WeWork Exec Lets Go of Greenwich Village Co-op

The Real DealDecember 31, 2016

 Will Potter, the Director of Organizational Development at WeWork, and Julie Hunt have sold their Greenwich Village apartment.

Co-Ops Fall Out of Favor

Bloomberg PursuitsDecember 28, 2016

The luxury Manhattan co-op, a longtime sign of real estate prestige and exclusivity in New York, may be losing its appeal. Blame a glut of newly built high-end condos.


Contracts for co-op apartments priced at $4 million or more fell 25 percent this year from 2015, as buyers with means opted for newer homes with more amenities and fewer restrictive rules, according to a report published by luxury brokerage Olshan Realty Inc. It was the biggest annual decline since the firm started tracking luxury co-op contracts a decade ago.


“The data right now has a big, red circle on it that says this sector is in trouble,” Donna Olshan, president of the firm that bears her name, said in an interview. Many buyers see co-ops “as completely outdated and they reject the notion that their equity is tied up at basically the vagaries of a co-op board.”


Buyers at co-ops, usually older properties with fewer amenities, get shares in a corporation that owns the building and don’t hold deeds to their units. The boards can approve or reject buyers, and have a say on everything from how much cash purchasers must have in the bank, to how much their dogs can weigh. Newly built luxury condos -- with gyms, pet spas and yoga rooms -- are proliferating in Manhattan and giving home shoppers more choices.


Buyer Pedigree


Some of Manhattan’s priciest co-ops achieved mythic status over the decades for their exclusivity and the pedigree of their buyers, such as Oaktree Capital Group’s Howard Marks and Millennium Management founder Israel Englander, both owners at 740 Park Ave., a 1931 limestone tower on the Upper East Side. Now there’s competition from new condo skyscrapers including One57 and 432 Park Ave. in Midtown, where Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman and Lewis Sanders, former chief executive officer of AllianceBernstein Holding LP, respectively, have bought penthouses.


“Things are changing and now people have different options,” said Jacky Teplitzky, a luxury broker with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “It used to be, if you were a partner at Goldman Sachs or a partner in a major law firm, what did you need? You needed a Park Avenue address, end of story. It’s not like that anymore.”


Among all apartment contracts signed this year for $4 million or more in Manhattan, 76 percent, or 751 deals, were for condos, according to the Olshan Realty report.


Luxury transactions across all property types have fallen sharply in Manhattan, where pricey new condos are piling up after a post-recession development boom. While condos outshone co-ops this year, contracts to buy them declined 17 percent, Olshan Realty said. Deals for townhouses fell 14 percent.


Condos still got more expensive, with the average asking price in the luxury category climbing 4.6 percent to $8.1 million. For high-end co-ops, the average asking price fell 3 percent to $7.06 million, according to Olshan’s report.


Neighbors Vetted


Emily Beare, a luxury agent with brokerage CORE, said that while some clients outright reject looking at co-ops, others still seek them out.


“They actually like the fact that their neighbors are vetted, that if you’re living there, you’re the end user and that it’s not going to be a building where you’re investing and renting out the units,” Beare said. “You’ll know your neighbors.”


With options increasing in Manhattan, buyers are no longer tied to a specific neighborhood, according to Teplitzky. Apartment hunters who start their search on the Upper East Side, for example, may end up buying downtown in Tribeca, a reality that Teplitzky said is guiding how she advises sellers of co-op units. Next week, she plans to list an Upper East Side co-op with an asking price that’s slightly below its market value -- a way to stand out in a sea of other co-op apartments competing against the wave of shiny new condos.


“The good news,” Teplitzky said, “is that you can get a very good deal in a co-op now.”

Top Stories of 2016

CurbedDecember 27, 2016

What did Curbed's readers love in 2016? If the biggest stories of the year are anything to go by, then tiny apartments, celebrity news, and exclusive peeks inside normally off-limits spaces ruled—as did Pokemon Go. Here now, the 10 most read stories of 2016.


10. Petite West Village studio on a charming, hidden street wants $675,000


Never underestimate the power of privacy and a good location: That combination made this itty-bitty West Village studio irresistible to readers. The studio in is located on the top floor of a 19th-century "back house," which has its own private courtyard and is accessed via its own little walkway from the street.



Celebrity Moves 2016

CurbedDecember 22, 2016

It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of New York City! Yep, it's time for the 13th Annual Curbed Awards! Up now: the biggest celebrity real estate moves of the year.


This year wasn't different from previous years in that celebrities spent millions of dollars on glamorous apartments in Manhattan, but some celebrities sure did make bank in 2016 selling their existing homes like Uma Thurman who sold her Gramercy Park duplex for a small profit, and Rupert Murdoch who made a $2.5 million profit on a West Village mansion. Most chose to buy and sell in Manhattan, but others were adventurous like Emily Blunt and John Krasinski with their purchase of a $6 million Park Slope house (Michelle Williams and Norah Jones continued to update their Brooklyn homes too). Things took a political turn this year with commentator Keith Olbermann quitting his Trump Palace condo due to his disdain for the president-elect. All things considered though, celebrities had a great year trading pricey apartments, indicating more of the same for 2017.


5) Kelsey Grammar—$19.6M


Frasier star Kelsey Grammar was not having any luck selling his $9.75 million West Chelsea pad, so instead of slashing the ask, he decided to join forces with his neighbor who was also trying to unload a pad on the same floor for $9.85 million. Together the duo now wants $19.6 million for what would be a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom apartment that spans 5,750 square feet. Located in Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue building, these apartments offer 360 degree views of the city among many other features.


100 11th Ave

New York, NY 10011

Live in Italianate Splendor

Brick UndergroundDecember 20, 2016

If you want the experience of living in a rambling, historic West Village home—complete with high ceilings, marble fireplaces, and ornate crown moldings—without the commitment of ownership, this rental is for you. The 1856 townhouse also comes with a studio apartment on the top floor, which could be subletted for rental income. It can't hurt: This five-bedroom is listed by CORE for $26,000 per month.


This townhouse retains many of its original details, including the staircase that leads you to the front door and onto the parlor level. There, you'll find a large living room, complete with a working marble fireplace, eye-catching crown moldings along the ceiling, and plenty of sunlight through the oversize windows. The dining room sits adjacent to a sun room, a cozy spot even in the winter; the renovated kitchen features exposed brick walls and updated appliances.


One level up, you'll find two bedrooms, including the spacious master, which boasts its own fireplace, two walk-in closets, and an en-suite bath. The second bedroom also comes with a fireplace—you'll have no trouble keeping warm anywhere in this home—and an adjacent office. There's also a laundry room and a washer and dryer on this floor.


The fourth floor features a similar layout to the third, with two more bedrooms, a bathroom, and office space, while the fifth boasts a family room brightened by a huge skylight. Here, you'll also find the studio apartment, complete with another kitchen and bathroom. Other highlights of the home include a roof deck, terrace, and garden, though note that the ground floor is a separate apartment currently occupied by a tenant.

Living Near 2nd Ave Subway

MetroDecember 14, 2016

The Second Avenue subway is (supposedly) opening early next year, bringing three new stops — 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street to the “Far Upper East Side” in its first phase.


Since the long-awaited MTA project got underway, there was talk of what it could do to real estate prices in the area. Some snatched up existing places as a good investment, while new luxury buildings went up in what was once a less desirable area of the Upper East Side.


Here are two affordable Manhattan apartments in a co-op just blocks away from the 72nd Street and Second Avenue stop that could still be a good investment as the area and the line grow.


Apartment 14 in 332 E. 77th St. is described as a large, sunny studio. There are 9-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and an open kitchen with an island. A decorative fireplace and tree-top views also add charm to the home and a washer/dryer adds convenience. Priced at $375,000.


For $399,000, apartment 7 is a renovated, one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit, where a washer/dryer can be installed. There are also 9-foot ceilings and hardwood floors, as well as a kitchen with granite countertops and custom wood cabinets. The living room is large enough for a separate dining area and the bedroom can fit a queen sized bed.


Studio with Rare Amenity

Brick UndergroundDecember 13, 2016

This week's "small wonder" pick is a studio in name only, given its duplex layout, as well as extra square footage in the form of a private terrace. Located on the second floor of a Chelsea townhouse at 221 West 14th Street, the condo features exposed brick throughout, as well as 13.5-foot ceilings, a fireplace, and a walk-in closet (not pictured).


The sleeping area is lofted, but has reasonable space to move around, and is accessed by a real staircase, not the claustrophobic circular ones, or rickety ladders so often seen in loft-like setups:


As for the kitchen, the old-school exposed brick is offset by new appliances, including a dishwasher. The floorplan indicates that the bathroom is located off the kitchen, but it's not pictured, so you'll want to investigate in person to make sure it's in decent condition.


Unsurprisingly, none of this comes cheap: The asking price is $845,000, already quite steep for a studio, plus an additional $797/per month assessment for facade work, stairway shoring, and new windows, running through December 2018, on top of the regular mortgage, common charge, and tax payments.


That said, while this is a stark difference from its initial $97,000 purchase price back in 1997 (per the StreetEasy sales records), recent transactions show that the apartment has been on and off the market at a variety of price points in the last year or so, meaning you may have some room to negotiate.

The First Look at 42 Crosby

ObserverDecember 13, 2016

Annabelle Selldorf’s luxe 42 Crosby launched sales back in September, and now the team is revealing a set of exclusive photos of the Soho building’s model unit, which the Observer has the first look at.


The seven-story condominium is comprised of just ten sleek apartments. Five are currently on the market, with the least expensive starting at $8.2 million, and two already in contract, including the $25 million penthouse. CORE is handling sales at the Atlas Capital Group-developed building, where expected occupancy is slated for around March or April 2017.


The interiors are designed by Selldorf Architects to complement the cast iron aesthetic of the building’s exterior, as well as the surrounding Soho neighborhood. The unit features a custom stainless steel Boffi kitchen, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and direct private elevator access. There’s a gas fireplace, as well as ash planked wood floors and Thassos marble and Terrazzo finishes throughout. The model unit was staged by Selldorf Architects, using some furniture from Selldorf’s own line, Vica (available for sale, of course).


“The apartment was furnished with a sophisticated client in mind who appreciates elegant finishes, proportions and scale in furnishings as well as architecture,” Lauren Sanford, the interior designer at Selldorf Architects, told the Observer. “There is a combination of pieces from Selldorf’s Vica furniture line as well as found classics such as the dining chairs by Mart Stam and a credenza by George Nakashima.”


The three-bedroom, three-bathroom model unit is located on the third floor of the Soho building, and it’s not yet on the market—keep your eyes out for the $8.25 million listing, though. If the apartment is a tad out of your price range, you can see click through the slideshow above for a first look into the model unit and some décor inspo.


Aside from the fashionable interiors and architectural design, the building also gained a whole lot of attention back in 2014, when it was reported that buyers in the building have the option to also purchase a 200-square-foot underground parking space, on a first-come-first serve basis. The price tag for such automobile convenience? A staggering $1 million per spot.

Cubicle-Busting: The Workplace Reinvented

SwaayDecember 12, 2016

It was upon pouring myself my second coffee of the day in our spacious 13th floor WeWork space that it dawned on me; I work somewhere cooler than most, and it’s not even that cool.


There’s two businessman across the long counter top from me in deep conversation over greasy burritos. I can hear snippets of their conversation, and if I was nosier I could hear it all. Not being the slightest bit interested in anything other than what’s going into their mouths however, I neglect the idioms of their speech for an overall grasp of the situation – that nobody expects me to be of corporate espionage, or mischief. Everybody works seamlessly here, in harmony almost, not bothered by the whir of other business going on around them in a constant rhythm of phone calls, heavy-heeled steps and buzzers. The day is fluid and so are the movements in and out of the glass enclosures. WeWork is not a fixed abode – it’s a new-age office, reflective of a workspace revolution, one that is undoubtedly affecting employee culture and productivity.


Our neighbors here at in this communal office are an amalgamation of industries: fashion, finance, tech and every other clique imaginable. We tussle with each other in the lounge room, share beers on a Friday and mindlessly admire each other’s office spaces and attire before questioning the optics or functionality of their business and wondering if everyone will survive the next decade in the business world. Who are we? It doesn’t really matter, we’re not competitors, we’re just sharing this inclusive and modern space one sip of hot coffee at a time.


It was perhaps Google who lead the way, ushering out the cubicled dark ages and ushering in a new era of fun working environments, artfully-designed open spaces and a litany of cost-free perks like nap rooms, workout classes and catered lunches –  but it quickly caught on. Gone are the days of traditional and tightly packed cubicle-planned office floors. Gone are the days when office functionality spanned 9-5 in a hot, penned-in space. Modern corporations are now creating spaces people want to work at rather than where they have to work – where you’ll be happy to stay longer, lousy with the beauty and relaxed nature of your surroundings. This win-win situation makes us wonder, are these beautiful new-age spaces helping employers in the long-run? Are they actually causing employees to stay longer and work harder?


With so much confetti around a work room, one has to wonder if a professional level of working focus is being compromised. Are people getting more done – or are these upgraded aesthetics a way to make people give more to their business lives? We’ve asked Alex Cohen -Lead, Commercial Specialist for brokerage CORE, to comment on the changes occurring in workspace lay-out and how this is affecting the average workers’ psyche. Cohen, who has years of concentrated analysis and research at his back, does believe that open office spaces are the way forward, and barring any serious complications, will be the eventual model for most offices of the future.


“They create campuses with amenities that are all designed to motivate their people to stay as long as possible in the workplace.”

– Alex Cohen


Technology companies have paved the way for this office model, lead by giants like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Airbnb. Workers have responded particularly well to the change – receptive to the ease with which ideas can be shared across a room, conundrums cracked over a large table and naps taken in designated ‘quiet’ areas. These billion dollar companies are thriving and attracting the world’s brightest minds not least for the status, but for the amenities that come part and parcel with working in these environments. The office formula is no longer desk + computer + chair = ready. Instead it is gym, restaurant, iPad lab, nap room, bean bag area x open spaces = internet. The mobilization of devices means nobody needs a fixed abode anymore – you can work from anywhere – including the treadmill.


“Some people work very productively in an open environment where the stimulation of people and ideas energizes them to be creative and effective,” says Cohen. “For companies in technology in particular, like Facebook or Google, the constant interaction that a very open work space allows appears to foster team work and in essence forces people to share ideas and challenges.


For individuals with ADD, learning or working in a very open environment hurts their productivity – this has been proven in research – as the distractions that an open space create stifle their attention span and focus.”


It’s those companies and industries that have been around since the dark ages — before the internet — that have put up the most resistance to the new office models, with law firms vehement about rejecting the change, barring a few in London, and banks, slow to embrace hashing out fledgling finance ideas over long tables with people you barely know. At its base, this model focuses on an interaction and inclusion with your team the likes of which old-school bankers and lawyers holed up in corner offices have never seen before – the adjustment is strange and almost alien – but it’s coming. Being a team is non-negotiable these days, in these offices.


To up the ante at her business, Virginia girl-boss Sarah Everhart, has revolutionized her office by introducing collaborative boxing and dancing workouts into the work week to adrenalize her colleagues into action. Sarah’s attitude behind the shift has invigorated her staff whilst encouraging them into a fitter working week. The exercise involved releases endorphins (making everyone happier), but also boosts team morale and cultivates a sense of company spirit.


“We are pushing ourselves to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, and I believe that has translated naturally into the work environment.”

– Sarah Everhart


Everhart’s firm has reaped the rewards of team training, as have the likes of Google, Facebook and their techie comrades, who spend millions each year on team outings and sessions – keeping them at the top of those ‘Best places to work’ lists churned out yearly.


Social psychologists, big corporations and activity leaders have clashed heads and produced a new working system that is pushing the envelope for open and inclusive office spaces, and I can’t imagine it’s going to stop. Watch this space as the cubicle continues to disappear and inclusion becomes the new norm.

NYC's Priciest Sales This Week

The Real DealDecember 12, 2016

87 Leonard Street, MAISB


7,414 ft2 | 2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms


#9 Recorded Sale


Closing Price: $7,893,438 | Approx.: $1,065 / ft2


Closing Date: Nov 30, 2016


Open House Agenda

DNA infoDecember 09, 2016

230 E. 79th St., #10F, Upper East Side


1 bedroom, 1 bath


Approximately 800 square feet






Maintenance: $2,020/month


Nearest transit: 6 train at Lexington Avenue/77th Street; 4/5/6 at Lexington Avenue/86th Street; Q train at Second Avenue/72nd and 86th street stations (coming soon)


Open house: Sunday, Dec. 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m.


This one-bedroom apartment in Belmont 79, which has dropped in price by $24,000, has a bedroom with parquet flooring, a separate dining area and kitchen, and a “generously” sized living room with tons of closets. Tenants have access to a central laundry room.

Fireplaces for a Festive Holiday

Brick UndergroundDecember 09, 2016

A working fireplace is a covetable amenity no matter the season, but it’s particularly desirable around the holidays when a crackling fire adds an extra degree of warmth and spirit to any get-together. Following is a roundup of some current standouts—ideal for lighting, gathering round and from which to hang stockings (or place the menorah) from now through New Year’s.


For a little retro flair, nothing beats this suspended wood-burning fireplace—one of two such hanging hearths within a three-bedroom, three-bath penthouse co-op at 53 Crosby Street (listed at $6.895 million) in SoHo.

Dreamy Chelsea Loft

6sqftDecember 07, 2016

This Chelsea-meets-Meatpacking studio at 221 West 14th Street checks the boxes for charm, neighborhood amenities and convenience, and it possesses that elusive bonus item: an attractive outdoor space with at least enough room for a rosé al fresco. For $845,000 it’s not exactly a steal, though if neighborhood comps are a factor—which of course they are—then it becomes one. The second-floor townhouse condominium’s layout works, allowing the space to be a small studio, yet solving the problem of having your bed next to the fridge.


Taking more inventory, there are 13.5-foot ceilings, exposed brick, a fireplace, a sleeping loft, an updated kitchen and bath and a walk-in closet. The listing calls this adorable aerie a “dramatic bohemian duplex,” and while dramatic and bohemian we can agree with, duplex is a bit of a stretch.


The sleeping loft efficiently hoists your bed up and out of the way and measures 10-feet-by-10-feet.


The kitchen is indeed updated, and it’s modern, tidy and looks well-appointed with a dishwasher and a built-in cooktop and range. We love that little “extra” spice/oven mitt/flatware drawer.


Focusing for a minute on that lovely private terrace: Big double glass doors with a transom open onto it, and it in turn overlooks the neighborhood’s envy-inspiring townhouses and carriage houses.


Though the apartment is conveniently located in the middle of pretty much everything awesome with subways galore, it’s also on 14th Street. And no matter how much times have changed, at this particular point in time, 14th Street is still 14th Street, a scruffy jumble of storefronts and pizza joints with a wall of cabs and buses rushing by, all seemingly held together by scaffolding. But the apartment appears to be set in the back, so peace and quiet is still very possible.

The Perfect Holiday Kitchen

New York SpacesDecember 07, 2016

38 Prince Street


38 Prince Street, NYC. The house has three sunny exposures with oversized windows complementing the views of both the cloistered Cathedral and your own private garden. The design is both gracious and practical with well-proportioned layouts, seven bedrooms, seven full and three half baths and three working fireplaces. The grand parlor floor with its formal living and dining rooms boasts a stunning curved staircase, high ceilings and a wet bar. The expansive open kitchen with its extensive marble countertops, Smallbone cabinetry and La Cornue range will be a joy to cook in and leads through a casual dining room to a large south-facing, bi-level garden with an outdoor kitchen.


Sprawling Uptown Condo

Brick UndergroundDecember 06, 2016

Because Morningside Heights is rather small, we don't often come across tons of listings in the cute uptown neighborhood near Columbia University. In fact, this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condo, listed by CORE for $2.7 million, is the only one of its kind on the market right now. Spanning 1,829 square feet and boasting high ceilings and double exposures, it feels light, airy, and spacious. Plus, the property offers a number of amenities, as well as super easy access to the 1 train at 110th Street—the station is right downstairs.


The open living room (see the main image) looks flooded with light due to its double exposures and oversize windows, and large enough for hosting gatherings. The adjacent kitchen is open enough to chat with guests while you cook, and is brightened by its own window. Plus, it looks fresh and new, with upscale, stainless steel appliances, handsome wood cabinetry, and an eye-catching tile backsplash.


The master bedroom doesn't look like it comes with tons of extras, but the listing notes that it includes a walk-in closet. Its en-suite bath looks bright and spacious, with double sinks and marble countertops, a walk-in shower, and a separate tub.


Of the additional two bedrooms, one looks like it's currently configured as a den; the floorplan indicates that both come with ample closet space. In addition to an in-unit washer and dryer, you'll enjoy other conveniences, including full-time doorman service, as well as a concierge and live-in super; there's also access to a deck, terrace, gym, and children's playroom.


Jackson Heights Steal

CurbedDecember 02, 2016

Located within a landmarked building in Jackson Heights, this rather spacious two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit is quite the steal for $670,000. It might not have some of the fancy, new-fangled finishes of apartments in other parts of the city, but this co-op still has plenty of charm what with its high ceilings, oak floors with mahogany and maple inlay, and granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.


The layout of the unit is created in such a way that it allows for a formal dining room, and a living room, the latter of which comes with a wood-burning fireplace. Apart from the two-bedrooms there’s also a little area past the dining room that can work as a study.


The apartment boasts plenty of light, five closets, and overlooks the landscaped garden this co-op complex, Laburnum Court, comes with. The red brick building this unit is in also comes with a laundry facility and bike storage, though when it comes to pets, they only accept cats, not dogs. With its community within a community feel, it doesn’t seem all that bad being a little bit of a distance away from the heart of the city.

What Makes a Great City

Architectural RecordDecember 01, 2016

For urbanists, planners, and architects who appreciate well-designed public spaces, Alexander Garvin’s latest publication delivers a carefully constructed tour of cities that accomplish this goal. He shows how they successfully created or enhanced parks, plazas, and squares or established a broader array of civic improvements to attract investment and enhance quality of life.


While surveying North American and European cities to which he has traveled, and including lavish photographs, Garvin delivers broad principles about how governments, businesses, and private citizens work over time to improve urban environments. Nearly all of the case studies explored are largely strategies to subjugate, or at least segregate, cars and traffic from places to play, work, or spend as these cities plan their post­industrial futures.


The author of three editions of The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t, a textbook-like primer of major urban planning strategies and concepts, Garvin, who teaches urban planning at Yale and was a longtime New York City planning official, now has his own firm, AGA Public Realm Strategists. And he is the creator of the BeltLine plan to connect Atlanta’s disparate neighborhoods via an urban green­way. In the tradition of social scientist William H. Whyte, who studied the behavior of users of public places, What Makes a Great City reflects the author’s keen observations of why people  gravitate to inviting parks and pedestrianized shopping districts.


It fittingly provides the history of how these environments evolved and who planned them.


For those who believe Bilbao’s resurgence was principally due to the reception of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, Garvin thoughtfully illustrates in this new book how the municipality’s relocation of the region’s declining manufacturing base away from the formerly contaminated Nervion river, and extensive investment in new public transportation systems, stemmed the city’s depopulation and did as much as Gehry’s successful intervention to spur economic development.


Perhaps most intriguing of these case studies is Garvin’s depiction of the ongoing transformation of Houston’s Post Oak neighborhood—including the introduction of public transit and pedestrian amenities—in a city long known for unzoned, car-dependent suburban growth.


Surprisingly, the book omits discussion of New York’s High Line, given its impact as an immensely popular park, driver of development, and clear precedent for the Atlanta BeltLine, which here gets its due. In contrast to European and Canadian cities, the transformation of American urban spaces analyzed by Garvin has generally depended on the imposition of extra-municipal special assessment or taxation districts (BIDS and TIFS), as traditional government financing of public improvements has waned. Some commentary on this difference would have enhanced an otherwise impressive look at successful Western public planning.