News

Chelsea open houses to check out this weekend

CurbedJuly 21, 2017

Welcome to the weekly Open House Tour, because who doesn't love a little real estate gawking? This time around, we're looking at what's on the market in Chelsea.

 

Speaking of splurges, this duplex on west 23rd Street certainly isn’t budget-minded—it’s going for $1.6 million—but it’s got plenty of space, along with a truly lovely terrace that’s basically an extension of the apartment’s sole bedroom. It has two bathrooms, a wood-burning fireplace in the kitchen, and what looks like a good amount of storage space.

 

When: Sunday, July 23 (2 to 3:30 p.m.)

Morris Adjmi's long-in-the-works Tribeca condo launches sales from $4.8M

CurbedJuly 20, 2017

A long-in-the-works boutique condo building in Tribeca has now launched sales from $4.825 million. The nine-story building, designed by Morris Adjmi, comes with just four condos, and at this time the developer, the Colonnade Group, has only introduced two apartments to the market.

 

The above-mentioned price is for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom duplex on the third and fourth floor of the building. The other listing on the market, is the penthouse. That quadruplex unit comes with five bedrooms and is located on floors six through nine of the building.

 

The penthouse measures just under 4,200 square feet and comes with three private terraces. A sculptural staircase, made from blackened steel, marble, and oak, connects all four floors of the condo. Some of the standout features include the high-end appliances in the kitchen, the radiant heated floors in the master bathroom, and the terrace adjoining the top floor bedroom, which offers great views of the city.

 

Interiors at the condo were done by Stefano Pasqualetti. The project got its start back in 2009, with a different architect on board, who had proposed a fully glass-clad building. Adjmi took over in 2011, and proposed a design that was a little more contextual than the previous iteration. Regardless, the project didn’t quite get off the ground until 2014, and now the condo is very close to wrapping up. CORE is exclusively handling sales and marketing on the project.

Long to live in the city? The quiet-vs.-accessibility trade-off is something to consider.

The Washington PostJuly 18, 2017

Waking up in a city that never sleeps is an exhilarating and romantic notion, thanks to Frank Sinatra.

But after a few nights of screaming sirens and honking horns disturbing your sleep — and the deafening sound of pounding and drilling at a nearby construction site all day — the quiet solitude of a cave in Tibet sounds very appealing.

 

Despite the noise, urban and compact mixed-used communities are in high demand in the Washington region.

 

“We have 37 active projects, and I would say 90 percent are built around an urban environment,” said Chris Ballard, co-founder of McWilliams Ballard, a local consulting firm that works with developers to market and sell new construction projects.

 

“That is where the developers are.  That is where the demand is,” Ballard said, explaining the reason for the high percentage of his business being in high-density sections of the region.

 

Why are buyers choosing close-in living over large yards and spacious single-family homes?

 

Walkability is the leading reason among millennials for choosing urban living, according to a recent National Association of Realtors survey.

 

According to Ballard, buyers at every stage of life are choosing a more walkable urban lifestyle.

 

“It is not just millennials,” Ballard said.  “We are seeing large numbers of people downsizing, staying in [Montgomery County] to stay close to family, and moving to downtown Bethesda.”

Ballard’s company is coordinating the marketing and sales of Cheval Bethesda, a luxury condominium in downtown Bethesda.  Ballard says that the building is already 25 percent sold out, with seven months remaining until occupancy.

Many of these home buyers are seeking a simpler lifestyle, with less maintenance and the carefree ease of locking the door and leaving for vacation without the worries of security and upkeep.

According to local home-buying statistics, the District is at the forefront of the walkability trend.

The total sold dollar volume in the District has increased by 13.3 percent during the first half of 2017 from the same period in 2016, according to Real Estate Business Intelligence.  Across the board, most urban neighborhoods in the Washington area have experienced an increase in price per square foot and a decrease in days on market. But what other characteristics do walkable high-density neighborhoods have besides convenience and low maintenance?

  

As I write this article, the construction site next door to my Cleveland Park condo is buzzing with drills and saws.  It has been under construction for one year.  Added to this cacophony is the bathroom renovation recently initiated in the unit across the hall.  I feel a migraine coming.

 

Word of advice: Don’t think that you are going to move to the city and then win the fight against noise.  The developer next door ignored my request to ask the workers to lower their music. (Although, it seems enough people complained that the music has finally stopped.)

 

A new resident of New York City, coming from New Mexico, recently filed a lawsuit against his building manager because his unit is too noisy. His high-rise rental happens to overlook Lincoln Tunnel. In his defense, he claims he was promised a unit on the other side of the building.

Is there any relief from all the noise? Some locals are finding moments of peace and quiet.

 

“As the city gets busier and noisier and more exciting, the need for quiet and space increases,” said Eldad Moraru, owner of Take Five Meditation Studio in Dupont Circle. “We are giving people an escape from the craziness of the city.”

 

Here are some tips to help you relieve the noise factor:

Purchase a unit on the highest floor possible, to avoid street noise. Cheval Bethesda is designed with the condo units starting on the fifth floor.

 

Better yet, purchase the penthouse unit to also avoid noise from an upstairs neighbor.

Higher-level units are typically more expensive. If your budget does not allow for a top floor, seek out buildings with concrete construction between each floor.

 

Check the condo rules to understand the level of noise permissible, and understand the process of complaining about loud neighbors.

 

Check the neighboring lots to determine whether any buildings could be knocked down and replaced with new construction.

 

Corner units are great, because two sides of the unit do not connect to another unit.

A client of mine recently asked me to find him a home that offers as much quiet as possible, while keeping his commute to work in Dupont Circle short. I showed him a townhouse development in Chevy Chase that borders Rock Creek Park. It is not walkable to restaurants and shops, but it is tucked away from noisy roads.

As for me, was the ability to walk to a Cleveland Park coffee shop this morning worth listening to the short-tempered drivers honking at one another as I walked down Connecticut Avenue? Well, it is really good coffee.

$2,500/month Soho studio fits a lot of storage and charm into 200 square feet

6SQFTJuly 18, 2017

The Soho cooperative 57 Thompson Street is full of apartments we like: like this cozy one bedroom asking $730,000 last year, or this dreamy two bedroom that was up for rent, or this straightforward one bedroom asking $625,000 last fall. Next up is the studio apartment #5F, now on the rental market for $2,500 a month. Located on a high floor of the six-story brick building, it’s a bright, renovated space with pretty pre-war details intact and a good amount of storage for just over 200 square feet.

 

The space might not be big but it still boasts nice details like exposed brick, high ceilings, and hardwood floors. The open kitchen, tucked into a corner, was renovated and built out with as much cabinetry as you could fit in the tiny space. The windows were also replaced in the renovation.

 

The cozy bedroom nook, which fits a full bed, is lined with a painted exposed brick. There are two closets nearby. This co-op rental has the option of coming furnished–not a bad decision given that it’s well decorated with furniture that compliments the interior.

 

The marble bathroom, too, got a complete overhaul in the renovation.

 

57 Thompson is an elevator co-op on a quiet, tree-lined street of Soho, near the Tribeca border. Because this apartment is located on an upper floor of the building, it’s even more serene. But if the studio ever starts feeling too quiet, or a bit too small–the bustle of Canal Street and 6th Avenue are a short walk from the building’s front door.

Why Plants are the New Art in Architectural Development

ELUXE MagazineJuly 14, 2017

Back in the 80’s, it was de rigueur for architects to incorporate huge, showy and highly pricey works of art in lobbies. For many of us, the first time we had direct contact with works by the likes of Mark Rothko Julian Schnabel or Mark Tansey was in the foyers of banks, expensive condos, or company headquarters. The works were designed to impress, awe and even intimidate a bit.

 

But times have changed, and today’s architects’ goals are different – they want us to feel centred, calm and healthier when we enter a building. And what better way to induce those feelings that through the use of green walls?

 

Green walls, also called living walls, have been installed in company lobbies for businesses as diverse as Lululemon, Google, Airbnb and Air France, and no wonder: studies have shown that in the workplace, green walls make an enormous positive impact. Just some of the benefits include:

 

Reducing urban heat island effects and smog

Cleaning outside air of pollutants and dust

Offsetting the carbon footprint of people and fuel emissions

Removing VOCs and other harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from the air

Soundproofing

Insulating and cooling buildings

Creating habitats for birds and beneficial insects, increasing biodiversity

Growing food in urban settings

Increasing foot traffic in retail spaces

 

But it’s not only companies that are applying living walls to their constructions – residential developers who once invested heavily in statues and paintings to adorn their work have discovered adding green walls and other plant based features increases real estate value, residents’ well being, and of course, aesthetic value of a building.

 

Here, we take a look at 7 beautiful developments that demonstrate how plants are the new art in architectural developments.

 

60 White Street 

At 60 White Street, you’ll be surprised and delighted by the way moss and vines colonise the brick and vertical cables, whilst brick salvaged from the site creates a backdrop for the bluestone and plantings. In this development, the green wall designed for the lobby will contain a selective mix of interesting textured plants that are guaranteed to thrive in interior environments. Furthermore, the plan for an interior grotto adjacent to a lounge area will undoubtedly evoke the sense of a found location unearthed from the ruins of the existing building.

Six homes with private parking that make escaping the city on summer weekends a cinch

Brick UndergroundJuly 14, 2017

They key to a quick getaway on a summer Friday: your own driveway and/or garage where you can park steps from your front door and load up the car with little to no friction whatsoever. Here, six homes that have what it takes…

 

At 7 Hubert Street—a Tribeca townhouse with four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms (yours for $19.750 million)—a pristine and oversized garage space leaves plenty of space for storing a season’s worth of summer toys, from tennis racquets to golf clubs and stand-up surf boards to sea kayaks.

 

For $3.95 million, you can pick up this newly built, multi-family townhouse (with an owner’s triplex and a smaller studio/guest suite) at 391 South 3rd Street in Williamsburg with a gated front courtyard—just beyond the front door—that doubles as a private parking space.

 

Meanwhile, at 257 Berry Street, also in Williamsburg, a modern single-family home (on the market for $4.5 million) includes an unusual garage/entry that allows the owner to drive directly into the lower level gallery area of the 3,500-square-foot live/work space.

 

At 23 Cornelia Street, a deceptively small-looking former carriage house built in 1912 has been transformed into a spacious and modern three-story home (on the market for $24.5 million) with four bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms, an indoor pool, and this 10’6” x 20’2” garage, sandwiched between two front doors, for added convenience with comings and goings.

  

Finally, for about the price of a 1,000 square foot, two-bedroom in Manhattan, you can have this four- bedroom, three-bathroom fully detached, single-family colonial at 110-53 69th Road in Forest Hills, Queens (for rent at $5,700 per month) with a storage-friendly single car garage and two additional parking spots to spare.

5 move-in ready Manhattan one-bedrooms asking less than $500,000

CurbedJuly 14, 2017

Welcome to a semi-regular feature, Price Points, in which we pick a relatively low asking price and a type of apartment, then scour StreetEasy to find the best available options around the city. Today's task: Manhattan one-bedrooms asking under $500,000.

 

Located on East 51st Street between First Avenue and Beekman Place, this spacious one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op is asking $325,000. That seems like a steal for this massive Midtown East apartment, but the co-op does have somewhat steep maintenance charges of $2,840 per month. Residents in this co-op also have access to a planted roof deck, bicycle storage, and a laundry room.

 

This East Village one-bedroom is a bit of a schlepp: it’s a sixth floor walk-up. But if you can make an exception on account of the location—on East 12th Street between First and Second Avenue—you will find that this co-op features stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, a cozy breakfast bar, hardwood floors, and a bedroom that can fit a queen sized bed. For all of that it’s asking $495,000.

 

If you can get past the fact this is a fourth-floor walk-up, then this cozy co-op on the Upper East Side has quite a bit going in its favor. That includes the stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, the breakfast bar, the fact that the apartment gets plenty of light, and that it’s located just a few blocks south of the 86th Street subway station on the 4,5,6. For all of that, you’ll have to shell out $447,000.

 

Located on the top floor of a five-story walk-up building in Murray Hill, this one-bedroom co-op was recently renovated and features a wood-burning fireplace, an exposed brick wall in the living area and original moldings from the time it was used as a single family home by John Pierpont Morgan, according to the brokerbabble. The co-op is asking $490,000.

 

This sunny and spacious one-bedroom in the Hudson Heights section of Washington Heights is on the market for $399,000. The co-op spans 700 square feet and comes with nine-foot-tall ceilings, three large closets, and wooden floors. Residents of this co-op also have access to two on-site laundry facilities and courtyards.

'Frasier' Star Kelsey Grammer Says Farewell to His Chelsea Home

ZillowJuly 13, 2017

The famed television actor sells his Manhattan apartment for $7.95M.

 

Perhaps Frasier Crane is heading back to Seattle.

 

Kelsey Grammer, the six-time Emmy Award winner who portrayed psychiatrist Frasier Crane on the hit TV shows “Frasier” and “Cheers,” has sold his posh Manhattan pad for just under $8 million.

 

Grammer bought the 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom condo in the Chelsea neighborhood in 2010. 

 

The home offers unobstructed views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline, along with 11-foot ceilings. The living room has a fireplace, wet bar and wine fridge. Motorized shades help keep the place cool and west-facing windows frame dramatic sunsets.

 

The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel and is noted for its dramatic, glassy exterior.

 

Grammer first put the 3,076-square-foot home on the market last year, asking $9.75 million.

 

No word on whether the place included a psychiatrist’s couch.

 

Emily Beare and Daniel Amell of Core carried the listing.

Gramercy triplex penthouse with private garden views wants $5.8M

CurbedJuly 13, 2017

It might not get you a key to the exclusive Gramercy Park, but this Gramercy penthouse does have access to its own private garden. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom triplex unit is part of a five-story condo building on East 19th Street, which just has a total of five apartments.

 

The condo opens up into the spacious living room, which comes with a wood-burning fireplace, and three, large street-facing windows. The dining room and kitchen are on the other end of this floor, as is a cozy, wrought-iron balcony, which overlooks the condo building’s shared garden below.

 

The master bedroom is located up one flight of stairs, and comes with multi-paned skylight. Currently the home is set up as a one-bedroom with a home office, but the later can easily be converted into a second bedroom. This might be particularly appealing considering this second bedroom has an even larger balcony than the one below.

 

But if the balconies don’t prove to be enough, there’s also a private roof deck for the apartment that can be accessed by an external, circular staircase. In fact, both the balconies can be accessed through this staircase as well. Aside from that, the condo comes with a washer and dryer in-unit, is part of an elevator building, and has plenty of storage space. For all of that, it’s asking $5.79 million.

Friends in High Places: Secret App Makes Manhattan Skyscrapers Change Color

The Wall Street JournalJuly 12, 2017

On warm nights, Bobby Francis and his three roommates like to hit the balcony of their Manhattan apartment, pull out their phones and change the color of the New York City skyline.

 

With a few taps, spires atop two Midtown skyscrapers flicker blue, red and orange.

 

“It doesn’t feel like something I should have access to at all,” said Mr. Francis, who turns 23 on Wednesday. The consultant sleeps in the former kitchen of a converted two-bedroom apartment.

 

Yet he does. Mr. Francis and his roommates are members of New York’s latest exclusive club: Spireworks, a much whispered-about free app that allows users to change the colors of the spires atop two of New York’s tallest buildings.

 

The only way to join is to be invited by a current user, so access has spread through an unlikely network of colleagues, friends and denizens of the city’s rooftop bars. Among fans, invites remain a precious commodity, creating a new class of haves and have-nots.

 

The have-nots plead their case on social media, and a black market for invitations has opened up on Craigslist.org and other websites, where they sell for $100 and up. The app owners recently asked Tinder, the dating app, to take down a profile hawking a Spireworks invite for $1,000.

 

Anthony Papavasiliou, a 38-year-old owner of a Fort Lee, N.J., Greek restaurant, has been posting on social-media sites seeking access since a friend showed him the app in action two years ago. He donated $250 to Creative Time, a New York nonprofit that supports artists that was giving out invites, but he didn’t nab one.

 

“I just have to have it,” he said, describing himself as “the kind of guy who wakes up at 3 a.m. to get the latest iPhone.”

 

The app lets users control the colors of spires atop two buildings: One Bryant Park, dubbed the Bank of America Tower after its main tenant, and 4 Times Square, home to law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and distinguished by a large neon logo of fashion label H&M .

 

The app is the brainchild of Mark Domino, a digital-media artist who built “multisensory musical instruments” while a student at Brown University. He is the son-in-law of Douglas Durst, the real-estate tycoon whose family company, the Durst Organization, owns the two midtown office towers. Mr. Domino works as director of digital media at Durst.

 

After sunset each night, app users can log in, choose a building and select from a palette of colors during a two-minute session. Options for sparkles add pizazz. Cloud-hosted software sorts the requests and instructs the lights that line the two spires, a combined 716 feet tall.

 

Usually only five users are allowed to actively change the colors at a time. So, on busy nights, a digital queue forms. Waits approached half an hour on July 4th this year. Red, white and blue were the only colors available that night.

 

“What is more powerful than getting control of the city?” asked Vincent Bruneau, the 36-year-old CEO of a company that runs a corporate-meeting app who scored an invite. “It’s kind of supernatural.”

 

Last year on a trip to Paris, Mr. Bruneau received a 6 a.m. call from a friend back in New York begging him to change the color of the spires so he could impress guests at a party. Bleary-eyed, Mr. Bruneau obliged.

 

Durst has added One World Trade Center, which it manages, to the app on special occasions, including the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the NYC Marathon and World AIDS Day.

 

Seven years ago, Mr. Domino wrote the code to control the spire lights. At the Durst holiday party 2010, his father-in-law hit the button for the inaugural color change. Durst employees invited a few friends and tenants, who each got a few invites to give away.

 

The app’s community grew slowly and by word-of-mouth. In the past year, it has increased dramatically and the number of users is now approaching 10,000, Mr. Domino said. Each user can offer five invites.

 

Earlier this year one couple turned Durst’s Times Square spire blue to reveal the gender of the baby they were expecting, and a handful of men have used it in marriage proposals, Mr. Domino said. One user hid his phone in his pocket and bet tourists near Times Square that he could change the spire’s color as a magic trick, Mr. Domino said.

 

At a 2015 party celebrating the listing of a posh Tribeca penthouse with clear views to Midtown, a broker with the app wowed potential buyers as they played rooftop croquet while being serenaded by a string quartet. “Talk about being king of the castle,” said Elizabeth Kee of Core, the listing agent. The apartment sold for $8.3 million.

 

When Natalia Krasnodebska got a Spireworks invitation from her friend Ashley Zelinskie, she said she fired off a thank-you tweet. Almost immediately, Ms. Zelinskie, an artist currently showing at Sotheby’s , was flooded with dozens of requests for invitations from strangers. She said she declined them all.

 

Mr. Domino said he didn’t like the velvet-rope vibe that has grown around the app. He said he wanted Spireworks to be an “open system to share in moments of discovery and play.”

 

He said he is looking for ways to cut down on “bootlegging,” perhaps by doing away with the invitation system in favor of one unlocked by charitable donations. Durst said it has had preliminary discussions with charity partners but declined to name them.

 

Mr. Domino also said he was dismayed how many of the app’s most ardent fans are young men who want to use it to pick up women.

 

He said that in a recent survey of Spireworks users, bartenders at the Boom Boom Room, a millennial hot spot atop the Meatpacking District’s Standard Hotel, complained the club was saturated with men using the app to try to seduce women.

 

James Geraci, a recent college graduate from the Boston area, tweeted to the official Spireworks account during a Memorial Day visit to New York seeking an invite. Some women were coming by his hotel room, which faced the spires, and he said he thought the app would be “a power move of a pickup line.”

 

No one ever responded. Mr. Geraci said he “ended up having to try to impress the girls the old-fashioned way.”

Friends in High Places: Secret App Makes Manhattan Skyscrapers Change Color

The Wall Street JournalJuly 12, 2017

On warm nights, Bobby Francis and his three roommates like to hit the balcony of their Manhattan apartment, pull out their phones and change the color of the New York City skyline.

 

With a few taps, spires atop two Midtown skyscrapers flicker blue, red and orange.

 

“It doesn’t feel like something I should have access to at all,” said Mr. Francis, who turns 23 on Wednesday. The consultant sleeps in the former kitchen of a converted two-bedroom apartment.

 

Yet he does. Mr. Francis and his roommates are members of New York’s latest exclusive club: Spireworks, a much whispered-about free app that allows users to change the colors of the spires atop two of New York’s tallest buildings.

 

The only way to join is to be invited by a current user, so access has spread through an unlikely network of colleagues, friends and denizens of the city’s rooftop bars. Among fans, invites remain a precious commodity, creating a new class of haves and have-nots.

 

The have-nots plead their case on social media, and a black market for invitations has opened up on Craigslist.org and other websites, where they sell for $100 and up. The app owners recently asked Tinder, the dating app, to take down a profile hawking a Spireworks invite for $1,000.

 

Anthony Papavasiliou, a 38-year-old owner of a Fort Lee, N.J., Greek restaurant, has been posting on social-media sites seeking access since a friend showed him the app in action two years ago. He donated $250 to Creative Time, a New York nonprofit that supports artists that was giving out invites, but he didn’t nab one.

 

“I just have to have it,” he said, describing himself as “the kind of guy who wakes up at 3 a.m. to get the latest iPhone.”

 

The app lets users control the colors of spires atop two buildings: One Bryant Park, dubbed the Bank of America Tower after its main tenant, and 4 Times Square, home to law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and distinguished by a large neon logo of fashion label H&M .

 

The app is the brainchild of Mark Domino, a digital-media artist who built “multisensory musical instruments” while a student at Brown University. He is the son-in-law of Douglas Durst, the real-estate tycoon whose family company, the Durst Organization, owns the two midtown office towers. Mr. Domino works as director of digital media at Durst.

 

After sunset each night, app users can log in, choose a building and select from a palette of colors during a two-minute session. Options for sparkles add pizazz. Cloud-hosted software sorts the requests and instructs the lights that line the two spires, a combined 716 feet tall.

 

Usually only five users are allowed to actively change the colors at a time. So, on busy nights, a digital queue forms. Waits approached half an hour on July 4th this year. Red, white and blue were the only colors available that night.

 

“What is more powerful than getting control of the city?” asked Vincent Bruneau, the 36-year-old CEO of a company that runs a corporate-meeting app who scored an invite. “It’s kind of supernatural.”

 

Last year on a trip to Paris, Mr. Bruneau received a 6 a.m. call from a friend back in New York begging him to change the color of the spires so he could impress guests at a party. Bleary-eyed, Mr. Bruneau obliged.

 

Durst has added One World Trade Center, which it manages, to the app on special occasions, including the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the NYC Marathon and World AIDS Day.

 

Seven years ago, Mr. Domino wrote the code to control the spire lights. At the Durst holiday party 2010, his father-in-law hit the button for the inaugural color change. Durst employees invited a few friends and tenants, who each got a few invites to give away.

 

The app’s community grew slowly and by word-of-mouth. In the past year, it has increased dramatically and the number of users is now approaching 10,000, Mr. Domino said. Each user can offer five invites.

 

Earlier this year one couple turned Durst’s Times Square spire blue to reveal the gender of the baby they were expecting, and a handful of men have used it in marriage proposals, Mr. Domino said. One user hid his phone in his pocket and bet tourists near Times Square that he could change the spire’s color as a magic trick, Mr. Domino said.

 

At a 2015 party celebrating the listing of a posh Tribeca penthouse with clear views to Midtown, a broker with the app wowed potential buyers as they played rooftop croquet while being serenaded by a string quartet. “Talk about being king of the castle,” said Elizabeth Kee of Core, the listing agent. The apartment sold for $8.3 million.

 

When Natalia Krasnodebska got a Spireworks invitation from her friend Ashley Zelinskie, she said she fired off a thank-you tweet. Almost immediately, Ms. Zelinskie, an artist currently showing at Sotheby’s , was flooded with dozens of requests for invitations from strangers. She said she declined them all.

 

Mr. Domino said he didn’t like the velvet-rope vibe that has grown around the app. He said he wanted Spireworks to be an “open system to share in moments of discovery and play.”

 

He said he is looking for ways to cut down on “bootlegging,” perhaps by doing away with the invitation system in favor of one unlocked by charitable donations. Durst said it has had preliminary discussions with charity partners but declined to name them.

 

Mr. Domino also said he was dismayed how many of the app’s most ardent fans are young men who want to use it to pick up women.

 

He said that in a recent survey of Spireworks users, bartenders at the Boom Boom Room, a millennial hot spot atop the Meatpacking District’s Standard Hotel, complained the club was saturated with men using the app to try to seduce women.

 

James Geraci, a recent college graduate from the Boston area, tweeted to the official Spireworks account during a Memorial Day visit to New York seeking an invite. Some women were coming by his hotel room, which faced the spires, and he said he thought the app would be “a power move of a pickup line.”

 

No one ever responded. Mr. Geraci said he “ended up having to try to impress the girls the old-fashioned way.”

Rent the lavish parlor floor of a 1900s Soho townhouse for $6,500/month

6SQFTJuly 12, 2017

Not every Soho apartment is a former warehouse loft–and here’s proof. This one-bedroom unit takes up the parlor floor of the 20-foot-wide 1900s townhouse located at 200 6th Avenue, one block south of Houston Street. Stretching over 1,300 square feet, the interior is loaded with drool-worthy prewar details that include herringbone hardwood floors, two working fireplaces, crown molding, antique chandeliers and wall-mounted candelabras. For good measure, there’s a nice display of exposed brick in the bedroom–a typical feature of the traditional Soho loft. The condo is up for rent for either six months or a year, asking $6,500 per month.

  

Some other lovely prewar perks on display are the 12-foot ceilings and eight large windows. The living and dining area has two west-facing windows, which allow for sunlight throughout the day. And in the winter, the grand fireplace can be put to good use.

  

The galley kitchen off the living room has its own window and stainless steel appliances that include a vented cooktop and oven. The olive green cabinets and built in breakfast bar, of course, are modern additions.

 

The brick-lined bedroom overlooks a garden down below. It boasts not one, but two large walk-in closets.

 

200 6th Avenue has been broken up into five condo units. It’s right around the corner from the Avenue but separated by Father Fagan Park, which creates a quiet and private environment for residents. The Soho location means it’s close to tons of restaurants, bars, boutiques and the famous Dominique Ansel Bakery, too.

WATCH: Another Fixer Upper House Has Hit the Market in Waco and It's the Most Affordable by Far

PeopleJuly 12, 2017

You don’t need to get on Fixer Upper to live in one of Chip and Joanna Gaines’s coveted Waco, Texas, homes. But until recently you needed about half a million dollars (and sometimes much more).

 

Fortunately, another house featured on the show and renovated by Chip and Jo, has hit the market in neighboring Woodway, for the much more approachable price of $290,000. It’s still no small pittance, but the classic ranch-style home is a rare opportunity to lay claim to some of those signature modern farmhouse vibes.

 

The 3-bedroom, 2-bath listing comes in under 2,000 square feet and sits on about an acre, but the Gainesian details make up for the modest stats. The custom kitchen features floor-to-ceiling storage, a built-in breakfast area, and two sets of French doors leading out to a large backyard. It’s also just a block from a public park, says listing agent Jake Russell of Magnolia Realty in Texas and Core in New York.

 

The house was dubbed “The Plain Gray Ranch” thanks to its uninspiring “before” appearance, on season four, episode three of the hit show. Chip and Joanna reimagined the dated interiors, which included heart-patterned wallpaper and linoleum flooring, and opened up the closed-off layout typical of the 1950s build. “Spaces like the kitchen and master bathroom needed a complete update, while the family room, entryway and master bedroom only required cosmetic updates to add character,” Joanna wrote on her Magnolia blog of the project.

 

The Woodway house is one of at least four Fixer Upper houses that are currently on the market, including the $565,000 China Springs house, another one of Russell’s listings, the “Barndominium” ($1.2 million) and the “Shotgun House” ($950,000). Two more recently changed hands in off-market deals, Russell confirms.

The most beautiful interiors in New York City, mapped

CurbedJuly 11, 2017

2: One Wall Street

The Art Deco gem One Wall Street was designed by Ralph Walker and originally completed in 1931; it’s best known for its glorious interiors, including the Red Room(pictured) and a 49th-floor Observation Room. As part of its conversion from a commercial building into residences and ground-floor retail, the gorgeous Red Room will remain as it is. Hildreth Meière, a muralist who also worked on St. Bartholomew’s Church and Radio City Music Hall, created the space’s gorgeous tile mosaic walls and ceiling, done primarily in scarlet but with lovely gold accents.

Olshan Realty Sales Report

Olshan RealtyJuly 09, 2017

Originally built in 1892, 284 Lafayette Street is a six-story, twenty-unit authentic loft conversion perfectly situated in the northern pocket of Soho and Nolita. Spanning approximately 3,000 square feet, loft 4D has recently undergone a top to bottom renovation and offers 65 feet of west facing frontage through ten large windows overlooking Crosby Street.

 

Enter this stunning residence through a crisply designed foyer cleverly integrating a large coat closet and a powder room. Beyond the entry foyer is a dramatic 32' x 40' great room with 10.5-foot ceilings, discreetly exposed wood beams, handsomely painted gun metal columns and impressive volume ideal for entertaining. The open island kitchen is oversized, expertly equipped and perfectly anchors the loft's great room. From the custom millwork to the honed marble, all features are luxurious yet understated. Additional features of the kitchen include a 10' x 5' center island, vented hood and under-counter Sub-Zero wine refrigerator.

 

The master bedroom is accessed through impressively crafted, large pocket doors. The immaculate five-fixture master bathroom has concrete skimmed walls, a stainless steel and corian double vanity, soaking tub, walk-in shower and radiant heat floors. There is also a walk-in closet, an additional wall of closets, a sitting area and custom lighting throughout.

 

The second bedroom is situated on the north side of the loft and outfitted with an en-suite bath and walk-in closet. Two additional rooms flank a Jack and Jill bathroom which can also be utilized as a den, media room or guest suite. Additional features of this unique home include a full laundry room with side-by-side washer/vented dryer and utility sink; a concealed home office with custom shelving; a Nest thermostat to control the loft's central air conditioning; ten new energy efficient windows; three additional closets; and updated plumbing, mechanical, HVAC and electrical systems which were all newly replaced during architect West Chin's gut renovation. If you are looking for a thoughtfully designed, turnkey loft in arguably the best neighborhood in the world, this is it.

 

284 Lafayette Street is a pet friendly, keyed-elevator cooperative with smart phone compatible video security, dedicated superintendent and solid financials.

Cheerful two-bedroom in Jackson Heights historic district wants $548K

CurbedJuly 06, 2017

Welcome back to The Six-Digit Club, in which we take a look at a newish-to-market listing priced under $1 million, because nice things sometimes come in small packages. Send nominations to the tipline.

 

This bright two-bedroom co-op in Jackson Heights spans the entire floor and measures about 1,100 square feet. This third floor unit is part of the larger Linden Court complex, which is a 10-building development from the early 20th century that’s located in the Jackson Heights Historic District.

 

The co-op unit now on the market recently underwent a renovation, and the kitchen was fitted with stainless steel appliances and butcher block counters as a result of it. Other features of the apartment include original hardwood floors, a good amount of storage space, and views of the Linden Court complex’s lush private garden.

 

In addition to that landscaped garden, residents here also have access to a laundry room on site, and parking. For all of that, you will need to shell out $548,500.

Subdividing vs. Open Office Plans

CortJuly 06, 2017

The debate about whether to break up and subdivide large office buildings or opt for open office formats isn’t a new one. Alex Cohen, a commercial real estate specialist at CORE in New York City, is an expert on the subject. “Companies started using open office layouts in the early 20th century,” says Cohen, whose clients include Unilever, Kering (Gucci), Canada Goose, and CBS. “Landlords have been pre-building smaller office units from larger spaces for decades,” he adds.

 

A Century-Long Business Obsession

The design of office space has been a key element in business decision making since the late 19th century, and design trends have constantly evolved with the changing workplace. “Early on, managers and owners focused on their office layout requirements,” says Debra Duneier, President and Founder of EcoChi, LLC, in New York City. “They gave little if any consideration to workers’ needs,” she adds.

Some industries maintain a traditional business structure, where managers work in defined offices, and employees work at desks on open floors or in cubicles. However, the advent of mobile technology, remote working, and the gig economy have largely changed that mindset for many industries. The modern dilemma is that commercial investors and landlords must target profitability while also catering to tenants’ specific needs, particularly in cases of growing businesses.

 

Replicating The Factory

Decades ago, early trends focused on concentrating workers into one space. In 1904, American engineer and early office designer Frederick Taylor obsessed over ways to efficiently organize workers for maximum productivity at minimum cost. He created a factory-like layout that placed crowded workers onto large, noisy, poorly lit floors with managers watching from private offices. Naturally, such offices were far from productive and made workers unhappy.

 

Open Space Design As Innovation

Unlike Taylor, architect Frank Lloyd Wright concentrated on innovation and employee comfort. When the famed Larkin Administration Building opened in the early 1900s, “People worked side-by-side in an atrium on elongated desks,” says Cohen. Sunlight poured into air conditioned offices, and Wright invented rolling chairs for employees. Furniture and walls absorbed sound in the six-story, cathedral-like structure.

In 1939, Wright designed the Johnson Wax building, another modern, well-lit, open floor workplace that inspired employee pride and increased productivity. “It was called The Great Workroom,” Cohen explains, “and Wright designed all the desks for the space.” Hierarchy still reigned with management sitting in offices on upper levels that overlooked the employees down below.

 

Collaboration vs. Hierarchy

The 1950s brought socialism and a more democratic work environment. U.S. companies followed both European design and business values that encouraged communication, collaboration, and a happier workplace. Potted plants and lateral cabinets acted as partitions between desks arranged to facilitate conversation.

However, Herman Miller’s Action Office II, which was the first office cubicle system made with panels, took things a step backwards in the 1960s. His intent was to further break down hierarchy and create a sense of self-management. Cubicles facilitated privacy while maintaining some open spaces. They were meant to inspire employees and give them more freedom, but some employers went overboard on “efficiency” and crammed as many employees into the small spaces as possible.

What were supposed to be autonomous, flexible workplaces became dreaded 1980s cubicle farms where employees seemed expendable. Upper management still had comfortable offices, and employee value depended on job title.

 

Technology Transforms Office Demand

The 1990s ushered in the dot com era and a host of younger employees who wanted flexible work situations and less hierarchy. “Technology kicked in big time, and people started realizing they didn’t need an office with a door,” says Duneier. “They could work anywhere in the world.”

As a result, the desire for traditional office space decreased substantially. “There was a lot of interest in alternative spaces like warehouses with no pre-built offices,” says Cohen. This trend led to a long-term commitment to open office designs. The emerging gig economy also led to co-working, which is a concept Cohen says is fewer than five years old. “Handheld technology changed everything,” he says.

 

Combination Spaces Now Dominant

As an investor or landlord, it’s important to ensure a modern office environment is flexible enough to accommodate the needs of diverse employees, including remote staff. Tenants are looking for ways to accommodate their current and future business needs, and they’re also more concerned about employee well-being than in the past. You may want to consider providing a combination of office space types in one commercial property.

“I see investors building out several floors of pre-built offices with a co-working space on the top floor,” says Cohen. “Then, when a business does well, the investor helps them move to one of its dedicated office spaces,” he explains. A co-working space allows smaller enterprises to share an already furnished co-working space to minimize overhead expenses. They don’t have to sign long-term leases or furnish pre-built office spaces.

Another reason businesses need the flexibility of combined spaces is workforce composition. “Workplaces now are a mix of people from different generations, with unique personalities and work styles,” says Duneier. “Not all employees work well in open floor plans, so having a multifaceted, multi-functional work environment is wise,” she advises.

Designing an open floor plan that incorporates privacy options supports that need. “I recommend some clients have a handful of offices for those whose work involves constant phone use,” Duneier says. She also recommends workplaces have both collaborative and semi-private spaces, meeting rooms, eating areas, and entertainment spaces. “Create homelike areas in one part of the office space and more formal office areas in another,” she says.

Talking to tenants to learn what they want and need is key to determining how you should approach a particular commercial investment. When your investment includes a co-working space, partner with CORT Furniture Rental to set things up efficiently for your tenants.

A Tailor-Made Tribeca Loft

The Wall Street JournalJuly 03, 2017

An attorney and fashion-industry executive undertook a year-long renovation to brighten and personalize their Manhattan apartment—Emily Nonko

 

Matt and Lauren Breen moved to New York from Philadelphia in 2013. ’I wanted to move to New York to pursue my fashion career,’ says Mr. Breen, 33. ‘But my wife wasn’t all that pleased at first and gave me a few mandates in looking for a new place.’ After a months-long search, they found this 2,500-square-foot Tribeca loft, for which they paid $4.295 million. ’We walked in here and fell in love,’ says Mr. Breen, creative director of fashion brand Deveaux New York. 

 

With the help of the architectural firm Zimmerman Workshop, the Breens customized the home as part of a year-long renovation. One example: Electrical and USB outlets emerge from the poured-concrete counter in the kitchen. 

 

One task of the renovation was to brighten the apartment. The couple painted the exposed brick white and added white oak floors in a herringbone pattern. The wooden ceiling beams—reminiscent of an old Tribeca artist loft—came from a burned-down barn in Vermont.

 

To better use the window space, Zimmerman Workshop added seating made from reclaimed wood. ‘My wife couldn’t be happier with this lounging area in the sun,’ Mr. Breen says. Mrs. Breen, 34, an attorney and avid reader, often works from this spot. ’If she’s not in that nook, it generally means she’s not home,’ Mr. Breen says.

 

‘I love watching sports and movies, so I demanded the TV be as big as humanly possible,’ Mr. Breen says. To integrate it with the interior design, Zimmerman Workshop built a custom wall made of Japanese charred wood and nestled the television inside. ’Though the TV is a predominant feature, it does get lost in that wall,’ Mr. Breen says.

 

There are three bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms. To save space, the television in the master bedroom sits on an art easel found in Germany. The adjacent closet was expanded because ’while most men don’t have an extension collection of clothes, I happen to,’ says Mr. Breen.

 

The tilework in the master bathroom was inspired by a photo of a Moroccan tile layout found mid-renovation.

 

In the Breens’s eight-year marriage, this is the longest they have lived in any one place together. But post-renovation, ‘I’ve got the itch to do it again,’ Mr. Breen says. Their move will keep them in New York, particularly Tribeca. ’The neighborhood has stuck, and we will not be leaving it ever,’ Mr. Breen says.

 

The Breens renovated an office to accommodate their now 6-month-old son.

 

The second bedroom was left untouched in the renovation. The home is listed for $5.95 million with CORE brokers Jarrod Guy Randolph and Elizabeth Kee.

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