David LaChapelle’s ‘Magic’ Touch Helps Co-op Sell for $2.46M

New York ObserverDecember 03, 2015

One would expect a somewhat…avant-garde abode when picturing the home of a photographer often associated with surrealism.


The co-op that photographer David LaChapelle just sold, however, is rather picturesque. Mr. LaChapelle lived in the one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op for the past four years, before listing it in July.


After establishing himself as a photographer, Mr. LaChapelle decided he was over the art scene in 2006 and moved to a “forest” in Hawaii, but he  went pretty much back to where he started and returning to the city and eventually making his way to this co-op.


Could it be that he’s going back to his Hawaii forest?


It could! “From my understanding, it wasn’t getting used enough,” CORE broker Heather McDonough, who shared the listing with Henry Hershkowitz, told the Observer. “He’s based more in LA and Hawaii now.”


Located on the first floor of a West Chelsea townhouse, the unit also has a private terrace, floor-to-ceiling bay windows, stained oak floors, and French doors.


The 12-foot ceilings, hand-carved molding, and three fireplaces must have really spoken quite literally to the new owner, Chloe Frances Squires, who purchased the parlor-level unit for exactly the $2.46 million it was asking.


“He really knows how to highlight the attributes of the home [and] that makes people really fall in love with it,” Ms. McDonough said.


“It was kind of his magic that touched the home,” Ms. McDonough continued. “He goes in, and he really knows how to make a place feel magical.”



Celebrity Photographer David LaChapelle Sells Chelsea Apartment For $2.5M

Luxury Listings NYCDecember 03, 2015

The so-called “Fellini of photography” David LaChapelle has sold his Chelsea apartment at 427 West 21st Street for $2.5 million, according to city documents.


LaChapelle listed the one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op apartment in July for the same price. The townhouse features 12-foot ceilings, three fireplaces (two of which are marble) and a private terrace, according to the listing.


LaChapelle is best known for his fashion and commercial photography. He made his name when he was just 17 years old, after Andy Warhol hired him to shoot some work for Interview magazine. Since then, his photographs of celebrities like Missy Elliot have appeared in magazines such as Details, Paris Vogue, Rolling Stone and The New York Times Magazine.


In 2006, LaChapelle suffered a burn out and moved from New York to Hawaii. Since then, he has focused on art photography — though his photographs often make reference to celebrities like Michael Jackson.


Heather McDonough and Henry Hershkowitz of CORE had the listing.

Traditional Supermarkets Haven’t Thrown in the Towel in Manhattan

Commercial ObserverDecember 02, 2015

Just about every real estate and retail industry professional will tell you Whole Foods Market is clearly on the winning side of Manhattan’s grocery store wars.


While other chains have been shrinking (and in some cases disappearing altogether) Texas-based Whole Foods, which has only been in Manhattan since 2001, has been on a spree, with eight active locations around the borough and more on the way (one near Bryant Park and another in Harlem). In its fourth-quarter earnings report, Whole Foods announced that its year-over-year sales grew 6 percent to $3.4 billion. “When Whole Foods came to the city people thought they discovered not gold—platinum,” Faith Hope Consolo, the chairman of Douglas Elliman Real Estate Retail Group, told Commercial Observer. “It just gave a whole new dynamic to the way people shopped for food. They created a meeting place when they opened on [East] 14th Street. People were meeting there to date.”


But on the other side, the traditional supermarket has been in a tailspin. Soaring rents and traffic congestion, which delay deliveries and hinder parking, have made it difficult to compete in Manhattan. And given how easy it is now to fill an online cart with groceries and have it show up at your door the next morning, some are writing the industry’s obituary. Whole Foods also excels at pre-cooked meals, a trend that’s become popular with shoppers in Manhattan because of convenience.“High-quality prepared food is a big thing,” said Anna Castellani, the founder of organic grocery chain Foragers Market.


Many customers think, “I don’t cook anymore but I am not going to buy garbage,” Ms. Castellani said. “People are going to Whole Foods for [prepared food], too.”All this pressure caused the granddaddy of all grocers, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P)—which controls Waldbaum’s, Pathmark and Food Emporium—to file for bankruptcy in July, the second time in five years.


Another grocer, John Castimatidis, is currently in damage-control mode. His real estate and grocery company, Red Apple Group, is spending about $10 million to revitalize his Gristedes chains around Manhattan despite his once-powerful empire dwindling down to a third of what it once was. Mr. Catsimatidis, a former mayoral candidate with a net worth of $3.4 billion, according to Forbes, claims to have had “nearly 100” supermarkets in Manhattan between his Gristedes, Red Apple and Sloan’s Supermarkets in the early 1990s. Today, his company owns 31 Gristedes locations across Manhattan (and one new Red Apple location in Downtown Brooklyn).


Red Apple Group only grosses about $200 million in revenue annually from its grocery stores, and loses a “few million” a year after operating costs, Mr. Catsimatidis said in a recent interview with Commercial Observer. He admitted that if it weren’t for his other endeavors—his Red Apple Group also has vast energy and real estate holdings—that he would have had to close Gristedes.


“We’re able [to survive], but only because we want to,” Mr. Catsimatidis said. “If the supermarket business was the only business that we did, we would be out of business.” (Mr. Catsimatidis can be even more blunt—when CO asked him about the worst decision of his career in this year’s Owners Magazine he said: “Failing to get out of the supermarket business 10 years ago, given what I have learned now.”) Mr. Catsimatidis is quick to lay blame on the unions for how tough the grocery store economic climate has become. “Look at what happened to A&P. Bankrupt. Gone, because a lot of these old-time supermarkets are fully unionized,” Mr. Catsimatidis said. “If you figure what we are paying the unionized employees, it’s probably double the non-union employees, and it’s not necessarily in salary. A lot of it is in health care and pensions.” 


In bankruptcy filings, A&P also indicated that high demands from unionized employees took a toll on the company (although, it still paid $9.4 million in bonuses to top officers at the company, according to The Wall Street Journal). An A&P spokeswoman declined to comment, and referred CO to the company’s bankruptcy filings.


Whole Foods, meanwhile, doesn’t have unionized workers. A spokesman for Local 1500, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), didn’t address Mr. Catsimatidis’ criticisms directly, but noted that Whole Foods is notorious for not letting its workers unionize. Aly Waddy, director of organization at Local 1500, said the union received frequent calls from employees, but every time the topic arises at a location, the company’s corporate officers come in and use aggressive measures to persuade workers against having a vote to unionize. They cut hours, for example, she alleged. A Whole Foods representative did not return requests for comment.


 “What we’re finding is there is a trend in these organizations in bad labor practices,” said Ms. Waddy. “There is a lot of resistance from these companies to allow those workers to unionize.” Another factor that has hit traditional supermarkets is that drug stores, such as CVS Health Corporation and Duane Reade, have doubled as mini-marts as much as pharmacies, chipping away at a supermarket’s typical business. (See story on page 68.)


Despite these factors, plenty of real estate pros refuse to believe the old-school supermarket will disappear completely; it may just not be around in its current form. “There is no more demand for what traditional supermarkets offer,” Alex Cohen, a commercial real estate broker at Core, said. “They don’t offer farm-to-market fresh produce or the boutique offerings that a Wegmans or a Whole Foods does. They have to establish some identity to survive.”


“I don’t think it’s over, but I think they have a lot challenges that they have to overcome,” said Natalie Kotlyar, the head of accounting, consulting and auditing firm BDO USA’s northeast retail and consumer products practice. “Sales is an iterative process; if the traditional supermarkets don’t change with the times, they will go extinct.” For traditional supermarkets, surviving in Manhattan has been a game of adaptation.


Key Food Stores Co-operative, a brand of individually owned supermarkets with corporate offices in Staten Island, is known for selling inexpensive products. However, the company created high-end gourmet spinoffs 55 Fulton Market and Urban Market, which both sell organic products, as well. Urban Market has cropped up in the outer boroughs in Long Island City, Queens and Williamsburg, but the company recently signed a lease for a space in Manhattan at 70 Pine Street in the Financial District, as CO reported in November. (55 Fulton Market is located at 55 Fulton Street.) Representatives from Key Food did not respond to requests for comment.


Morton Williams, a family-owned supermarket chain that has 12 locations in Manhattan and two in the Bronx, is another traditional grocery store that also adjusted its style. “We have tried to stay up with the trends that are prevalent with modern America,” Morton Sloan, the chief executive officer of the company, said. “We know that today’s modern family doesn’t [want] to go home and start making a roast beef. So we have gone into the prepared food market in a big way, and into selling organic products.”


The company also began offering online shopping and delivery (within two hours) or in-store pickup. Mr. Sloan said that Morton Williams has experienced more “pressure” because of Whole Foods and drug stores, but its stores are still profitable. In a sign that its new strategies are enjoying some measure of success, both Key Food and Morton Williams bought some A&P stores at a bankruptcy auction.


But for traditional supermarkets, Whole Foods isn’t the only competition to watch out for. Another grocer that has been gunning for the dinosaurs is Trader Joe’s—but rather than a pricey, high-end alternative, Trader Joe’s moved in the opposite direction. Started in California, and now controlled by the owners of Germany-based discount supermarket Aldi, Trader Joe’s owes its success largely to off-the-charts marketing and lower-cost pricing, thanks to its own private labels on products. Trader Joe’s first came storming into Manhattan in 2006 and currently has three locations in the borough.


Even Whole Foods has taken note and is adjusting to its low-cost competitor. Whole Foods announced in June its smaller and less expensive 365 by Whole Foods Market model to help further its expansion plans, and is searching for new locations in Manhattan for the brand, as CO previously reported. Whole Foods has also promised to cut back prices on its products, and let go of 1,500 employees in preparation for that. “This is a very difficult decision, and we are committed to treating affected team members in a caring and respectful manner,” Walter Robb, the co-CEO of Whole Foods, said in a September press release regarding the job cuts. “We believe this is an important step to evolve Whole Foods Market in a rapidly changing marketplace.”


But if traditional grocery stores are suffering, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods would be wise to take note of the threat to their flank. The direct-to-consumer grocery store, such as Instacart and Amazon Fresh, has already cultivated a consumer base and will doubtless be a force to be reckoned with. These types of grocery services offer consumers delivery of fresh products after purchasing online. Both Instacart and Amazon Fresh promise same-day delivery.


Fresh Direct, which is currently based in Queens, is the progenitor of this grocery model. It sources about 100 farms in the state for fresh products and delivery as early as the next day. It has an enormous presence already in Manhattan, and reportedly makes about $500 million in revenue, according to Crain’s New York Business (although representatives wouldn’t confirm that number). “It’s a big market. People have dozens of habits for their immediate needs,” Jason Ackerman, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Fresh Direct, said. “We are never going to have 100 percent of the marketplace and neither is one store.”


And even nimbler online-to-consumer versions are cropping up, such as Max Delivery, which was started just over a decade ago in Tribeca by entrepreneur Chris Siragusa. Like Fresh Direct, Max Delivery focuses on bringing farm fresh and organic grocery products to customer’s doors. But the store runs on a fleet of about 55 bicyclists that deliver products to consumers (below both sides of 92nd Street) within one hour of their purchase. For heavier orders, multiple cyclists are put on the job.


Max Delivery moved in May from its roughly 5,000-square-foot space to a 10,000-square-foot location on the ground floor of 318 West 39th Street between Ninth and Eighth Avenues. The company employs about 150 people in total, and Mr. Siragusa is actively looking to open new locations in Brooklyn and other cities. Max Delivery functions solely online at the moment; however, because there is still a big market for people who need immediate service, Mr. Siragusa plans to add a walk-in component, where consumers can place orders at the location and the staff will retrieve the items from the store and bring it to them on site.


The grocery has seen five consecutive years of profits and is growing at about 30 percent in revenue each year, Mr. Siragusa said. One of the major contributors to that is that people aren’t just ordering in bulk anymore, he said, but really using the service for convenience. He believes more traditional stores will turn to his business model to survive, “As people become used to better, more convenient service from the supermarkets, I think companies will be pushed to do something towards what we have been doing,” Mr. Siragusa said. “What we are seeing is that [customers] are saying, ‘What do we need to eat tomorrow?’ As more and more [direct-to-consumer] models come up, more and more people are going to order for the next day or two, because that’s all you need.”

Designing Men

New York ObserverDecember 02, 2015

Emily Beare’s listing at 39 Fifth Avenue was featured in New York Observer’s “Transfers” section.

December 2, 2015 Chelsea’s “The Flynn,” Aka 155 West 18th Street, Gets New Renderings

NY YimbyDecember 02, 2015

When YIMBY checked in on the gray stone-clad condo building at 155 West 18th Street last month, windows were going in and the facade was snapping into place. Now, we have more renderings of the exterior and the apartments at the 11-story development. The building, known as “The Flynn,” will have 30 apartments when construction finishes. Apartments will range from one- to four-bedrooms and include four duplex penthouses with private roof decks and two adjoining garden units on the first floor.


Units will typically clock in at just over 1,900 square feet, and residents will have access to a six-car garage, storage, and a gym. The ground floor will have 6,400 square feet of retail and a little 549-square-foot community facility.


ODA New York dreamed up the building’s design, which is meant to invoke the cast iron 19th century industrial buildings of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. The facade is clad in a dark stone called Jet Mist granite stone. The interiors continue that theme with concrete columns in the apartments and polished concrete floors in the lobby. But they also feature warmer materials, like slate and marble in the bathrooms and dark wood floors in the living areas.


Sales are set to launch next week, but the developer, IGI-USA, couldn’t release any pricing. CORE is handling sales, and move-ins are scheduled to begin in the middle of 2016.


The developers are also planning an unusual scheme to help market the building. With the help of Spring Street Social Society, IGI-USA is hosting a series of “pop-up performance vignettes” in the building’s sales gallery from December 2nd to 13th. “The series reveals a voyeuristic glimpse into the imagined world of namesake character Flynn as he engages with an eclectic cast of neighbors, lovers and friends,” according to a press release from the property’s PR team. Six actors and dancers will perform twice a night in the ground-floor sales gallery, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and has been furnished to “resemble the living room of Flynn.”

A “Billionaire’s Row” Adjacent Rental With 360- Degree Views of The City

Brick UndergroundDecember 01, 2015

If you think you can snag a steep discount on rent by moving a single block away from "Billionaire's Row" on 57th street—well, we're about to burst your bubble. But eye-popping $27,000/month price tag aside, this East 58th Street two-bedroom gives plenty of reason for would-be renters a reason to dream of Midtown.


Given its proximity to ultra-luxe condo building One Beacon Court—a building so upscale its on-site retail is Le Cirque—you can expect all the usual high-end amenities included in this listing, such as a 24-hour doorman, concierge service, a "state of the art fitness center," children's playroom, and a massage room. But the real perks are the views, which come in every single room (but the bathroom), and look onto Central Park and the East River. Even the breakfast nook has a view of the skyline fit for a sultan (or a bonus-toting stock broker). In addition to the floor-to-ceiling windows, the 10-foot ceilings give the place an airy feel, meaning it's a solid bet for any deep-pocketed renter seeking out extra natural light as we head into the dreary winter months.


It's pricey, yes, but given that the building is also home to one of the most expensive apartments for sale in the entire city—a $79 million penthouse, which was originally listed for $115 million—maybe this can be justified as a relative bargain?

Midtown Spotlight

Metropolitan MagazineDecember 01, 2015

Lisa Graham is featured in Metropolitan Magazine's November/December 2015 issue in their "Midtown Spotlight" section.

Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent List Village Penthouse for $10.5M

The Real DealNovember 27, 2015

Interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are listing their duplex penthouse, but, sadly, they aren’t including the furniture. The pair are looking to sell their 2,800-square-foot Village co-op unit at 39 Fifth Avenue for $10.5 million.


The apartment, which was featured on the cover of October’s Architectural Digest, features a massive, windowed walk-in closet divided into two parts. It also has two terraces and three fireplaces.


The designers bought the penthouse unit along with an adjacent apartment in 2013 for about $6 million, CORE’s Emily Beare, who is listing the unit, told the Wall Street Journal.


Berkus and Brent aren’t including their furniture in the sales price, but Beare told the Journal they’d consider selling individual pieces.


39 Fifth Avenue, built in 1922, stands 14 stories and encompasses 62,000 square feet. 

Architect-Owner of This Polished-yet-Casual Village Loft Asks $3M

6sqftNovember 26, 2015

Century-old bones and clean white walls frame the well-proportioned interior spaces of this warm, sophisticated two-bedroom loft in Greenwich Village, the result of a recent gut renovation by the architect-owner. John Berg of BergDesign Architecture, with his wife Jennifer Desmond, purchased the sunny downtown co-op at 250 Mercer Street for $1.5 million in May of 2013, two years and an impressive renovation ago. The bright high-floor unit is now on the market for $2.9 million.


We’ve featured some of the architect’s projects, and this apartment’s renovation is detailed on the BergDesign site, with the imperative of keeping “three priorities: durability, casual living and contrasting rich materials” for a family with small children in mind. Between lofty ceilings of over 11 feet and oak hardwood floors, walls of north- and east-facing windows give the space an airy feel and let in tons of sunlight. The large and stunning open kitchen features top-of-the-line appliances like a Wolf range, Bosch dishwasher and Liebherr refrigerator. The architect explains that “New book matched teak kitchen cabinets, distressed zinc countertops, pre-existing rough columns and bleached oak flooring provide the tactile counterpoint to refinished precise white walls and ceilings.” Winged bedrooms provide privacy; well-considered but simple design choices are also in evidence in the apartment’s two bathrooms.


The spacious second bedroom has an en-suite bath; there’s also a washer/dryer and ample storage space, including a storage room right outside the unit. Building amenities include a 24-hour doorman, live-in super, bicycle storage and a shared courtyard and rooftop deck. Located on Mercer Street just off busy Broadway–and bordering the NYU campus–the building is conveniently located near Washington Square Park and multiple train lines. The home’s next owner will also get to be neighbors with Jessica Chastain’s tenants, as the strawberry blonde “Crimson Peak” star owns and rents out an apartment in the building; it was recently listed for $11,500 a month.

See Inside! Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent list Oh-So Chic Manhattan Apartment

Today HomeNovember 25, 2015

"We designed every square inch of it," designer and television personality Nate Berkus told Architectural Digest when the magazine featured the Greenwich Village apartment he shares with his husband and fellow designer, Jeremiah Brent, and their daughter, Poppy.


They particularly love the double closet — "a monstrosity of a closet," as Jeremiah put it — in the 3-bedroom, 3-bath spread, which they've listed for $10.5 million. 


The light-filled penthouse is a duplex drenched in white with high, coffered ceilings and black and gold accents.


The home spans 2,800 square feet and includes a chef's kitchen with skylights and an eight-burner range, a formal dining room and a wrought-iron staircase that leads to private living quarters below.


The master suite boasts a fireplace, an outrageous closet, and a master bath including dual sinks and a freestanding cast-iron tub.


Architectural Digest placed the home in a "beautiful stretch just above Washington Square Park, where the avenue begins and the surrounding prewar buildings are prized by those who seek elegance but also cherish the vitality, diversity and cultural heritage of Greenwich Village."


The couple recently bought a house on the other coast, Variety reported.


The listing agent is Emily Beare of CORE. 

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Just Listed Their New York City Masterpiece

PopSugarNovember 24, 2015

Just recently, Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent introduced to the world their stunning New York City penthouse in the October issue of Architectural Digest. The couple worked together to renovate the sprawling space, which is now back on the market.


Perfectly suited for a young family, the listing is any house hunter's dream. From carefully selected vintage furniture to the picturesque nursery Nate and Jeremiah designed for their daughter, Poppy, it's hard not to swoon.


But real estate gold such as this comes at a whopping price — $10.5 million to be exact. Keep reading for a glimpse of every room in this gorgeous "townhouse in the sky."

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent List New York Apartment for $10.5 Million

Architectural DigestNovember 24, 2015

The designing couple gut-renovated and decorated the Greenwich Village residence.


Designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have listed their duplex penthouse in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village for $10.5 million, The Wall Street Journal reports. The three-bedroom, 2,800-square-foot residence is located on the 14th and 15th floors of a prewar co-op building, according to listing agent Emily Beare of Core. Berkus and Brent purchased the building’s penthouse and an adjacent one-bedroom for $6 million in 2013. The pair then combined the units and embarked on a gut renovation and design project. “The energy we discovered working on our home together is unlike anything else,” Brent told AD. “It’s totally unfiltered. We do our best work when we are together.” The residence features a wraparound terrace, three wood-burning fireplaces, and a solarium-style window in the kitchen. Beare told the Journal that the furniture isn’t included in the asking price, but some pieces may be available for purchase.


The couple, parents to baby daughter Poppy, recently purchased a four-bedroom, five-bath 1920s Spanish Revival–style home in Los Angeles for $2.36 million.

Half of Iconic Brownstoner Building Hits the Market for $3 Million

BrownstonerNovember 23, 2015

Recognize the lovely Renaissance Revival building above? You should. Now take a peek inside.


A photo of Greenpoint’s 144 Franklin Street has graced the top of the Brownstoner website years. There’s just something special about its arched Romanesque windows and terra-cotta trim.


Today, half of the building hits the market for a cool $3,000,000, listed by Win Brown for Core. The listing includes two of 144 Franklin’s three residential units: a 1,920-square-foot three-bedroom apartment taking up the entire second floor; and a 900-square-foot two-bedroom occupying half of the first floor, with a sleeping loft and another 900-square-foot space in the basement, the agent told us.


As we know from Brownstoner historian Suzanne Spellen, this 1895 building is the former Mechanics and Traders Bank of Brooklyn. At the time it was built, Franklin Street was a high-traffic turnpike linking Williamsburg with Astoria, and the bank building was designed to be the grandest on the block.


The building became a co-op in 1984. In addition to the three residential units, it has a commercial storefront. The listing says one of the units for sale is zoned for commercial, and the sale must be all cash.

Nate Berkus’ Sky-High Manhattan Penthouse Could Be Yours

ELLE DécorNovember 23, 2015

The designer and his husband have just listed their dreamy family home for $10.5 million. 


Nate Berkus has grown into a design world powerhouse, becoming a highly sought after talent praised in the pages of ELLE DECOR. One look into any of the homes he's created and the reason why is clear.


His own Manhattan penthouse, located inside an elegant pre-war building on the glamorous Fifth Avenue, is no exception. Renovated by Berkus, the interiors are a mix of subtle sophistication and daring contemporary design. But it seems he's ready to part with the three-bedroom home.


Just listed for $10.5 million, the duplex home was designed for entertaining on the main floor and family living on the floor below, complete with a play area and nursery for Berkus's baby daughter, Poppy.


What has our hearts really racing, though, is the design star's immaculate closet. So. Much. Space.


Check out Berkus's entire home below.

The 13 Best Properties To Hit the Market This Week

Luxury Listing NYCNovember 23, 2015

Think you’ve seen everything that’s out there to buy? Thankfully in New York there’s always more beautiful apartments to drool over/purchase (if you’re lucky). Take a look at these lovely properties that just hit the market.


Address: 38 Prince Street


Price: $25,000,000

Type/Size: Townhouse; 8,069 square feet; seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms

An entire floor of this five-story townhouse is devoted to entertaining (there’s even a music room). 

The home was formerly the west wing of the Old Saint Patrick’s School and Convent.


Address: 39 Fifth Avenue #PHB


Price: $10,500,000

Type/Size: Co-op; three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms

The home currently belongs to star interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent.

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Ask $10.5 Million for Decked-Out Duplex

The Wall Street JournalNovember 20, 2015

The Greenwich Village Penthouse has two terraces and a windowed walk-in closet as big as some apartments.


Interior designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent are listing their Manhattan duplex penthouse for $10.5 million.


On the 14th and 15th floors of a prewar building, the Greenwich Village co-op has three bedrooms and measures about 2,800 square feet, according to listing agent Emily Beare of Core.


The apartment has a windowed walk-in closet divided into two sections—one for Mr. Berkus and one for Mr. Brent. The closet is “as big as most people’s apartments,” Ms. Beare said, and has a black and white patterned carpet. The kitchen, with white tile and black cabinets, leads to a terrace and has rounded glass casement windows that add “a lot of light,” Ms. Beare said.


Mr. Berkus and Mr. Brent turned an office near the master bedroom into a nursery for their daughter, Poppy. A playroom has built-in bookshelves concealing a hidden door to the hallway, she said. The apartment also has a wraparound terrace and three wood-burning fireplaces.


The couple spent about $6 million in 2013 to buy the building’s penthouse and an adjacent one-bedroom apartment, Ms. Beare said. They combined the two units and gut-renovated the space, she said.


The home was on the cover of October’s “Architectural Digest,” and the couple decided to list it after receiving a number of inquiries about whether they’d be willing to sell, Ms. Beare said. She said the furniture isn't included in the asking price, but some pieces may be available as a separate negotiation.


Meanwhile, the couple paid $2.36 million in September for a four-bedroom house in West Hollywood, according to public records.


Mr. Berkus, 44, founded the design firm Nate Berkus Associates and gained fame through regular appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”. Mr. Brent, 30, heads Jeremiah Brent Design and hosts the television show “Home Made Simple.” The two were married in 2014 at the New York Public Library.


Nate Berkus Lists Greenwich Penthouse Duplex for $10.5M

New York PostNovember 20, 2015

Interior designer Nate Berkus, who got his start as an Oprah favorite, is listing the Greenwich Village home he shares with Jeremiah Brent for $10.5 million.


The penthouse duplex, at 39 Fifth Avenue, was recently featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. It is similar in style to homes he has designed for wealthy clients, like Katie Lee, the cookbook author and TV personality who is Billy Joel’s ex-wife.


The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom co-op in the heart of the Village comes with a foyer that leads to a living room with 10-and-a-half-foot ceilings, three wood-burning fireplaces and custom built-ins. There’s also a spacious chef’s kitchen with a butcher’s block and marble-top counters, and all glass doors that dramatically lead to the terrace. Berkus designed and renovated the penthouse, devoting the top floor to entertaining and the floor below for living. The listing calls it a “townhouse in the sky” with open city views.


It also comes with a hefty maintenance fee: $7,073 a month. The building was created in 1922 and designed by Emory Roth.


The listing broker is Emily Beare, of CORE.

The Greenwich Village Show: Nate Berkus Lists Penthouse for $10.5M

New York ObserverNovember 20, 2015

Maybe this time he’ll move more than 650 feet away? Interior designer, author, and television personality Nate Berkus and his partner, fellow interior designer Jeremiah Brent, have listed their Greenwich Village duplex, two short years after purchasing it for $5 million. They moved over to their current pad after Mr. Berkus sold his West 9th Street co-op, a brisk two-minute walk away.


“This neighborhood, particularly the blocks around West 11th and West 10th streets, has a unique magic,” Mr. Berkus, whose daughter Poppy was born in March, told Architectural Digest. “We knew we wanted to have a family and that we wanted to raise our child in New York.”


The penthouse at 39 Fifth Avenue has undergone quite the renovation, and was recently featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. The apartment is, of course, beautifully done (obviously), and the couple must really believe in that renovation, if the $10.5 million price tag attached to the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home is any indication. It does seem a tad ambitious to ask more than twice what one paid just two years ago, but Mr. Berkus clearly believes in the power of good decision.


CORE broker Emily Beare has the listing, which highlights 10.5-foot coffered ceilings, multiple fireplaces, and a wrought-iron staircase. It also notes that the master suite includes a “dressing room larger than most bedrooms.” Considering the fact that the Architectural Digest shoot shows a photo of a shoe closet larger than many an apartment, we think it’s safe to assume Ms. Beare is not exaggerating.


An additional photo from CORE shows that really were not embellishing. That is an apartment-sized closet we have here.


Wherever the couple goes next is sure to undergo an equally as stylish renovation, but it must hurt to part ways with such this one—at least with that closet. Maybe that’s why they’re trying to double their money? In any event, we’re guessing the family is moving on to a place with even more closets–after all, their daughter’s shoe collection will soon need a room of its own, as well. 

Nate Berkus Lists Elegant Village Penthouse For $10.5M

CurbedNovember 20, 2015

Is anyone surprised that Nate Berkus's home is impeccable? The celebrity interior designer just listed his three-bedroom Greenwich Village duplex for $10.5 million, which is noteworthy because it's a whopping $4.5 million more than he paid for it in 2013. Berkus and his husband, interior designer Jeremiah Brent, purchased the penthouse in 2013 for $6 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.


The couple purchased an adjacent one-bedroom apartment in the building (which was designed by famed architect Emery Roth), then renovated it and combined it with the penthouse to create the apartment as it is now. Some of its stellar features include windowed walk-in closets, three wood-burning fireplaces, and a double-doored terrace. The furniture isn't a part of the sale however, but can be acquired on special request, according to WSJ. The couple, who have a 10-month-old daughter, Poppy Brent-Berkus, recently purchased a $2.36 million four-bedroom in West Hollywood.

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent List Their Perfect Greenwich Village Apartment for $10.5 Million

Luxury Listings NYCNovember 20, 2015

Celebrity interior design couple Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have just listed their duplex Greenwich Village penthouse apartment for $10.5 million and it is perhaps the most lovely thing we have ever seen.


The Wall Street Journal reports that the space was actually two separate apartments that the couple combined to make into this 2,800-square foot gem.  According to the listing, the “townhouse in the sky,” features three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen, three fireplaces, a wraparound terrace, a huge walk-in closet with divided his and his sections, a playroom with built-in bookshelves, and eastern and southern views of the city.


The apartment was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest this past October, and the couple decided to list it after they received many offers (including one we made in our dreams). In the story, Berkus noted, “Great design is like great love: You trust your gut.” Well we’re glad it paid off!

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent List Their Greenwich Village Penthouse for $10.5M

6sqftNovember 20, 2015

Back in September Architectural Digest dedicated a whole cover plus photo spread to Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent “settling in” to their pristine apartment, a penthouse at the Emery Roth-designed 39 Fifth Avenue in the heart of the Village. While the pair spent the better part of the piece gushing about how they’d finally found their dream home (“We couldn’t stop thinking about the apartment, believing we were meant to live there…we were able to create the home of our dreams,” Brent said to AD at one point), it looks like the family, which includes their young daughter Poppy, couldn’t quite get as comfy as they’d hoped, because they’ve just listed their spacious pad for $10.5 million.


As one would expect from two interior designers, the duplex has been beautifully updated. (Surely, what’s driving Berkus’ eight-figure price tag, way up from the $5 million he paid for the home just two years ago.) According to the listing, the unit has been renovated for entertaining on one level and large family quarters below, which include the home’s three bedrooms.


The sleeping quarters are spacious, and the listing touts a “dressing room larger than most bedrooms” in the master suite. The home also boasts 10.5-foot coffered ceilings, four fireplaces, a wrought iron staircase, sweeping city views, and plenty of other luxe details throughout.


 A modern chef’s kitchen complements a large formal dining room that can be opened and closed to create a more intimate setting. The kitchen itself is actually quite a work of art, aptly described as a “space only found in old-world New York mansions.” A wall of windows and skylights within only add to the effect.


While Berkus and his brood have plans to move on, the upside is that you now have the chance to live out their interior dreams in this perfectly appointed space.


New Renders Reveal Interiors for $25M Nolita Townhouse

CurbedNovember 20, 2015

Here's what we know so far about the school-to-condo conversion happening at 34 Prince Street, now known as "The Residences at Prince": The former St. Patrick's Old Cathedral School will be transformed into nine luxury homes (seven condos and two townhouses, designed by Marvel Architects), all of which will be "unique" and pricey (duh). Exterior renderings have already made the rounds, but the interiors have been a mystery; and while we still don't know what those condos are going to look like, these renderings show the inside for one of the development's townhouses, which will hit the market today for $25 million. The five-story home, which sits on the Prince Street side of the block-long project, is as over-the-top as previous reports have suggested: It'll span 10,000 square feet, with two gardens (in the front and back), three working fireplaces, and even an elevator. The floor plans below show the layout of the massive house, which has seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, an ornate staircase, a study, and a more then 1,000 square foot cellar.


The 5 Most Frequent Causes of Neighbor Fights in NYC

Brick UndergroundNovember 17, 2015

And how to keep the peace in your building. Unless you're a multi-millionaire who can afford your own island, there's no way to avoid neighbors, especially in New York City. Sometimes this is a blessing in disguise, and other times? Not so much. And of course, some sources of neighborly discord are way more common than others. In the interest of commiserating—and, yes, heading off a future conflict—we're rounding up the most time-honored causes of neighbor fights, and how to resolve them:




Far and away, noise has always been—and probably always will be—the biggest source of friction between neighbors in apartment buildings. (This should come as a surprise to approximately no one.) And between the pitter patter of little feet, late night parties or rehearsals, construction work, and pets, there's a seemingly endless smorgasbord of ways neighbors can sonically disrupt one another. The advice? "Take off your heels on wood floors, carpet the bedrooms, and don't make excess noise with your TV, stereo, musical instruments, or wild orgies after 10 pm," advises Thomas Usztoke of Douglas Elliman Property Management.  


And if you've got kids, prepare for a certain amount of warfare. "Especially when a quiet elderly person moves out and is replaced by a young family, the new residents are almost always considered a noise problem," says real estate attorney Dean Roberts. To help ease the tension, Roberts recommends taking a plate of brownies and one of your kids downstairs to meet your new neighbors before the complaints start rolling in. "That at least sort of pre-empts it, and puts a face on the problem," he says.


"I always tell clients to talk to the doorman," adds DJK Residential Associate Broker Fainna Kagan. "Ask who lives downstairs. If it's another family or someone who owns a pied a terre, they tend to be more understanding." If it's you who's making the noise, keep in mind that excessive noise between 10 pm and 7 am is considered a nuisance in NYC, and that following the so-called "80 percent rule" and putting down carpeting to muffle sounds may be your best bet towards heading off a problem.




If you're not hearing your neighbors, you may well be smelling them, whether they've got a penchant for ultra-fragrant dinners, a hoarding problem, or a pack-a-day smoking habit. "Smoking as a nuisance is much more of an issue than it was even five years ago, because people are less tolerant, and fewer people smoke," says Roberts, noting that residents are often particularly eager to crack down on pot smokers, even though as a legal nuisance, a joint is no different than a Marlboro Red. "I had one co-op board that found out a teenager in the building was smoking marijuana, and it was like they expected a SWAT team to jump in from the roof," he says. (Before you call 911, a reality check: The NYPD probably isn't going to make nabbing your building's resident stoner their top priority.)


That said, since very few New York apartment buildings are strictly smoke-free, it can be tough to clear the air. While odors that make their way into your apartment are considered nuisances, "You can't reproduce an odor in court to have someone evaluate it," says real estate attorney Steve Wagner. One exception: Wagner once had a case where an elderly couple wasn't cleaning up after their cats, and their apartments carpets were absorbing (and disseminating) a stench that bothered the rest of the building. "We subpoenaed the rug and had it brought to court, and the case settled after the judge took one whiff," Wagner says. (In this case, the couple agreed to have the apartment cleaned.)


For stenches that are truly foul—the kind caused by hoarding or other unsanitary conditions, for instance—the key is to prove that it's affecting other residents in the building, says Wagner, citing a case where a building evicted a hoarder on the testimony of a neighboring child who could no longer bring friends to the building thanks to the smell. "The court doesn't have the power to compel somebody to get psychiatric help, but they can bring in adult protective services to do an evaluation and start separate proceedings," notes Wagner. 


Sometimes, smells are also a renovation issue, as apartment alterations can inadvertently open up new pathways for smoke and other scents to get into your apartment. "In one case, the super came in and sealed everything up, and it solved the problem," says Wagner. But if the problem is simply a neighbor who won't stop smoking, says Citi Habitats broker Candace Medina, there's not much more to be done other than reporting the problem to management, and having them ask the person to smoke out the windows. "You can't really ask them to stop unless the building is non-smoking," says Medina. Or, as we like to suggest for weed enthusiasts, switch to a vaporizer.




While it's easy to get caught up in your own headaches during a renovation, keep in mind that your kitchen overhaul is likely causing hassles for your neighbors, too, and have some sympathy when you find yourself on the other side of the issue. "No, your alteration from a decade ago wasn't any quieter than the one you're currently complaining about," as Usztoke puts it.


Aside from the obvious noise issues, construction can also cause damage hallways and common areas (though your contractor's insurance should cover this), and neighbors aren't always thrilled about the commotion of handymen and contractors coming and going throughout the day. Aside from making sure your work only takes place during the appropriate hours, says Kagan, the best defense against complaints is a good offense. 


"Before you begin work, give all the neighbors a bottle of wine and let them know you apologize in advance for any noise," she says. And if you're the one being bothered by a neighbor's construction work, this is a case where problems should probably be outsourced to the building's management, rather than handled with a knock on the neighbor's door, since most buildings will have strict rules about noise and hours, and won't hesitate to enforce them. "Often, the super will come up and 4 pm or 5 pm and remind the crew that it's time to get out," says Kagan. 




If water is making its way into your apartment thanks to a careless neighbor, this is another situation where you should take the problem straight to the top. "Call management and say you have a leak," says Roberts. "They need to know because there will be structural issues." If you'd like to be more diplomatic, you can also head upstairs and let your neighbor know in person that the tub seems to have overflowed and its contents are seeping through your ceiling.


Water damage from a neighbor's burst pipe or bathroom overflow is unfortunately all too common—so much so, says Roberts, that it's the prime reason so many buildings demand residents have apartment insurance. But on the bright side, he notes, "they tend to get dealt with pretty quickly because they're source-specific." 




"By definition, these are grounds for warfare," says Roberts. While many common rooms like hallways and laundry rooms are relatively benign, he notes, "Every common area that has utility, like a backyard or rooftop terrace, tends to have issues." (In the course of reporting this story we did hear about one incident in which a building had to tell a resident to stop strolling to the laundry room in nothing but his underwear.)


For recreational areas like roof decks and playgrounds, the best course of action is a building-wide set of rules about when and how the areas can be used (though of course, there's no guarantee people will follow them). "I've worked with co-ops that set up committees to manage it," says Roberts. "The hall monitors, for lack of a better term." Even if you've got a private backyard, you may well find your upstairs neighbors trash and cigarette butts floating down into your yard, notes  Medina. "I've heard of glasses dropped down into a garden, too," she says.


Another classic common area issue: families who leave strollers, shoes, and other kid paraphernalia cluttering the hallways. Besides being an annoyance and eyesore for the neighbors, buildings consider this a fire hazard. In one such case, says CORE agent Kerry Elizabeth Lynn, building management forced one errant family to pay for in-building storage, after flyers about keeping the hallways clear went ignored. "Eventually, they had to give in, because none of the neighbors would talk to them," she said.


Ultimately, for repeated infraction, you may be left with no choice but to tattle. "Nobody wants to be the building complainer, but you also don't want to put up with abuse," says Medina. "And sometimes, if there's no other recourse and the neighbors are really unpleasant, people just move."


Chloe Sevigny's Apartment Sold To Shana Randhava For $2.2 Million

Realty TodayNovember 16, 2015

The former East Village apartment of actress Chloe Sevigny was purchased by the executive director of the Estee Lauder Companies. Shana Randhava bought the apartment for $2.2 million as reported by The Real Deal.


According to New York Post, the 1,250-square-foot co-op is situated on the garden floor of a Greek Revival townhouse on East10th Street between Second and Third Avenues.


It has been reported that when Sevigny still owns the apartment it was featured in Shelter Magazine and it was decorated like a "British 'shabby chic' cottage."


In 2003, Sevigny sold the apartment for $1.76 million to high-profile tech entrepreneurs couple, Halle Tecco and Jeff Hammerbacher. It was Halleand Jeff who renovated the apartment by adding some modern aesthetic but still retaining the character of the Greek Revival townhouse.


According to Heather L. McDonough and Henry Hershkowitz of Core NYC, the home is exquisite with a beautiful well-landscaped front garden. A Dutch door leads to chic designer-inspired hallway. There are magnificent pre-war details in the entire home.


It has a spacious living room with fire place and surrounded with antique mirrors making the area look more glamorous. As for the dining area it welcomes the beauty of sunlight through its casement windows along with Terra Cotta flooring.


The apartment has an oversized master bedroom with its own wood-burning fireplace. An original marble mantle leads to the walk-in closet. The master bathroom is designed with Ann Sacks tiles.


The townhouse is part of "six 19th Century townhouses with a collection of 29 residences" that is located within the St. Mark's Historic district.


The cooperative has a common garden, live-in superintendent and even basement storage locker that is said to be available for rent as well as for bicycle storage. There is also a strict "no smoking policy" in the pet-friendly area.

Chloe Sevigny’s Former East Village Co-op Sells for $2.1M

6sqftNovember 16, 2015

Queen of indie films Chloe Sevigny unsurprisingly moved to the East Village in 2005, scooping up a garden-level co-op at 119 East 10th Street for $1,199,000 and becoming neighbors with fellow indie royal Parker Posey.


By 2013, Sevigny made the inevitable move to Brooklyn (she stated that the East Village had become like a frat house) and sold her two-bedroom Manhattan pad for $1.76 million to tech power couple Halle Tecco and Jeffrey Hammerbacher. Despite the stylish renovation that the couple undertook, they listed the residence this summer for $2.2 million.


The Post now reports that the home sold for just under its asking price to Shana Randhava, the executive director of the Estee Lauder Companies. Interestingly, they note that Sevigny “has been quoted about her love for Estee Lauder products, particularly their ‘luxury compacts.’”


During Chloe’s day, the 1,250-square-foot apartment was decorated “like a British ‘shabby chic’ cottage,” not at all what we’d expect from the actress and model, though she did refer to it as “womb-like.” Tecco and Hammerbacher gave the place a modern makeover that earned them a feature in Apartment Therapyand slightly modified the floor plan. They did preserve details original to the Greek Revival townhouse such as base moldings, beamed ceilings, and wide-plank pine flooring. A Dutch door leads from the front garden into the long hallway adorned with David Cafiero-designed wallpaper. The hall is lined with closets, a powder room, and a laundry room.


The living room features built-in bookshelves flanking a wood-burning fireplace, whitewashed exposed brick, and a wall of antique mirrors. The adjacent dining room has large casement windows that overlook the back patio, terra-cotta flooring, and a custom built-in home office.


The terra-cotta flooring carries over to the kitchen, which also boasts sleek black cabinets, a bit of exposed brick, custom butcher-block counters, a backsplash featuring hand-painted Urban Archaeology tiles, a farmhouse sink and retro appliances. Another Dutch door leads to the rear patio.


The master bedroom has another wood-burning fireplace, this one with an original marble mantle, as well as a walk-in closet and an en-suite bath complete with a cast iron claw-foot tub.

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