Navigating the Turbulent Landscape of NYC Real Estate

Turn the Page with Hemda MizrahiApril 29, 2016

Agents Arthur Korant and Gerry Kendrick guest starred on radio show, Turn the Page with Hemda Mizrahi. The duo discussed how to successfully navigate the torrid waters of selling and buying in New York City and how to make the overall process as seamless as possible.

Historic on the Outside, Modern on the Inside

Wall Street JournalApril 26, 2016

This federal-style townhouse in Manhattan, built in the early 1800s, underwent a renovation that made the staircase a big attraction.


Location: Manhattan, United States

Price: $8,750,000


Ten years ago, Sarah Bartlett took advantage of something that rarely presents itself in Manhattan: the opportunity to buy a historic home in a quiet neighborhood that still has cobblestone streets. ‘You get a sense of being in the country,’ said Ms. Bartlett, dean of City University of New York’s CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The purchase price of the federal-style townhouse in Tribeca was $3.6 million in 2006, she said. The architect was John McComb Jr., who also designed New York’s City Hall. Built in the early 1800s, the home and two others were designated for historic preservation and relocated nearby in the early 1970s.


The home had been two duplexes. When Ms. Bartlett moved in, she wanted to turn it into a single-family home, which are few and far between in the neighborhood. Though the townhouse has a historic-looking facade, it looks modern inside, said Ms. Bartlett, 60 years old. The home, which has a basement, has an atrium-like feel on the first floor with the ceilings at least 20 feet high, she said. ‘It’s like a loft on the ground floor, yet you have all this privacy that a loft doesn’t offer.’


Ms. Bartlett estimated she spent about $1 million for the gut renovation by Dean/Wolf Architects that opened up the ground floor to give her more space. Major changes included replacing a wooden staircase, putting in a new kitchen and reconfiguring the upper-floor layouts, she said. The townhouse is 3,700 square feet; its width is 25 feet.


Ms. Bartlett said one of the first things that visitors notice when they walk is the door is the modern, stainless-steel staircase, which was moved away from the wall. On one side of the staircase is stainless steel ribbons; the other side is made of glass. Guests often remark that the staircase resembles a piece of art or a gigantic sculpture, Ms. Bartlett said. During the three-year project, architect Kathryn Dean said her firm opened the center of the house, joined the duplexes and inserted the stairway to tie together the floors. ‘Dynamic Descent,’ the name of the staircase, brings light from the roof skylight down through the center of the house, she said. 


She is selling her home because her children are living on their own and the place is too large for just her. She plans to find a smaller place in the neighborhood. Tribeca is a family-friendly neighborhood with parks and good schools, she said.


The master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling and a fireplace. The room is large enough that Ms. Bartlett has a workspace there. On the right is a plexiglass wall, which Ms. Bartlett said can capture the sunlight and the movement of the clouds.


The home has an asking price of $8.75 million and is listed with Shaun Osher, founder and chief executive of the real-estate brokerage CORE.

J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler’s $25 Million Tribeca Loft Is Fittingly Stylish

Architectural DigestApril 25, 2016

It’s no surprise that J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler’s Manhattan loft is as impeccably designed as the fashion company’s clothing. Located on Franklin Street in the heart of Tribeca, the sweeping space was devised by French architect Thierry Despont. Some of the luxurious details: 11-foot ceilings, arched windows, wide-plank Brazilian wood flooring, and industrial-style doors. The expansive 82-foot-wide great room houses the dining, living, and billiard areas, plus a grand salon. There are several cozy sitting rooms, a library, a gallery hall, and a stainless-steel kitchen. The master suite is separated from the guest bedrooms for optimal privacy.


5 Bedrooms
5.5 Baths
6,226 sq. ft.
$25 million


Contact: CORE, 212-612-9602;

In Growth Mode, CORE is Expanding to Brooklyn

The Real DealApril 22, 2016

Boutique real estate firm CORE is expanding beyond its, well, core footprint in Manhattan with a new office in Brooklyn.


Robert A.M. Stern Has Plans for TriBeCa

The New York TimesApril 22, 2016

Robert A. M. Stern may be best known in certain New York circles for the high-end “apartment houses” that his firm, Robert A. M. Stern Architects, has designed uptown in the manner of the city’s grand and gracious prewar residences.


But the firm is also making its mark downtown with buildings like Abington House, a rental building in Chelsea, and Superior Ink, a condominium in the West Village. Another condo it designed, 30 Park Place, an 82-story tower in the Financial District, is expected to begin welcoming residents in a few months.


Now comes 70 Vestry in TriBeCa. It’s still a hole in the ground — a big one, stretching along West Street between Vestry and Desbrosses Streets, with backhoes busily digging in the dirt. But the site would be hard to beat — directly across from Hudson River Park, offering unobstructed views of the water. And the building’s developer, the Related Companies, has now opened a sales gallery a couple of blocks east, at 50 Vestry Street, that showcases the condo’s design and model rooms by the architect Daniel Romualdez, who took charge of 70 Vestry’s interiors.


For the exterior, the architects found inspiration not in the low-rise brick buildings in the immediate vicinity of the site — the sales gallery, in fact, is housed in a single-story 1920 structure that was previously an auto repair shop — but from the handsome warehouses from the turn of the 20th century that Mr. Stern and his team encountered as they wandered farther inland. He described these buildings in a phone interview as “both gutsy and refined.”


Stepping back from a six-story base, 70 Vestry will rise 13 stories. Smaller setbacks will provide terraces off many apartments on upper floors, offering views up and down the Hudson.


Like many of the firm’s New York buildings, 70 Vestry will be clad in limestone — in this case, honey-colored Beaumanière limestone quarried in France. The building’s ample casement windows will be detailed with dark metal spandrels with decorative rivets evoking New York’s gritty industrial past.


The building will wrap around a private courtyard with a cobblestone drive. Residents will enter the building from the courtyard after arriving via a portal on Vestry Street. Sheets of water coursing down a courtyard wall will create a calming hush. An automated system will whisk cars down to a parking level under the building.


Mr. Romualdez, a former member of Mr. Stern’s firm who is known for designing homes for Tory Burch and Aerin Lauder, said he chose to panel the lobby in flat-cut white oak threaded with bands of brushed brass to create “a cozy cocoon.”


The 46 apartments will range from 1,900 square feet to more than 7,000 square feet, with ceilings rising more than 12 feet in some units. Kitchens will feature four ovens: steam, convection, traditional and speed. Most apartments will also have two washers and two dryers. Honed marble master baths will have nickel-framed fluted-glass doors and large side-by-side medicine cabinets. Prices will start at $6.25 million.


According to Related, the building will top out by the beginning of next year, and is expected to open in early 2018.


Mr. Stern, 76, looks forward to it. “In the afternoon when the sun comes off the river, you’ll get fabulous colors on this facade,” he said. “The building will cast a glow back.”


The architect will retire from the deanship at the Yale School of Architecture — a position he has held since 1998 — at the end of the current term. He said he would return to teaching at Yale after taking a year off from academic life.


In the meantime, even though he had sworn he would never write another book about New York architecture — he and his collaborators have already produced five — he recently embarked on a sixth, covering the city’s buildings from 2000, where the last installment left off, to 2020.


Of course, 70 Vestry is expected to appear in it.

Inside Look: 4 Studios That Make Small Spaces Desirable in NYC

MetroApril 21, 2016

New York City renters and buyers are used to compromises - and that almost always means space. For singles — and even couples — a studio is the perfect option for those looking to move into their dream neighborhood. But small living doesn’t need to cramp your style as these four studios prove.


150 Myrtle Avenue


This Brooklyn studio promises a “unique open layout allowing for maximum comfort.” That layout includes three closets, a washer/dryer, and 11-foot-7-inch by 9-foot-2-inch open kitchen area that leads to a 12-foot-7-inch by 15-foot-3-inch living / sleeping area. The apartment, located in the Downtown Brooklyn / Fort Greene area and listed for $530,000, is all about the views - with its floor-to-ceiling windows that show the Manhattan skyline. The building is also “green” with a fitness center, 50-foot heated indoor pool, and a landscaped multi-level roof garden.

Inside Look: 3 NYC Homes That Maximize Indoor-Outdoor Living

MetroApril 14, 2016

These apartments each have their own style, but all have terraces perfect for entertaining.


New Yorkers are able to tolerate small living spaces, as the places outside their cramped quarters offer plenty of ways to escape. But there are homes in this city that offer their own escape in both indoor and outdoor living.


Here are three Manhattan and Brooklyn residences that will make you want to stay home — each with their own style — but all with terraces perfect for entertaining and windows that let in the light when it’s too cold to sit outside.


456 West 19th Street


The penthouse at 456 W. 19th St. features more than 2,800 square feet of living space with an additional 1,200 square feet of private outdoor terraces designed by Cary Tamarkin. Listed for $11,450,000 the terraces are not the only noticeable feature of the Chelsea building. The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath apartment also has floor-to-ceiling, multi-paned casement windows in the living room, which offers access to the terrace, along with the dining room and kitchen.


129 North 3rd Street


Brooklyn is (often) the place to find more space for less, outside of Manhattan, and this condominium townhouse offers four floors with two outdoor terraces. Located in Williamsburg, 129 N. 3rd St., listed for $2,850,000, has a second floor with two bedrooms and a full bath, while the top floor is a master suite. The living room has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that opens to the 400-square-foot private garden with built-in barbecue. There is also an additional terrace plus access to the private rooftop from the master suite.

Luxury Listing: Tribeca Loft with Unlimited Opulence

InmanApril 13, 2016

Vintage meets modern in this chic, sprawling Tribeca loft.


This spacious loft in Lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood boasts a seemingly endless supply of comforts, with an 82-foot-wide living room, vintage bar and pool table and dramatically arched windows to take in the city.


The five-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom condo is listed at $24.95 million by Jim St. Andre and Shaun Osher with CORE.

Classic Homes Go Green

Mansion GlobalApril 11, 2016

The luxury residences being built in what used to be St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral School in New York City will be modern, energy-efficient homes on the inside—but retain historic landmark status on the outside.


The property, to be known as The Residences at Prince, is just one of hundreds of old buildings around the world being transformed into luxurious yet ecologically responsible homes.


As sustainable, green living becomes more desirable in the luxury residential segment, architects and builders are finding ways to bring energy-efficient elements into old homes—even castles. London’s Windsor Castle harnesses hydroelectric power; Buckingham Palace taps its own borehole to cool the wine cellars and irrigate the gardens.


In New York, sustainable building methods and energy efficiency are top-of-mind for The Residences at Prince, said Jonathan Marvel, principal at Marvel Architects, the project’s architect. New materials needed for the renovation are being locally sourced to keep the carbon footprint low, he said.


“Materials have lifecycle costs,” Marvel said. “The mere act of reusing what’s there is the biggest energy-saving green thing you can do in any kind of construction.”


Walls have been super-insulated and the new, thermal-paned windows are landmark-approved, hitting modern standards without interfering with the building’s historic character. For even greater energy efficiency, smaller multizone heating-and-cooling units will be installed instead of larger, centralized equipment.


Some older luxury homes are being transformed into energy misers via passive building standards. In the New York metro area, for example, aging brownstones can be upgraded with continuous insulation and higher-performance windows and doors to create a net-zero or net-positive home that actually produces more energy than it consumes.


Other methods of going green may not reach the net-zero level, but they are nonetheless attractive to today’s luxury homeowners.




Maribeth Messineo Peters, executive vice president and realtor at luxury brokerage Allie Beth Allman & Associates in Dallas, is a long-time advocate of preserving old homes via energy-efficient renovation techniques.


Peters represented Dallas architect Adrienne Hennessey, who bought a 1953 architecturally significant home in Dallas in 2013.


The home was at risk of being torn down for its desirable location before Hennessey swooped in to save it. Its original owner was a member of the Caruth family—land barons who amassed thousands of acres in Dallas starting in the late 1840s.


“It was a fantastic mid-century modern with excellent bones, but it needed a lot of updating,” Peters said. “My client recognized the potential of the home and saw the provenance of the Caruth family as something she wanted to preserve and protect. When it became available, she knew she had to save it.”


Hennessey gutted the inside and renovated with a variety of “green” elements including insulation, a standing seam metal roof and energy-efficient appliances and windows.


“When you open up walls, you don’t know what you will find,” Hennessey said. “There can be additional structural requirements and hidden issues, plus everything must meet current city code,” she said. “You can spend a considerable sum of money on high-end finish-outs as well as green and sustainable materials.”


In this case, the renovation paid off. Peters was listing agent a year later when the property received multiple offers and resold in one day for $1.1 million—double its value from a year earlier.




The National Trust for Historic Preservation says old homes were built differently in the way they regulate temperature and moisture—something to be aware of when adding “green” elements that may affect air circulation.


The trust provides some recommendations:

  1. Get an energy audit. Some utility companies and city governments provide them or hire a Residential Energy Services Network certified evaluator or use a U.S. Department of Energy Home Energy Score assessor. The auditor/assessor will recommend the most efficient upgrades.

  2. Restore energy-efficient historic features. Take advantage of the sustainable features often present in historic homes that make them passively energy efficient. Transom windows above doors promote air circulation, for example.

  3. Consider what efficiencies makes sense. Some possibilities include tankless water heating, solar power and new insulation.

  4. Don’t lose your home’s character with your green upgrade. The preservation trust suggests asking, “If I do this, will the person living in my home in 15, 25, or 50 years be able to undo it, if necessary, without harming the building or a part that contributes to its character?”

What is the Status of the Rental Market in NYC?

Good Morning New YorkApril 11, 2016

Agent Matthew Cohen guest starred on America’s #1 online real estate radio show, Good Morning New York, with Vince Rocco this morning to discuss all things real estate including the status of the market in NYC. 

New Renderings For 70 Vestry Street, Robert A.M. Stern Architects’ TriBeCa Condos

New York YIMBYApril 08, 2016

In February, public records revealed that Related expects to rake in $700 million from selling condos at 70 Vestry Street, the 14-story building under construction next to the West Side Highway in TriBeCa. Now, we have a slew of new renderings for the limestone-clad development.


Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the building will offer 46 condos and 153,000 square feet of residential space. Apartments will range from two- to seven-bedrooms, and vary in size from 1,700 square feet to 7,000 square feet.


The building will have a laundry list of upscale amenities, including a swimming pool, squash court, exercise room, storage, billiards room, and library, as well as an automated garage for nine cars.


These new images give us a better look at the facade and entrances, which will be clad in French Baumaniere limestone. The stepped structure will have a dramatic impact on the Lower Manhattan skyline, striking a balance between Stern’s more conservative work, like 15 Central Park West, and TriBeCa’s aging brick warehouses.


Related picked up the site from Ponte Equities for $115 million two years ago. It occupies 24,360 square feet between Debrosses, Vestry, Washington, and West streets.

Inside Look: 7 Manhattan Poolside Homes to Get You Ready for Warmer Weather

MetroApril 07, 2016

Pools are a rare and costly amenity in Manhattan — even in the city's newer buildings.


StreetEasy data demonstrates just how rare the amenity is in the city’s new residential buildings.


Though the real estate site doesn’t have numbers on the amount of private pools, it did pull stats on the number of pools in new buildings.


There were more than 2,000 buildings with amenity information on StreetEasy that were built between 2010-2015, and 43 buildings had a pool (or 2.1 percent). Twenty-four were in Manhattan, 15 in Brooklyn and four in Queens.


StreetEasy also found that “buildings with pools typically sell for far more in comparison to inventory at large.”


Manhattan units in buildings that sold over the 2010-2015 time frame sold for a median of $5.1 million, while borough-wide the median sale price was much lower — $850,000. A similar price gap can also be seen in Brooklyn and Queens.


Whether you are among the lucky few who can afford a poolside abode in the city, or just need to look at photos of beautiful water settings as you await the warmer weather, here are seven pool-adjacent units that are on the market.




One Madison

Located near Madison Square Park, this luxury building counts among its amenities “an indoor pool set within sensational marble-clad walls,” according to StreetEasy. A full-floor residence with private terrace, three bedrooms, three full baths and a powder room, and keyed elevator entrance is currently on the market for $12.5 million. The wraparound terrace offers views of both rivers.

Broker's Weekly

Real Estate WeeklyApril 07, 2016

On the morning of March 11th, Alfa Development and luxury real estate group CORE, welcomed brokers and real estate executives for a lively breakfast and panel discussion titled, "The Future of Boutique Condominiums." Topics included the projects that now epitomize the city, the ever evolving real estate market and what's next for New York's neighborhoods.


The panel featured some of the leading names in New York's boutique condominiums including Shawn Katz of KUB Capital, Jon Kully of FLANK and Roy Stillman of Stillman Development. The discussion was moderated by Tim Crowley, Director of New Development with CORE. 


The event was held in Residences 2, one of the final remaining homes at Alfa Development's 199 Mott Street, an 11-unit boutique condominium located in the heart of NoLita, and hosted by Emily Beare, a top-producing agent with CORE, who Alfa recently tapped to exclusively sell the home. It is currently listed at $7,775,000. 199 Mott is the fourth building in Alfa's Green Collection of sustainable residential developments and features various locally-sourced and sustainable materials. 

Bernstein Real Estate Plans 19-Story Chelsea Rental Building

The Real DealApril 07, 2016

Developer Alex Bernstein is planning a 19-story rental building around the corner from a mixed-use building he owns in Chelsea, according to a permit application filed with the Department of Buildings Wednesday.


CORE’s Doron Zwickel will be handling marketing and rentals for the building, which is slated for completion in the summer of 2018.

Photo Gallery: The Future of Boutique Condominiums

Real Estate WeeklyApril 06, 2016

On the morning of March 11th, Alfa Development and luxury real estate group CORE, welcome brokers and real estate executives for a lively breakfast and panel discussion titled, "The Future of Boutique Condominiums." Topics included the projects that now epitomize the city, the ever evolving real estate market and what's next for New York's neighborhoods.

Tribeca Condo with Two Voyeuristic Glass-Enclosed Bedrooms Asks $4.75M

6sqftApril 05, 2016

This Tribeca condo at 195 Hudson Street is officially listed as a one-bedroom apartment, but the current owners have fully taken advantage of the 2,325-square-foot space and added a glass-enclosed sleeping area. It doesn’t have a window—or much privacy—but feels anything from dark and cramped due to those see-through walls. The windowed bedroom, too, is separated from the apartment by nothing more than floor-to-ceiling glass. Who needs privacy, anyway, when the apartment looks this nice?


All that glass, while creating separate spaces within the apartment, makes it feel completely open. 11-foot ceilings help, too. 195 Hudson was built in 1929, originally the headquarters of the U.S. Rubber Company, and when it was converted to condo in 1999 the units were delivered by the sponsor as raw space. (This apartment was purchased back then for $588K. It last sold in 2015 for $3.4 million.) Its unique interior, then, is very much a product of the building.


The dining area is part of the open living room, and currently set up right across from the kitchen. The area boasts a built-in bar, while the kitchen is outfitted with slate floors and stone countertops.


Lots of glass in both bedrooms. There’s even a third glass-enclosed space that could be set up as another bedroom, but is currently used as an office space. The second bedroom has a circular ceiling cut-out, which holds a chandelier, and the office has its own custom book shelves.


The master suite has a renovated en-suite bedroom as well as a custom, built-in dressing room. This is the type of closet New Yorkers drool over—good thing it’s covered by actual walls, so we know privacy isn’t an impossible thing to find in this apartment.

Nolita's Church-to-Condo Conversion Finally Unveils Its Listings

CurbedApril 04, 2016

The high-profile conversion of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School into seven (expensive) condos accompanied by two townhouses has reached yet another milestone. Sales launched this morning, bringing the condos onto the market from a not-insubstantial $7.74 million. The launch doesn't bring any new renderings—those showed up in early March—but does reveal the full pricing spectrum of the development, where nearly each condo has a unique floorplan and is asking between $7.74 million for the 3BR/3BA 3A to $13.1 million for the 4BR/4.5BA penthouse. The townhouses have yet to hit the market, but will ask $25 million when they do.


The listings for The Residences at Prince don't come with an exhaustive list of finishes, but they do come with floorplans.


The least pricey of the development's condos is this 2,700-square-foot condo asking $7.74 million.


There's no word on when the townhouses will hit the market (our guess is soon), but here's a look at them in the meantime.