Mixology moves into Manhattan, Drybar's Brookfield Place lease, Perk Kafe's new location

Crain's New YorkMay 29, 2015


349 W. 12th St.
Husband and wife Caroline and Michael Ventura opened the West Village boutique. The store offers contemporary and midcentury home design pieces including lighting, furniture, collectibles and art.


Hudson + Lawrence
355 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn
The designer boutique opened in Boerum Hill. It offers a collection of small to medium designer brands of women’s clothing and accessories. The style is inspired by the fashion of cities such as New York, Montreal and Athens.


Claw & Co.
101 Delancey St.
New York City graffiti artist, fashion designer and author Claw Money opened a boutique on the Lower East Side. It offers items from Ms. Money’s current collection as well as rare vintage items.



1467 Third Ave.
The Long Island retailer opened its first Manhattan location, on the Upper East Side. The boutique features an array of trendy and affordable fashion brands.


KLM Optical Inc. d/b/a Pearle Vision
1085 Northern Blvd., Roslyn, L.I.
Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15. The filing cites estimated assets of $100,001 to $500,000 and estimated liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10 million. The creditors with the largest unsecured claims are American Express Bank FSB, owed $386,534; American Express, owed $37,518.50; and ABB Optical Group, owed $37,039.


Nguyen Custom Woodworking
90 Courter Ave., Yonkers
Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 26. The filing cites estimated assets of $100,001 to $500,000 and estimated liabilities of $500,001 to $1 million. The creditors with the largest unsecured claims are John Nguyen, owed $169,729.60; Trustees of the New York District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds, owed $125,000; and New York District Council Carpenters Pension Fund, owed $115,261.90.


Prime Six Inc. d/b/a Woodland, d/b/a Foxgrove
1723 E. 12th St., Brooklyn
Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 20. The filing cites estimated assets of $50,001 to $100,000 and estimated liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10 million. The creditors with the largest unsecured claims are Internal Revenue Service, owed $341,469.68; New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, owed $287,694.80; and ISG Capital Inc., owed $245,000.


12 Dorn Place, Centereach, L.I.
Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 14. The filing cites estimated assets of $100,001 to $500,000 and estimated liabilities of $1,000,001 to $10 million. The creditors with the largest unsecured claims are New York City Department of Finance, owed $927,234.66; and GE Capital Small Business, owed $180,000.


Department of Parks and Recreation
Requests competitive sealed bids by 10:30 a.m. on June 16 for in-kind reconstruction of site utility plumbing systems in connection with comfort stations and facilities at various Parks and Recreation locations citywide. Bid documents are available between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Blueprint Room, Room 64, Olmsted Center, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, for a $25 fee payable by company check or money order to City of New York, Parks and Recreation. To make inquiries, contact Michael Shipman at (718) 760-6705 or


Department of Environmental Protection
Requests proposals by 4 p.m. on June 23 for construction management services for the installation of water meters on several unmetered developments operated by the New York City Housing Authority. A preproposal conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. on June 5 at NYC DEP, 59-17 Junction Blvd., third-floor cafeteria, Flushing, Queens. To make inquiries, contact Jeanne Schreiber at (718) 595-3456 or



Department of Citywide Administrative Services
Seeks competitive sealed bids for heavy-duty liners, polyethylene and rodent repellent, and for paper table napkins, both by 10:30 a.m. on June 30. To download either bid, visit Enrollment is free. Vendors can also request either bid by contacting vendor relations at or (212) 386-0044. To make inquiries, contact Yuriy Reznik at (212) 386-0458 or yreznik@dcas


Taxi and Limousine Commission
Seeks competitive sealed proposals by 2 p.m. on July 8 for a dispatch program for wheelchair-accessible medallion taxicabs and street-hail liveries. To make inquiries, contact Jeremy Halperin at (212) 676-1031 or



Accounting firm Schulman Lobel signed a lease for 12,017 square feet at 1001 Sixth Ave., a 24-story, 240,000-square-foot building. ABS Partners' Jay Caseley represented both the tenant and the landlord in the deal. The asking rent was $52 per square foot.


Real estate investment and management firm R.A. Cohen & Associates inked a 15-year lease for 8,100 square feet on the 19th floor at 250 Park Ave. Benjamin N. Blumenthal and Norman Bobrow of Norman Bobrow and Co. represented the tenant. Robert Billingsley, David Hoffman Jr. and Whitnee Williams of DTZ represented the landlord, AEW Capital Management. Asking rents were in the $60s per square foot.


Residential real estate firm Core signed a 10-year lease for 5,500 square feet at 149 Fifth Ave. Shaun Osher, Core's founder and chief executive, represented his company in-house. Jason Greenstein of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the landlord, William Colavito Inc. The asking rent was not disclosed.


Regulatory body the National Mah Jongg League signed a seven-year deal for 2,600 square feet at 450 Seventh Ave. The tenant was represented by Michael Heaner of the Kaufman Organization, the building's owner. The landlord was represented in-house by Barbara Raskob. The asking rent was $55 per square foot.



Medical facility Total Urology of New York inked a 15-year deal for 3,207 square feet at 7 W. 51 St. The tenant was represented by Stanley Plesh of Prime Manhattan Realty. The landlord, listed on property records as PREF 7 West 51st Street LLC, was represented by Josh Augenbaum of Augenbaum Realty Corp. The asking rent was $65 per square foot.


Blowout specialist Drybar signed a 10-year lease for 1,498 feet on the second floor at 250 Vesey St., a 1.8-million-square-foot space in the Brookfield Place complex. Steven Greenberg of the Greenberg Group represented the tenant. Mark Kostic of Brookfield Office Properties represented the landlord in-house, along with Stephen Plourde of the McDevitt Group. The asking rent was about $120 per square foot.


Coffee-brewer Perk Kafe signed a 10-year lease for 1,000 square feet on the ground floor of 1867 Second Ave. The landlord, Ogrin Associates, was represented by Joshua Gettler and Joshua Kaufman of New Street Realty Advisors and dealt with the tenant directly. The asking rent was $110 per square foot.


Following are recent insider transactions at New York's largest publicly held companies filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by executives and major shareholders. Listings are in order of transaction value. The information was obtained from Thomson Reuters.


Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL)
Ralph Lauren, chief executive and chairman, exercised options on 250,000 shares of common stock between May 20 and May 21 at prices ranging from $43.04 to $57.76 per share, in a transaction worth $12,230,750. On the same days, he sold 250,000 shares at prices ranging from $131.45 to $131.79 per share, in a transaction worth $32,889,548. He now directly owns 511,036 shares.


Becton Dickinson and Co. (BDX)
William A. Kozy, chief operating officer and executive vice president, exercised options on 42,079 shares of common stock between May 18 and May 20 at prices ranging from $62.50 to $84.33 per share, in a transaction worth $3,026,305. On the same days, he sold 20,761 shares at prices ranging from $142 to $142.01, in a transaction worth $2,948,137. He now directly owns 129,953 shares.


Jeffrey Sherman, senior vice president and general counsel, exercised options on 12,380 shares of common stock on May 13 at a price of $84.33 per share, in a transaction worth $1,044,005. On the same day, he sold 10,983 shares at a price of $138.40 per share, in a transaction worth $1,520,047. He now directly owns 26,454 shares.


Linda M. Tharby, executive vice president and president of life-sciences segment, exercised options on 13,459 shares of common stock between May 20 and May 21 at prices ranging from $75.63 to $84.33 per share, in a transaction worth $1,049,268. On the same days, she sold 6,069 shares at prices ranging from $142.00 to $142.02 per share, in a transaction worth $861,894. She now directly owns 8,280 shares.


Cambrex Corp. (CBM)
Ilan Kaufthal, director, sold 50,000 shares of common stock on May 21 at a price of $41.31 per share, in a transaction worth $2,065,380. He now directly owns 112,315 shares.


Moody's Corp. (MCO)
Lisa Westlake, chief human-resources officer and senior vice president, sold 13,675 shares of common stock on May 20 at a price of $109.69 per share, in a transaction worth $1,500,011. She now directly owns 23,971 shares.

MAP: 11 New Developments Blossoming Around Spring Street

DNAinfoMay 29, 2015

GREENWICH VILLAGE — New real estate is sprouting up all around Spring Street, from a recently-opened hotel that' hosted  clientele like Jude Law and Heather Graham, to some of the area's first new "affordable" apartments.


There's 15 Renwick, the steampunk-themed luxury condo building catering to the "rich hipsters" of Hudson Square's burgeoning creative and tech industries. The 11-story building includes swanky penthouses and luxe "townhomes" with private yards.


Townhouses are also part of the development at 10 Sullivan St. by Madison Equities and Property Markets Group:


The 16-story, Flatiron-shaped tower was originally intended to have four adjoining 25-foot-wide townhouses. But the developers of the 20-unit condo opted to leave two of the townhouses unfinished and attached, to be sold as an "empty shell," according to the Daily News.


The penthouse at 10 Sullivan St. was listed for $45 million and features a private swimming pool, the Daily News reported.


At nearby 476 Broome St., the penthouse of the six-story L-shaped building has its own outdoor lap pool, according to the News. The development also goes by 62 Wooster St.


That building, owned by billionaire Jeff Greene, has two ground-floor retail spaces being marketed to fashion companies that could capitalize on the SoHo shopping scene.

Co-op Board Asked to Interview Homebuyer's Child, Mom Says

DNAinfoMay 26, 2015

MIDTOWN EAST — They’re not kidding around.


A co-op board at a fancy Tudor City apartment building doesn’t just grill prospective buyers to see if they would make suitable neighbors — it also wants to interview their children.


In what could be a first for the city — even in one with such a cutthroat and capricious real estate market — co-op board members at Woodstock Tower have instructed buyers to bring along their kids to interviews that determine whether they get apartments.


That’s what one buyer, Joyce Kacin, said in a complaint she sent last year to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Mayor Bill de Blasio, claiming the co-op board made the unusual request to her — and that it was discriminatory.


“I was invited to a Coop Board interview,” Kacin, 53, wrote in her two-page complaint. “However, the invitation included the need to bring my minor child! Why, in Heavens Name, would a minor child be required to participate in this?? Why would a child be required to go through such an ominous meeting? What could the child add to the interview that anyone has any right to question or expect?”


Kacin, a publishing executive, said in the Aug. 30 complaint that she reached out to Schneiderman and de Blasio because “discrimination is a blight [they] have vowed to defend” and believed this was affecting co-op buyers and their children around the city. She fumed that the Woodstock board’s request to bring her “minor” son to the interview violated the city’s Human Rights Law, which makes it illegal to reject a purchaser for having a kid.


 “Questions and requirements in these areas are illegal,” she wrote in her complaint. “But, the slippery slope of empowered Board Members took undue license in my case, and I dare say, I’m not alone. If even the ‘existence of children’ cannot be questioned, then how can it be legal to require their participation in a Coop Board interview?”


Kacin said not only is interviewing kids discriminatory — it could leave them scarred.


“Should the applicant be denied, what would the effect on the child be? Children would feel only one thing: responsible,” she wrote. “That is just how children are built. The child would assume the burden of having lost the home that was the hope of the family. That is wrong, unfair, and even abusive.”


Kacin said the board president, Susan Isaacs, only dropped the request to meet her son after she wrote a long letter to the board explaining her reasons for not wanting to bring him along. Even then Kacin wondered whether Isaacs, 71, backed off on the request because she realized it was discriminatory and left the building open to legal action.


“Did she recognize that if she persisted she might be faced with a lawsuit and that is why she relented?” Kacin wrote in her complaint.


A co-op board interview is perhaps the most dreaded step for any apartment hunter looking to buy a unit in a cooperative building.


The board chooses who lives in its building by either rejecting or approving the apartment sale after meeting the prospective buyer. Adding to the unnerving experience is that the board doesn’t have to explain its decision.


Doug Heddings, an executive vice president at real estate brokerage firm CORE, said that prospective buyers shouldn’t panic about a co-op board interviews, but they often do because of “the private and almost secretive atmosphere” surrounding them.


“No two boards are alike and it is like interviewing for a private club,” he said. “Boards are also dynamic so it is difficult to ever know precisely what is being sought in a prospective shareholder at any given time.”


Heddings and other real estate experts told DNAinfo New York that some co-op boards make unusual requests like wanting to meet a buyer’s significant other or a pet dog before deciding, but asking to speak to a child was unusual.


“I have never in my 23 years in this business heard of a co-op board interviewing a child,” Heddings said. “I can’t fathom why they would want to interview children unless they had some sort of difficulty with other shareholders’ children in the building.”


Kacin, who splits her time between New York and Connecticut, told DNAinfo she bristled when the Woodstock co-op board asked her to bring her son to her interview over her potential purchase of a $250,000 pied-a-terre at the 32-story landmarked building on East 42nd Street.


“I nearly walked away from the apartment,” she said, declining to give the age of her son at the time. “I didn’t want my son to be there. I didn’t want to him to deal with this.”


Kacin said that, in her case, she feared if she refused the board’s request, its members would reject the sale and she would lose a $25,000 deposit.


There were also non-financial factors that made walking away tough.


“It’s daunting to consider backing away from the investment of time, the relinquishing of privacy, financial information, and the swallowing of pride to begin all over again at another location,” she wrote in her complaint.


Kacin initially told her broker she wouldn’t bring her son to the interview, but he advised her to comply with the board’s wishes.  When she stood firm, the broker called the seller’s broker, who also said she should follow the board’s request.


Kacin’s broker suggested she contact her lawyer, who said, after looking over her application, that he “felt confident” he could fight and win her deposit back if it were forfeited. But that didn’t assuage Kacin because a fight would mean lawyer fees.


Kacin, who describes herself as a “mature and educated woman” in her complaint, said she decided to take a different tack — by writing the board a note.


“I wrote a letter to the Coop Board and gently, sweetly, and diplomatically asked them to interview me alone, without my child,” she said in her complaint. “To ‘apologize’ for my request, I went into descriptions of my child and my life circumstances which, in hindsight, were an invasion of my privacy and should have been unnecessary.”


The letter swayed Isaacs, the board president, to drop the request to meet Kacin’s son. After interviewing only Kacin, the board approved the sale in April 2014.


When Kacin moved in, she cleared the air with Isaacs over a cup of coffee.


Kacin told DNAinfo that Isaacs said she always asked to meet any buyer’s kids. But Kacin said she believes the board president was not intentionally trying to discriminate and didn’t know that it could be violating the city’s Human Rights Law.


“My point in the [complaint] was to show the ill-preparedness, the lack of training that co-op boards have and real estate agents have,” she said. “They don’t know that this is not legal. It’s completely unethical, but it’s also illegal.”


While most real estate experts told DNAinfo that the Woodstock board’s request to meet her child seemed unique, Kacin believes this practice is going on around the city.


She said boards have become too empowered, making decisions with impunity.


“It’s so discriminatory,” she said. “They could not like the freaking shirt you’re wearing and you could not get in.”


That’s why, even though Kacin said the Woodstock board "saw the light" and believes it is no longer interviewing prospective buyers’ children, she wrote a complaint to Schneiderman and de Blasio in hopes that they’ll crack down on this practice citywide.


The attorney general’s real estate finance bureau enforces rules and regulations governing the sale of real estate, including cooperatives. It also looks into complaints of wrongdoing about developers or sponsors of condominium and cooperatives.


DNAinfo New York obtained Kacin’s complaint from Schneiderman’s office through a Freedom of Information Law request.


A Schneiderman spokesman declined to say whether his office is or had investigated the complaint. However, Kacin said she received a letter from the attorney general’s office telling her it was not pursuing an investigation but that she could take her own action against the board.


Mayor de Blasio’s office did not respond to requests for comment.


Isaacs and Orsid Realty, Woodstock’s property manager, declined to comment for the story, or say if the board’s practice of interviewing children is continuing.


One real estate law expert, Adam Leitman Bailey, said he believed the board was legally allowed to interview children, so long as the parents accompany the child and it doesn’t reject the potential buyer solely on the basis of having a kid.


He noted that under New York law “there are no limits on a cooperative’s power to want to meet with a family member, whether it be a child or a dog.”


Bailey also said buyers shouldn’t be surprised their kids are getting grilled considering they’re looking for a home in Manhattan.


“Remember that this is New York City where 5 year olds are interviewed to get into kindergarten,” he said. 

Top residential agents of the week

The Real DealMay 26, 2015

John Burger and 3 East 80th Street on the Upper East Side


Price: $19,750,000

Listing broker: John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens

Address: 3 East 80th Street


John Gadsaka, Jonathan Conlon, Patricia Cliff and 145 Hudson Street in Tribeca


Price: $11,800,000

Listing brokers: John Gasdaska, Jonathan Conlon and Patricia Cliff of the Corcoran Group

Address: 145 Hudson Street


Tim Crowley and 224 Mulberry Street in Nolita


Price: $11,200,750

Listing broker: Tim Crowley, previously of Flank, now at CORE

Address: 224 Mulberry Street


Paula Del Nunzio and 182 East 75th Street on the Upper East Side


Price: $9,280,000

Listing broker: Paula del Nunzio of Brown Harris Stevens

Address: 182 East 75th Street


Daren Herzberg, Julie Pham, Brian Babst and 30 Crosby Street in Soho


Price: $7,990,000

Listing brokers: Daren Herzberg, Julie Pham and Brian Babst of the Corcoran Group

Address: 30 Crosby Street


Sources: StreetEasy and The Real Deal. Footnotes: Data is for closed deals filed with the city this week through Friday. The chart only includes sellers’ brokers, because buyers’ brokers’ names are not available in city data or listings. The data does not include deals in contract. To obtain broker information, listing information was compared with sales records filed with the city. Only deals where an individual broker and address can be identified are included. As a result, private sales, listings where an address has not been provided and new development sales by a sales center are not included.

Open House Agenda: 3 Apartments to See This Weekend

DNAinfoMay 25, 2015

874 Broadway, Apt. 807, Flatiron

Studio/1 Bathroom


Approximately 1,000 square feet

$1.75 million

Maintenance: $2,091 per month

Open House: Sunday, May 24, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

By Appointment


Lowdown: This unit, too, though listed as studio, has enough room to convert the space into a one- or even two-bedroom apartment. The current owner took down the walls and made it an open space when he purchased it nearly 12 years ago, said Win Brown of Core.


“It’s really a unique loft. It’s in the back of an L-shaped building and really has no neighbors,” Brown said of the eighth-floor unit. “There are 13 windows facing east, north and west, and 12-foot ceilings. You don’t really see open spaces like that anymore.”


Formerly an office space, the MacIntyre Building has its original black-and-white mosaic tile floor throughout the common hallways, and for this unit it runs all the way into the apartment to the kitchen. The hardwood floors are also original.


The prior owner updated the kitchen and bathroom before selling.


The maintenance of this elevator building — which has a full-time super but no doorman — is on the high side because the building does not own the commercial space, so it doesn’t have that revenue coming in, Brown noted.


Location: The building, at the corner of 18th Street, is convenient to Chelsea, just a block west. Union Square, with its famous farmers’ market, is steps away. Design-lovers’ favorite ABC Carpet & Home — with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen — is on the block. An AMC Loews is at 19th Street.


The 4/5/6/l/N/Q/R trains are at 17th and Broadway.


Why put it on your open house calendar? “If you’re looking for an authentic loft in the Flatiron District, this is it,” Brown said. “The challenge is to find someone who appreciates the open space.”

Brokers Click with Tech Talkers

Real Estate WeeklyMay 22, 2015

REBNY’s latest Breakfast Club seminar, “Using Technology to Maximize Your Database,” drew a huge crowd, filling the Mendik Education Center.


The panel, sponsored by Citibank US, was moderated by Eric Barron, CEO of Keller Williams and featured speakers Erin Wheelock of Keller Williams, Patrick Lilly of CORE Real Estate, and Zvi Band, co-founder and CEO of Contactually.


Band shared the importance of enterprise software like Contactually, stressing how crucial it is to one’s business to be as organized as possible. By remaining organized, the panel agreed, your business will not only be more efficient, it will also be easier to manage and less strain on your memory and time.


“In terms of how we approach this topic,” Band explained, “there are a lot of people who you think you want to stay in touch with, but the truth is that not everyone is equally important as the other. There are people you take to the movies, people you take out to eat, people you buy a new set of steak knives, etc.


“You should take your entire network and separate it out into different groups of people based on who brings what to your business. Contactually can help you identify those people and help you keep in touch with them.”


“If there’s one thing you can do for yourself today, it would definitely be starting to clean up your database,” added Barron. “I know people who’ve spent between 90 and 120 days just cleaning their databases, and their lives are easier because of it.”


The panelists also discussed not only which clients to keep in touch with, but how to keep in touch with them. At one point, a member of the audience inquired as to how to avoid harassing clients with useless information, and Patrick Lilly offered his advice on the subject:


“When I think about what I’m going to send to whom,” he said, “I don’t do things that I feel would annoy me if I were the recipient. Ask yourself, ‘What would be of real value of this person?’ Then focus on that. When you know that what you’re sending someone will provide real value, it’s a lot easier to sell it and it’s a lot easier to go forward with it.”


“Remember, technology is only good if there’s that personal connection attached to it,” he added. “That’s why some of the old-school methods of sending someone a hand-written card or taking them to dinner are still the best ways to do business.”


Wheelock urged the audience to learn the values of time management, saying that many people allow outside variables to dictate their days.


“I’m not the best at it myself,” she admitted, “But learning how to manage your time, such as when you’re going to cultivate your contacts, when you’re open to show houses, when you’re going to follow-up with clients, and so on, is an important part of maximizing your business.”


To learn more about REBNY’s Breakfast Club and other upcoming seminars, contact Jeanne Oliver-Taylor at

What Could Gary do? Analyzing Extell’s $4.4B sellout at the Nordstrom Tower

The Real DealMay 21, 2015

Developer Gary Barnett has sky-high ambitions for the Nordstrom Tower: Whether or not his condo tower at 217 West 57th Street becomes the tallest building in New York City, Barnett could break records if he comes close to his projected $4.4 billion sellout.


Pricey Digs: Tony townhomes in the Village

Luxury Listings NYCMay 20, 2015

Shaun Osher and Emily Beare's townhouse listing at 10 West 10th Street was featured in the May/June 2015 issue of Luxury Listings NYC.

Move On Up: Checking in with some of the Hottest New Developments in Manhattan

Luxury Listings NYCMay 20, 2015

This steampunk-inspired project at 15 Renwick Street — located on the western fringe of Soho on a single-block street, one of only a few in Manhattan — features 31 condos, including three adjoining townhouse units with private yards and four duplex penthouses. Each residence features wide-plank walnut flooring, eight-foot windows, Waterworks fixtures, Bosch washer/dryers and Creston home automation systems. Amenities include optional private parking, a fitness center and boxing gym, 24-hour doorman, roof deck and Zen garden. From $2.5 million.

NYC's Premier Properties

Luxury Listings NYCMay 20, 2015

Careful detailing combined with contemporary and contextual design showcase this unique 3,924-square-foot duplex. This thoughtfully planned 4-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home features mixed-width solid white oak flooring, recessed lighting and a grand, private terrace overlooked by the bedrooms above. Listed at CORE by Emily Beare, 212-726-0786, 

Costly Condos in Midtown

Luxury Listings NYCMay 20, 2015

Lisa Graham's listing at Museum Tower, 15 West 53rd Street, #23AF was featured in the May/June 2015 issue of Luxury Listings NYC.

Core Takes Space for Fourth Office in Manhattan

Commercial ObserverMay 19, 2015

Core has leased 5,500 square feet at 149 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District, marking the Manhattan residential real estate firm’s fourth office, Commercial Observer has learned.


The new 11th-floor digs between East 21st and East 22nd Streets will accommodate 40 to 50 agents, who will commence working there this fall, Core indicated. The firm’s director of sales, Douglas Heddings, is meeting with prospective agents to populate the new office. 


The lease, signed May 11, is for 10 years. The firm declined to provide the asking rent.


Jason Greenstein of Newmark Grubb Knight Frankrepresented the landlord, William Colavito, Inc., in the deal. Mr. Greenstein also represented Core along with Shaun Osher, the founder and chief executive officer of Core.


Core has retail sales offices at 127 Seventh Avenue and 627 Madison Avenue as well as its headquarters at 104 Fifth Avenue. Core plans to open a fifth office next year.

$7.5M Novogratz House Has Been Thoroughly Un-Novogratzed

CurbedMay 18, 2015

Last week, we reported that the Novogratz-designed townhouse at 1 Centre Market Place in Little Italy was back on the market for $7.5 million after selling at auction for $5.5 million. As the listing had no accompanying photos, we speculated that the house had not been updated since it last appeared on the market, but as it turns out we speculated too soon. The 2006 townhouse has been changed—in fact, it has been given a thorough renovation and shed any last vestiges of Novogratz-iness, and now sports "new exotic hardwood floors, new hardwood moldings, fresh paint, new light fixtures, radiant floor heating throughout the entire house" as well as new security, heating/cooling, and speaker systems, as well as "new noise cancellation/air-tight insulation throughout all of the walls/ceilings."

8 of NYC's Cutest, Tiniest Apartments On The Market Right Now

Refinery 29May 12, 2015

Shoe-box living doesn't have to equal dark rooms, cramped closets, and kitchens that double as bathrooms. In New York City, we've pretty much seen it all when it comes to surprising real estate — but the most surprising of all is when a teeny apartment actually manages to use its size to its advantage.  


When you're calling less than 600 square feet home, the littlest things can make the biggest difference — from utilizing vertical space to maximizing natural light. Think you could never make small space work this well? Think again. Ahead, see eight of the city's most adorable apartments on the market right now that make even the tiniest of spaces feel like living large.


Neighborhood: Flatiron

Address: 16 West 19th Street (between Fifth and Sixth avenues), #9A

Price: $795,000

Size: 460 square feet


If you're gonna call an under 500-square-foot space home, it better have tons of light. And, this L-shaped Flatiron has lots. Thanks to some oversized windows and absurdly high ceilings (by Manhattan apartment standards, at least), this little gem doesn't feel, well, so little. You're guaranteed to fall in love once you see the sleek wood floors, luxe kitchen, and modern bathroom.

Weekend Open House Tour: West Village

CurbedMay 09, 2015

This weekend on the Open House Tour, we're seeing what's on the market in the West Village. There are some nice listings, including a two-bedroom on Leroy asking $899,000, a one-bedroom on West 12th asking $2.1 million, and a two-bedroom on Perry asking $3.2 million (above).

Related’s Jeff Blau Finds Buyer For $35M Co-op

The Real DealMay 01, 2015

Related Companies CEO Jeff Blau has found a buyer for his fancy 1040 Fifth Avenue co-op.


Blau listed the pad in October for $34.5 million with CORE’s Emily and Elizabeth Beare, according to the New York Observer. He originally listed the three-bedroom apartment with the Corcoran Group for $43 million in January 2014. He bought the unit in 2008 for $21.4 million.


The apartment — inside the iconic, Rosario Candela-designed Upper East Side building — underwent a three-year renovation and includes 26 windows with Central Park views.


The Related Companies acquired a large stake in CORE last year, shortly before Blau re-listed his pad with the brokerage.

Manhattan’s mid-sized market makers

The Real DealMay 01, 2015

More nimble than industry heavyweights, but packing more punch than many smaller firms, the mid-sized brokerages on this year’s ranking acted as change agents in the industry. Like last year, the lineup of mid-sized Manhattan residential brokerages experienced a massive shift this year. The change-up came as well-established firms saw their fortunes turn and as newcomers changed the landscape of the Manhattan market.


The ranking is The Real Deal’s third annual survey of Manhattan’s mid-sized firms and only includes companies with 50-plus agents that didn’t make the biggest firms list. This ranking is done by dollar volume of active listings, which were collected by TRD from listings provider On-Line Residential on March 29 as part of a one-day snapshot.


This year, the top two firms — Sotheby’s International Realty and Compass (formerly known as Urban Compass) — prompted a recalibration of the middle segment of the market. Those companies were followed by CORE, Warburg Realty and BLU Realty.


The tony Sotheby’s, which dropped off TRD’s list of largest Manhattan firms, had a massive $1.4 billion worth of sales listings — up from $1.3 billion a year earlier. While the firm outperformed a number of brokerages on the biggest firms list, and had hundreds of millions of dollars more in listings than its mid-sized counterparts, it landed on the mid-sized list after seeing its agent count drop more than 15.5 percent, to 231 this year.


The firm’s priciest listing, marketed by veteran high-end broker Serena Boardman, is a 9,000-square-foot duplex at One Beacon Court; that penthouse is on the market for $82 million. Boardman also has the listing for a duplex at the Pierre Hotel, at 795 Fifth Avenue, that’s asking $70 million. Meanwhile, agent Nikki Field is marketing a $66 million penthouse at Jared Kushner’s Puck Penthouses, at 293 Lafayette Street.


Nabbing the No. 2 spot, Compass — which is backed by more than $70 million in venture funding — cracked TRD’s ranking for the first time this year. It had 168 agents and racked up $486.7 million worth of listings, including 71 Franklin Street, a mansion that’s asking $65 million. Top broker Leonard Steinberg, who is also Compass’ president, has that listing as well as one for a $46 million townhouse at 2 North Moore Street in Tribeca.


Of course, Compass made waves when it hired Steinberg from Douglas Elliman in 2014, and it has continued to turn heads with other high-profile hires, including Kyle Blackmon from Brown Harris Stevens, Roy Kim from Extell Development and Eugene Litvak from Citi Habitats. The firm lured more than 50 hires from the Corcoran Group alone, including managers Gene Martinez and Patrick Brennan, along with agents Lindsay Barton Barrett, Debra LaChance and others.


CEO Robert Reffkin said Compass jumped into the market in 2013 determined to upend the status quo by offering new technology for its agents.


“It’s not rocket science,” he said. When agents tell him they’ve had the same marketing support and technology for years, he said: “To me, that represents a tremendous opportunity.”


Together the top 12 mid-sized firms held $2.6 billion worth of active listings — far more than that the $1.1 billion that last year’s mid-sized companies racked up. But much of that increase is thanks to Sotheby’s presence on the list.


Strategy sessions


As the market shifts, the challenge for mid-sized companies is to adapt to the ever-changing Manhattan landscape.
CORE, which rounded out the top three on this year’s ranking, is seeing its star rise, after Related Companies acquired a 50 percent stake in the firm this past fall for an undisclosed sum.


“It’s a huge game-changer for us as a company,” said CORE’s CEO Shaun Osher.

Going forward, CORE will collaborate with Related on the development and sales of its residential projects. The firm had 119 agents as of March 29, up from 78 last year. In addition, CORE snagged $277.5 million worth of sales listings, up from $156.9 million in 2014.


Meanwhile, Warburg, which ranked No. 4, is in the midst of a major rebranding under the direction of Fred Peters, president, and his daughter Clelia Peters, who came on board last year as Warburg’s director of strategy and innovation. “It’s an interesting challenge to figure out how most effectively to compete if you are, like me, a relatively small brokerage, and you actually want to run a business that’s cash positive,” Fred Peters said.


Warburg had $262.5 million in sales exclusives, up from $166 million last year, according to TRD’s analysis. The firm’s two priciest listings are a duplex at the Eldorado, at 300 Central Park West, that’s asking $29 million, and a 12-room co-op at 998 Fifth Avenue that’s listed at $28 million.


Overall, Warburg had 141 listings on March 29, down from 153 listings last year. The firm has another 100 listings in contract, Peters said, noting that the firm’s listings ebb and flow with the market. “If anything, the market has flattened out in the last six months.”


Market shake-out


Other firms popped on and off of this year’s mid-sized ranking.


For example, Stribling & Associates, the top firm on last year’s mid-size list, once again catapulted back onto the biggest-firms ranking with 281 agents and $694 million in listings. Platinum Properties, which ranked No. 5 last year, now appears on the boutique ranking because its agent head count fell to 36 from 68.


Meanwhile, Fox Residential, a longtime presence on the boutique list, jumped to No. 7 among the mid-sized firms. The firm had more agents this year (51 this year versus 46 last year), but a lower dollar volume of listings ($36.7 million in 2015 compared with $43.9 million last year.)


Founder Barbara Fox noted that because TRD’s ranking only factors in sales listings, the firm didn’t get credit for all of its buyer-side deals. “That’s what a small brokerage does,” said Fox, who represented the buyer of a $16.5 million condo on Park Avenue last year. She also represented the buyer of unit 7K at Extell Development’s One57, which went for $30 million, she said.


Of the firm’s overall drop in listings, Fox said she personally did less business over the past 12 months because she was focused on renovating the firm’s new office at 14 East 60th Street.


Of all the mid-sized firms on this year’s ranking, Spire Group saw the largest increase in the dollar volume of its active listings. Kevin Kurland’s 100 percent-commission firm, which launched in 2011, had $21 million worth of listings, compared with just $9.7 million in 2014. At the same time, the firm’s agent count dropped to 131 from 161.


As in previous years, firms that were lower down in the ranking were dogged by a lack of Manhattan residential inventory, which translated to fewer listings but a faster pace of closing deals.


Clocking in at No. 5, BLU Realty had 31 listings, worth $80 million, compared with last year’s 22 listings, worth $92 million.


“Over the last month and a half, we have a lot of accepted offers and contracts out,” said BLU founder David Tobon. After a slow third and fourth quarter last year, Tobon said his agents are starting to do more deals. “We definitely [have seen] more bidding wars” recently, he said.


Other newer firms, which debuted in the wake of the recession, saw mixed results in 2015.


KIAN, founded in 2011 by Charles Doolan and Jae Muk Chung, attracted more agents — some 222 this year compared to 172 last year. But listings dropped to $20.8 million from $22.4 million.


KIAN’s sweet spot, between $800,000 and $2.5 million, has been particularly strapped for inventory. “There’s too much of this ultra-luxury happening,” Doolan said.