News

Rise of the Super Towers: The Next Big Thing In Luxury Housing

ForbesApril 30, 2013
The residential tower under construction at 432 Park Avenue in Manhattan will have plenty of opulent amenities to draw the moneyed crowd: The units, which start at $7 million, feature private elevator landings, 12.5- foot ceilings, separate servant entrances, heated bathroom floors and the option to buy additional climate- controlled wine cellars and guest apartments. The building will have a 75-foot-long pool, a private restaurant for residents, room service and catering, even chauffeur service. But for all of the over-the-top features of the Rafael Vinoly-designed tower, the one sure to get the most attention will be its height.

432 Park Ave will jut 1,396 feet into the air over midtown Manhattan upon completion in 2015. At that lofty height, the building, developed by CIM Group and Macklowe Properties, will be New York City’s third-tallest behind One World Trade Center and the Empire Empire State Building. It will also become the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower, eclipsing the 870-foot rental tower New York by Gehry in Lower Manhattan, Midtown’s up-and-coming 1,004-foot One57, and Chicago’s 1,389-foot (spire included) Trump International Hotel and Tower.

“People want views. This will be a game-changer for the upper echelon of New York,” asserts Jarrod Guy Randolph, a luxury real estate broker with CORE in New York who has toured the sales center, which has been kept under wraps since its discreet opening in March.

432 Park Ave is the latest example of a race skyward among luxury residential developers. With the housing market in recovery mode, developers are taking multifamily buildings to staggering new heights, vying for the title of tallest tower and the prestige that translate into larger returns on investment while delivering the breathtaking views buyers are seeking. “What developers are looking to do is set themselves apart,” notes Randolph. “They are doing this because they can build that tall and capitalize on the land.”

In the past, most of the world’s tallest buildings were erected to provide office space, like Chicago’s Willis Tower and the Empire State Building. The shift toward high-rise dwelling started about 15 years ago, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, as interest revived in living in city centers. The 9/11 attacks dampened the nascent trend – but only for a time. As the housing bubble inflated, dozens of residential high rises began popping up in major U.S. cities. New construction ground to a near-halt as the bubble burst and recession ensued, but now, as developers begin to bring projects back online, their buildings – commonly luxury and super luxury condo towers geared toward cash-flush global buyers — are getting even taller.

In New York City, where a finite amount of land and a huge population have made vertical living common, the race to build the highest homes has heated up. For every tall residential tower that begins construction, another boasting more stories at higher feet enters the approval process. Once finished, the glass megalith One57 will become the city’s tallest residential tower with a penthouse encompassing the 89th and 90th floors that is in contract for more than $90 million. One57 will snatch the tallest title from New York by Gehry, where the top units of the 76-story rental building go for $45,000 per month. 432 Park Ave will stand 96 stories, with penthouses that are being marketed for $95 million. In November, One57 developer Extell submitted a permit application with the city to erect a 1,550-foot tower off of 57th Street that will be designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the architects of the world tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

In Miami, where high-rise penthouses boasting palatial indoor-outdoor floorplans with expansive water views have been fetching record sums, a collection of new condo towers are in various stages of planning and development, most notably in Brickell and the downtown area. Developer Tibor Hollo recently announced plans for the Panorama Tower, a rental building to be finished in 2016 that will reportedly stand 830 feet tall. That height that will make it Florida’s tallest building.

Earlier this month New York-based developer Property Markets Group unveiled its plans for a 750-foot, 60-story luxury condo building called Echo Brickell. “I believe that everyone wants to be at the top of every building ... because of the view,” says Kevin Maloney, chief executive of PMG. “As you go up in the building, apartments get more expensive so we are trying to get as much of the space as possible out of the base that is locked in and has no view corridor and move it up to the top where it has more value.”

Value, indeed. To begin financing the project, PMG brought 30 of the roughly 250 units to market in mid-April. All 30 units were reserved in one day, says Maloney. For the top floors, which will span roughly 5,000-feet per unit, the reserved prices per square foot are $1,750 – more than double the highest prices per square foot achieved in the Brickell area until now.

The super high-rise residential trend has taken root in cities abroad as well. In Dubai, the new mega-tall Princess Tower, which was finished last year, currently enjoys the title of world’s tallest residential tower at 1,358 feet tall with 101 stories above-ground overlooking the Persian Gulf. In London, the Shard, a mixed-use glass structure housing a five-star hotel, offices and 10 multimillion-dollar residences, opened to the public in February. At 1,013 feet tall, it’s Western Europe’s new tallest building. In 2012, the mixed- use Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto became Canada’s tallest residential building at 908 feet, including spire. And once completed in 2014, the 558-foot Tour Odeon in Monaco will become the principality’s tallest structure, touting a 35,000-square foot mega penthouse expected to become the world’s most expensive.

In Tel Aviv, Meier-on-Rothschild will soon open, offering 37 stories of luxury residences, including a $50 million penthouse peddling a private pool and a master bedroom with Jacuzzi. The 590-foot tower, designed by “starchitect” Richard Meier and developed by Berggruen Residential, will be the Israeli city’s tallest building.

“For developers, it makes more financial sense to build a bigger project. Land is very scarce and to increase profit the only way to go is up,” explains Yigal Zemah, chief executive of Berggruen Residential, a real estate development venture of billionaire Nicolas Berggruen. He says building higher is a win-win for everyone: Buyers will pay more for higher units with killer views and lofty seclusion, while developers ultimately increase their profit margins.

But those 360-degree, miles-long views come at a trade-off. Outdoor space like terraces and rooftop gardens are nonexistent at such heights. 432 Park Ave won’t have private terraces, but a residents’ garden will provide communal outdoor space and be available for rent for special events. In One57, the 13,000-square-foot lower penthouse will have a glass- enclosed “winter garden.”

Developers have to take certain construction factors into account when building taller. Proposals can take longer to approve. In some cases, the Federal Aviation Administration has to vet the project to ensure that the building won’t interfere with airplane flight paths. There are also higher initial costs for developers. To go taller, first developers must dig deeper, building foundations that plunge as many as six stories underground. And tall towers, especially skinny ones on smaller footprints, tend to sway, which can be especially perceptible, even dramatic, at upper levels. Many tall buildings utilize dampers to counteract the effects of wind. In 432 Park Ave, the developers will reportedly incorporate giant cylinders every 12 floors that will act as wind tunnels to minimize movement.

Expensive ultrafast elevators must be installed too, since regular models slow down as they move higher into the air, especially on windy days. New buildings are including back-up generators that can keep lifts running in a blackout.

Still wealthy buyers from around the world are plunking down record sums to pop their ears living at altitude. “To some extent there is a feeling of triumph to be very high up. It’s a status symbol,” muses Zemeh. “This gives buyers a good feeling about their view and their self-image.”

Celebrity Real Estate: Claire Danes Quietly Buys West Village Apartment

NBC NewsApril 30, 2013
This week in celebrity real estate, property records confirmed Claire Danes’ home purchase in West Village, actor Nick Nolte listed his Malibu estate and designer Nate Berkus stuck his New York apartment on the open market.

Claire Danes quietly purchases West Village townhouse

Claire Danes must have learned some tricks from her CIA operative role on “Homeland.” The blonde actress picked up a new home in the West Village last November without drawing any attention to the purchase.

A born-and-raised New Yorker, Danes and her British actor husband Hugh Dancy listed their former home in SoHo for $5.988 million last June. The SoHo condo is currently off the market, but property records have yet to report a sale.

But that didn’t limit Danes and Dancy in their next home purchase; the couple bought their Greenwich Village townhome for $6.876 million.
Described as “welcoming” and “bright,” the single-family home was built at the turn of the 20th century and retains much of its original Greek Revival style. Measuring 3,640 square feet, the living spaces are generous, with 12-foot-high ceilings and large windows.

The 4-bedroom, 4-bath home also includes plenty of outdoor space with terraces on all three levels, as well as a ground-level courtyard and rooftop garden.

Actor Nick Nolte lists Malibu home with celebrity pedigree

It’s not a new trend for celebrities to buy each other’s homes. Often, if one celeb likes a home, another star will find it just as appealing. Such is the case with Nick Nolte’s home. Currently owned by the veteran actor, best known for his roles in “48 Hours” and “The Thin Red Line,” the property includes Tommy Chong, Don Felder of the Eagles and songwriter/producer David Foster among its previous owners, according to the Los Angeles Times. Nolte has listed his home for $8.25 million.

What attracted the heavy list of stars to the property? Likely the secluded location. The Bonsall Canyon estate at 6173 Bonsall Drive, Malibu Calif. 90265 sits on 2 flat acres surrounded by sycamores, corrals and pines to create what Malibu listing agent Jane Kellard of Westside Estate Agency calls an “artist’s paradise.”

The home was built in 1963 and opens to a mahogany entryway with onyx floors leading to a living area with vaulted, 19-foot ceilings. The upstairs master suite features a sitting area with a fireplace and office.

Nate Berkus lists NYC one-bedroom place

This apartment in Greenwich Village is just a 1-bedroom, 1-bath, but where it lacks in space, it makes up in style. Designed and renovated by Oprah darling Nate Berkus, the West Village place was featured in O Magazine and was recently listed for sale at $699,000.

According to property records, Berkus bought the home in 2006 for $550,000, and he owns another home in New York — a larger, 3,000-square-foot property — that he picked up in 2011. The designer recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills and may be calling the Golden State home for a while.

Located at 32 Downing Street, Apt. 4D, New York, N.Y. 10014 the western-facing apartment has “views of one of the most charming corners of the Village.”

Berkus’ updates to the home include a renovated kitchen with new appliances and a bathroom with Carrera marble floors, white subway tile and vintage hardware.

The listing is held by Emily Beare and Christian Rogers of CORE.

241 Fifth, NoMad's Newest Ground-Up Construction, Launches Residential Sales

April 30, 2013
NEW YORK, N.Y. (April, 2013) – Victor Homes and CORE announce that sales have commenced at 241 Fifth, the only ground-up construction residential project located in the trendy Manhattan neighborhood of NoMad. Located at 241 Fifth Avenue, between 27th and 28th Streets, 241 Fifth boasts 46 sophisticated and contemporary condominium units designed by Eran Chen of ODA-Architecture.

“This stretch of Fifth Avenue is one of the most sought-after residential neighborhoods downtown, and 241 Fifth will bring to market some much needed luxury housing,” noted Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for the project.

241 Fifth offers a mix of one, two and three -bedroom residences, along with two penthouses. Residential interiors are influenced by modern design and feature a neutral palette that can be seen through the use of stained white oak flooring and white-finished fixtures from the Zuchetti-Kos Faraway Collection. Residences also feature oversize windows, kitchens with a suite of Miele appliances, in addition to a Miele washer/dryer, and bathrooms with a deep-soaking tub, glass-enclosed shower and solid teak wall detailing.

“We have seen a tremendous amount of interest in the project,” notes Doron Zwickel, the Director of Sales for 241 Fifth. “Our wait list alone has over 500 interested parties who are looking to secure on one of our 46 units.”

Prices range from 1-bedrooms starting at $1.2M, 2-bedrooms starting at $2.05M, and 3-bedrooms beginning at $2.8M. Residences on higher floors offer superb views of the Flatiron District and Lower Manhattan.

241 Fifth’s lobby boasts wire-brushed, white oak walls and a polished concrete floor, conveying the modern simplicity of this boutique condominium. In addition to a 24/7 concierge, 241 Fifth’s amenities include a rooftop terrace, a fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art cardio and weightlifting equipment, a Zen tranquility room for yoga, Pilates or meditation, a residence lounge and private wellness treatment room, which offers a serene space for massage or beauty treatments.

In addition to the residential living space, designed by ODA Architecture and constructed by Triton Construction Company, the 20-story property will offer approximately 3,200-square feet of commercial/retail space at ground level.

About Victor Homes

Founded in 1994, Victor Homes has become one of New York's most dynamic development and construction companies. Its various projects in the area range from multi-unit residential communities, to sprawling corporate office campuses, to exclusive residential estates, all superbly designed with the signature of quality workmanship and undeniable value. The company's management team combines decades of international construction experience, and it carefully oversees every aspect of the development process from land acquisition all the way through design, marketing, construction and commitment to quality and value.

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 www.corenyc.com.

Nate Berkus Puts NYC Apartment on the Market for $699,000 (House of the Day)

Financial PressApril 29, 2013
This apartment in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village is just a one-bedroom, one-bath. But where it lacks in space, it makes up in style. Designed and renovated by Oprah darling Nate Berkus, the West Village place was featured in O Magazine and was recently listed for sale at $699,000.

According to property records, Berkus bought the home in 2006 for $550,000, and he owns another home in New York — a larger, 3,000-square-foot property — that he picked up in 2011. The designer recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills, Calif., and may be calling the Golden State home for a while.

The western-facing apartment in NYC has “views of one of the most charming corners of the Village.” Berkus’ updates to the home include a renovated kitchen with new appliances and a bathroom with Carrera marble floors, white subway tile and vintage hardware. The listing is held by Emily Beare of CORE. See more photos of Berkus’ apartment below.

The Hidden Benefit of Conservative Underwriting

Real Estate Bisnow New YorkApril 29, 2013
And at Chelsea's 50-unit Walker Tower condos, JDS underwrote to $1,600/SF sales in '09. Now, with delivery approaching this fall, it's raking in $3,600/SF with only a few units left. JDS bought the old Verizon switch building in '08 for $25M and invested $200M to convert it, increasing the usable square footage from 108k SF to almost 200k SF.

What $3,600/Month Can Rent You Around New York City

CurbedApril 26, 2013
Welcome back to Curbed Comparisons, a column that explores what one can rent for a set dollar amount in various New York City neighborhoods. Is one man's studio another man's townhouse? Let's find out! Today's price: $3,600/month.

An 877-square-foot 1BR/1BA with an office in Vinegar Hill's Gold Street Lofts is going for $3,600/month. The apartment itself has high ceilings, large windows, and high-end finishes and the building offers amenities that include an indoor basketball court.

Another Overpriced Trophy Listing Pulled From the Market: Steel Magnate Decides Not To Sell 15 CPW Pad After All

The New York ObserverApril 26, 2013
As any Times Styles section writer knows, it takes at least three to make a trend, so we guess we can officially call it now: the much-ballyhooed real estate trophy market is over-hyped.

Today, yet another ambitious trophy listing was yanked from the market, slinking away just a few weeks after taking a $10 million price cut. Leroy Schecter’s 35th- floor spread at 15 Central Park West, which made such a big show of asking $95 million when it debuted last August, is no longer for sale. And like City Spire and the Woolworth Mansion before it, the 15 CPW departure was not occasioned by a sale.

“The owner finally—he hadn’t even seen it during the construction—went to see and he fell in love. He decided he was going to move in,” Emily Beare, the CORE broker who had the listing told The Observer. Ms. Beare said that Mr. Schecter had planned to combine his two units for personal use a few years ago, before changing his mind and listing the apartments separately, then as a combo unit when he realized that “people wanted a finished product.”

The octogenarian steel magnate may well be suffering from Pygmalion syndrome, though we suspect the de-listing also had something to do with the lack of interest in the condo combo even after the somewhat drastic price cut.

The $100 million City Spire listing, meanwhile, disappeared in January, also not the result of a sale. The broker behind the listing, Raphael De Niro, has remained tight lipped about the owner’s decision to de-list. But we’d speculate that after six months, the media, if not the market, finally disabused the owner of the notion that his outdated octagonal lair could fetch even a fraction of that price.

A few weeks ago, the Woolworth Mansion, on the market for $90 million since March 2011, also vanished. Lucille Roberts’ heirs, we heard, were planning to live in it themselves for a while. Who could blame them? Though they certainly had seemed eager to turn a profit on the place just a short time earlier, listing the 20,000-square-foot home as a $150,000 a month rental in the fall of 2012.

And while One57 has been reported to have two units in contract for more than $90 million (they have yet to close as Extell’s gleaming spire in the sky is still very much under construction), no property has outdone Sanford Weill’s $88 million coup—the sale that set off the whole craze in the first place.

To be sure, there is a market for trophies—Steve Wynn bought his grand Ritz Carlton ballroom spread for $70 million last spring and there has been a slew of sales between $20 and $54 million during the last year, but the number of buyers in the market to spend more than $90 million (and their eagerness to snap something, anything, up) appears to have been greatly exaggerated. Even a filthy rich oligarch can’t ignore the fact that most sellers weren’t asking just double or triple what they’d paid, but many, many multiples more.

Some big listings remain, of course. There’s still the $95 million Ritz Carlton penthouse, also listed since last spring, and the $95 million penthouse at the Sherry-Netherland (terraces galore, but also a co-op board to contend with), on the market since the fall.

And this spring brought a new crop of super-luxury listings even more ambitious than their peers: the $125 million Pierre penthouse and embattled hedge-fund honcho Steve Cohen’s $115 million One Beacon Court spread.

Were the owners unmoved by the troubles of trophy spreads that had tried, and failed, before? Did they simply think that by tacking an extra $20 million or $35 million on they’d be able to avoid the pitfalls of their less ambitious predecessors? We’re not sure, but given the mounting evidence, they may want to reconsider.

Hunger Games - New Condos Try to Sate NY’s Appetite for Construction

New York PostApril 25, 2013
The New York City real estate market is famished.

“There was a scarcity of new development over the past five years,” says Susan de Franca, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. “And there is a voracious appetite for New York.”

This has led many a developer in this city to set out a lavish spread for the well-heeled buyer.

“We’ve sold over $1 billion [of new construction] in the last 90 days,” says Kelly Mack, president of Corcoran Sunshine. “In the coming year, luxury buildings are going to dominate the market — more than half the properties that will open are expected to ask over $2,000 per foot. Developers are pushing the upper limits of luxury even higher. If you look at deals over $8 million, year over year, they’ve tripled.”
“Inventory levels are at or near the lowest levels I’ve ever tracked,” says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. And prices are up. “It’s been happening for several years, but it really accelerated over the last six months.”

The hesitancy of buying an apartment off floor plans is a thing of the past. The forthcoming 150 Charles St. has in three months put about 90 percent of its 91 units in contract, at about $3,000 per square foot. (Last we checked in, the building had done $560 million in sales.) Its developer, Steve Witkoff, has his sights set on his next project, 10 Madison Square West, a somewhat more modest endeavor (in terms of pricing), rumored to be about $2,400 to $2,500 per square foot.

Developers PMG and JDS are preparing to build a 700-foot-tall tower at the Steinway building on West 57th Street (only about a block from One57), with plans for a 200-room hotel below 45 condo units, slated to be ready by 2015. “The building may grow to 900 feet,” says Kevin Maloney, principal of PMG, making it one of the tallest residential towers in the city.

Luxury developments are popping up all over town. From still-to-be-fully developed neighborhoods like Hudson Square, which is seeing the launch of Renwick Modern (with prices starting at $1.5 million and going up to $6.5 million, for 1,100- to 2,700-square-foot apartments) — to de Franca’s new project, the Marquand on the Upper East Side (where the starting price for apartments is $15 million).

At 56 Leonard in TriBeCa, half the 145 units are in contract. At 93 Worth, a few blocks away, 70 percent of the 92 units are in contract. The 104-unit 250 West St., at the edge of TriBeCa, which has been on the market since 2011, has seen 18 price increases and there are only four units left.

“What’s happening is really changing developers’ expectations,” says Louis Puopolo of Douglas Elliman, which is getting ready to unveil the Hill, at 87 Leonard, another building in TriBeCa, where price hikes seem limitless. The seven units in the condo conversion (which should be finished by the end of the year) will start at about $6 million.

“I don’t know what’s hotter than white-hot,” says Steve Kliegerman, president of Halstead Property Development Marketing. “We can achieve prices that a few years ago seemed unachievable. Pre-Lehman, we were reaching to attain these prices . . . I’m confident we’re surpassing pre-Lehman.”

The Schumacher
The Schumacher’s sleek sales office opened earlier this month on a Monday. By that Friday, the sales team had letters of intent in hand for half of the building’s 20 units. We understand why: The condos at the Morris Adjmi-designed Schumacher, an old printing house at 36 Bleecker St. in NoHo, are nice and roomy, ranging from 1,132 to 4,600 square feet (prices should start at $3 million and go up to $25 million for a penthouse). The kitchens are outfitted in marble; the ceilings are massive (over 15 feet high in some cases); and the interior courtyard is being done by Ken Smith (who designed the MoMA roof garden). A few days into the frenzy, developer Roy Stillman was on the phone with Fredrik Eklund of Douglas Elliman, who is heading up the marketing of the project with John Gomes. “Fred,” Stillman said, sensing something amiss in Eklund’s voice, “Are you OK?” Eklund insisted he was fine, but when pressed he admitted: “We only have 20 units in the building,” with something wistful in his voice. “It’s going to be gone soon.” Contact: 212-891-7676

10 Madison Square West
Like a kid lying awake waiting for Christmas, brokers have been waiting to unwrap the old International Toy Center since word leaked in 2011 about its pending conversion into the 10 Madison Square West condo complex by developers Steven Witkoff and Howard Lorber. Given its location (on the edge of Madison Square Park next to Eataly) and size (350,000 square feet), it seems destined to bring joy to many. And as a bonus, there will be a 10,000 square foot residents’ club. Although sales haven’t officially started, we hear that the building has had north of 1,100 inquiries. When the sales office opens next month, the brokers should be busy. Pricing isn’t set yet, but one can expect it to be somewhere between $2,400 and $2,500 per square foot. Contact: Kirk Rundhaug, Douglas Elliman, 2124182052

The Marquand
“We saw it like a vintage car,” says NirMeir, principal at HFZ, talking about his new development, the Marquand, at 11 E. 68th St. “[It’s] the chance to restore it to the way it should be — a jewel.” The jewel in question is a 100yearold Beaux Arts building on the corner of Madison Avenue and 68th Street. It’s a conversion of a 43unit rental into 30 spacious condos—with the help of the architecture firms Shelton, Mindel & Associates and Beyer Blinder Belle—starting at $15million. “It was crying out to be grand again,” says Douglas Elliman Development Marketing’s Susan de Franca. Everything is being refinished and updated to suit today’s barons of the Upper East Side: solid oak paneling, wide expanses of windows and limestone powder rooms. Residences go from a 3,795squarefoot fourbedroom up to 6,000 square feet for the sprawling penthouses. Contact: Madeline Hult Elghanayan, Douglas Elliman, 2124182028

160 E. 22nd St.
It might be a tribute to just how jaded the NewYork real estate observer has become to hear starting prices of $800,000 for brand new studios and immediately exclaim: “Whoa—cheap!” OK, the 81 condos in this 21story building being put up byToll Brothers (which is shooting for LEED certification) are not exactly inexpensive. But in a market where nearly every developer is starting at $2 million, this is awelcome change. (And the fact that it stands less than two blocks away from Gramercy Park is another point in its favor.) Clad in a smart, gray Indiana limestone, the building has units ranging from 575squarefoot studios up to more than 1,800 square feet and $5 million for a three bedroom. They’re outfitted with floor to ceiling windows, white oak floors, Miele cooktops and SubZero refrigerators. The sales gallery has been open less than twomonths, and more than a quarter of the units are in contract. Contact: Florence Clutch, Toll Brothers, 2123889194

35XV
The “XV” part of the name of this 55 unit Chelsea building could mean three things. It could mean “Xavier,” because the residences of this shiny, ultra modern will be above Xavier High School (the condos in the 24story building will begin on the eighth floor). And the developer, Alchemy Properties, was also no doubt thinking in terms of Roman numerals: This building is at 35 W. 15th St. But we like to think the “V” stands for “view.” Residents are promised “unobstructed light and air looking north, with views of the Empire State Building and, looking south, of the Freedom Tower,” says Ken Horn, president of Alchemy. The building has been on the market only for about a month, but it’s already sold about 20 units (at roughly $2,300 per square foot). The units range from865 square feet up to 3,831 square feet, but only one unit less than 1,000 square feet remains. Moveins are expected for 2014. Contact: Wendy Triffon, Alchemy Property, 2122443515

241 Fifth Ave.
After you’ve consumed a stack of ShackBurgers or stuffed yourself silly on Daniel Humm’s $195 Eleven Madison Park dinner menu, youmight want a place nearby to lie down. If 10 Madison Square West sells out, you could try this 20story, 70,000 square foot Fifth Avenue condo development sprouting up a couple of blocks north of Madison Square Park. The mixe duse building designed by Eran Chen (who had the distinction of designing 15 Union SquareWest) consists of 46 units, starting at $1.25 million for a 566 square foot onebe droom. The building also include two penthouses—at 2,706 and 3,080 square feet — that will likely be listed for more than $6 million each. The building will include 3,200 square feet of commercial and retail space on the ground level. Contact: Doron Zwickel, Core, 2126129607

Dream Homes

New York PostApril 25, 2013
Union Square
$9.17 million
This condo at 15 Union Square West offers 3,100 square-feet of “superbly designed” and
“highly functional” living space. The “unique layout” starts with an “elegant” entry gallery that leads into the “open plan” living/dining area and the “stunning” chef’s kitchen. Among the “generously sized” four bedrooms and 4 1⁄2 bathrooms, the “capacious” master suite stands out: It’s “whisper quiet,” with Creston-controlled blinds and drapes, a customized walk-in closet/dressing room and a “designer” master bathroom. The fourth bedroom, meanwhile, includes its own full kitchen, bathroom and laundry – allowing for use as a self- contained guest suite. Agents: Vickey Barron and Ryan Fitzpatrick, CORE, 212-612-9647 and 212-500-2112

Gracie Mansion, Official Mayoral Residence, May Become Home Again After 12 Years Without Bloomberg

New York Daily NewsApril 25, 2013
The 200-year-old Federal-style home has been host only to city events since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office in 2002. Before him, each mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia lived there.

After 12 years of unrumpled sheets, historic Gracie Mansion is on the verge of becoming a home again — to Mayor Bloomberg’s chagrin.

With his mayoralty winding down, Bloomberg said Thursday that despite pleas from his gal pal Diana Taylor, he plans to leave office Dec. 31 without ever having slept at the official mayoral residence.

And he’s not wild about the next mayor moving in.

Only one mayoral candidate has turned down living in Gracie Mansion if elected: Republican billionaire John Catsimatidis. Christine Quinn, John Liu, Joe Lhota, Bill de Blasio, Catsimatidis and Adolfo Carrion have not ruled it out.

“I’ve never spent a night here. My girlfriend does want to spend one night, but it’s a better story if we never spend any nights here,” said Bloomberg, a billionaire who still lives in the glitzy upper East Side townhouse he called home before his election in 2001.

“The next mayor, I guarantee you, will live here, which in some sense is a shame because that will mean the house which we use all day long, every day, will not be available for public events,” he said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has lived in his upper East Side townhouse since 2001, using Gracie Mansion only as an event space.

“There’s almost no cities that provide housing for mayors. A lot of people want to be mayor, so I don’t think you have to provide housing. It doesn’t seem to be a (necessary) incentive.”

The 200-year-old, five-bedroom, Federal-style manse on East End Ave. housed every mayor since Fiorello LaGuardia (1934 to 1945) until Bloomberg.

Apartments of that size rent for $75,000 a month, but with Gracie you get “your own little patch of green in Manhattan,” said Jarrod Guy Randolph, a vice president of CORE, a real estate firm in Manhattan.

A portrait of William Gracie, the Scottish merchant who original lived in the home, overlooks the library.

The next mayor likely will move in: Only one of the mayoral hopefuls surveyed by the Daily News ruled out living there.

“It’s where people expect the mayor to live,” said former city Controller William Thompson.

The Gracie Mansion entry was built in 1966, featuring an elegant 18th-century style in keeping with the buildings Federal architecture.

Republican Joe Lhota said he wants his 14-year-old black Lab to have “an opportunity to run on the lawn,” although he said he might split his time with his Brooklyn Heights home.

“I think Ed Koch did it the right way. He lived there during the week and lived at home in on weekends,” Lhota said.

Former Democratic City Councilman Sal Albanese said he’d likely move in —•• though his wife would make the final call.

The blue ballroom, built in196, offers plenty of natural light.

“I don’t know if my neighbors would appreciate having all the security around,” said

Albanese, who lives in a semi-detached home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

He recalled his house was picketed when he cast a pro-gay rights vote in the ‘80s. “I remember what that did to my neighbors... You know there would be demonstrations.”

The mansion's master bedroom features a four-post bed from around 1830.

Republican George McDonald and Adolfo Carrion, the candidate of the Independence Party, also said they’d live at Gracie.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said he hasn’t decided where he’d hang his hat, but he turned the question into an attack on Bloomberg.

“His arrogance on this topic is just boundless. He has a multi-million-dollar townhouse and he thinks everyone else must have something like that,” said de Blasio, who lives in a Park Slope, Brooklyn row house worth just over a million dollars with his wife and two kids.

“We certainly have enough room, but...there’s one bathroom, so we fight over the bathroom all the time. When all four of us are there and everyone has a tight morning schedule, it becomes quite aggressive. Gracie obviously has a little more space, that’s one thing I’ll note, but I love life in Brooklyn, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

Council Speaker Christine Quinn was noncommittal, too. “I’m not going to count my chickens before they hatch, but rest assured, wherever they hatch, Kim and my two rescue dogs Justin and Sadie will be there,” she said.

Only billionaire John Catsimatidis ruled out the idea.

“The Catsimatidis family would remain at their current apartment on Manhattan’s East Side. Gracie Mansion would continue to be used as a site to host official functions of the City of New York,” said spokesman Rob Ryan.

Oprah Darling Lists New York City Apartment for $699,000

ABC NewsApril 24, 2013
The frequent guest of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” listed his New York City home

Interior designer and friend of Oprah Nate Berkus lists his New York City 1-bedroom, 1-bath apartment in Greenwich Village.The home was featured in O Magazine and listed for $699,000. Berkus bought it in 2006 for $550,000. He bought another larger home in New York in 2011. He recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills.

Nate Berkus Lists Greenwich Apartment

E! NewsApril 24, 2013
Hot off the heels of his engagement news, Nate Berkus is selling his New York City apartment.

Yep, Jeremiah Brent's fiancé has listed his one-bedroom, one-bathroom Greenwich Village home for $699,000. But some may consider that a bargain, considering the Oprah Winfrey-approved interior designer personally renovated and designed the space when he purchased it back in 2006 for $550,000.

In fact, the former TV host shared his handy work with The Oprah Show back in 2007, throwing the doors open to his 550-square-foot space to show off such home improvements as installing a French door, decking the bathroom out with marble floors and adding a limestone-topped bar to the kitchen.

Not too shabby, huh?

Now if only he would leave his fab furnishings behind. too!

House of the Day: Nate Berkus Puts NYC Apartment On the Market for $699,000

AOL Real EstateApril 23, 2013
This apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village is just a one-bedroom, one-bath. But where it lacks in space, it makes up in style. Designed and renovated by Oprah darling Nate Berkus, the West Village place was featured in O Magazine and was recently listed for sale at $699,000.

According to property records, Berkus bought the home in 2006 for $550,000, and he owns another home in New York -- a larger, 3,000-square-foot property -- that he picked up in 2011. The designer recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills, Calif., and may be calling the Golden State home for a while.

The western-facing apartment in NYC has "views of one of the most charming corners of the Village." Berkus' updates to the home include a renovated kitchen with new appliances and a bathroom with Carrera marble floors, white subway tile and vintage hardware. The listing is held by Emily Beare of CORE. See more photos of Berkus' apartment below.

One a Celebrity-Designed Home for Only $699K

Celebuzz!April 23, 2013
Nate Berkus is listing his full-renovated New York City apartment

Find yourself spending too much time wandering the Nate Berkus home decor aisle at Target? Well, wait until you see his decorated home.

The celebrity designer has opened the doors to his 3,000 square foot New York City apartment, putting the uber chic pad up on the real estate market for a cool $699,000.

The one bedroom and one bathroom home has been featured in O at Home magazine -- that means it has Oprah Winfrey's seal of approval, if you're wondering -- and offers stunning views of the city's trendy West Village neighborhood.

Berkus' abode also features a renovated kitchen with new appliances, a new bath with Carrera marble floors and vintage hardware, custom wire-glass doors, custom closets and painted wood flooring throughout the place.

Given that the recently-engaged star also listed his Chicago full-floor condo for $2.65 million this January, it certainly looks like he's ready to ditch his bachelor pads for a cozy little marital home.

It's been reported that Berkus, 41, and partner Jeremiah Brent purchased a house in Hollywood Hills, Calif., late 2012.

Nate Berkus’ Charming New York City Home is for Sale at a Sort of Reasonable Price

The Huffington PostApril 23, 2013
Nate Berkus has been in the news a lot lately. Recently, he and his boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent, announced their engagement. Now, the interior designer has put one of his New York City apartments up for sale -- and it's surprisingly affordable (for The Big Apple, that is).

According to real estate agency CORE, Berkus' one-bedroom, one-bath Greenwich Village abode is listed for a modest $699,000. The home was featured in Oprah's O Magazine after the designer renovated the 500-square-foot space. Berkus remodeled the kitchen, installed custom French doors and made the space seem larger by keeping the walls white and the color palette neutral.

Berkus also recently listed his Chicago apartment, and reportedly bought a home in Los Angeles to be closer to Brent. So, we totally understand that a 500-square-foot pad is too small for Nate's growing life.

Click through our slideshow to see photos of Nate's home. And be sure to head over to Core and Zillow for more information.

Tread Carefully with US Real Estate

Herald SunApril 22, 2013
Recent years have seen Australians inundated with advertisements for great investment opportunities abroad, after US house values fell 33 per cent from their 2005 peak, before bottoming out in February 2012, according to figures released by the data company CoreLogic.

Some of these deals included houses in areas that were worst-affected by the GFC being listed for less than $10,000. What the advertisements neglected to mention was that many were in abandoned neighborhoods and slums, where values could take decades to recover, if at all, due to the collapse of industries and bankruptcy of major employers.

A typical example was Detroit, where according to realtor.com, some properties are still listed for $100 or less.

The city had once been a mighty stronghold for the automotive industry, but now one third of residents live below the official federal poverty line, unemployment hovers around the double digit mark and the average price of homes sold in 2012 was $7,500.

"Houses in these locations are not great investment opportunities," said Shaun Osher, founder of New York real estate agency CORE.

"Metropolis cities are a better investment opportunity because your demographic of audience is much wider." Mr. Osher, who will be on the Gold Coast in May for the Australian Real Estate Conference (AREC 13), warns that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"If you buy a family home in Detroit, there are only so many people interested in that property type," he said. "Compare that to a penthouse in Manhattan, almost everybody wants a piece of that."

Mr. Osher said Manhattan apartments range in price from $1 million to $100 million, making them among the most expensive in the world.

While most Australians could not realistically invest in such a market, more affordable opportunities do exist.

"The Miami market is very interesting right now," Mr. Osher said. "It's booming and there are a lot of new developments coming up."

"On the west coast, Los Angeles and San Francisco are two very interesting markets because they always attract an international audience."

According to realestate.com, existing three-bedroom houses can be bought for below $80,000 in Miami, while new constructions start at $212,000.

These prices sound attractive, but investing in the US requires plenty of due diligence and a couple of "working holidays".

"It is very important to visit in person, source your own properties and your own property managers, because otherwise, when something goes wrong you are a long way away," property consumer researcher Steve Butcher said.

"This can mean paying for overseas trips to sort problems out through the legal system of a different country." From a legal side, properties can only be bought through a US bank account, which have to be established in person and physically signed for onsite. And tax requirements must be fulfilled in both countries.

US property may not be an option for some, but Mr. Osher believes Australia has its own great opportunities.

"Globally, people look for the same attributes, quality and location," he said.

"Buy low and sell high. Buy when people are selling and sell when people are buying. If you follow that strategy, you should always do well."

Nate Berkus’ Greenwich Village Apartment for Sale

ForbesApril 22, 2013
This apartment in Greenwich Village is just a 1-bedroom, 1-bath, but where it lacks in space, it makes up in style. Designed and renovated by Oprah darling Nate Berkus, the West Village place was featured in O Magazine and was recently listed for sale at $699,000.

According to property records, Berkus bought the home in 2006 for $550,000, and he owns another home in New York — a larger, 3,000-square-foot property — that he picked up in 2011. The designer recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills and may be calling the Golden State home for a while.

Located at 32 Downing St Apt 4D, New York, NY 10014 the western-facing apartment has “views of one of the most charming corners of the Village.”

Berkus’ updates to the home include a renovated kitchen with new appliances and a bathroom with Carrera marble floors, white subway tile and vintage hardware.

The listing is held by Emily Beare of CORE. A monthly payment for the apartment would be $2,460, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year mortgage.

Nate Berkus Lists NYC Apartment

Yahoo! HomesApril 22, 2013
This apartment in Greenwich Village is just a 1-bedroom, 1-bath, but where it lacks in space, it makes up in style. Designed and renovated by Oprah darling Nate Berkus, the West Village place was featured in O Magazine and was recently listed for sale at $699,000.

According to property records, Berkus bought the home in 2006 for $550,000, and he owns another home in New York — a larger, 3,000-square-foot property — that he picked up in 2011. The designer recently became engaged to his longtime boyfriend, Jeremiah Brent. The two bought a house in late 2012 in Hollywood Hills and may be calling the Golden State home for a while.

Located at 32 Downing St Apt 4D, New York, NY 10014 the western-facing apartment has “views of one of the most charming corners of the Village.”

Berkus’ updates to the home include a renovated kitchen with new appliances and a bathroom with Carrera marble floors, white subway tile and vintage hardware.

The listing is held by Emily Beare of CORE. A monthly payment for the apartment would be $2,460, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year mortgage.

Dream Homes: 246 West 17th Street, 4B

New York PostApril 18, 2013
Let’s talk about the space — the parking space, that is. Move in to this condo home on West 17th Street, and — that’s right — you’ll have the option to add a private parking space in the building’s own garage. And even if driving’s not your thing, you’ll find relaxation in this “peaceful” two-bedroom, two-bathroom “oasis,” which happens to include a 1,000-plus- square-foot private terrace with direct access to “bright blue skies.” Ahh. Inside, there are “natural oak” hardwood floors to “accentuate the scale” of the apartment, which also offers a dining area, a bright, white, “modern” kitchen and a “cheerful” living room. All of which should make you forget about your car. Agent: Natalie Rakowski, Core, 212-726-0779

Modern NYC Weekly Featured Listing

Modern NYC WeeklyApril 15, 2013
Rare to the Williamsburg waterfront, this 4-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom duplex penthouse is anchored on the premier corner of the prominent Northside Piers, boasting the largest terrace in the building with views of the enchanting Williamsburg Bridge and the classic New York City skyline. Enter into a spacious foyer and be awed by stunning light and impressive twilight sunsets. A large chef s kitchen is elegantly designed with customized high-gloss cabinets, honed marble countertops and a host of sleek appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, wine refrigerator, Bosch cooktop, gas range and dishwasher. A separate dining area leads way into an expansive living room with direct views of the iconic Manhattan landscape.

A generous 612-square foot private terrace, drenched in Southern sun, saddles along the entire side of the first level and is accessible from the living room and downstairs bedroom, providing charm and flow for entertaining the most elaborate and elegant functions. A powder room, conveniently located off the entrance on the first level, proves invaluable.

For $8.5M, Live Next to Moby's Old Digs in Other 7 Bond PH

CurbedApril 12, 2013
Ever since Moby sold his 7 Bond Street combo penthouse for $5.8 million last fall, we haven't heard much about the building... until the other combo penthouse listed for $8.5 million yesterday. It's quite a bit more than the bald-headed rock star-turned-pseudo real estate mogul's place next door sold for, but pictures of his PH CD show it was more sparsely furnished and had more open space, plus it contained a less-nice kitchen, one less bedroom, one less bathroom, and no home office. His terrace also wasn't as nicely tricked-out as this unit's is.

With PH AB, according to the brokerbabble, you get a nicely renovated 3,000-square foot 4BR/3.5BA with skylight-dotted 14-foot ceilings that also has a floating glass staircase, a gas fireplace, two home offices, a large dressing room off the master bedroom, and a gloriously expansive private roof garden.

About the outdoor space, the brokerbabble goes on and on and on.... : "The private roof has an extraordinary temperature controlled sunroom with fully retractable glass panels/doors, dumb waiter for ease of access to the kitchen below and a stylish summer kitchen featuring wet-bar, fridge, dishwasher, and storage. The roof garden includes an oversized Wolf BBQ grill and is professionally landscaped with mature trees, mood lighting and an automatic watering system." Let's just hope the weather gets better so the buyer can use it, eh?

Developers Team Up with Artists to Attract Buyers

The Real DealApril 11, 2013
Brokers have long known that staging homes with works of art can help entice a buyer. Now, developers are also getting in on the art game, the New York Post reported.

Trump Soho asked Indiewalls, a company that places local artwork in homes and offices, to mount an installation in a duplex penthouse, currently on the market for $8.7 million. The 2,331-square-foot two-bedroom on the 43rd floor is now adorned with work that ranges from $900 to $8,000 per piece.

Similarly, Alchemy Properties, the developers of Griffin Court, on West 54th Street and Tenth Avenue, held a contest for artists to submit ideas for a mural in the building’s courtyard. Alchemy assembled a committee of art experts, which picked Brooklyn artist and architect Corinne Ulmann’s proposal, per the Post.

The Related Companies, likewise, commissioned Derek Reist to do two abstract paintings and one realistic painting for the lobby of their new 180-unit rental building, 1214 Fifth Avenue, according to the Post.

Other new buildings showcasing works of art to attract buyers include One Museum Mile, the +Art building in Chelsea and 118 President Street in Brooklyn’s Columbia Waterfront District.
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