News

Townhouse On Washington Mews for $30K/Month

6sqftMay 27, 2016

Washington Mews might be one of the best blocks not just in Greenwich Village, but in all of New York City. It’s a gated, cobblestone street that’s lined with quaint carriage houses and one of them has just hit the market, asking $30,000 a month. Located at 64 Washington Mews, it’s been totally renovated into a lofty and modern two-bedroom home with three levels connected by an open staircase and lit by skylights.

 

The carriage house was constructed in 1840 and is now used as a single-family home. One big perk: the rental comes with a parking spot on the private street.

 

A formal foyer, which is flanked by closet space, leads to the open kitchen, dining and living room. This main room gets all its light from three big south-facing windows in the living room, as well as light streaming down from the open staircase. The dining room is distinguished by a French marble gas fireplace, while the kitchen has charming casement windows that look out onto a courtyard.

 

The stairwell leads up to the third-floor living quarters, which is lit by four skylights. The large master bedroom has two full walls of closets and storage. Three windows, framed with shutters and wooden planters (which have their own automatic irrigation system) overlook the cobblestone street of the mews. The second bedroom is equally as charming, with French doors opening to a balcony perched above a courtyard. The bathroom is decorated with marble and boasts a soaking tub and separate, large steam shower.

 

Now it’s down to the downstairs level, which is currently used as a den/media room. (It could also be transformed into a third bedroom.) This floor has another marble fireplace, as well as an office, bathroom and laundry room.

 

Yes, the monthly rent is expensive, but it’s hard not to pine over a space, and street, so charming.

 

Interior Designer Lists Dazzling East Village Digs For $2.95M

New York PostMay 26, 2016

Interior designer Rhea Breck, who used to work for Celerie Kemble before branching out on her own, and her husband Owen Breck, a partner at asset management firm Heronetta Management, have listed their East Village digs for $2.95 million.

 

The 12th-floor co-op at 170 Second Ave. comes with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, large windows overlooking St. Mark’s Church and views of the Empire State Building.

 

The space was formerly Owen Breck’s bachelor pad and came with an Xbox and 50-gallon trash can in the kitchen before Rhea cleaned it up.

 

The home now sports a grand gallery that opens through sliding French doors into the open chef’s kitchen/dining room with a built-in dining banquette, custom lacquered cabinetry and a large center island. Other features in the home include a Sonos speaker system and Nanz crystal doorknobs throughout.

 

The listing brokers are Core’s Henry Hershkowitz and Heather McDonough.

Negotiating: Don’t Overpay For Your Retail Space

Business.comMay 26, 2016

Pre-Payment of Rent

 

Pre-payment of rent is something I have put last as it simply isn’t practical for most businesses. While it is great in theory, I am willing to bet few (if any) people reading this article have the ability to do so. However, if you are able, this is a great way to reduce the overall cost of the lease.

 

As it states, you simply pre-pay the lease. You can make arrangements to pay all, or some of, the lease in advance in exchange for a lower rate. The benefit is obviously the lower rate, but is there a downside? Absolutely.

 

Let’s assume for a minute that you enter into an agreement with a deadbeat landlord. Paying them up front takes away your leverage in the event of a breach. Many states allow you to withhold rent in certain circumstances but if you have already paid, then there is nothing you can withhold. If the landlord stops paying for trash collection, fails to pay the property tax, etc., you could be harmed as a result with a lawsuit being your only form of recourse.

 

On the flip side, some landlords do not accept pre-payments.

 

“Landlords are reluctant to accept lease pre-payment,” says Alex Cohen from CORE, the leading real estate broker firm in New York City. “Generally, they prefer a security deposit that remains in place for the entire duration of the lease, though possibly with a burn-down over time if there is no default and certain thresholds are achieved.”

 

Washington Mews Towhouse Asking $30,000/Month

CurbedMay 26, 2016

Built in the mid-19th-century, the former carriage house has gotten a pretty thorough renovation, with modern upgrades like a gas fireplace, a big chef's kitchen, and a marble-clad bathroom. The exterior is particularly lovely, with blue shutters and planters lining the outside of the home, and a small balcony overlooking a courtyard on the back. There's also a dedicated parking spot in the mews itself.

 

But charm and privacy doesn't come cheap: the house, a rental, is asking $29,995 per month.

Sen. Ron Wyden's other home: NYC townhouse on the market for $7.5 million (photos)

Oregon LiveMay 25, 2016

A politician's life includes commuting back and forth between Washington, D.C. and a home state where voters want time and rivals require attention.

 

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has a few more demands dogging his docket: He splits his time among homes in Portland, Oregon, D.C.'s Capitol Hill and New York City.

 

At 67, he's the father of five, with two grown kids from his first marriage and 8-year-old twins and a 3-year-old daughter with his second wife, Strand bookstore heir Nancy Bass Wyden, who owns a classic Manhattan rowhouse.

 

But maybe the Wydens are getting ready to let go of some obligations.

 

Nancy Bass Wyden's 5,300-square-foot townhouse at 236 East 19th St., between Gramercy Park and Augustus St. Gaudens Playground, is on the market for $7.5 million.

 

And what a Manhattan mansion it is, with six marble fireplaces and formal rooms bedecked in ornate crown molding underneath high ceilings.

 

The top floor of the five-level residence has three of the five bedrooms, one of 3 ½ baths and an office illuminated by a skylight. Other floors contain a wood-paneled library and several dining areas.

 

The galley kitchen is on the garden level so the home cook needs to haul meals upstairs to the dining room, which is adjacent to a massive living room.

 

The back walls of the dining room and the master suite above it have been opened up for expansive panes of glass. No one will notice the modern touches from the street since the front facade remains a quintessential brownstone walk-up.

 

The narrow, Anglo-Italianate building was constructed in 1848 with a plain basement and brick upper facade. The stoop leads to double front doors, which open to the grand living room with chandeliers, arched entryways and stained-glass pocket doors.

 

There's a 220-square-foot terrace on the top floor and access to the not-yet-developed roof. A balcony overlooks the big – 532-square-foot – brick-walled backyard with a century-old Ailanthus tree. There's a cherry tree in the tiny front garden.

 

The value of this home overshadows Wyden's multilevel home in Capitol Hill that he bought for almost $1 million in 2007, according to public records. Or his Craftsman house near Berkeley Park in Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood that he purchased with his wife for $935,000 in 2011.

 

A story in 6sqft, a NYC real estate, design and architecture blog, reported that Nancy Bass Wyden purchased the Lower East Side townhouse for $4.7 million in 2011 from the original family, the Baers, who were cutlery manufacturers. Baer family members lived in the house for more than 150 years, according to listing agents Emily Beare and David Beare.

 

Bass Wyden co-owns the famous independent Strand bookstore, which her grandfather founded in the East Village in 1927. A young Patti Smith and other rockers stocked books at the store that's best know as boasting it has "18 Miles of Books."

 

Strand Bookstore Owner Lists Elegant 1848 Gramercy Townhouse for $7.5M

6sqftMay 20, 2016

If you’re a lover of timelessly elegant Manhattan living and you’re lucky enough to live in Gramercy, you probably love your home just that much more. And if your Gramercy spot is anything like this classically lovely townhouse at 236 East 19th Street, on the market for $7.5 million, we’d say that’s a bit like hitting the jackpot. Built in 1848, the four-story Anglo-Italianate home was owned by the Baer family from the 1860s until the current owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, co-owner of the famous Strand bookstore, purchased it for $4,700,000 in 2011. We’re guessing Mrs. Wyden—she co-owns the store with her father, Fred Bass, whose father, Ben, founded the Strand in 1927—may be selling the house to spend more time in Oregon with her husband, Senator Ron Wyden, who is that state’s senior U.S. senator.

 

The couple have several small children, and if the house looks this good we’d say it must be child-proof. There’s a luxurious wood-paneled library–fitting for the first family of one of the city’s most iconic bookstores–and though there’s plenty of play space and five bedrooms, the home’s intricate historic details have been restored beautifully with added finishes (like walls of glass and several private outdoor spaces) for modern-day livability. Delicate ironwork, high ceilings, ornate molding and several decorative marble fireplaces highlight the home’s parlor living area which provides a full floor of entertaining space, framed by original arched entryways. Through stained glass French doors, the dining room opens onto a balcony overlooking the private backyard garden.

 

The garden level with its own separate entrance is a private entertaining and family space with a windowed kitchen, a study and, currently, a children’s playroom; this floor opens directly onto the aforementioned garden, of course. Up on the third floor, a suitably grand master suite offers another decorative black marble fireplace, four mirrored closets and a spacious master bathroom. An elegant library with enough built-in shelves to collect half a bookstore (though maybe not one the size of the Strand), another bedroom and a half bath are up here as well.

 

The top floor has been configured as private family space with a bathroom, an office with a skylight and roof access; the south-facing bedroom has access to a private patio through a sliding door. Unique details–like a 100-year-old ailanthus tree in the backyard and a cherry tree in the front garden–are the result of this house having been a home for well over a century, which tends to works surprisingly well even for those looking to create their own dream home. And the neighborhood speaks for itself. Let Uma move uptown, who needs her when you’ve got pretty townhouses like this one (and Jimmy Fallon, Richard Gere and Jesse Tyler Ferguson).

 

168-Year-Old Gramercy Townhouse Lists For the Second Time Ever For $7.5M

CurbedMay 19, 2016

Houses this picture-perfect are often only seen in movies. Located between Gramercy Park and Augustus St. Gaudens Playground, the 5,300 square-foot Italianate townhouse at 236 East 19th Street is officially on the market for only the second time in its history.

 

Built in 1848, the historic five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home sweeps across five floors and has a multitude of desirable adornments that include two marble fireplaces, stained French glass doors, arched entryways, and a private backyard. If that isn’t enough wow factor for you, perhaps other amenities like the chef’s kitchen, multiple dining areas, and open spaces ideal for entertaining will seal the deal. (Assuming you're a millionaire, of course.) The asking price is $7.5 million.

Vanessa Carlton Is Renting Her SoHo Loft for $15,500 a Month

Architectural DigestMay 18, 2016

This New York loft comes with not one but two pianos—and they belong to singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, who happens to be the one renting out the apartment. Built in 1910, the building in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood was converted into lofts in 1998. An elevator opens directly into this unit’s windowed foyer. The industrial-meets-bohemian interiors include east, west, and north exposures, wide-plank wood flooring, and exposed brick walls. In the great room, which has original iron columns and beams, a wall of windows overlooks Lafayette Street. There’s also an open chef’s kitchen, a spacious dining area, two bedrooms, and two baths, one of which has a claw-foot tub.

 

Stats

2 Bedrooms

2 Baths

2,500 sq. ft.

$15,500 per month

'Zen-Like' One-Bedroom on a Rare Manhattan Cul-de-Sac Asks $575,000

CurbedMay 16, 2016

Cul-de-sacs are the stuff of suburbia and pick-up sports ball games, and not something associated with Manhattan. And that's precisely why this listing for a one-bedroom on a 72nd Street cul-de-sac so darn charming. The apartment is in a building at the end of the street—yes, right near the FDR—on a cul-de-sac that overlooks the East River. The apartment reappeared on the market this afternoon for $575,000, but an older and still active listing for the property pegs its price tag at $569,000.

 

The building at 535 East 72nd Street was designed in 1938 by Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper's Bazaar, and the co-op in question sports interiors by Marco Battistotti. The "zen-like" design incorporates eastern and wester elements, and includes bamboo finishes.

Indian Buyers Jump onto the NYC Real Estate Bandwagon

The Real DealMay 13, 2016

Agent Emily Beare participated as a panelist at The Real Deal’s New York Real Estate Showcase and Forum on Thursday discussing foreign buyers and all things real estate.

Oh-La-Lita!

Gotham MagazineMay 13, 2016

It turns out the outskirts of Little Italy are totally in. Nolita is on the verge of booming with an increase of trendy stores, restaurants and new development real estate projects. Gotham Magazine highlights the thriving neighborhood while featuring three of CORE's latest projects - 42 Crosby, The Residences at Prince and 224 Mulberry. 

These Holy Sites Double as Dapper Digs

New York PostMay 12, 2016

Soaking tubs, chef’s kitchens and private patios: It’s safe to say nobody had those hallmarks of luxe New York living in mind back in 1859, when the congregants of the Sullivan Street Methodist Episcopal Church built their sacred space.

 

Devout worshippers frequented the church at 135 W. Fourth St. in Greenwich Village for a century and a half before the building was sold in 2004.

 

While a landmark designation protects the white marble facade, the interiors were transformed into eight luxury condos, one of which celeb Jude Law briefly called home.

 

Despite the change in use, there’s no escaping that you live in a church. “This building isn’t cookie cutter in any way, shape or form,” says CORE broker Jim St. Andre, who was marketing the now in-contract $12.49 million penthouse, where Law lived in 2009.

 

That apartment boasts 20-foot cathedral ceilings and panels of stained glass, as well as a wall of glass leading to a terrace and a floating chrome staircase; other units on the market right now are asking $3.59 and $3.69 million.

 

“It’s that blend of old and new, modern and historic,” adds St. Andre, who showed the apartment to a Formula 1 racecar driver, actors and a celebrity chef before locking down a buyer earlier this week. “Buyers want compelling residential spaces … It’s rare to find something like this.”

 

As religious institutions struggle with dwindling congregations and New York land prices soar, more of these historic buildings are being sold either for conversion or demolition.

 

In converting these houses of worship to houses for people, developers and architects have to domesticate spaces notorious for soaring ceilings, few windows and religious imagery — not the stuff of an easy religious-to-condo makeover.

 

Costs are greater compared to a traditional conversion, according to Jordan Rogove, an architect with DXA Studio.

 

He speaks from experience: the firm is currently converting an Upper West Side church at 142 West 81st St. into six apartments.

 

Newly built rooms need to be structurally reinforced; special attention must be paid to exterior details like stained glass. The list of challenges can add between 10 and 20 percent to the bill for construction, he said.

 

But the payoff can be big in an over-saturated market with buyers looking for one-of-a-kind homes.

 

“There are quite a few opportunities to redevelop religious buildings as the US becomes more secular,” says Jody Kriss, co-founder of development company East River Partners. The firm gutted the interiors of an East Village synagogue at 415 E. Sixth St. and plans to launch its three units, starting at $3 million, this summer.

 

Kriss is spot on: according to the Christian Post, a record $1 billion worth of religious properties were sold in the US in 2014 due to high maintenance costs and declining membership — nearly twice the sales made in 2010. Last year, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, citing shrinking attendance and rising costs, finalized plans to merge about 40 city parishes and sell off properties. Most churches, in fact, cite similar pressures and the desire to help fund their congregations.

 

With that kind of ready availability, one man’s prayer hall can quickly become another man’s living room. Martin Davis purchased an East Village synagogue in 2002 after it had fallen into disrepair. The building required a complete gut renovation, but vestiges of its past life remain. “I wanted to keep as many old details as I could,” he says.

 

Separate floors for men and women were taken down and a rooftop addition was added, but Davis retained and restored the stained glass and the building’s original Star of David. He couldn’t save murals of zodiac signs painted on the wall, so he photographed them to project onto his curtains in the living room.

 

Davis’ apartment ties him back to when the East Village was home to a flourishing Jewish community. After moving in, he discovered his grandfather grew up in the tenement behind his building (although he didn’t attend the same synagogue). One of Davis’ plumbers, it turns out, even celebrated his bar mitzvah in the house.

 

Many conversions, though, pose significant challenges to developers, architects and designers. “These are spaces with lots of volume and not a lot of windows,” explains Corcoran broker Deborah Rieders. As for interior design, “religious iconography and too much dark wood can create more of a somber situation,” she says.

 

Rieders is handling sales at 541 Leonard St., a freestanding former church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that has the marketable perk of windows on all four sides. Despite the constraints associated with a house of worship, the project still results in drool-worthy living spaces.

 

“A developer would never choose to build 22-foot ceilings … but buyers get to take advantage of that,” Rieders says. Two of the three units at 541 Leonard are in contract with prices starting at $2.6 million; the remaining pad, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom with original wooden beams, is asking $2.97 million.

 

To create The Residences at Prince Street in Soho, Time Equities and Hamlin Ventures renovated the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral School into seven condos starting at $7.74 million. The placement of the windows on the landmarked facade “had certain implications for the layouts,” says Time Equities director Roberta Axelrod.

 

The firm added walls of windows on one side of the building, which faces a courtyard, to bring extra light into the apartments, which retain the building’s peaked ceilings.

 

DXA Studio, meanwhile, got creative on 81st Street, designing a glassy enlargement for the landmarked church. Although the addition is contemporary, Rogove says, “we designed it as a gabled roof that refers back to the Romanesque church design.” CMC Development made an agreement with the church to provide sanctuary space for the congregation alongside six condo apartments. “By buying in this building, you can help support this institution that’s been in the Upper West Side for 40 years,” Rogove says.

 

Renters can also find salvation in former churches — for a price: within the Spire Lofts, at 167 N. Sixth St. in Williamsburg, two rentals with exposed beams and cathedral ceilings are on the market starting at $5,500 a month. The last unit remaining at the 12-unit Fort Greene church conversion 232 Adelphi St., a two-bedroom duplex, asks $8,600 a month.

 

Julia Lichtblau bought one-half of a Cobble Hill church with her husband and two children in 2001. (Their first to-do was to enclose a waist-high parapet inside the space, making it safe for children.) Lichtblau occasionally offers her home as a vacation rental from $530/night through luxe website Onefinestay. “It’s more interesting and memorable than a brownstone,” she says. “It’s a perfect space … for a New York visitor because you get to experience the city’s traditional architecture adapted in a creative way.”

 

Right next door is 58 Strong Pl., a church redeveloped into 24 condos in 2010. Units don’t often come to market here; the last apartment sold in 2013 for $2.85 million. A close-knit community has blossomed among residents.

 

“There’s a communal feel — it’s kind of churchy,” says Gregory Copeland, who runs the condo board. “There are potlucks, yoga, a book club.”

 

The common hallways are decorated with stained glass and old pews, but Copeland selected his apartment because “inside… you wouldn’t realize you were in a church.” He said that owners have added different flourishes alongside the arched doorways and windows that remain from the church. “People have left their own imprints on the units,” he says. “But we were given a pretty good template to begin with.”

Inside Look: Five Properties with High Line Views

MetroMay 12, 2016

In Manhattan, the term “park view” is synonymous with Central Park. Though it’s still highly coveted for its scenery and adjacent addresses, it’s not the only park in the borough that can increase real estate values.

 

Proximity to Riverside Park on the Upper West Side, and access to the private Gramercy Park to those who live around it are also desired by renters and buyers.

 

Since it opened in June 2009 — later expanding from Gansevoort Street to West 30th and around Hudson Yards — the High Line has been an attraction to both visitors and West Chelsea real estate investors. Luxury buildings have popped up along the elevated park, creating a voyeurism-like atmosphere, with big windows looking onto the typically crowded greenway.

 

High Line-adjacent apartments also feature unique views of a space that blends out-of-use railroad trestle with a landscape of bushes, shrubs, trees and flowers.

 

Here are five properties with High Line views, some close enough to wave to park-goers.

 

450 West 17th Street

 

This three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment features a larger outdoor space - 1,700 square feet compared to 1,637-square-foot - than the inside. According to its listing, the terrace “was transformed into a private, lush and exquisite garden that resembles the informal and natural beauty of the plantings on the nearby High Line.” It is also organized into an outdoor living room, dining room, lounge area and recreation space. For the colder months, future residents can enjoy the $6,295,000 home and its views through the 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows.

How to Invest in Co-Working Spaces

US News & World ReportMay 11, 2016

As the shared economy continues to evolve companies – both big and small – are managing their expense lines and testing new urban markets with co-working spaces.

 

"Companies will have to start treating leases for office or retail spaces as liabilities on the balance sheet, not as public expenses," says Alex Cohen, lead commercial specialist for CORE, a real estate brokerage firm in New York City. "Tenants will have to take a net present value of their remaining lease obligation as a liability."

 

This will have a major impact on reducing earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (also referred to as EBITDA) in leased office spaces, Cohen says. "It's going to encourage companies to take shorter-term leases," he says. "So there is less of a liability they have to apply against their earnings."

 

If the lease obligation is less than 12 months, companies won't have to treat it as a liability, Cohen says, "and that makes co-working with a six- or nine-month commitment much more attractive."

Pristine 174-Year-Old Townhouse In the West Village Asks $26.5M

CurbedMay 11, 2016

Nestled between West 4th and Bleecker streets, the townhouse at 74 Bank Street is one of those charming buildings that hides away its surprisingly spacious 6,000 interior square feet. Its interiors are unfussy yet pristine, making it unsurprising that the townhouse was the subject of a 2012 Architectural Digest feature.

 

The owners taped architecture firm Leroy Street Studio and interior designer Christine Markatos Lowe to remake the space after they purchased it in 2005 for $8.35 million. "Frankly it was hard to see the potential," the owner told AD of the townhouse when they bought it, "It was a bachelor pad." The former owner had caked the home's moldings in maroon and mustard paints; upkeep was minimal. The result of their renovation is a townhouse with spaces that conform to modern life yet honor the house's 174-year history.

 

The cellar level has been remade into an open kitchen and an informal living area and dining area, with the parlor floor giving way to a more formal living space and dining room. The third floor is used now as a master suite including an office, and the house is topped by three smaller bedrooms. The townhouse is now on the market asking $26.5 million.

A Look at this Week’s 5 Most Expensive Listings

Luxury Listings NYCMay 10, 2016

In the past seven days, 29 new listings priced at $10 million and above hit the market, according to StreetEasy. From that list, these are the crème de la crème, otherwise known as the five most expensive residential listings to hit the Manhattan market.

 

Address 464 Greenwich Street


Price
 $29,995,000


Type/Size Townhouse: five bedrooms and five bathrooms and two half bathrooms


This Tribeca townhouse was built in 1892 by the builder Hugh Getty for Samuel Crooks, a wholesale coffee and tea merchant who used the building as a roasting plant. The current owner, who bought the place in 2008, commissioned the French architect Thierry Despont to redesign the residence into a single-family home, which now includes a grand entrance foyer, a rooftop terrace, a gym, a sauna and a commercial-sized elevator. Fun/depressing fact, in 2002 the building was bought for the grand total of $365,000.

Hey, Jude (Law): Actor’s Former Greenwich Village Penthouse Has Found a Buyer

New York ObserverMay 10, 2016

A few years ago, to the excitement of many a NYU student, Jude Law decided to take up residence in a Greenwich Village penthouse that just so happened to be next door to one of the college’s freshman dorms.

 

We could see why Mr. Law would be so taken with the 3,500-square-foot duplex at 135 West 4th Street—it was built in 1860 as a Methodist church before being converted to a condominium in 2006, and retained such features as original stained glass windows and beamed ceilings.

 

Sadly for the co-eds, Mr. Law didn’t seem to be quite as enamored with his new neighbors as he may have been with the penthouse, which he rented while he was starring in ‘Hamlet’ on Broadway in 2009.

 

While the students were rather thrilled when Mr. Law happened to step out onto his terrace, the actor grew somewhat tired of having his name screamed out, and proceeded to reportedly throw oranges at the dorm windows.

 

Hopefully, the new occupant of the penthouse doesn’t have quite the same penchant for citrus as Mr. Law. After being put on the sales market by an owner known as Fnyt Property LLC in September, the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath condo has found a buyer.

 

The apartment, which was last listed for $12.5 million by CORE broker Jim St. Andre, has quite a few other attributes other than just being graced by the British actor’s presence. There are 20-foot ceilings on the upper level, an open Boffi kitchen, and a floating chrome staircase. There’s also a library-slash-media room, Venetian white plaster walls, and Brazilian walnut floors.

 

And, of course, there’s the wall of glass that opens out onto the 500-square-foot terrace, where Mr. Law was known to work out with his trainer to the elation of the NYU students who proceeded to take as many photos as possible on their phones.

 

The current owner paid $6.3 million for the condo in 2009, so we imagine there must have been quite the renovation to spark the near doubling of the price tag–or, maybe the fact that Jude Law deigned to occupy one of the bedrooms at some point in the past has a larger impact on real estate values than one would ever have imagined.

Buyer Snaps Up Jude Law’s Former Greenwich Village Penthouse

CurbedMay 10, 2016

A lovely penthouse with celebrity pedigree is now off the market: This 3,500-square foot duplex, located in the Novare, was last listed for $12.5 million, and according to the New York Observer, a buyer has snapped it up. Thanks to its past as a Methodist church, gorgeous stained glass windows still grace the impressive penthouse, which has three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a 500-square-foot terrace, a library and media room, 20-foot ceiling living room, Venetian plaster walls, and much more.

 

Despite all of that, the penthouse is probably best known for being adjacent to a NYU dorm (so, a party pad); when actor Jude Law rented the place, students who saw him hanging out on his terrace would yell out to him, forcing him to resort to orange-flinging. Hopefully the new owners won't have the same problem.

Panel Lineup Set for The Real Deal’s NY Showcase

The Real DealMay 10, 2016

Real estate's leading voices to share market expertise this Thursday.

See this Coffee Roasting Plant Flipped into a Gorgeous NYC Home

Today HomeMay 09, 2016

You'd expect a man who's led two of the most popular clothing brands in the country to have a stylish pad, but you might not expect the fully stylized force of this 9,000-square-foot loft building in New York.

 

The five-story (plus basement) home of J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, now on the market for $29.995 million, melds Art Deco simplicity and the exposed bolts and gears of a steampunk aesthetic into a home with noir to spare. Designed by renowned French architect Thierry Despont, it makes a statement with every square foot — including the ceilings, from which hang whimsical works of art disguised as lighting.

 

The master suite occupies the entire second floor, with a bathroom that boasts a wall of textured glass blocks and another wall above the soaking tub that's mostly covered by a flat-screen television. There's also room for a chaise lounge and a dressing table, all below an exposed-bulb lighting fixture that would have fascinated Thomas Edison.

 

The five-bedroom, six-bath home measures just 24 feet across, and was once a coffee roasting plant, as a sign still on the front of the building attests. The 1,500-square-foot living room is on the top floor, with 12-foot ceilings and a rooftop terrace above it.

 

The listing agents for Drexler, who once ran Gap and sat on the board of Apple, are Shaun Osher and Jim St. Andre of CORE. Drexler sold an estate in Montauk last year for $50 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Olshan Realty Reports 28 Contracts at $4M+ Last Week

The Real DealMay 09, 2016

Last week, 28 contracts were signed at $4 million and up including Emily Beare and Patrick Lilly's townhouse listing at 243 East 17th Street.

Buildings Get Bike Friendly

The New York TimesMay 06, 2016

One recent morning Erik Harrison, a vice president of the Patrinely Group, stopped by 535W43, a rental complex nearing completion that his company is developing with the USAA Real Estate Company between 10th and 11th Avenues in Manhattan. But it wasn’t the 280 units in the two 14-story brick towers designed by CetraRuddy that were on his mind.

 

It was the bike rooms, one in each of the towers, located not in a shadowy basement but right on the ground level, with big windows letting in abundant light.

 

“We’re going to have a table where people can fix their bikes, and maybe we’ll hold workshops,” Mr. Harrison said, surveying the south tower’s 850-square-foot bike space as cyclists seen through the windows zipped by toward the Hudson River Greenway. “We’ll fit as many bike racks as we can.”

 

Driven by demand as well as a city mandate, developers and building owners are carving out bike rooms for residents to store what for some has become their transportation mode of choice.

 

The state-of-the-art spaces often have their own entrances, saving wear-and-tear on the lobby and passenger elevators. They also offer their own gear by way of pumps and repair stands, and, sometimes, homey touches like hooks for hanging helmets. In the fancier buildings, porters and door attendants act as bike valets.

 

“People come to an open house and ask, ‘Do you have a gym, a roof deck, a doorman?,’ ” said David Maundrell III, the executive vice president for Brooklyn and Queens new development of Citi Habitats. “Now they also ask, ‘Do you have a bike room?’ ”

 

Ridership has been growing steadily, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. A 2014 survey by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene indicated that in vast swaths of Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, up to 20 percent of the population cycled several times a month. While the Citi Bike program can lay claim to some of the increase in cycling, people who own their own wheels still make up the majority of riders, according to Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group.

 

Of course, riders can store their bikes in their apartments, if there’s room. But “now when you’re spending a million dollars for a one-bedroom,” said Roberta Axelrod, the director of residential sales and marketing at Time Equities, “no one wants a bike in there” propped against the wall.

 

Residents of older buildings have been clamoring for the conversion of formerly empty or underutilized “back-of-house” space into storage for bikes.

 

“If you have a building with two- and three-bedroom apartments, 100 units doesn’t mean 100 bikes,” said Matthew Baron, the president of Simon Baron Development. “It could be 300 or 400.” Consequently, there are waiting lists for many of the city’s bike rooms.

 

As for new buildings, a zoning amendment passed in 2009 requires the provision of one bike space for every two units in structures of 10 apartments or more. The law also applies to substantially enlarged buildings and to those being converted to residential use.

 

“It used to be you’d build a building and then say, where should we put the bikes?” Ms. Axelrod said. “Now it’s included in the program from the beginning.”

 

In Downtown Brooklyn, 388 Bridge, a new 378-unit rental/condo building, created 190 bike spaces in three separate rooms in the basement, one space above its mandated quota.

 

Many buildings near parks or bike lanes, or ones geared to a demographic group that favors cycling, exceed the minimum number of spots. Forty2East, a new 53-unit condo building in East Williamsburg, has 36 bike spots, nine more than its quota.

 

In some cases, bike rooms are muscling out other types of storage. The Richard Meier-designed condominium One Grand Army Plaza, in Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood, originally was going to have 75 bike slots, but even before the building opened in 2008, that number was deemed inadequate — especially considering the location, opposite Prospect Park, and the number of family-size apartments it contained. After space from the garage was folded into the bike room, it accommodated 90 bikes, and, more recently, with the addition of double-decker racks and wall hooks, it now has 117 spots.

 

These days, however, it seems the mere provision of space isn’t enough.

 

Bike rooms in buildings coming to market now are being tricked out with compression air pumps, of the sort found in bike shops and gas stations, and work stands to which one can clamp a bike while oiling a chain or fixing a flat. Tools are often on hand, and sometimes there’s a hose for washing bikes down after a muddy ride.

 

At 252 East 57th Street, a condominium under construction near Second Avenue, one of the door attendants stationed at the porte-cochere will be able to whisk away a bike after a ride and have it readied for the next outing.

 

At the Residences at Prince, a condominium project in an 1826 landmark-designated building in NoLIta that previously housed a Catholic school, the bike room will have hooks where residents can hang their helmets between rides.

 

Many buildings are providing the bicycles themselves, acquiring their own fleets — emblazoned with the buildings’ names — for residents’ use.

 

Circa Central Park, a condominium taking shape at West 110th Street and Central Park West, will have four branded single-speed recreational bikes by Priority Bicycles, according to Shlomi Reuveni, a managing director of Town New Development, which is handling sales and marketing.

 

At 50 West, a condominium under development in Lower Manhattan, residents will be able to take the building’s four Porsche bikes, which cost $3,700 each, out for a spin.

 

At least one building is even giving bicycles away. Nine52, a luxury condo soon to open on West 52nd Street in Hell’s Kitchen, will have 20 black single-speed Joulvert bikes, according to Maria Theresa Ienna of Park River Properties, the director of sales. It is also offering a bike, valued at around $450, as a closing gift to the first 25 buyers.

 

“Customers come in and listen to the sales presentation and say, ‘That’s a beautiful bike,’” Ms. Ienna said. “We say, ‘If you buy an apartment, the bike is yours.’ ” The least expensive unit in the building (already in contract) is a studio for $597,000.

 

There is usually a price for parking in a bike room, according to owners and developers. The charges, which can come in the form of a monthly or annual fee, vary widely, from a token $10 per year to $10 to $100 per month.

 

“It’s a decent revenue stream,” said Marc Kotler, a senior vice president for the new development group of FirstService Residential. “It can be $10,000 or $20,000 a year in income” for a building.

 

For some New Yorkers, even a bike room won’t do. The finicky can stow their top-of-the-line bikes in the private storage lockers that some buildings have, safe from jostling and scratching.

 

Or come up with other solutions. Susi Wunsch, the founder of Velojoy, a cycling lifestyle website, keeps her everyday bike, an all-black aluminum Kona Dew with disc brakes, in the bike room of her Greenwich Village building, though she isn’t a fan of wrestling it on and off overhead hooks.

 

She balances her Serotta Ottrott road bike — which she called her “pride and joy” — atop a bookcase in her home office. With a frame that’s clear carbon and titanium, it weighs only 16 pounds.

 

Meanwhile, her midnight blue Pashley Britannia, with its big wicker basket strapped to the handlebars, is parked in the dining room, where “its beauty merits ‘sculpture’ status,” she said.

 

It helps, she added, that she has “a very understanding husband.”

Revisiting 10 Celebrity Homes in NYC with Epic Renovations

CurbedMay 06, 2016

Most everyone likes some good celebrity real estate gawking, so in that spirit and in honor of Curbed's first-ever Renovation Week, we've rounded up 10 of the best finished and on-going renovations in celeb-owned homes.

 

374 Broome Street

When John Legend and Chrissy Teigen purchased their condo in Nolita's Brewster Carriage House in 2012, the space was monochromatic andsubdued. For a celebrity couple as cheeky as Legend and Teigen, that just wouldn't do. The duo brought in Don Stewart and architect Winka Dubbeldam to imbue the space with an old-school industrial look that included dark woods and brass and bronze accents. The overhaul also included turning a bathroom into a walk-in closet and adding a wall to create a vestibule. The couple listed the apartment in June. It's currently on the market for $3.995 million, down from $4.495 million.

 

39 Fifth Avenue

Celebrity interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent listed their stunning Greenwich Village duplex in November, unveiling the apartment's (unsurprisingly) lovely interiors, and a renovation that combined an adjacent one-bedroom apartment with their penthouse. Berkus and Brent are looking for $10.5 million, which is $4.5 million more than they paid for it in 2013.

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