News

New Listing: 54 E8th St. #3T

Brokers WeeklyAugust 22, 2012
Greenwich Village
54 E8th St. #3T
$695,000

Renovated, two bedroom co-op home in building with elevator, private garden, live-in super, renovated common laundry room, voice intercom and an on-site parking garage. The apartment has an entry hall, living room and dining area, open, windowed kitchen with granite counter tops. Hardwood floors and recessed lighting. Built-in closets. Marble bath with jacuzzi tub. Pets allowed. Broker: Maggie Kent, Debbie Batres; CORE.

Sheik of E. 71st St.: Qatar PM Doles Out $47 Million for Double-wide Townhouse

NY Daily NewsAugust 22, 2012
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani had trouble finding a co-op that would accept him — and his 2 wives, over a dozen kids and security guards licensed to carry automatic weapons.

22 East 71st Street in the Upper East Side.
The Sultan has finally landed. After being turned down at a Fifth Ave. coop board and having faced resistance at a luxury condominium on W. 57th St., the Prime Minister of Qatar closed on a townhouse at 22 East 71st St. for $47 million.

The seller, mogul Aby Rosen, originally listed the property for $75 million. He paid $15.65 million for the home in 2004. His sister-in-law, Samantha Boardman of Sotheby's International Realty, was the listing broker. Her potential commission comes to $1.4 million before taxes and with a normal 70-30 percent agency split. Neither Rosen nor Boardman returned calls. Rosen never lived at the home, purchasing the property as an investment and event space.

The 45-foot-wide townhouse built in 1922 measures approximately 21,000 square-feet. It housed the 2009 Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Designer Show House. The original architect, C.P.H. Gilbert, was renowned for designing the top townhomes of his day. This home has a grand marble-arched entryway and curved main staircase.
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani had a terrible time finding a New York City home. He was rejected by the co-op board at 907 Fifth Ave., where he tried to combine two homes for $31 million. Negotiations for the $100 million penthouse at One57 fell through over the handling of the Sheik's entourage, which includes two wives, more than a dozen children, and security licensed to carry automatic weapons.

"A townhouse may have been the right move for this guy from the beginning," said CORE vice president Jarrod Guy Randolph, who has a multi-million-dollar penthouse listing nearby. "The upper East Side townhouse market is strong, but it doesn't have the cachet of a new condominium, especially among foreign buyers. We're not even close to the $100 million townhouse sale."

Star Real Estate: Edie Falco’s Tribeca Penthouse For Sale

EXTRAAugust 22, 2012
“Extra’s” inside the chicest, coolest, most expensive star pads Manhattan’s ever seen!

Edie Falco’s 3,000 square-foot Tribeca penthouse, Claire Danes’ mid century modern SoHo dream pad and Joan Collins’ Manhattan dynasty are among the multi-million dollar estates on the market.
Watch the video to find out more!

Visit CoreNYC.com for more information on Joan Collins' estate and Luxe.TruliaBlog.com for more on Claire Danes and Edie Falco's pads.

2012 Multimillion Dollar Homes with Big Surprises

TopTenRealEstateDeals.comAugust 21, 2012
When the housing market started hitting the skids in 2008, mega-mansions and the very high end properties seemed to hold their own.
Sometime a little over a year ago, we watched as mansion after mansion started appearing at hugely discounted rates, and when the flood hit, we wondered if it would ever end. There were so many, after a while they all started looking alike and we were no longer left in awe but were experiencing slight pangs of boredom.

All of a sudden spring of 2012 arrived and houses were selling, the great Florida oceanfront condos were disappearing, mega mansions were selling, and homes taken off the market were put back on . . . at a higher price. At TopTenRealEstateDeals.com we were all eyes and ears. Agents were so busy they were never in the office and always seemed to be with clients. Sales were happening at a rate not experienced since 2007!

Another change was also making itself apparent: The mansions with the real excitement were just starting to hit the market. It was enough to make our heads spin and our pulses race.

After an in-depth look at today’s exciting mega offerings, the researchers at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com have rounded up the cream of the crop of these imaginative super homes guaranteed to thrill and amaze.

How would you like to live on a sandy beach and lie in bed under an open roof to count falling stars before falling to sleep. It makes counting sheep passe! Or you live in New York, are always in a hurry with no patience for running up and down the stairs. So take the slide!

You could be a history buff with paneling from King James II’s hunting lodge, circa 1650 or have a speakeasy hidden behind shelves of library books. Or for nature lovers, what about living inside your own jungle?

Prepare to be awed while we welcome you to tour some of the most spectacular homes today and discover the remarkable surprises they hold within their walls. It’s time to see American ingenuity in action!

1. The Penthouse Slide!

Bed(s): 4 | Bath(s): 4 | Square Footage: 2,400 | Price: $3,990,000

Get tired of dragging yourself up and down the stairs to the second floor? What about carrying that huge armful of laundry down the stairs to the first floor laundry, tempting fate for a head over heels tumble? Here’s a glamour penthouse that is guaranteed to change your attitude. Walk up - slide down! Wheeee! Laundry? Just throw it down the slide and follow it down. Just be sure to keep the upstairs landing nice and neat since every guest who walks through the door won’t be able to resist.

Rarely does so much glamour come with so much fun, not to mention the conversation piece of the century. Formerly owned by 27-year-old pro poker player Phil Galfond, who moved to Canada when the U.S. Feds cracked down on Internet gambling, it’s said that he installed the helical slide so he could quickly get back to his computer during game breaks. In fact, Phil purchased the upstairs apartment and the downstairs unit and combined them into a duplex, adding a snappy Italian-made "Rintal" stair to ascend in style. The slide is housed in an 18’ tall glassed-in atrium with glass railings.

With over 2,400sf, the penthouse is accessed via a private keyed elevator and also includes a media-game room, home office, a private roof deck and two large glass walled terraces. Floors are white maple hardwood and the kitchen is resplendent with Leibherr, Bosch and stone countertops. Located in the East Village, amenities include a common area landscaped roof terrace with black marble bar and pool and private cabanas, a 24-hour doorman and concierge. There is also a BBQ grill area, a fitness center and courtyard garden.

2. Beach House with Retracting Roof!

Bed(s): 4 | Bath(s): 5 | Square Footage: 2,550 | Price: $6,499,000

Starry nights, the full moon . . . ET? Yes, just by looking at the ceiling in your own beach house . . . As if looking out to see the beach wasn’t enough! At first stunned by the 3-story glass entry foyer, looking skyward is an architectural marvel of design with its retractable glass ceiling crown - just a taste of what is yet to come. Opulence abounds in every square inch of this home that opens from every level with floor to ceiling retractable glass walls for views across sandy beach to the Pacific’s horizon. True California beach living has been achieved with indoor-outdoor living where the sounds of the surf, ocean breezes and starry nights become as much a part of one’s day as waking up in the morning. When it’s time for total privacy, however, with the touch of a button, glass walls close and another button brings down window coverings.

The tastefully designed living room will delight family and guests alike with its fireplace and spectacular glass walled Jacuzzi, an elegant and unexpected feature geared to please. The kitchen is pure gourmet with a wall overlooking the beach, elegant dining area and exquisite materials such as the opalescent glass bar top. High-end appliances will make regular mealtime a pleasure and entertaining exciting for both guests and cook. Creature comforts are enhanced by Smart Home technology as it caters to every electronic desire including an indoor/outdoor surveillance system, one-touch fireplace, and automatic lighting, audio/visual and window coverings. Most homes today have a media room, but unlike all the rest, this home hasthree home theaters featuring surround sound and 50 inch plasma screens. An expansive master suite on the oceanfront features its own private balcony and a luxurious bathroom with a steam shower and spa tub. Star gaze as you soak away your troubles and luxuriate in this unbelievable contemporary-design where the roof retracts at the touch of a button exposing the vast night sky.

Enjoy an evening BBQ beachside on the patio, torches lit, while you toast the sunset and the end of another glorious day.

3. Earthship with Waterfall & Jungle!

Bed(s): 3 | Bath(s): 2 | Square Footage: 5,400 | Price: $1,500,000

Before you scoff once again at the Hippie Movement, and while you were out there practicing the Yuppisim that is quickly bringing you to post-consumerism ruin, maybe it’s time to be honest and say that maybe they had something after all! Whether it was the LSD or their innate ability to see the future, the ones who persevered have been creating and fine-tuning the earthship while the rest of us have been oblivious - until now. It’s an idea for alternative living that has finally come into its own. No need to take a trip to the tropics or move to another country to save money when you can live in a sustainable tropical jungle inside your own home . . . . In New Mexico, USA!

Sunshine, orchids hanging from rocks, fruit trees and only the sound of a trickling waterfall in a home with no electric bill, organic vegetables and herbs at your fingertips and an endless supply of fresh fish at the drop of a hook. Your own Garden of Eden without the serpents! This elegant home is sure to excite the imagination of all who wish to regain control of their lives and their pocketbooks without giving up the creature comforts we’ve come to enjoy.

Based on the belief that we’re not free until we livefree, Mike Reynolds, the Earthship Biotecture architect of The Phoenix earthship, has described it this way: "There's nothing coming into this house, no power lines, no gas lines, no sewage lines coming out, no water lines coming in, no energy being used ... We're sitting on 6,000 gallons of water, growing food, sewage internalized, 70 degrees [or 21 degrees C] year-round ... What these kind of houses are doing is taking every aspect of your life and putting it into your own hands ... A family of four could totally survive here without having to go to the store."

New Mexico earthship includes interior waterfall in the living room and a jungle in which you can catch fresh fish for dinner.

4. Philadelphia Speakeasy & Hunting Lodge!

Bed(s): 8 | Bath(s): 9 | Square Footage: 11,000 | Price: $4,750,000

Run your fingers over paneling over four centuries old. Imagine what these walls saw inside the King James II hunting lodge from whence they came? Move then from the 1650’s to the early 1930’s to find the secret bookcase that when pushed, swings open to the Speakeasy Bar, so cleverly and completely hidden from potential raids. Reading history is one thing, having the honor of touching the real thing is probably as close to a going-back-in-time experience as most will ever have. Touching brings to life stories with meanings never fully grasped from the written word. Copperwood Estate, the French Normanesque castle in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania holds this special magic as few others can.

Built in 1932, Prohibition had already been going strong for 12 years with no end in sight. For those who could afford it, building a Speakeasy into a home then was as prevalent as a room devoted to media viewing is today. Both represent the Then & Now home entertainment preferences of the time. Copperwood Estate was and is one of Chestnut Hill’s grandest estates. Majestically sprawling its 11,000sf across more than 5 acres of lawns, evergreens and flowering trees with pool, tennis court and 3-bedroom guest cottage, it’s a vision of stone walls and courtyards with towering chimneys with the acreage abbuting Wissahickon Park, creating an estate cloaked in privacy.

Completely updated for today’s lifestyle, some of the new features include a large new kitchen with dining and sitting room adjoined by butler’s pantry, family room, billiards room, wet bar, and bowling alley for casual entertaining. There are also his-and-hers offices with a conference room. Large fireplaces are found in many of the estate’s main rooms and bedrooms.

5. Miami Mansion with Moat!

Bed(s): 8 | Bath(s): 10 | Square Footage: 10,124 | Price: $10,900,000

No, it’s not a large swimming pool, it’s a moat to thwart rampaging Crusaders. This amazing property is a dream come true for lovers of the Medieval; for those who are tired of glass and steel or those for whom a Tara-style plantation holds no interest.

A study in perfect symmetry, the property was designed and owned by master builder Charles Sieger. Looking like a string of diamonds, the property is entered through a long driveway that goes across a bridge and into a diamond shaped motor court accented by a fountain. The castle was built in 2007 and has 10,124sf of living space which contains 8 bedrooms, 10 baths and is 3-stories tall with an elevator. There is also a media room, recreation room, a civilized master bath with a bidet, formal rooms, eat-in kitchen with breakfast room and a loft. A separate guest house is on the grounds along with formal gardens, a koi pond, swimming pool and twin gazebos. The gardens are formal, symmetrical and quite calming, transporting one back to centuries past.

The only thing missing? Peacocks strutting on the grounds. You know you can’t have a castle without peacocks. A project for the new owner. For the man who would be king, over 10,000 square feet of castle, Crusader security included.

6. 3D Theater & Underground Rifle Range!

Bed(s): 7 | Bath(s): 10 | Square Footage: 44,416 | Price: $78,800,000

Not your everyday mega-mansion, this stately Palladian home is sited on almost 8 acres in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country, Bradbury, California. It’s the house that entertains you . . and your any sized guest list. Sheathed in French limestone from walls to outdoor living spaces, and built with the most valuable materials brought in from around the world, this brand new elaborate compound wants for nothing. All you have to do is arrange for deliveries and you’ll never have need to leave the estate; neither will you tire of seeing the same walls since it takes time to traverse 44,416sf of living space, not to mention experiencing the surprise amenities!

Grand rooms include vaulted 40’ ceilings, 6 fireplaces, a chef’s kitchen with pizza oven, a walk-in refrigerator and freezer and a walk-in butler’s pantry. Included in the 7 bedrooms are two master suites and to truly get away from it all is an inspiring 2-story library that will make you forget about the computer and have you rereading the classics. For conventional recreation, invite your guests into the 15 person Jacuzzi and a swim in the raised infinity-edged pool, or a wine tasting in the 2,000 bottle cellar. But here comes the fun! For unconventional recreation, how about the 3D movie theatre, or fishing in the temperature controlled trout pond with its 2-story waterfall.

Not enough? How about a turn at the subterranean firing range? Another possibility is a serious poker game in the amazing poker lounge. Endless amazement, endless enjoyment and space enough to share with all your friends, family and business associates.

At the end of the day, nightcap in hand, it’s a perfect time to gaze out over the city lights and the vast Pacific and contemplate how it feels to have achieved heaven on earth.

7. The Disco House!

Bath(s): | Square Footage: 16,000 | Price: $8,900,000

Totally hip, totally new . . .and it made a local neon manufacturer a wealthy man! It’s pure Hollywood - the Hollywood that we all expect with glitz, glamour, and contemporary style. No need to crane your neck for a view of the Hollywood sign since your own is spanned along the wall of the 40’ pool, casting its red neon glow across the nighttime patio. It’s a home guaranteed to light up your life and thrill your guests, who will forever be fighting for invitations. This is the house where memories will be made that will last long into your old age when they really count... Here’s where you can say you set the town on its ear when you tell your grandchildren tales of the glamour life. But wait! We’re not there yet, so it’s time to get started by owning the home that’s the talk of the town.

If you’re wondering how good taste and neon go together, this fabulous house with its own disco, is all glass perched over Lake Hollywood with spectacular city views. There are enough bedrooms and baths so when partying friends feel the need to crash rather than drive, you can still live totally undisturbed. Two of the many bedrooms are master suites and the main master has exceptional his-and-hers outfitted dressing rooms. There is also a movie theatre with a 160” screen, a fully equipped gym, pool table and ping pong.

Travel between floors via the floating glass staircase or elevator with serious “wow” factor.
It’s the entertainment that is the piece de resistance. Spanning 80’ and opening to the pool deck and view of your own Hollywood sign, is a delightful Disco. It has all the trappings that make a party come alive with well designed lighting, lots of neon and of course, the bar and sound system. Cleverly conceived, guests can dance the night away or gather into cozy groups for more laid back conversation. Maybe it’s time to make your own Hollywood history!

8. The Giant Guitar Entry Drive!

Bed(s): 15 | Bath(s): 22 | Square Footage: 50,000 | Price: $13,900,000

Elvis would have loved a mansion with a landscaped, monster-sized guitar leading up to his front door, but since he's no longer around, all arguments to the contrary, maybe Garth or Kenny would be a perfect match. It was certainly built for guitar-loving royalty. The aerial view of the guitar entrance is stunning with perfect symmetry, leaving no doubt in one’s mind as to what they’re viewing. And if you’re amazed by that, the view on Google Earth is even more impressive. You see the length of the neck and the tuners too! Even the sound hole is represented by a fountain appearing blue from the air. Did the landscape architect hover over in a helicopter to check on his work? You decide.

Don’t let the one-of-a-kind guitar entrance fool you into thinking this is just one more ho-hum mega mansion built with superstar big bucks and no taste. Instead, it’s as though Buckingham Palace was mysteriously transported to Birmingham, Alabama. There’s a reason. The elaborate, artful details are the product of the International Fine Art Conservation Studios, Inc. (IFACS), which is also responsible for much of the opulence of the real Buckingham Palace!

Building materials exceed all expectations with antique light fixtures, marble, limestone, maple floors, slate roof, copper gutters and mahogany doors and windows. The quality of the artistically detailed ceilings and wall murals is a rare find. Also exceptional is the kitchen (culinary arts center) adorned with pheasants' tails and filled with exotic wood fluted columns, which would bring tears of joy to any chef, professional or otherwise. The sophisticated Crestron control system manages all electronics and the house also has a commercial elevator, large office and 25-seat movie theatre. Easily large enough to entertain all members of the Grand Ole Opry, a huge extended family for the holidays, or host a grand charity gala, visits to this home will not be soon forgotten.

Horse lovers will rejoice in the carpeted stable with automatic waterers and state-of-the-art facilities for horse maintenance and riding-training areas. This 27-acre estate will capture the hearts of everyone, both family and guests.

9. Arizona Fun House!

Bed(s): 5 | Bath(s): 6 | Square Footage: 10,501 | Price: $5,699,000

Pleasant Valley is a major haven for many celebrities such as Joe Garagiola, Muhammad Ali and Alice Cooper. Erma Bombeck lived there until she died in 1996, and even Charles Boyer lived there. Now you might become Joe’s or Muhammad's neighbor in this phenomenal Pleasant Valley fun house!

New to the market, the 10,501sf home is a private walled and gated paradise, built with pure pleasure in mind. Starting in the motor court is a 15-foot Cantera stone fountain beckoning you to see the luxuries that abound inside. All the accoutrements of the elegant lifestyle from design to woodwork and the best of finishes are spread out before you. Walls of disappearing glass in both the main house and guest house open to to the amazing outdoor space with mountains beyond. The house is controlled by Crestron so you’ll barely have to lift a finger. The kitchen has it all with Sub-Zero, Wolf and Miele, a zinc-topped island along with a complete outdoor kitchen with wood burning pizza oven.

The outdoors is stunning and designed for play. Lushly landscaped, there is a heated lazy river pool with a slide, waterfalls and two spas. To top that, there is a 5-hole professionally designed pitch-and-putt golf course. Visitors will enjoy the privacy and comfort of the guest house after a full day of backyard activity in the warm Arizona sunshine.

10. Esquire Apartment with Holograph Woman!

Bed(s): 3 | Bath(s): 4 | Square Footage: 7,000 | Price: $19,000,000

In addition to postcard views that sweep from the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan, this spectacular Brooklyn penthouse actually once had a ghost. When Esquire magazine opened the apartment last year as its “Bachelor Pad of the Year,” one of the home's only-in-New York features was a hologram named Charlotte. According to the design team, Charlotte was a “life-sized digital ghost who is playful and witty, always making you guess where she is going to appear next. She can be seen swimming through the atrium, relaxing inside the bar, and walking within the walls of the lounge.” Although Charlotte has disappeared, there are still lots of happy surprises to be found in this 1915 landmark Clock Tower Building home.

Enter the “pad” and the first thing you'll see is the unbelievable 14' see-through glass clock windows that gave the building its name. There are four of these giant clocks, all electronically synchronized to show exactly the same time. Talk about a conversation piece! No need here for a tacky wall clock, or much chance that anyone will copy your unique style.

We picture the new owner as intelligent, world traveled, ahead of the pack, dresses impeccably and this amazing apartment reflects all those qualities. The stunning glass elevator takes you to the clean lines of the master suite which you will furnish in lush fabrics and art and upwards to a glass roof terrace with glowing floor tiles from the light below, with its 400sf glass enclosed space and another 400sf open terrace. The study provides the perfect setting for those conservation days when you work from home. The technology loft is capable of having your social media or computer desktop slanted across the ceiling that allows you to view in large scale, and room by room you will make unimaginable discoveries of quality, understated glamour and futuristic technology. A perfect example of the recycling of a historic building into an internal work of contemporary art.

10 Unique Multimillion Dollar Homes

CNBCAugust 21, 2012
The specialty features of luxury homes are pretty commonplace: wine cellar, home gym, swimming pool and perhaps an equestrian stable. Yet for some of the most exclusive addresses, there are distinctive features that set them apart from the rest.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com reached out to its network of real estate professionals throughout the country to find some of the most compelling homes on the market listed for upwards of a million dollars — in many of the following cases, far north of a million.

The following 10 properties show a lot of different ways to party. They include a disco, 3-D projector screen, a target practice range and a once-illegal bar. They also have numerous ways to enjoy the outdoors: One features retractable walls and roof, while another has a resort-like private water park. Here is TopTenRealEstateDeals.com’s list of multimillion dollar homes with big surprises.

East Village Penthouse

Location: New York, Price: $3.9 million
Bedrooms: 4, Bathrooms: 4, Square Footage: 2,400

It’s hard to miss a pivotal element of this East Village penthouse duplex , made from two apartments: a slide between floors.

TopTenRealEstateDeals.com says it belonged to Phil Galfond, a 27-year-old pro poker player who had the slide installed so he could fly back to his seat at the computer after a break. Following the U.S. crackdown on Internet gambling, Galfond moved to Canada, which is how his customized penthouse reached the market.

Features include top of the line appliances, Celador Oyster Stone countertops, white maple hardwood floors and an Italian-crafted Rintal staircase to bring the occupant up for a return trip on the slide. Outdoor space includes two glass-walled terraces, a private roof deck and a common roof deck. That area contains a pool, cabanas, BBQ area and a courtyard.

Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West Fuels Ultra-Luxury Condo Surge

BloombergAugust 17, 2012
Apartment owners at Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West, home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and the musician Sting, are seeking to double their investments after the complex shattered price records and sparked a wave of ultra-luxury listings.

Four condos have hit the market since May with asking prices at an average 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008, according to data from StreetEasy.com. The priciest listing came last week, with Leroy Schecter, chairman of metalworks firm Marino/Ware Industries Inc., seeking $95 million for a five-bedroom unit on the 35th floor.

The dual limestone towers have set a standard for New York’s trophy-home market, which has seen a surge in demand from investors and foreign buyers. The sale in February of former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill’s penthouse for a record $88 million has emboldened owners in Manhattan to “test the waters” for expensive properties, said Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

“Sellers are a lot more confident in this building than probably any other building,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at New York-based StreetEasy, a property-listings website. “There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West. When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”
If history is an indication, the sellers aren’t far off the mark. The 12 most recent transactions at 15 Central Park West averaged $17.3 million, 103 percent more than their original purchase prices, according to data compiled by StreetEasy. That return beat gold, which rose 88 percent since the beginning of 2008, when most buyers at the complex were moving into their apartments.

Weill and his wife, Joan, paid $43.7 million for the 6,744- square-foot (627-square-meter) full-floor condo in 2007, city property records show.
Schecter’s apartment offers unobstructed views of Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west. The property is a combination of two units, one of which was rented by New York Yankees starAlex Rodriguez, that were purchased in 2008 for a total of $26 million, according to Emily Beare of CORE, the broker representing him. Schecter is renovating the space.

“It’s almost like a work of art,” Beare said. “It is an investment. You’re investing in one of the best properties in the world.”

The market will determine whether he and the other sellers get what they’re asking, said Miller.

“Anything’s possible,” he said. “But just because one transaction or a couple of transactions broke a record doesn’t translate into guaranteed results for its neighbors.”

A fifth unit at 15 Central Park West is listed for $35 million, 76 percent more than the purchase price.

Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf built the $800 million project on a plot two blocks north of Columbus Circle, the traffic hub that connects the Upper West Side and Midtown. Robert A.M. Stern, now dean of the Yale School of Architecture, designed the 19-story “house” and 43-story “tower,” as they are known, to evoke the Art Deco luxury apartment buildings of the early 1900s.

“The ambiance of the entire property is casual elegance,” said Noel Berk, a broker at Mercedes/Berk Private Real Estate in New York. “There’s an informality about it, a non-pretension.”

Residents have access to a swimming pool, dining room, movie theater, conference rooms and a communal deck that’s the site of the annual building-organized viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A driveway off 61st Street into the garden allows discreet passage for residents who want privacy.

It’s “the single best amenity package I have ever seen,” said Dolly Lenz, vice chairman at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Lenz represents the seller of the $35 million condo. The three-bedroom unit on the 15th floor, purchased for $19.9 million in 2009, has been on the market since December, according to StreetEasy. It was remodeled by Michael Smith, the White House interior designer, and includes a guest apartment and wine cellar, said Lenz, declining to name the owner.

A smaller three-bedroom apartment, which sold for $10.3 million in 2008, is listed at $26 million, StreetEasy data show.

“We determine the list price by comparable sales,” said Berk, the broker for the seller, whom she declined to name. “We basically have to use the comparables of sales in the building itself, because the other buildings are nowhere near it.”

At the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South, resale prices for the property’s luxury condos dropped 8.6 percent on average from their purchase prices in 2007 and 2008, based on the 12 most recent transactions recorded by StreetEasy.

For the broader luxury market, the top 10 percent of Manhattan co-op and condo deals, the average sale price was $5.7 million in the second quarter, down from $7.7 million in the first three months of 2008, Miller Samuel data show.

In the aftermath of the recession and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing in 2008, “you had what seemed to be prices going down in other buildings, at least temporarily,” said Christopher Delson, a real estate lawyer with New York-based Morrison & Foerster LLP. “But that really didn’t happen with 15 Central Park West. The prices seemed to increase.”

Since Weill’s penthouse was purchased for the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, wealthy buyers seeking havens for cash are clamoring for a limited number of trophy properties and helping push prices to levels never before seen in New York, according to Miller.

“It’s defining a new category in real estate,” he said.

One57, a tower under construction on West 57th street, is emerging as a competitor to 15 Central Park West in the super- luxury market. The duplex penthouse at the property went into contract in May for more than $90 million, toppling the Weill- Rybolovlev deal’s record for a single Manhattan home. The price worked out to $8,000 to $9,000 a square foot for the unit, which spans the 89th and 90th floors,Gary Barnett, president of builder Extell Development Co., said at the time. He wouldn’t name the buyer.

Earlier that month, Oaktree Capital Group LLC Chairman Howard Marks bought a duplex at 740 Park Ave. for $52.5 million, city property records show. It was the most ever paid for a Manhattan co-op, according to Miller.

Steven Klar, a Long Island-based developer, was probably inspired by those deals when he put his penthouse at 150 W. 56th St. on the market in July for $100 million, Miller said. That asking price, the city’s highest, would work out to about $12,500 a square foot, just shy of the record $13,000-a-square- foot paid for Weill’s condo, Miller said.
Klar bought the triplex atop the 72-story tower known as City Spire for $4.5 million in 1993, the New York Times reported.

Victoria Logvinsky, a listing broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, declined to comment. Raphael De Niro, who is sharing the listing, didn’t return telephone messages. Klar didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“I think someone will buy it, but I don’t think they’ll pay $100 million,” said Noah Rosenblatt, founder of UrbanDigs.com, a real estate analytics and consulting company in New York. Klar “clearly wants to be the highest sale.”

Soon after Schecter listed his Central Park West apartment last week, the nine-room duplex penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel hit the market, also with a $95 million price tag, according to StreetEasy.
While tight supply is supporting the current spate of “eye-popping” asking prices, there is going to be an influx of “very expensive” inventory hitting the market in the coming years that will create more competition among sellers, said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan Realty Inc. and author of a weekly newsletter on the New York luxury market.

In addition to One57, slated to open in 2013, properties that will vie for wealthy buyers include the revived development of One Madison Park in the Flatiron District and 440 Park Ave., where CIM Group and Harry Macklowe plan to build Manhattan’s tallest residential tower, Olshan said.

Still, 15 Central Park West will retain its allure and value because “it’s its own exotic animal,” she said.

Also on the market is the three-bedroom, 32nd-floor condo bought by Piofrancesco Borghetti, former chairman of German cosmetics company Marbert AG. The limited liability corporation that owns it is seeking $27.75 million, almost triple what Borghetti paid in January 2008, property records show.

A four-bedroom apartment purchased by Arthur Estey, a partner at hedge fund Realm Partners LLC, and his wife, Evelyne, was listed last month for $36 million, more than twice its November 2007 price, according to property records.
Estey didn’t respond to telephone calls seeking comment and Borghetti couldn’t be reached.

Hugh Verrier, chairman of New York law firm White & Case LLP, said he hadn’t considered what might happen to the value of the 12th-floor apartment at 15 Central Park West that he and his wife, Celia, purchased in November 2010.

“We just really thought of it as a living space,” said Verrier, who was especially drawn to the complex’s 75-foot (23- meter) pool.

They paid $3.37 million for the one-bedroom condo, property records show, even as Verrier’s friends questioned the investment in the wake of the recession.

“The design of the building is exquisite,” he said. “I think those are things you can only fully appreciate when you inhabit the space.”

On Average, 15 CPW Sellers Seek Nearly 200% Returns

The Real DealAugust 17, 2012
The $88 million sale of a 15 Central Park West penthouse has fueled a storm of ambitious asking prices around the city, but nowhere is that more apparent than in the very building that apartment was sold.

Citing Streeteasy.com data, Bloomberg News reported that the four 15 CPW condominiums that hit the market since May have asking prices that represent a 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008. Leroy Schecter recently listed hiscombination unit for $95 million, more than 3.5-times the $26 million he paid for them in 2008.

“There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West,” Sofia Song, Streeteasy’s vice president of research, said. “When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”

Bloomberg News noted that these sellers may not be as “crazy” as their asking prices appear. The last 12 sales at the Zeckendorf-developed building sold for an average of $17.3 million — 103 percent more than their previous purchase price.Those figures aren’t replicated in other famed New York condos. For example, the Plaza Hotel has seen an 8.6 percent drop in sales price in its 12 most recent transactions.

The Jaw-dropping Details on New York City’s “Ultra-luxury” Condo Boom

Investment WatchAugust 17, 2012
From Bloomberg:

Apartment owners at Manhattan’s 15 Central Park West, home to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and the musician Sting, are seeking to double their investments after the complex shattered price records and sparked a wave of ultra-luxury listings.

Four condos have hit the market since May with asking prices at an average 192 percent premium over what owners paid in 2007 and 2008, according to data from StreetEasy.com. The priciest listing came last week, with Leroy Schecter, chairman of metalworks firm
Marino/Ware Industries Inc., seeking $95 million for a five-bedroom unit on the 35th floor.

The dual limestone towers have set a standard for New York’s trophy-home market, which has seen a surge in demand from investors and foreign buyers. The sale in February of former Citigroup Inc. Chairman Sanford Weill’s penthouse for a record $88 million has emboldened owners in Manhattan to “test the waters” for expensive properties, said Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

“Sellers are a lot more confident in this building than probably any other building,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at New York-based StreetEasy, a property-listings website. “There’s not a whole lot of inventory or product out there that’s like 15 Central Park West. When the demand is intense, that’s when you get these crazy prices.”
Beats Gold

If history is an indication, the sellers aren’t far off the mark. The 12 most recent transactions at 15 Central Park West averaged $17.3 million, 103 percent more than their original purchase prices, according to data compiled by StreetEasy. That return beat gold, which rose 88 percent since the beginning of 2008, when most buyers at the complex were moving into their apartments.

Weill and his wife, Joan, paid $43.7 million for the 6,744- square-foot (627-square-meter) full-floor condo in 2007, city property records show.

Schecter’s apartment offers unobstructed views of Central Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west. The property is a combination of two units, one of which was rented by New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, that were purchased in 2008 for a total of $26 million, according to Emily Beare of CORE, the broker representing him. Schecter is renovating the space.

“It’s almost like a work of art,” Beare said. “It is an investment. You’re investing in one of the best properties in the world.”

“Anything’s Possible”

The market will determine whether he and the other sellers get what they’re asking, said Miller.

“Anything’s possible,” he said. “But just because one transaction or a couple of transactions broke a record doesn’t translate into guaranteed results for its neighbors.”

A fifth unit at 15 Central Park West is listed for $35 million, 76 percent more than the purchase price.

Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf built the $800 million project on a plot two blocks north of Columbus Circle, the traffic hub that connects the Upper West Side and Midtown. Robert A.M. Stern, now dean of the Yale School of Architecture, designed the 19-story “house”and 43-story “tower,” as they are known, to evoke the Art Deco luxury apartment buildings of the early 1900s.

“The ambiance of the entire property is casual elegance,” said Noel Berk, a broker at Mercedes/Berk Private Real Estate in New York.

“There’s an informality about it, a non-pretension.”

Private Garden

Residents have access to a swimming pool, dining room, movie theater, conference rooms and a communal deck that’s the site of the annual building-organized viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A driveway off 61st Street into the garden allows discreet passage for residents who want privacy.

It’s “the single best amenity package I have ever seen,” said Dolly Lenz, vice chairman at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
Lenz represents the seller of the $35 million condo. The three-bedroom unit on the 15th floor, purchased for $19.9 million in 2009, has been on the market since December, according to StreetEasy. It was remodeled by Michael Smith, the White House interior designer, and includes a guest apartment and wine cellar, said Lenz, declining to name the owner.

A smaller three-bedroom apartment, which sold for $10.3 million in 2008, is listed at $26 million, StreetEasy data show.
“We determine the list price by comparable sales,” said Berk, the broker for the seller, whom she declined to name. “We basically have to use the comparables of sales in the building itself, because the other buildings are nowhere near it.”

Broader Market

At the Plaza Hotel on Central Park South, resale prices for the property’s luxury condos dropped 8.6 percent on average from their purchase prices in 2007 and 2008, based on the 12 most recent transactions recorded by StreetEasy.
For the broader luxury market, the top 10 percent of Manhattan co-op and condo deals, the average sale price was $5.7 million in the second quarter, down from $7.7 million in the first three months of 2008, Miller Samuel data show.

In the aftermath of the recession and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy filing in 2008, “you had what seemed to be prices going down in other buildings, at least temporarily,” said Christopher Delson, a real estate lawyer with New York-based Morrison & Foerster LLP. “But that really didn’t happen with 15 Central Park West. The prices seemed to increase.”

“New Category”

Since Weill’s penthouse was purchased for the daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, wealthy buyers seeking havens for cash are clamoring for a limited number of trophy properties and helping push prices to levels never before seen in New York, according to Miller.

“It’s defining a new category in real estate,” he said.

One57, a tower under construction on West 57th street, is emerging as a competitor to 15 Central Park West in the super-luxury market.

The duplex penthouse at the property went into contract in May for more than $90 million, toppling the Weill-Rybolovlev deal’s record for a single Manhattan home. The price worked out to $8,000 to $9,000 a square foot for the unit, which spans the 89th and 90th floors, Gary Barnett, president of builder Extell Development Co., said at the time. He wouldn’t name the buyer.

Earlier that month, Oaktree Capital Group LLC Chairman Howard Marks bought a duplex at 740 Park Ave. for $52.5 million, city property records show. It was the most ever paid for a Manhattan co-op, according to Miller.

Steven Klar, a Long Island-based developer, was probably inspired by those deals when he put his penthouse at 150 W. 56th St. on the market in July for $100 million, Miller said. That asking price, the city’s highest, would work out to about $12,500 a square foot, just shy of the record $13,000-a-square-foot paid for Weill’s condo, Miller said.

$100 Million

Klar bought the triplex atop the 72-story tower known as City Spire for $4.5 million in 1993, the New York Times reported.
Victoria Logvinsky, a listing broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, declined to comment. Raphael De Niro, who is sharing the listing, didn’t return telephone messages. Klar didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“I think someone will buy it, but I don’t think they’ll pay $100 million,” said Noah Rosenblatt, founder of UrbanDigs.com, a real estate analytics and consulting company in New York. Klar “clearly wants to be the highest sale.”

Soon after Schecter listed his Central Park West apartment last week, the nine-room duplex penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton hotel hit the market, also with a $95 million price tag, according to StreetEasy.

More Competition

While tight supply is supporting the current spate of “eye-popping” asking prices, there is going to be an influx of “very expensive” inventory hitting the market in the coming years that will create more competition among sellers, said Donna Olshan, president of Olshan
Realty Inc. and author of a weekly newsletter on the New York luxury market.

In addition to One57, slated to open in 2013, properties that will vie for wealthy buyers include the revived development of One Madison Park in the Flatiron District and 440 Park Ave., where CIM Group and Harry Macklowe plan to build Manhattan’s tallest residential tower, Olshan said.

Still, 15 Central Park West will retain its allure and value because “it’s its own exotic animal,” she said.

Also on the market is the three-bedroom, 32nd-floor condo bought by Piofrancesco Borghetti, former chairman of German cosmetics company Marbert AG. The limited liability corporation that owns it is seeking $27.75 million, almost triple what Borghetti paid in January 2008, property records show.

A four-bedroom apartment purchased by Arthur Estey, a partner at hedge fund Realm Partners LLC, and his wife, Evelyne, was listed last month for $36 million, more than twice its November 2007 price, according to property records.
Estey didn’t respond to telephone calls seeking comment and Borghetti couldn’t be reached.

“Exquisite” Design

Hugh Verrier, chairman of New York law firm White & Case LLP, said he hadn’t considered what might happen to the value of the 12th-floor apartment at 15 Central Park West that he and his wife, Celia, purchased in November 2010.

“We just really thought of it as a living space,” said Verrier, who was especially drawn to the complex’s 75-foot (23- meter) pool.
They paid $3.37 million for the one-bedroom condo, property records show, even as Verrier’s friends questioned the investment in the wake of the recession.

“The design of the building is exquisite,” he said. “I think those are things you can only fully appreciate when you inhabit the space.”

In the News: Major New Retail Space

Tribeca CitizenAugust 17, 2012
••• “A 19,000-square-foot retail space in [140 Franklin, at Varick] is available for lease for the first time in almost half a century. The space [...] was previously used as an office [for electrical supply company Argo International] but will soon be converted to a retail condominium. [...] Once completed, the space could house multiple tenants, [Manhattes Group's] Jamison Weiner said—one occupying the Varick Street side of the space and one or two tenants fronting on Franklin Street. The asking rent for the ground floor corner space will be $110 a foot, while the side street and lower-level space will ask $90 per foot and $30 per foot respectively. The property has already drawn interest from a bank, eying the corner space, and a local Tribeca retailer, who looked at some of the side-street square-footage.” Just one bank? Why not two? Or three! —The Real Deal
••• The New York Times on where the World Trade Center “Sphere” could end up.
••• The city’s bike-share program, Citi Bike, has been delayed till spring. —New York Times
••• “For the past five years, Trinity has been working on a rezoning of [the area it calls Hudson Square,] 50 acres spread over some 20 off-the-grid blocks—the area often feels remote cut off from the rest of the city as it is by the Holland Tunnel. On Monday, it officially begins the public review process, as the City Planning Commission is expected to certify Trinity’s in-hourse rezoning proposal.” —New York Observer
••• The Forward reviews “new, hip [and kosher] Tribeca restaurant Jezebel,” which is north of Canal.
••• Eater put Jungsik on its Deathwatch list: “You can get a reservation on OpenTable for any time you want, no problem. The restaurant is only open for dinner six days a week, and there’s no lunch business, whatsoever. Perhaps Jung Sik will get a bump after the Michelin Guide drops, but right now, it’s the biggest, best new fine-dining restaurants that nobody’s going to.”
••• “Thom Browne is doing a diffusion line called Thom Grey.” —WWD
••• Buzz Buzz Home has a rendering of the lobby of 93 Worth. I guess we all do, now.

Walker Tower Wows ‘Em

Real Estate WeeklyAugust 16, 2012
Several years ago, Michael Stern, managing partner at JDS Development, set out to convert an Art Deco office tower at 212 West 18th Street into condos.

Rather than tear down the 82-year-old building, which was owned by Verizon, and replace it with a modern glass-and-steel development, JDS and partner Property Markets Group (PMG) gutted the interior and spruced up the façade with ornamental metalwork inspired by the Art Deco era.

“You’d never build something like this today,” said Stern, who founded JDS while in his 20s. “You couldn’t afford to.” Stern’s firm is responsible for a handful of modern buildings elsewhere in the city. “We build new glass buildings where appropriate,” he said.
Towering above southern Chelsea’s row houses at 23 stories, with five different shades of brick in a variety of shapes, the former Verizon building is a neighborhood treasure, he explained. And it had good bones for residential conversion.

Setbacks that were part of the building’s tiered, wedding-cake like design, for instance, formed natural terraces. So nearly half of the development’s 50 units — which average about 3,000 s/f each and range from one to five bedrooms — have outdoor space.
When sales launched at the end of June, 400 people managed to squeeze into the building’s 10th floor model unit and mingle on the terrace, Stern said. The three-bedroom unit has historic touches, including bathroom tiles modeled after a wallpaper print Stern came across in a coffee table book on Art Deco design, and framed portals between the kitchen and living room.
Units average about 3,000 s/f each and range from one to five bedrooms

But it also has modern ones, including an iPad mounted on the living room wall and an iPod in the kitchen. With a separate foyer, the unit resembles a stately suburban home.

“You come into a defined entry space,” Stern explained. “These are the kind of things that make [the units] feel like homes instead of apartments.”Though the development won’t be complete until next June, Shaun Osher of CORE, who is directing sales for the building, has already sold around 25 percent of the units.

“The buyers are primarily New Yorkers, moving from uptown, Tribeca or SoHo,” said Stern, adding that only one buyer so far is foreign. Though units at the building are unusually large, some buyers have opted to combine apartments.
“You’d never build something like this today,” said Stern. “You couldn’t afford to.”

On average, units are priced around $3,000 per s/f, according to CORE’s website, with the development’s eight penthouses closer to $10,000 per s/f. A duplex penthouse with three bedrooms, 4.5 baths, and a wood burning fireplace is listed on Streeteasy at $14 million. A full-floor, nearly 7,000 s/f penthouse on the top floor — which is currently only accessible by construction elevator — has a living room spanning 70 feet and unobstructed views of midtown (including the Empire State Building), the Financial District, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty. A children’s playroom, fitness center, and roof deck are still under construction.

And the sales office will eventually be converted into a residents’ lounge. Before sales were launched, the space held an exhibit on Walker’s architectural work, including the first Art Deco tower in Manhattan: the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building, now known as the Verizon Building, at 140 West Street. Stern is a big fan of the architect.

Soon, JDS Development and PMG will begin converting another Verizon building designed by Walker, 435 West 50th Street, into condos, which are slated for completion in 2014.

Done Deals: 532 8th Street, Brooklyn

Brokers WeeklyAugust 15, 2012
CORE's Doug Bowen loves being a broker — because it's fun.

Bowen and colleague Vickey Barron just sold a Park Slope townhouse at $230,000 over is original asking price after being on the marketing for under four weeks.

532 8th Street is a Neoclassical two-family townhouse half a block from Prospect Park, on a street that received Brooklyn’s Greenest Block Award in 2009.

Built by Williams Reynolds and Benjamin Dreisler, the three-sided bay front limestone is in a consecutive row of 12 townhouses that are completely intact.

The house has an owner’s upper duplex – currently configured as five-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment with a deck and garden access – plus an income producing garden rental.

Bowen told Brokers Weekly: “532 provided us as listing brokers the opportu¬nity to create a com¬petitive platform to maximize the selling price to 14% above the asking price, which was a lot of fun.”

Terry Naini at Town Residential brought in the buyer.

New Signage at Tribeca 93 Worth Condo Conversion

BuzzBuzzHome BlogAugust 14, 2012
Tribeca’s office-tower-turned-luxury-condo project at 93 Worth recently added new signs and a teaser website to announce its impending sales launch.

The 13-story property at the intersection of Worth Street and Broadway Avenue was acquired by a subsidiary of Izaki Group Investments USA for $49.8 million in October 2011. There will be 93 apartments total, as well as 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The renovated building will offer studios and units with one through four bedrooms for purchase.

The condominium was designed by ODA-Architecture and is being marketed by CORE Group. The building’s former occupants were mostly city government offices.

Some of the units will have ceilings up to 20 feet high, with impressive views of the Canyon of Heroes, the parade route that runs through lower Broadway to the Financial District, according to CORE. The developer had originally planned to install a full-sized basketball court in the basement, but ultimately opted to use the underground space to store mechanical equipment.

CORE executive vice president Doron Zwickel told Crain’s that apartments will be priced from $1,250 per square foot to $2,000 per square foot. Amenities will include a children’s play area, lounge, rooftop terrace, fitness center and 24-hour concierge.

More pictures of the wrap-around signs below, and a bonus rendering of the interior from ODA-Architecture below.

Signs Are Up at 93 Worth; Houseboat Tour Repeats

CurbedAugust 13, 2012
TRIBECA—Office-building-gone-condo 93 Worth Street is just a few months away from its on-the-market date, and it wants the world to know! The building had its signage installed last week, and the teaser website is up, too. There will be studios through four-bedrooms, and if the pricing questions on the teaser site are anything to go by, they will be for sale, not, as we'd previously heard, for rent. [CurbedWire Inbox; previously]

ON THE WATER—Miss your chance to tour the 1907 Yankee ferry yesterday? The houseboat—the last remaining Ellis Island Ferry that was used during World War II—will be open to the public again this coming Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.. [CurbedWire Staff; previously]

These are the Most Expensive Apartments in New York City

AM New YorkAugust 12, 2012
A new crop of trophy apartments has hit the market and taken Manhattan real estate to an unprecedented degree of luxury. This summer, three apartments have become available at chart-topping prices of $95 and $100 million.

“There’s a new level of cache and luxury to be achieved. This is not the normal New Yorker’s luxury,” said Sofia Song, of real estate site StreetEasy.com. “This has nothing to do with market dynamics. It’s about cache.”

Today’s crop of mega-million dollar penthouse buyers is comprised of titans of industry. Many of them, such as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, are from abroad. Rybolovlev broke records when he bought a penthouse at 15 Central Park West for $88 million, the most that has ever been paid for a New York apartment.

Developers say there is a market for increasingly lavish pads, complete with solariums, wine rooms and luxe-finishing touches like Italian marble flooring.

“Bigger continues to be better. Just the way it is in retail,” said Faith Hope Consolo, a chairwoman at Prudential Douglas Elliman, which listed a $100 million apartment last month.

Got some extra cash stashed away? Check out New York’s 10 priciest pads on the market:

1. $100 million - 150 West 56th Street #PH 

This three-floor “crown jewel” of the City Spire condominium features a wraparound terrace, inlaid marble floors, Central Park views and a separate staff apartment.

2. $95 million - 50 Central Park South,
Penthouse 34/35 
One of 11 residences atop the Ritz Carlton Hotel, this newly renovated nine-room penthouse boasts a solarium, 689-square-foot terrace and views of Central Park.

3. $95 million - 15 Central Park West, 35 A/B
Though not officially listed yet, last week steel magnate Leroy Schecter announced plans to combine his two Central Park West apartments and sell the two for five times what he paid for the two.

4. $72 million - 828 Fifth Avenue 

This three-story condo in a Edwardian Georgian house in Lenox Hill features palatial details like parlour floors, a Louis XV-style ballroom and an oak-paneled sitting room. The apartment is temporarily off the market, but set to return soon.

5. $60 million - 25 East 77th Street #PH 

This top-floor penthouse at The Mark hotel includes a living room with 26-foot ceilings, a skylit conservatory and rooftop terrace and pavilion.

6. $55 million - 1 Central Park South #807-89 

Central Park views abound at this apartment in the Plaza Hotel, which also features 11-foot ceilings and separate staff quarters.

7. $50 million - 50 Central Park South #33 Square Feet: 4,536 
Beds: 2 
Baths: 4 

Luxe details at this Central Park South apartment include walls of stucco veneziano and a German-silver floor, hand-hammered over wood and a library inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment complete with 18th century Chinese lacquer panels.

8. $50 million - 944 Fifth Avenue #HIFLR 

This 18-room Upper East Side pad was recently renovated by designer Thad Hayes and featured in Architectural Digest. Details include a granite master bath and private elevator.

9. $50 million - 25 Columbus Circle #75A 

Located in the Time Warner Center, this spot boasts 14-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling wall of windows, Ceruse Oak wood paneling and a glass-enclosed circular rain shower.

10. $48 million - 145 Hudson Street, penthouse 

This TriBeCa duplex penthouse is located in an Art Deco loft features teak flooring, skyline and Hudson River views, a sauna and a wraparound terrace.

Developers Are Coming Back To NYC Post-Recession, What Does This Mean For The Housing Market In 2013?

iRealty TimesAugust 11, 2012
When the Lehman Brothers fell in September of 2008, it triggered a domino chain of events that led to the recession. Many property developers who were in the midst of ambitious projects during that fall decided to put their plans on hold, waiting, wishing, hoping, for the day when things would get better.

Well, the New York Times reports that several of these developers have come out and begun to proceed on their once-stalled projects. Could this be a sign of things to come?

Michael Stern, a New York developer, told the Times he plans to start converting the 1929 Walker Tower in Chelsea into condos, just as he originally planned in 2008 but had to stop when, according to him, the day he bought the building coincided with "the day the world fell apart."

New buildings in downtown Manhattan are moving forward in bulk, such as One Madison Park and 56 Leonard. Other projects are surging into market constrained by low inventory, rising prices, and seemingly eager buyers in Russian billionaires and Las Vegas casino magnates.

"It is a very powerful moment in new development right now," said Kelly Mack, president of the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. "Developers are seeing a very strong opening in the market to really push their projects forward. These two years were really worth the wait."

In the Manhattan market, contracts are up 26 percent from the second quarter of 2010, while new development inventory is down 58 percent over the same period.

That means there will soon be more demand than supply.

Some developers are playing it safer and waiting out longer.

Larry Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center complex, told the Times he hopes construction can start next year on a Four Seasons Hotel project located at 99 Church Street. It will be topped by some 50 floors of condos. His strategy is to start selling the 143 condos by the middle of 2015, when the World Trade Center will largely be completed.

This plan was originally conceived to take place in 2008.
Judging by previous reports of Manhattan developing the west side and lack of available property for tenants, the market looks to be on the way up.

Walker Tower – JDS Development

Building & Construction NortheastAugust 11, 2012
It seemed as if the world was coming apart at the seams when Michael Stern took a tour of the historic Art Deco Verizon building in New York City in 2008. As Stern was in the elevator heading to the roof, he received an alert on his phone indicating that Lehman Brothers had just collapsed to begin the tumult in the U.S. economy, and it appeared the timing just wasn’t right for Stern to make a deal.

Nevertheless, Stern, managing partner of JDS Development Group, pulled the trigger, purchasing the structure that will become Walker Tower once the retrofit is completed in 2013.

“I heard about the building from a friend and walked it the day Lehman collapsed,” Stern says. “I received a news alert on my phone saying Lehman just crashed, and I’m on the roof of the tallest building in Chelsea just west of Sixth Avenue. I saw the views and I said I have to buy this building – even though the world just fell apart.”

A year later, after enlisting Property Markets Group as his partners in the venture, the building was his. Today, it is being converted from a commercial structure into one of the “finest residential buildings” – as Stern describes it – in New York City. It will feature 50 residences of one to five bedrooms, each of which will offer spectacular views of New York City, from the Midtown skyline down to the rising World Trade Center and beyond.

The building has historical relevance as one of many famous Art Deco structures in New York City designed by prestigious architect Ralph Thomas Walker. According to the CORE Group – the real estate brokerage company selling the units – the building was constructed in 1929 for the New York Telephone Co. and features lavish entryways, ornate detailing and sweeping interior spaces that are not found in today’s condominium buildings.

Every window in the building has been resized – some growing to as large as 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide – to give views even to units on the lower floors that are protected by contextual low-rise zoning districts on one side and a landmarked historic district on the other.

Units also will feature 14-foot-high ceilings, and half the apartments will offer private outdoor spaces, as well.

In the common areas, amenities will include a state-of-the-art fitness center on the ninth floor, children’s playroom, sauna and an expansive rooftop terrace. Additionally, there will be a residents’ lounge that doubles as a party space. Residents will be treated to white-glove service with 24-hour concierge available and porters on duty at all times. “This is a super high-quality residence,” Stern says.

Thus far, the core and shell of Walker Tower have been completed, as well as the low-rise elevator. JDS Development is working on the high-rise elevators, completing the skin of building and putting finishing touches on the interiors.
Complex Sophistication

The retrofit of Walker Tower calls for more than simply converting former office space into residential units. In creating residential units from this commercial structure, John Cetra of Cetra/CRI Architecture PLLC – the lead architect for the project – says he aimed to incorporate many of the tower’s existing features in the design of the redevelopment. These features include the depth of space, high ceilings, access to sunlight and picturesque views.

“The aim was to create the best type of residence that we could create with the incredible space we had to work with,” Cetra says. “We wanted to take advantage of those characteristics to really work them into the plans.”

To maintain these features, a number of special techniques and processes had to be considered by Cetra/CRI. For instance, despite appearing to be a uniform color from a distance, the façade actually consists of nine different colors of brick.

“We were doing some selective brick replacement of the ones that blended the most with the various colors within the walls,” Cetra explains. “That was an interesting challenge. The color is not standard, so we tried to get it to match as close as possible.”

Multitude of Hues

Along with varying colors, the façade features multiple shapes of brick and bricks oriented in different manners that create a texturized appearance. Cetra says this required the construction team to order some customized bricks to avoid removing bricks already in place at the risk of destroying them.

“Although a lot of the bricks are simply standard and rotated to create a chevron pattern, it gives the wall articulations, which is rich and a great play of light,” Cetra says. “Some bricks had a design element in the middle of them, so those had to be custom made. But sometimes if you try to take a brick out of the wall or knock cement off, it doesn’t come off without destroying the bricks. So, we had to have them custom-made to the shapes.”

While preserving as much of the exterior façade as possible, Cetra aimed to keep some of the intricacies of the interior design intact, as well. This included a number of ornamental grills made of nickel and steel and an electric bolt logo used throughout the structure.
“Wherever we could, we preserved everything,” Cetra says.

Cetra/CRI Architecture says it provides services in urban design, architecture and interior design.

“The challenges of new construction, renovation and adaptive re-use are addressed with intelligence, resourcefulness and sensitivity,” Cetra/CRI Architecture says.

Self-performed Excellence

JDS Development, which is self-performing the project, has relocated seven elevators in the building as well as all three staircases while maintaining emergency egress for the continually occupied commercial space on the ground floor.

JDS Development also has added four floors of residential space and three mechanical floors to the structure, while maintaining operations in the commercial space. A new mechanical, electrical and plumbing system is the most sophisticated ever installed in a condominium development, according to Stern. All units will feature hydronic radiant heat, zoned humidification, outside make-up air and a state-of the art central chiller plant with modular chillers will cool the building.

Sales Under Way

Stern says Walker Tower units are selling strongly with some units trading at more than $3,000 per square foot.

Even with all the challenges that accompany a retrofit of this magnitude, Stern is ecstatic with the progress on the structure so far. He says anything can be accomplished if the right mix of experienced personnel is brought onto the team that can plan ahead for any problems that might arise.

“I’ve learned the value of putting the right team in place,” Stern says. “When you have the right team and the right people, no challenge is insurmountable.”

Here Now, NYC's Second $95 Million Listing of the Week

CurbedAugust 10, 2012
The high end of the Manhattan real estate market has officially decided to skip the summer slow-down this year. First a City Spire penthouse hit the market for $100,000,000. Then steel magnate Leroy Schecter announced plans to list his 15 Central Park West combo for $95 million, and now, just two days later, the owner of a duplex at 50 Central Park South wants to compete on Schecter's level. He has listed his 34th- and 35th-floor pad for the exact same price, $95 million. The broker tells the Times that the seller—a ballroom dancer!—is listing the apartment now because "he understands the metrics of the market." We're glad someone does, because with two $95 million listings in one August week, we sure don't anymore.

The brokerbabble for the 50 Central Park South listing is rather sparse, but the Times managed to dig up a few details: "The 5,078-square-foot apartment sits at the very top of the Ritz-Carlton….The upper level of the penthouse has a glass-roofed solarium that opens onto a 60-foot wide, 689-square-foot terrace directly overlooking Central Park." The contemporary design touches are the product of the $7 million renovation that followed the owner's $19.95 million purchase of the penthouse in 2006. And there is, not surprisingly given what we know of the owner's ID, a ballroom. (Sadly, there's no floorplan on the listing.) Prices at 50 Central Park South, while high in recent months, have generally stayed a little lower than those at 15 CPW (or One57).

So how does this stack up to the competition at 15 Central Park West? Schecter's place is still finishing up its renovation, so there are no photos on the new listing. There is, however, a floorplan. And here it is:

Priciest, cheapest units to hit the market

The Real DealAugust 10, 2012
A combination condominium unit at 15 Central Park West, as well as a 50 Central Park South penthouse, both with whopping $95 million asking prices, tie for the priciest, single-family Manhattan listing to come online this week, according to Streeteasy.com. Emily Beare at Core Group has the listing for the five-bedroom, five-bathroom and two half-bathroom condominium at 15 Central Park West, which is a post-construction combination. Square footage was not listed. The home, which is located on the 35th floor of the building, has unobstructed views of Central Park, downtown Manhattan, and the Hudson River, according to the listing. Nearby at 50 Central Park West, Dianne Weston at Halstead Property has the listing for the two-floor condo penthouse. Square footage for the home is also not listed. The apartment has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and a 60-foot terrace, according to the listing.

Nancy Candib and Dominic Pailillo of Brown Harris Stevens have the week’s next priciest listing: a $21.5 million duplex co-op at 990 Fifth Avenue. The home has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. Other features include Juliet balcony space, a library, hardwood floors throughout and Central Park views.

A $20 million asking price takes place for the next most expensive listing this week. Asher Alcobi at Peter Ashe has a listing for a townhouse with potential for single-family conversion at 184 East 64th Street. The home is 25 feet wide and was formerly a carriage house. Features include eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, five half bathrooms and a private roof deck.

Norma Maupins at Fenwick Keats has the listing for the week’s least expensive listing, which is for a co-op at 1919 Madison Avenue in Central Harlem with a $170,000 price tag. Located on the corner of East 124th Street, the home has one bedroom, one bathroom and a patio. Income restrictions apply. Square footage is not listed.

Farther uptown in Fort George, the next cheapest listing this week has an asking price of $195,000. The Corcoran Group’s Karen Shenker has the listing for the one-bedroom co-op unit located at 550 Fort Washington Avenue. According to the listing, the home has nine-foot ceilings and original oak floors. Income restrictions also apply. Square footage is also not listed.

East Harlem is home to the week’s next least expensive listing, which Saul Scheveloff at Realty Networking Services has with a $227,000 asking price. The home has two bedrooms and one bathroom, which is marbled.. It is located at 420 East 119th Street. — Zachary Kussin

The Rewards of Patience

The New York TimesAugust 10, 2012
Some projects on the drawing board in the boom years — when even newcomers fancied themselves developers — have ended up in steadier hands.

Consider the situation at a troubled condo project called One Madison Park. It is moving forward after its original developers, Ira Shapiro and Marc Jacobs, ran out of money and the project went into bankruptcy. The Related Companies, along with HFZ Capital Group and Amalgamated Bank, took title on the building in April, shepherding it through bankruptcy and settling most of the lawsuits involving the debtor, a Related spokeswoman said.

The original developers sold 12 apartments out of a possible 69, generating only $38 million, far too little to cover outstanding debts. Desperate for cash, the developers were looking for money anywhere they could, to help cover cost overruns. Among those still involved in litigation is Ian Bruce Eichner, a developer whom Mr. Shapiro offered an unfinished apartment for $5 million, in exchange for a $4.5 million loan.

Construction has begun again, and Related plans to sell 54 more apartments (3 fewer due to combinations). The company says it expects to start sales early next year. The Related spokeswoman would not comment further.

Other developers are content to wait even longer. Larry Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center complex, says he hopes construction can start next year on a Four Seasons Hotel project designed by Robert A. M. Stern at 99 Church Street. It will be topped by some 50 floors of condos (a private entrance for the condos is planned at 30 Park Place). His strategy is to start selling the 143 condos by the middle of 2015, when the World Trade Center will largely be completed.

The project was conceived in 2008, but the developers were able to hold off because they bought the land and paid predevelopment costs for just under $300 million. “We own the land debt-free,” he said, “so there is no pressure of any kind.”

It’s significant that more banks are moving back into construction loan financing, developers say. “It is excruciatingly difficult to accomplish yields today” in other investments, Mr. Silverstein said. Still, even with the reinvigorated market, the construction loan arena is a long way from what it was in the boom years. Most projects require equity of 40 to 60 percent, said Ziel Feldman, the managing principal of HFZ Capital Group. During the peak, developers could wrangle construction loans requiring equity of no more than 10 to 15 percent.

“There is a lot more at-risk money required today,” Mr. Feldman said. “That is one reason why the inventory is as low as I have seen it since the 1980s.”

That is about to change as more projects push their way into the pipeline. Some 1,500 new development units will be introduced each year over the next three years, Corcoran Marketing calculates.

Where will all this demand come from, since Wall Street is no longer as flush as it once was?

Mr. Feldman and others believe the gap is being filled by media and high-tech companies like Google that have been moving into the city, especially into the Midtown South area.

“We are creating our own Silicon Alley here,” Mr. Feldman said.

Then there is the international demand, which by most indications will remain strong, at least for a while. New York has become a magnet for foreigners who are essentially converting their currencies to dollars and buying hard assets.

Those foreigners’ deep pockets are benefiting super-high-end condo projects like One57, the developer Gary Barnett’s ode to Central Park, which is under construction and selling swiftly.

But domestic buyers are also circling, and are especially eager to buy downtown, developers say. And as downtown projects go, nothing seems as primed to capitalize as quickly on the favorable market conditions (for the industry) than Walker Tower, the Chelsea building originally designed by the architect Ralph Walker that is now being converted into 50 condominiums.

Sales started a few weeks ago and Mr. Stern, managing partner at JDS Development, which is codeveloping the conversion, promises to deliver the apartments in less than a year. He says he is investing about $200 million in the project.

The generously sized units are being sold starting at $3,000 a square foot and ranging higher than $8,000 a square foot for the top-floor penthouse, which has yet to hit the market.

Shaun Osher, the chief executive of CORE, which is handling the marketing for Walker Tower, urged Mr. Stern to install top-end finishes, like Smallbone of Devizes kitchens, radiant heating under the floors and built-in zone humidification systems.

“We gave Shaun every single one of those outrageous requests,” Mr. Stern said. “We were fortunate enough not to have to compromise anything.”

The decision to convert the building into very high-end condos — about half of which will have outdoor space — reflects where the market is taking developers. “That upper echelon of the market is improving much more rapidly,” he said.

But will patience be enough for the rest of the New York housing market, if the froth at the top doesn’t bubble its way down?

LIC’s One Murray Park Now 50 Percent In Contract

The Real DealAugust 10, 2012
One Murray Park, a once-stalled Long Island City condominium project, is now over 50 percent in contract, according to Core, the exclusive marketers of the building. Sales launched in the building, located at 11-25 45th Avenue, in mid-April.

Developed by Eyal Shuster of Shuster Development & Management and Jon Hendel of TerraMax Development, the condo is comprised of 10 studio units, 25 one-bedrooms and 10 two-bedrooms. A project rendering shows the property rises six stories in height. Doron Zwickel, an executive vice president at Core, is leading sales at the building, which was designed by Soho-based firm Fogarty Finger.

As The Real Deal previously reported, One Murray Park was the first new condo development to launch sales in the Long Island City market in more than a year.

Hendel originally envisioned the property in 2006 and had a proposed completion date of 2008, but the development fell victim to the recession. A partnership struck with Shuster last year brought the project back to life.
Streeteasy.com shows five active listings for One Murray Park. The least expensive is a 529-square-foot studio with an asking price of $385,000. The most expensive is a $900,000, 1,085-square-foot home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Building amenities include a library, gym, indoor parking and a common roof deck. The building is located on Murray Park, which recently underwent a $2 million facelift and now features a synthetic turf ball field and a new playground. Streeteasy also shows a project completion date for the building of Sept. 1 of this year. Zwickel told The Real Deal that the building is “99.9 percent complete.” — Zachary Kussin

Top 10 Neighborhoods for Real Estate Investment

NY Daily NewsAugust 10, 2012
It’s time for the middle of the market to make serious gains. Here are areas to buy that could pay off with a little patience.

It's inched back. Now, the real estate market might be ready to roar. Last spring, the New York City luxury market made a statement with three major sales in a week: highest condo ever sold at more than $90 million, One57; highest co-op at $54 million, 740 Park; and a $70 million sale at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South. It's time for the middle of the market to see significant gains, too.

Even if it means grabbing a group of friends for the down payment, making an investment at the $500,000 range could pay off in a few years. With rentals increasing in price on a quarterly basis, buyers can still pay less per month to own.

"Home prices are absolutely ridiculous in most Manhattan neighborhoods," says Modern Spaces president Eric Benaim, whose growing boutique agency has offices in Long Island City and Williamsburg, two neighborhoods with strong inventory in the $400,000 to $850,000 range.

"We like the areas five to 10 minutes from Manhattan," says Benaim. "We feel they offer great bang for the buck. But act fast. Inventory is going down there as well."

It's never too late to start a real estate empire, especially as big developers see construction loans come in and neighborhoods all over the city improve due to infrastructure changes and retail enhancements. Here are 10 neighborhoods to look at, and some projects in those areas that could pay off with a little patience.

1. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

This is the still the hottest neighborhood on Earth. Walk the streets day and night to see hordes of young people from all over the globe. During the day, it's quiet and casual. At night, the streets are packed. Couples make out in doorways.

Lately, like any other great neighborhood, young families and empty-nesters have come to Williamsburg looking for some life. The riverfront park by waterfront condos the Edge and North Side Piers feel like a resort. Allswell, a new restaurant from some Spotted Pig alums, serves farm-fresh food, tasty cocktails and pies and tarts for sweet tooths.

This neighborhood is way underpriced. Aptsandlofts.com has one-bedroom apartments at 29 Montrose in East Williamsburg for as low as $365,000. Near Lorimer and Metropolitan, $500,000 can buy a two-bedroom in a number of boutique condos. Anything in this area could increase in value by 40% by 2015.

To buy: Aptsandlofts.com, led by Dave Maundrell, has new developments, rentals and top area listings.

2. Long Island City, Queens

While renters flock to this neighborhood on the water for value, smart home buyers look here for living experience and investment. Vernon Blvd. seems to get new restaurants and boutiques every week. Home prices remain stable while inventory disappears. That means prices can only go up in the years to come. Lots of room for loft conversions.

Industry, a condominium, from longtime neighborhood developers the Suna brothers (they own Silvercup Studios) is almost sold out. They have a penthouse studio loft marketed by Modern Spaces with Manhattan skyline views and balcony on the market for $560,000. At One Murray Park near Court Square, CORE's Doron Zwickel is selling a range of apartments, including studios for $385,000 and one-bedrooms for $410,000. For buyers looking to rent out units, one-bedrooms in Long Island City can fetch around $2,500.

To buy: Modernspacesnyc.com is a boutique agency that has helped Long Island City grow. They have listings at all price points.

3. Battery Park City, Manhattan

For New Yorkers on the move who like the outdoors, Battery Park offers an eco-friendly response to city grime. Recent deals for studios across several buildings show value potential in owning and investing.

At 225 Rector Place, from Related Companies with design by New York-based Clodagh, amenities include an indoor swimming pool with skylight, roof lounge, sun deck, kid's room and fitness center. The Hudson River is steps away. Studios start at $520,000 with one-bedrooms priced at $645,000. The Conrad New York is a new local destination.

To buy: Related Companies has a strong rental building called Tribeca Green and condo at 225 Rector Place. Go to related.com for more.

4. Lower East Side, Manhattan

Just a 10-minute bike ride to Wall St., this area should draw more young people looking to stay in Manhattan. The area still has grit, and Orthodox Jewish, Latino and Asian populations. Young families who see the area as a place to raise children are the latest population boom.

According to LoHo Realty, the leading local agency, a two-bedroom, one-bath with a balcony in a co-op building with a private playground is on the market for $439,000. A one-bedroom with a balcony can be had for $345,000. Go to lohorealty.com for more.

A condo conversion of an old school, the Madison Jackson, is also off and running. All units have two stories and double-height ceilings. Top floors get strong light. For an artist who wants a lower East Side lifestyle, these no-frill homes work. Go to Madison-Jackson.com. Prices start at $434,000. We hear investors want to buy multiple units.

To buy: If you like local real estate agencies, you will love LoHo Realty (lohorealty.com). For info on Madison Jackson, go to Madison-Lackson.com.

5. Downtown Brooklyn

Say what you want about the new Barclays arena, but big-money projects that change cities almost never hurt property value. The Staples Center in Los Angeles was severely criticized for years. Now the area around it is the biggest boom town in Southern California.
The same will hold true of the Barclays Center, spearheaded by Forest City Ratner. Not only is it a good decision to look around there, it's a smart decision to look a half-mile away.

Downtown Brooklyn could benefit the most from the new arrival. It needs a retail boost to coincide with the residential projects. Oro still has alcove studios with a sleeping alcove for $475,000.

Toren might have a few smaller homes still left. We like the area in Prospect Heights around Grand Army Plaza. You can grab a one-bedroom in a townhouse or prewar building ranging in price from $310,000 to $350,000. This area should continue to take off.

Go with the established players here. Halstead.com and Elliman.com have strong downtown presences.

6. Central Harlem, Manhattan

Frederick Douglass Blvd. above 116th St. has become one of the liveliest stretches in the city, meaning Harlem is still a strong place for the real estate dollar.

At 88 Morningside, two homes are left in an almost-sold-out development across the street from the Frederick Law Olmstead-designed Morningside Park. A one-bedroom with a dining area is priced at $499,000. The Aloft, part of a hotel chain from Starwood, is a lodging destination for international tourists.

To buy: Corcoran Group’s (Corcoran.com) Vie Wilson knows the uptown landscape. For info on the new development, see 88morningside.com.

7. Rockaway, Queens

Beach living in New York City doesn't come with a Hamptons price tag. Arverne by the Sea in Rockaway Beach is beachfront living with a 20-year tax abatement. It's priced to sell, with home buying opportunities going for around $559,000, or $1,595 per month mortgage for a two-family home with Atlantic Ocean views.

This neighborhood-changing project has several home models to choose from. Owner units are 1,711-square-foot, three-bedroom two-bath condos with a rooftop terrace and garage. Rent on the tenant units can be as high as $2,000. The master plan includes a new shopping center with a Stop & Shop and restaurants. If you want history, a nearby bungalow can be had for around $400,000.

To buy: The whole world is talking about tacos and catching waves. Arverne by the Sea (arvernebythesea.com) has brand-new two-family condos.

8. Stapleton, Staten Island

A new project from New York City's Economic Development Corp. and Ironstate Development Co. out of Hoboken brings a multibuilding waterfront rental and retail complex with a renovated train station and waterfront park to what is called Homeport.

It also means an increase in the value of retail and residential real estate. With the $33 million city project a few years from completion, property values are still down.

Three-family houses can be had for less than $400,000. Historic homes on Harrison are available for slightly more than $500,000. The Pointe, a new condominium on the border of St. George and Stapleton, has one-bedrooms with harbor views for slightly more than $300,000. That is giant value. Marketing Directors is selling the project.

To buy: This is a big project. Nycedc.com has the details. For info on The Pointe, go to ownthepointe.com.

9. Pelham Parkway, the Bronx

Century 21 Metro Star associate broker Gregory Tsougranis just had a bidding war on a 1,700-square-foot brick detached house with a backyard listed for $549,000. Thirty buyers walked through. Three days after being on the market, he had an accepted offer. That's how fast things are selling in this residential neighborhood near Jacobi Medical Center and Pelham Bay Park. Tsougranis also likes Pelham Gardens, where he says houses are one-third the price of the same homes in Brooklyn or Queens.

To buy: All kinds of value in the Bronx. Gregory Tsougranis gives tours. Find him at century21metrostar.com.

10. Hudson Heights, Manhattan

Broadway singers, Buddhist monks and European couples who like a gentrified life call Hudson Heights home. It's easy to get to and just far enough away from midtown (25 minutes on the A express train) to feel the peace and quiet.
(At left, Tudor apartments in Hudson Heights; photo credit: Bryan Smith for New York Daily News)

Stein-Perry Real Estate has the beat on value-based listings. Small one-bedrooms start at $149,000, with two-bedroom one-bath homes priced at $329,000. Some have Hudson River and George Washington Bridge views. If you go the one-bed route, that $500,000 can buy you three.

To buy: You might not catch a windfall, but you’ll be happy with the return. Contact Gus Perry thru steinperry.com.

Stuart Sussman - CORE 166 West 18th Street, PH12

Modern NYCAugust 10, 2012
Live on the entire 12th floor of the Yves in this stunning, four-bedroom condominium
with views in all directions from floor-to-ceiling windows. This beautiful penthouse
features rich, walnut flooring, 10-foot ceilings, a multi-zone central air system,
4.5-baths and a Bosch washer/dryer. The Valcucine kitchen includes a Miele
oven and dishwasher, two Sub-Zero refrigerators and a Sub-zero wine storage.
The Four bedrooms have en suite bathrooms with Duravit fixtures. Crestron
controlled lighting system illuminates the home. Other unique components
include a Sonos music system, an EcoSmart fireplace and an internet controlled
ecobee energy Smart Thermostat system. Private 230SF Rooftop Terrace.
Designed by Ismael Leyva, the Yves' first-class amenities consist of a lap pool,
a fitness room with sauna and a landscaped roof terrace with dazzling views,
right in the heart of Chelsea.

One Murray Park More than 50% Sold; Tour a Poison Cauldron

CurbedAugust 10, 2012
LONG ISLAND CITY—Sales for the 45-unit One Murray Park condo building launched at the start of the season, and CORE reports that the more than half of the building's units are already in contract. Located at 11-25 45th Avenue in LIC, the building has a doorman, gym, indoor parking, roof deck, and library lounge, and current available units range from a $385,000 studio to a $900,000 2BR/2BA. All of the listings can be found here. [CORE Blog; previously]

GREENPOINT—If heavy industry and urban pollution are your thing, then the latest Obscura Society tour is right up your alley. Called "The Poison Cauldron of the Newtown Creek," the tour will explore the petroleum and waste transfer districts of the creek on August 25. The area is the heart of the 1978 Greenpoint Oil Spill, which is one of the largest oil spills ever recorded in the United States. You'll be traipsing through a "virtual urban desert" with broken pavement and industrial remnants, making your way toward the Kosciuszko Bridge. [Curbedwire Inbox; tickets]

Steel magnate’s plan: merge two 15 CPW condos, sell for $95 million

BuzzBuzzHome BlogAugust 09, 2012
Call it New York’s most expensive two-for-one deal.

Steel tycoon Leroy Schecter is combining two of his condos at 15 Central Park West into a single five-bedroom apartment that he hopes to sell for $95 million.

If the 35th-floor abode trades for that price, it will break the record for most expensive condo in the city, set earlier this year when former Citigroup head Sanford I. Weill sold his apartment in the same posh building for $88 million.

Schecter, the head of Marino/Ware Industries, paid $18.9 million for the original two apartments and tried to sell them in 2010 for a combined $55 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.He had previously rented the two units for a total $70,000 per month to Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez and Cendant Corp. founder Henry Silverman.

“Nobody knows what the right price is,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “If you had $10 billion and you are trying to put in a good place, you aren’t going to put it in a bank, you are going to try to buy good real estate with it.”

The apartment is 20 percent smaller than Weill’s former residence on top of a 20-story section of 15 Central Park West, but allegedly boasts better views of the Hudson River and cityscape. The living room, study and dining room in the merged unit will face Central Park, and the bed in the master bedroom will also command an impressive view of the park.

Schecter’s apartment, listed with Emily Beare of CORE, is the second-priciest condo on the Manhattan market, after the $100 million octagonal CitySpire penthouse on West 56th Street.

Below is the floor plan for the combined unit:
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26 / 27 / 28 / 29 / 30 / 31 / 32 / 33 / 34 / 35 / 36 / 37 / 38 / 39 / 40 / 41 / 42 / 43 / 44 / 45 / 46 / 47 / 48 / 49 / 50 / 51 / 52 / 53 / 54 / 55 / 56 / 57 / 58 / 59 / 60 / 61 / 62 / 63 / 64 / 65 / 66 / 67 / 68 / 69 / 70 / 71 / 72 / 73 / 74 / 75 / 76 / 77 / 78 / 79 / 80 / 81 / 82 / 83 / 84 / 85 / 86 / 87 / 88 / 89 / 90 / 91 / 92 / 93 / 94 / 95 / 96 / 97 / 98 / 99 / 100 / 101 / 102 / 103 / 104 / 105 / 106 / 107 / 108 / 109 / 110 / 111 / 112 / 113 / 114 / 115 / 116

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