News

Almost Gramercy Park

New York ObserverAugust 25, 2014

It is a commonplace of New York City real estate that brokers and developers often label less desirable neighborhoods to cash in on proximity to more established bastions. Thus "Nolita" and "NoMad," the too-liberal applications in listings of "East Williamsburg" and "South Slope." More unusual are instances of marketers dispensing with perfectly good, geographically appropriate brand names in favor of sobriquets less well known.

Park Slope Duplex With 18-Foot Ceilings Asks Under $1 Million

CurbedAugust 22, 2014

Double-height ceilings and two private outdoor spaces make this 1,181-square-foot Park Slope two-bedroom, two-bathroom open and airy. North and south exposures, as well as two skylights, provide a lot of natural light, and the home's duplex layout allows for a somewhat flexible floorplan. The current owners have the smaller upper level configured as an office and a den, but it could easily be turned into a master suite, as it has its own full bathroom. It's located at 267 Eighth Street near Fifth Avenue, and it's listed for $995,000, which is just a teensy bit under the neighborhood's median price for two-bedroom condos.

Open House Agenda: 3 Apartments to See This Weekend

DNA InfoAugust 21, 2014

MANHATTAN — For buyers looking for value, co-ops can be more economical than condos. The median price for a one-bedroom co-op is $600,000 compared to $930,000 for a condo, according to Douglas Elliman’s 2014 second-quarter report for Manhattan sales. The average price per square foot fares better as well: $1,121 versus $1,484.

 

Here are three one-bedroom co-ops below Manhattan's 96th Street with open houses this weekend priced even below those median markers. All are listed at or near $520,000, with the average price per square foot from about $690 to just over $1,100.

 

345 E. 93rd St., Apt. 7D, Yorkville
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Co-op
Approximately 750 square feet
$518,000
Maintenance: $1,200 per month
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 24, 1-3 p.m.

 

Lowdown: The sellers have lived in this Yorkville one-bedroom since 1988. Their daughter, an architect, completely redesigned it about four years ago, transforming the apartment into a “beautiful minimalist space with a very Japanese feel to it,” said Ruthann Richert, of Perry Associates Realty.

 

She replaced the sheetrock wall separating the living room and bedroom with sliding mahogany and glass doors, making this bright, south-facing unit unlike most of the cookie-cutter units typically found in the neighborhood, Richert said.

 

Built-ins abound, including an office area, a Murphy bed, two large closets “with sliding drawers, so you don’t need a dresser,” and custom kitchen cabinets with so much storage that “a dining table that folds on two sides fits into one of the cabinets under the stainless steel countertop,” Richert said.

 

The board recently renovated the lobby and hallways of the doorman building. There's laundry on each floor, a fitness center, a private terrace off the second floor, and an elevator that goes to the garage that has "special rates for owners.”

 

Location: The 32-story Mill Rock Plaza sits just west of First Avenue. Nearby is Bobby Wagner Walk along the East River, the 92nd Street Y, Fairway at 86th Street, and several restaurants and shops. A new Maison Kayser bakery opened earlier this month on Third Avenue near 87th Street.

 

Until the Second Avenue subway opens, the nearest train station is the 6 at 96th Street. There are express buses on First and Second avenues and easy access to the FDR Drive.

 

Why put on your open house calendar? “It’s very good value for its location and the renovation work that’s been completed,” Richert said. “Plus, the maintenance is 67 percent tax deductible, and you can sublet after one year for up to five years.”

 

188 E. 75th St., Apt. 6D, Upper East Side
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Co-op
Approximately 500 square feet
$520,000
Maintenance: $1,315 per month
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 24, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Lowdown: The seller of this pre-war one-bedroom in the heart of the Upper East Side is an architect. She renovated the space after purchasing it about eight years ago and recently refreshed it after a tenant moved out, said Adrian Noriega, of CORE.

 

“She upgraded the bathroom and completely redid the kitchen, which is compact but has plenty of storage space and everything you need, including a dishwasher,” Noriega said.

 

The apartment faces north and looks onto the Church of St. Jean Baptiste, which has a little bit of a Parisian feel to it,” Noriega noted.

 

The co-op recently installed a video intercom system, upgraded the elevator and painted the common spaces. Laundry is in the basement; extra storage is available for a fee.

 

Location: The building is located between Lexington and Third Avenue, both of which teem with shops, restaurants and services. A few blocks west are Central Park and several museums, including the Frick, which plans to expand its gallery space and add a rooftop garden.

 

The 6 train is around the corner on Lexington at 77th Street.

 

Why put it on your open house calendar? “If your price range is even up to $550,000, on the Upper East Side you’ll find very few apartments west of Third Avenue,” Noriega noted. “It’s very good value for the neighborhood."

 

633 E. 11th St., Apt. 2, East Village
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Co-op
Approximately 475 square feet
$529,000
Maintenance: $530 per month
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 24, noon to 1 p.m.

 

Lowdown: This “cute” railroad apartment in Alphabet City, with exposed brick throughout, comes with an unusual perk — an additional room with more than 100 square feet of space directly beneath the unit’s bedroom and bathroom, said Beverley Rouse, of Town Residential.

 

“If you wanted to join it, you would need to put a spiral staircase in. Currently its only access is through the basement at the front of the building,” Rouse said.

 

The sellers used the space “like a big closet,” but it could also be a workroom or artist’s studio. The next-door neighbor combined their spaces, and the sellers brought a contractor in when they purchased it about four years ago and were assured it could be connected, Rouse said, advising, “Bring an architect so you can see what the possibilities are."

 

Prior owners upgraded the bath and kitchen, which includes both a dishwasher and washer/dryer. The bedroom, though narrow, holds a queen-sized mattress.

 

The co-op “is self-managed and in very good state financially.” There’s a “beautiful, charming garden” in the backyard with “a table, chairs and two hibachis.” Bike racks are in the basement.

 

Location: Situated between avenues B and C, the building is close to Tompkins Square Park and boutiques, bars and restaurants— including longtime neighborhood favorite St. Mark’s Bookshop, which recently moved to East Third Street near Avenue A.

 

The M8 and M14 crosstown buses are a couple blocks away. The nearest subway is the L at 14th Street and First Avenue.

 

Why put on your open house calendar? “It’s good value and in good condition in a great neighborhood and with fantastic low carrying costs,” Rouse said. “And the bonus room is exceptional for this price — regardless if you connect through to it or not.”

 

 

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaAugust 19, 2014

Parul Brahmbhatt is featured in this weekly online real estate segment.

Suzuki Capital Files to Raze 21st Precinct Building in Gramercy

The Real DealAugust 15, 2014

Suzuki Capital filed plans today to demolish the former 21st Precinct in Gramercy as part of its condominium project slated for the site.

 

The developer unveiled its proposal in April to construct a seven-story, 10-unit property at 327 East 22nd Street. Construction is expected to wrap by fall 2015. Suzuki, led by CEO Sam Suzuki, paid $11.5 million for the site in April.

 

Built in 1863 as a police station, the property was later repurposed by the non-profit organization Green Chimney as a group home for LGBTQ youth.

 

 

CORE is handling sales and marketing of the condos, while Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects is designing it. The units, either two- or three-bedrooms, will range from 1,200 to 2,200 square feet.

Suzuki Seeks Demo Permit at Old Gramercy Police Station

Commercial ObserverAugust 15, 2014

Say goodbye to the old 21st Precinct station house in the Gramercy Park area. Suzuki Capital, which wants to erect a condominium at 327 East 22nd Street, has filed an application for a demolition permit with the city’s Department of Buildings.

 

As Commercial Observer previously reported, Suzuki Capital bought the building in April for $11.5 million. Along with the building, between First and Second Avenues, Suzuki Capital purchased 7,000 square feet of additional air rights. The building served as a group residence for 25 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young people.

 

The new seven-story building will include 10 condo units, according to a release from CORE, which is the exclusive sales and marketing firm for the new development.

 

Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects is designing the building, and the exterior will be a “surprise,” said Sam Suzuki, chief executive officer of Suzuki Capital.

 

Units will have two or three bedrooms, and will average 1,200 to 2,200 square feet, Mr. Suzuki said. The penthouse will have a garage and may even get its own swimming pool. The two ground floor units will have individual 750-square-foot backyards.

 

The existing four-story building was designed as a precinct station house in 1863. It also functioned as headquarters for a battalion of the 7th New York Regiment. In 1952, the precinct, at that point renamed the 13th Precinct, moved into a new building on East 21st Street.

 

Suzuki Capital moved its offices into the building and over the past two and a half months, the firm has brought in 55 pop-artists to paint the interior walls of the entire building.

 

“This is the largest pop art show since the 1980s with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol,” Mr. Suzuki said. The opening reception for the art exhibit will be held tomorrow evening.

 

Mr. Suzuki expects the condo to be completed in fall 2015.

Condo of the Day: 112 Saint Marks Place, #2

BrownstonerAugust 13, 2014

There’s nothing left post-renovation to indicate that this two-bedroom condo at 112 Saint Marks Place in Park Slope is located in an old brownstone, but luckily for the sellers not everyone wants to live in an old brownstone. While we can appreciate good modern design, this place falls somewhere in the middle for us. It’s clean and in good shape, to be sure, but lacks character. And at almost $1,000 a square foot, we’d expect the kitchen and bathroom finishes to be a little higher end. Asking price for the 1,050-square-foot pad is $985,000.

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaAugust 12, 2014

Parul Brahmbhatt is featured in this weekly online real estate segment.

The Wilson Hunt House: The History of a Rare 19th Century House Towed to Tribeca by Truck

6SqFtAugust 07, 2014

In the 1970s, after obtaining landmark status in 1969, three 19th century houses were actually towed by truck from a no-longer-existing stretch of Washington Street to avoid demolition in the Washington Market Urban Renewal area (a 38-acre site planned by the city’s Housing and Development Administration during the 1960s and 1970s, 10 blocks north of what would become the World Trade Center). Their final destination? Next to three already existing townhouses on Harrison Street, a quiet site that was the once the well-known farm of alleged skirt lifter, and one of NYC’s first settlers, Annetje Jans. In 1976, New York City put them up for sale (from $35,000 to $75,000) following a restoration by Oppenheimer, Brady & Vogelstein the year before. And more recently, nearly four decades after the sale, CORE brokers Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon exclusively listed 37 Harrison Street with surprising results.

 

Formally 327 Washington Street, and christened ‘The Wilson Hunt House’, the three-story corner Federal style house was updated in brick in a Flemish bond pattern – the 21-foot- wide house features a private garden, six wood-burning fireplaces, soaring ceilings with exposed beams and original arched dormers. The home was listed in April for the son of the original owners who bought the 1828 townhouse for a mere $55,000 back in 1976.

 

 

The moment Postilio and Conlon posted the listing, more than 100 interested buyers (including actor Jake Gyllenhaal) lined up one rainy Sunday for its very first open house. “Though we listed it at $3.75 million, we had a crazy bidding war that resulted in a final selling price of $5.5 million,” said Postilio. “That’s 100 times the price paid by the original owners in 1976!” And 46.7-percent more than the asking price.

 

 

Of course, the stellar sale comes as no surprise as the Wilson Hunt House is one of a group of nine Federal houses whose scale and profile exist nowhere else in the city. Couple this with its prime location and you’ve got quite the winning property.

 

Though this historic home is now off the market, if you have a penchant for history and landmarked buildings, the CORE team has another beauty in their pocket: a gorgeous 2,000-square-foot penthouse with a lushly landscaped 1,521-square-foot terrace atop an 1877 Gothic Revival building. Known as Landmark at 17 at 233 East 17th Street in the Stuyvesant Square Historic District, this three-bedroom home also features a wood-burning fireplace and 13-foot-high ceilings in the living room as well as a towering 20-foot-high atrium above the custom-designed chef’s kitchen. This extraordinary penthouse is priced at $5.395 million and is worth a gander—if not an offer!

Home On The Range

The Real DealAugust 04, 2014

Downtown Brooklyn
Inventory change from 2009: 50.5 percent drop
Inventory change from 2013: 6.3 percent drop

Although a batch of new rental buildings has opened in Downtown Brooklyn, developers haven’t caught up with buyers’ appetite for condos, prompting the area’s inventory level to flatline over the past 12 months.

There were 104 properties for sale in Downtown Brooklyn in June — a 6.3 percent drop from 111 properties during the same time last year.

Meanwhile, the median sales price was $405,000, down 29 percent from $572,000 one year earlier, which StreetEasy’s Lightfeldt attributed to new developments that came online in 2013.

More recently, CORE’s Bowen said, “There’s nothing on the market.”

But things could be looking up in Downtown Brooklyn — literally and figuratively. With no height limitations for building in the neighborhood (Downtown was upzoned in 2004) it is one of the hottest areas for real estate speculation.

“This is where developers can go big,” Bowen said. “You can’t go big in Park Slope, except maybe on Fourth Avenue.”

In addition to the upzoning, Downtown has transportation, retail, parks, and other prime neighborhoods nearby, said Roger Fortune, vice president of the Stahl Organization, which developed 388 Bridge, a 378-unit condo-and-rental tower in the neighborhood. There were contracts on 30 percent of the condos within two weeks of the sales launch in June.

Greenpoint
Inventory change from 2009: 56 percent drop
Inventory change from 2013: 10 percent increase

Like its neighbor Williamsburg, Greenpoint’s tight inventory reflects fallout from the financial crisis, as housing stock soared immediately after the crisis, only to plummet in subsequent years.

Like other post-industrial neighborhoods, Greenpoint’s 2005 rezoning from industrial to mixed-use has attracted developers.

There were 55 properties for sale in the waterfront neighborhood in June, up 10 percent from the same time in 2013. By comparison, there were 125 properties for sale in 2009, or more than twice the number of listings there are now.

The median sale price of $635,000 was down 14.7 percent year over year, but in a sign that sellers were shooting high, asking prices rose 25.2 percent to $875,000 during that same time.

Brokers said the easing of Greenpoint’s inventory crunch signals developer interest in the neighborhood. According to the real estate brokerage MNS, new development properties accounted for 21 percent of Greenpoint’s sales during the second quarter, the highest percent in the borough.

“Greenpoint is really the next big ‘it’ neighborhood,” said CORE’s Bowen, citing new developments such as 77 Commercial, a joint venture between developers Joseph Chetrit and David Bistricer that includes two towers, one 30 stories and one 40 stories, with 720 units combined. Demolition permits for the existing two-story building on the site were filed in June.

Top 5 Brand Moments from Last Week

Luxury DailyAugust 04, 2014

The fashion and real estate worlds briefly swapped places, while Lexus entered a Marvel adventure.

 

Fendi announced plans to open its first residential Palazzo in Miami, flush with Fendi Casa regalia, and NYC-based real estate firm Core developed a marketing campaign that is unusually creative for real estate. Last week also yielded some important acquisitions and partnerships.

 

 

Here are the top five luxury brands moments from last week, in alphabetical order:

 

Real estate brokerage firm Core is taking an unorthodox approach to marketing a new building in the Hudson Square neighborhood of New York.

 

 

Although real estate purchases are arguably the most important commercial choices a consumer can make, real estate marketing tends to follow a dry and formulaic approach. Core sought to break away from this format by creating a campaign that resembles something closer to what a fashion brand might produce (see story).

Classic Carroll Gardens Brownstone Asks $3.2M, and More

Curbed NYAugust 03, 2014

Up next is this three-story brownstone in Bed-Stuy. The house is 20'-wide on a 100' lot, and has had just two owners since it was built in 1891. It's currently set up with an owner's duplex and two full-floor rentals. It's asking $1.525 million.

Brooklyn’s Empty Shelves

The Real DealAugust 01, 2014

Bidding wars. All-cash offers. Foreign buyers. Off-market sales. The telltale signs of New York City’s housing crunch have dominated headlines in recent years, as pent-up demand from the financial crisis gave way to a seller’s market — one in which prices have soared.

 

But in Brooklyn, the steep inventory decline of the past four years is easing slightly, as new developments hit the market and some homeowners cash out.

 

This month, The Real Deal, using data culled together by the listings website StreetEasy, did a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of the for-sale inventory in Brooklyn.

 

The StreetEasy numbers showed that there were 4,202 properties for sale in Brooklyn during the month of June — up 15.9 percent from the same time last year, when available housing stock plummeted to 3,702 properties on the market.

 

“I would characterize this increase as a slight return, a beginning of a return to normal,” said Alan Lightfeldt, a data scientist who leads StreetEasy’s research efforts. “We still have a long way to go.”

 

Overall, Brooklyn’s housing inventory is still 25.2 percent lower than 2010, when the number of available properties swelled to 5,737, as the effects of the recession were being felt full force.

 

In fact, that buyer’s market has given way to an inventory shortage in Brooklyn that’s rivaled that of Manhattan.

 

Properties in both boroughs spent a median of just 49 days on the market in June, according to Lightfeldt. But while Brooklyn’s inventory shortage is partly the result of development projects stalling in 2009 and 2010, it also stems from an influx of new buyers who are priced out of Manhattan — of course, Brownstone Brooklyn would be an exception — as well as buyers who are just attracted to Brooklyn’s up-and-coming neighborhoods in their own right.

 

Nonetheless, the buyers and renters venturing into Brooklyn for deals get a rude awakening.

 

While Brooklyn prices are lower than they are across the river, the inventory squeeze has pushed prices to new highs.

 

In June, the median sale price in the borough for all sales rose 12 percent to $521,000, compared with the prior year period, according to StreetEasy.

 

“When someone owns a smaller home and wants to buy a bigger home, yes, they know they can sell their current home quickly in this market and for a great number,” said Sarah Burke, Douglas Elliman’s regional managing director for Brooklyn. “But they’re not necessarily finding or seeing the next apartment. They have nowhere to go.”

 

For that reason, said Lightfeld, buyers are starting to look with fresh eyes at more affordable neighborhoods — areas that they would not have considered five years ago. “There’s a lot of new buyer interest in outer borough neighborhoods,” he said.

 

Below is a roundup of some of the largest neighborhoods, showing which areas have been dogged by the inventory crunch — and where the tightness is starting to ease.

 

Downtown Brooklyn
Inventory change from 2009: 50.5 percent drop
Inventory change from 2013: 6.3 percent drop

 

Although a batch of new rental buildings has opened in Downtown Brooklyn, developers haven’t caught up with buyers’ appetite for condos, prompting the area’s inventory level to flatline over the past 12 months.

 

There were 104 properties for sale in Downtown Brooklyn in June — a 6.3 percent drop from 111 properties during the same time last year.

 

Meanwhile, the median sales price was $405,000, down 29 percent from $572,000 one year earlier, which StreetEasy’s Lightfeldt attributed to new developments that came online in 2013.

 

More recently, CORE’s Bowen said, “There’s nothing on the market.”

 

But things could be looking up in Downtown Brooklyn — literally and figuratively. With no height limitations for building in the neighborhood (Downtown was upzoned in 2004) it is one of the hottest areas for real estate speculation.

 

“This is where developers can go big,” Bowen said. “You can’t go big in Park Slope, except maybe on Fourth Avenue.”

 

In addition to the upzoning, Downtown has transportation, retail, parks, and other prime neighborhoods nearby, said Roger Fortune, vice president of the Stahl Organization, which developed 388 Bridge, a 378-unit condo-and-rental tower in the neighborhood. There were contracts on 30 percent of the condos within two weeks of the sales launch in June.

 

Greenpoint
Inventory change from 2009: 56 percent drop
Inventory change from 2013: 10 percent increase

 

Like its neighbor Williamsburg, Greenpoint’s tight inventory reflects fallout from the financial crisis, as housing stock soared immediately after the crisis, only to plummet in subsequent years.

 

Like other post-industrial neighborhoods, Greenpoint’s 2005 rezoning from industrial to mixed-use has attracted developers.

 

There were 55 properties for sale in the waterfront neighborhood in June, up 10 percent from the same time in 2013. By comparison, there were 125 properties for sale in 2009, or more than twice the number of listings there are now.

 

The median sale price of $635,000 was down 14.7 percent year over year, but in a sign that sellers were shooting high, asking prices rose 25.2 percent to $875,000 during that same time.

 

Brokers said the easing of Greenpoint’s inventory crunch signals developer interest in the neighborhood. According to the real estate brokerage MNS, new development properties accounted for 21 percent of Greenpoint’s sales during the second quarter, the highest percent in the borough.

 

“Greenpoint is really the next big ‘it’ neighborhood,” said CORE’s Bowen, citing new developments such as 77 Commercial, a joint venture between developers Joseph Chetrit and David Bistricer that includes two towers, one 30 stories and one 40 stories, with 720 units combined. Demolition permits for the existing two-story building on the site were filed in June.

$9K/Month Greenwich Village Apartment Available for the First Time in 20 Years

6SqFtAugust 01, 2014

It turns out you don’t have to be an A-lister to live like a star in Greenwich Village… not if you have an extra $8,995 a month lying around. This garden apartment at 19 West 10th Street is prepared for even the pickiest renter, offering original details with modern updates and a flexible layout that can be rearranged to accommodate up to three bedrooms. So, you can put away your list of demands while we take a look at this Gold Coast pad.

 

The 1,260-square-foot home’s current layout features one bedroom, two full baths, and a renovated kitchen. There are two spacious living areas—one in the front of the home and another in the back near the bedroom—and each space offers the warmth of a wood-burning fireplace and lush garden views. The apartment is well lit, thanks to large windows, French doors, and an abundance of track lighting. Meanwhile, there are hardwood floors throughout, along with high, beamed ceilings and crown molding.

 

Best of all, this pad is located in one of the city’s most premier locations. The Gold Coast of Greenwich Village has plenty of shops and restaurants (and maybe even a little celebrity-spotting) to keep you occupied when you’re not enjoying all that this spacious apartment has to offer. And since this apartment is available for the first time in 20 years it’s safe to say this unit is a pretty prime location all by itself.

The Townhouse, Minus the Past

The New York TimesAugust 01, 2014

In response to surging demand for larger spaces, developers in Brooklyn are going back to the classic townhouse, but building new variations with contemporary families in mind.

 

From the leafy streets of Cobble Hill to the warehouse districts of Dumbo and Williamsburg, at least a dozen townhouse projects are in various stages of planning or construction. With prices as high as $4.8 million for a four-bedroom, the projects are aimed squarely at the gilded-stroller set.

 

“The demand for larger spaces in Brooklyn continues to grow,” said Ari Harkov, a broker with Halstead Property, who along with his business partner, Warner Lewis, is leading sales for Wythe Lane Townhouses, an upcoming development in Williamsburg by KUB Capital. “More and more of our clients are trying to extend their tenure in the city rather than move to the suburbs for the house and the yard and the driveway,” Mr. Harkov said.

 

 

But little is available for growing, affluent families, he said, because of a “finite number” of prewar brownstones.

 

Roger Bittenbender, a principal of KUB who is developing Wythe Lane with his business partner, Shawn Katz, noted the shortage in inventory as well. “It was this huge gaping hole in the market,” he said.

 

The idea to build more townhouses was born partly out of their talks with friends with expanding families who had outgrown Williamsburg apartments. “They have nowhere to go,” Mr. Bittenbender said. “They don’t want to go to another part of Brooklyn. They’re definitely not going back to Manhattan.”

 

He and Mr. Katz are catering to this niche with six four-story houses at the corner of Wythe Avenue and South Fourth Street, near the Domino Sugar redevelopment project. Each house will measure nearly 17 feet wide with about 3,800 square feet of interior space that will contain four bedrooms, three baths, two half-baths and a finished basement, along with a roof deck, garage parking and a landscaped yard that opens onto a private walkway.

 

Demolition of a scrap yard on the site is set to begin in a few weeks, and sales could start as early as the fall. Mr. Bittenbender said he expects the first house to be offered for “just shy of $4 million.”

 

The project was partly inspired by Dumbo Townhouses, a group of five starkly contemporary, 3,050-square-foot townhouses going up at Pearl and Water Streets in Dumbo that quickly sold out. The first four-bedroom three-bathroom houses, which have parking, a rooftop garden and a terrace off the parlor level, and prices from $4.1 million to $4.5 million, went into contract 26 days after sales began in June 2013. A fourth went for $4.8 million last October. “We sold them one at a time, raising prices each time,” said A. J. Pires of Alloy, the developer. “We are holding the last, corner townhouse.”

 

 

The listing broker, Karen Heyman of Sotheby’s International Realty, said she still gets inquiries nearly every day. “I wish I had 20 more of them,” she said.

 

For decades, new residential construction in Brooklyn was made up mostly of low-rise apartments and two- and three-family houses with a garden apartment for the buyer and a rental unit or two on top to help defray the cost of ownership. Over the last several years, glass-and-steel condominiums and rentals have sprouted along Williamsburg’s waterfront and in Downtown Brooklyn with myriad amenities. Mostly studios, one- and two-bedrooms, they are aimed at hip young singles.

 

But as those hipsters mingled, married and multiplied, little was built to suit their needs. A recent search for four-bedrooms in Williamsburg on Streeteasy.com yielded five listings, including a 2,200-square-foot penthouse at Northside Piers for $3.495 million and a remodeled semidetached single-family house for $2.5 million.

 

Demand for older townhouses in Brooklyn, including those in need of renovation, has been intense. A Fort Greene fixer-upper at 252 Carlton Avenue, listed by Doug Bowen of CORE for $2.595 million in March, drew 110 visitors and 22 offers in five days, before closing for $3.2 million in June.

 

Over all, the average price of a townhouse in northwest Brooklyn jumped 25 percent to $2.39 million in the second quarter from a year ago, according to a report by the appraiser Jonathan J. Miller for Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

 

The brand-new townhouses tend to command a premium over their prewar counterparts, and don’t require the time and hassle involved in bringing a 100-year-old building up to date. Many hint at the historic with brick exteriors or traditional stoops, but on the inside are contemporary. While the prewar houses were built with formal dining rooms, parlors and closed-off kitchens, the new ones have open floor plans, en-suite baths and high-end appliances.

 

 

The Townhouses of Cobble Hill, a mixture of four historic and five new townhouses on Congress Street in Cobble Hill, have marble bathrooms with steam showers and eat-in kitchens with Ernestomeda custom Italian cabinetry, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Wolf ranges and wine coolers. The houses, designed by the architectural firm Adjmi & Andreoli and developed by JMH Development, were sold in phases, with the first three released last summer. Only a four-bedroom five-bath house, with a $3.9 million price tag, remains unsold.

 

The catalyst for the recent wave of townhouse building, brokers and developers say, was the success of 23 rowhouses developed by Abby C. Hamlin, the president of Hamlin Ventures, with Francis J. Greenburger, the chairman of Time Equities, on State Street in Boerum Hill at the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. The rowhouses, designed by Rogers Marvel Architects and built in two phases, set the bar for the townhouses popping up today. But being among the first collections of speculative rowhouses since, well, the early 20th century wasn’t easy. “It was a hard sell at first,” Ms. Hamlin said, noting that banks were initially reluctant to lend.

 

But the houses sold quickly. The first 14, completed in 2007, each sold for an average of $2.6 million; the last nine, finished a few months ago, for about $3.6 million apiece.

 

Some developers are marketing larger Brooklyn condos as “townhouse-style” apartments. A five-story building at 709 Sackett Street in Park Slope, developed by Greenstone, is being sold as two units — a $6 million, 3,200-square-foot four-bedroom triplex with a garage and multiple outdoor spaces, and a $2.995 million, 1,750-square-foot four-bedroom duplex with a deck and rooftop terrace.

 

 “It’s zoned as a two-unit condominium,” said Lyon Porter, a sales and leasing director of Town Residential, “but it’s really two townhouses in one.” In Brooklyn Heights, the Stahl Organization is converting the upper floors of the York & Sawyer-designed Brooklyn Trust Company Building into 12 three- to five-bedroom condos offering “townhouse-style living,” according to a publicist, with “high ceilings, oversize double-hung wood windows, generous entry foyers and architectural detail” like crown moldings in living rooms.

 

Others are taking a more traditional tack. Aiming for buyers who want to offset their mortgage with rental income, Douglas Elliman is marketing Heights Park, a row of four townhouses in Prospect Lefferts Gardens that come with built-in investment units. Each house, by the Residential Development Group, has an owner’s triplex with a private backyard and curbside parking on the bottom, topped by two rental units — a second-floor one-bedroom apartment and a third-floor three-bedroom. The price tag for the first house, which is expected to begin showing this month, is $1.875 million.  Some buyers want “the amenities of a single-family home in terms of space and flexibility,” but can’t afford a $3 million townhouse in Park Slope, said Evan Duby of Douglas Elliman.

 

The rental units, he estimates, could bring in as much as $5,000 a month.

 

Sackett Union, 11 townhouses and 32 condos developed by Alchemy Properties in Carroll Gardens, included four two-family townhouses. Rather than rent them out, Kenneth S. Horn, Alchemy’s president, said some people have used one unit as a home office or mother-in-law unit. Another buyer combined the two to make it a single-family home. “One family is putting the teenage child down there,” Mr. Horn said. “That’s a win-win.”

 

 

Open House Picks

BrownstonerAugust 01, 2014

Bed Stuy

445 Macon Street

Broker: CORE

Price: $1,525,000

Sunday 12:00 - 1:30

Real Estate Envy: 5 Gorgeous 19th Century Homes

DomaineJuly 31, 2014

If there's anything we've learned from our grandparents — and our many days of antiquing! — it's that the old should be cherished. So if you ever have the opportunity to purchase an older home, do it. Do it, and take care of it, and celebrate all of its intricate moldings and special details. Here to guide us through some of the most beautiful 19th-century homes on the market is Alex Brunkhorst, LA-based real estate agent and founder of Bungalux. From a Greek Revival home with gorgeous exposed brick walls in Manhattan's West Village to a crown jewel in one of Savannah, Georgia's most beautiful historic squares, beauty awaits.

Gallery

Real Estate WeeklyJuly 30, 2014

Pictured above, CORE Group hosted a summer party for agents, management and guests aboard the Honorable William Wall in the New York Harbor. 

New Listings

Real Estate WeeklyJuly 30, 2014

Upper West Side

41 West 72nd Street, #4B

$899,000

 

Renovated sponsor unit in the Hermitage, a full-service pre-war condo constructed in 1920. High, beamed ceilings, windowed kitchen with all-new appliances. Marble master bath with Waterworks fixtures. Prime location close to Central Park, Fairway and Trader Joe's. Transfer fees, taxes, and sponsor attorney fees paid by the purchaser. Listing agents: Stephen Gallagher & Natalie Rakowski, CORE Group.

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaJuly 29, 2014

Episode Description

 

 

Special Guest: Chad Carroll – Miami Broker 



Chad Carroll has just joined the cast of the new franchise show Million Dollar Listing Miami. At 29 years old and only being in the business since 2009, Chad is an Executive Vice President at Douglas Elliman in Miami, and extremely successful. Chad will talk about his successful real estate career and being selected as a cast member of the new Bravo TV show.

CORE Adds Some Flavor to Real Estate Marketing

Luxury DailyJuly 28, 2014

Campaign still for 15 Renwick property created by March IF Studies

 

Real estate brokerage firm CORE is taking an unorthodox approach to marketing a new building in the Hudson Square neighborhood of New York.

 

Although real estate purchases are arguably the most important commercial choices a consumer can make, real estate marketing tends to follow a dry and formulaic approach. CORE sought to break away from this format by creating a campaign that resembles something closer to what a fashion brand might produce.

 

“I wanted to capture the attention and imagination of our buyer and set the appropriate creative tone for the project,” said Shaun Osher, founder and CEO of CORE, New York.

 

“There are a number of generic projects on the market right now, but this one is particularly unique, so I wanted to send a message that was aligned with 15 Renwick,” he said.

 

“This is a neighborhood filled with creative people, thanks to companies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Weinstein, Miramax, Tribeca Film Institute, New York Magazine, Splashlight Studios, Adidas and others who are based in the area.”


Finding history


Core was tasked with generating interest for a new building, developed by IGI-USA, in Hudson Square that enters the market in the fall. Fifteen Renwick is a 31-unit building that includes townhomes, penthouses and 2- and 3-bedroom apartments.

 

Other features of the building include 8-foot windows, walnut flooring, Bosh washer and dryers, HVAC and more. Amenities include a fitness center, 24-hour butler, roofdeck, “zen” garden and onsite storage.

 

Normally, a brokerage firm would post images and videos of the property’s many perks and call it a day. CORE, however, decided to go beyond the basics, and dug around in the location’s history.

 

The architect James Renwick, who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral and many other structures, lived on the street that now bears his name with his family in the late 1700s.

 

CORE then enlisted portrait photographer Henry Leutwyler to interpret this fact. The photographer came up with a series of 15 portraits that suffuse stuffy aristocracy with a bright and visceral contemporary feel to create a jarring mix.

 

Print ads for the campaign will run in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, New York magazine, Beach magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, Surface, The Hollywood Reporter and others.

 

Real estate trades will carry digital versions, along with The New York Times, Monocole, Fast Company, Wallpaper and Cool Hunting.

 

Shifting priorities


Neighborhoods throughout New York that have traditionally remained less visible are now gaining attention.

 

For instance, new luxury development projects in the NoMad, north of Madison Square Park, district of Manhattan indicate that the once-overlooked neighborhood is on the rise as other areas become squeezed.

 

Real estate firm CORE recently closed sales for the residential condo 241 Fifth, commanding prices ranging from $820,000 to $10 million. Not to diminish the potential of other neighborhoods in the city, CORE also wrapped up sales further up Fifth Avenue for the property One Museum Mile on the same day (see story).

 

“As a company, we consistently take the approach that no two buildings, buyers, or projects are ever the same, so we work on our marketing strategies tailored for the specific project,” Mr. Osher said.

 

“We work towards creating a campaign that feels natural to the building and its future owners,” he said.

 

 

House of the Day: 130 Fort Greene Place

BrownstonerJuly 28, 2014

This four-story brick house has beautiful Greek Revival features but is in need of a top-to-bottom overhaul. Built in 1856, according to the listing, the landmarked house has a classical pediment over the front door, ear moldings around openings on the parlor floor, marble mantels with arches or flattened neoclassical columns, and original pocket doors.

 

The two-family house is 20 feet wide by 40 feet deep with an extension on the two lower floors. No kitchens or bathrooms are shown, and the listing says the property “will need complete updating.”

 

Think it’s worth the $2,395,000 ask?

15 Renwick's Steampunk Marketing is Up and Running

CurbedJuly 26, 2014

The weird marketing campaign at 15 Renwick is officially off the ground, now that signage has gone up around the construction site. The campaign—which seems to center around some weird reimagining of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and targets the coveted steampunk millionairedemographic—was designed by IF Studio and MARCH, with portraits taken by photographer Henry Leutwyler.

 

 

The 11-story, 31-unit buildling is being developed by Eldad Braunstein of IGI-USA, a subsidiary of Israel-based Izaki Group Investments. Shaun Osher and Doron Zwickel of CORE are handling sales, which will launch in September.

The Week’s Notable Renderings: 15 Renwick, 515 West 29th

The Real DealJuly 25, 2014

15 Renwick Street

 

Developer Eldad Blaustein's long-gestating Soho condominium project might be back in action. ODA's Eran Chen is handling the redesign of the 11-story, 31-unit property.

$1.8M Greenpoint Apartment Boasts Incredible 16-Foot High Exposed Ceilings

6SqFtJuly 25, 2014

When you hear about a Greenpoint apartment for sale, “loft” might not be what first pops into your head.  But apartment 8 at 190 West Street, currently listed for $1.825 million through CORE, will make you a believer in Brooklyn loft living.

 

 

The 1,364-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment has all of the loft-like charms you’d hope for–steel support columns, nine-inch oak plank flooring, and exposed wood ceiling beams, duct work, and pipes.  It also feels twice its size thanks to 16-foot ceilings, 40 feet of street-facing frontage, eight-foot-high windows, a large skylight, and an open layout that can easily accommodate a two-bedroom conversion.

 

The chef’s kitchen will definitely stop you in your tracks.  It’s outfitted with stainless steel appliances, open shelving made of reclaimed beech wood, custom hand-made wood cabinetry, and stone flooring.  The room’s current movable furniture will leave a great deal of room for creativity within the space.

 

 

Throughout the loft are big expanses of white walls, perfect for displaying large-scale artwork.  There are three closets, one of which is a utility closet with a washer/dryer hookup.  The modern bathroom is lined with crisp ceramic tiles, and also has a deep soaking tub and a wall-mounted porcelain sink.  Amenities include a shared roof deck with full Manhattan views, a private deeded parking space, and basement storage.  We should probably stop now–the old-school Tribeca lofts are getting jealous.

 

 

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