

Price: $9,650,000

Listing broker: Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group

Address: 147 Waverly Place

Green, Grand, Great Eats: A History of Jackson Heights and Its Future as the Next Hot ‘Hood

6sqftAugust 12, 2015

As the transformation of Queens reaches a bit deeper into the borough, it’s really no surprise that Jackson Heights is quickly becoming a focal point for savvy buyers and renters. The area, roughly bounded by Northern Boulevard, Junction Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, is fully loaded with stunning pre-war co-ops practically everywhere and shiny new redevelopments for under $800,000. Combine this with its diverse cultural offerings and a myriad of subways that can always get you smack dab in the middle of Manhattan in less than 30 minutes (that’s better than a lot of the up-and-coming areas of Brooklyn, mind you), it has all the makings for the next hipster-setting housing boom.

 

Some time around 1916, a planned development for Jackson Heights was set up by the Queensboro Corporation, and by 1917, with the Flushing Line subway now reaching the neighborhood, the community began to attract middle- to upper-middle class residents in droves. At that time, the area was mostly made up of mid-rise co-ops, replete with ornate exteriors done up Tudor-style with parquet floors, sun rooms and working fireplaces surrounded by newly-built churches and private parks (incidentally, the term “garden apartment” was coined here to impart the idea of apartments surrounded by a plant life). Even the iconic neighborhood golf course near 79th Street and 35th Avenue was bulldozed by the Queensboro Corporation to make way for new co-ops.

 

A very large historic district was established in 1993 covering the neighborhood’s main areas which limited glassy towers built by deep-pocketed developers and maintained a sense of what was imagined nearly a century ago.

 

Within the historic district, one of the most prestigious addresses is the Towers, a pre-war co-op at 81st Street and 34th Avenue. Made up of eight buildings framing a lovely courtyard, the Towers’ original details still remain. Nearby, there are a slew of semi-attached homes that set themselves apart from typical semi-attached homes found throughout the borough. These homes are dressed in multi-toned slate roofs, shutters, and driveway gates especially near 87th Street near 34th Avenue.

 

TODAY’S JACKSON HEIGHTS

 

In the face of rising rents across Brooklyn and Manhattan, Jackson Heights has become a very attractive alternative for new families looking for more space and a diverse, integrated neighborhood to raise their children. The area boasts a large Latino and Asian community, the latter making up nearly a quarter of the residents, and overall represents more than 70 nationalities.

 

Although not quite caught up with neighboring Astoria’s hipstery offer, Jackson Heights is steeped with great boutiques and long-loved eateries. There are hundreds of ethnic restaurants found along its streets, and as a whole, they perfectly represent the area’s melting pot community. Great spots with savory bites include Uncle Peter’s (for the ultimate Italian), Amdo Kitchen (Tibetan food from a truck), The Arepa Lady (for cheesy Colombian-style arepas), Guadalajara de Noche (for juicy, stacked high sandwiches) and Khao Kang (for some super spicy Thai). If you have a sweet tooth, the pastries at Cannelle Patisserie are in order. Caffiene addicts will love Espresso 77. Opened in 2007, it has grown so popular that it’s expanded to none other than Park Slope, Brooklyn.

 

The neighborhood is also close to Fresh Direct for pick-up or delivery, making grocery shopping quick and easy (the ultimate sign of gentrification); while a greenmarket on 78th Street hawks practically everything from gluten-free and vegan baked goods to locally-made yogurt. You’d be remiss to not explore the Jackson Heights’ standby markets, including the massive Patel Brothers where you’ll find a colorful plethora of Indian ingredients, the New York Mart which is the go-to for Chinese staples, and Thai Thai Grocery for the spiciest and sweetest of Thai goods.

 

For outdoor pleasures, Travers Park is considered the main playground and boasts a variety of ball courts for basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis. There’s a huge Halloween Parade on the main avenue every year. And there’s an annual film festival featuring local artists’ work called Queens World that has screenings in various venues in the neighborhood. The One-Room Schoolhouse Park, named after the borough’s last one-room schoolhouse, is located at Astoria Boulevard and 90th Street. An indoor playground called Fiesta Kids (off 83rd Street) will set you back about $5 to $7 a day for offerings such as music classes, soccer clubs, Mommy and Me yoga sessions and Story Time.

 

HOMES FOR SALE AND RENT

 

The current housing market if mostly made up of co-ops, single-family homes and more than a handful of newly developed rentals and glassy condos. Prices have risen in recent years; in 2014, 501 co-ops, condos and single-family houses sold at an average of $276,000, according to figures recently published in the Times, indicating an 8.2 percent increase over the average of $255,000 for the 479 listings sold in 2013.

 

Homes currently on the market for rent range from about $1,550 to $2,000 for a one-bedroom, while two-bedrooms are going for $1,700 to $2,450. MNS’s most recent Queens Rental Market Report (June) reports that prices for studios took a sharp upturn, increasing by 6.82 percent since May. One-bedrooms also showed an increase of 1.83 percent in June. No surprise if a neighborhood is identified as “going trendy.”

 

Currently, CORE has a listing at the Versailles at 76-10 34th Avenue (above). This high-end two-bedroom co-op comes in at about 900 square feet and is priced at $398,500. The bathroom has recently been enlarged and renovated, and along with lovely views of Manhattan, there is access to a wraparound communal garden. The unit’s floors are hardwood and the ceilings are high. Another CORE co-op is inside the Madison at 35-06 88th Street. Inside the Historic District, the first-floor one-bedroom unit is made up of about 900 square feet and features its original hardwood floors, a windowed kitchen and lovely archways. The building offers a communal garden and is priced at $317,500.

Ben Jacobs + Emily Beare | CORE, 1 Centre Market Place

Modern NYCAugust 10, 2015

$6,950,000

 

1 Centre Market Place is a sophisticated and contemporary home built in 2006 by the famous NYC designer and developer duo, Robert and Courtney Novogratz. This rare 18-foot wide townhouse, perfectly located on a quiet, low traffic block on the border of Soho and Nolita is truly a unique offering. The four story 4,100-square-foot home has everything your heart desires including 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms, 2 terraces and a beautiful sun drenched roof deck overlooking the magnificent Renaissance Revival dome of the famous Police Building.

 

Having just undergone an extensive renovation, 1 Centre Market Place is without a doubt in
turn-key, move-in ready condition. Renovations and updates include: new exotic hardwood
floors, new hardwood moldings, fresh paint, new light fixtures, radiant floor heating throughout the entire house, new Siedle security system, new Nest heating/cooling system, new central Vacuflo system, upgraded electrical with smart outlets, and new noise cancellation/air-tight insulation throughout all of the walls/ceilings. Other amazing improvements to this townhouse feature updated Yamaha speakers with a brand new separately zoned (indoor and outdoor) Russound Audio System that can be controlled manually or by Bluetooth.

 

On the main floor the spacious living room and gourmet chef's eat-in kitchen features custom wooden cabinetry, stone countertops, Viking cooktop/oven/warming drawer/microwave, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Miele espresso machine, Miele dishwasher, and two skylights. Encompassing the entire second floor, the master suite includes a terrace, massive walk-in closet with custom built-ins and large master bathroom with a soaking Jacuzzi tub and stand up shower. The third and fourth floor offer 4 additional bedrooms, two split bathrooms and two walk-in closets. The fourth floor also has a terrace. In addition there is a finished basement with heated floors, powder room, enormous crawl space for additional storage and a laundry room with sink and Maytag W/D. 

Success or Excess: What’s Behind Manhattan’s New Residential Sales Record?

The New York TimesAugust 07, 2015

Manhattan added a new superlative recently when the average price for a residence was reported to have hit $1.7 million, the highest ever. The milestone was hailed as proof the real estate market has bounced back from the 2008 recession, and indeed, the good times seem to have returned for some, including the real estate industry. But can anyone who doesn’t run a hedge fund still get in?

 

The Eight-Figure Apartment

 

A key reason for the gaudy numbers is that the higher end of the island’s real estate market is exploding. In yet another indicator that the richest of the rich have had the best recession recovery, sales of $10 million residences have doubled since 2009. (That’s adjusted for inflation, meaning that the 2009 numbers include anything that was over $9 million at the time.)

 

One Madison 

 

Ten $10 to #15 million apartments sold in this building, which languished unfinished for years after the 2008 bust.

 

COMEBACK One Madison was built in 2007 but foundered during the recession and remained unfinished for several years. Buyers, which have included Tom Brady and Rupert Murdoch, are now scooping up its eight-figure apartments, many at double their 2007 prices.

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