News

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.

Art of the Deal - Condo Sales Pitches Include Pricey Paintings and Massive Murals

New York PostApril 11, 2013
The $8.7 million duplex penthouse for sale at Trump SoHo has a heck of a view — and we don’t just mean from the windows.

Yes, we’ll admit that the 2,331-square-foot two-bedroom, 43rd-floor residence looks out from 20-foot-tall windows on a broad and beautiful swath of Manhattan. But we found the most eye-catching view to be “Candy Coated Hot Lips,” the cast acrylic of a sultry, Brigitte Bardot, which was painted by Brooklyn artist Jeremy Penn — and which also happens to be for sale.

In fact, this duplex doubles as an art gallery in the sky.

Late last year, Trump SoHo decided to contact Indiewalls, a company that places local artwork in homes and offices, and put up this installation in its penthouse. The building is planning more exhibitions in its public spaces.

The work hanging on the penthouse’s walls ranges from a $900 print by Robert Herman (another Brooklyn artist) and goes up to $8,000. There are paintings by young artists such as Max Gleason and Lee Everett in between. (A guest who’s staying in the penthouse hotel/condo unit overnight — or a prospective buyer, for that matter — can use a smart-phone app to have the work shipped to their house if so inclined.)

“We were on a search for an exhibition of art that rotates within the hotel,” says Andreas Oberoi, general manager of Trump SoHo. He adds, “Here in SoHo, if you don’t display art, you’re obviously in the wrong neighborhood.”

“We’re trying not to compete with the incredible views,” says Indiewalls’ Ari Grazi, who put together the collection. “And we didn’t want to overload the guest with a huge quantity of work.”

Art is an important amenity for real estate buyers. Sometimes that means having tasteful paintings, prints and murals in the common areas. Other times it means having an apartment where a personal art collection can bloom. Sometimes it means both, as is the case at Griffin Court, on West 54th Street and 10th Avenue.

When Alchemy Properties put up the 95-unit condo building with an 8,700-square-foot courtyard at its center, the developer decided to do something creative with the courtyard’s empty wall space: It held a contest for artists to turn it into a mural.

“We got 90 different proposals — some from Russia and Hawaii,” says Ken Horn, president of Alchemy.

A committee of art experts picked Brooklyn artist/architect Corinne Ulmann’s autumnal mural. “It took us about a month to paint,” Ulmann says.

And the idea of an artsy building has attracted art-minded buyers. Chuck Steffan and Ron Abel bought a 1,750-square-foot three-bedroom in Griffin Court late last year partly because the space seemed like a good place to hang their art. They haven’t finished decorating yet, but they have work by painters Eric Karpeles and Colleen Ross, plus an Andy Warhol in the bathroom — and they’re still figuring out how to hang a pair of massive 11-foot-long angel wings and where to hang the oil portrait of themselves by Shirley Wolf.

Art is “the natural complement for real estate,” says Daria Salusbury, senior vice president for Related, whose new 180-unit rental building, 1214 Fifth Ave. — featuring one-bedrooms starting at $3,995 per month and a three-bedroom, $12,000-plus duplex penthouse — commissioned Derek Reist to do two abstract paintings and one realistic painting for the lobby.

“They told me to go look at the building,” Reist says. “I walked across the park from the West Side. I had a tough time finding the entrance, and I thought I wanted to do something in the lobby that really makes you feel you’re in the park.”

Of course, it’s no surprise that neighborhoods full of galleries and artists have spawned art-heavy buildings.

In addition to 1214 Fifth Ave., one of the biggest developments to hit that museum-saturated part of Fifth Avenue is One Museum Mile, the Robert A.M. Stern building that is connected to the Museum for African Art.

Liddy Berman, director of the Eleusis Art Advisory (which specializes in managing art collections for buildings and private clients), put together a collection of artwork in the model units of the 114-unit condo building as well as in the common areas. Remaining units range from $816,000 for a studio up to $8.275 million for an eight-bedroom.

“I think we’re now at about 16 or so pieces, all different sizes,” says Tom Postilio, managing director of Core, which is selling units at One Museum Mile. “It was two dozen to begin with, but we had to give some back. It worked well. The art is really important, it completes the space, conveys sense of the building.” (And, yes, a buyer can purchase the artwork through Eleusis.)

It’s also no surprise that the area around the High Line has inspired buildings to showcase art. There’s the aptly named +Art building, a condo-rental hybrid with 119 total units.

“The whole idea was to build a lobby and have an outside art space — what they called an art yard — with rotating art” in both spaces, says Richard Nymark, a vice president with Bellmarc, who has sold apartments at +Art. “It’s both for the pleasure of the residents and to showcase some of the artists of the Chelsea area.”

Other neighborhoods have gotten in on the action, too. At 118 President St. in Brooklyn’s Columbia Waterfront District, brokers Tina Fallon and ictoria Hagman of Realty Collective decided to put some work by Brooklyn photographer Carolina Salguero in the model unit when they put the building’s four condos on the market last September.

While it would be difficult to say that Salguero’s photos sold the building, they definitely didn’t hurt — all four units had accepted offers (at asking price or above) within 24 hours. And the photos (as well as custom furniture by Jeremy Pickett) were a big hit.

“People were like, ‘Can we buy this?’ ” says Hagman. “We had a price list out. But I guess after they spent almost $1 million on an apartment, they were tapped out.”

Hagman wound up buying two of Salguero’s photos herself. They hang in her Columbia Street office.

Real Estate Want: Private roof oasis with temperature control and retractable walls

Brick UndergroundApril 11, 2013
This is not hyperbole: Our mouths were actually agape as we pored over the photos of this 4-bed, 3.5- bath $8.5 million Bond Street penthouse.
Not only are there seven skylights (all electronically controlled and shaded) 14-foot ceilings, a floating glass staircase, bespoke Italian Murano glass light fixtures...but there are TWO home offices.

There's no doorman, but how we can complain, really, when there's a 1,200-square-foot private roof oasis with trees, mood lighting, a Wolf BBQ, a dumb waiter, and a temperature controlled sunroom with retractable glass doors for year-round enjoyment.

Nice.

New Development: IGI USA - 93 Worth Now 70 Percent Sold

Brokers WeeklyApril 10, 2013
93 Worth, the newly restored and modernized Tribeca new development conversion, is now over 70 percent sold and in contract. In less than 4 months, 65 units have gone into contract and another 10 are currently in negotiation out of building’s 91 units. The announcement by IGI USA (Izaki Group Investments USA) and CORE, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for 93 Worth, marks a high demand for inventory in Tribeca, especially among residents of Downtown Manhattan.

“We are seeing an influx of interested buyers who currently live in Tribeca and are looking to buy new inventory,” said Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE. “Buyers are drawn to the building’s exceptional restoration and its prime location where a tremendous amount of residential and commercial growth has occurred.”

On Worth Street, between Broadway and Church Street, 93 Worth was transformed into 92 loft residences by Eran Chen of ODA-Architecture P.C. who served as architect-of-record on the transformation of the former Tribeca textile factory building.

“Today’s buying culture resembles, if not surpasses, the so-called peak of the condo boom of 2006 and 2007, said Doron Zwickel, the director of sales at 93 Worth. “Attesting to this fact are the 12 price amendments we have filed since the project’s opening.”

Residences within this historic, 18-story building include studios, one, two, three and four bedroom residences, in addition to seven penthouses. Features of these restored lofts include oversized, custom 7-foot windows, solid wood doors, high ceilings, original exposed steel columns, 7-inch wide white oak plank floors and private laundry.

“There has been a strong demand for an architectural conversion of this quality and detail in the neighborhood,” says Eldad Blaustein, CEO of IGI USA. “Interested buyers are attracted to the building’s history as well as its high-end amenities.”

93 Worth’s amenities include a dog washing station, bicycle storage and available private storage.

23 New Developments Hitting the Market This Spring

CurbedApril 09, 2013
The real estate market tends to heat up come spring right along with the weather. For anyone out hunting for a condo or rental, there are a few new development offerings to choose from. We've compiled a map of projects that are set to hit the market this spring, plus a few that appeared on market in the first quarter. Know of one we've missed? Please share in the comments or with the tipline, and we'll add it to the map. Happy hunting to all. UPDATE: We've added a few more developments to the map, but let us know if there are others we're still missing.

241 Fifth Avenue
This quiet project was designed by Eran Chen of ODA-Architecture and will contain 46 condo units—one- through three-bedrooms, plus penthouses. Prices start at $850,000.

inFormed Space Introduces New Staging Furniture

Interiors SourcesApril 05, 2013
The recyclable furnishings are lightweight and inspired by modern classic designers.

Pop-up restaurants, pop-up nightclubs and even pop-up boutiques have long made use of flexible, temporary furnishings, but inFormed Space is now bringing that concept to interior staging. The company’s new staging concept easily and economically illustrates volume, scale and use, defining a space without forcing a specific style.

The glossy, white nonfunctional furniture is inspired by modern classic designers. Club chairs, dining tables, love seats, sofas, desks, art panels and more are all easy to arrange and rearrange because they are made of featherweight recyclable plastic. All the pieces have also been designed to fold flat for transportation, eliminating the need for movers.

Crafted and manufactured in the U.S., inFormed Space’s line of prop furniture is composed of a lightweight recyclable material, Coroplast, a corrugated plastic that is used primarily for signs and reusable packaging. Its twin-wall fluted structure produces strength and rigidity at a lower weight than other materials. Coroplast uses polypropylene copolymers that make for easy recycling at the end of their useful life into the same processing streams as plastic milk cartons and detergent bottles.

Tom Postilio, founding member of CORE and star of HGTV’s Selling New York says, “Staging can be a daunting task, as the goal is to demonstrate a space, not define it. This system, with its clean lines and palette, is revolutionary in its ability to inspire creativity without imposing a prefabricated lifestyle, thus appealing to the widest possible audience.”

For rental inquiries and more information, call (415) 843-1244 or email info@informedspace.com.

Introducing the Upper East Side’s New CORE

New York ObserverApril 04, 2013
A new establishment is taking shape amidst the elegant shops and high-priced pads of the Upper East Side: on the corner of Madison and 61st Street, boutique real estate agency CORE is opening its gorgeous new flagship office. Last night, in the swanky downstairs party room of Rouge Tomate, The New York Observer teamed up with CORE to celebrate the launch of the real estate brand’s exciting expansion.

Habanero-infused tequila cocktail in hand (made peach-colored, in honor of The Observer), we mingled among CORE’s jubilant team- members and some of the city’s biggest names in real estate.

“The [new] office is gorgeous, and it is perfectly located—you can’t miss it,” enthused Reba Miller, CORE’s director of sales. “Anybody who has any interest in real estate is going to stop by ... It’s professional, with that edge that you want in today’s times.”

We asked Shaun Osher, CORE’s studly South African founder and CEO, what the Madison Avenue expansion means to him. "It means
going into a market that we’ve sold a lot of real estate in, and I’m looking forward to selling more real estate in," he said. "[It’s] a prime location that reflects our brand, and a location that can really cater to the needs of our clients on the Upper East Side."

So what does the future hold for CORE? “Really establishing ourselves as a force in the luxury market on the Upper East Side,” Mr. Osher said.

CORE’s expansion wasn’t the only cause for excitement at Rouge Tomate. In the spirit of luxury living, The Observer was also celebrating the launch of its new lifestyle section, NYO.

“Jack and I have never felt so short in our lives,” joked Mr. Osher, as he and CORE co- founder Jack Cayre stood next to Jared Kushner and Joseph Meyer.

“We’re especially excited to be a part of NYO, the lifestyle section that launched today, because real estate is a part of everyone’s lives, and we look at CORE as a company that caters to everyone’s lifestyle,” Mr. Osher said in a speech to the room.

After helping ourselves to a cracker topped with a petite pile of arctic char, we chatted with Jack Cayre, whose family has been partnered with Mr. Osher from the beginning. “I’ve been looking forward to coming to the Upper East Side for a while. We’re looking to really jump in to the area with both feet,” Mr. Cayre said.

Yet, Mr. Cayre confessed that he himself couldn’t lay claim to any Central Park views. “I live in Brooklyn,” he confided. “Not the nice part.”

Near the bar, CORE agents Lee Frankel and Jeffrey Smith were mingling with brand new hire Keri Chambers, who had signed her contract a mere 24 hours ago.

“I think it’s really important for CORE to have a presence on the Upper East Side, because the brand of the company, it’s a higher end company and it’s deserving of the Upper East Side,” said Mr. Smith, a UES resident who knows the neighborhood like the back of his hand. Where’s his favorite street, we inquired, should we fall in to a sudden windfall? Should we be putting down roots on 81st street, like our favorite material girl?

“I’m partial to Carnegie Hill because that’s where I live, so I would say 91st street between 5th and Madison,” he said.

As the launch party neared its end, waiters circled the room with trays of delicate desserts. We nibbled on rich chocolate truffles and peppery coconut macaroons and washed everything down with more swigs of spicy tequila.

If there’s one thing we’re certain of when it comes to CORE and The Observer, it’s that these two New York institutions truly know the meaning of luxury.

Dream Homes

The New York PostApril 04, 2013
Flatiron
$7.995 million
“Nestled” between nearly 2,000 square feet of private terraces on either side, this “luxury” penthouse duplex is a bit like having a front yard and a backyard high above West 20th Street. It features 3,223 square feet of interior space on two levels — including two bedrooms and 3 1/2 bathrooms, plus an office and a library (allowing for an “easy” three-bedroom conversion). “Surrounded” by windows, the home enjoys an “abundance of sunlight,” and you’ll enjoy the “best materials and appliances” in the kitchen and bathrooms, the hot tub out on the southern terrace and the building’s fitness center.

Agent: Adrian Noriega, CORE, 646-279-6104

Just Sold!

The New York PostApril 04, 2013
Manhattan
CHELSEA $1,435,000
125 West 21st Street

One-bedroom, two-bath condo, 992 square feet, with Poggenpohl kitchen with Viking range and wine refrigerator and marble/limestone master bath with radiant-heat floors and steam shower; building features doorman and roof deck. Common charges $912, taxes $359. Asking price $1,415,000, on market four weeks. Brokers: Patrick Mills and Michael Rubin, CORE

CORE Debuts on Upper East Side: PHOTOS

The Real DealApril 04, 2013
Residential real estate brokerage CORE unveiled its second Manhattan retail office today and had a party last night to celebrate. The rather tasteful, subdued gathering took place in a sleek basement lounge at the Rouge Tomate, an upscale Upper East Side restaurant known for its nutritional offerings, and was hosted by the firm in partnership with the New York Observer, which just launched a new lifestyle supplement to its weekly newspaper.

As such, heavy hitters from both real estate and media were in attendance, including key CORE clientele such as Walker Tower developers Michael Stern and Elliott Joseph. Core owners Shaun Osher and Jack Cayre were spotted as well as top execs from the firm such as Reba Miller, who will head the Upper East Side office, and top brokers Doron Zwickel and Vickey Barron.

Newly anointed East Village super landlord and Observer publisher Jared Kushner worked the room alongside his brother-in-law, Observer CEO Joseph Meyer and Observer Editor- in-Chief Ken Kurson. The Real Deal publisher Amir Korangy and director of marketing Yoav Barilan were also in attendance.

Party-goers sipped on salmon-colored cocktails and nibbled on hors d’oeuvres. Miller told The Real Deal she was ready stand on the street corner to make Upper East Siders aware of CORE’s new presence in the neighborhood and drum up business.

“If you buy an apartment, you get a free $50 Barney’s gift card,” she joked.

CORE inked a 10-year deal for the 3,500-square-foot office at 673 Madison Avenue last fall, The Real Deal previously reported. The retail office occupies the second and third floors of a historic brownstone between 61st and 62nd streets above a boutique Judith Ripka store.

To Do Wednesday: NYOMG

New York ObserverApril 03, 2013
Do a double toast to celebrate the opening of Mad @61st, the new Madison Avenue flagship store from Shaun Osher, the CEO, and the Cayre family, and the launch of the hotly anticipated NYO—The New York Observer’s new lifestyle section, your guide to a very
stylish life. The dress code is “festive,” and though it was just Easter Bunny time, we suggest avoiding pastels. Wear something that pops for the party photographers—perhaps a little metallic, as The Observer just celebrated our silver anniversary.

Rouge Tomate, 10 East 60th Street, (646) 237-8977, 7-10pm, by invitation only.

Apartment Recovery Taking Root as Spring Sales Skyrocket

Real Estate WeeklyApril 03, 2013
Following a flurry of sales at the tail end of 2012, entry and mid-level price range apartment contract activity is on fire.

“It’s like the peak spring selling season arrived a month early,” said vice president of StreetEasy.com, Sofia Song, in a preview of the expected April 1 sales numbers for the first quarter of the year.

“February was enormous for contracts. It’s the most number of contracts we’ve seen since the bubble bursting in 2008, in terms of a monthly numbers.”

Homes in the $1 million and under range are seeing the most contract activity, followed by homes in the $1 million to $3 million range.
“The one and two bedrooms are very hot,” Song said.

It’s a trend that is continuing from the fourth quarter of last year, when contract activity increased 10.5 percent for starter entry-level studio and one bedroom apartments, while contract volume for apartments two bedrooms and up rose by 30 percent from the first quarter of 2011, according to StreetEasy’s 4Q report.

Though rumors have been swirling in the industry that the ultra-luxury market is exploding at the moment, Song, who released StreetEasy’s 1Q report April 1, said the numbers don’t reflect that.

“There are fewer contracts this quarter in that [ultra-pricey] range than compared to last quarter or the year prior,” said Song of the luxury market’s contract activity.

According to a housing report from Realtor.com, it’s not just Manhattan that’s seeing the spring selling season arrive early.
Nationwide, buyers are getting a head start on spring, despite record lows in inventory.

“The median age of inventory was down by 9.26 percent month over month and total listings are up 1.15 percent month over month, suggesting that many reluctant home sellers are starting to take an early advantage of the recent improvements in housing prices,” said the report.

While the Q4 numbers showed that inventory is still very low, fourth quarter sales numbers were the largest in 25 years, with a record 2,598, according to the Douglas Elliman 4Q reports.

Sales peaked in part due to the Bush-era capital gains tax ending at the close of 2012, leaving some owners scrambling to unload their properties.

“Sales are really on fire this year,” said Eric Benaim, president and founder of Modern Spaces.

“There’s a real lack of one-bedrooms we’re seeing, not just in our area in Long Island City, but also in Williamsburg and Chelsea, where we have also a lack of larger apartments.”

Benaim said the firm got two re-sales in Chelsea in the past two weeks, both one-bedrooms that each sold within 24 hours. “We have people looking for everything experts have taken for everything, but there’s probably more supply of two bedrooms,” said Benaim.

Doron Zwickel, an executive vice president and associate broker at CORE, is director of sales at 93 Worth in Tribeca. In the first quarter of this year he said he has seen more interest and activity with larger apartments.

“We’ve been getting a lot of action lately in three bedrooms, especially in relation to high-profile buildings like 150 Charles and 56 Leonard,” said Zwickel.

“There’s a stronger than ever demand for new development. I believe today the market is definitely stronger for new development. It is as strong if not stronger than the days of 2006, 2007, at the peak of the condo market.”

Zwickel believes the resale market will see stronger-than-ever demand as well.

“It will trickle down to resale as well,” he said. “It already is. I’m sure it’s going to take off and trickle down to the outer boroughs like Long Island City, Williamsburg and Park Slope as well.”

Who’s News

Broker's WeeklyApril 03, 2013
Julia Cole is a native New Yorker who has joined CORE after a successful career in the luxury fashion world where she specialized in international wholesale.

She has participated in both New York and Paris Fashion weeks, acting as a brand ambassador for Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Stella McCartney among others.

She has lived abroad in both Paris and Italy and completed her undergraduate studies at Rollins College, a small liberal arts school in Florida.

She also holds a graduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Getting to the Core: Shaun Osher Talks NYC Real Estate Stardom

New York ObserverApril 02, 2013

WHEN NYC SALES STAR Shaun Osher decided to open CORE in 2005, the South African native teamed up with Jack Cayre with a very specific vision in mind. “I wanted to provide an unparalleled level of service to my clients,” he says. In 2006, Messrs. Osher and Cayre opened the firm’s first retail office in Chelsea, and they have been aiming high—as in high-end—ever since. To serve that high-end segment, CORE created a website that raised the bar in the industry with its outstanding photography and innovations like the first market report based on real-time data, The Real-Time Report, and a blog to which Mr. Osher personally contributes. He also created a traveling sales office to market and sell properties globally. “To be an agent at CORE, you have to conduct yourself according to our brand integrity, culture and business model,” says Mr. Osher. “We are a marketing agency first and foremost and always look to pioneer new tools and technologies to sell real estate.” The firm’s rise has been fast and sure. CORE was named the No. 1 boutique real estate brokerage in New York City last year by the industry chronicle The Real Deal. And according to Mr. Osher, there are no plans to slow down. In April, CORE will open a new Upper East Side office on East 61st Street and Madison Avenue as the company plants a new flag uptown. Q: What is your view of the real estate market this spring? A: The market right now is frenzied, due to a lack of supply and a huge demand for inventory. Most markets are driven by consumer confidence, which in Manhattan is very strong. There is a lot of wealth in the city, and there just is not that much supply. What we see, traditionally, is that upward trends always start in Manhattan then spread virally to the outskirts. When buyers get priced out of the city, they go further out—to Williamsburg, Long Island City, Jersey City, places like that. Then it spreads from there. Those neighborhoods grow and change. For instance, Williamsburg is a very different place and market today than it was three years ago. Q: How is the market on the Upper East Side? A: The Upper East Side is divided into segments. Fifth Avenue is still the single most powerful address on the globe. Park Avenue is the second most. It has always been all residential, architecturally beautiful homes, with very established residential addresses. Going further east are addresses with less architectural significance. These are newer buildings, less accessible to transportation, and the neighborhoods were not originally built to be residential. But with the shortage of housing, new neighborhoods get discovered. The Second Avenue subway will have a positive effect on property values. There are some newer high-end buildings further east, like The Lucida [151 East 85th Street], 74th and Second, The Brompton [205 East 85th Street], the Georgica [305 East 85th Street] and The Laurel [400 East 67th Street]—all newer, more high-end buildings. The developers created luxury product with great amenities. Those buildings are helping the neighborhoods. Restaurants and more shopping are following. Q: Is 96th Street still the cut-off point for many buyers? A: Not really. We are selling a project at 1 Museum Mile at 109th and Fifth. It has extensive amenities, including private parking, a rooftop pool, park views and a doorman. It is designed by Robert A.M. Stern, and it has become a destination building. To add value, you have everything you need, which gives buyers a reason to go a little out of their way. You may travel another 10 blocks, but it’s worth it when you get there. It’s kind of a microcosm of the suburbs. Q: Do you think this trend of the “destination building” will continue? A: Yes, because Manhattan is the epicenter of the world, and it has also become the best and safest big city in the world, and it is an island, so the amount of real estate is limited. Developers are continually looking to create more product to feed the demand. The stabilizing factor is that land prices keep going up. That prevents a glut. The market is almost self-leveling in that way. Q: Do you have any advice for Manhattan home buyers? A: If you see something you love, and you can afford it, you should buy it. In Manhattan I’ve never seen someone regret buying property, but I have seen lots of people regret not buying. Don’t try to time the market. If you buy for the right reasons, you can’t go wrong. Q: Is there a typical Manhattan buyer these days? A: No two buyers are the same. New York is very beautiful and eclectic in terms of buyers and buildings. That’s what makes the city special. Take Tribeca—it was not originally built for residential use, but many buyers are attracted to the huge volumes of space, the beautiful high ceilings, etc. Then there are buyers who aren’t attracted to those qualities at all. They want something more modern, with floor-to-ceiling windows. We could sell a loft in Tribeca for $4,000 per square foot, or an apartment in the Time Warner building for that. There are a limited number of townhouses, and not everyone wants them, but those who do create that market for townhouses, the same with Tribeca lofts. That’s the beauty of New York. It is simultaneously an old and a new city. Q: What are some of the neighborhoods you see emerging? A: Far West Chelsea is emerging. Art appreciators are drawn to it because of the galleries and the spaces. Madison Square Park has become one of the most active neighborhoods in the city. Not so long ago, it was considered a bad neighborhood. Now it has the park, incredible retail like Eataly and new trendy hotels like The NoMad. The transportation is great, and new restaurants are catering to new residential activity. The Bowery is also very exciting. We did a project at 52 East Fourth Street. Q: Who is buying apartments in Manhattan? What groups of people? A: Here we have probably the most diverse buyer pool in any city. Artists, financial professionals, tech entrepreneurs, international buyers, entertainment people, entrepreneurs in general and professionals. Q: Where are the international buyers typically coming from? A: They come in different waves at different times. Right now, everyone is talking about Chinese buyers. We are doing deals with lots of different people from all over the world, people from every continent—except Antarctica. New York has this romance with the world. It’s in movies, stories. Owning a penthouse in the sky in New York is a dream people have all over the world.

One Museum Mile’s $3.6M Sale Sets Neighborhood Record

CurbedApril 01, 2013
A relaunch one year ago has done 1280 Fifth Avenue some good. Now branded One Museum Mile, the 113-condo unit on 110th Street, which sits atop the Museum for African Art, passed the 50-percent-sold mark in February. And last week, when 3BR/3BA apartment 11B sold for $3.565 million, it set a new record for the neighborhood of $2,030 per square foot. (Streeteasy and others label the area "Upper Carnegie Hill," but we're insisting that it's East Harlem.)

After miscalculations about the museum's opening timeline and some other delays, the Robert A.M. Stern-designed One Museum Mile is poised to push Harlem even further into gentrification territory.

The most compelling features of the 1,756-square-foot record-setting apartment in question are the views from both the interiors and a huge wraparound terrace, which look out onto the expanse of Central Park from its northeastern corner. The bedrooms are also generously sized compared with the living areas. If the vistas aren't enough of the great urban outdoors, 1280 Fifth also has a roof deck with a pool, plus other amenities like a 24/7 concierge, a gym, a kids' playroom, a teens' game room, a bike room, and parking.

New and Coming to Wallabout

BrownstonerApril 01, 2013
Wallabout is waking from its long slumber with several major developments planned, new retail in the works, and a newly hot residential real estate market, The Wall Street Journal reported. “And it isn’t just the loft buildings that are selling,” said the story. “Historic 19th-century wood frame houses, the backbone of Wallabout’s working-class housing stock, are getting scooped up. Doug Bowen, executive vice president at CORE, who has lived in the neighborhood for 14 years, estimated 18 townhouses changed hands in Wallabout last year.” The Journal credits the changes to new industry at the Navy Yard and spillover gentrification from nearby Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. Luckily some 40 residential buildings were landmarked as the Wallabout Historic District, so the character of the area will be preserved despite growth. Some of the new developments to come: the huge under-construction affordable development the Navy Green; the recently purchased (for $26.25 million) warehouse on Ryerson Street; Brooklyn Roasting Company moving into the old J.J’s Cocktail Lounge, as previously reported, which received a glassy renovation in 2011. The article also notes two Washington Avenue buildings are getting converted to residential use with street-level retail: There are two lofts available at 66 Washington with a coffee purveyor and importer in contract to take the ground floor retail space, and 64 Washington will house a wine store on the bottom floor and renovate the building into five apartments. Meanwhile, 73 Washington, a four-story unconverted building, upped its asking price from $1.5 million to $2.2 million.
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