News

Done Deals: 305 W18th Street - 2011-12-21

Brokers WeeklyDecember 21, 2011
Chelsea
305 W18th St. #2B
$755,000

One-bedroom renovated home. Modern kitchen with Quartzite counter-tops and top of the line appliances. The kitchen and living/dining area includes slate flooring and built-in bookcases. Bathroom with glass-tile shower, stainless steel ceiling, and glass sink. Custom closets, storage locker, washer/dryer.Elevator building, full time super, bike room, laundry, courtyard. Pet friendly. Asking price: $765,000; 19 weeks on the market. Broker: Reyn Rossington, CORE

HGTV’s, ‘Selling New York’ Recap: Shaun Osher and Francis Moezinia haggle over $500

GatherDecember 17, 2011
This week on HGTV's Selling New York, Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE, meets with Francis Moezinia, President of Rex Properties, a developer for a project in Tribeca. There are only 11 units to rent and they are just completed. CORE is brought in to move these high-end, 2,000 sq ft properties. What should the rental price be?

Meanwhile, Warburg meets with the developers of the Carriage House in Chelsea. There are 24 condos for sale. John Sacks and Eamon Roche are the developers for Broad Mill Development Group.

One tremendous advantage of the Carriage House is underground parking, a real premium for New York. Joel Moss, Associate Broker of Warburg powwows with his teammates Herbert Chow and Jocelyn Turken in order to make a plan to show and sell these condos. The sales prices range from $695 thousand to $1.2 million.

The open house is set just one week out. When the three amigos get to the Carriage House they find out that the penthouse is still under construction. This spot is going to one of the main staging spots for the open house. Will it be ready?

CORE agent, Doron Zwickel, goes on a comparison-scouting trip to find other high-end apartments for rent in the area. He finds properties renting from $6k - $11k a month. They believe that the Franklin Lofts should be listed at $8,500/month. Francis Moezinia doesn't believe the price is right and he would like to see $9,000. Shaun tells him to list them at $8,500 and if they go too fast they can raise the price.

Within one month nine of the eleven Tribeca units are rented out, all for above the original rental price. Francis was right on the pricing. It should have been $9,000. However, he is pleased with CORE and is looking forward to working with Shaun again.

Finally at the Carriage House, 250 brokers and potential buyers show up for the open house. After eight weeks, over twenty offers came in and five units were sold. Negotiations are still being made for additional units.

Over all HGTV's Selling New York scored this week. Real estate is still moving in the Big Apple.

Selling New York airs on HGTV Thursday's at 10:30p/9:30C.

Lifestyle Guru, Colin Cowie, Featured on CORE Talks

December 16, 2011
Event Planning, Holiday Entertaining Must-Haves and Real Estate with the Lifestyle Expert

New York, N.Y. (December 16, 2011) – With the holiday season upon us, CORE is pleased to announce the latest CORE Talks subject: celebrity event planner, Colin Cowie. In the latest version of the web series, Cowie is interviewed by his personal broker, Emily Beare, in his New York City headquarters. In the episode, Cowie and Beare discuss the art of throwing a successful event, New York City entertaining essentials, local go-to food shopping spots and Cowie’s latest business venture. Cowie also talks about attributes that create a perfect living space – especially for a constant entertainer – and his custom-designed New York City home which Beare helped to find for him.

“Finding the ideal home in New York City is not an easy feat,” say Colin Cowie, “however, Emily found me exactly what I was looking for. I was able to purchase two top floors and the roof of a new condo in the Flatiron District and combine them to create my ideal apartment, which is the perfect place for me to entertain in.”

“In New York City, finding the perfect home to entertain in is not as easy as it may seem” says Emily Beare, Managing Director at CORE. “It only seemed natural to speak to Colin so he could share his specifics on what he looked for during his personal home buying search and, of course, get his insights on the art of throwing a flawless party, whether planned or at a moment’s notice.”

This interview is in advance of an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “Selling New York” which will feature Cowie throwing one of his signature parties in a multi-million dollar listing currently on the market with Beare. “Selling New York” is HGTV’s second highest-rated program and offers viewers a rare glimpse inside the high stakes world of buying and selling luxury Manhattan properties.

About CORE Talks Interviews

CORE Talks aims to influence the people, events and trends that affect the real estate market. The guests featured on this web series are visionaries, not only within real estate but within New York City and in the business, economics and artistic world beyond.

About Colin Cowie

Respected around the world as an arbiter of style, Colin Cowie is widely known for throwing the most spectacular celebrations across the globe. Colin Cowie is an authority on living with style; an author of 8 books, a celebrated television personality, a designer, and a world-renown event designer. Some of the most celebrated events designed and produced by Cowie and his A-list client roster includes Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan and many others. Cowie is also the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Colin Cowie Enterprises, LLC, a group of branded businesses consisting of innovative media properties, design, licensing and product development across three divisions: Colin Cowie Weddings, Colin Cowie Life & Style and Colin Cowie Hospitality. www.colincowie.com.

About Emily Beare

Emily Beare serves as a Managing Director at CORE, a New York City–based real estate firm offering a comprehensive array of brokerage and marketing services for both residential and commercial properties. Emily’s expertise spans from re-sales and high-end rentals to new construction, in exclusive enclaves from Central Park to Chelsea and beyond. She has been featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets, for her work on the City's ultimate trophy properties including 15 Central Park West.

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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Selling New York S4E9: Market Fresh

CurbedDecember 16, 2011
Ooohwee, there's nothing like a brand-new building for a broker to bite into! The desired taste? A little cha followed by a lot of ching (fact: cha isn't as delicious as ching). If you've been desperate to be enveloped in developments, then last night's Selling New York will blanket your square-footage-seeking soul. A Tribeca tally-up tale is told when a developer seeks guidance from his brokers on how to price the rental units in his prized project. Then, a group of agents is charged with staging a still-under-construction Chelsea condo building into an open-house ready hotspot. Will tempers get wild or will everyone just be really reasonable and mild? Discover the deep, dark secrets of developmental delays and dire dollar designations in today's DUM DUM DUM...dramatic recap. The drama always starts with...research? >>

CRISIS #1: AGENT MUST DO A LITTLE RESEARCH TO FIND RIGHT PRICE RANGE FOR DEVELOPER'S TRIBECA RENTALS

CORE prez Shaun Osher and CORE agent Doron Zwickel are doing a walk through developer's Francis Moezinia's latest loft conversion at 83 Franklin in Tribeca. The pre-war building is almost done being divvied up into eleven luxe rentals—each one around 2,000 square feet and loaded with high-end furnishings as well as access to the building's amenities.

Care for a 700-square-foot terrace?

Don't mind if I do! Francis says he remodeled the building "as if he were building it for myself" AKA "well, aren't I tasteful!"

Sure, the skylight is nice...

But I'm not seeing any built-in nacho bars.

Anynachosaremylifeways, Franciepants needs CORE's help to determine how many dollars a month he can get for the rentals. Shaun explains pricing "is more of an art than a science" and sends Doron out on a worldwide (if the world = a few Tribeca blocks) tour of comparable rentals to feel out market capability.

Doron embarks on his exploration at 6 Murray to size up this $6,000/month loft sporting 1,700 square feet:

Yael Dunsky—the pad's broker—reveals to Doron that this unit was recently rented and that she didn't have to lower the price one penny.

Perhaps this positive news is the result of a secret "I hope this unit went for asking price" wish Doron made moments before on the magically-timed oven clock?

The mystical art of pricing continues when Doron world-tours around the corner to 45 White Street. There, brokerNeil Nerich shows this $11k/month giant duplex loft:

After seeing this 2,700 square foot fiefdom, Doron feels confident with coming up with a pricing structure. Then, ShaunDo (agent hybrid alert!) catch up with Francis at 83 Franklin to share their artistic findings. Shaun exclaims that with pricing, it's the brokers job to "be the voice of reason" since "the owner of the building thinks their building is always the best."

Shaun asks Francis to release one unit at $8,500/month, which surprises Francis. He wants closer to $9,000. Doron explains he looked at a bunch of other somewhat comparable places and thinks $8500 is a good place to start. Hey...isn't $8,500 the average of the featured Place #1 ($6000) and Place 2 ($11,000)? Phooey "the art of pricing"...smells like solid science to me!

Francis relents to $8,500 when ShaunDo tell him that it's better to start lower and gauge the market. If there's interest at that price, they can always pump up the monthly lump sums on the other units. Finally, it's time for the soft launch party and to take a look at a finished unit:

The party was a success as the update informs that a month later nine of the units were rented—all above the original price. And as of now, 83 Franklin has a blinking no vacancy sign. Tribeca, you so fancy!

CRISIS #2: BROKERS MUST TRANSFORM CHELSEA CONDOS FROM CONSTRUCTION ZONE TO COZY FOR HIGH-PRESSURE DEBUT

Warburg agent Jocelyn Turk is meeting with a trio of developers from Broad Mill to discuss marketing plans for 159 West 24th Street—The Carriage House. Seems that their lender lawsuits have been cleared up, and now it's time to hit the sell button on this former parking garage!

The developers want Joc to throw a kickin' open house where peeps actually want to stay. Paying homage to the garage, Broad Mill created an eight-car indoor lot that stashes four of the cars underground. Press the magic mechanical lift lever and zap your ride up!

Though not every vehicle likes to be hidden:

The developers say "the garage needs to be a focal point" to the "coming out party", so Joc suggests stocking it with sophisticated wheels. Joc also says she'll form a team to tackle staging the second floor. The time frame? Une semaine! ¡Una Semana! 1 week! Joc is feeling the pressure to furnish the footage and raise the roof. Like that Eminem song even my mom's heard of (no she hasn't), she's only got one shot. Game. On!

Next, Joc assembles her Warburgtastic team comprised of fellow agents Joél Moss and Herbert Chou. Joél's the brains behind the decor and Herb's got the hook-up to haute connections. At San Rocco Restaurant, they discuss strategy while maintaining 2 out of 3 team member smiles:

So jovial! Herb's going to market Chelsea as "the center of Manhattan" and Joél's going to make the space look buyable. Go team JoHeJo! JoHeJo journeys to Carriage House to see the still-under-construction property.

Ruh-roh! Is there time to turn this (hardly a) mess into a masterpiece?

Looks like JoHeJo's got a couple screws loose in their party planning:

Next JoJo go to an antique store to scoop up stuff for staging. There, they check in on Herb, who's burnin' up the phone lines with invites to movers and shakers.

Herb's land line looks like a phone version of KIT from Knight Rider, ryeeet? Also lovin' his old-school pencil eraser tops:

Can Herb star in his own series, Knight Broker? Thanks in advance TV people for making that happen. It's pre-party time and JoHeJo gather at Carriage House for some last minute team efforting: Joél's not that pleased with how the penthouse staging went but takes some deep yoga breaths and lets it go. Let's get to this poppin' party already...and see some makeover magic! And sexy sports cars. So much awaits:

JoHeJo finds the response "overwhelmingly positive" and the developers seem hesitantly hopeful it will translate into $ales.

Champagne + rifling through pocketbook = DRUNK BUYING! (it's like drunk dialing except you booty call the owner with a monetary offer) :

The woman was probs just looking for a mint, but I like to dream big. Was the open house a hit? Um, that's like asking if Team JoHeJo is super sweet and works well together. Turns out that eight weeks after the party, more than two dozen offers came in and five signed contracts! Eminem would be proud. Episode grade: Hard-working agents brought their A-game, the money came, and the developers weren't insane! These tag team tales earn 4 out of 5 Happy Holiday cackling Kleiers.

Best Place of the Week: 220 Riverside Boulevard

NY Daily NewsDecember 16, 2011
This nearly 3,000-square-foot condo in Trump Place has river views from every room.

“There is a wonderful foyer you walk down and then the element of surprise — suddenly you turn the corner and in front of you are these walls of windows overlooking the Hudson,” said CORE’s Emily Beare, who has the listing. “You see the George Washington Bridge to the right, and you can see through the kitchen and see a beautiful view to the left. Wherever you are in the apartment, you see amazing views.”

Just Sold! : 330 Spring Street

The New York PostDecember 15, 2011
Manhattan
SOHO $1,635,000
330 Spring St.

Two-bedroom, two-bath loft condo, 1,489 square feet, with open kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, bath with soaking tub and separate shower, washer/dryer and floor-to-ceiling windows; building features doorman and gym. Common charges $2,006, taxes $403. Asking price $1,675,000, on market 14 weeks. Brokers: Adrian Noriega, Core and Jackie Kurtz, Warburg Realty.

House of the Day: 246 West 17th Street, 1-C

The Wall Street JournalDecember 15, 2011
Chelsea, Storage, Space
Price: $2,575,000 Location: Manhattan, NY

“The owners of this two-bedroom home in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood added a 'hiding space' behind the kitchen, as well as ample storage to accommodate their growing family.” - Sushil Cheema

Gimme Shelter: 233 West 20th Street

The New York PostDecember 15, 2011
Jim Carrey’s downtown bachelor-pad hunt continues. As we previously reported, the funnyman had been looking for apartments in the $5 million to $8 million range — and now he’s visiting even bigger, more lavish residences.

He recently checked out a $13.65 million townhouse at 233 W. 20th St. The Chelsea townhouse, built in 1824 and completely renovated, is 7,000 square feet, with six bedrooms and six-plus bathrooms. The home includes a grand entrance foyer, an elevator, two chef’s kitchens and a solarium flanked by two terraces.

Listing brokers Tom Postilio and Natalie Rakowski of Core could not be reached for comment.

A Unique Perspective: A Look at Some Unique Residential Amenities and Services

Resident MediaDecember 15, 2011
Show us a luxury residential building or townhouse that doesn’t offer what has become basic amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, in-house concierge or even bicycle storage - they are easy to come by. Marble counter tops are always expected along with common area party or gathering spaces and billiard/entertainment communal areas. As we searched around for properties we came across some surprising amenities that offer that “dare-to-be-different” twist to NYC living.

According to Maggie Kent a top producing agent with CORE a brokerage here in Manhattan, special features and unique amenities can appeal to a wide range of people but, for one townhouse she is currently selling, she believes that it will take a very specific buyer. Located in Chelsea, this 5,000 sq ft property features an 8ft deep 26 ft long in ground swimming pool that opens into a 16-foot high solarium sanctuary. Amenities are so important today to buyers whether they are looking at some of the newer luxury buildings that have been built or re-constructed recently to townhouses that beg to be the recipient of upgrades. “One townhouse I am currently marketing at 232 West 15th Street in Chelsea has so many unique features from the in ground swimming pool to the solarium to the back garden and roof deck it is going to appeal to a very particular buyer which could be a celebrity or an athlete - I can even see one of the Google Executives really enjoying this property especially since it is about a block and a half from their NYC headquarters” says Kent.

If swimming in your own townhouse isn’t your thing then maybe another very unique townhouse listed by Paula Del Nunzio with Brown Harris Stevens is. At 170 East 80th Street Paula is marketing a townhouse that features the tallest indoor waterfall in New York City. The townhouse has been renovated over the last three years into an exquisite 13,000-squarefoot mansion by Kate Shin, president of WEmi:t LLC, the developer of the property. The home includes a one-of-a-kind 20-foot wide and 22-foot high indoor cascading waterfall and pond. It also features an art gallery on the main floor for private or commercial use, a 2,300-squarefoot private spa lounge with a Jacuzzi and sauna, and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar. The five-floor mansion boasts eight rooms, eight bathrooms, an elevator, and a roof sky garden with real green grass. Both of these townhouses are truly one of a kind properties that exude opulence from the entrance to the intimate details. Although not a new amenity or special perk we still have to include the Ian Schrager designed 50 Gramercy Park North in our library of high regards. Not only do residents of some of the properties surrounding Gramercy Park have the ability of obtaining a key that allows them access to the park but, at 50 Gramercy they can as well enjoy 24 hour room service from the Gramercy Park Hotel. Accordingto Wassim Serhan an agent with TOWN, a residential brokerage in Manhattan his listing at 50 Gramercy Park North #10A provides these amenities plus direct park views and a full private floor. “This is a rare find for the discerning buyer waiting to own at the coveted 50 Gramercy Park North” he said. Wassim added, “housekeeping, room service, butler service, valet service, event planning/ catering, personal shopping, delivery and car wash service, even access to the state of the art fitness center and spa at the Gramercy Park Hotel is available”.

Luxury buildings such as MiMA which is a 63-story glass tower at 450 West 42nd St. between 9th and 10th Avenues offer tenants all the joys of amenity heaven. Named after its location in the middle of Manhattan, MiMA features M Club, a sprawling 44,000 square foot health, recreation and entertainment amenities. In addition to the city’s first resident-only, on site Equinox fitness club, the building offers a full court basketball court and a 60-foot glass enclosed lap pool. Another first is Dog City, a full service grooming and day care center for pets. The residents-only professionally staffed pet spa with indoor and outdoor play areas offers grooming and training facilities, in-home feeding, walking services, scheduled play dates, and more. In all there are three lushly landscaped outdoor terraces with private dining pods and barbecue facilities encompassing over 14,000 square feet of outdoor space, two party rooms and catering kitchens, outdoor and indoor screening rooms, and an Internet café and business center equipped with iMac computers and a coffee bar. In addition, there is a club room and residents’ lounge with a cozy island fireplace, a fully equipped game room with billiards and card tables and electronic gaming.

One other luxury building that needs to be mentioned is The Aldyn a 40 story condo building developed by Extell Development Company over in the Riverside South neighborhood. Residents have access to one of New York City’s largest residential fitness and activity centers, with over 40,000-squarefeet. The unrivaled amenities, powered by LA PALESTRA, offer a state-of-the-art fitness center with both cardio and weight training and separate studios for yoga, Pilates, and Kinesis. The building has a 75-foot swimming pool, two-level rock climbing wall, full size basketball and squash courts, and a golf driving range simulator. Spa facilities include private treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms and men’s and women’s locker rooms.

A community environment is further fostered thanks to a game room, bowling alley, café, entertainment room and a Kidville USA indoor playground. Yes, we came across some unique additions to make one really think about what they would want in a luxury rental or condo or in townhouse ownership. With construction renovations slowly ramping up and many buildings planned, we wonder what the next luxury amenity will be to attract buyers and renters and to stay competitive in a challenging NYC real estate market.

CORE acquires R.P. Miller & Associates

Brokers WeeklyDecember 14, 2011
Shaun Osher's Core has acquired residential real estate brokerage R.P. Miller & Associates, a firm founded by industry stalwart Reba Miller in 1998, Core told The Real Deal today. Miller will take the role of managing director of sales at Core, the company said, overseeing the firm's agents and resale business.

Osher confirmed that Miller would be bringing a few "select" members of her team at R.P. Miller & Associates to Core; "less than 10," he said, declining to reveal their names. Susan Rubell, an agent at Miller's namesake company based at 115 East 57th Street, said she and Lee Frankel would be joining Core, effective next week, but said she could not speak for anyone else. It was not immediately clear how many brokers R.P. Miller & Associates has, but the state Department of State's website shows four licensed brokers in total.

"I have admired and have been friends with Reba for over a decade," said Osher, Core's CEO, who declined to disclose the cost of the acquisition because both firms are privately held companies. "She has one of the finest reputations in the industry."

Miller has sold over $1 billion in real estate over her 27‐year career, Core said, and helped L+M Partners CEO Ron Moelis find a pre‐war apartment at 900 Fifth Avenue earlier this year.

Miller, who was not available for further comment, added in a statement that Core's business model was "complimentary to my own way of thinking."

The acquisition is just the latest in a wave of changes at Core, which included the launch of anew website, the development of Core Control, a new listings platform built in collaboration with Streeteasy.com, and the relocation of the firm's headquarters. The firm recently moved
from 417 Fifth Avenue in Murray Hill to a bigger space, about 5,000 square feet, at 104 Fifth Avenue on 15th Street. Core shared its Murray Hill office space with real estate investment firm Midtown Equities, a principal of which, Jack Carye, is a co‐founder of Core.

Miller will be filling a role previously held by Mark Ripka, who left Core earlier this week, Osher said, though the duties of the position will change substantially.

"[Ripka] and Core parted ways on mutual and good terms," a spokesperson for Core said.

Ripka said he was continuing to pursue opportunities and may choose to work with a former business partner on the development side of the market.

House of the Day: Federal Style in Chelsea

The Wall Street JournalDecember 13, 2011
Federal Style in Chelsea
Price: $685,000 Location: Manhattan, NY

“This pre-war co-op in Chelsea is adorned with a mix of antiques and built-ins.” —Maya Pope-Chappell

Oak Room Contractor Ready to Flip Redone Candela Condo

CurbedDecember 13, 2011
Apartment #10C at 44 East 67th Street is a bit of a rarity among Rosario Candela-designed properties: it's a condo rather than a co-op. It's also back on the market with a new broker after a PriceChop from $3.875 million to the current ask of $3.495 million. Either way, the ask is notable: the property last sold for $2.35 million just last year. So why the mark-up? According to the brokerbabble, the place is "newly renovated" by Robyn Karp Interiors. And the seller, who appears to be the same Isaac Fhima who renovated the Plaza's Oak Room, is no stranger to flips, with another one in the neighborhood already under his belt.

Three Residential Developments Test East 96th Street as UES Northern Boundary

The Real DealDecember 12, 2011
A trio of Upper East Side developments will test the traditional northern boundary for luxury buildings, the Financial Times reported.

The projects -- 1280 Fifth Avenue, 4 East 102nd Street and 1212 Fifth Avenue -- will test the East 96th Street line Manhattanites have long considered the separation between the Upper East Side and Harlem. But the new developments offer the amenities of buildings to the south and all three were designed by "brand-name" architects. While 1280 Fifth Avenue and 4 East 102nd Street are new developments, by Brickman and Durst Fetner Residential, respectively, 1212 Fifth Avenue is a conversion.

The Robert Stern-designed 1280 Fifth, the furthest north, at 109th Street, is anchored by the African Museum of Art. As The Real Deal previously reported, sales, which had been handled by Brown Harris Stevens, was recently taken over by Core. The 116-unit building has a rooftop pool and a private dining room, in a dramatic departure from the rest of the neighborhood's building stock.

Meanwhile, 4 East 102nd Street -- a 52-floor, 230-unit rental building -- was designed by famed Argentine architect Cesar Pelli's son Rafael and 55-unit 1212 Fifth Avenue by S. Russell Groves, who is best known for designing retailer Tiffany's boutiques, the Financial Times said. The 1212 Fifth building, at 104th Street, offers a 24-hour concierge and a gym.

So far buyers are not too hesitant to move to the "transitional" area, the paper said. More than 15 percent of 1280's units are reportedly in contract, while at 1212 Fifth over a dozen apartments have been sold. The East 102nd Street building will be completed next spring.

"I've spent several years looking for a pre-war condo that's on Central Park and fully modernized," an Argentine attorney who bought a pair of apartments at 1212 Fifth Avenue told the Financial Times. "For me, the developers have done an elegant job of blending the old with the new." [Financial Times]

Inside a Revamped and Relisted $7.46M Tribeca Condo

CurbedDecember 09, 2011
A buyer paid $4,862,143 two years ago for PH2 at 60 Beach Street, one of Tribeca's high-end loft conversions. That buyer turned around and put the discount she received on the unit—originally listed for $6.8 million—toward a renovation. And now the apartment is back on the market, offering a glimpse at just what got renovated. The brokerbabble gives us one clue: there's a custom dressing room/walk-in closet in the master suite. Above, some photos of the apartment as it looks now, asking $7.46 million.

Take the Fifth- Will Manhattan Buyers be Lured North of 96th Street?

Financial TimesDecember 09, 2011
Central Park and the Fifth Avenue skyline.

Manhattan may be beloved for its magnificent avenues but it is the borough’s 200-plus grid-like streets that define its cachet. And no street carries more geographic gravitas than 96th Street. Running from the east to the Hudson River – past Fifth Avenue and Central Park West – 96th Street serves as the unofficial northern boundary between the desirable Upper East and West Sides and the less affluent region of Upper Manhattan beyond.

A trio of new East Side developments will now test whether buyers are willing to pay high prices for apartments near the top of Central Park. All three are located on (or just off) Fifth Avenue, facing the park and within walking distance of the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Mount Sinai Hospital. However, the new buildings are in a neighbourhood most observers would still call “transitional”, close to the nearly 15-acre George Washington Carver Houses public housing estate and lacking the services, shops and restaurants demanded by upmarket buyers.

“These buildings are really pushing the boundaries in terms of Fifth Avenue desirability,” says Noah Rosenblatt, founder of Urban Digs, a Manhattan real estate analytics firm. “While the buildings and the architects may be good, the location so far above 96th Street remains a fringe neighbourhood for many.”

Set just above historic Carnegie Hill, two of the projects – 1280 Fifth Avenue and 4 East 102nd Street – are new-build developments, while 1212 Fifth Avenue is a contemporary conversion of a pre-war apartment building. The latter will be ready by the end of the year; construction on 1280 was finished last spring and 4 East 102nd Street will be completed by spring 2012.

“We’re reinterpreting tradition through a modernist lens,” says 1212 Fifth Avenue architect S Russell Groves, who is best known for designing upscale hotels, residences and boutiques for brands such as Takashimaya and Tiffany. Behind a brick and limestone façade, the 55 apartments combine 21st-century-style windows, electrical and mechanical systems with deco-era marble floors and bamboo columns. Other amenities such as a 24-hour concierge, fitness centre and residents’ lounge are standard on Fifth Avenue’s “gold coast” – but novelties 25 blocks north on 104th Street.

“Brand name” architects are also behind 1280 Fifth Avenue and 4 East 102nd Street. The former is designed by Robert AM Stern and the latter – a 52-floor, 230-unit luxury rental building – by Rafael Pelli, son of Argentine architect César Pelli. Like 1212 Fifth, the Pelli tower is set in the heart of the Mount Sinai complex, which owns the land. Indeed, much of the area’s economic activity has been spurred by Mount Sinai itself, which has sold choice pieces of real estate to developers, including 1200 Fifth Avenue for $61m to a group of investors in 2004.

The new 116-unit Stern building is located at the corner of East 109th Street and is the furthest north of the trio. Rising 21 storeys above Central Park, 1280 will be anchored by the Museum for African Art when it opens next year in the building’s first four floors.

The distinctive exterior of precast concrete and glass, undulating at its lower levels, is a conscious attempt to strengthen 1280’s appeal to buyers wary of its location. “The developer had concerns about whether the market would respond positively to the building,” says Stern. “I’d like to think that our solution for the facades ... contributed to the project’s success.”

New development 1280 Fifth Avenue

Stern’s building sprawls nearly an entire block, with hotel-like leisure facilities including a rooftop pool and private dining room. The real appeal, however, is 1280 Fifth Avenue’s cost which averages at $1,250 per sq ft – 25 to 50 per cent lower than Fifth Avenue rates below 96th Street. Some are priced even lower: an 801 sq ft studio currently listed for $660,510 – or $824 per sq ft; or a four-bedroom, 3,171 sq ft unit offered for $3,724,450 or $1,175 per sq ft. As a new-build project in a “transitional” area, 1280 also benefits from a 10-year, city-sponsored tax-abatement scheme with estimated taxes at just $22-$60 per month.

More than 15 per cent of 1280’s apartments are in contract with closings expected early next year, according to Shaun Osher, chief executive of Core, which is marketing the building, with foreign buyers showing particularly strong interest. Meanwhile sales at 1212 Fifth are slightly higher – around $1,500 per sq ft – and over a dozen apartments have been sold. Clearly conscious of the “soft” economy, both buildings are priced below 1200 Fifth Avenue, which still has unsold apartments more than five years after first coming to market at nearly $1,850 per sq ft.

Singapore-based jewellery designer Annie May Chen rented in the area for six months before buying a penthouse at 1280 Fifth Avenue. She had reservations about purchasing so far uptown but says: “Having lived in many cities across Asia, I recognise that neglected areas will somehow always be revisited for redevelopment.”

For Argentine lawyer Marcello Mihanovic, the opportunity to own a traditional-yet-restored apartment on Fifth Avenue outweighed any location concerns. “I’ve spent several years looking for a pre-war condo that’s on Central Park and fully modernised,” says Mihanovic, who bought a pair of apartments at 1212 Fifth Avenue. “For me, the developers have done an elegant job of blending the old with the new.”

Buying guide

Pros
● Savings of at least 20 to 25 per cent over similar residences further south along Fifth Avenue
● Central Park frontage and location
● New interiors in an area dominated by unrenovated buildings
● Close to key medical centre and Manhattan’s top museums

Cons
● Long-standing resistance by many Manhattanites to travel above 96th Street
● Area is still transitional and lacks many basic services
● Subway connections are fine – but just fine What you can buy for ... $100,000 Nothing $1m A one-bedroom, 809 sq ft unit at 1212 Fifth Avenue

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.
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