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Broker Beat: Core Group's Shaun Osher on Utilizing Cyberspace for The Ultimate Insider’s Edge in Securing Residential Space

GothamDecember 06, 2011
Shaun Osher, founder and CEO of Core Group, an upscale residential and commercial real estate brokerage and marketing firm, believes that success begins with this mantra: Knowledge is power. But reaching far beyond simply advising buyers and sellers on comparable projects in their area, Osher and Core Group—which he founded in 2005 with partner Jack Cayre, scion of a powerful yet under-the-radar billionaire real estate family—were among the first to harness the power of the Internet to move real estate and attract new clients to their business.

“We use our blog as a marketing tool because it is an open platform where we can instantly reach a mass audience and communicate and interact with them,” says Osher. “It gave us the platform to openly express our philosophy, business practices, and knowledge on the market.”

According to Osher, something as simple as using the Web’s search engines to learn about a buyer or seller, investigate the background of a builder or developer, or study a contractor and designer can give the smart real estate investor an insider’s edge in a competitive market. “We live in a world of transparency,” he says. “Both buyers and sellers should embrace the technology and use it as an asset.”

In today’s market, Osher says, there is still “low inventory” for high-end properties. If you are a buyer and you can close a deal—do it. “Don’t be fixated on one or two percent differences,” he says. “Finding the right apartment is priceless.”

House of The Day: 47-49 King Street, 13

Wall Street JournalDecember 04, 2011
A 'Cozy Treat' in SoHo
Price: $849,000 Location: Manhattan, NY

The owner of this 600-square-foot co-op in SoHo calls the home a "cozy treat." It features beamed ceilings, wide-planked floors, a fireplace and stainless-steel kitchen.—Maya Pope-Chappell

On the Market in New York City: 247 West 46th Street #1203

New York TimesDecember 04, 2011
CLINTON CONDO $1,960,000
MANHATTAN: 247 West 46th Street (at Eighth Avenue), #1203

A two-bedroom two-and-a-half-bath condo with a washer and dryer and a storage unit in a 2008 doorman building. Lindsee Silverstein, CORE (212) 612-9625; coregroupnyc.net

'Selling New York Recap': Park Avenue South and Jewelry

GatherDecember 03, 2011
This week on Selling New York, Parul Brahmbhatt, an agent with CORE, works with two very sexy and successful men. They are relocating from San Francisco to the Big Apple.

Chris Mancini and his partner, Brian, look at several condos. They want to rent a condo and have a budget of $8,500/month. Parul shows Chris a place in Chelsea but it doesn't feel like home. There's a private garden but he's worried about the ground floor access.

Next up is the Financial District. They don't like it; it's too much concrete and not enough of a neighborhood feel. Brian says it's like a concrete canyon. Finally, they look at an apartment in Union Square on Park Avenue South and things are looking up.

The condo is 1,456 sq. ft with 2 bedrooms/2.5 bathrooms and it's listed for $9,500/month. The potential commission on the rental is $16,650! They love everything about the place except the price. They ask for a reduction.

Parul goes to the listing agent for the Park Ave. condo and asks for a better price. He agrees and lowers the price to $9,000. It's not enough for Chris and Brian. So Parul gets creative and asks for the whole year's rent up front ($100,000) for an additional discount, $8,700/month. Everyone agrees and a deal is made.

The Kleiers are working with Brian Knez and Wioletta Zywina to purchase a condo on 50 Gramercy Court. They had seen it once before and now they are ready to purchase their vacation property. This is the property that has private access to the park across the street.

Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern shows them the property again. They fall in love with it, all over again, and make an offer. But, it's not that simple. This is a cond-op property and the board must approve all animals. The couple has a large (pony-sized) dog that travels with them everywhere.

The property is 2,151 sq. feet and has 3 bedrooms/3.5 bathrooms and is listed for $5.45 million. The commission is $327,000—not a bad deal!

The offer was accepted but now they need to fill out the board packet. This is where the animals are disclosed. They also have to disclose their financials and list two personal references. Brian says it feels like a proctology exam.

The board does not want the pony-sized dog in the condo. It could be a deal breaker. The realtors go back and forth with the board and explain the dog is only going to be a part-time resident. The board finally gives and explains that the wrong packet was sent out to Brian and they do allow large dogs after all.

Brian and Wioletta are so thrilled that they buy the Kleiers jewelry as a thank you. They also promise to send more business their way.

Selling New York airs on HGTV Thursdays at 10:30p/9:30C.

Selling New York S4E7: Barking Up The Right Pad

CurbedDecember 02, 2011
Last night's Selling New York was a bow‐wow‐nanza of canines and their cash‐heavy owners. A San Francisco couple and their dinky dogs seek guidance from an agent on the pupfect Manhattan nabe to nab a rental. Will the west coast family find fabulous square footage or a bunch of fleabag flops? Then, a wealthy Boston family is THIS CLOSE to closing on their dream Gramercy Park apartment when eeeks! it turns out their gigantic dog may not be so welcome. Will they have to throw a bone to the co‐op board to get Dogzilla on board? I may have run out of dog‐related jokes...but maybe not! You'll have to take this recap out for a walk around your eyeballs to find out!
Do we hear barking? >>

CRISIS #1: SAN FRAN DUO MUST SETTLE INTO DOGFRIENDLY RENTAL FOR IMMEDIATE NESTING

CORE agent Parul Brahmbhatt is just hanging around the office to handle random walk‐ins when an anxious Chris Mancini pops in. Chris just moved from San Fran to work in Jersey City, and he needs to find a Manhattan home to rent before his boyfriend and their two dogs come east. His budget? $8,500 a month! "I don't know what that even does in New York," he says meekly. Um, it'll get you a windowless room with a shared toilet in the hallway. Are you &*%#ing kidding me?! I don't believe you're that clueless, Chris—you're a super successful business man!

Chris holds invisible stacks of cash to show Parul his budget:

Parul is amped to be Chris' agent and to show him "a broad spectrum of choices" that are close to Jersey transport and for getting around the city. Their first stop is at this $9,500/month rental at 343 West 16th Street in Chelsea:

Chris has concerns over the street‐level lack o' privacy vibe and isn't sure if it's so safe being on the ground floor. No one is mentioning this, but it's over budget, Parul! Though Chris is digging the private dog poop garden:

Feeling unmoored without his BF Brian to help make the decision, Chris decides to wait untlook at... il he and the dogs arrive before they
...a $9,995/toomuchmoneyamonth apartment in the Financial District. For just shy of ten grand, you too can live in this 2BR/2.5BA luxury pit: Chris & Bri love the openness of the space, but aren't sure about the nabe. They take a moment to reflect, while nursing their dogs:

They pop out for a jaunt around the 'hood, where the twosome note how crowded the streets are. Chris and Bri getting lost amongst unfortunate fashion choices:

Where's the hominess? The green space? The community? they want to know. Ummm, not so much in Wall Street guys. Have you NEVER been to New York before? Brian doesn't want to live in a "big, concrete canyon," plus the dog park is too far. Parul is determined to find them just what they need, which may be a $9500/month spot at Union Square's 254 Park Avenue South.

Will this pre‐war pup‐friendly pad be fetching enough? Will they go for the art and the amenities?

So not a surprise, Chris and Bri love it and think it "feels like home." But, but, but...the rent is too damn high! Next, Parul meets up with the agent, Ken Barkoff, at Chelsea Market to negotiate a deal. He's not feeling the $8,500 a month budget limit on a $9,500 apartment, no
bones about it.

Ken negotiates down to $9,300 but Parul sticks to her budget guns at $8,500. "San Francisco is beautiful, this is Manhattan. They gotta get roughed up a little bit here y'know," Ken exclaims. What is this, New York in the late '70s?

Ken barters even further to $9,000 at which point Parul has a light bulb moment and excuses herself to make a quick call to Chris with an idea...which is to get him to pay $8,750 a month up front for the whole year IN CASH! Chris likes the idea but has to make sure he
has the funds, and Ken finds it "an intriguing notion" to bring to the owner. Chris digs up some savings and offers the cash, but did Ken accept it? Why yes he did! Parul shares the good (if you can call forking over $100k for a rental, good) news with them at the park. And even better news? The update informs that Chris and Bri plan to buy once their lease is up and return to Parul. Aww, I love that they've taken a cue from their pets in the loyalty department.

CRISIS #2:BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG THREATENS TO DIG UP GRAMERCY APARTMENT DEAL

Sabrina KleierMorgenstern's got her Boston‐based clients/friends, Brian Knez and Wioletta Zywina (AKA BriWi), chomping at the leash to buy a $5.45 million manse at 50 Gramercy Park North (or as we like to say, that building that Jen Aniston does not call
home).

A repeat visit to the 3BR/3.5BA abode only confirms their desire to snap up this slice of
prime grade A Gramercy Park:

Naturally, Sab is panting at the possibilites of reeling in the referrals from this well‐connected couple, who, P.S. have a mammoth Bernese Mountain Dog named Beaumont. Next, BriWi meet up with Sab and Mama Michele Bear at the Gramercy Park Hotel's Jade Bar
to discuss next steps.

Baby's got an eye on the deal: Turns out their offer was approved and now it's time for some nitty gritty board package review. BriWi's not so into the invasive nature of the process, calling the experience "like a proctology exam." Perhaps accurate for him but blaaarghdangit that's a strong image to shake.

Two personal references are needed to ensure BriWi are not vigilantes, as well as the 411 on Beaumont (how big he is, what kind of breed, and how bad is his breath). But yeeeps! There's a snag. Mama and Sab head over to the CORE office where the building's listing agent, Kirk Rundhaug, explains that the big dog might be a big no for the board. Agents fake‐freaking out over a fake issue:

Will the board snub their nose at sweet Beaumont or...no, of course they don't! Kirk figures out that OOOPS the board really does allow big dogs and it was just a manufactured misunderstanding. Mishap solved!

Finally, it's time to celebrate the closing of BriWi's Manhattan dog bedpartment at where else? Barkdorf's! Bri used to run Bergdorf's, so it's basically an extension of his home. There, he bejewels the Kleier ladies with opulent offerings:

After several rounds of hugs and kisses and hoorays, the update explains that BriWi's gifts keep on giving as Mama and Sab have a new client referred by them. It's a dog sweet dog world!

Episode Grade: I was itchin' for some deals and this episode was like a big scratch behind the ears. This episode begs for 3.5 out of 5 tail‐wagging cackling Kleiers.

2012 Residential Market Predictions: As Clear as Eggnog

The Real DealDecember 02, 2011
Lack of good product and pricing tensions are top of mind at year’s end, as brokers look ahead toward unclear 2012

As the year draws to a close, the future seems as opaque as a glass of eggnog. Some real estate professionals say pent-up demand in the residential market could foster a busy 2012, while others predict that a sluggish economy will keep prices and activity in check.

Citi Habitats vice president Jay Molishever said the high rents, relatively low sales prices and increasing activity he is seeing in the current market are good signs for the New Year.

"At some point," he said, "the kindling is going to burst into flames again," bringing high prices and high volume.

Michael Signet, executive director of sales at Bond New York, anticipates a "very busy year," with rising prices bringing inventory to market, and buyers feeling "compelled to make a decision faster, as the competition for quality apartments increases."

But there are still a few significant X-factors that could keep the market from taking off in 2012, brokers said.

Chief among them is enduring unease about the economy. Without a strong recovery in the New Year, prices will likely remain flat, said Kenneth Scheff, managing director of Stribling & Associates.

Others agreed. "It is precisely the feeling of unease that slows our market down and anesthetizes any new activity," said Joseph Barbaccia, director of brokerage Essential New York Real Estate.

Then there's the lack of new product and the still-difficult mortgage market, which are "the two things holding back the market from being smoking hot," according to Doug Bowen, a senior vice president at Core. "The demand is definitely there."

Brokers said the continuing lack of high-quality, well-priced inventory has been a particular problem in the recent weeks, especially at the upper end of the market.

Simply put, there are more active buyers than there are good apartments, said Scheff, who described a recent eight-way bidding war for a desirable prewar co-op on the Upper East Side.

Hearing about the lack of inventory, sellers are getting bolder with their asking prices, brokers said. But most of today's buyers are still looking for a steal.

"Price is very important in making a sale in this market," said Paula Del Nunzio, a senior vice president at Brown Harris Stevens, adding that if a seller wants to put a property on the market at a "vanity price," he or she will "sit on it."

(Del Nunzio is famously handling the most expensive listing in the city, the Upper East Side's Woolworth mansion, priced at $90 million, as well as the nearby Stanford White mansion, priced at $49 million.)

"Sellers, when pricing their apartments correctly, are selling quickly," said Barbara Fox, president of Fox Residential Group. "However, overpriced apartments are not selling well at all. ... Well-priced, renovated properties continue to sell more quickly than overpriced ones, or those that need massive renovation."

For example, a fully renovated townhouse at 87 Cambridge Place in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, went into contract last month at $2.16 million -- a near-record for the neighborhood -- a week after the owners listed it at $2.05 million. The broker, Jerry Minsky of Elliman, said that he wanted to price it higher, but the sellers were adamant about pricing it lower.

As they wait to see how these factors shake out, sales brokers are sleeping off their post-Thanksgiving, tryptophan-induced hang overs, and settling in to what is, between the chilly weather and the string of holidays, typically the slowest season of the year.

"Once the weather cools down, only the real estate 'addicts' take advantage of what's on the market," said Todd Lewin, managing director of Miami-based real estate services firm Good Property, which recently expanded to New York City.

Meanwhile, on the rental side, buyers on the sidelines continue to power the market, which is evidence that people still have money to spend, according to Scheff.

In the rental market, "we haven't seen the beginning of the usual slow season as we used to see [at] this time of the year in the last few years," said Dmitry Daniel Kramp, a senior agent at City Connections Realty.

Jason Fien, director of leasing at the brokerage Platinum Properties, said he observed a drastic increase in demand for luxury rentals, as would-be buyers fail to find a "steal" and settle for renting. But he urged discouraged buyers to keep looking.

"If you can afford to buy, buy," he said. "You are only flushing hard-earned money down the really flashy and expensive self-cleaning toilet that your $20,000 rent affords you."

Broker Exchange

The Real DealDecember 01, 2011

Just Listed: 509 East 88th Street, 4-D

Brokers WeeklyNovember 30, 2011
Upper East Side
509 East 88th Street, 4-D
$315,000

One bedroom, pre-war home with hardwood floors. Located on fourth floor of a co-op building. Windowed kitchen and bath, Storage space in living room and the bedroom plus basement unit. Co-op has renovated laundry room, new carpeting, bike storage. Co-purchasers, guarantors and pieds-a-terre allowed. Small pets also allowed and 10% down payment is permitted. Listing agent: Limor Nesher, CORE.

Core Real Estate Will Handle 1280 Fifth in East Harlem

Harlem Condo LifeNovember 28, 2011
According to the Real Deal, East Harlem’s new 116-unit tower on Central Park, 1280 Fifth Avenue will be marketed through Core, which is featured on HGTV’s Selling New York.

The edifice was built to complement its next door neighbor, the Museum for African Art, and launched sales in October 2010.

Prices at the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building, between 109th and 110th streets, range from $595,000 to approximately $3.25 million, according to Core.

The amenity-rich tower offers studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom pads, as well as penthouse units — some as large as 2,118 square feet. Tom Postilio, Natalie Rakowski, Parul Brahmbhatt of Core will be handling sales for the building, under the direction of Core CEO Shaun Osher.

Core to Market 1280 Fifth Ave for Brickman

Citybiz Real EstateNovember 28, 2011
New York City real estate brokerage CORE will spearhead property sales and marketing efforts at 1280 Fifth Ave, a new Upper East Side condominium project above Central Park from Brickman, a real estate private equity firm.

1280 Fifth Avenue is a project of architect Robert A.M. Stern, and is designed according to his "modern traditionalist" brand. Featuring 116 condominiums, the 21-story tower is near Carnegie Hill and Museum Mile and the future home to Manhattan's newest museum, The Museum for African Art.

Amenities include a rooftop pool with grass and barbecue area. Inside, an entire floor of amenities will include a private dining room, children's room, teen game room, lounge, catering kitchen, and card-and-game area.

1280 Fifth Avenue offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes as well as penthouses ranging up to 2,118 square feet, which are available for immediate occupancy. The property also offers residences with outdoor terrace space.

Core Takes Over for BHS at 1280 Fifth

The Real DealNovember 28, 2011
East Harlem's new 116-unit tower on Central Park, 1280 Fifth Avenue, will no longer be marketed through Nancy Packes and Brown Harris Stevens Project Marketing. The developer, Brickman, has opted instead for Core, The Real Deal has learned.

"We appreciate the initial involvement and contribution from Brown Harris Stevens on the pre-development and initial marketing of 1280 Fifth Avenue," Brickman's principal Bruce Brickman said, though he declined to give any specifics on why the company made the switch. Nancy Packes declined to comment, citing confidentiality arrangements.

The edifice was built to complement its next door neighbor, the Museum for African Art, The Real Deal reported last year, and launched sales in October 2010. Prices at the Robert A.M. Stern-designed building, between 109th and 110th streets, range from $595,000 to approximately $3.25 million, according to Core. The amenity-rich tower offers studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom pads, as well as penthouse units -- some as large as 2,118 square feet.

Tom Postilio, Natalie Rakowski, Parul Brahmbhatt of Core will be handling sales for the building, under the direction of Core CEO Shaun Osher.

Developers of 1280 Fifth Avenue Tap New Exclusive Sales and Marketing Team

November 28, 2011
Brickman Joins Forces with CORE for Museum Mile Architectural Gem

New York, NY – November 28, 2011 – Brickman, a preeminent real estate private equity firm, and developer of 1280 Fifth Avenue, a new luxury condominium on the Upper East Side that soars above Central Park, announced today that CORE, New York City’s most innovative real estate brokerage, will now spearhead the iconic property’s sales and marketing efforts.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with an esteemed organization like CORE for 1280 Fifth Avenue,” said Brickman’s principal, Bruce Brickman. “We are pleased to bring CORE on board to market this exceptional property.”

1280 Fifth Avenue is a brand new building created by renowned architect Robert A.M. Stern, and is designed according to his signature “modern traditionalist” brand. Featuring high-quality sustainable materials, this masterpiece boasts 116 luxury condominiums. The 21-story tower is mere steps away from the famed Carnegie Hill and Museum Mile while benefiting from its amazing views of Central Park and East River bridges.

Not only is 1280 Fifth Avenue located at the city's artistic and cultural epicenter, on Museum Mile, but it is also the future home to Manhattan's newest museum, The Museum for African Art.

“We’re incredibly excited to lead this development,” said Shaun Osher, co-founder and CEO of CORE. “1280 Fifth Avenue offers unparalleled architecture, layout and design – set in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in New York City.”

The interiors at 1280 Fifth Avenue are outfitted with the finest high-quality finishes and premium appliances, including lush white oak flooring; teak cabinetry; deep brown granite countertops in the kitchen; stainless steel appliances by Thermador, GE and Bosch; and polished Dolomitti marble countertops in the bathroom.

In addition, residents will enjoy a full array of exceptional family-friendly amenities, including a rooftop pool with grass and barbecue area. Inside, an entire floor of amenities will include a private dining room, children’s room, teen game room, lounge, catering kitchen, and card-and-game area.

1280 Fifth Avenue offers studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom homes as well as penthouses ranging up to 2,118 square feet, which are available for immediate occupancy. The property also offers residences with outdoor terrace space.

Home prices range from $595,000 to approximately $3.25 million. For more information, please contact the sales office at (212) 996-1280 or visit the website at www.1280fifth.com.



ABOUT BRICKMAN

Brickman is a private equity real estate firm that invests in debt and equity with the perspective of an owner-operator. Brickman combines its owner-operator expertise with deep experience in debt to produce excellent risk-adjusted returns for its investors. Brickman was formed in 1992 and has over $700 million of equity assets and $3 billion of portfolio value under management. Brickman owns and operates office and multi family properties in these markets, applies opportunistic and core plus / value-added investment strategies, and invests across the entire capital structure of real estate assets. Through its investment vehicles, the firm owns and manages over 3.5 million square feet of office, hotel and residential real estate.

ABOUT CORE

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

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Just Listed: 859 60th Street, 5-C

Brokers WeeklyNovember 23, 2011
Sunset Park
859 60th Street, 5-C
$499,000

Two bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment with private balcony. Brand new condominium features kitchen with granite counter tops, mosaic tile back splash, stainless steel appliances and wine cooler. Panoramic city views, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms and a washer/dryer. 15-year tax abatement. Listing agent: Jennie Ma, CORE.

Just Listed: 188 East 75th Street, 6-AB

Brokers WeeklyNovember 23, 2011
This renovated two bedroom home off Lexington has been listed at $1.195 million by CORE's Adrian Noriega. The top floor apartment in the pre-war elevator building at 188 E75th has renovated kitchen and bathrooms, living room and dining room. There is a custom-built laundry room in the unit and the building has a bike room and additional storage.

'Selling New York' Recap: Harlem and Chelsea

GatherNovember 21, 2011
This week on Selling New York, Warburg goes to Harlem and CORE takes a risk on a huge single-family residence in Chelsea.

Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE, works with Bruce Gallagher, the developer, to complete a beautiful construction of a single-family home located at 233 West 20th Street in Chelsea. The bottom two and a half floors of this home are original build, and the top three floors are new construction.

Laurie Messman, interior decorator, is brought in to create an inspiring minimalistic approach. She creates an art gallery entrance including statues and paintings. The theme of the décor is fun, lively, and functional.

Bruce Gallagher wants to launch the open house immediately just as the construction is complete. CORE only has a very tight schedule to pull the event together.

The Chelsea house is priced at $13.65 Million. It has 7,000 sq. ft., 5 bedrooms, and 6.5 bathrooms, an elevator, plus a nice courtyard.

The Open House seemed to be a great event. However, after nine weeks there were still no offers. I'm sure Shaun wasn't too happy with the outcome.

"Selling New York" Recap: Deck-o-Rate The Halls

CurbedNovember 18, 2011
Selling New York came down with a ragin' case of stagin' last night when two very different habitats required their rooms to be re-imagined. First, a broker works with a designer to doll up a tres cher Chelsea townhouse for a long-awaited open-house. Then, a pair of agents must convince a Harlem luxury building developer to pony up some cash so they can convert a model apartment into a supermodel sale. Will fists fly over a far-out sculpture? Will brokers literally wrestle a developer for a few grand? Yes and yes (in my SNY dreams). Take my hand as I lead you through the land of tricked out tables and tastefully decorated terraces. Oh, and p.s. we're on a T-day break next week, so I'll catch you post-gravy on 12/2!

FIRST-WORLD CRISIS #1: BROKER MUST MAKE $$$ CHELSEA TOWNHOUSE LOOK LIKE A MILLION BUCKS
CORE boss Shaun Osher is meeting up with project manager, Bruce Gallagher, at this towering Chelsea townhouse:
So! Tall! This pre-war building at 233 West 20th Street was originally a 2.5 story, but the developer decided to bump it up to 6 stories over the last five years. Shaun explains that he helped Bruce "identify" what the property should be, and they agreed it should be positioned as a humungous single-family residence—topping out at 7,000 square feet. With a $13.65 million price tag, Shaun says "there will be hell to pay if we don't sell it."

As construction finishes up, Shaun enlists CORE broker Tom Postilio to gussy up the guts. Tom hires designer Laurie Messman to sprinkle her furnishing talents all over the joint.

Laurie's mind crackles with thoughts of harvest tables and an in-home art gallery:

Her design secret? She visualizes the space by sending style savvy lightning bolts from her hands. Those bolts totally reveal all:

Next, Tom and Laurie have a decorating date in a groovy Soho home store to look at pieces Laurie's picked out:

With a mere touch of her hands, Laurie makes a table multiply!

Laurie's key piece of staging advice for you wannabes? "You want to connect the potential buyer emotionally to the space," she says. If that's true, than if anyone wants me to buy a place, there better be fresh nachos on the kitchen table. WITH ALL THE FIXINS!

Back at CORE HQ, Shaun delivers some not great news to Tom. He just learned that he has a green subway station light growing out of his head (but he's cheerful about it):

So sad. Oh, and Tom's deadline for finishing up the interior design has been pushed up to Eeeksday! Bruce wants to launch the building nuh-nuh-nuh-now!!

It's Staging Day and the movers are hauling in haute furnishings inside the townhouse. Laurie doesn't love the time constraints, stating that "nothing is easy about New York." She speaketh of the trutheth.

Uh-oh, it looks like a couple big-drinking penguins have crashed Staging Day. I wonder if they're gonna hook-up:

What holiday comes after Staging Day? Open House Day! I always mix them up. It's OHD and the townhouse is in full furnished glory. Replete with art gallery!

Ooh, and there was on-the-spot graffiti creation! By artist Malt:

Not my cuppa drawing, but an interesting open house idea. And some of us were there! Bruce is happy with the outcome of the staging and the swells of peeps there to peep around. Yay! But Naaaaay because, according to the update, the 5 bed/6.5 bathroom property's been on the market for 9 weeks and still no offer. Sorry Laurie, maybe plastic furniture is the way to go?

Episode Grade: Did this episode eat T-day turkey early and fall asleep at the table? A dash of snazzy style, but overall a bit of a snoozer with one dull sale makes me give this one 2.5 out of 5 cackling sleepy Kleiers!

Walker Tower: The Newest Very Old Chelsea Building

New Construction ManhattanNovember 18, 2011
The Chelsea neighborhood is in the interesting position of being one of the hippest and most modern neighborhoods in all of Manhattan, while still being decked out in equally hip and desired pre-war buildings. As we've written about before, developers often address this position by renovating old pre-war apartments to fit with a modern style and sensibility. We’ve seen this often enough, developers will buy an old apartment building, raise the ceilings, expand the windows, and put the new luxury condos back on the market, describing them as a combination of the new and the old.

Walker Tower is the most recent building to be subjected to this transformation. A massive skyscraper located on West 18th Street, Walker Tower is renowned in architect circles because of the architect who designed it: Ralph Walker, a peer and companion of Frank Lloyd Wright who contributed to several notable aspects of the New York skyline, including One Wall Street and the Barclay-Vesey Telephone Building. His namesake, the Walker Tower, has never been available as an apartment complex before, but in 2009 New York developers Michael Stern and Elliot Joseph bought space in the building with an eye towards opening it up to the public.

Another thing: Stern and Joseph have fitted the tower with 55 housing units, a number considerably bigger than these renovation projects usually yield, which they’ve used, along with the Ralph Walker legacy, to generate buzz. So far Curbed and the New York Observer have picked up the story, and a somewhat cryptic photo of the construction that CORE, the real estate company that’s handling the business side, has released has begun making rounds on the Internet. We’re interested to see how this newest addition fits into Chelsea.

Real Estate Featured Q&A - With Shaun Osher of CORE, from "Selling New York"

NYC ResidentNovember 16, 2011
In Manhattan, where you live can define your status amongst the finest of all things. Many will claim the Upper East Side and TriBeCa hold their place as home to some of the priciest properties in the city, and that would be accurate. There are those properties that are now fetching top dollar downtown in the Financial District in anticipation of the new 1 World Trade building. However you view your status, New York City is a “real estate city” so, why not create a television show that gives you a birds eye view of the ins and outs of how NY residential real estate gets done, and some of the major players behind what moves those million dollar properties.

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of reality TV, although there are a couple of shows that I will from time to time take a few moments to catch, for the drama, suspense and occasional surprise episode. There is, however, one reality show that I have followed since its premiere: “Selling New York,” which airs on HGTV and is about to begin its 4th Season. Now I may be a bit biased here, since I have been involved in the real estate industry for some time, mostly on the media side; nevertheless, I live to see new buildings being erected and how our skyline takes new shape, and learning about the people who make these things happen.

The 4th season of “Selling New York” premiered on October 13th in the 10:30pm slot, to much fanfare. The show follows three prominent NYC real estate brokerages as they usher buyers and sellers through some of Manhattan’s priciest pads. We had the chance to sit one on one with Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE, which is one of the three featured real estate companies, and a businessman who sure knows his way around the sometimes tough NY real estate world. Shaun and I had what seemed to be a very relaxed conversation where the answers just flowed from him in an unassuming way. When all was said and done, Mr. Osher had to make room for one more person on his "new way of doing real estate" bandwagon. The passion that was eagerly displayed on his face with each and every answer to my questions was testiment to this trailblazer’s mission to redefine the way that real estate is done in Manhattan and beyond.

Resident (NYR): When did you start CORE?

Shaun Osher (SO): We started the company in April of 2005 after realizing that the way real estate is done needed to be changed and redefined.

NYR: How has being featured on the TV show ‘Selling New York’ affected you and your company?

SO: Well, it certainly has given us more visibility, but I am still the same simple person I was before.

NYR: Since being featured on ‘Selling New York’ have you noticed people recognizing you from the show?

SO: Yes.

NYR: Do you feel a bit of celebrity setting in to your personality?

SO: Nope. I'm still the same person I've always been.

NYR: What can people expect when doing business with a CORE agent?

SO: An expert with a company that is going to deliver the highest level of service with more resources than any other company in the industry.
company in the industry.

NYR: What are your thoughts on the state of the real estate market over the previous three years to today, and going forward?

SO: The industry as a whole has taken a tremendous downturn; with that said, I believe that there will always be sales taking place, namely in
NYC, and I see considerable growth happening over the next five years.

NYR: Where does CORE sit among the many NYC real estate brokerages?

SO: First and foremost, we consider ourselves a marketing company that happens to sell real estate. We have built a brand that has become synonomous with luxury and high level service; in doing so we have the top producing and most knowledgeable agents in the city.

NYR: Compared to other real estate companies, what makes CORE Agents different?

SO: I give my agents more resources than any other company. We have an incredibly active blog (www.coretalks.com), we have an in-house PR team dedicated to our listings and agents, we as well have in-house photographers who have been trained under our brand to deliver the level of photography and imagery that our clients have come to expect.

NYR: What are your thoughts on social media/networking in regards to your business?

SO: We have a social media marketing expert in-house who will sit with the entire CORE team, including myself, and come up with ways to virally spread the message, so, to answer your question, I believe that it is a very important part of doing business in today’s business world.

NYR: Being in real estate for almost 20 years, how has the business changed, or has it?

SO: Well, for one I am very much for transparency in the industry and that was almost non-existent when I first became an agent. Brokers are now relied upon for service and insight, not data. Much of the data that only the professionals had access to many years ago, prior to the evolution of the internet as we now know, is available with a few keystrokes by pretty much anyone.

NYR: Is being a real estate broker in NYC as tough as it is perceived by many?

SO: One of the most difficult accomplishments is building a great reputation in this city and I believe that a real estate company is only as good as its weakest agent, which is why we have to focus our culture as a company on consistency and transparency so, we can learn how to get better and better from one another.

On The Market...Select Listings

NYC ResidentNovember 16, 2011
The building has a splendid Tudor style lobby and charming English courtyard garden, but all of the apartments have been updated by noted designer, Victoria Hagan. Located on a beautiful, quiet block of 10th Street, this classic pre-war condominium is steps from University Place in the ever vibrant Greenwich Village. Apartment 9C offers abundant light through western exposure and custom Pella windows. Additional features are custom moldings, millwork and 4-inch white oak hardwood floors throughout. Composite glass-topped counters with marble tiled backsplash and polished nickel hardware by E.R. Butler, grace the open kitchen along with appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf and Bosch. The sunny bathroom offers marble counters, fixtures by LeFroy Brooks, Thassos tile floor and bathtub by Waterworks. Amenities include a full-time doorman, fitness center, children's playroom, individual storage units, bike room, cold storage, resident superintendent and landscaped rooftop terrace.
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