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Modern NYC weekly featured listing - 27 West 19th Street, PH

Modern NYCAugust 31, 2012
$6,850,000

Spanning two full floors of the Emory condominium, this Colin Cowie - designed penthouse is flawlessly customized. Offering a key-locked elevator, this approximately 3,000-square foot residence opens to a lounge area with a hidden, fully equipped wet bar. The first floor offers a custom bathroom, an open dining room that flows into a kitchen with high-end appliances and a prep area with endless storage space and two hidden pocket doors that can close off the dining room.

This 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home is completely wired and offers dark oak hardwood flooring throughout. The second floor comprises of a large master bedroom with an impeccable walk-in closet and master bathroom with large soaking tub, as well as a second bedroom currently configured as a living area/office.

The private rooftop terrace offers approximately 900-square feet of entertaining space, expansive views of Manhattan including the Empire State Building, and dumbwaiter service from the first floor kitchen.

The Emory offers white glove service with a 24-hour concierge, private spa and state-of-the-art fitness center.

Supersizing the Empty Nest

The New York TimesAugust 31, 2012
Joy Tomchin’s friends and neighbors thought she was nuts, and didn’t hesitate for a minute to tell her so.

Here she was a single mother with her only child, Evan, going off to college this fall, and rather than downsize or, O.K., simply stay put in the three-bedroom apartment she had bought 10 years ago at the Chelsea Mercantile, Ms. Tomchin instead held on to her original 2,100-square-foot unit and annexed the place next door for an additional 1,400 square feet.

The result after a gut renovation: four pleasingly sized bedrooms and four bathrooms, along with a large space encompassing a living room, dining room and kitchen.

“Twenty-one-hundred square feet sounds like a lot but it didn’t lay out right,” said Ms. Tomchin, a real estate developer, who wasn’t happy that the kitchen faced a wall and that Evan’s room was so small it necessitated a loft bed.

Ms. Tomchin was motivated, in part, by an eagerness for her son to return home often and with pleasure, perhaps even live in the apartment with his own family someday. But, the purchase and renovation was at least as much for mother as for son. “I’m 64 -- I plan to be around into my 90s and I wanted a place I could stay in my whole life and enjoy,” Ms. Tomchin said.

“I had flashes a few times that I shouldn’t be doing this,” she added. “I’ve got four bathrooms now and I don’t need four bathrooms. But I felt it was the right thing for me to do.”

Many New Yorkers resolutely hang on to the family apartment when their children leave for college, and perhaps for good reason. After all, the still bleak employment picture suggests that after the last strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” they’ll return to the nest for who knows how long.

Of course, a considerable number of people whose offspring move away from home choose to switch to more modest quarters in the city since they no longer need as much space. A subset of parents, though, view the departure of the children as an occasion to start thinking bigger and better. They want to upsize, or at the very least, to upgrade. For some, paying off that last tuition bill also gives them the wherewithal to buy the sort of space they have always wanted. They leap at the chance to trade in the family apartment for one better suited to hosting dinner parties and out-of-town guests.

In certain instances, said Kathy Braddock, founder of Rutenberg Realty, the children’s departure is viewed by some as a perfect time to get rid of the weekend home. “People think, ‘Who needs it?’ ” she said. “And they might take the money and get a larger apartment in the city.”

Those looking for more expansive quarters may be contemplating a future rich in grandchildren and want to make sure there’s ample room to accommodate them. “They envision a large, gracious space to entertain and to have the extended family gather,” said Joanie Schumacher, director of sales for the Laurel Condominium, on the East Side, which has attracted several upsizing empty-nesters. “They don’t see turning into grandparents who always go to their kids’ house.”

Some buyers may want an apartment with amenities that they deemed too fraught when their children were young, like a deck, a terrace or floor-to-ceiling windows — or too fragile, like high-gloss lacquer cupboard doors or marble countertops.

“When I’m showing apartments to couples who are leaving the family apartment, they’re looking for the opposite of what they had — these people want their dream apartment,” said Barbara S. Fox, the owner and founder of the Fox Residential Group.

While their children’s rooms could be easily turned into functional rooms if they stayed in their now empty nest, she added: “They don’t want to be reminded they were the kids’ rooms. They want to start fresh and put their own adult imprimatur on something.”

Shaun Osher, the founder and chief executive of CORE, a boutique residential brokerage company, put it this way: “The biggest change to your life is when you have kids. But the biggest change after that is when your kids move out.”

Empty-nesters are naturally less interested in child-focused building amenities like a playroom, and may be more interested in a building that comes with a spa. “When you’re an empty-nester and you have the means, you buy the property that best addresses your needs,” Mr. Osher said. “That may be fewer bedrooms but more open space like with a loft. You may want a bigger dining room because you’re entertaining more.”

When Michael Namer’s sons went off to college, he and his wife, Christine, a psychiatrist, moved from a 1,500-square-foot apartment on Sullivan Street with two bedrooms and two baths to a 2,000-square-foot space on West 11th Street with three bedrooms and three and a half baths. The building is fully renovated and their new apartment comes with a much bigger kitchen and living room.

“And we now have a doorman and a storage locker,” said Mr. Namer, a property developer. “We didn’t have either of those before.”

Downsizing, he said, was never a consideration: “Some couples cash out when their kids leave. They buy a smaller apartment in New York and get a place in Florida or the Hamptons.”

Mr. Namer continued: “But we already have a summer house and we like living in a larger apartment. We wanted more room. We like having more places to sit.”

He added, with a laugh, “We don’t encourage our children to visit.”

Ms. Braddock of Rutenberg Realty said upsizing in New York is an elastic term, and empty-nesters may not intentionally set out to get a bigger space. “People don’t say I have to go from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet,” she said.

More important considerations might be how a property is laid out or what neighborhood it’s in. Ms. Braddock said: “People will think: ‘The kids are gone, let’s move downtown. Let’s get a terrace.’ ”

Living on the Upper East Side was important for George and Margee Khouri when they were raising their daughter, Hope, who attended a Catholic girls’ school in the neighborhood. When she graduated, “there was no longer that need,” said Mrs. Khouri, 63, a retired teacher who now works for her husband, a real estate lawyer.

“George grew up in Brooklyn Heights and his family still owns a brownstone there with a backyard,” she said. “I said to him, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have an apartment with outdoor space?’ ”

So when the Khouris found a buyer for their two-bedroom 900-square-foot co-op on East 88th Street in Manhattan, they moved to a Brooklyn Heights apartment that’s more than 20 percent larger and has a 300-square-foot terrace, the site of many intimate dinners for two.

“I would never have felt comfortable with that when our daughter was young,” Mrs. Khouri said. “I would have been hovering over her all the time to make sure she didn’t go out there alone and I would have had all sort of locks on it.”

Karen Advocate-Connolly, a vice president for Douglas-Elliman, and her husband, Tom Connolly, a partner at Ernst & Young, knew they had some decisions to make when their son, Justin, went off to college, and their daughter, Sydney, was almost finished with high school. The lease was up on their 1,600-square-foot three-bedroom apartment in the Sutton Place area, and the rent would be skyrocketing. Should they renew? Should they buy a smaller apartment and perhaps a second vacation place? They already had one in Vermont.

“We were looking ahead and wondering where we wanted to settle,” said Ms. Advocate-Connolly, adding that they ultimately decided to remain in Manhattan. “And when we were thinking about the size of the apartment, we didn’t want our kids to feel there wouldn’t be room for them to move back home.”

Or, she added, that there wouldn’t be room for their essential possessions.

“Justin was looking at his prospective bedroom at one place we were considering and he said, ‘Well, I guess I don’t need my La-Z-Boy in the new apartment,” Ms. Advocate-Connolly said of her son’s space-hogging lounging chair. “And that was a deal breaker. The ultimate test was whether his bedroom could fit the La-Z-Boy.”

No problems like that exist in the family’s new four-bedroom, 2,800-square-foot apartment, which is almost at the end of a gut renovation.
Big furniture notwithstanding, not everything about the co-op is so accommodating to the younger generation. “The materials, like marble counter tops, aren’t so kid-friendly,” she said. “Now that my children are older, I hope they can handle it.”

Ms. Advocate-Connolly said she also chose plumbing and lighting fixtures that “are edgier than what we had before,” adding that many of her empty-nest clients are following suit.

“They’ve lived in a traditional apartment and now they want to go to a loft,” she said. “They don’t care about a children’s bathroom. They want a big shower for themselves. People are going back to their just married state — but with a lot more money to spend.”

A Neighborhood Built From Scratch

The New York TimesAugust 30, 2012
To most Manhattanites, Long Island City brings to mind a waterfront with soaring glass towers, reclaimed gantries and a neon-infused Pepsi sign. But farther inland, in another section surrounding a neo-Classical-style courthouse, a residential neighborhood is being created.

A 2001 rezoning of Long Island City planted the seeds for a residential transformation of the nearly 30-block Court Square area, which had been primarily low-lying warehouses and auto repair shops, punctuated by a few commercial towers, including the 50-story Citigroup tower, and a smattering of homes.

Despite the global real estate crisis of 2008, a handful of residential condominium developments got built in recent years, including Arris Lofts, Vere, 44-27 Purves Street and the Industry. New businesses are also appearing, like Burger Garage and Dutch Kills bar, which joined old staples like Sage General Store and Brooks 1890 restaurant.

But there is more to come. About a dozen residential developments that could add as many as 4,700 apartments, most of them rentals, are planned in the next few years. To capitalize on these developments, NestSeekers International is opening a branch to serve the emerging neighborhood.

Court Square “will be a work in progress over the next few years, but by the time it’s all said and done, we could have almost the same number of units as the waterfront,” said Adrian Lupu, a senior vice president of NestSeekers, adding that the new buildings could double Long Island City’s population.

One of the largest projects, the highly visible Linc LIC at 43-10 Crescent Street, has 709 units that will start renting next spring. Built by the Rockrose Development Corporation, Linc LIC will add badly needed amenities to the neighborhood, including a large grocery store and drugstore, said Justin Elghanayan, the president of Rockrose.

“This neighborhood’s changing, and it’s about to change a lot more,” said Mr. Elghanayan, who attributes the area’s growth to the office workers in the large commercial towers and the artists attracted by the Museum of Modern Art branch called MoMA PS 1 and the Sculpture Center on Purves Street. “A lot of these warehouses around here are filled with artists,” he said.

Rockrose is so involved in the area’s growth that, in less than a year, it plans to break ground on one or two more towers nearby at 43-25 Hunter Street for a total of 1,000 rental units. Rockrose will also restore a picturesque auto-body shop a block away to become the new home of M. Wells, a quirky Long Island City diner that sent foodies into a funk last summer when it closed after losing its lease in a building a few blocks to the west. Mr. Elghanayan said he sees the diner becoming a “sort of retail and cultural hub” for the area.

“The auto-body shop has skylights and wooden ceilings, and it will be pretty cool,” he said. “Our philosophy has been not to knock everything down and do something new, but to see what we can preserve, because Long Island City has a certain character here — this industrial, gritty past that creates a certain charm.”

Rockrose may be taking the lead, but other developers have discovered the Court Square area. Ekstein Development, led by the president Erik Ekstein, plans to develop two midsize rental buildings: one with 98 units at 26-14 Jackson Avenue, and another with 59 units at 46-09 11th Street. Both should be completed and leasing by early 2014.

“We love the area, and we know it very well,” said Mr. Ekstein, whose company has developed and owned other properties in Long Island City. He said the two rental buildings will use their amenities to help create the sense of community, and he anticipates attracting young professionals in their late 20s and early 30s to the neighborhood. “It will be mostly people just starting out — this may be their first time living alone,” he said.

While rents have been rising in the Court Square area, Mr. Elghanayan said he still anticipates that monthly rents in Rockrose’s buildings will be about 10 percent less than on the waterfront, where apartments tend to be larger. Studios will be about $1,900; one-bedrooms about $2,500 to $2,600; and two-bedrooms about $3,300, he said.

A recognizable gateway to the Court Square area is the 5Pointz arts center, a collection of moldering warehouses that are now covered in vibrant graffiti by various artists and that is passed by the elevated No. 7 subway train as it trundles into the station. For some, the graffiti is a totem of the area’s artistic style, but the colorful knot of aerosol art will most likely fall casualty to two buildings with about 1,300 rental units that are planned by the lot’s owner. The project is currently going through the community approval process.

Other developments planned for the Court Square area include two rental towers being developed by the Long Island company Heatherwood Communities; construction of several midsize high-rises along Purves Street by different developers; conversion of a former electric plant into as many as 400 units; and construction of a handful of other small to midsize residential buildings.

An important part of Court Square’s appeal to residents is the No. 7 station, which is three stops from Midtown Manhattan, as well as another subway station where the E and M trains are just one stop from Midtown. (There is also a station for the G line, for access to Brooklyn.)

While the waterfront area has only the No. 7 train, which goes into Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street, the different Court Square trains serve a wider swath of the Midtown population, said Doron Zwickel, an executive vice president and Long Island City expert with the marketing firm CORE.

Mr. Zwickel, who helped sell out Arris Lofts in Court Square about three years ago, said that since April, 60 percent of the 45 condo units have sold at a new development called One Murray Park, on the fringes of Court Square. Prices are averaging about $750 a square foot, he said. “The prices I’m getting there have surpassed the numbers I was getting here in 2006 and 2007, at the height of the real estate market,” he said.

Real Estate Want: One Gorgeous Galley

Brick UndergroundAugust 30, 2012
Galley kitchens can be small, dark, and not especially handsome (unless you employ some of our tricks), but the spectacularly spacious scene in this $1 million Yorkville 2-bed/2-bath co-op shatters that stereotype.

The 9-foot deep kitchen feels open and welcoming with wood floors, a generously sized window, and light quartz countertops that balance out the darker glass tile backsplash and red lower cabinets.

We can imagine flowing around the space Fantasia-style from the fridge to the sink to the oven, and then administering finishing touches on that long stretch of counter, grabbing a bottle of wine from the lower wine fridge and sweeping out to greet our guests.
Our only critique: that mismatched dishwasher sticks out like a sore thumb!

New Listing: 214 West 16th Street, #1S/2S

Brokers WeeklyAugust 29, 2012
Chelsea
214 West 16th St. #1S/2S
$1,450,000

Turn-of-the-century triplex with private garden. One-bedroom, media room and 2-bathrooms. Large, south-facing windows, gracious living area, spiral staircase, private master suite, wide plank hardwood floors, custom light¬ing, central AC. Open, renovated kitchen, media room with custom built-in desk. Master suite has a dressing area, custom closets, and pocket doors that lead to five-fixture bathroom. Private outdoor space features built-in gas grill, refrigerator, sink, custom wood panels and LED lighting. Listing agent: Michael Rubin, CORE.

StreetEasy’s Most Wanted: Stairmaster Edition (Multi-levels with Multiple Perks)

Brick UndergroundAugust 24, 2012
If you’re willing to settle for a non-doorman building (and with this garden, who wouldn’t?), this $1.45m two-bedroom triplex co-op in Chelsea features a private garden with a built-in gas grill, fridge, sink, sound system, custom wood panels and LED lighting. You could practically live outside!

No need to hit the gym in the morning -- just hit the stairs in a multi-level apartment. And if you can make a little money from it by renting out a level, or spend some time in your private garden, all the better.
This week, StreetEasy’s Most Wanted -- the 10 sales listings StreetEasy users saved more often than any others this week -- shines a spotlight on duplexes and triplexes with extra perks like possible rental income and private outdoor space.

When you’re not climbing the spiral staircase of a $1.45m two-bedroom triplex co-op in Chelsea, you can relax in its private garden. The walk-up is located on West 16th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and the garden features a built-in gas grill, fridge, sink, custom wood panels, LED lighting and a sound system. Central a/c runs inside too...so does a live-in super.

On 10th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) in Park Slope, a $1.575m three-bedroom multi-family townhouse is comprised of an owner’s duplex and a single floor rental. If you don’t want a tenant -- or want to pick your own -- the space is delivered vacant. The mechanicals have recently been updated, and there are new windows.

A $510k one-bedroom duplex co-op affords extra exercise, since it’s located on the third and fourth floors of a walk-up. Located on Jane Street -- between Hudson Street and Eighth Avenue -- the unit has new windows. Pied-a-terres are welcome and sublets are allowed after 24 months of ownership. But there’s no laundry in the building.

Whether you’re looking for duplexes, triplexes, or standard one-levelers, browse the rest of the Most Wanted below.
1. 168 Sterling Place—3-bed condo, $875k
2. 330 West 72nd Street—2-bed co-op, $1.295m
3. 51 Jane Street—1-bed co-op, $510k
4. 415 10th Street—3-bed multi-family, $1.575m
5. 175 West 93rd Street—3-bed co-op, $1.495m
6. 10 Plaza Street—2-bed co-op, $499k
7. 8 East 12th Street—2-bed condo, $1.8m
8. 80 Chambers Street—1-bed condo, $875k
9. 54 East 8th Street—2-bed co-op, $695k
10. 214 West 16th Street—2-bed co-op, $1.45m

Monthly Charges Impact Buyers and Brokers in City’s Top Buildings

The Real DealAugust 24, 2012
Buyers of apartments in the Carlyle co-op hotel on East 76th Street pay $10.23 per square-foot per month in maintenance charges for services such as twice-daily housekeeping, bathrobe and sheet use, discounts on hotel services, training sessions and room service. According to the New York Times, the price, which comes out to $455,352 for Hollywood power broker Brad Grey’s 3,000-square-foot apartment, is the highest in the city.

The Trump Soho ($7.60 per foot), Trump International ($6.72), the Sherry-Netherland ($6.03), the Mark ($4.47) and the Stanhope ($4.32) are some of the other Manhattan apartment buildings with the highest common or maintenance fees, according to Miller Samuel data.
These fees come in to play for brokers with high-end listings, looking to set appropriate prices. Core broker Emily Beare said the fees typically play a role in the decision for buyers looking to spend less than $10 million. These fees can often play a role in the resale value of the apartment, and as previously reported, have recently embarrassed for buyers who encounter financial struggles. But buyers spending more than $10 million, noted Brown Harris Stevens’ Kathy Sloane, would usually be paying hundreds of thousands a year for their own staff anyway.

Typically, the best deals can be had at new condominium developments. The Times said the common charge on Leroy Schecter’s 15 Central Park West combination comes out to just $1.86 per foot, thanks in part to a tax abatement. [NYT]

The Most Pampering, the Highest Fees

The New York TimesAugust 23, 2012
After paying $15.5 million last November for a 3,000-square-foot apartment at the Carlyle, you would think the Hollywood power broker Brad Grey could rest easy knowing he had bought into a hot Manhattan luxury market.

But there is the little matter of the $455,352 a year that Mr. Grey, the chairman of Paramount Pictures, will have to cough up in maintenance charges. The storied co-op hotel on the Upper East Side, where President John F. Kennedy kept a penthouse suite, charges more per square foot in monthly fees than any other residential building in New York, according to Miller Samuel, a property appraiser.

Still, when you want the best pampering Manhattan has to offer, you find the money. Mr. Grey hasn’t been heard complaining about the $37,946 a month he has to pay to maintain his four-bedroom apartment.

After all, for the price of a new BMW each month, he gets the prestige and prized location of the Carlyle, at 35 East 76th Street, not to mention twice-daily housekeeping service, daily newspapers, and use of Frette bathrobes and 600-count Yves Delorme bedding. There are discounts on laundry, personal training sessions and room-service food and drink.

Sound like a bargain? That depends on what your priorities are.

For those willing to put down millions to own an apartment in Manhattan, a high tolerance for some of the highest monthly charges in the world is almost a prerequisite. Imagine the privilege of paying the equivalent, on an annual basis, of the cost of a new home in many parts of the country — all to ensure that you can get a cup of coffee, or a shirt ironed, at all hours of the day.

“It is a way of life that people really appreciate whose lives are quite busy and full,” said Kathy Sloane, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens who has sold apartments in the Carlyle. “They want everything to be organized for them, and they don’t ever want to question the standard.”

Aside from the Carlyle, which charges monthly maintenance fees of $10.23 per square foot on average, the buildings charging the most every month include the Sherry-Netherland ($6.03), the Lombardy ($4.24) and the Pierre ($3.37), according to Miller Samuel.

Then there are the condo hotels like Trump SoHo, which charges $7.60 per square foot, with Trump International, charging $6.72.
Some condos also rank high among the buildings whose residents are cutting the biggest monthly checks. The Mark charges $4.47 a
square foot. At 995 Fifth — formerly the Stanhope Hotel — you’ll be paying $4.32.

By comparison, Manhattan co-ops charge an average of $1.70 per square foot in maintenance fees, while condos charge $1.57 a square foot on average for the common charge plus real estate taxes, according to Miller Samuel.
So what else do you get for the more than $10 a square foot you would pay at the Carlyle?

Well, there’s window-washing, heavy cleanings, bath amenities, cable television and telephone voice mail. Discounted services also include preferred pricing on treatments at the hotel’s Sense spa, and 20 percent off on parking rates in the garage.

But don’t delude yourself that you’ll get services like dog-walking, couriers and personalized flower arrangements. Those are all extra, said Jennifer Cooke, a spokeswoman for the hotel.

The full-time staff of 400 people — for the 187 hotel rooms and 51 residences — make the maintenance charges palatable to buyers, brokers said.

“You are really looking at buyers who, in order to maintain a staff in any residence that could deliver all of the things that are deliverable at the Carlyle, would have to look at spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on that staff,” Ms. Sloane said.

Brokers say they have to price apartments very carefully at the hotel co-ops. Emily Beare, a broker with CORE, said she had had clients looking to spend $10 million or less who had turned down the Pierre because of the monthly maintenance. But she said she had never had a well-heeled buyer looking to spend more than $10 million reject the idea of hotel living simply because of high monthly charges.

When a prized apartment in one of the hotels becomes available, “there is a very immediate market for it,” Ms. Sloane said. Before selling a unit in the Carlyle a few months ago, she invited a group of brokers to help her price it. “We settled on a price, but everyone said that with that maintenance, the apartment is bound to be there a long time.”

She sold it in four days, she said.

How does the Carlyle justify charging more than three times, on average, what the Pierre charges its co-op residents? Christopher Burch lived in the Pierre for about 20 years and headed the co-op board before his divorce from the fashion designer Tory Burch. He later spent more than a year at the Carlyle as well. He sees a comparable level of service at the two hotels, but says the ownership structure is different at the Pierre, allowing for lower monthly fees.

“The Pierre is a tremendous deal,” Mr. Burch said. “It’s a steal.”

Ms. Cooke said the “manner in which we charge at the Carlyle has been the same since the co-op was first formed in 1970.”

For many buyers the Carlyle’s Upper East Side address is simply more prestigious than the Pierre’s, closer to Midtown, brokers said. And some brokers claim that the elevators at the Pierre are not attended 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as they are at the Carlyle, though a spokeswoman at the Pierre says they are.

You buy into an iconic New York experience at the Carlyle. Where else can you hobnob with world leaders, rock legends like Mick Jagger and Hollywood aristocracy like Woody Allen, who performs with his jazz band at Café Carlyle?

President Kennedy was said to have sneaked Marilyn Monroe into the hotel for visits — most famously through a series of tunnels under the property — after she sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at his birthday gala at Madison Square Garden in 1962, according to the author Nick Foulkes, in the book “The Carlyle” (Assouline, 2007). Ms. Cooke said nobody currently on staff was there in 1962, but “that is the rumor that has been passed through the years.”

That lore has value. The pampering tradition at hotels like the Carlyle has inspired developers to try to emulate much of that service experience in new condo developments like 15 Central Park West and the yet-unfinished One57.

It’s hard not to see those buildings as a bit of a deal compared with the Carlyle. The steel magnate Leroy Schecter has listed two apartments together at 15 Central Park West for $95 million. The common charge and taxes (with a 10-year tax abatement helping out) come to about $1.86 a square foot.

“Why not be in a building that is giving you everything you want and yet your monthlies don’t have to be astronomical?” asked Ms. Beare, Mr. Schecter’s broker.

Elizabeth Sahlman, a broker at Corcoran, can understand why that wouldn’t work for some.
At the hotels, “it is the twice-daily housekeeping that a lot of residents just love,” she said.

New Listing: 54 E8th St. #3T

Brokers WeeklyAugust 22, 2012
Greenwich Village
54 E8th St. #3T
$695,000

Renovated, two bedroom co-op home in building with elevator, private garden, live-in super, renovated common laundry room, voice intercom and an on-site parking garage. The apartment has an entry hall, living room and dining area, open, windowed kitchen with granite counter tops. Hardwood floors and recessed lighting. Built-in closets. Marble bath with jacuzzi tub. Pets allowed. Broker: Maggie Kent, Debbie Batres; CORE.

Sheik of E. 71st St.: Qatar PM Doles Out $47 Million for Double-wide Townhouse

NY Daily NewsAugust 22, 2012
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani had trouble finding a co-op that would accept him — and his 2 wives, over a dozen kids and security guards licensed to carry automatic weapons.

22 East 71st Street in the Upper East Side.
The Sultan has finally landed. After being turned down at a Fifth Ave. coop board and having faced resistance at a luxury condominium on W. 57th St., the Prime Minister of Qatar closed on a townhouse at 22 East 71st St. for $47 million.

The seller, mogul Aby Rosen, originally listed the property for $75 million. He paid $15.65 million for the home in 2004. His sister-in-law, Samantha Boardman of Sotheby's International Realty, was the listing broker. Her potential commission comes to $1.4 million before taxes and with a normal 70-30 percent agency split. Neither Rosen nor Boardman returned calls. Rosen never lived at the home, purchasing the property as an investment and event space.

The 45-foot-wide townhouse built in 1922 measures approximately 21,000 square-feet. It housed the 2009 Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Designer Show House. The original architect, C.P.H. Gilbert, was renowned for designing the top townhomes of his day. This home has a grand marble-arched entryway and curved main staircase.
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani had a terrible time finding a New York City home. He was rejected by the co-op board at 907 Fifth Ave., where he tried to combine two homes for $31 million. Negotiations for the $100 million penthouse at One57 fell through over the handling of the Sheik's entourage, which includes two wives, more than a dozen children, and security licensed to carry automatic weapons.

"A townhouse may have been the right move for this guy from the beginning," said CORE vice president Jarrod Guy Randolph, who has a multi-million-dollar penthouse listing nearby. "The upper East Side townhouse market is strong, but it doesn't have the cachet of a new condominium, especially among foreign buyers. We're not even close to the $100 million townhouse sale."

Star Real Estate: Edie Falco’s Tribeca Penthouse For Sale

EXTRAAugust 22, 2012
“Extra’s” inside the chicest, coolest, most expensive star pads Manhattan’s ever seen!

Edie Falco’s 3,000 square-foot Tribeca penthouse, Claire Danes’ mid century modern SoHo dream pad and Joan Collins’ Manhattan dynasty are among the multi-million dollar estates on the market.
Watch the video to find out more!

Visit CoreNYC.com for more information on Joan Collins' estate and Luxe.TruliaBlog.com for more on Claire Danes and Edie Falco's pads.

2012 Multimillion Dollar Homes with Big Surprises

TopTenRealEstateDeals.comAugust 21, 2012
When the housing market started hitting the skids in 2008, mega-mansions and the very high end properties seemed to hold their own.
Sometime a little over a year ago, we watched as mansion after mansion started appearing at hugely discounted rates, and when the flood hit, we wondered if it would ever end. There were so many, after a while they all started looking alike and we were no longer left in awe but were experiencing slight pangs of boredom.

All of a sudden spring of 2012 arrived and houses were selling, the great Florida oceanfront condos were disappearing, mega mansions were selling, and homes taken off the market were put back on . . . at a higher price. At TopTenRealEstateDeals.com we were all eyes and ears. Agents were so busy they were never in the office and always seemed to be with clients. Sales were happening at a rate not experienced since 2007!

Another change was also making itself apparent: The mansions with the real excitement were just starting to hit the market. It was enough to make our heads spin and our pulses race.

After an in-depth look at today’s exciting mega offerings, the researchers at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com have rounded up the cream of the crop of these imaginative super homes guaranteed to thrill and amaze.

How would you like to live on a sandy beach and lie in bed under an open roof to count falling stars before falling to sleep. It makes counting sheep passe! Or you live in New York, are always in a hurry with no patience for running up and down the stairs. So take the slide!

You could be a history buff with paneling from King James II’s hunting lodge, circa 1650 or have a speakeasy hidden behind shelves of library books. Or for nature lovers, what about living inside your own jungle?

Prepare to be awed while we welcome you to tour some of the most spectacular homes today and discover the remarkable surprises they hold within their walls. It’s time to see American ingenuity in action!

1. The Penthouse Slide!

Bed(s): 4 | Bath(s): 4 | Square Footage: 2,400 | Price: $3,990,000

Get tired of dragging yourself up and down the stairs to the second floor? What about carrying that huge armful of laundry down the stairs to the first floor laundry, tempting fate for a head over heels tumble? Here’s a glamour penthouse that is guaranteed to change your attitude. Walk up - slide down! Wheeee! Laundry? Just throw it down the slide and follow it down. Just be sure to keep the upstairs landing nice and neat since every guest who walks through the door won’t be able to resist.

Rarely does so much glamour come with so much fun, not to mention the conversation piece of the century. Formerly owned by 27-year-old pro poker player Phil Galfond, who moved to Canada when the U.S. Feds cracked down on Internet gambling, it’s said that he installed the helical slide so he could quickly get back to his computer during game breaks. In fact, Phil purchased the upstairs apartment and the downstairs unit and combined them into a duplex, adding a snappy Italian-made "Rintal" stair to ascend in style. The slide is housed in an 18’ tall glassed-in atrium with glass railings.

With over 2,400sf, the penthouse is accessed via a private keyed elevator and also includes a media-game room, home office, a private roof deck and two large glass walled terraces. Floors are white maple hardwood and the kitchen is resplendent with Leibherr, Bosch and stone countertops. Located in the East Village, amenities include a common area landscaped roof terrace with black marble bar and pool and private cabanas, a 24-hour doorman and concierge. There is also a BBQ grill area, a fitness center and courtyard garden.

2. Beach House with Retracting Roof!

Bed(s): 4 | Bath(s): 5 | Square Footage: 2,550 | Price: $6,499,000

Starry nights, the full moon . . . ET? Yes, just by looking at the ceiling in your own beach house . . . As if looking out to see the beach wasn’t enough! At first stunned by the 3-story glass entry foyer, looking skyward is an architectural marvel of design with its retractable glass ceiling crown - just a taste of what is yet to come. Opulence abounds in every square inch of this home that opens from every level with floor to ceiling retractable glass walls for views across sandy beach to the Pacific’s horizon. True California beach living has been achieved with indoor-outdoor living where the sounds of the surf, ocean breezes and starry nights become as much a part of one’s day as waking up in the morning. When it’s time for total privacy, however, with the touch of a button, glass walls close and another button brings down window coverings.

The tastefully designed living room will delight family and guests alike with its fireplace and spectacular glass walled Jacuzzi, an elegant and unexpected feature geared to please. The kitchen is pure gourmet with a wall overlooking the beach, elegant dining area and exquisite materials such as the opalescent glass bar top. High-end appliances will make regular mealtime a pleasure and entertaining exciting for both guests and cook. Creature comforts are enhanced by Smart Home technology as it caters to every electronic desire including an indoor/outdoor surveillance system, one-touch fireplace, and automatic lighting, audio/visual and window coverings. Most homes today have a media room, but unlike all the rest, this home hasthree home theaters featuring surround sound and 50 inch plasma screens. An expansive master suite on the oceanfront features its own private balcony and a luxurious bathroom with a steam shower and spa tub. Star gaze as you soak away your troubles and luxuriate in this unbelievable contemporary-design where the roof retracts at the touch of a button exposing the vast night sky.

Enjoy an evening BBQ beachside on the patio, torches lit, while you toast the sunset and the end of another glorious day.

3. Earthship with Waterfall & Jungle!

Bed(s): 3 | Bath(s): 2 | Square Footage: 5,400 | Price: $1,500,000

Before you scoff once again at the Hippie Movement, and while you were out there practicing the Yuppisim that is quickly bringing you to post-consumerism ruin, maybe it’s time to be honest and say that maybe they had something after all! Whether it was the LSD or their innate ability to see the future, the ones who persevered have been creating and fine-tuning the earthship while the rest of us have been oblivious - until now. It’s an idea for alternative living that has finally come into its own. No need to take a trip to the tropics or move to another country to save money when you can live in a sustainable tropical jungle inside your own home . . . . In New Mexico, USA!

Sunshine, orchids hanging from rocks, fruit trees and only the sound of a trickling waterfall in a home with no electric bill, organic vegetables and herbs at your fingertips and an endless supply of fresh fish at the drop of a hook. Your own Garden of Eden without the serpents! This elegant home is sure to excite the imagination of all who wish to regain control of their lives and their pocketbooks without giving up the creature comforts we’ve come to enjoy.

Based on the belief that we’re not free until we livefree, Mike Reynolds, the Earthship Biotecture architect of The Phoenix earthship, has described it this way: "There's nothing coming into this house, no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used ... We're sitting on 6,000 gallons of water, growing food, sewage internalized, 70 degrees [or 21 degrees C] year-round ... What these kind of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands ... A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store."

New Mexico earthship includes interior waterfall in the living room and a jungle in which you can catch fresh fish for dinner.

4. Philadelphia Speakeasy & Hunting Lodge!

Bed(s): 8 | Bath(s): 9 | Square Footage: 11,000 | Price: $4,750,000

Run your fingers over paneling over four centuries old. Imagine what these walls saw inside the King James II hunting lodge from whence they came? Move then from the 1650’s to the early 1930’s to find the secret bookcase that when pushed, swings open to the Speakeasy Bar, so cleverly and completely hidden from potential raids. Reading history is one thing, having the honor of touching the real thing is probably as close to a going-back-in-time experience as most will ever have. Touching brings to life stories with meanings never fully grasped from the written word. Copperwood Estate, the French Normanesque castle in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania holds this special magic as few others can.

Built in 1932, Prohibition had already been going strong for 12 years with no end in sight. For those who could afford it, building a Speakeasy into a home then was as prevalent as a room devoted to media viewing is today. Both represent the Then & Now home entertainment preferences of the time. Copperwood Estate was and is one of Chestnut Hill’s grandest estates. Majestically sprawling its 11,000sf across more than 5 acres of lawns, evergreens and flowering trees with pool, tennis court and 3-bedroom guest cottage, it’s a vision of stone walls and courtyards with towering chimneys with the acreage abbuting Wissahickon Park, creating an estate cloaked in privacy.

Completely updated for today’s lifestyle, some of the new features include a large new kitchen with dining and sitting room adjoined by butler’s pantry, family room, billiards room, wet bar, and bowling alley for casual entertaining. There are also his-and-hers offices with a conference room. Large fireplaces are found in many of the estate’s main rooms and bedrooms.

5. Miami Mansion with Moat!

Bed(s): 8 | Bath(s): 10 | Square Footage: 10,124 | Price: $10,900,000

No, it’s not a large swimming pool, it’s a moat to thwart rampaging Crusaders. This amazing property is a dream come true for lovers of the Medieval; for those who are tired of glass and steel or those for whom a Tara-style plantation holds no interest.

A study in perfect symmetry, the property was designed and owned by master builder Charles Sieger. Looking like a string of diamonds, the property is entered through a long driveway that goes across a bridge and into a diamond shaped motor court accented by a fountain. The castle was built in 2007 and has 10,124sf of living space which contains 8 bedrooms, 10 baths and is 3-stories tall with an elevator. There is also a media room, recreation room, a civilized master bath with a bidet, formal rooms, eat-in kitchen with breakfast room and a loft. A separate guest house is on the grounds along with formal gardens, a koi pond, swimming pool and twin gazebos. The gardens are formal, symmetrical and quite calming, transporting one back to centuries past.

The only thing missing? Peacocks strutting on the grounds. You know you can’t have a castle without peacocks. A project for the new owner. For the man who would be king, over 10,000 square feet of castle, Crusader security included.

6. 3D Theater & Underground Rifle Range!

Bed(s): 7 | Bath(s): 10 | Square Footage: 44,416 | Price: $78,800,000

Not your everyday mega-mansion, this stately Palladian home is sited on almost 8 acres in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country, Bradbury, California. It’s the house that entertains you . . and your any sized guest list. Sheathed in French limestone from walls to outdoor living spaces, and built with the most valuable materials brought in from around the world, this brand new elaborate compound wants for nothing. All you have to do is arrange for deliveries and you’ll never have need to leave the estate; neither will you tire of seeing the same walls since it takes time to traverse 44,416sf of living space, not to mention experiencing the surprise amenities!

Grand rooms include vaulted 40’ ceilings, 6 fireplaces, a chef’s kitchen with pizza oven, a walk-in refrigerator and freezer and a walk-in butler’s pantry. Included in the 7 bedrooms are two master suites and to truly get away from it all is an inspiring 2-story library that will make you forget about the computer and have you rereading the classics. For conventional recreation, invite your guests into the 15 person Jacuzzi and a swim in the raised infinity-edged pool, or a wine tasting in the 2,000 bottle cellar. But here comes the fun! For unconventional recreation, how about the 3D movie theatre, or fishing in the temperature controlled trout pond with its 2-story waterfall.

Not enough? How about a turn at the subterranean firing range? Another possibility is a serious poker game in the amazing poker lounge. Endless amazement, endless enjoyment and space enough to share with all your friends, family and business associates.

At the end of the day, nightcap in hand, it’s a perfect time to gaze out over the city lights and the vast Pacific and contemplate how it feels to have achieved heaven on earth.

7. The Disco House!

Bath(s): | Square Footage: 16,000 | Price: $8,900,000

Totally hip, totally new . . .and it made a local neon manufacturer a wealthy man! It’s pure Hollywood - the Hollywood that we all expect with glitz, glamour, and contemporary style. No need to crane your neck for a view of the Hollywood sign since your own is spanned along the wall of the 40’ pool, casting its red neon glow across the nighttime patio. It’s a home guaranteed to light up your life and thrill your guests, who will forever be fighting for invitations. This is the house where memories will be made that will last long into your old age when they really count... Here’s where you can say you set the town on its ear when you tell your grandchildren tales of the glamour life. But wait! We’re not there yet, so it’s time to get started by owning the home that’s the talk of the town.

If you’re wondering how good taste and neon go together, this fabulous house with its own disco, is all glass perched over Lake Hollywood with spectacular city views. There are enough bedrooms and baths so when partying friends feel the need to crash rather than drive, you can still live totally undisturbed. Two of the many bedrooms are master suites and the main master has exceptional his-and-hers outfitted dressing rooms. There is also a movie theatre with a 160” screen, a fully equipped gym, pool table and ping pong.

Travel between floors via the floating glass staircase or elevator with serious “wow” factor.
It’s the entertainment that is the piece de resistance. Spanning 80’ and opening to the pool deck and view of your own Hollywood sign, is a delightful Disco. It has all the trappings that make a party come alive with well designed lighting, lots of neon and of course, the bar and sound system. Cleverly conceived, guests can dance the night away or gather into cozy groups for more laid back conversation. Maybe it’s time to make your own Hollywood history!

8. The Giant Guitar Entry Drive!

Bed(s): 15 | Bath(s): 22 | Square Footage: 50,000 | Price: $13,900,000

Elvis would have loved a mansion with a landscaped, monster-sized guitar leading up to his front door, but since he's no longer around, all arguments to the contrary, maybe Garth or Kenny would be a perfect match. It was certainly built for guitar-loving royalty. The aerial view of the guitar entrance is stunning with perfect symmetry, leaving no doubt in one’s mind as to what they’re viewing. And if you’re amazed by that, the view on Google Earth is even more impressive. You see the length of the neck and the tuners too! Even the sound hole is represented by a fountain appearing blue from the air. Did the landscape architect hover over in a helicopter to check on his work? You decide.

Don’t let the one-of-a-kind guitar entrance fool you into thinking this is just one more ho-hum mega mansion built with superstar big bucks and no taste. Instead, it’s as though Buckingham Palace was mysteriously transported to Birmingham, Alabama. There’s a reason. The elaborate, artful details are the product of the International Fine Art Conservation Studios, Inc. (IFACS), which is also responsible for much of the opulence of the real Buckingham Palace!

Building materials exceed all expectations with antique light fixtures, marble, limestone, maple floors, slate roof, copper gutters and mahogany doors and windows. The quality of the artistically detailed ceilings and wall murals is a rare find. Also exceptional is the kitchen (culinary arts center) adorned with pheasants' tails and filled with exotic wood fluted columns, which would bring tears of joy to any chef, professional or otherwise. The sophisticated Crestron control system manages all electronics and the house also has a commercial elevator, large office and 25-seat movie theatre. Easily large enough to entertain all members of the Grand Ole Opry, a huge extended family for the holidays, or host a grand charity gala, visits to this home will not be soon forgotten.

Horse lovers will rejoice in the carpeted stable with automatic waterers and state-of-the-art facilities for horse maintenance and riding-training areas. This 27-acre estate will capture the hearts of everyone, both family and guests.

9. Arizona Fun House!

Bed(s): 5 | Bath(s): 6 | Square Footage: 10,501 | Price: $5,699,000

Pleasant Valley is a major haven for many celebrities such as Joe Garagiola, Muhammad Ali and Alice Cooper. Erma Bombeck lived there until she died in 1996, and even Charles Boyer lived there. Now you might become Joe’s or Muhammad's neighbor in this phenomenal Pleasant Valley fun house!

New to the market, the 10,501sf home is a private walled and gated paradise, built with pure pleasure in mind. Starting in the motor court is a 15-foot Cantera stone fountain beckoning you to see the luxuries that abound inside. All the accoutrements of the elegant lifestyle from design to woodwork and the best of finishes are spread out before you. Walls of disappearing glass in both the main house and guest house open to to the amazing outdoor space with mountains beyond. The house is controlled by Crestron so you’ll barely have to lift a finger. The kitchen has it all with Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele, a zinc-topped island along with a complete outdoor kitchen with wood burning pizza oven.

The outdoors is stunning and designed for play. Lushly landscaped, there is a heated lazy river pool with a slide, waterfalls and two spas. To top that, there is a 5-hole professionally designed pitch-and-putt golf course. Visitors will enjoy the privacy and comfort of the guest house after a full day of backyard activity in the warm Arizona sunshine.

10. Esquire Apartment with Holograph Woman!

Bed(s): 3 | Bath(s): 4 | Square Footage: 7,000 | Price: $19,000,000

In addition to postcard views that sweep from the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan, this spectacular Brooklyn penthouse actually once had a ghost. When Esquire magazine opened the apartment last year as its “Bachelor Pad of the Year,” one of the home's only-in-New York features was a hologram named Charlotte. According to the design team, Charlotte was a “life-sized digital ghost who is playful and witty, always making you guess where she is going to appear next. She can be seen swimming through the atrium, relaxing inside the bar, and walking within the walls of the lounge.” Although Charlotte has disappeared, there are still lots of happy surprises to be found in this 1915 landmark Clock Tower Building home.

Enter the “pad” and the first thing you'll see is the unbelievable 14' see-through glass clock windows that gave the building its name. There are four of these giant clocks, all electronically synchronized to show exactly the same time. Talk about a conversation piece! No need here for a tacky wall clock, or much chance that anyone will copy your unique style.

We picture the new owner as intelligent, world traveled, ahead of the pack, dresses impeccably and this amazing apartment reflects all those qualities. The stunning glass elevator takes you to the clean lines of the master suite which you will furnish in lush fabrics and art and upwards to a glass roof terrace with glowing floor tiles from the light below, with its 400sf glass enclosed space and another 400sf open terrace. The study provides the perfect setting for those conservation days when you work from home. The technology loft is capable of having your social media or computer desktop slanted across the ceiling that allows you to view in large scale, and room by room you will make unimaginable discoveries of quality, understated glamour and futuristic technology. A perfect example of the recycling of a historic building into an internal work of contemporary art.

10 Unique Multimillion Dollar Homes

CNBCAugust 21, 2012
The specialty features of luxury homes are pretty commonplace: wine cellar, home gym, swimming pool and perhaps an equestrian stable. Yet for some of the most exclusive addresses, there are distinctive features that set them apart from the rest.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com reached out to its network of real estate professionals throughout the country to find some of the most compelling homes on the market listed for upwards of a million dollars — in many of the following cases, far north of a million.

The following 10 properties show a lot of different ways to party. They include a disco, 3-D projector screen, a target practice range and a once-illegal bar. They also have numerous ways to enjoy the outdoors: One features retractable walls and roof, while another has a resort-like private water park. Here is TopTenRealEstateDeals.com’s list of multimillion dollar homes with big surprises.

East Village Penthouse

Location: New York, Price: $3.9 million
Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 4, Square Footage: 2,400

It’s hard to miss a pivotal element of this East Village penthouse duplex , made from two apartments: a slide between floors.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com says it belonged to Phil Galfond, a 27-year-old pro poker player who had the slide installed so he could fly back to his seat at the computer after a break. Following the U.S. crackdown on Internet gambling, Galfond moved to Canada, which is how his customized penthouse reached the market.

Features include top of the line appliances, Celador Oyster Stone countertops, white maple hardwood floors and an Italian-crafted Rintal staircase to bring the occupant up for a return trip on the slide. Outdoor space includes two glass-walled terraces, a private roof deck and a common roof deck. That area contains a pool, cabanas, BBQ area and a courtyard.

Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West Fuels Ultra-Luxury Condo Surge

BloombergAugust 17, 2012
Apartment owners at Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West, home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and the musician Sting, are seeking to double their investments after the complex shattered price records and sparked a wave of ultra-luxury listings.

Four condos have hit the market since May with asking prices at an average 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008, according to data from StreetEasy.com. The priciest listing came last week, with Leroy Schecter, chairman of metalworks firm Marino/Ware Industries Inc., seeking $95 million for a five-bedroom unit on the 35th floor.

The dual limestone towers have set a standard for New York’s trophy-home market, which has seen a surge in demand from investors and foreign buyers. The sale in February of former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill’s penthouse for a record $88 million has emboldened owners in Manhattan to “test the waters” for expensive properties, said Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

“Sellers are a lot more confident in this building than probably any other building,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at New York-based StreetEasy, a property-listings website. “There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West. When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”
If history is an indication, the sellers aren’t far off the mark. The 12 most recent transactions at 15 Central Park West averaged $17.3 million, 103 percent more than their original purchase prices, according to data compiled by StreetEasy. That return beat gold, which rose 88 percent since the beginning of 2008, when most buyers at the complex were moving into their apartments.

Weill and his wife, Joan, paid $43.7 million for the 6,744- square-foot (627-square-meter) full-floor condo in 2007, city property records show.
Schecter’s apartment offers unobstructed views of Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west. The property is a combination of two units, one of which was rented by New York Yankees starAlex Rodriguez, that were purchased in 2008 for a total of $26 million, according to Emily Beare of CORE, the broker representing him. Schecter is renovating the space.

“It’s almost like a work of art,” Beare said. “It is an investment. You’re investing in one of the best properties in the world.”

The market will determine whether he and the other sellers get what they’re asking, said Miller.

“Anything’s possible,” he said. “But just because one transaction or a couple of transactions broke a record doesn’t translate into guaranteed results for its neighbors.”

A fifth unit at 15 Central Park West is listed for $35 million, 76 percent more than the purchase price.

Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf built the $800 million project on a plot two blocks north of Columbus Circle, the traffic hub that connects the Upper West Side and Midtown. Robert A.M. Stern, now dean of the Yale School of Architecture, designed the 19-story “house” and 43-story “tower,” as they are known, to evoke the Art Deco luxury apartment buildings of the early 1900s.

“The ambiance of the entire property is casual elegance,” said Noel Berk, a broker at Mercedes/Berk Private Real Estate in New York. “There’s an informality about it, a non-pretension.”

Residents have access to a swimming pool, dining room, movie theater, conference rooms and a communal deck that’s the site of the annual building-organized viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A driveway off 61st Street into the garden allows discreet passage for residents who want privacy.

It’s “the single best amenity package I have ever seen,” said Dolly Lenz, vice chairman at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Lenz represents the seller of the $35 million condo. The three-bedroom unit on the 15th floor, purchased for $19.9 million in 2009, has been on the market since December, according to StreetEasy. It was remodeled by Michael Smith, the White House interior designer, and includes a guest apartment and wine cellar, said Lenz, declining to name the owner.

A smaller three-bedroom apartment, which sold for $10.3 million in 2008, is listed at $26 million, StreetEasy data show.

“We determine the list price by comparable sales,” said Berk, the broker for the seller, whom she declined to name. “We basically have to use the comparables of sales in the building itself, because the other buildings are nowhere near it.”

At the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South, resale prices for the property’s luxury condos dropped 8.6 percent on average from their purchase prices in 2007 and 2008, based on the 12 most recent transactions recorded by StreetEasy.

For the broader luxury market, the top 10 percent of Manhattan co-op and condo deals, the average sale price was $5.7 million in the second quarter, down from $7.7 million in the first three months of 2008, Miller Samuel data show.

In the aftermath of the recession and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing in 2008, “you had what seemed to be prices going down in other buildings, at least temporarily,” said Christopher Delson, a real estate lawyer with New York-based Morrison & Foerster LLP. “But that really didn’t happen with 15 Central Park West. The prices seemed to increase.”

Since Weill’s penthouse was purchased for the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, wealthy buyers seeking havens for cash are clamoring for a limited number of trophy properties and helping push prices to levels never before seen in New York, according to Miller.

“It’s defining a new category in real estate,” he said.

One57, a tower under construction on West 57th street, is emerging as a competitor to 15 Central Park West in the super- luxury market. The duplex penthouse at the property went into contract in May for more than $90 million, toppling the Weill- Rybolovlev deal’s record for a single Manhattan home. The price worked out to $8,000 to $9,000 a square foot for the unit, which spans the 89th and 90th floors,Gary Barnett, president of builder Extell Development Co., said at the time. He wouldn’t name the buyer.

Earlier that month, Oaktree Capital Group LLC Chairman Howard Marks bought a duplex at 740 Park Ave. for $52.5 million, city property records show. It was the most ever paid for a Manhattan co-op, according to Miller.

Steven Klar, a Long Island-based developer, was probably inspired by those deals when he put his penthouse at 150 W. 56th St. on the market in July for $100 million, Miller said. That asking price, the city’s highest, would work out to about $12,500 a square foot, just shy of the record $13,000-a-square- foot paid for Weill’s condo, Miller said.
Klar bought the triplex atop the 72-story tower known as City Spire for $4.5 million in 1993, the New York Times reported.

Victoria Logvinsky, a listing broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, declined to comment. Raphael De Niro, who is sharing the listing, didn’t return telephone messages. Klar didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“I think someone will buy it, but I don’t think they’ll pay $100 million,” said Noah Rosenblatt, founder of UrbanDigs.com, a real estate analytics and consulting company in New York. Klar “clearly wants to be the highest sale.”

Soon after Schecter listed his Central Park West apartment last week, the nine-room duplex penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel hit the market, also with a $95 million price tag, according to StreetEasy.
While tight supply is supporting the current spate of “eye-popping” asking prices, there is going to be an influx of “very expensive” inventory hitting the market in the coming years that will create more competition among sellers, said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty Inc. and author of a weekly newsletter on the New York luxury market.

In addition to One57, slated to open in 2013, properties that will vie for wealthy buyers include the revived development of One Madison Park in the Flatiron District and 440 Park Ave., where CIM Group and Harry Macklowe plan to build Manhattan’s tallest residential tower, Olshan said.

Still, 15 Central Park West will retain its allure and value because “it’s its own exotic animal,” she said.

Also on the market is the three-bedroom, 32nd-floor condo bought by Piofrancesco Borghetti, former chairman of German cosmetics company Marbert AG. The limited liability corporation that owns it is seeking $27.75 million, almost triple what Borghetti paid in January 2008, property records show.

A four-bedroom apartment purchased by Arthur Estey, a partner at hedge fund Realm Partners LLC, and his wife, Evelyne, was listed last month for $36 million, more than twice its November 2007 price, according to property records.
Estey didn’t respond to telephone calls seeking comment and Borghetti couldn’t be reached.

Hugh Verrier, chairman of New York law firm White & Case LLP, said he hadn’t considered what might happen to the value of the 12th-floor apartment at 15 Central Park West that he and his wife, Celia, purchased in November 2010.

“We just really thought of it as a living space,” said Verrier, who was especially drawn to the complex’s 75-foot (23- meter) pool.

They paid $3.37 million for the one-bedroom condo, property records show, even as Verrier’s friends questioned the investment in the wake of the recession.

“The design of the building is exquisite,” he said. “I think those are things you can only fully appreciate when you inhabit the space.”

On Average, 15 CPW Sellers Seek Nearly 200% Returns

The Real DealAugust 17, 2012
The $88 million sale of a 15 Central Park West penthouse has fueled a storm of ambitious asking prices around the city, but nowhere is that more apparent than in the very building that apartment was sold.

Citing Streeteasy.com data, Bloomberg News reported that the four 15 CPW condominiums that hit the market since May have asking prices that represent a 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008. Leroy Schecter recently listed hiscombination unit for $95 million, more than 3.5-times the $26 million he paid for them in 2008.

“There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West,” Sofia Song, Streeteasy’s vice president of research, said. “When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”

Bloomberg News noted that these sellers may not be as “crazy” as their asking prices appear. The last 12 sales at the Zeckendorf-developed building sold for an average of $17.3 million — 103 percent more than their previous purchase price.Those figures aren’t replicated in other famed New York condos. For example, the Plaza Hotel has seen an 8.6 percent drop in sales price in its 12 most recent transactions.

The Jaw-dropping Details on New York City’s “Ultra-luxury” Condo Boom

Investment WatchAugust 17, 2012
From Bloomberg:

Apartment owners at Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West, home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and the musician Sting, are seeking to double their investments after the complex shattered price records and sparked a wave of ultra-luxury listings.

Four condos have hit the market since May with asking prices at an average 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008, according to data from StreetEasy.com. The priciest listing came last week, with Leroy Schecter, chairman of metalworks firm
Marino/Ware Industries Inc., seeking $95 million for a five-bedroom unit on the 35th floor.

The dual limestone towers have set a standard for New York’s trophy-home market, which has seen a surge in demand from investors and foreign buyers. The sale in February of former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill’s penthouse for a record $88 million has emboldened owners in Manhattan to “test the waters” for expensive properties, said Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

“Sellers are a lot more confident in this building than probably any other building,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at New York-based StreetEasy, a property-listings website. “There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West. When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”
Beats Gold

If history is an indication, the sellers aren’t far off the mark. The 12 most recent transactions at 15 Central Park West averaged $17.3 million, 103 percent more than their original purchase prices, according to data compiled by StreetEasy. That return beat gold, which rose 88 percent since the beginning of 2008, when most buyers at the complex were moving into their apartments.

Weill and his wife, Joan, paid $43.7 million for the 6,744- square-foot (627-square-meter) full-floor condo in 2007, city property records show.

Schecter’s apartment offers unobstructed views of Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west. The property is a combination of two units, one of which was rented by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, that were purchased in 2008 for a total of $26 million, according to Emily Beare of CORE, the broker representing him. Schecter is renovating the space.

“It’s almost like a work of art,” Beare said. “It is an investment. You’re investing in one of the best properties in the world.”

“Anything’s Possible”

The market will determine whether he and the other sellers get what they’re asking, said Miller.

“Anything’s possible,” he said. “But just because one transaction or a couple of transactions broke a record doesn’t translate into guaranteed results for its neighbors.”

A fifth unit at 15 Central Park West is listed for $35 million, 76 percent more than the purchase price.

Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf built the $800 million project on a plot two blocks north of Columbus Circle, the traffic hub that connects the Upper West Side and Midtown. Robert A.M. Stern, now dean of the Yale School of Architecture, designed the 19-story “house”and 43-story “tower,” as they are known, to evoke the Art Deco luxury apartment buildings of the early 1900s.

“The ambiance of the entire property is casual elegance,” said Noel Berk, a broker at Mercedes/Berk Private Real Estate in New York.

“There’s an informality about it, a non-pretension.”

Private Garden

Residents have access to a swimming pool, dining room, movie theater, conference rooms and a communal deck that’s the site of the annual building-organized viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A driveway off 61st Street into the garden allows discreet passage for residents who want privacy.

It’s “the single best amenity package I have ever seen,” said Dolly Lenz, vice chairman at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Lenz represents the seller of the $35 million condo. The three-bedroom unit on the 15th floor, purchased for $19.9 million in 2009, has been on the market since December, according to StreetEasy. It was remodeled by Michael Smith, the White House interior designer, and includes a guest apartment and wine cellar, said Lenz, declining to name the owner.

A smaller three-bedroom apartment, which sold for $10.3 million in 2008, is listed at $26 million, StreetEasy data show.
“We determine the list price by comparable sales,” said Berk, the broker for the seller, whom she declined to name. “We basically have to use the comparables of sales in the building itself, because the other buildings are nowhere near it.”

Broader Market

At the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South, resale prices for the property’s luxury condos dropped 8.6 percent on average from their purchase prices in 2007 and 2008, based on the 12 most recent transactions recorded by StreetEasy.
For the broader luxury market, the top 10 percent of Manhattan co-op and condo deals, the average sale price was $5.7 million in the second quarter, down from $7.7 million in the first three months of 2008, Miller Samuel data show.

In the aftermath of the recession and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing in 2008, “you had what seemed to be prices going down in other buildings, at least temporarily,” said Christopher Delson, a real estate lawyer with New York-based Morrison & Foerster LLP. “But that really didn’t happen with 15 Central Park West. The prices seemed to increase.”

“New Category”

Since Weill’s penthouse was purchased for the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, wealthy buyers seeking havens for cash are clamoring for a limited number of trophy properties and helping push prices to levels never before seen in New York, according to Miller.

“It’s defining a new category in real estate,” he said.

One57, a tower under construction on West 57th street, is emerging as a competitor to 15 Central Park West in the super-luxury market.

The duplex penthouse at the property went into contract in May for more than $90 million, toppling the Weill-Rybolovlev deal’s record for a single Manhattan home. The price worked out to $8,000 to $9,000 a square foot for the unit, which spans the 89th and 90th floors, Gary Barnett, president of builder Extell Development Co., said at the time. He wouldn’t name the buyer.

Earlier that month, Oaktree Capital Group LLC Chairman Howard Marks bought a duplex at 740 Park Ave. for $52.5 million, city property records show. It was the most ever paid for a Manhattan co-op, according to Miller.

Steven Klar, a Long Island-based developer, was probably inspired by those deals when he put his penthouse at 150 W. 56th St. on the market in July for $100 million, Miller said. That asking price, the city’s highest, would work out to about $12,500 a square foot, just shy of the record $13,000-a-square-foot paid for Weill’s condo, Miller said.

$100 Million

Klar bought the triplex atop the 72-story tower known as City Spire for $4.5 million in 1993, the New York Times reported.
Victoria Logvinsky, a listing broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, declined to comment. Raphael De Niro, who is sharing the listing, didn’t return telephone messages. Klar didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“I think someone will buy it, but I don’t think they’ll pay $100 million,” said Noah Rosenblatt, founder of UrbanDigs.com, a real estate analytics and consulting company in New York. Klar “clearly wants to be the highest sale.”

Soon after Schecter listed his Central Park West apartment last week, the nine-room duplex penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel hit the market, also with a $95 million price tag, according to StreetEasy.

More Competition

While tight supply is supporting the current spate of “eye-popping” asking prices, there is going to be an influx of “very expensive” inventory hitting the market in the coming years that will create more competition among sellers, said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan
Realty Inc. and author of a weekly newsletter on the New York luxury market.

In addition to One57, slated to open in 2013, properties that will vie for wealthy buyers include the revived development of One Madison Park in the Flatiron District and 440 Park Ave., where CIM Group and Harry Macklowe plan to build Manhattan’s tallest residential tower, Olshan said.

Still, 15 Central Park West will retain its allure and value because “it’s its own exotic animal,” she said.

Also on the market is the three-bedroom, 32nd-floor condo bought by Piofrancesco Borghetti, former chairman of German cosmetics company Marbert AG. The limited liability corporation that owns it is seeking $27.75 million, almost triple what Borghetti paid in January 2008, property records show.

A four-bedroom apartment purchased by Arthur Estey, a partner at hedge fund Realm Partners LLC, and his wife, Evelyne, was listed last month for $36 million, more than twice its November 2007 price, according to property records.
Estey didn’t respond to telephone calls seeking comment and Borghetti couldn’t be reached.

“Exquisite” Design

Hugh Verrier, chairman of New York law firm White & Case LLP, said he hadn’t considered what might happen to the value of the 12th-floor apartment at 15 Central Park West that he and his wife, Celia, purchased in November 2010.

“We just really thought of it as a living space,” said Verrier, who was especially drawn to the complex’s 75-foot (23- meter) pool.
They paid $3.37 million for the one-bedroom condo, property records show, even as Verrier’s friends questioned the investment in the wake of the recession.

“The design of the building is exquisite,” he said. “I think those are things you can only fully appreciate when you inhabit the space.”

In the News: Major New Retail Space

Tribeca CitizenAugust 17, 2012
••• “A 19,000-square-foot retail space in [140 Franklin, at Varick] is available for lease for the first time in almost half a century. The space [...] was previously used as an office [for electrical supply company Argo International] but will soon be converted to a retail condominium. [...] Once completed, the space could house multiple tenants, [Manhattes Group's] Jamison Weiner said—one occupying the Varick Street side of the space and one or two tenants fronting on Franklin Street. The asking rent for the ground floor corner space will be $110 a foot, while the side street and lower-level space will ask $90 per foot and $30 per foot respectively. The property has already drawn interest from a bank, eying the corner space, and a local Tribeca retailer, who looked at some of the side-street square-footage.” Just one bank? Why not two? Or three! —The Real Deal
••• The New York Times on where the World Trade Center “Sphere” could end up.
••• The city’s bike-share program, Citi Bike, has been delayed till spring. —New York Times
••• “For the past five years, Trinity has been working on a rezoning of [the area it calls Hudson Square,] 50 acres spread over some 20 off-the-grid blocks—the area often feels remote cut off from the rest of the city as it is by the Holland Tunnel. On Monday, it officially begins the public review process, as the City Planning Commission is expected to certify Trinity’s in-hourse rezoning proposal.” —New York Observer
••• The Forward reviews “new, hip [and kosher] Tribeca restaurant Jezebel,” which is north of Canal.
••• Eater put Jungsik on its Deathwatch list: “You can get a reservation on OpenTable for any time you want, no problem. The restaurant is only open for dinner six days a week, and there’s no lunch business, whatsoever. Perhaps Jung Sik will get a bump after the Michelin Guide drops, but right now, it’s the biggest, best new fine-dining restaurants that nobody’s going to.”
••• “Thom Browne is doing a diffusion line called Thom Grey.” —WWD
••• Buzz Buzz Home has a rendering of the lobby of 93 Worth. I guess we all do, now.

Walker Tower Wows ‘Em

Real Estate WeeklyAugust 16, 2012
Several years ago, Michael Stern, managing partner at JDS Development, set out to convert an Art Deco office tower at 212 West 18th Street into condos.

Rather than tear down the 82-year-old building, which was owned by Verizon, and replace it with a modern glass-and-steel development, JDS and partner Property Markets Group (PMG) gutted the interior and spruced up the façade with ornamental metalwork inspired by the Art Deco era.

“You’d never build something like this today,” said Stern, who founded JDS while in his 20s. “You couldn’t afford to.” Stern’s firm is responsible for a handful of modern buildings elsewhere in the city. “We build new glass buildings where appropriate,” he said.
Towering above southern Chelsea’s row houses at 23 stories, with five different shades of brick in a variety of shapes, the former Verizon building is a neighborhood treasure, he explained. And it had good bones for residential conversion.

Setbacks that were part of the building’s tiered, wedding-cake like design, for instance, formed natural terraces. So nearly half of the development’s 50 units — which average about 3,000 s/f each and range from one to five bedrooms — have outdoor space.
When sales launched at the end of June, 400 people managed to squeeze into the building’s 10th floor model unit and mingle on the terrace, Stern said. The three-bedroom unit has historic touches, including bathroom tiles modeled after a wallpaper print Stern came across in a coffee table book on Art Deco design, and framed portals between the kitchen and living room.
Units average about 3,000 s/f each and range from one to five bedrooms

But it also has modern ones, including an iPad mounted on the living room wall and an iPod in the kitchen. With a separate foyer, the unit resembles a stately suburban home.

“You come into a defined entry space,” Stern explained. “These are the kind of things that make [the units] feel like homes instead of apartments.”Though the development won’t be complete until next June, Shaun Osher of CORE, who is directing sales for the building, has already sold around 25 percent of the units.

“The buyers are primarily New Yorkers, moving from uptown, Tribeca or SoHo,” said Stern, adding that only one buyer so far is foreign. Though units at the building are unusually large, some buyers have opted to combine apartments.
“You’d never build something like this today,” said Stern. “You couldn’t afford to.”

On average, units are priced around $3,000 per s/f, according to CORE’s website, with the development’s eight penthouses closer to $10,000 per s/f. A duplex penthouse with three bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and a wood burning fireplace is listed on Streeteasy at $14 million. A full-floor, nearly 7,000 s/f penthouse on the top floor — which is currently only accessible by construction elevator — has a living room spanning 70 feet and unobstructed views of midtown (including the Empire State Building), the Financial District, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty. A children’s playroom, fitness center, and roof deck are still under construction.

And the sales office will eventually be converted into a residents’ lounge. Before sales were launched, the space held an exhibit on Walker’s architectural work, including the first Art Deco tower in Manhattan: the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building, now known as the Verizon Building, at 140 West Street. Stern is a big fan of the architect.

Soon, JDS Development and PMG will begin converting another Verizon building designed by Walker, 435 West 50th Street, into condos, which are slated for completion in 2014.

Done Deals: 532 8th Street, Brooklyn

Brokers WeeklyAugust 15, 2012
CORE's Doug Bowen loves being a broker — because it's fun.

Bowen and colleague Vickey Barron just sold a Park Slope townhouse at $230,000 over is original asking price after being on the marketing for under four weeks.

532 8th Street is a Neoclassical two-family townhouse half a block from Prospect Park, on a street that received Brooklyn’s Greenest Block Award in 2009.

Built by Williams Reynolds and Benjamin Dreisler, the three-sided bay front limestone is in a consecutive row of 12 townhouses that are completely intact.

The house has an owner’s upper duplex – currently configured as five-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment with a deck and garden access – plus an income producing garden rental.

Bowen told Brokers Weekly: “532 provided us as listing brokers the opportu¬nity to create a com¬petitive platform to maximize the selling price to 14% above the asking price, which was a lot of fun.”

Terry Naini at Town Residential brought in the buyer.

New Signage at Tribeca 93 Worth Condo Conversion

BuzzBuzzHome BlogAugust 14, 2012
Tribeca’s office-tower-turned-luxury-condo project at 93 Worth recently added new signs and a teaser website to announce its impending sales launch.

The 13-story property at the intersection of Worth Street and Broadway Avenue was acquired by a subsidiary of Izaki Group Investments USA for $49.8 million in October 2011. There will be 93 apartments total, as well as 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The renovated building will offer studios and units with one through four bedrooms for purchase.

The condominium was designed by ODA-Architecture and is being marketed by CORE Group. The building’s former occupants were mostly city government offices.

Some of the units will have ceilings up to 20 feet high, with impressive views of the Canyon of Heroes, the parade route that runs through lower Broadway to the Financial District, according to CORE. The developer had originally planned to install a full-sized basketball court in the basement, but ultimately opted to use the underground space to store mechanical equipment.

CORE executive vice president Doron Zwickel told Crain’s that apartments will be priced from $1,250 per square foot to $2,000 per square foot. Amenities will include a children’s play area, lounge, rooftop terrace, fitness center and 24-hour concierge.

More pictures of the wrap-around signs below, and a bonus rendering of the interior from ODA-Architecture below.

Signs Are Up at 93 Worth; Houseboat Tour Repeats

CurbedAugust 13, 2012
TRIBECA—Office-building-gone-condo 93 Worth Street is just a few months away from its on-the-market date, and it wants the world to know! The building had its signage installed last week, and the teaser website is up, too. There will be studios through four-bedrooms, and if the pricing questions on the teaser site are anything to go by, they will be for sale, not, as we'd previously heard, for rent. [CurbedWire Inbox; previously]

ON THE WATER—Miss your chance to tour the 1907 Yankee ferry yesterday? The houseboat—the last remaining Ellis Island Ferry that was used during World War II—will be open to the public again this coming Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.. [CurbedWire Staff; previously]

These are the Most Expensive Apartments in New York City

AM New YorkAugust 12, 2012
A new crop of trophy apartments has hit the market and taken Manhattan real estate to an unprecedented degree of luxury. This summer, three apartments have become available at chart-topping prices of $95 and $100 million.

“There’s a new level of cache and luxury to be achieved. This is not the normal New Yorker’s luxury,” said Sofia Song, of real estate site StreetEasy.com. “This has nothing to do with market dynamics. It’s about cache.”

Today’s crop of mega-million dollar penthouse buyers is comprised of titans of industry. Many of them, such as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, are from abroad. Rybolovlev broke records when he bought a penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $88 million, the most that has ever been paid for a New York apartment.

Developers say there is a market for increasingly lavish pads, complete with solariums, wine rooms and luxe-finishing touches like Italian marble flooring.

“Bigger continues to be better. Just the way it is in retail,” said Faith Hope Consolo, a chairwoman at Prudential Douglas Elliman, which listed a $100 million apartment last month.

Got some extra cash stashed away? Check out New York’s 10 priciest pads on the market:

1. $100 million - 150 West 56th Street #PH 

This three-floor “crown jewel” of the City Spire condominium features a wraparound terrace, inlaid marble floors, Central Park views and a separate staff apartment.

2. $95 million - 50 Central Park South,
Penthouse 34/35 
One of 11 residences atop the Ritz Carlton Hotel, this newly renovated nine-room penthouse boasts a solarium, 689-square-foot terrace and views of Central Park.

3. $95 million - 15 Central Park West, 35 A/B
Though not officially listed yet, last week steel magnate Leroy Schecter announced plans to combine his two Central Park West apartments and sell the two for five times what he paid for the two.

4. $72 million - 828 Fifth Avenue 

This three-story condo in a Edwardian Georgian house in Lenox Hill features palatial details like parlour floors, a Louis XV-style ballroom and an oak-paneled sitting room. The apartment is temporarily off the market, but set to return soon.

5. $60 million - 25 East 77th Street #PH 

This top-floor penthouse at The Mark hotel includes a living room with 26-foot ceilings, a skylit conservatory and rooftop terrace and pavilion.

6. $55 million - 1 Central Park South #807-89 

Central Park views abound at this apartment in the Plaza Hotel, which also features 11-foot ceilings and separate staff quarters.

7. $50 million - 50 Central Park South #33 Square Feet: 4,536 
Beds: 2 
Baths: 4 

Luxe details at this Central Park South apartment include walls of stucco veneziano and a German-silver floor, hand-hammered over wood and a library inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment complete with 18th century Chinese lacquer panels.

8. $50 million - 944 Fifth Avenue #HIFLR 

This 18-room Upper East Side pad was recently renovated by designer Thad Hayes and featured in Architectural Digest. Details include a granite master bath and private elevator.

9. $50 million - 25 Columbus Circle #75A 

Located in the Time Warner Center, this spot boasts 14-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling wall of windows, Ceruse Oak wood paneling and a glass-enclosed circular rain shower.

10. $48 million - 145 Hudson Street, penthouse 

This TriBeCa duplex penthouse is located in an Art Deco loft features teak flooring, skyline and Hudson River views, a sauna and a wraparound terrace.
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