Peek Inside NYC’s 10 Priciest Rentals

The Real DealAugust 16, 2013
Whether it be a townhouse or a condominium, Manhattan has the priciest rentals in the city. Check out our slideshow of the top 10 most expensive options on the market at the moment. Brown Harris Stevens handled the listings for three of the four priciest rentals, including a $135,000-a-month penthouse condo at the Towers of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

#3: 15 Central Park West

This five-bedroom, six-bathroom condominium on the 35th floor of Robert A.M. Stern’s neoclassical 15 Central Park West in Lincoln Square is asking $125,000 a month. Emily Beare of CORE has the listing. The condo – which features a library, two laundry rooms and a gallery area – came on the market in June.

Talk of the Townhouse

New York PostAugust 15, 2013
The Upper East Side townhouse that once belonged to famed photographer Richard Avedon and then Olivier Sarkozy — before he divorced his wife to shack up with Mary-Kate Olsen — just sold for $11.4 million to a mystery buyer. The home, at 407 E. 75th Street, was last listed for $12.5 million.

The four-story, six-bedroom, nine-bathroom townhouse was originally a carriage house. It is 25 feet wide, with dramatic features including a black-and-white stairwell, a dining room with a wood-burning fireplace and a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen. The master suite takes up the entire third floor and includes two wood-burning fireplaces — one in the study and one in the bedroom. That level also has a private terrace.

Listing broker Emily Beare of Core declined to comment.

Just Sold: 100 West 58th Street, 10C

New York PostAugust 15, 2013
100 W. 58th Street

Two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath condo, 1,104 square feet, with open kitchen with Sub-Zero, Bosch and Viking appliances, washer/dryer, dining area and Dornbracht baths with marble and granite finishes; Windsor Park condo conversion, originally designed by Rosario Candela, features doorman, gym and roof terrace. Common charges $1,340, taxes $1,049. Asking price $1,650,000, on market two weeks. Brokers: Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon, Core and William Landhauser, Douglas Elliman

Done Deals: 277 President Street, #2

Brokers WeeklyAugust 14, 2013
Carroll Gardens
277 President Street, #2

Eight-foot-wide three-bedroom, two and a half baths with south and north exposures, 5” wide plank oak floors, two-zone central air conditioning, AV surround sound system, Bosch vented washer & dryer, full-length private terrace, and 12x9 feet storage cage. Subzero refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, Wolf 6-burner stove plus grill, Wolf vented hood, Wolf microwave, a pot-filler right by the stove, 24-bottle Subzero wine cooler, extra-large Caesarstone countertops, custom cabinetry with tons of storage space, well-proportioned pantry and breakfast bar. Grohe double shower system, marble countertops, limestone bath and floor, towel warmer, Toto toilet and radiant heat flooring in the windowed master bathroom. The second bath has a full Kohler soaking tub, hand glazed subway tiles, Toto toilet, linen closet and radiant heat flooring. C. Charges: $721/month. R/E Taxes: $70. On the market for 133 days. Asking price: $2,500,000 Listing agent: Terry Naini, Town Residential; buyer’s broker: Doug Bowen of CORE.

CORE Initiated Into Cool New Gang

Brokers WeeklyAugust 07, 2013
Manhattan’s CORE Group has been initiated into a prestigious group of luxury real estate brokerage firms around the world.

The company will be the exclusive New York City member of Leverage Global Partners, an international network that promotes the presidents of each member firm as key players in the international real estate arena. All LGP contact and inquiries will be directed to CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher and his associates will get access to partners at member brokerages around the world.

“Leverage is curating a collection of similarly-minded boutique brokerages throughout the world,” explained Osher. “Accessibility to the founders/CEOs of each brokerage offers the highest degree of personal attention in making the right client/agent match and offering a new level of white-glove service and personalization.

“CORE is thrilled to be named the exclusive New York City member.”

New Listings: 201 E 28th Street

Brokers WeeklyAugust 07, 2013
Murray Hill
201 E 28th Street, 17A

Two bedroom, 2-bath home in doorman building. Renovated windowed kitchen and renovated baths. Abundant closet space and 34 ft. living and dining area. Open city views of one of the most desirable and quiet neighborhoods in Manhattan. Listing agent: Jeffrey Smith, CORE.

Done Deals: 211 Thompson Street

Brokers WeeklyAugust 07, 2013
Greenwich Village
211 Thompson Street, 4N

One bedroom, 1-bath loft duplex in move-in condition. Open western exposure, state-of-the-art kitchen, renovated bathroom and closet space. Staircase, Mahogany hardwood flooring, and outside balcony. Asking price: $699,000. Brokers: Lindsee Silverstein, CORE; Steve Dawson, Sotheby’s International Realty.

New Listings: 314 E 41st Street

Brokers WeeklyAugust 07, 2013
Tudor City
314 E 41st St., 202C

Two-bedroom, 2-bathunit with formal dining room. Windowed chef’s kitchen with an updated appliance line, including a dishwasher. Well-run, full-service building with 24-hour doorman, live-in superintendent and windowed laundry room. Listing agent: Stephen J Gallagher, CORE.

New Building Emerges from Upper East Side Restaurant War

CurbedAugust 06, 2013
On the Upper East Side, 27 East 61st Street became a piece of territory in the life-size Monopoly game being played by Italian joints Nello and Serafina. Serafina purchased the building to keep Nello from building atop the two properties it owned on either side. Fast forward two years…and something completely different is going on! 27 East 61st Street is on the market now for $18.5 million, and since we last checked in, the lot has seen quite a transformation. A new six-story building is in progress—rendered above—and when finished, it will include two floors of residential units, two floors zoned for commercial use, and a restaurant. The restaurant will be a sushi joint, Geisha, which will at least mean no more Italian food wars.

Elite Group Earns "New York Residential Specialist" Credential

The Mann ReportAugust 05, 2013
New York Residential Specialists (NYRS) celebrated the graduation of tis Spring 2013 class with a reception at The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). To date, 244 top real estate agents from 31 leading brokerage firms have now achieved the prestigious NYRS designation. First awarded in 2007, the NYRS credential is certified by REBNY and is the premier professional credential for residential real estate agents in New York City. Designed specifically for the unique challenges of NYC’s residential market, NYRS certification classes are taught by industry leaders and the curriculum features classes on ethics, negotiation and technology. NYRS agents comprise a powerful peer group committed to advanced education and professional excellence.

A celebratory reception for graduated, instructors, and sponsors followed the last class of the season, which focused on self-branding and social media. REBNY NYRS Co-Chairs Shirley Hackel of Warburg Realty and Frank Halstead were both present at the ceremony to greet and congratulate the graduates. “with the NYRS designation you’ve gained a certain competitive edge and have become ambassadors of an elite group that is synonymous with excellence in residential real estate,” noted Hackel.

Limited enrollment in the NYRS curriculum is open twice each year to qualified agents during fall and spring. The Fall semester begins September 16, 2013, and agents who seek to enroll must be recommended by their managers and meet qualifying criteria.

Featured Listing: 15 West 20th Street, PH

Modern NYC WeeklyAugust 05, 2013
15 West 20th Street, PH

A luxury penthouse duplex, nestled between nearly 2,000 square feet of front and back outdoor space in the middle of Manhattan, is considered a rare gem. This Flatiron District residence was uniquely designed for the discriminating buyer who seeks privacy and the perfect oasis to escape the rush of the City, while still offering a loft-like feel as soon as you step out of the elevator. Surrounded by windows, most looking out onto the private terraces, this home offers exposure from three directions resulting in an abundance of sunlight throughout the day. Currently configured as a 2-bedroom with library and 3 baths, this home can easily be converted back into a property 3 bedroom as the floorplan suggests. The home has been carefully appointed with only the best materials and appliances one would expect in a luxury apartment, including a wood-burning fireplace cased in imported marble, sophisticated custom woodwork, built-in sound system, radiant heat flooring in master bath, Sub-Zero and Miele appliances, and central heat and air. The private terraces are perfect for entertaining or a quiet and tranquil evening, complete with hot tub and endless possibilities for a garden like paradise. The Altair 20 provides an attended lobby, a fitness center and additional storage.

CORE Joins Leverage Global Partners

August 02, 2013
New York, NY – Leverage Global Partners and CORE are pleased to announce that CORE has been named Leverage’s exclusive New York City member, joining a unique group of the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms around the world. Leverage Global Partners offers its members the opportunity to better serve their clients’ relocation and real estate portfolio needs by establishing the Presidents of each member firm as key players in the international real estate arena.

As a member of Leverage, CORE will be promoted as the sole representative for the New York City area with all contact and inquiries being directed to the company’s Founder and CEO Shaun Osher. Through this network, Osher and CORE Associates are offered referrals and introductions and provided access to partners at member brokerages around the world, ensuring incomparable networking ability in the worldwide luxury real estate market.

“Leverage is curating a collection of similarly-minded boutique brokerages throughout the world,” notes Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE. “Accessibility to the founders/CEOs of each brokerage offers the highest degree of personal attention in making the right client/agent match and offering a new level of white- glove service and personalization. CORE is thrilled to be named the exclusive New York City member of this fantastic program.”

“We personally vet each real estate brokerage before offering them membership, so we are certain that CORE is a market leader, offering exceptional service to the communities of New York City,” said F. Ron Smith, President of Leverage Global Partners. “We are thrilled to welcome them to Leverage Global Partners. CORE is a full-service, boutique real estate brokerage, and they have extensive expertise and apply a unique marketing approach, which is why they are the #1 brokerage in their class.”

In addition to offering exceptional service and connectivity, Leverage differentiates itself from existing international luxury real estate associations by promoting the presidents of member firms and by extending media access for their properties through robust public relations outreach and digital platforms. Similarly, as a dynamic boutique brokerage based on integrity, informed by expertise and driven by innovation, CORE is also at the forefront of maintaining a distinct digital presence in the real estate industry.

CORE’s exclusive membership with Leverage provides a seamless opportunity to join the growing organization as the firm continues to thrive in the New York City real estate market. Leverage Global Partners is rapidly expanding its membership base and currently has members in numerous dynamic communities around the world, including Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Chicago, Cannes, Shanghai, Santa Barbara, Vail, Palm Beach and Bangkok. For more information on Leverage Global Partners, call 310-500-3641, visit, or friend them on Facebook or Twitter.

About CORE

CORE is a real estate sales and marketing firm delivering the best in brokerage, communications and advisory services for the luxury residential segment. In addition, CORE’s elite group of highly experienced and successful professionals service developers who value efficient, no-nonsense results. CORE was founded by Shaun Osher as a full-service boutique firm with a strict adherence to the principles of integrity, efficiency and results. For more information visit

A Changing Upper East Side

The Real DealAugust 01, 2013
The Upper East Side used to be called the Silk Stocking District. Today, the ritzy nickname isn’t heard very often, but the neighborhood is still one of New York City’s most affluent.

Upper East Siders — there are about 60,000 of them — earn on average about $100,000 a year, and they are protective of their high-priced turf. Many are up in arms over a proposal to open a waste transfer station at East 91st Street and FDR Drive, where one operated for six decades before closing in 1999.

The fiercest foes are fighting the plan in court. Others are threatening to lie down in front of the bulldozers when they start to roll. Still others are looking to put their homes on the market — and a few already have.

Regardless of the legal battle and the threats, the station will almost surely be built. Judges have signed off on it; so has the federal government. Right now, construction is scheduled to start later this summer, and the finish date is sometime in 2015.
Already underway is work on the Second Avenue subway, a nearly $4.5 billion project that will ease crowding on the Lexington Avenue line and improve connections to Midtown and Downtown. The digging is almost done and the first phase — more than two miles of new tunnels from 96th to 63rd streets — should be wrapped up in 2016, according to transit officials.
The subway work and the waste station are issues du jour, but the UES is still a neighborhood that New Yorkers are jockeying to move into, of course. And the numbers prove its popularity. Different reports show slightly different specifics, but the takeaway is the same: The median price for resales — condos and co-ops — is up, demand for new development units is strong, and inventory is tight, just like it is in the rest of the city.

With all that’s happening, we decided it was time to take a close-up look at the UES through the eyes of our experts. Here’s their take on the neighborhood.

Tom Postilio
Founding Member, CORE

What impact will the waste transfer station have on the residential market?

This is a similar situation to the Urban Glass House in the West Soho area on Spring Street. The city put plans in place to put up a parking garage for sanitation trucks, and everybody panicked. You couldn’t sell apartments across the street at the Urban Glass House, and the real estate values plummeted. It was fear of the unknown. Once the city put out the renderings of what it was going to look like, people could start to deal with it. That’s my prediction as to what is going to happen here in this one area of the Upper East Side. People panic over fear of the unknown, but the dust will settle. And if the values are temporarily being hurt, they will come back.

There are several new-construction residential projects on the market or launching soon, including Harry Macklowe’s 737 Park Avenue, the Marquand at 11 East 68th Street, and Extell Development’s Carlton House at 61st Street and Madison Avenue. Which do you think will have the most impact, and why?

They are all so different. I think that the collective influence will reshape how we think of the Upper East Side as a co-op-driven market. These kinds of projects are presenting opportunities for people who may have plenty of resources and lots of money, but they may not pass muster with a co-op board. That’s the big impact.

Are there any other upcoming projects that you think are going to have an impact, and why?

I’m the director of sales for One Museum Mile, at 1280 Fifth Avenue at 109th Street, and [there’s] 1212 Fifth at 102nd Street. Both of these projects have shattered the myth that the Upper East Side stops at 96th Street. We are seeing that particularly with international buyers, because they don’t have that in the back of their mind. It’s more the local buyer who thinks that [the UES] stops at 90th or 96th Street.

What’s the inventory of available homes?

It hasn’t been this low since they started keeping records in New York City. It’s great to see that there are all these new projects happening and inventory is coming to the Upper East Side. The Philip House is fabulous, 200 East 79th, 530 Park, 150 East 72nd. Product is low, but there is a nice assortment of new development that has been happening and is continuing to happen.

How long are properties staying on the market, and how does that compare to a year ago, two years ago and during the boom?

The averages have dropped. If the average apartment was listed for 120 days, maybe that’s now down to 90 to 100 days. It’s definitely better than a year ago, it’s a lot better than two years ago, and it’s almost comparable to the boom in terms of: a nice product priced well in a good location is going to sell immediately.

What are the biggest challenges to selling property on the Upper East Side?

Because of so much construction, the area along where they are putting in the Second Avenue subway has been a little bit challenged. Savvy shoppers understand that once it is finally all cleared up and we get that desperately needed subway, those values are going to increase. We did a deal at Second Avenue and 69th Street and [the buyers] got a really nice deal. I explained to them this is a challenging spot because of what is going on. Not everybody can see past the mess, but when all is said and done, this is going to add value to your property because you practically have the subway right outside your door.

Who are the most active buyers?

In general terms, there are a lot of families that are expanding.

Which areas of the Upper East Side — Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, Yorkville, for example — are performing best? Which are the weakest?

Anywhere that you have pockets of new developments, it’s like bees opening up a hive. That’s where the people will go because it’s fresh new product. If anything is maybe moving any slower, it may be the Sutton Place area, just because it is a little bit removed and off the beaten path.

Daniel Farris
Associate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens

How is overall residential sales volume?

The volume has changed dramatically since a year ago and two years ago. The number of apartments available has dropped dramatically and there are so many buyers actively looking. There were something like 1,257 apartments available on the East Side in June, versus 1,344 in May and 1,780 in June 2012. You send your buyer some listings and if they wait a week, most of those listings have gone into contract.

What’s going on with sales and rental prices?

Buyers are so savvy and they know when an apartment is priced correctly. I’m seeing apartments going at asking or, if there are multiple bidders, over asking. A year or two ago, you could negotiate. It’s all a cycle, but those days are over and out for now.

Which price ranges and housing types are struggling?

One-bedroom apartments have slowed in the past month, particularly in co-ops that only permit 50 percent financing.

What impact will the waste transfer station have on the market?

It will definitely impact that area. Two of my buyers passed on great apartments within range of the transfer station simply due to the uncertainty surrounding it in the future and for possible resale.

What’s the inventory of available homes?

Quite frankly, pathetic. There is so little available in so many price points. You can show maybe one or two good listings and that’s it. A few years ago, I spent three days showing apartments to one of my buyers and she bought the last apartment I showed her on a three-day run. Can you imagine doing that today?

How long are properties staying on the market?

A few days or up to a few weeks if the property is priced correctly. Misprice it and the apartment lingers. Buyers still will not put in an offer on an overpriced property.

What are the most surprising trends you’re seeing?

Besides lack of inventory, it has to be the willingness of buyers to look at new condominiums. But the prices of those apartments sometimes boggle the mind. I’m also seeing families who bought Downtown a few years ago coming back Uptown to be closer to some of the schools and activities for their children.

What are the biggest challenges to selling property on the Upper East Side?

You have to know your inventory cold. Get a new listing to your buyer before they pick it up on StreetEasy and know the nuances of the building and what it takes to get them past the [building’s] board. You had better clearly understand the purchaser’s financial situation and know how to explain it to the board.

Eloise Johnson
Executive Vice President, Halstead

How is overall residential sales volume?

Compared to a year ago, it is quite healthy and it is much better than two years ago. Comparing today’s market to the boom, it is difficult to draw parallels, as it was two totally different markets — there was much more inventory during the boom.

What’s going on with residential sales and rental prices?

Prices are on the ascent, with sales in certain categories being very robust. Rental prices are more than holding their own. We are fast approaching pricing during the boom. And in certain categories such as three- or four-bedrooms with views — those prices are exceeding the boom years.

Which price ranges and housing types are performing best?

I am seeing large condos on high floors with fabulous views and perfect, move-in condition move quickly. Townhouses are also experiencing a nice comeback.

Which are struggling?

Large apartments on very low floors are not selling quickly. One-bedrooms on lower floors are also lagging.

What impact will the waste transfer station have on the market?

As expected, some prospective purchasers are reluctant to [buy] in the area. If the station does open, it will have some impact on prices. However, sometimes the fear of the unknown is worse than the reality. The Second Avenue subway has also been a source of concern for prospective purchasers. Now that the subway is near completion and the real estate market is stronger, many consider the new subway a plus.

What are the most surprising trends you’re seeing?

For the past 10 or 15 years, properties in the East 50s, Beekman Place and Sutton Place have sold at lower prices than comparable properties on the Upper East Side. We are seeing an increased interest in this area. We believe our customers are interested in taking advantage of the lower prices. A customer of ours is a family that is purchasing in Sutton Place. They believe there will be long-term value in the area due to the resurgence in Midtown East. This family believes — and we agree — that eventually the extension of the Second Avenue Subway will contribute to an easier commute to Downtown and higher prices of residential properties.

What are the biggest challenges to selling property on the Upper East Side?

Often, our first job is to help buyers understand how strong the Manhattan market is today. Many still think there is a real estate recession. Another challenge is that co-op and condo boards are increasing their standards for purchasing, making it more difficult for some prospective purchasers to buy the property of their dreams. [The tougher standards are the consequence of many owners falling behind on their monthly common charges during the recession.] Finally, rising prices and lower inventory have combined to make the Upper East Side a very fast-paced selling environment. Agents and buyers need to be prepared to act quickly.

Who are the most active buyers?

We deal mostly with young professionals, young families and empty-nesters. During the recession, there were fewer young professionals because it was difficult for them to find jobs, or if they did have jobs, it was difficult for them to find better-paying jobs so they could buy larger apartments. We saw some young families use the opportunity to trade up. The empty-nesters who no longer wanted a large house in the suburbs used the opportunity to purchase in Manhattan. Lastly, during the recession, we were pleased that purchasers from other countries were buying. The foreign buyers are still here. However, people who live and work in New York are coming back in big numbers.

Which areas of the Upper East Side are performing best? Which are struggling?

Lenox Hill has always been very much in demand, and therefore expensive. We believe that this area will continue to outperform other areas of the city. Since there is an abundance of excellent private and public schools, families are increasingly interested in purchasing properties in Carnegie Hill. There have been many new residential buildings, plus new stores and restaurants. Since prices in Yorkville, east of Second Avenue, have been lower than Lenox Hill or Carnegie Hill, some buyers are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Kathy Slattery
Associate Real Estate Broker, Corcoran

Which upcoming projects are going to have a big impact on the UES market?

432 Park is going to be an iconic building, both on the New York skyline and in the apartments. It has 10-foot square windows, has soaring ceilings, is beautifully designed and is in a great location.

How long are properties staying on the market?

In the under–$3 million category, apartments are on the market up to two or three months. Above $6 million, depending on the location and price/value perception, it can be a year.

What are the most surprising trends you’re seeing in the Upper East Side residential market?

All of the new development in the East 70s, Manhattan’s “Gold Coast.”

Who are the most active buyers right now and how does that differ from the past?

I see more retiring baby boomers moving into the city and sizing down in the city, which may account for the low supply of smaller apartments and the higher supply of larger apartments. Fortunately, I am also seeing more big families with children looking for space on the UES, because that is where their children are in school.

Which areas of the Upper East Side are performing best?

West of Third Avenue is the strongest market in all of these neighborhoods.

Peter Culliney
Director of Research and Analytics, CityRealty

How is residential sales volume?

About on par and maybe slightly ahead of last year, which had the highest volume since the crash — 2008 was the prior peak, with $5.5 billion in co-op and condo transactions, and 2012 is the peak since with $5.2 billion. Since the second half of the year is traditionally stronger than the first half, provided the current dearth of inventory does not keep too many people out of the market, our feeling is that we will at least equal last year’s overall volume, but it will be a hard push to beat the 2008 record.

Where are sales and rental prices?

Overall average sales prices [for co-ops and condos] are off slightly this year from last year’s feeding frenzy, dropping to $1.4 million from $1.7 million. There is clearly a lot of demand and not nearly enough supply. This is keeping pricing somewhat firm but also causing hesitancy for both buyers and sellers.

Which price ranges and housing types are performing best? Which are struggling?

There seems to be a rising demand for larger units and more bedrooms. The average square-foot pricing for condo units with six or more bedrooms — driven by demand — is more than 50 percent above the 2008 peak. Studios, on the other hand, are almost 8 percent below peak, while two-bedroom apartments are almost 2.5 percent below peak. Smaller co-ops — studios to two-bedrooms — are off by 10 percent to 15 percent.

What’s the inventory of available homes?

We are seeing less than 50 percent of the listings we have recorded for 2009.

How long are properties on the market?

Of the thousands of properties that have come to the market in the UES over the past year, there are only 56 that have been on the market more than one year, and only 160 that have been on the market for more than six months.

Roy Silber
Associate Broker, Citi Habitats

What’s going on with residential sales and rental prices?

Prices for rentals are up 5 percent to 7 percent from this time last year. I am even seeing clients outbidding each other for rental apartments, and that’s something I haven’t experienced in recent years.

Which price ranges and housing types are performing best?

The most intense demand is for two-bedroom homes with two full baths. Apartments with two full bathrooms can carry up to a 15 percent premium over those with just one and a half.

Of 737 Park Avenue, the Marquand and Carlton House, which do you think will have the most impact?

I predict that all three are going to trade at price points that will put them among the most expensive buildings in the neighborhood. It’s extremely rare to find completely gut-renovated buildings of this magnitude in well-established areas. Typically, home seekers would have to go east to find new construction.

What are the biggest challenges of selling property on the Upper East Side?

The challenge is not to overprice the home. In this market, everything and anything will sell if it’s not overpriced.

House of the Day: 23 Downing Street

The Wall Street JournalAugust 01, 2013
Everything But the Facade
Price: $9,500,000
Location: Greenwich Village, NY
Type of Home: Townhouse

This Greenwich Village townhouse underwent a gut renovation that involved excavating a lower level and adding a top floor, all while working around the original brick façade, which was also restored.

Joshua Gurwitz purchased this property at 23 Downing Street, pictured at center, in Greenwich Village through an LLC in 2011 for $3.35 million, according to public records. Mr. Gurwitz is the co-founder and principal broker for Good Property, a real estate development and consulting firm with offices in New York, Miami and London.

A sculpture sits at the base of the stairs in the building’s lower level. Mr. Gurwitz is a native New Yorker and started his company in Miami in 2009. “Generally speaking, we’re a repositioning firm,” said Mr. Gurwitz. “We take an old asset and turn it into something new.”

Pictured, the first floor living area. Mr. Gurwitz’s parents live in TriBeCa and he says he first heard about this property from his mother. “I recall her saying, ‘I think you’ll like this,’” he said. It became his company’s first project in New York. He describes the renovation as practically a ground-up construction, apart from the façade – which they were required to preserve and restore because of the property’s landmark designation.

The kitchen and dining area is pictured. The townhouse falls within an extension of the Greenwich Village Historic District that was designated in 2010. The home was originally built in 1836 and has been altered several times since then. The Renaissance-Revival style façade was added in 1886.

Sliding doors lead from the kitchen to the backyard garden. The renovation involved excavating the backyard of the building to increase the lower level space. A fourth floor was also added, enlarging the property from 2,400 square feet to approximately 3,700 square feet, Mr. Gurwitz estimated. The building’s design was by Turrett Collaborative Architects who have worked with Mr. Gurwitz on other properties.

A section of the backyard has a skylight which allows daylight into the lower level living area, a signature design feature of the company, Mr. Gurwitz said. Construction took nine months and was completed in spring, but the process from acquisition to completion of the renovation took 22 months, Mr. Gurwitz said.

The lower level living area with skylight is pictured. The company excavated an additional six feet down, giving the lower level an eight foot ceiling. Mr. Gurwitz says the space would be ideal for a living room, play room or artist’s studio.

The skylight and backyard is pictured from below. “It’s a completely new building except the façade,” said Mr. Gurwitz.

Shown here, the second floor master bedroom. During construction, they kept the façade in place by building a scaffolding system from the inside and reinforcing and securing the façade to the scaffolding. “We tore down the existing building and built the new building around the scaffolding, so there was never a need to anchor and dismantle the faced,” said Mr. Gurwitz. “It worked out beautifully.”

Shown here, the master bathroom on the second floor. Mr. Gurwitz said in building the house, he imagined what we would want and need if he lived in the space. His priorities for the home’s design included a warm “organic environment,” modern amenities and “great walls for art.”

A bedroom on the third level is shown. “I think it’s a really breathable, livable space for a young family or a couple to live in,” he said.

The top floor bathroom is shown here. Mr Gurwitz lives in SoHo and has worked in interior design and strategic planning. He studied art at Parsons the New School of Design and initially wanted to be an art dealer. “I’m an artist at heart,” he said.

The top floor features another bedroom or study, pictured, and has a terrace. Mr. Gurwitz declined to disclose the cost of the renovation. The home has four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, two half-bathrooms and 900-square-feet of outdoor space.

The top floor front terrace. The property was first listed by Good Property in June 2012 for $9.5 million and increased to slightly under $10 million in March this year. It was listed again at the beginning of July with Emily Beare and David Beare of CORE Real Estate for $9.5 million.

New Listings: 171 West 73rd Street #10

Brokers WeeklyJuly 31, 2013
171 W 73rd St. #10

One bedroom atop a classic brownstone. High ceilings, oversized windows, exposed brick and a multi-level layout. The kitchen has been renovated and there is a planted terrace. Building amenities include storage and an on-site laundry. Pets are welcome. Monthly maintenance includes internet and cable TV. Listing broker: Adrian Noriega, CORE.

Delicious Deal: 27 East 61st Street

The New York PostJuly 31, 2013
That’s a lot of pasta. The owners of the Serafina Restaurant Group, Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato, have listed a five-story building at 27 E. 61st St. for $18.5 million.

The building – which is under construction and being expanded to 8,100 square feet – includes two private residential floors, two commercially zoned floors and a restaurant with a 10-year rent roll in place. The Geisha restaurant is slated to reopen there in January with two sushi bars, a lounge and table seating for 160 people. It was previously located down the street.

The property comes with air rights and a rooftop terrace. The listing broker is Reba Miller of CORE.

Just Sold: 55 White Street, 1C

The New York PostJuly 31, 2013
TRIBECA $2,825,000
55 White Street

Three-bedroom, three-bath triplex condo, 2,300 square feet, with great room with 16-foot ceilings, fireplace, Corinthian columns and bookshelves, chef’s kitchen with sliding doors, laundry/utility room, home office and family room; building features newly updated roof deck and façade. Common charges $1,445, taxes $922. Asking price $2,899,000, on market three weeks. Brokers: Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brendon DeSimone, CORE and Jeff Kaplan.

Enjoy It While It Lasts: 277 President Sets a Carroll Gardens Condo Record

New York ObserverJuly 29, 2013
It may be a condo record in a brownstone neighborhood, and it may be fleeting, but for the moment, it’s 277 President Street‘s time in the sun: a contract for a condominium spanning two brownstones in Carroll Gardens has just closed, and it is the most expensive sale of its kind—at least that we know of—for the neighborhood.

“We just closed on Thursday,” Town Residential broker Terry Naini told The Observer, setting the neighborhood record at $2.4 million for the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath unit.

“What’s really unique about this condo is that it spans two brownstones,” she explained. “Forty feet wide, it’s a floor-through. The developer bought two brownstones, and basically completely took it down to the shell and created five apartments.”

The two buildings, with matching light brown faces and perfectly aligning façades and cornices, were not always that way—“before” photos from Barrett Design, who did the renovation, show two similar but nowhere near duplicate brick townhouses, with windows not quiiiite aligned. “The street façades were completely restored with brownstone surfacing, window and door details, and openings were enlarged to their original grandeur,” quoth the designer.

“I helped the seller purchase it in 2009,” Ms. Naini told The Observer. (Property records show them to be Gina Mastantuono and Luke Feltham; Ms. Naini would not, of course, reveal the buyers’ names.) “There were no floors, we were just walking across slats of wood looking down.” The unit now boasts not only floors—that essential amenity for any modern New Yorker—but five-inch wide plank oak floors, along with Caesarstone countertops, a pot-filler by the stove, and “hand-glazed subway tiles” in the bathroom (in case you were feeling a bit too clean?).

Enjoy it while it lasts, though, 277 President—the Sackett Union’s newly-constructed townhouses have already entered contract, according to Streeteasy, and a penthouse asking $3.1 million for more than 2,500 square feet of space is aiming to set a new record for priciest Carroll Gardens condo. Then again, with 277 President having closed at $1,256 per square foot against the Sackett Union condo’s $1,207-a-foot ask, the price-per-square-foot record is likely still Ms. Naini’s—till she breaks it again, at least.

Brooklyn Properties Setting New Records Left and Right

CurbedJuly 29, 2013
Meanwhile, in Carroll Gardens, unit #2 in 277 President Street very nearly set a condo record for the neighborhood when it closed for $2.4 million, according to the Observer. The 40-foot-wide, 3BR/2.5BA spans two brownstones and would have been the priciest Carroll Gardens condo ever to sell, if it weren't for that sneaky Sackett Union, which has, apparently, already sold a penthouse for $3.1 million. With records falling all over the place, it's like the steroid era of Brooklyn properties.

Long Island City Townhouse Goes For At Least $3 Million

HGTV FrontDoorJuly 29, 2013
Brooklyn neighborhoods tend to get all the attention when it comes to landmark townhouse sales, but this week the focus is on Long Island City. A townhouse at 531 51st Avenue hit the market in April for $3.25 million and just went into contract. The CORE Group, which holds the listing, tells us the contract was signed last week after receiving several offers over $3 million. Based on those numbers, this will mark one of the biggest — if not the biggest — townhouse sales in that neighborhood. Just to give you an idea, the median price for houses in Long Island City is $2.25 million, according to Streeteasy. "Talking about buying a property for $3 million here is no longer a profanity," CORE broker Doron Zwickel told the Wall Street Journal.

The 21-foot brownstone is divided into a four-bedroom triplex with three full baths and a two-bedroom penthouse with two baths. The renovated interior features exposed brick throughout, wide-plank white oak floors and radiant heat flooring. Though the 3,100-square-foot triplex has been branded as the owner's unit, the 1,030-square-foot penthouse doesn't sound too shabby — it comes with a private 950-square-foot roof deck. Then again, the triplex boasts a 770-square-foot landscaped garden, so you really can't go wrong when it comes to outdoor space in this house.

Done Deals: 7 Bond Street, PH AB

Brokers WeeklyJuly 24, 2013
CORE’s Michael Graves has tapped into a pool of wealthy buyers who value privacy over perks. The veteran broker just sold two downtown lofts for over $12 million, despite having little or no amenities.

“The demand for boutique loft buildings downtown is very high,” said Graves. “And contrary to what some might believe, there’s a huge buyer pool of people who want buildings that are not amenity-rich. Some want to live discreetly and not come home to a doorman. They don’t need the interior gym and all the amenities being sold in the market these days. There’s a big buyer profile that I’m in touch with that likes these properties. I used that sales strategy for both properites.”

The four-bedroom penthouse at 7 Bond Street sold for $9.2 million, $700,000 above the asking price after just 23 days on the market. The building has no amenities.

Graves also sold a two-bedroom penthouse at 22 Warren Street for $3.55 million, $200,000 above the asking. A 1,000-square foot private terrace was the only “amenity.”

$3.25M Long Island City House Already Has Multiple Offers

CurbedJuly 23, 2013
This newly-renovated Long Island City two-family townhouse is currently listed for $3.25 million, but you're probably already too late, as it has received multiple offers over $3 million, according to its broker. Separated into a 4BR owner's duplex with a finished basement and a 2BR top-floor rental with a roofdeck, every floor of the house—as well as the facade—offers a surplus of (not at all unattractive) exposed brick. When it does close, it will almost certainly set a new record for townhouses in Astoria/Long Island City.

LIC Townhouse Gets Offers Over $3 Million

The BrownstonerJuly 23, 2013
A Long Island City townhouse priced at $3.25 million has received several offers over $3 million possibly making it a record for the area. According to the broker, some offers were under $3 million and some over including some that were all cash and others not contingent on financing. The 21 foot-wide brick townhouse at 531 51st Avenue is set up as a four bedroom owners duplex with a finished basement playroom that includes its own entrance. It also has a 1,000 square foot two bedroom, two bathroom top floor rental with a roof deck that could be combined into the main house. Prices have been rising dramatically in parts of the borough according to the Wall Street Journal which first reported the offers on the home today. According to a report by the Real Estate Board of New York, sales prices of one to three family homes were up nine percent in the second quarter this year compared to last year. The median sales price borough-wide for these homes was $475,000. Prices in Astoria were up 27 percent in that period. However, prices in areas hit most severely by Hurricane Sandy including the Rockaways and Howard Beach were down by as much 30 percent.

NYC’s Premier Properties: 15 Central Park West

Luxury Listings NYCJuly 23, 2013
Condo: 12 rooms, 5 beds, 6 baths ∣ Amenities: Fireplaces, Doorman, Gym
Common Charges: $7,349 ∣ Maintenance $5,136 ∣ Listing ID: S913820

Located on the 35th floor of 15 Central Park West, this residence is the building’s only post-construction combination unit. Listed by Emily Beare, 212-726-0786,

City's Housing Bounce Spreads Beyond Manhattan

Wall Street JournalJuly 23, 2013
In Long Island City, a renovated property on 51st Avenue has just received several purchase offers for around $3 million, brokers say, potentially setting a record price for a townhouse in Queens. In Park Slope, a restored townhouse on 10th Street found a buyer after a single open house. It was listed for just under $2.7 million.

Sandy's impact continues for some properties such as in Staten Island's Midland Beach.
Such experiences are becoming more common in a newly resurgent housing market across New York City this year: Recent gains in other boroughs are outpacing those in prime Manhattan neighborhoods, where the market rebounded sharply last year.

A new report by the Real Estate Board of New York, an industry trade association, found that city-recorded sales of homes outside of Manhattan, including condos and co-ops, rose 13.4% during the second quarter, compared with the same period in 2012. In Manhattan, overall sales were flat in the latest quarter, the report found.

Excluding condos and co-ops, the pickup for one-to-three-family houses was even stronger. A total of 4,486 sales were recorded outside of Manhattan in the second quarter, a 20.5% increase over the year-earlier period. The largest sales rebounds were in Staten Island and Brooklyn. In Manhattan, where there are few one-to-three-family transactions, the number of sales still rose in the latest quarter.
The report found that some of the worst-performing areas were Sandy-damaged neighborhoods such as Howard Beach and the Rockaways in Queens, and Midland Beach in Staten Island. But even there, brokers say, pricing in some areas has stabilized, as bargain hunters stepped in to buy both renovated house and some still needing repairs.

The city's housing rebound has expanded outside Manhattan to Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Michael Slattery, the board's senior vice president for research, said that sales outside Manhattan slowed down sooner than Manhattan in the housing slump and were slower to recover. Instead, he said, the city pattern excluding Manhattan more closely resembles that of the single-family-home market across the country, where low interest rates and growing confidence in the economy sparked a housing recovery this year.

"Outside Manhattan the bounce back has been more recent," he said. The report put the median price of a one-to-three family house at $458,000, a price that showed that despite a stronger market, "the middle class can afford to live in New York City," he said.

In Manhattan, sales of homes selling for more than $10 million fell to 22 in the latest quarter from 40 in the first quarter and 30 in the 2012 second quarter, according to the report.
Overall, Manhattan remains the prime market driver, making up 58% of the $8.2 billion in residential transactions filed with the city in the second quarter while the borough has only 18.5% of the owner-occupied housing stock in the city.

Still, the city's housing recovery is far from complete. Real Estate Board figures show that average prices in the second quarter were still 5.5% below prices recorded in the second quarter of 2008.
But that isn't worrying Doron Zwickel, a broker at CORE with the listing for the townhouse on 51st Avenue, a prime location in Hunters Point in Long Island City. The 21-foot-wide brownstone with six bedroom, bare brick walls and oak floors was listed for $3.25 million in April.

He said that as a string of high-rise rental buildings went up near the East River in recent years, some renters have started looking for bigger homes in the same neighborhoods. With the supply of townhouses limited, prices have been pushed higher.

"Talking about buying a property for $3 million here is no longer a profanity," Mr. Zwickel said. "We have gotten tons of interest and multiple offers."

Rebekah Witzke moved with her husband and three children to a Long Island City rental from the Upper East Side last year. Working with Jonna Stark of Nest Seekers International, she has been searching for a house but says everything she has seen is too expensive or needs too much work. "The inventory is so low and everything is going so quickly," Ms. Witzke said.

In Park Slope, prices and sales are rising. The report found that the median price in the neighborhood was $1.75 million in the second quarter, up from $980,000 a year earlier. There were 36 sales recorded in the second quarter up from 24.

The house at 418 10th St. in Park Slope that listed for just under $2.7 million was 18 feet wide and was renovated with a sweeping main staircase and a fancy kitchen opening out on the garden. It went on the market in late June and immediately attracted attention.

"If you've got something nice and if it's priced right, it is going to get a lot of attention and multiple offers," said Carol Graham, a broker at Corcoran Group who has the listing. "But you still can't be stupid about pricing.”

In Howard Beach, where the storm flooded many homes, the number of sales fell sharply in the latest quarter and the median price per square foot fell 30%, according to the report.

"There was a lot of panic selling; there was a big scare factor," said Jerry Fink, a broker based in Howard Beach. But Mr. Fink said prices had stabilized and have begun to rise in some parts of the area.

"You still have a great neighborhood," he said. Now that memories of Sandy begin to receded he said some buyers see the storm's aftermath as a buying opportunity.

But on the south shore of Staten Island, where repairs on many Sandy-damaged houses are incomplete, would-be sellers are finding buyers only by dropping prices, while prices are rising in many other intact Staten Island neighborhoods.

In Midland Beach, a newly renovated house on Patterson Avenue a few blocks from the water went on the market in April for $349,000, close to what it sold for in 2009. Since then, the asking price has been cut twice to $329,000.

"Prices are very low," said Dritan Gashi, a broker with Robert DeFalco Realty who has the listing. "People are worried about Sandy, but when the price is low there is interest."
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