News

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaApril 14, 2014
Real Estate Development in New York City has grown by leaps and bounds and isn’t stopping. The residential sector which cratered in the immediate aftermath of the financial crash in 2008 has rebounded significantly and is breaking all records. Employment in the city’s construction sector hit a five year high at the end of last year while employment hit 120,900 new jobs, up 4% from 2012. The average price per square foot is also setting new records, the highest in 25 years, $1,363 per foot and many buildings comfortably over $2,000 per foot.

Modernnyc.weekly Featured Listing: 43 Great Jones Street, 4

Modern NYCApril 07, 2014
The elevator opens directly to a private, 2,295-square foot, full-floor loft. This large loft features walnut floors, oversized windows with three exposures and custom architectural details throughout. This 2-bedroom plus home office, 2.5-bathroom home has a grand living/dining area, open gourmet kitchen with walk-in pantry, dramatic art galley, spa quality newly renovated bathrooms and central air conditioning. Other features include: custom built-ins, sizeable closet spaces, washer/dryer, and a private 200-square foot storage room.

This architectural gem is located in a well-managed building with a discreet lobby, common roof deck and low monthly maintenance. Pets are welcomed. The co-op allows A.I.R. waivers.

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaApril 07, 2014
My featured guest today is Cathy Hobbs, who is a 5-time Emmy award winning television personality and founder and creator of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes. She was a finalist on Season 6 of HGTV’s Hit Reality Series, “Design Star”. She is currently hosting “Design Recipes” on the PIX Morning News which airs the last Thursday of every month at 8:45am. Panel of (3) top NY brokers.

10 Tiny (But Nice) NYC Studios You Can Buy For $325,000

CurbedApril 03, 2014
Welcome to a new feature, Price Points, in which we pick an asking price and a type of apartment, then scour StreetEasy to find the best newly available options around the city. Today's task: $325,000 for a studio.

This $294,999 apartment in a prewar Murray Hill co-op building is pretty spacious for a studio, with a foyer, windowed separate kitchen, alcove with built-in shelves, and two walk-in closets. It's basically got everything but another room, including a skylight in the bathroom.

Houses of the Week

New York PostApril 02, 2014

Yorkville | $2.195 million Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 3 | Square feet: 1,900 | Maintenance: $2,866 You’ll have your own backyard — or about as close as you can get to one — while also enjoying the benefits of a full-service co-op. This “exquisitely renovated,” East 83rd Street corner unit features a 700-square-foot terrace that stretches the entire length of the apartment and offers “garden vistas.” Need more outdoor space — the full-service building features a landscaped roof deck.

Chelsea High Life: A Park, Galleries and Luxury Shops Attract New Residents

SCENE MagazineApril 01, 2014
Once a barren neighborhood where meat was packed and transported and warehouses were rampant, Chelsea has revitalized itself in the recent decades and has become one of the leading real estate markets in the city.

“The transformation of Chelsea is a good representation of how New York City has changed in the last 10 to 15 years,” notes Tarek Bendida, a salesperson at Citi Habitats. The area gave way for artists to live in expansive loft studios in the 1990s that eventually attracted some of the finest art galleries in the world. The Meatpacking District, a small section wedged between Chelsea and the West Village, became the go-to scene for night clubs and luxury fashion designers.

Recent projects like the High Line—a public park built on historic elevated freight rail lines along the West Side—have added another dimension to Chelsea, garnering international appeal. “Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999, and with an incredible team of architects, engineers and landscape architects, an abandoned, elevated railroad was transformed into one of the most beautiful and interesting parks in the city,” adds Emily Beare of Core. “Soon after this period, the zoning changed from manufacturing to residential, and Chelsea became home to many luxury condominium developments.”

“What’s considered prime Chelsea has shifted westward to meet the High Line. Savvy developers saw the lure of the High Line and planned buildings with spacious residences and high bedroom counts,” says Gordon Hoppe, a senior vice president and the director of sales at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group.

“It used to be a a destination for nightclubs, art galleries and flea markets—a gritty city with not many high-rises,” says Eric Benaim, the president and chief executive officer of Modern Spaces. “Now, when you think of Chelsea, words like “cool,” “luxury” and “trendy” come to mind. The flea markets have been replaced by high-rises and the nightclubs by luxury shops.”

High Line for High-rises

“The High Line has been a total game changer for Chelsea!” exclaims Drew Glick, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens. “I’m sure we would have seen some of the development we’ve seen in West Chelsea take place without it but not nearly to the degree of what has and will happen.”

“The High Line has become an instant international landmark,” adds Hoppe. “Some of the world’s most noted architects are designing adjacent properties that reflect the imagination and creativity of the park itself.”

“Thomas Juul-Hansen’s 505 West 19th Street has two towers connected by a lobby built underneath the High Line,” Hoppe continues. “Above, its skylight lets you see the underside of the structure. Residential architecture that is this interactive with the High Line is a first.”

“This relationship with the High Line called for a special and contextual design, which is why the developers brought in Thomas Juul-Hansen, who excels at creating modern spaces that still feel warm,” says Tricia Cole, the executive managing director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, describing the two 10-story buildings under development by HFZ Capital Group. “Thomas designed the buildings in their entirety, inside and out, and he understands how residents drawn to West Chelsea want to live.

The light-gray limestone brick façade with articulated metal and wood windows is the development’s signature. Not only is the pattern of the windows unique, it also affords the residences amazing light and expansive views of Manhattan, as well as privacy from the High Line.”

The West Tower offers three- to four-bedroom residences with one terraced penthouse, while the East Tower has one- to five-bedroom spaces with two terraced penthouses. Asking prices for the building will start at a little more than $2.3 million and swing upward to approximately $20 million for the penthouse suites, all of which include Juul-Hansen’s designs of walnut entry doors, bronze trim accents in the kitchen and travertine slabs in the master bedrooms.

Nearly two blocks north, Kohn Pedersen Fox, a world-renowned architectural firm, has designed 500 West 21st Street between the General Theological Seminary and the High Line. “Though it’s amidst two of the most striking landmarks in the neighborhood, it still offers an incredible sense of privacy because of its lush, landscaped gardens by Rees Roberts + Partners,” says Hoppe. “You can be in the heart of everything and still feel like you have a private piece of the High Line.”

The Sherwood Equities-owned building has recently started to bring its residences to the market with its one-bedrooms listing for about $2.2 million and a three-bedroom with a private terrace for north of $6.45 million.

A bit down the street, 551 West 21st Street near 12th Avenue is preparing to list its 44 large-scale residences on the market. The building is marketed as 551W21, and prices are expected to start a little below $6 million and climb to $17.5 million.

Related’s 520 West 28th Street is also hitting the market with its 37 units. Pricing has not been disclosed, but John Tenore and Glenn Norrgard of Sotheby’s International Realty note, “Famed architect Zaha Hadid has designed this 11-story, 37-unit luxury residence, evoking a futurist Jetson-like vision.”

Tech in the Neighborhood

Though the High Line has changed the real estate and development landscape of Chelsea, several other sectors have also played a role in Chelsea’s continued renaissance. In recent years, New York under Bloomberg has been pushing to attract technology and Internet companies to the city, and Chelsea has been the first choice for many tech giants.

“Lower Manhattan has recently been referred to as Silicon Alley,” says Susan Singer, a representative from Town’s Flatiron office. “In 2013, New York City surpassed Boston as the second largest tech hub, behind Silicon Valley, paying out almost $30 billion in salaries in 2013 with 262,000 jobs.”

“Chelsea has become a cornerstone with large companies such as Google and IAC,” she added.

“Google bought the old Port Authority building on 15th Street in 2010 for almost $2 billion,” notes Glick, referring to 111 Eighth Avenue, a massive 2.9-million-square-foot building that stretches between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and exceeds Google’s Googleplex in California. “Twitter just signed a big lease on West 17th Street for its New York headquarters, and Spotify and AppNexus are among many other tech companies in Chelsea.”

“Every tech firm wants to be in Chelsea, as well as bio-med, media and creative companies,” adds Hoppe. “Google has been a beacon for other forward-thinking industries, radically transforming a neighborhood that was known only for its gallery scene.”

Rental of the Day: 521A Greene Avenue, #1

BrownstonerMarch 31, 2014
This two-bedroom, two-bath duplex condo for rent in Bed-Stuy is spacious and recently renovated but also ambitiously priced. From floors to doors, the finishes and the kitchens and baths look nice.

The 1,576-square-foot apartment also comes with a large private backyard that includes a deck and landscaped garden. There’s central heat and air conditioning and a washer/dryer on the lower level. But at this price, we would hope for at least one more bedroom on the lower floor. Do you think it will rent for $3,450 a month?

Galas, Screenings, Auctions, and Theatre

New York Social DiaryMarch 31, 2014
Also last Thursday night, Bailey House held its Annual Gala and Auction, commemorating 31 years of providing cutting edge programs addressing homelessness and poverty among New York City’s most vulnerable citizens affected by HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

Each year up to 800 philanthropists representing the arenas of fashion, entertainment, art and design, media and business come together to give back to Bailey House and amplify our efforts to transform the lives and opportunities of low-income New Yorkers.

At the Gala dinner, they honored the heroism of the individuals and organizations who help further Bailey House’s mission. Their storied auction follows the gala and remains one of the hottest parties in town.

Guests of Honor were Carver Federal Savings Bank (accepted by Michael T. Pugh, President and CEO) with the Rand Harlan Skolnick Corporate Social Responsibility Award; Betsy Lawrence who received the 2014 Arts and Legacy Award; Jason Sheftell (in memoriam) with the 2014 Real Estate Award, and State Senator Brad Hoylman, State Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, and VOCAL-NY, with the 2014 Rodger McFarlane AIDS Warrior Award.

Hosts for the evening were Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon stars of HGTV’s Selling New York. Gala and Auction co-chairs were John Douglas Eason and Dan Scheffey. Art Committee co-chairs were Laura Krey and Elizabeth Sadoff, and the auctioneer was Toby Unik of Christie’s.

Jason Sheftell, Late Daily News Writer, Honored at Bailey House Gala

New York Daily NewsMarch 28, 2014
It was a night of honor for late Daily News real estate writer Jason Sheftell.

Sheftell, who died last year at age 46, was remembered Thursday at a gala for the Bailey House.

“Jason was someone who celebrated New York and who loved life — and we miss him,” said Mickey Conlon, star of HGTV’s hit “Selling New York” and host of the fund-raiser.

Sheftell’s mother, Karen, accepted the 2014 Real Estate Award in his honor. “He had enthusiasm, he had heart,” she said.

A lifelong New Yorker, Sheftell had covered the charity, which helps homeless people with AIDS, for The News and was considering joining its board before his death, said chief development officer Eric Douglas.

Evening Hours

The New York TimesMarch 28, 2014
March 27: Bailey House held its annual gala at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers. The organization provides housing, health care resources and support to people living with H.I.V./ AIDS.

Dream Homes

New York PostMarch 26, 2014
Upper West Side | $3.3 million

Why settle for the home of your dreams when you can have two? Here’s a “rare opportunity” to combine two 10th-floor corner condo units for a total of approximately 2,000 square feet and capacity for three or four bedrooms. You’ll get 9-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and open kitchens, plus all of 10 West End Ave.’s amenities, including a fitness center with a 50-foot swimming pool and on-site parking. Agents: Jarrod Guy Randolph and Chris Dominiak, Core, 212-726-0757 and 212-612-9627

We Hear...

New York PostMarch 26, 2014
That “Selling New York” stars Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon are hosting the Bailey House Gala & Auction Thursday at Pier 60, Chelsea Piers. Honorees include the late Jason Sheftell, former real estate correspondent for the Daily News, who before that was a freelancer for NYP Home … that Nest Seekers International and its broker Ryan Serhant are hosting a party to celebrate the premiere of Season 3 of “Million Dollar Listing New York” at Lavo next Tuesday, April 1 … that Lenox Hill Hospital will be hosting its first inaugural Designer Show House of New York, in support of the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex now under construction in Greenwich Village. The show house, which debuts in May, will be at The Residences at W New York-Downtown, at 123 Washington St., with Richard Mishaan and Alexa Hampton as the co-design chairs.

In Herz Shoes

New York PostMarch 26, 2014
When Broadway publicist Shirley Herz died last year at age 87, the Great White Way dimmed its lights in her honor. Now Tony Award-winning designer William Ivey Long is using vintage clothing from Herz’s estate in Woody Allen’s musical “Bullets Over Broadway,” currently in previews.

HGTV’s “Selling New York” stars, CORE brokers Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, are listing her tony Park Avenue pad. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op at 1120 Park Ave. is asking $995,000 and feature restored prewar details. The building was designed in 1929 by George Pelham.

Modernnyc.weekly Featured Listing: 420 East 51st Street, 12EF

Modern NYCMarch 24, 2014
Experience elegant Beekman Place, full-service living in this five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home, with its own private, 600-square- foot terrace and open city views. The well-appointed living room, state-of-the art kitchen and separate dining room lead to the outdoor terrace, adding to an expansive custom-designed layout that is perfect for entertaining. Wide plank hardwood floors, gorgeous wood cabinetry, custom sound and lighting features, wet bar and foyer lounge area add to the ambiance of this cleverly-designed, modern living space. There are two distinct wings of this spacious apartment, currently configured with a south-facing master bedroom, en suite master bath and an office/den with custom built-ins and en suite bath. The north wing has two large bedrooms two full bathrooms and an exercise room. This pet-friendly building features a 24-hour doorman, lobby-accessible garage and a planted roof deck.

Good Morning New York Real Estate

Voice AmericaMarch 24, 2014
Since the start of the year, we’ve seen a number of record breaking purchases in New York City. These buyers are a combination of high net worth Americans and the foreign buyer. We will discuss who these buyers are and where they want to live.

Open House

NBC4March 23, 2014
Sara Gore hosts this week’s segment of “Open House NYC” from this Chelsea duplex loft at 131 West 24th Street.

Social Media Spotlight: 7 Great Digital Marketing Tools for Real Estate

Leverage Global PartnersMarch 22, 2014
A social media presence is essential to today’s real estate business. Yes, face-to-face meetings and interpersonal interactions between agents and clients are vital, but social media can provide realtors and their companies with more business and networking opportunities than ever before.

Our Leverage partners are actively engaged in social media marketing. By utilizing the wide range of digital marketing tools available, our partners are able to showcase their personalities and reach an even wider range of potential clients.

Check out these 7 great digital marketing tools for real estate and explore how our Leverage Partners are using them:

Are Open Houses Obsolete?

AOL Real EstateMarch 21, 2014
Listing agents often argue that in our digital world, open houses are a waste of time. The majority of people who attend are nosy neighbors, 'looky-loos,' or other types of tire-kickers. Instead, their argument goes, serious buyers today don't want to wait for an open house. When someone likes a home's online photos, he or she will make an appointment to see the property during the week. So is it time to close the book on open houses? Not at all.

Home Sellers, Do You Place Your Trust in St. Joseph?

Realty Biz NewsMarch 19, 2014
Some home owners have long believed that a statue of St. Joseph buried in their yard can help bring about good luck with a quick sale. But a new study suggests that home owners tend to put that trust more in down markets than up markets.

With St. Joseph’s Day coming up on Wednesday, Spread Sheet asked Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc., which sells real estate-related St. Joseph items, to analyze sales of St. Joseph products over the past five years. The data was then paired with the National Association of Realtors’ median sale price data for existing homes.

Sales of St. Joseph statues tend to rise when the market is down, Lara Traina, director of marketing and Web management at Catholic Supply, told The Wall Street Journal.

For example, from 2009 to 2010, home prices were stagnant and the number of sales of St. Joseph statues nearly more than doubled. However, when home-sale prices began to rise recently, St. Joseph statue sales started to fall.

Phil Cates, a mortgage banker and founder of online store StJosephStatue.com, says, “Our heyday of sales was in 2006, which happens to be near the top of the real-estate market.” Cates says sales have since dropped 50 percent since 2006, partially because of increased competition among other supply companies.

Elizabeth Kee, a real estate professional with CORE Group in New York City, told the Journal that she always carries half a dozen small St. Joseph medallions in her purse and places them everywhere in apartments she sells, from the potted plants to behind the radiators.

“Some sellers get weirded out, so sometimes I tell owners and sometimes I don’t,” Kee says. “If I have a feeling it won’t go over well, I’ll bury it in front of their building.”

Tough Market? Turn to a Higher Power

Realtor MagMarch 18, 2014
Some home owners have long believed that a statue of St. Joseph buried in their yard can help bring about good luck with a quick sale. But a new study suggests that home owners tend to put that trust more in down markets than up markets.

With St. Joseph’s Day coming up on Wednesday, Spread Sheet asked Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc., which sells real estate-related St. Joseph items, to analyze sales of St. Joseph products over the past five years. The data was then paired with the National Association of REALTORS®' median sale price data for existing homes.

Sales of St. Joseph statues tend to rise when the market is down, Lara Traina, director of marketing and Web management at Catholic Supply, told The Wall Street Journal.

For example, from 2009 to 2010, home prices were stagnant and the number of sales of St. Joseph statues nearly more than doubled. However, when home-sale prices began to rise recently, St. Joseph statue sales started to fall.

Phil Cates, a mortgage banker and founder of online store StJosephStatue.com, says, “Our heyday of sales was in 2006, which happens to be near the top of the real-estate market.” Cates says sales have since dropped 50 percent since 2006, partially because of increased competition among other supply companies.

Elizabeth Kee, a real estate professional with CORE Group in New York City, told the Journal that she always carries half a dozen small St. Joseph medallions in her purse and places them everywhere in apartments she sells, from the potted plants to behind the radiators.

"Some sellers get weirded out, so sometimes I tell owners and sometimes I don't," Kee says. "If I have a feeling it won't go over well, I'll bury it in front of their building."

House of the Day: 252 Carlton Avenue

BrownstonerMarch 13, 2014
This estate sale at 252 Carlton Avenue in Fort Greene is an imposing Italianate with grand proportions and ornate ceilings. The rooms shown appear to be in nearly perfect condition but there are only three and no photos of kitchens or baths. The listing says the mechanicals have been upgraded but the house needs restoration. It is configured as a triplex over a garden rental. What do you think of it and the $2,595,000 ask?

Bless Our Happy Home Sale

The Wall Street JournalMarch 13, 2014
Traditionally, Joseph, the husband of Mary, is hailed as the patron saint of home and family. Some believe that burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard helps sell a house.

In honor of St. Joseph's Day on March 19, Spread Sheet asked Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc., a religious-goods store with three locations in St. Louis, to break down sales of St. Joseph products over the past five years. The data were paired with median sale prices for existing homes compiled by the National Association of Realtors.


In general, sales of St. Joseph statues tend to rise when the market sours, says Lara Traina, director of marketing and web management at Catholic Supply. From 2009 to 2010, when home prices were stagnant, the number of sales of St. Joseph statues slightly more than doubled. When home-sale prices began to creep back up, St. Joseph statue sales dropped.

Catholic Supply offers six real-estate-related St. Joseph items and dozens more statues. "It's probably our No. 1 item in our store," Ms. Traina says. The company says it serves parishes all over the U.S., as well as world-wide. At a high point in one recent year, Catholic Supply sold nearly 10,000 statues and kits in stores and online, she says.

The St. Joseph Home Selling Kit comes with a 3.5-inch plastic statue and laminated prayer card. It costs $6.95—less if bought in bulk. Ms. Traina adds that real-estate brokerages that purchase kits for their agents make up a large part of sales.

Phil Cates, a mortgage banker and founder of online store StJosephStatue.com in 1996, sees statue sales ebb and flow with the housing market. "Our heyday of sales was in 2006, which happens to be near the top of the real-estate market," says Mr. Cates, who stepped down as head of the company last year.
Sales dropped 50% since 2006, partly due to increased competition among supply companies, he adds.

Here is how it works: Bury a St. Joseph statue upside-down in your yard, facing toward the for-sale house. After the house sells, the seller is supposed to dig up the statue and place it in a spot of honor in their new home.

The details are debated. Some say the St. Joseph statue should be buried right-side up; others advise burying it by the for-sale sign for easy retrieval.

But Ms. Traina waves the details aside. "We really do emphasize that it's the belief in St. Joseph and your prayer that really matters," she says.

Even in stronger market cycles, some agents won't give up the faith.

Elizabeth Kee, an agent with Core in New York City, carries half a dozen thumb-size St. Joseph medallions in her purse at all times.

She places the medallions in nearly every apartment—in herb gardens and potted plants, on window sills and even behind radiators.

And for sellers who are on the fence, tough luck. "Some sellers get weirded out, so sometimes I tell owners and sometimes I don't," she says. "If I have a feeling it won't go over well, I'll bury it in front of their building."
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