Pricey Digs: Pretty Prewars in Chelsea

Luxury Listings NYCSeptember 24, 2015

Henry Hershkowitz and Heather McDonough's listing at 427 West 21st Street, #PLR was included in the September/October 2015 issue.

Development Update: Living the Charmed Life

Luxury Listings NYCSeptember 24, 2015

New luxury condos are coming to Soho, the New York Post reported, to meet demand from buyers eager to live among the nabe's charming cobblestone streets and cast-iron buildings. Among the projects are 150 Wooster Street, where a developer plans a new six-unit building; 30 Thompson Street, the Karim Rashid-designed condo building and 42 Crosby Street, designed by Annabelle Selldorf. Sales began at 10 Sullivan Street, a new Cary Tamarkin-designed condo tower, last year.

Holier-Than-Thou NYC Real Estate

StreetEasy BlogSeptember 24, 2015

If you hadn’t heard – and/or have been living in an atheist bomb shelter – the Pope is coming to NYC tomorrow and there is no shortage of fanfare and excitement. There’s going to be a big parade, a concert featuring the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Gloria Estefan and a whole lot of school visits and praying. The last papal visit was in 2008, but the popularity of Pope Francis and his progressive message make this visit a big deal for many New Yorkers regardless of their religious beliefs.


His visit has been analyzed and opined on every which way from architectural studies of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to the reaction of local car wash workers and Malthusian traffic reports, but in a city where the long arm of real estate knows no bounds, we thought we’d take a look at the changing function of churches.


Only in a city where inventory is so low, land is so scarce and landmarks law is so full of loopholes would places of worship revert to homes. We took a look at the listings – both currently active, in-contract and past – and found a handful of amazing and surprising spaces that once were places of religious worship and are now places layman — like you and me — call home. Take a look at what we found.


Novare 135 West 4th Street


Built in 1860, Washington Square Methodist Church formerly occupied the site of the Novare condo at 135 West 4th Street.


The church was designed by Gamaliel King in the Romanesque Revival style and features a marble facade with four slim buttresses. Throughout the 19th century, the church served a traditional Episcopal community, but by the 20th century the church become enmeshed in politics, becoming a meeting place for the New York Christian temperance movement in the 1910s and 1920s.


It later became a mecca for social activism in the 1960s and supported groups like Vietnam protesters, the Black Panthers and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Facing financial hardship in 2004, it was sold to real estate developers. The architecture firm FLANK redesigned the church into an eight-unit luxury condo.


The three-bedroom penthouse is currently listed for $12.495M and features 20-foot ceilings and a wall of vibrant stained-glass windows that are original to the church’s design. The apartment also offers a 500-square foot terrace, a floating chrome staircase and a sprawling open floor plan living area.

New Listings

Broker's WeeklySeptember 23, 2015

Michael Rubin's PHB listing at 252 Seventh Avenue was featured in the "New Listings" section of Broker's Weekly.

$12.5M Village Condo Is Blessed With Stained Glass Windows

CurbedSeptember 22, 2015

Located in a former church that dates to 1860, this duplex penthouse is a "rare, stunning and dramatic residential experience," according to the brokerbabble, and for former renter Jude Law, it was definitely, uh, some kind of experience. You see, this beautiful, stained glass-boasting, 500-square-foot terrace-equipped condo is located in the Novare at 135 West 4th Street, directly beside a New York University freshmen dorm, and if you are an A-list actor, they will watch you and shout at you every time you use your spacious, landscaped terrace (Law's reaction? To throw oranges at the students, naturally). Clearly, 700 new New Yorkers may not be the best neighbors, but the condo does have its perks: Venetian plaster walls, Brazilian walnut floors, a library, three bedrooms, 20-foot ceilings in the living room, a chrome and glass staircase, and the aforementioned stained glass, which is original to the church building. It sold in 2009 for $6.3 million, and it's now on the market for $12.495 million (h/t 6sqft). 

Jude Law’s Former Greenwich Village Penthouse in Gorgeous Church Conversion Asks $12.5M

6sqftSeptember 22, 2015

Remember all that hoopla over Jude Law flinging fruit from his Greenwich Village penthouse onto ogling NYU students? Well, here’s where it happened, ironically, in a former house of worship.


Built in 1860 as a Methodist church, 135 West 4th Street underwent an incredible condo conversion by FLAnk Architecture in 2006, where they beautifully preserved original church features such as stained glass windows and exposed beams, but added all the modern luxuries an A-list celeb would want. The aforementioned penthouse first sold for $6 million to entrepreneur Mark Kress and was then listed for resale for $8.5 million in 2009. It ended up selling the following year for a much-reduced $6.3 million, and then found a renter in Jude Law. Now, the duplex is back on the market asking $12,495,000, and it can be all yours (assuming you keep your orange lobbing at bay).


It’s too bad those pesky freshman were such a nuisance, because Law certainly missed an opportunity here. The stunning, 3,500-square-foot, three-bedroom home comes with enviable features including 20-foot-high ceilings, Venetian plaster walls, Brazilian walnut floors, industrial-style doors, exposed ceilings beams, and historic stained glass windows in several rooms.


One of the extremely contemporary additions is the floating chrome staircase, which connects the lower level (housing the master suite, media room, and two additional bedrooms) to the upper floor (that contains the living room, kitchen/dining room, and terrace).


Of course it’s the outdoor space that really steals the show, and not just because this is where Law lost his temper. A massive, double-height wall of operable glass opens onto the 500-square-foot terrace, which comes complete with an outdoor kitchen, beautiful landscaping, and plenty of room for entertaining.

Modern Throwback: Duplex in a Building Steeped in City Lore Showcases Owner’s Vision

New York ObserverSeptember 18, 2015

Though it is no longer the “palace of jewels,” the former headquarters for Tiffany & Co. at 15 Union Square West is still quite nice to look at, with its sleek glass-and-black-zinc exterior juxtaposed with the restored original cast-iron arches.


“One of the features is the mix of older architecture with sleeker finishes,” Core broker Cassie D’Agata opined of the sixth-floor, 2,282-square-foot duplex we visited. She gestured toward the massive window arches in the living room, adjacent to a metal library ladder propped against the custom built-ins overflowing with books as well as signed and framed copies of Playbill—the owner, Andrew Martin Weber, is “in the theater world.”


The full effect of the unit’s 16-foot ceilings is felt when ascending the floating glass-and-steel staircase that leads to the two bedrooms—a master suite with two walk-in closets and a bathroom that includes a glass-encased “wet room” with a claw-foot tub, as well as a guest bedroom with a single closet and en-suite marble-and-glass-tiled bathroom. (There’s an additional powder room on the first floor.)


Mr. Weber has decided to sell the condo because he “doesn’t use it that often,” Ms. D’Agata, who shares the $6.2 million listing with Patrick V. Lilly, told the Observer. She added that Mr. Weber “has a big art collection, so gallery space was important. He specifically chose the artwork, probably his favorite pieces, for this apartment.”


Those pieces include a Richard Serra print as well as a gold crown perched atop a small chair, with what look to be baby’s shoes underneath. (Ms. D’Agata clarified the shoes belong to a teddy bear named Charlotte.)


The living room opens on to the kitchen and then to the dining area, where one can view Union Square Park through more floor-to-ceiling windows. If the view loses its charm, there’s also a photograph of Charlotte the teddy bear wearing the aforementioned crown hanging in the kitchen.

Featured Listing: 374 Broome Street, PHS

Modern NYCSeptember 08, 2015

Located in the heart of NoLita, Penthouse South at 374 Broome Street is an extraordinary 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom residence with an unparalleled landscaped roof terrace of grand proportions. The 19th Century building, Brewster Carriage House, was converted in 2010 and the developer carved out this penthouse residence for its optimal vantage point, views and usable private outdoor roof terrace, which exceeds all expectations for those looking for the perfect outdoor entertaining space.


The roof terrace, measuring 2,062 square feet, is accessed from the main living area via the ornate copper railing staircase and is sheathed by an impressive sculptural glass bulkhead. The terrace, customized by its current owner, features mature irrigated plantings, a bocce ball court, an outdoor sound system and an outdoor kitchen with gas grill.


This triple mint offering features equally impressive residential living spaces which pay homage to the buildings heritage while offering all of today's most desired features and amenities. Sun-filled and largely scaled, the open living/dining area boasts a gas fireplace, soaring 11'9" ceiling heights and eight oversized windows, three of which open onto Juliet balconies, offering bright southern and eastern exposures. The open chef's kitchen centers around a Bianco Borealis marble island and features fully-integrated Miele dishwasher and refrigerator, Miele oven and cooktop, extra-large stainless steel sink, Newform fixtures and a 70 bottle Sub-Zero wine refrigerator.


With winged master bedrooms on either side of the living area, the owners have the option to choose which master suite suits them best. The large northern master suite features a deep walk-in closet and a four-fixture en-suite bathroom with the third bedroom adjacent. On the other side of the loft, a second master suite faces south and features a "walk-through" closet with a five-fixture en-suite bathroom boasting an oversized Wetstyle soaking bath, a separate fully-enclosed 10-inch rainwater shower, classic white Bianco Dolomiti marble, Mutina Bark stone tile covering the heated flooring and walnut vanities with dual Wetstyle sinks.

Additional fine details throughout this extraordinary home include custom milled white oak flooring, Control4 smart home, security system, automated blackout/solar shades and a full laundry room with Bosch washer and dryer.

On the Market in New York City

The New York TimesSeptember 04, 2015

Homes for Sale in Brooklyn and Manhattan

  • In Harlem, a two-bedroom two-bath with a washer/dryer and a private terrace in an elevator building that was once a public school.

  • On the Upper West Side, a triplex with a sleeping area, a living area, an eat-in-kitchen and two baths in a brownstone.

  • In Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, a six-bedroom two-and-one-half-bath three-story 1907 frame house with double parlors, a formal dining room, an eat-in-kitchen, a butler’s pantry, back and front yards, a driveway, a two-car garage, a wraparound porch, and laundry rooms on the second floor and in the basement.

Harlem Condo $1,795,000


Manhattan, 220 West 148th Street, #PHC


A two-bedroom two-bath with a washer/dryer and a private terrace in an elevator building that was once a public school. Adrian Noriega (212) 612-9635, Brett Caspi (212) 612-9643, CORE;


COMMON CHARGES $1,344 a month; taxes: none through 2025 because of an abatement.


PROS The kitchen/living/dining area in this meticulously designed apartment opens to an expansive irrigated rooftop terrace with a variety of trees, plant boxes and plenty of room for entertaining.


CONS The bathrooms lack windows.

Own a Waterfront Home in Upstate New York

Architectural DigestSeptember 03, 2015

A contemporary home with a picturesque lily pond in East Fishkill is up for sale. 


Known as Mission House, this contemporary home was built in 1999 on a wooded property just an hour and a half from New York City.

Center Stage: Home Makeovers that Appeal to a Wide Variety of Buyers Pay Off

New York ObserverSeptember 02, 2015

“Let’s make it just like a James Bond-type character lives here,” Interior Marketing Group president Cheryl Eisen declared when she entered an empty penthouse on Warren Street with Douglas Elliman brokers—and Million Dollar Listing stars—Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes.


To create a “bachelor-pad-type loft” atmosphere, Ms. Eisen, whose home staging company specializes in high-end city real estate, added a white leather couch, sleek Philippe Starck-style black chairs, and a low, modern black bed to create a minimalist master suite. 


Once the 12-day staging process—Ms. Eisen was clear she never exceeds the designated 12-day time period—was complete, the Tribeca duplex that had been languishing on the market for a year was in the midst of a bidding war, and the victor emerged as no less than 007 himself—actor Daniel Craig, with an all-cash $1.9 million offer.


“You only have one chance to make a first impression, and you don’t want to miss that opportunity,” Core broker Emily Beare told the Observer. Especially in a quick-moving market with lots of liquid buyers, the spaces that put them quickly at ease are those that they are more likely to buy right away. Voilà, the ascent of home staging.


Staging—which involves arranging a home in such a way as to maximize its curb appeal—is nothing new. “The whole idea of staging really started in California, which makes sense because it’s the land of television and movies, and props and staging,” Corcoran broker Deanna Kory opined. “But the staging world has expanded. Fifteen years ago, I started staging probably before anyone else did. I had a vacant apartment in the Majestic on Central Park West, and I couldn’t sell for a price the owner wanted—she wanted $1.3 million; we kept getting $1.27 million. I told them that in California, they had this thing called staging—no one had heard about it here. I said, ‘Let me see if I can rent some furniture, and see if we can show people a sense of what it might be.’ ” Ms. Kory, who has staged many homes herself, convinced the owners to put $10,000 into staging, and “the next week, we got $1.5 million.”


Whether done by a broker with a background in staging or a certified professional stager, the process seems to reap dividends. According to Susan Goldstein, principal of home staging company SBSC Design, staged units show off their qualities more effectively. “As time went on, people saw places going into contract much faster—brokers became believers. It’s not just sellers, but brokers having a very specific idea of what they want to see in what they bring into the apartment.”


Staging is typically done before a home is listed, and television shows like Million Dollar Listing and HGTV’s Selling New York have helped brokers by “easing the groundwork” for buyers, who aren’t as taken aback these days when a broker tells them to remove their personal belongings, noted Douglas Elliman broker Ann Cutbill Lenane.


“People often feel connected to their overly decorated spaces, but television shows have helped us so much. It’s hard when people have spent a ton of money, especially when they might be a little eccentric … you have to be careful, and make sure you don’t get into an ego issue,” Ms. Lenane added. 


Usually hired before a home goes on the market, or to help spruce up a listing that hasn’t sold, home stagers like Ms. Goldstein will go through a space, select what pieces (if any) can remain, and then use furniture from warehouses, rental stores, or loaned designer pieces to create an atmosphere that is appealing to the desired buyer. “First, I go in, and I take pictures. Then I come back, sit at my computer, and figure out what I need,” said Ms. Goldstein. “My assistant and I sit with my inventory [at a warehouse in Brooklyn] and decide what will work. If we need something that will have to be ordered, it could take up to two weeks before I can begin staging. If we already have a lot and can use local vendors, I can start in a week.” Once she begins staging, Ms. Goldstein said that she is usually done within three days, max.


Staging costs vary widely; if a stager is unable to use any furnishings already in the unit, the price can go up significantly. A three-month contract by Ms. Goldstein’s SBSG Design can begin as low as $9,500 for a one-bedroom and grow to more than $150,000 for more extravagant townhouses and penthouses.


Stagers can face another obstacle when a home has already been expensively decorated by an interior designer. “Staging is the antithesis of interior design, because the designer creates space just for you,” noted Sid Pinkerton of Manhattan Staging. “People who’ve spent a boatload of money are very resistant to someone coming and saying they need to change the space, but if we compromise, it might affect the final result of staging. Staging isn’t just about creating a pretty picture—it’s about showing off the attributes of an apartment in the best way possible.”


Ms. Eisen shared a similar sentiment, noting that interior designers make a home taste-specific, tailored to the client’s preferences. When it comes time to sell, however, that space will “feel like someone else’s home to a prospective buyer walking in.” 


Such was the case at an apartment she worked on at 949 Park Avenue. “They had some interior designer do it, and it had paisley wallpaper. It didn’t sell for over a year. We came in and saw a few things wrong—it was so taste-specific, and there was no dining room. So we took the paisley wallpaper down, created a formal dining area in that space, and it sold immediately at full price.”


Most of Ms. Eisen’s jobs fall into the $35,000-$120,000 range, though “In staging, we do it on as low a budget as possible so our margins are good—that’s our model, that’s everyone’s model,” she said. “But it does look extravagant. People go into our stagings, and it looks like an interior designer did it.” According to Ms. Eisen, the projects she works on typically get an accepted offer within the first 30 days.


One Upper East Side townhouse Ms. Eisen worked on was a quirky mix of “weird strangeness,” including maroon walls and top hat light fixtures. It had been on the market for over a year before Fredrik Eklund got the listing. He immediately called Ms. Eisen, who “staged the whole thing—it sold completely furnished immediately after we staged it, they wanted everything. It was an Upper East Side townhouse, so we added original artwork. It looks like an art collector’s home. It sold for $13.5 million.”


Ms. Eisen has a formula when it comes to assessing properties she’s working on: “Don’t compete with the architecture. Enhance the space enough to really show off its selling features, and accessorize so it looks warm and homey.” She added her company also “assesses the demographic—an Upper East Side family will have different taste than the downtown Tribeca bachelor. We speak to that story; we tell the story of the buyer. We do so with luxury furniture and eclectic accents, which are a mix of vintage and new pieces.”


For a penthouse on Greene Street, “The Winklevoss twins saw it twice, and the second time they said, ‘forget it,’ ” Ms. Eisen recounted. The owner had done a “beautiful construction job, but it needed something else. We populated it with really unique, beautiful textural furniture. As soon as you walk in, there’s a really comfy, cozy, nutty-looking cocktail area. It was very downtown, very Greene Street bachelor pad. When the interior designer did it, it was very cold. Where there used to be art, we replaced it with mirrors. We made the living room more grand, more ‘wow!’ ”


“After we staged it, Fredrik [Eklund] called their broker. At first the broker said no, they weren’t interested. But they did come back, and they bought it immediately … My guess is that it had a personality that they identified with. I think that made a difference.”


The Winklevii must have thought so—they paid $14.5 million for the Soho triplex.


And sometimes, stagers can do their job almost too well. Ms. Lenane once had a listing where, after she staged the space, the seller decided they weren’t quite as unhappy in it as they thought. “We clean it up, we get rid of unwanted things—the ottomans, the husband’s leather recliner the wife had been wanting out—and they realize they aren’t so miserable in the apartment.”


“It’s not exactly what you want as a broker,” Ms. Lenane said. “But staging is a wonderful thing.” 

$1.795M Penthouse at PS 90 Has 1,900-Sq Ft Terrace

StreetEasy BlogSeptember 02, 2015

For most of us New Yorkers, penthouse apartments are the dream we strive for. Often coming with gorgeous views, gigantic windows, luxuries and amenities we can only begin to imagine, and almost insultingly large square footage, penthouses are the ultimate hallmark that you’ve made it.


Penthouse C at 220 West 148th Street, also called PS 90, is certainly an embodiment of all of those qualities. Currently for sale for $1,795,000, this apartment features 1,400 square feet of interior space, but the clincher for this property is the outdoor terrace, which is over 1,900 square feet and private. That’s right — no sharing with anyone, except your friends, of course.


This kind of outdoor space is a goldmine and is practically unheard of, especially when the outdoor area exceeds the already generous inside space by 500 square feet!


Inside, the penthouse features Caesarstone countertops, marble-finished bathrooms, hardwood flooring, and an in-unit washer and dryer. The terrace offers uniquely designed landscaping, automatic lighting and a sound system, and not one, but two vegetable gardens. It also has its own five-zone irrigation system to keep all the trees, shrubs, and other plants watered, as well as coming with two seating areas equipped for outdoor dining, hanging out with friends and hosting possibly the coolest party in the neighborhood.


“Getting listings with this amount of significant outdoor space is rare,” says Adrian Noriega, the broker for Penthouse C. “This kind of quality and this kind of size doesn’t come by often.”


“One of the things I really love about this space,” Noriega continues, “is the sense of privacy, even when you’re outdoors. There’s no noise up there, no real sense that you can be watched by anyone. If it weren’t for the amazing view of the skyline, you wouldn’t even realize you were in New York.”


The median asking price in Central Harlem is around $800,000, which is incidentally about how much Penthouse C was listed and sold for back in 2010. Central Harlem apartments have a median sales price of $760,000 and a 100.5 percent sale-to-list price ratio, which means units are selling for asking price or above.


The terrace features custom landscaping, two seating areas, and even a sound system.

Panelists Finalized for TRD’s Shanghai Showcase

The Real DealSeptember 02, 2015

With The Real Deal’s U.S. Real Estate Showcase & Forum in Shanghai just one week away, the more than 50 panelists attending next week comprise a who’s who of U.S. real estate and development. 


Luxury Listing of the Day: Bright, Airy Penthouse in Tribeca, NYC

InmanSeptember 01, 2015

Private terrace and hypnotic fireplace put finishing touches on this clean apartment. This lovely four-bedroom penthouse in Tribeca includes a terrace with Midtown views, white oak plank floors, and access to the building’s common rooftop, children’s play area and dog-washing station.


It’s listed for $9.9 million with CORE.

On the Market in New York City

The New York TimesAugust 28, 2015

Homes for Sale in Brooklyn and Manhattan


• In Lenox Hill, a three-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath with a fireplace and washer/dryer in a full-service doorman building.

• On the Upper East Side, a duplex studio with a Murphy bed and a shared roof deck in a walk-up.

• In Park Slope, a one-bedroom one-bath unit with a living/dining room, an open kitchen, three exposures and a balcony in a gated 31-unit, pet-friendly co-op building with a common roof deck, storage and laundry facilities and a live-in superintendent.

Upper East Side Co-Op $425,000


Manhattan 227 East 87th Street, #4A


A duplex studio with a Murphy bed and a shared roof deck in a walk-up. Matthew Cohen, CORE (201) 410-5496. Maintenance $750 a month


PROS A brick wall and a decorative fireplace add charm to this sunny unit. The kitchen is nicely renovated. A staircase leads to a closet as well as a roof deck that is shared with an adjacent unit. 


CONS The apartment is on the fourth floor. The blue sink, toilet and tiles in the bathroom could use an update. 

Tour a Majestic Home Designed by George Brown Post in Bernardsville, New Jersey

Architectural DigestAugust 27, 2015

A grand Beaux Arts manor in rural Bernardsville is up for sale.


Built in 1886 by architect George Brown Post, who also designed the New York Stock Exchange building in Manhattan, this Beaux Arts–style home has all the grandeur of a Parisian manse. Known as “Stronghold,” the home was later used by Gill St. Bernard's School for the second half of the 20th century. It was completely restored in 2013. Located in the exclusive area of Bernardsville, in rural Somerset County, the residence is just over an hour from Manhattan.


Beyond the stone façade, the interiors were constructed from fieldstone, wood, and terra-cotta, as seen in the study. In the den many of the original materials remain, including the stone masonry and Corinthian columns. The property consists of two expansive wings: One houses the dining room (shown here), kitchen, and great room, and the other houses the garage. Nearly 32 acres of manicured grounds surround the home. Additionally, a separate carriage house makes for the perfect guest quarters.

Jessica Silver: Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CORE

The Native SocietyAugust 25, 2015



Jessica is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with CORE.  Her dedicated and client-focused approach enabled her to seamlessly transition from a successful career in advertising sales to real estate. Her real estate deals have covered a wide range of neighborhoods, from Brooklyn, to Manhattan, to Queens; no neighborhood is off limits in the search for the perfect home.


A native New Yorker, Jessica grew up in Westchester County and has lived in New York City for 25 years. She owns a co-op on the Upper East Side and enjoys New York City restaurants, museums, parks, shows, and everything else the city has to offer. In her spare time, you can find her on a yoga mat or volunteering with Animal Haven, an animal shelter located in SoHo.


What do you do best?  

Whether you're buying or selling, this can be overwhelming.   I make sure my clients feel comfortable with each step, and know that we are partners through the entire process.


What makes you the best? 

I believe in being honest and managing people's expectations. This establishes trust and leads to a successful, long-lasting relationship.  I have a solution focused approach and listening to my clients is priority one. In the event that obstacles rise, I have the skills to overcome them and find alternatives that remain within their preferences. My clients understand that I’m not just trying to close a deal. They know that I put their best interests first and seek their ultimate satisfaction.  Referrals are a core part of our business as well, and this can only come from happy clients.  


How will you stay the best?  

Keep up to date on the ever-changing industry, and make sure my clients are well-informed.  I continue to challenge myself so I can stay on top and not become complacent.  Every deal is a learning experience and no two are alike.  Losses present an opportunity to learn as well: What could I have done differently? What did I get from this and how I can I use it in the future?  If you're not out there fighting and learning every day, someone else will come along and take your spot.


Biggest success? 

Every success is a big success


What are your aspirations?

Personal: I've always been somewhat of a workaholic, setting my personal life aside as a result. In an ideal world, I would like to have a better balance of both.   

Business: One thing I love about this business is the non-stop education; every day brings a new experience/opportunity.  My goal is to have a strong business built on respect and knowledge, while continuing to grow and learn.


What fascinates you?

People, in general, fascinate me; I like to guess the story of complete strangers.   I enjoy learning about people's lives and what forms their unique personalities.


Favorite Motto:  

I love inspirational quotes, they can really change your perspective or reinforce what you're already feeling. The one that really stands out is one that everyone should consider  "Before you speak, ask yourself this: Is it true? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?  Our words have the power to hurt others, however they also have the power to heal. Choose them wisely"


Favorite People: 

My favorite people are my family and good friends.


Favorite Places:  

I'm not a beach person, I prefer active vacations and have been various places in the world for yoga retreats and bike trips.  My favorite spot would have to be the Galapagos, a trip which had no biking or yoga. I loved experiencing the individual beauty of each island, and seeing the animals in their protected and natural habitat.  We did hike every day and go snorkeling, so I guess you can say this was also an active vacation.


Favorite Products:

Avon skin care

Vince Camuto and Stuart Weitzman (you need comfortable shoes in this business)

Jo Malone scented candles


Current Passions: 

Pre-war architecture, rooftop views, yoga, anything with truffles, all animals, crossword puzzles, a nice chilled white wine.

From $380K to $1.4 Million, 7 NYC Apartments That Are Also Smart Investments

BrickUndergroundAugust 24, 2015

Looking for an apartment in NYC is oddly similar to looking for love—you need to be willing to woo and be wooed, know how to beat out the competition, and of course, be prepared for rejection. But at least with apartment-hunting—unlike dating—there’s an easy way to figure out whether or not pursuing a particular prospect is worth it.


In addition to offering up the usual details found in most listings, RealtyHop — the new sales-focused website from the people behind RentHop — also provides a given property’s estimated investment potential if you should ever decide to rent the space out. This cap rate represents the annual operating profit—which is the estimated rental income minus yearly expenses and common charges, divided by the asking price. (This estimated rental income is based on the asking rents of comparable properties in the neighborhood, assumes 100% occupancy, and doesn’t take into account things such as the cost of repairs, advertising, closing costs or sublet fees paid to the board.)


Just remember that because many co-op buildings either severely limit or completely prohibit subletting, this cap rate is more useful if you’re searching for a condo.


In this week’s round-up, you’ll find an Alphabet City co-op that allows pieds-à-terre, a Lincoln Square two-bedroom with a functioning electric fireplace, and an East Williamsburg one-bedroom with a Bluetooth sound system and in-ceiling speakers. All have estimated cap rates of between two and six percent, which makes them wise investments, says RealtyHop.


Two-bedroom, 2-bath Lincoln Square condo at 43 West 61st Street, #19J for $1,275,000 


A functioning electric fireplace heats up this newly renovated Lincoln Square condo loft, which also features high-end finishes and an open kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The boutique building has a full-time doorman, a live-in super and a private circular driveway. Maintenance is $970 a month, taxes are $947 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.48%.


Studio, 1-bathroom Lower Manhattan co-op at 215 Park Row, #3G for $380,000


With a wall of oversized windows that look out on open city and garden views, a windowed eat-in kitchen, loads of closets, and a separate dressing area, this 500-square-foot studio feels even larger than it is. The co-op building, Chatham Green, has a live-in super, a full maintenance staff and a laundry room. Amenities include a community room, a library/book-sharing room, a bike room, a game room with a kitchen, and on-site parking for just $200 a month. Maintenance is $692 a month and the estimated cap rate is 5.31%.


Two-bedroom, 1-bathroom Alphabet City co-op at 55 Avenue C, #9 for $735,000


This downtown Manhattan two-bedroom has high ceilings, a windowed kitchen, a windowed bathroom, and relatively low maintenance charges of $300 a month. The co-op building has a large landscaped backyard, a bike room, a super, and permits both parental purchases and pieds-à-terre. The estimated cap rate is 4.98%.


One-bedroom, 1-bathroom Financial District condo at 56 Pine Street, #8B for $715,000 


This one-bedroom is located in a full-service doorman building with a concierge, a fitness center, a relaxation lounge, a party room with a wet bar, a billiards room, a media room and laundry on every floor. Maintenance is $855 a month, taxes are $176, and the estimated cap rate is 4.27%.


One-bedroom, 1-bathroom Boerum Hill condo at 46 Bergen Street, #2 for $849,555 


This sunny, high-ceilinged Brooklyn one-bedroom has in-unit laundry, an open chef’s kitchen with a large granite island/breakfast bar, and a marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The pet-friendly boutique building offers private storage and bike storage, and has a J51 tax abatement and low monthlies—maintenance is $251 a month, and taxes are just $120. The estimated cap rate is 4.24%.


Two-bedroom, 2-bathroom East Williamsburg condo at 629 Grand Street, #2 for $1,425,000


Located in the heart of East Williamsburg, this two-bedroom condo offers up 10-foot ceilings, a state-of-the-art Bluetooth sound system with in-ceiling speakers, and a large kitchen. The pet-friendly building has on-site laundry. Monthly maintenance is $594, taxes are $175, and the estimated cap rate is 2.64%.


Two-bedroom, one-bathroom Brooklyn Heights condo at 51 Columbia Place, #3, for $1,025,000


Just one block from Brooklyn Bridge Park, this two-bedroom floor-through condo in Brooklyn Heights has a large, open-plan entertaining room; a chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances; spacious bedrooms; and a renovated bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The pet-friendly condo building has a free washer/dryer in the common basement, as well as shared storage.  The unit is listed for $1,025,000, maintenance is $350 a month, taxes are $376 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.13%.

The Price of a Parking Space in New York City Has Reached $1 Million

Business Insider AustraliaAugust 22, 2015

For Manhattanites who require a set of wheels and a guaranteed place to park it, the cost of the car itself is a mere drop in the bucket when it comes to expenses.


DNAinfo has called the parking space the new “ultimate status symbol.”


At least two new condo developments in New York City are charging $US1 million for a permanent place to park a single car, according to The Wall Street Journal.


The development 42 Crosby St. is building 10 units in New York’s Soho district (which used to be an actual parking lot) and has 10 underground parking spots available on a first-come-first-serve basis for that magically round million-dollar price tag.


The spots measure approximately 150- to 200-square-feet, which, as the The New York Times notes, makes their price per square foot higher than that of the actual apartment units upstairs.


The cheapest apartment price per square foot at 42 Crosby St. is $US3,140; the parking spots below the building are $US5,000 per square foot.


Another building, located at 15 Renwick St. in the Hudson Square district, has only three $US1 million spaces. The WSJ reports that developers said the parking space prices are high because they expect them to be purchased in conjunction with the building’s two penthouses, which are on the market for $US7 and $US11 million.


The New York Post did the maths and these top-tier parking spots work out to be the same as getting a $US115 parking ticket every day for 24 years.


However, these $US1 million parking spaces don’t actually represent the market rate. Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the WSJ that the most expensive parking space he’s seen was for $US325,000 and the market rate is closer to that number.

The Race to the $1 Million Parking Space

Daily MailAugust 22, 2015

Luxury condo developers in Manhattan asking for extortionate price for single spot.


Parking spaces have become so scarce in some big cities that wealthy buyers of luxury condos will have to fork out $1million to secure a single spot to park their cars.


Prices for parking have reached an all-time high in large cities, including New York, Boston and San Francisco, according to the Wall Street Journal.


At least two new residential developments in Manhattan are asking for the extortionate sum for a single parking space.


And developers are even marketing the small spaces as sought-after luxury amenities with fancy brochures and promotional videos.


In Manhattan’s trendy Soho, a parking space will set buyers back around four times the cost of an average family home in the country.

At 42 Crosby Street in Soho, a 10-unit condominium building is currently under construction by Atlas Capital Group and expected to be complete next year.


It has 10 parking spaces being built underground. Each space is available for $1million, which is more expensive in terms of square footage than the apartments upstairs.


At 15 Renwick in Soho, designed by ODA-Architecture, prices for units start from $2.1million for a three-bedroom condo up to $11million for a penthouse duplex.


But three private parking spots are priced at $1million each.


Tim Crowley, the director of new development at Core, which is handling the marketing for 15 Renwick, said the high prices is because developers hope the spaces will be sold with one of the building’s two penthouses.


Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the Journal that the highest actual sales price has seen for a single parking space in Manhattan is $325,000.


He explained that million-dollar parking spaces are not close to market rate, but instead are priced proportionally to the high price tags of units in the building. 

In Manhattan, The Rise of the $1M Parking Spot

The Real DealAugust 22, 2015

At Soho’s 42 Crosby Street — a 10-unit luxury condo that is currently under construction – just 10 underground parking spaces are asking $1 million. That’s roughly four times the cost of an average single-family home in the U.S. and higher price per square foot than the condos upstairs, according to the Wall Street Journal.


What Does 15 CPW’s Midsummer Sales Rush Mean?

New York ObserverAugust 21, 2015

When a thirty-eight floor unit at 15 Central Park West hit the market last week asking $36.5 million, it brought the grand total of for-sale apartments currently available in the luxury condo to ten, raising the question of what exactly is going on in the building?


“It’s somewhat befuddling,” said Stribling’s Kirk Henckels, “especially for August, it’s a little weird.” Mr. Henckels added that 15 CPW is “the most sought after condo, certainly in the resale market,” and that it was remarkable how it has held its own, even against new buildings.


He said that the listings rush might just be random, or people trying to seize what they see as a moment in the market.


Then again, perhaps it’s all relative. Brown Harris Stevens broker Paula Del Nunzio pointed out that there are 201 units in the building, “so there are actually very few available when you think about how many there are in total.”


“What is amazing,” Ms. Del Nunzio continued, who has the listing for Leroy Schecter’s $55 million 15 CPW penthouse, is not the number of listings, but “that the resales are so strong.” “There is no other building at that level,” she explained, as no other building has the prime location directly on Central Park West.


“Part of it could be that people are putting apartments on the market now because a lot of the owners are away,” Core broker Emily Beare offered. “Especially at a building like 15 Central Park West where owners have multiple homes.” What more ideal time to have buyers come through, after all, than when you’re summering elsewhere? The downside, of course, is that potential buyers are also apt to summering elsewhere.


“Many brokers will take apartments from sellers who say, ‘If you can get this price, I’ll sell it,’” Douglas Elliman’s Ann Cutbill Lenane told the Observer, though they don’t often have a real need to aggressively find a buyer.


So, will those who have put their coveted 15 CPW apartments on the market get that big return they’re looking for? It’s hard to say, of course, Ms. Del Nunzio cautioned, but suggested that the past could serve as some indicator if one looks at “what the new owners paid versus what they sell for.”


Though there’s a very real question of just how many ambitious flips even the finest real estate can sustain, even in a building known for outrageous resales. There is, for instance, a two-bedroom purchased for $5.9 million in 2008 that asked $29 million earlier this year, now decreased to $20.5 million), and a duplex spanning the 18th and 19th floors that’s asking a $65 million although the owner paid $48 million just a year ago.


Then again, this is the same building where Sandy Weill, who famously sold his penthouse for $88 million, was also able to flip his so-called “maid’s room” apartment for five times the original sales price. 

The $1 Million Parking Spot is Here

FortuneAugust 20, 2015

It’s not diamond encrusted, or made of gold. Just asphalt and capitalism.


Ever wondered where billionaires park their cars?


The Wall Street Journal might have the answer. In cities such as San Francisco, New York, and Boston, parking prices have reached an all-time high, according to the Journal, with at least two new developments in Manhattan asking $1 million for a single parking spot.


“Condominium developers are touting parking spaces with glossy brochures and promotional videos, marketing the small patches of concrete as luxury amenities,” the Journal said.


Stories of a $1 million parking spot graced the Internet last year when the new development at 42 Crosby Street in Manhattan set that record, high-bar price.


Supply and demand in real estate has rarely seemed quite so pronounced—unless the asphalt is literally diamond encrusted. In which case, it will really go well with your brand new Ferrari.


In SoHo, Shaun Osher, chief executive of the brokerage firm CORE, which is responsible for the sales and marketing at 42 Crosby, told the Times in September: “There are ‘few to no options’ for parking, let alone a private spot in your own building.” He added that: “In real estate, location defines value and parking is no exception to that rule.”


With parking prices in major metropolitan areas on the rise—a parking spot in San Francisco sold, for example, at $82,000 last year—the amount of asphalt for us to share is dwindling, and building owners are cashing in.

From Farkas to Eklund: A Roundup of Panelists at TRD’s Shanghai Showcase

The Real DealAugust 20, 2015

(N-Z) Miki Naftali of Naftali Group; Rodrigo Nino of Prodigy; Shaun Osher of CORE; Stephen Owens of Swire Properties; Eran Polack of HAP Investments; Dan Riordan of Turnberry; Shlomi Reuveni of Town Residential; Billy Rose of the Agency; Rotem Rosen of Sapir; Rick Rush of Hodges Ward Elliott; Jonathan Simon of Simon Baron Development; Philip Spiegelman of International Sales Group; Eliot Spitzer of Spitzer Enterprises; Neal Sroka of Douglas Elliman; Clem Turner of Homeier & Law; Mauricio Umansky of the Agency; Allen Wu of Fenwick Keats; and Yong Zhang of Xinyuan Real Estate.


Related Matters

New York ObserverAugust 20, 2015

Emily and Elizabeth Beare's listing at 1040 Fifth Avenue was featured in the Transfers column. 

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