241 Fifth's Only Private Rooftop Terrace Tries for $9.75M

CurbedOctober 31, 2013
New NoMad condo building 241 Fifth Avenue has been relatively quiet since it launched with some fanfare in June. But it has been selling—there are six active listings on StreetEasy, compared to 15 in contract. The building is trying drum up excitement and sell out with the staging and listing of penthouse 20, a 3BR, 3.5BA pad. Points in its favor: the unit is the building's only apartment with a private rooftop terrace, and that terrace includes a kitchen and a hot tub. The price is $9.75 million.

The City's Most Spectacular Terraces

AM New YorkOctober 31, 2013
New York City is famous for its summer nights, but as the warm weather begins to fade, the city’s remarkable fall foliage and shiny, tall buildings attract visitors and delight locals.

Outdoor space is limited here, so the luckiest residents are those who have terraces to view New York City’s wonders from above.
According to experts, a terrace is at least 100 square feet and should have nothing hanging over it — such as a balcony from the apartment above you.

After some research, here are the buildings we think have the best terraces to let residents truly enjoy being outdoors in the city:

241 Fifth

Square footage: 900-3,000 square feet
Views: Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Flatiron Building, New York Life Building
Sample sales price: $9,750,000
If this list has already given you a serious case of terrace envy, then 241 Fifth may put you in need of medical treatment. The two penthouses at 241 Fifth are graced with terraces so big they belong outside an exclusive city night club, boasted Doron Zwickel, a licensed broker with CORE and the building’s sales director.
“What’s amazing is, it’s one of the only buildings in my tenure on Fifth Avenue that has this kind of usable outdoor space,” he said.
The 900-square-foot, 15th-floor penthouse, currently in contract, has a direct view of the Empire State Building and includes an outdoor fireplace. The penthouse on the 20th floor is 3,030 square feet, and has a barbecue area, full kitchen, a bar, an outdoor shower and a hot tub bordered by a wooden deck.
It has unobstructed views all the way to One World Trade Center, including the Flatiron Building and the New York Life Building.

Modernnyc.weekly Featured Listing: 45 Walker Street, #4

Modern NYCOctober 30, 2013
Emily Beare + Shaun Osher | CORE
45 Walker Street, 4

Enter this beautifully renovated, 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom apartment directly from the key-locked elevator. This classically gracious home offers two offices, a den, a study and a chef's kitchen. Located in the heart of TriBeCa, this full floor 4,781-square foot loft features a wood burning fire place, fourteen oversized windows, exposed columns, high ceilings, and a bright and airy open floor plan.

In 2001, this late 19th Century building was converted to residential condominiums by design firm Platt Byard Dovell. With seven floors and only six lofts, 45 Walker Street offers security video intercom, and two large private storage units that come with the apartment. The building allows pets, and pieds-a-terre are welcome.

TriBeCa, known for its beautiful architecture, is one of the city's most fashionable and desirable neighborhoods.

Top Residential Dealmakers Turn Out for 25th Annual REBNY Awards

The Real DealOctober 25, 2013
Manhattan’s top dealmakers, dressed in their finest furs and dapperest suits, poured into the Pierre Hotel last night via an elaborately muraled rotunda for the 25th annual residential Deal of the Year awards hosted by the Real Estate Board of New York.

After cocktails and caviar and scooping up their awards, they made their way to the hotel’s famed Grand Ballroom — positively dripping with chandeliers — for a dinner of salmon or short ribs and, for many, a twirl around the dance floor.

The top brass from nearly all of Manhattan’s biggest residential firms was there: Diane Ramirez of Halstead Property, Dottie Herman of Douglas Elliman, Pamela Liebman of the Corcoran Group, Andrew Heiberger and Wendy Maitland of Town Residential, Fred Peters of Warburg Realty and Gary Malin of Citi Habitats. Paul Massey of investment sales firm Massey Knakal Realty Services was also spotted.

Herman had just returned from Atlantic City, where Elliman had held its annual conference. She raved about the 1920s masquerade ball she’d hosted but bemoaned the lack of time available for gambling. “They were all over me,” she said of the brokers grappling for her attention at the event.

Liebman and Herman rubbed elbows during the awards ceremony while Peters busted moves on the dance floor. Ramirez, as always, was keen to direct attendees to the raffle table, which raised money for REBNY’s Residential Member in Need Fund. Up for grabs for the lucky winner of the raffle – a ball gown by Cesar Galindo, whose fashion designs were showcased during a catwalk show at last year’s same event.

Top brokers making the rounds at the gala included Keller Williams NYC’s Ilan Bracha, Elliman’s Vickey Barron, Corcoran’s Tamir Shemesh, Sotheby’s International Realty’s Nikki Field and Mara Flash Blum and CORE’s Reba Miller and Tom Postillio. “Million Dollar Listing New York” stars Ryan Serhant and Luis Ortiz also appeared.

Heather Stein of Brown Harris Stevens won for sales deal of the year. The first runners-up were Suzan Kremer and Daniela Kunen of Elliman and Roger Erickson of Sotheby’s, while the third runner-up was Lisa Larson of Warburg. For rental deal of the year, Judith Oston, Donald Correia and Lisa Rosenstein of Halstead took first prize.

Rookie of the year went to Vincent Smith of Halstead, who came to real estate later in life after working for a number of Fortune 50 companies such as American Express, Pfizer and Citibank.

But the biggest applause of the evening came when Jeffrey Rothstein, the executive vice president and director of sales of Elliman’s West Side offices, took home the Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement. Herman joined him on stage, exclaiming “I’m verklempt!” Rothstein oversees more than 300 Elliman agents.

And there was more to celebrate. In a somewhat bizarre turn, Miriam Harris, executive vice president of real estate transactions at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, proclaimed that the day had officially been dubbed REBNY Residential Division Day by the mayor’s office.

New Listings: 77 Bleecker Street, #109

Brokers WeeklyOctober 24, 2013
Greenwich Village
77 Bleecker Street, #109

One bedroom, 2-bath post war duplex with pass-through kitchen, hardwood floors, 10 ft. ceilings and large windows. Master bedroom with walk-in closet, master bath and separate entrance on lower floor. Amenities in the pet-friendly co-op include a 24-hour doorman, live-in super, laundry facility and storage/bike room. Listing agents: Jarrod Guy Randolph and Chris Dominiak, CORE.

Multi-lingual Brokers on Rise as Apartment Sales to Foreigners Top $2B

Real Estate WeeklyOctober 23, 2013
The culinary habits of French couples or Israeli haggling traditions were hardly ever on the minds of New York’s residential brokers, but that is changing.

As more and more international buyers flock into the market, being able to interact with foreigners has become something of a pre-requisite for success.

“Some American brokers take offense that other brokers speak foreign languages, but I think that’s important’” said Limor Nesher, a broker at CORE who grew up in Israel. She said speaking Hebrew has helped her find Israeli clients.

International investment in New York real estate — especially luxury condos — has grown steadily over the last decade, totaling $1.96 billion in the first half of this year alone, according to Real Capital Analytics.

And as the buyers become more international, so do the brokers.

Over the past few years, the number of New York brokers who speak foreign languages has increased noticeably. “When I look around in Central Park South, I keep thinking: does anyone speak English anymore?” said Esther Muller, co-founder of the Academy for Continuing Education, a school for brokers’ re-certification.

“Some of the city’s top producing agents are hiring assistants and send them to our school. Every one of them is Brazilian, Asian, Canadian …”

“Speaking a foreign language is almost a skill that’s required of brokers,” Muller added.

“We are seeing an uptick in the number of agents who speak more than one language. Real estate is a global asset, and as a brokerage, it’s important to accommodate buyers and sellers from diverse backgrounds,” said Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman. “We have agents who speak Portuguese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Swedish, Hebrew, and sign language in addition to English. This only increases one’s networking abilities and is a wonderful asset to have as an agent.”

Limor Nesher of CORE said that many of her Israeli clients don’t speak business English, and are happy that they can talk to her in Hebrew.

“It’s important for them to have someone they can trust,” she said. “Sometimes, foreign buyers come with English-speaking brokers and they just don’t understand each other.”

Beyond language, understanding a foreign buyer’s cultural background is perhaps even more important.

“It’s not just language, it’s being able to understand the Russian soul,” said Maria Babaev, who just joined Douglas Elliman from Laffey Fines Home Real Estate in Long Island. Babaev grew up in Moscow, specializes in selling high-end Long Island homes to Russian buyers and has noticed an increase in foreign demand over the last few years.

“The new wave of Russian buyers is very savvy. They speak English, and if they don’t, they have advisers that do,” she said. “But I know the style of homes they prefer. They don’t have to explain to me that they want more open spaces. I also have an understanding of the differences between making real estate transactions in the U.S. and in Russia.”

“Language is not as important as a kind of sensibility,” said Maria Daou, a broker at Warburg Realty. A native of Lebanon, Daou speaks fluent French and Arabic and often works with Italian, French and Saudi clients.

“I can relate to them a little bit better. When they tell a story, I get them,” said Daou. “This makes them feel more at ease and creates a kind of camaraderie.”

Recently, Daou showed a Manhattan apartment to a French couple with children. She said the couple was unhappy with the small kitchen — normally sized for New York, but small by European standards. Daou had no difficulty understanding their concerns.

Familiarity with foreign cultures has given brokers like Nesher, Babaev and Daou a competitive edge. In the race for international clients, more agents might find that trip abroad is more than just fun, but also a good investment.

Bells and Whistles Back in Demand as Value Takes Back Seat to Amenities

Real Estate WeeklyOctober 18, 2013
With over-the-top features like the recent 50,000 s/f deck complete with tennis courts and a dog run at TF Cornerstone’s 4545 Center Boulevard in Long Island City, the bar has once again been set for luxury amenities for the well-heeled.

But TF Cornerstone’s loaded amenity deck isn’t the only luxury addition turning heads these days.

From saunas and Turkish baths to wine cellars and tricked out gyms, New York buyers are back in luxury mode, according to the city’s brokers.

In Lower Manhattan, upscale rental and sales condo building 15 Broad Street boasts a fully-functional bowling alley for residents, as well as an indoor lap pool, basketball and squash courts, and a yoga/ballet studio.

“It’s not necessarily what they’re asking for anymore, it’s what they’re expecting,” said longtime Douglas Elliman agent Lawrence Rich of clients. “They want the whole kitchen sink.”

After the economic crash of 2008, buyers and renters were looking more for value than luxury, said Lawrence, but with the market getting stronger, over-the-top amenities aimed at drawing people in are coming back.

“Since the downturn, people will go to neighborhoods that wouldn’t normally have considered a luxury location if they can get what they want in the building,” said Corcoran agent Scott Stewart.

Buildings that offer more amenities than the average building, like full-service gyms with training staff and swimming pools, are driving up prices for the apartments, said Stewart.

“As the new projects come online, the price per square foot Downtown will raise dramatically because of the cost of construction,” said Stewart. “You’re going to see a lot of extensive amenities offered. I think the range and level in these buildings will be much greater.”

At One Museum Mile, a Robert A.M. Stern designed condo building on Fifth Avenue near 109th Street, the building not only features a rooftop swimming pool, gym and children’s playroom, they also have a “tween” room for older children, said Stewart.

Downtown at 150 Charles Street, which is still under construction but 100 percent sold out, units sold “well over” $3,000 p/s/f.

“Their club level is truly beyond,” said Stewart. “Now luxury purchasers are looking for juice bars and a battery of health products within gym culture, including chiropractic and nutrition advisory, on-site massage and spa treatments.”

Stewart sees a “vast difference” in condo buildings with amenities and without amenities.

He recently sold an apartment at Ariel West, a building at 245 W. 99th Street on the Upper West Side that is 2,900 s/f, has four bedrooms and three and a half baths, and was priced at $5.1 million.

“The building offers everything one expects for the luxury lifestyle,” said Stewart. “A gym with a swimming pool, storage bins, children’s playrooms, a media room and a party room. I ended up selling it after multiple offers to an all-cash buyer for $5.3 million.”

The couple that purchased the pad were empty-nesters that specifically looking for a pool for their grandkids for when they visited.

“It’s really made the upper 90’s and 100th Street by Broadway a hot area,” he said of luxury buildings like Ariel West. “It has raised the price per square footage dramatically for that area. It’s really unheard of in that location.”

Jodi Stasse, a Citi Habitats agent that works in the New Development Marketing division, said that developers are honing in on creating buildings that offer residents an array of lifestyle amenities right in their own home – so they don’t even have to leave the building.

“Developers are really focusing on building amenities that really enhance the daily lifestyle and taking areas like outdoor space and programming them right so they really have multiple uses, even year-round,” said Stasse. “Like an outdoor fireplace, which extends the use of outdoor spaces.”

In addition, builders are becoming more intuitive to the wants and needs of residents, in an effort to take a step above the status quo.
“There’s a real focus on health and fitness and really programming fitness spaces so it will create the right type of uses and people can utilize them as their primary fitness clubs,” said Stasse.

Placing the gym on a higher floor that has natural light rather than the basement and looking at how people are working out, what types of equipment they are using, and what hours they are using it are all part of the thought process.

Frances Katzen, an agent with Douglas Elliman, said she’s had several clients lately asking for homes equipped with a wine fridge.

“The amenity packages that used to be considered luxuries are now an absolute staple to new projects and may include separate bike storage from regular storage, gym, and roof deck,” said Katzen.

Other amenities that Katzen has notice cropping up lately are downstairs wine cellar, Abigail Michaels concierge services, pet spas, billiard and gaming rooms, tennis courts and pools.

May I Have a Price Check?

The New York TimesOctober 18, 2013
It’s the era of superlatives for trophy properties in Manhattan. Not a day seems to go by without a new contender for the largest, tallest or priciest.

But all the hype can’t obscure one possibly inconvenient truth: Fancy new developments may be trading at unheard-of values — pushing up against the $100 million mark — but resale apartments in white-glove buildings often struggle.

From uptown co-ops to downtown condos, these multimillion-dollar homes have missed out on the bidding wars more common among lower-cost apartments. Some haven’t even been able to make asking price.

Others have not sold until they were discounted by as much as 25 percent, according to an analysis of sales data, and in some cases even those kinds of cuts have not done the trick, casting a big shadow on rosy market outlooks.

The markdowns may suggest that interest in trophies has ebbed, but some brokers say the cuts have been necessitated by sellers who are way too ambitious in their pricing; this would make the phenomenon less about overall conditions than specific mistakes. These sellers, convinced that the trophy market is boundless, and that the bench of overseas billionaires looking for a piece of New York is deep, are wildly miscalculating.

“There is a perception that you can put anything on the market, that people will come along and buy it,” said Robby Browne, a broker with the Corcoran Group, who has been asked by sellers to put apartments on the market at what he said were unrealistic prices.

“What’s fueling the perception is that there have been so many high trades,” Mr. Browne said. “But there are not as many of these trades as people think.”

Brokers liken what is happening to a “keeping up with the Joneses” effect, or more precisely the Rybolovlevs — as in Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and his eldest daughter, Ekaterina. Through a trust linked to Ekaterina, the Rybolovlevs two years ago paid $88 million for a 10-room penthouse at 15 Central Park West, or $13,000 a square foot, which at the time was a record.

After that deal, which closed in February 2012, a fever seemed to overcome sellers, who were suddenly convinced that their homes could command nosebleed-level prices, brokers said.

“That really wasn’t a fair comp,” or comparable price, to use to value a unit, said Richard J. Steinberg, a broker with Warburg Realty. “But unfortunately, every seller of every co-op and every condo in the city started using that as their base line.”
And Mr. Steinberg knows firsthand about unrealistic expectations.
In the spring, he listed a four-bedroom unit at 770 Park Avenue, a prewar co-op on the Upper East Side, at $23.8 million. But it didn’t get many bites, so he slashed the price by 25 percent in mid-September. At $17.9 million, he said, “we’re seeing double the amount of traffic through the apartment.”

Looking at the complete price history of Mr. Steinberg’s listing reinforces the idea that the “Rybolovlev effect” amounts to about 25 percent. In 2011, before the $88 million sale closed, the same 770 Park apartment was priced at $18 million, with Sotheby’s International Realty, so in a sense it is currently listed back where it was valued before the game-changing transaction at 15 Central Park West.

It is clear that the stratosphere of the market — those homes for $3 million or more, or the top 10 percent — has been sluggish, at least relative to the bottom, according to an analysis by Miller Samuel, the appraisal firm.

Since January 2012, 56 percent of the listings in this top category sold below the final asking price; 19 percent sold for the original list price; and 25 percent sold above the final asking price, the data show. In contrast, in the bottom 90 percent of sales, the number of properties that sold for less than their final asking price was just 2 percent.

Along the same lines, the top 10 percent’s absorption rate — the number of months it would take to sell all the inventory at the current pace of sales — was slow, too. It stood at almost nine months in the third quarter of this year, compared with three months for the rest of the market, the data show.

In more rarefied air — homes for $6 million or more, or the top 2 percent of the market — there were even more apartments that sold at a discount, or about 59 percent since 2012, according to Miller Samuel. In that category, the average discount was about 12 percent, or $1.7 million, and beyond that level, the trims seem bigger.

In May, a five-bedroom penthouse with 5,000 square feet at 257 West 17th Street, a prewar condo conversion in Chelsea, came on the market at $12.5 million. But it had to lower its price by 25 percent to close at $9.5 million in September.

Toni Haber, the Douglas Elliman broker who handled the sale, said that the $88 million deal at 15 Central Park West was just one factor putting upward pressure on prices.

The other, maybe more significant one, is out-of-the-gate developments like One57, the Midtown condo, which smashed the 15 Central Park West record a few months later with a $90 million penthouse sale. Similarly influential new developments include Walker Tower, a condo on West 18th Street in Chelsea, which has had prices of nearly $4,000 a square foot on its upper levels.

“We were trying to leverage off Walker Tower,” acknowledged Ms. Haber, in listing her West 17th Street apartment for $2,500 a square foot, even though it ultimately sold for $1,900.

Ultimately, she added, echoing other brokers, comparing the values of resale condos with new ones can be as futile as an analysis of apples and oranges. “If the seller is a real seller,” she said, “they need to listen.”

For his part, Jonathan J. Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, squarely holds the Rybolovlev purchase responsible for the trend. “It was really a false positive,” he said.

Indeed, citing news reports, Mr. Miller added that Mr. Rybolovlev’s wife, Elena, has claimed in divorce documents that the purchase was made to shield assets, so it was not a conventional deal. Mr. Rybolovlev maintains, however, that the penthouse was bought for “succession planning.”

If many sellers of luxury real estate came out of the gates clueless, a dose of reality might now have set in.

Of the current crop of active listings in the $6 million-and-up category, which have been on the market for an average of 168 days, according to the Miller Samuel data, 85 percent have lowered their prices at some point.

Whether it works remains to be seen, but Emily Beare, a broker with Core Group Marketing, is hopeful that a 26 percent chop on her listing, a combined unit on the 35th floor of 15 Central Park West, was a savvy move.

Since 2012, the unit, which has 6,000 square feet but no outdoor space, has dropped three times, from $95 million to $85 million to $70 million in September of this year. The apartment, whose views sweep from Central Park to the Hudson, is owned by the steel magnate Leroy Schecter.

“I think there has been some irrational exuberance, yes,” Ms. Beare said. “But this is still a very strong market, no question, and that’s due to lack of inventory.”

Other listings coming closer to earth in recent months include a five-bedroom duplex at 435 East 52nd Street, the River House co-op, with 11-foot ceilings. It’s now listed at $19.5 million, down from $25.5 million, a 24 percent drop.

Carolyn E. Y. Guthrie, the Brown Harris Stevens broker who is listing it, explained that it can be hard to nail the price for rare apartments, though the market can set things straight. “They come on the market with no comps to substantiate them,” she said. “But buyers aren’t stupid.”

And as with other listings, it may take a couple of different agents before an apartment gets it right. Take for instance a five-bedroom at 115 Central Park West, the Art Deco Majestic co-op, which has 110 feet of exposure along its eastern park-facing wall.
Starting out at $50 million with Halstead Property in fall 2012, it fell to $45 million last summer. The listing was then taken off the market, only to return at $39 million with Town Residential in September.

The marketing change — and very likely the 22 percent adjustment — has led to multiple showings in the last few weeks, said Patty LaRocco, its Town broker. “There are no offers yet,” Ms. LaRocco said, “but they’re imminent.”

Yet some buildings have their sights set only upward.

At 56 Leonard, the 60-story TriBeCa condo, sales have surpassed expectations, both in velocity and price, said Izak Senbahar, president of the Alexico Group, a co-developer.

In fact, Mr. Senbahar had planned to sell about 5 units a month, but ended up selling about 20, “which is neck-breaking speed,” he said, adding that 9 units were left, out of 145, after 9 months of sales. The prices, which average $3,200 a square foot, have been adjusted 27 times for various units since the sales office opened in the winter, Mr. Senbahar said, but the adjustments have always been increases.

The Rybolovlev effect got to him, too, he said, though he tried to keep prices in check. “If you are too aggressive and make a mistake, a correction might be devastating. You should not fall in love with your project. You should listen to third parties.”

For all the course corrections out there, others believe that the upper limits of the market haven’t been tested yet. And this month, what is believed to be the priciest-ever single-family home hit the New York market. At 447 East 52nd Street, the building, now known as the River Club, is adjacent to the River House. A five-level space that in its current configuration has an indoor swimming pool, a tennis court and a bowling alley — as well as rooms with evocative names like “her, out of season” — is listed at a staggering $130 million.

Despite the bombshell price, the 62,000-square-foot home works out to a relatively tame $2,100 a square foot, said John Burger, the Brown Harris Stevens broker with the listing, who acknowledged that it and other record-seekers were quickly reinventing the market.

“We are in historic territory,” Mr. Burger said. “But Manhattan has become a safe haven in the world for investment in blue-chip real estate. We are confident.”

'Try Before You Buy' a Home

Bankrate.comOctober 18, 2013
Just as you test drive a car before writing that big check, what if you could take a home for a spin before committing? It would give you time to check the water pressure, see what kind of light the kitchen gets in the morning or find out if the neighbor's dog barks continuously in the evening.

Some sellers are handing the keys over to potential buyers who want to spend time alone in a home to "test drive" its features.
A new concept is taking hold that allows prospective homebuyers to spend several hours alone "test driving" a residence before making offers.

Sights, smells, sounds

Limor Nesher, real estate agent with CORE, a New York brokerage, has arranged for potential buyers to spend up to 12 hours in homes they are serious about purchasing. She says that while most are initially surprised at the idea, they quickly warm up to the opportunity to take a closer look. "Buyers get a chance to take in the details of the building, experience the attributes of an area, potential noise issues and other factors that can't be detected in a one-time visit alone," Nesher says.

There are benefits for sellers as well, Nesher says, because allowing the hands-on experience may encourage the buyer to move forward and could result in a higher sales price or quicker deal. "Sellers that have a unique property or one that is located in an emerging area generally like the idea, as they understand the added benefit this opportunity presents in marketing their home," she adds.

Making sure they have protection

There are obvious potential problems with this arrangement, however, with liability being a hot button for both buyer and seller. "Sellers are generally concerned about the security of their personal belongings, liability factors and the authenticity or credibility of the buyer," says Nesher. Buyers, she adds, "tend to be most concerned about liability as well, being cautious of not damaging any items in the seller's home."

So how can sellers protect themselves? There are no established rules regarding payment from prospective buyers for spending a few hours in a home, Nesher says. She suggests sellers set up written agreements, ask for security deposits and/or install hidden cameras for protection. Additionally, she says, credit checks and preapproval letters from a bank also provide a good source of financial information and show readiness to buy.

Will it catch on?

Although a few other cities are catching on to the trend, Nesher says only time will tell if it becomes a lasting one. In areas where demand is high, buyers may not have the luxury of taking their time. But Nesher says it's a marketing option. "Although we are currently working in a seller's market, especially in New York City, it is important to remain open to alternative methods of marketing a home," she says. "A potential buyer presented with the opportunity to live in a property before making a decision can be a make-or-break moment in the home's sale."

Would you be willing to offer this option to a potential buyer?

New Net Paul Pierce Rents $35K Apartment in Tribeca

CurbedOctober 17, 2013
After a decade and a half of making life miserable for Knicks fans, NBA star Paul Pierce is a Manhattan resident. The former Boston Celtics forward, who was traded to the Brooklyn Nets this summer, rented a 5,000-square-foot 14th-floor pad in Tribeca's 90 Franklin Street (which means he's now neighbors with "pop chanteuse" Mariah Carey) for $35,000/month. Pierce has no intention of making nice with his new borough's team. "This is a city battle," he told reporters this summer. "We're going to divide the city now. Before this was a Knicks town, but now that I'm here we're going to call it, 'Nets Village.'" It's okay, he'll figure out the neighborhoods soon enough.

NBA’s Paul Pierce Nabs $35K Per Month Franklin Tower Pad

The Real DealOctober 17, 2013
NBA All-Star Paul Pierce has moved into a full-floor Tribeca loft at the Franklin Tower. The Boston Celtics legend, who jumped this year to the Brooklyn Nets, will move into a 5,000-square-foot home at 90 Franklin Street that was on the rental market asking $35,000 per month.

Pierce’s pad was listed with CORE Group’s Oliver Brown, who declined to comment to the New York Post, which first reported the story. The apartment has four bedrooms and 28 windows and includes a wood-burning fireplace, according to the listing.

The 18-story building is also home to Mariah Carey, who owns the penthouse, the Post said.

Avenues Hosts Brokers to Court Chelsea Kids

The Real DealOctober 17, 2013
Avenues: The World School, the palatial, 1,600-seat private school in Chelsea, offered an after-school lesson Tuesday night to real estate brokers looking to better guide families weighing education — and living — options in the city.

The event, hosted by The Real Deal, attracted the likes of Halstead Property CEO Diane Ramirez, Douglas Elliman broker Ariel Cohen and Nest Seekers International’s Ryan Serhant of “Million Dollar Listing New York” fame for a private tour and dinner reception at the 10-story, 215,000-square-foot facility that opened last year.

“We were told by many people that our school is having an impact on real estate prices [in Chelsea],” Benno Schmidt, chairman of Avenues, told The Real Deal. “We felt it would be mutually beneficial to reach out to the real estate world.”

Brokers, for their part, are often called on to enumerate the merits of area schools for buyer clients.
The $85 million for-profit Avenues, located in a converted warehouse at 10th Avenue and 25th Street, charges students $42,000 a year in tuition. It offers classes for nursery school through 12th grade and is part of the world’s first global school system. Mandarin or Spanish language classes — and an iPad – are an integral part of an Avenues student’s experience from kindergarten.

As Serhant walked the halls on the tour, he said he was reminded of his days at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y.

Flatiron District-based architecture firm Perkins Eastman and a team of designers crafted a loft-style look for the school, which reportedly counts Suri Cruise among its student body. On each of the 20,000-square-foot floors, there is a community room with a nearly 30-foot-high ceiling at the center.

“My friends and colleagues who have kids have had their entire lives upended to accommodate a proper education for them,” said Amir Korangy, publisher of The Real Deal, at the reception.

“Real estate decisions are made based on what schools are nearby and available to families.”

Corcoran Group broker Eileen Robert said she was “blown away” by the facility, but noted that it is against the rules of a broker’s license to recommend one school over another to clients.

“I don’t think you can promise a school or a district,” Ramirez interjected, but a broker can lay out the options.

New construction around the adjacent High Line has created alternatives for larger condominium units, such as three- and four-bedrooms. Janet Weiner, a broker at Halstead, said increasingly families want the option to eventually combine units.

“A lot of families took a chance [enrolling their children] when the school opened,” said Emily Beare, a broker at CORE. “They were pioneers.”

Paul Pierce Nets $35K Per Month NYC Apartment

New York PostOctober 16, 2013
Brooklyn Nets All-Star Paul Pierce and his wife, Julie, have just moved into a full-floor loft apartment in TriBeCa’s 90 Franklin St., the same building where Mariah Carey owns the penthouse. Pierce’s 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home, with 28 windows, was asking $35,000 a month and includes a woodburning fireplace.

Known as Franklin Tower, the 1915 building once served as the Corn Exchange Bank in 1930. The 18-story condo features a roof deck, gym and bike storage.

Pierce isn’t the only Nets player to snub Brooklyn: Fellow All-Star Joe Johnson also moved into a rental in the same ’hood last year.
CORE listing broker Oliver Brown declined to comment.

“Try Before You Buy” Gains Traction With Home Hunters: VIDEO

The Real DealOctober 11, 2013
A new real estate trend, dubbed “Try Before You Buy,” is giving would-be buyers a chance to get to know a home before taking the plunge.

Spending a bit of time living in a for-sale home gives shoppers an opportunity to investigate the light, water pressure, even peek at what the neighbors are like.

“This gives an opportunity for somebody to enjoy the house as much as the owner does, and that’s something we could never write up in our description,” the CORE Group’s Mickey Conlon told ABC News.

Innovative Ways to Market Real Estate

Epoch TimesOctober 11, 2013
With supply as constrained as it is in Manhattan, most properties don't need much help to sell quickly at the asking price. Many agents are telling sellers to make prices non-negotiable and buyers who have already lost out on properties know that.

Nonetheless, presentation still makes a difference, and a well-presented property can add value for a seller.

How TriBeCa Became NYC’s $50M Neighborhood

New York PostOctober 09, 2013
We now know TriBeCa as a neighborhood where Jon Stewart vies with Gwyneth Paltrow for sidewalk space; where the local restos are curated by David Bouley and Drew Nieporent; where the apartments are massive, and a Duane Street townhouse is in contract for just under $50 million.

It wasn’t always this way.

In the spring of 1993, the average price for a condo or a co-op in TriBeCa (and neighboring SoHo) was $182 per square foot, according to data from the real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. Two decades later, that figure is more than eight times higher — in the last quarter of 2013, the average price per square foot was $1,569, and the average four-bedroom mega-loft was trading at $1,981 per square foot.

So how did this neighborhood, once an unpopulated span of cast-iron factories and warehouses (as well as the butter and egg capital of the city), become the domain of rock stars, movie actors and hedge-fund princes — not to mention, one of the most sought-after areas for new development?

The change started happening in the 1970s. “This was something that was a gleam in the [Department of City Planning’s] eyes for years,” says Bob Abrams, who moved into a 3,000-square-foot apartment, with another 3,000 square feet of outdoor space, at 16 Hudson St. when the building went co-op in 1979. Back then the entire six-story, 30-unit structure (including five commercial spaces), which had been used for light manufacturing, sold for $4 million. Abrams paid an “embarrassingly low” price for his top-floor unit.
By that time, artists had already discovered that the area was ripe for conversion.

“There were pioneers like Richard Serra and Meredith Monk and Sandi Slone, who happens to be my wife,” says Douglas Elliman broker Bruce Ehrmann, who is also co-chair of Community Board 1’s Landmarks Committee. And when Robert De Niro was playing Jake LaMotta in “Raging Bull” and needed a place with good light, privacy and space to practice his fight scenes, he set up a boxing ring in a TriBeCa loft.

By the 1970s, the city was offering tax benefits like the J-51 program to turn industrial buildings and warehouses into residences.

“TriBeCa was a pretty desolate place,” Abrams remembers. “What it did offer was an incredible amount of space, and so much more cheaply than the Upper East Side or Brooklyn Heights, where I had lived. I had a lot of art. And the attraction of the space — the high ceilings — seemed great for me, personally.”

And great for him financially, as well — Abrams’ pad is now on the market for $8.99 million with broker Noble Black of the Corcoran Group.

“You had these floor plates that lent themselves to larger, open plan loft living,” says developer Zach Vella of VE Equities, who is currently building two ground-up condos in TriBeCa: 21 North Moore and 290 West St. “It gave you the flexibility to do what you wanted without restrictions … they’re 5,000- to 10,000-square-foot floorplates.”

And older buildings like the Fischer Mills at 62 Beach St. and 45 Walker St. still offer lofts with 4,000 square feet of space.

But regardless of the buildings’ history and sheer amount of square footage, TriBeCa’s appeal is also in its unique architecture.

“It’s somewhere between the industrial and classical world,” says architect Morris Adjmi, the neighborhood’s most prolific design mind, whose projects — including 403 Greenwich St. (a ground-up modern take on a cast-iron building) and 83 Walker (another tribute to cast iron) — are a throwback to the area’s best traditions. “People see that as being authentic and real,” Adjmi says, “as opposed to moving in to just another new development. It’s embracing the history.”

Some buildings, like 7 Harrison, Steven Harris’ 12-unit building in a former dry goods and cold storage warehouse, will keep the brick look of yore when it is completed next year. Same goes for the 53-unit 443 Greenwich St. (a former printing house and steel wool factory), which Metro Lofts is putting on the market next year and should be done in 2015.

Others, like the 33-unit condo Sterling Mason (another Adjmi project), partly honor the old, but also adapt and modernize it for 2013.

“Landmarks, in order to give approval to our plan, had to approve the design,” says Charles Bendit, co-CEO of Taconic, of the former tea and coffee warehouse that the firm is converting into condos. Bendit and Adjmi decided to recreate the 1905 brick-and-terra-cotta building as a kind of “photo negative image.” Along with the original warehouse, they built a duplicate out of metal on the adjoining plot of land.

But in TriBeCa there’s also entirely unique, splashy, ground-up architecture that wouldn’t look out of place along the starchitect-heavy High Line. It includes projects that are about to kick off, like 11 North Moore, with a limestone facade, steel base and floor-to-ceiling windows that gives it a glassier, edgier look than most of what you see in the area. Douglas Elliman is marketing the 18-unit condo, where the starting price is $4.5 million for an 1,897-square-foot three-bedroom up to $35 million for the 7,061-square-foot penthouse with a 3,168-square-foot roof terrace with private pool.

Then there are new projects that have been on the market a bit longer, but are now commanding some of the city’s highest prices — like Franklin Place and 56 Leonard, the latter an enormous glass and steel Jenga tower, where available units start at $2.875 million for a 1,027-square-foot one-bedroom. (A four-bedroom penthouse listed for $47 million is currently in contract.)

Of course, architecture and residential development are only part of the story. “Services changed a ton, early on,” says Vella. But TriBeCa somehow managed to steer clear of the flood of chain stores — the “shopping mall effect” — that consumed SoHo. Sure, stores and boutiques came, but the streets remained walkable.

“I remember there was a deli that opened across the street from our office,” says Jane Rosenthal, who is De Niro’s partner at Tribeca Productions. “It was like, ‘Wow, there’s suddenly a deli [that] opened up!’ ”

In the early 1980s, a young Drew Nieporent went jogging along West Broadway and discovered an empty restaurant space. It became one of the big players of the neighborhood, Montrachet.

“It was quiet, the streets were cobblestone and large, and it was removed from Wall Street — we took a gamble on leasing the space,” says Nieporent. “But I was fortunate. I hired a young chef named David Bouley, so what we had in our favor was expertise and a $16 menu with three courses.”

(Corton, Montrachet’s successor in the same location, was offering a $115 menu this summer.)

De Niro approached Nieporent a few years after Montrachet opened with the idea of another restaurant, which became Tribeca Grill.
“That was the ground-breaking moment in terms of restaurants,” says Nieporent. “After Tribeca Grill, we did Nobu . . . but Tribeca Grill was the precursor to everything, and emblematic of what the area’s all about. We didn’t take a space and change it — we adapted a warehouse to become a restaurant. And it wasn’t a fly-by-night operation; it’s very busy 23 years later.”

As for today’s TriBeCa, Adjmi sums it up like so: “It’s just convenient enough. It’s not overcrowded, not over-commercialized; there are cool restaurants, you have all the parks — it’s a perfect family neighborhood. You don’t get that combination of the building stock, and all the rest of the amenities and lifestyle-enhancing qualities, in any other place.”

Luxe Listings: 23 Downing

New York PostOctober 08, 2013
$8.995 Million, 23 Downing St.: This five-story landmarked West Village townhouse maintains its original early-19th-century facade, yet it has been nothing short of “remastered” on the inside. Its 3,700 square feet (with four bedrooms and four-plus bathrooms) is filled with 21st-century amenities like “professional-grade” appliances, radiant-heat floors and central air. The 900 exterior square feet include a rooftop terrace and a gorgeous private garden. Agents: Emily Beare and David Beare, CORE, 212-726-0786 and 212-726-0743

Luxe Listings: 143 East 63rd Street

New York PostOctober 08, 2013
$17.9 Million, 143 E. 63RD St.: This manse has played host to “the world’s most celebrated luminaries in show business, literature and politics.” No wonder, given that this combo of two townhouses was “designed for seamless entertaining on any scale” — measuring 25 feet wide and sporting 18 rooms, including six bedrooms and seven-plus bathrooms, plus a garden. A pair of pagodas create a harmonious outdoor living/dining room, and crowning it all is a fifth-floor gym and “meditation terrace.” Agents: Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, Core, 212-726-0783 and 212-612-9623

The Patrick Lilly Team Joins CORE, New York's Premier Boutique Real Estate Firm

Luxury Real EstateOctober 07, 2013
NEW YORK - The Patrick Lilly Team was recently featured in an article in The Real Deal by Hayley Kaplan about their move to the boutique brokerage, CORE.

“Real estate veteran Patrick Lilly and six of his team members are leaving the Corcoran Group, one of the largest brokerages in Manhattan, for the boutique brokerage CORE, The Real Deal has learned exclusively.

Lilly, who began work at CORE today, ran a nine-person team at Corcoran. Six of his team members will join him at CORE immediately, while two others are still deciding to move, he said. One member decided to stay at Corcoran.”

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

Singer Michael Feinstein Lists Double Brownstone On Upper East Side

ForbesOctober 07, 2013
Many celebrities alternate between living in New York and Los Angeles. Singer, entertainer and pianist Michael Feinstein, however, is trading the Manhattan lifestyle for Carmel, IN, where he is the artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts.

Feinstein recently listed his double brownstone home for $17.9 million. While nearly $18 million is not utterly outrageous for a home on the Upper East Side (where the median list price is $1.895 million), it’s light years away from Carmel’s most expensive home, which is listed at $4.5 million. The median list price in Carmel is $349,900, and unlike Manhattan, most homes for sale there are situated on green lots within suburban neighborhoods.

The New York residence, located at 143 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10065, is made up of two brownstones that create an 18-room home with 6 bedrooms and 8 baths. The three levels of living space have 12-foot-high ceilings and enormous windows that offer “lush tree-line or garden views.” Designed for entertaining, the house has two kitchens — one for “light meals and casual conversation” — as well as a gym, meditation terrace, music room and a pair of pagodas that connect the living room to the outdoors. Herringbone hardwood floors, marble fireplaces and other designer details fill the turn-of-the-century space.

Feinstein became famous in the late 1980s with a series of concerts on Broadway. He’s produced a number of albums covering George and Ira Gershwin’s work, and currently serves as an anthropologist and archivist for the Great American Songbook, a collection of the most popular songs of the 20th century.

Fall Real Estate Preview: As He Finishes His Tenure, Mayor Bloomberg is Hailed by Brokers

New York Daily NewsOctober 04, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg would be crazy to try to run for a fourth term — but real estate brokers say it’s crazy to want anyone else in City Hall.

“I’m depressed at the thought that someone else will be mayor,” says Shaun Osher, president of real estate brokerage CORE. “I wish we could change term limits again.”

“I really wish he’d run again — and I’m a Democrat,” says Suzanne Hof, third-generation owner of Terrace real estate in Forest Hills, Queens.

“Mayor Bloomberg has been the finest mayor New York City has ever had,” says Brown Harris Stevens broker John Burger.

Burger was the top-selling agent in the country, and maybe even the world, in 2011 and 2012.

Does he have the mayor to thank for his industry’s booming success? Look no farther than the skyline for proof.

“Eight of the 20 tallest buildings in the city have been built in the past decade, and many of them are apartment buildings,” Corcoran Group CEO Pam Liebman says.

Many are the result of Bloomberg-led rezonings intended to spur development citywide.

“What he’s done all up and down the West Side has been amazing,” says Warburg broker Richard Steinberg, one of the stars of HGTV’s real estate reality show “Selling New York.”

Bloomberg’s vision gave rise to hundreds of thousands of new homes, creating inventory in a city where space always comes at a premium. The mayor’s plan for the 26-acre Hudson Yards project — creating 13 million square feet of new apartments, offices, shops, plus two new parks on the far West Side — wows Steinberg.

“The biggest problem for us right now is there’s no product, and now he’s giving us all this product to sell,” Steinberg says.

It’s a big change from the real estate downturn that came after 9/11. Raphael De Niro, Douglas Elliman’s top broker for two years running, credits the mayor’s unerring support for rebuilding the World Trade Center with helping downtown recover.

Tribeca, the West Village and SoHo now beat the upper East Side as the city’s most expensive neighborhoods.

The mayor’s sweeping changes are not confined to Manhattan, either. Across the boroughs, brokers are cashing in on Bloomberg’s legacy projects.

“I don’t think any broker can talk about Brooklyn without talking about what he did at the Barclays Center,” says James Cornell, who has worked in Corcoran’s Brooklyn Heights office for 21 years. “The borough is a brand now, and Barclays is at the heart of that.”

David Maundrell of probably wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for the mayor. He started out leasing apartments on Craigslist when Williamsburg was still best known as a Colonial town in Virginia. But now his operation is one of the biggest brokerages in Brooklyn.

It’s all thanks to changes engineered by the mayor that allow gleaming towers to replace vacant lots and empty warehouses on the Williamsburg waterfront.

Similar changes hit the Queens waterfront under Bloomberg’s watch. The biggest is the 6,500-unit Hunter’s Point South. It’s a megaproject, but thanks to the mayor’s affordable housing plan, 60% of the units will be set aside for middle-income families. That makes it a perfect fit for Queens, according to Rick Rosa, head of Douglas Elliman’s Long Island City office.

Under Bloomberg’s watch, developers set in motion a planned Ferris wheel and outlet mall slated for St. George on Staten Island. Bloomberg suffered a rare real estate defeat in his bid to turn the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a mall, but scored on his second attempt with a giant ice rink complex, now in the works.

New projects aren’t the only things going up. Prices have soared as well.

A year into the mayor’s tenure, the average New York apartment cost $382,000, according to appraiser Miller Samuel. A decade later, it’s almost tripled to $825,000.

Manhattan went from $800,000 to $1.4 million, and Brooklyn doubled, from $336,000 to $671,000. Queens and Staten Island saw more modest growth, about a $100,000 gain for each over the decade, to $440,000 and $411,000, respectively. The Bronx grew from $244,000 to $327,000.

“It used to be there were only certain neighborhoods you lived in,” Liebman says. “He has really stretched the boundaries of the city to make every neighborhood desirable.”

Just ask Elizabeth Stribling, head of the brokerage that bears her name. A longtime upper East Sider, she left the borough and now calls a penthouse in One Brooklyn Bridge Park home.

A conversion of a former Jehovah’s Witnesses printing plant, the building funds a neighboring 85-acre park built on old waterfront piers under a unique private-public partnership that exemplifies Bloomberg’s vision.

“When people are looking for a home, they want views of the park or the river,” Stribling says.

But no Bloomberg-era park was more celebrated by brokers than the High Line. It took $150 million in city funds to turn abandoned railroad tracks into a world-class green space — and it has already attracted more than $2 billion in private investment on surrounding blocks.

“I wanted to buy CORE bikes for my brokers, so they could get around easier, but the mayor did it for me,” Osher says.

For all the development that went up under his watch, Bloomberg deserves credit as a preservationist, says Melanie Lazenby, the Douglas Elliman broker and daughter of former James Bond actor George Lazenby. Landmarking has had a huge impact on the business — but not in the way most people think.

“It makes neighborhoods like the Village beautiful and appealing, sure, but it also limits new development, which constrains supply, and that drives up prices,” she says.

That’s a blessing and a curse, because commissions are higher, but there is also less to sell.

In Bloomberg’s 12 years in office, brokers have seen once-desolate neighborhoods boom and their earnings soar. Some have even become celebrities.

TV shows like “Selling New York” and “Million Dollar Listing” present the crazy and wonderful world of New York City real estate. Bloomberg’s work promoting film and television in the city makes the Big Apple only shine brighter on screens across the globe, says Michele Kleier, president of Kleier Residential and a “Selling New York” star.

“It makes the city look so good,” she says. “I go to the theater, and people from the Midwest recognize me and they tell me they want to move here.”

The mayor has welcomed those tourists, some 52 million from the Midwest and beyond, with open arms. Kleier and others say it has exposed the city to a new clientele and helped boost sales as well.

But the biggest gain, many brokers agree, is public safety. With crime at a historic low, Bloomberg’s biggest legacy — at least for homeowners — might the end of broken windows.

“It used to be you couldn’t sell a townhouse, and if you did, the first question was where to install the bars and the security system,” says Wendy Sarahson of Corcoran, who has been in the business since 1989. “Now, all the bars are coming off.”

Buyers, especially Europeans, who love to pedal around town, brokers say.

“I wanted to buy CORE bikes for my brokers, so they could get around easier, but the mayor did it for me,” Osher says.

For all the development that went up under his watch, Bloomberg deserves credit as a preservationist, says Melanie Lazenby, the Douglas Elliman broker and daughter of former James Bond actor George Lazenby. Landmarking has had a huge impact on the business — but not in the way most people think.

“It makes neighborhoods like the Village beautiful and appealing, sure, but it also limits new development, which constrains supply, and that drives up prices,” she says.

That’s a blessing and a curse, because commissions are higher, but there is also less to sell.

In Bloomberg’s 12 years in office, brokers have seen once-desolate neighborhoods boom and their earnings soar. Some have even become celebrities.

TV shows like “Selling New York” and “Million Dollar Listing” present the crazy and wonderful world of New York City real estate. Bloomberg’s work promoting film and television in the city makes the Big Apple only shine brighter on screens across the globe, says Michele Kleier, president of Kleier Residential and a “Selling New York” star.

“It makes the city look so good,” she says. “I go to the theater, and people from the Midwest recognize me and they tell me they want to move here.”

The mayor has welcomed those tourists, some 52 million from the Midwest and beyond, with open arms. Kleier and others say it has exposed the city to a new clientele and helped boost sales as well.

But the biggest gain, many brokers agree, is public safety. With crime at a historic low, Bloomberg’s biggest legacy — at least for homeowners — might the end of broken windows.

“It used to be you couldn’t sell a townhouse, and if you did, the first question was where to install the bars and the security system,” says Wendy Sarahson of Corcoran, who has been in the business since 1989. “Now, all the bars are coming off.”

Luxury Moves to Mulberry Street

The New York TimesOctober 04, 2013
The architecture and development company Flank set out years ago to prove what others are now discovering: there is a market in Lower Manhattan for oversize condominiums in boutique buildings, no matter the neighborhood.

Flank started out on the Far West Side with a 12-unit building at 385 West 12th Street, and more recently created the 10-unit Abingdon, also on West 12th, where a triplex sold for $23.4 million. Now, in its latest project, the firm will be creating seven capacious units, each with two to four bedrooms, in the unlikely location of 224 Mulberry Street, the site of a parking garage in NoLIta. (Demolition has already started, with completion of the building set for the first quarter of 2015.)

And as the project’s broker, Tim Crowley, puts it, at $6 million to $30 million a unit, pricing will be “unapologetically high.” Calculated to average in excess of $3,500 a square foot, the cost may set records for the 16-square-block neighborhood, which was once part of Little Italy to the south. Its name, NoLIta, is an acronym of “North of Little Italy,” and prices for new-construction condos there tend to hover around $2,000 a square foot.

“If you can figure out a way to build here,” Mr. Crowley said, “every project that comes into this neighborhood inevitably breaks a record, because there’s a lot of desire and a following in this neighborhood, but not a lot of real estate.”

Coming to market this week, 224 Mulberry Street isn’t alone in seeking to break new ground in NoLIta. Six loft-style residences being built atop the famed Puck Building, about a block away, are being marketed for $20 million to $60 million apiece.

Mr. Crowley says prices north of $3,500 a square foot aren’t out of line for large apartments, ranging from about 1,950 to 5,650 square feet, in a well-constructed building of solid materials with classic high-end finishes.

“We’re going to set records on Mulberry Street obviously, but we’re in line with the other high-end, really-sought-after real estate in the city,” he said, asserting that potential downtown buyers tend to be “agnostic” when it comes to neighborhood. “They go to great real estate, and are less sensitive to where SoHo stops and NoHo starts.”

But with a growing number of developments in Manhattan offering large, exceptionally pricey apartments, there is more competition than there has been, brokers said. The asking prices that 224 Mulberry and the Puck Building hope to achieve are conceivable in NoLIta, but will require a “superior product,” said Shaun Osher, the founder and chief executive of the Core Group, a brokerage in Manhattan.

“It has to be exceptional,” he said, “whereas if you’re on Central Park or in the West Village on the water or in other prime neighborhoods, the location there will demand the price per foot. Here, you need the product to help achieve that number.”

Jon Kully, a managing partner of Flank, said he believed 224 Mulberry was just the product to do it. The eight-story building will be quite tall, at 110 feet, because some of the units will have living rooms with 25-foot ceilings, he said. And because NoLIta is a low-rise neighborhood with zoning restrictions of 80 feet, the higher floors of 224 Mulberry should have unrestricted views in perpetuity, Mr. Kully said.

Flank is able to build so high because “we’ve had an active permit for over five years, and a down-zoning took place after the permit was issued,” he said.

A 40,000-square-foot building, 224 Mulberry will replace a four-story garage that had a distinctly patterned enameled-brick exterior. That building was too expensive to salvage, but Flank chose to pay homage to it with Art Deco touches like black-and-white penny-round mosaic flooring in the bathrooms, Mr. Kully said.

There will be elevator-accessed parking beneath 224 Mulberry, which has a garage entrance adjacent to the pedestrian entrance. All units will have at least one parking space; some will have two. A 24-hour doorman will also park cars.

With an exterior of Roman brick on the first four floors, and top floors of cast stone and brick set back 10 feet, 224 Mulberry will have private terrace space for each unit along with a common roof deck. The other amenities, all of which will be free like the parking and the roof deck, include a gym and storage space.

The windows are to be old-style weight-and-chain mahogany structures; though divided into panes, they’re grouped into 10-by-10-foot openings, increasing the amount of light in the apartments. Elaborate brickwork, especially around windows that have cast-stone sills and jambs, will add texture to the facade, Mr. Kully said.

Kitchen cabinetry, including unusual upper cabinets of glass embedded with wire mesh, will be manufactured by the English kitchen designer Smallbone of Devizes. Floors will be white oak of mixed widths, and islands will be marble with a “waterfall” effect in its grain, Mr. Kully said.

Marketing materials include a large bound book that embraces the colorful immigrant history of NoLIta and is filled with romantic black-and-white portraits of the neighborhood’s old-time and new business owners. Potential buyers will very likely be a bit more cosmopolitan than the typical downtown buyer — perhaps world travelers, Mr. Kully said.

“This is a storied personality, a textured personality, someone who’s been around the block, who’s traveled incessantly and is arguably a collector of something or multiple things,” he said, “so we’ve given a lot of consideration to how we can house that person’s belongings.”

Flank’s 224 Mulberry Could Set New Price Record for Nolita

The Real DealOctober 04, 2013
Pricing for Flank’s seven units at 224 Mulberry Street will be “unapologetically high,” the project’s broker told the New York Times.

Pricing for the property’s individual units will range from $6 million to $30 million — in excess of $3,500 per square foot. The numbers could set a new record for the neighborhood, where prices for new-construction condominiums currently hover around $2,000 per square foot.

But the stratospheric price tags aren’t out of line for large apartments ranging from 1,950 square feet to 5,650 square feet in a well-constructed building.

“If you can figure out a way to build here, every project that comes into this neighborhood inevitably breaks a record, because there’s a lot of desire and a following in this neighborhood, but not a lot of real estate,” Tim Crowley, the project’s broker, told the New York Times.

Even so, competition is growing as units in the neighboring Puck Building, only a block away, are marketed for $20 million to $60 million a pop.

To nab such exorbitant asks, the properties will have to deliver a truly superior product, Shaun Osher, founder and chief executive of the CORE Group, told the Times.

“It has to be exceptional,” he told the Times, “whereas if you’re on Central Park or in the West Village on the water or in other prime neighborhoods, the location there will demand the price per foot. Here, you need the product to help achieve that number.”

The eight-story building is to feature living rooms with massive 25-foot ceilings, unrestricted views for upper-floor units, a four-story garage with an enameled-brick interior and Art Deco touches like black-and-white penny-round mosaic flooring in the bathrooms, John Kully, a Flank managing partner, told the Times.

Flank, 224 Mulberry’s developer, is also behind the Far West Side’s 385 West 12th Street and the Abingdon at 320 West 12th Street, unveiled plans for the new project on the site of a Nolita parking garage in March, as The Real Deal reported.
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