$849,000 for an 1830s 1BR With a Very Cozy Footprint

CurbedNovember 11, 2011
Price: $849,000
Address: 47-49 King Street #13, in the no man's land west of Sixth Avenue and south of Houston
Size: Unlisted and cozy
Maintenance: $969

You know that row of Federal-style brick rowhouses on King Street, now surrounded on each side by the pervasive traffic snarls of Varick Street and Sixth Avenue? Well, this is one of those. The landmarked 1830s home at 47-49 has been remade into twelve co-op units; #13 is on the third floor and overlooks the building's lush central garden. OMG, cute. The apartment is pretty tiny, though its original wide plank floors, 10-foot beamed ceilings, wood-burning fireplace and exposed brick walls make up for it in the looks department. The kitchen, for its part, is rather roomy and has a skylight. There isn't a ton of storage in the unit, though the building offers communal space in the basement.

"Selling New York" Recap: Sky High Strategies

CurbedNovember 11, 2011
Holy Heights, you guys! Last night's episode of Selling New York was all about atmospheric apartments with matching sky high price tags. Oh, and all the agents featured were juvenile non-liquents (as in way young and successful, as in under 30 but over 26). First, a baby-faced real estate buck grows some antlers when he tells the owner of a not-selling Lincoln Square apartment that she needs to lower the price or he's dropping the listing. Then, a trio of under-30-year-old brokers band together to help one of their own market his parent's trumped-up condo in Turtle Bay. Will the real estate youth of today elevate their income or languish in listing limbo? Strap on your parachute and hold onto your stomachs as we fling feet-first into this head-spinning recap!

Continue reading "Selling New York S4E5: Sky High Strategies"


CORE agent Michael Graves is in a tizzy over his client's 1,329-square-foot pad at 10 West End Avenue. He's been showing it for the past six months and no one's plunked down the firm $1.775 million asking price yet. Could it be because of the blinding sunlight or pervasive odor of truffle oil?

The main ish is that the Riverside Center megaproject is being built and will block river views from the 21st-floor windows. Way to obstruct, Riverside Center. So uncool of you. And also, the same pad a few floors up is selling for $100,000 less. So uncool of you to undercut, higher apartment!

Michael hosts yet another showing just to prove the overall negative reaction he must bear:

Anguished with the absence of interest, Michael takes a moment to contemplate his future and his connection to nature on the balcony:
Then, he meets up with owner Rosalind Rodbury to talk some lowering-the-price sense into her. But Ros is resolute. "I cannot drop the price and I don't want to drop the price," she insists. She is not going to let trifling truffle oil spoil her spoils!

Displeased, Michael counters that he'll need to lose the listing if she doesn't drop the price. He's got no time for Miss Stubborntrufflebury.
Like all good ultimatums, this one worked! Sorta. Ros shoots back with a tantalizing offer-matum. If Michael promises to sell her apartment at asking price, he'll get her business for the new place she buys AND commission for that place when she retires and moves out of Manhattan.

Who's going to pass up the exclusive on three commissions? Not Mikey. "I'm gonna dig deep," he says about re-approaching the listing. Will he find gold in the mines of his mind?

Next, Michael takes Ros to a pre-market listing at 300 East 23rd Street's Tempo building in Gramercy. We're quite familiar with ol' Tempo. Ros is hesitant to look at another place when hers isn't sold, but Michael is hoping she'll fall in love with it and want to move quickly on a sale.

Ros' temperature on the Tempo is 98.6 degrees of LOVE IT:

She's digging the $1.885 million digs, but not enough to lower the price because the lady does not waver unless it's in her favor.

Every ambitious youngster has a mentor, and for Michael that's James Bondy boss Shaun Osher. During their sunglassed sidewalk saunter, Shaun advises him to "breathe new life into the listing" and to pretend like he just got it. Sell the neighborhood, kid, not the effed-up view.
Note the matching hands in pocket action—way to mirror your mentor, Mikey!

Michael heeds the advice and rassles up another showing—this time with knowledge about the growing nabe and brochures to hand out:
Shaun was right! When Mikey emphasizes the Riverside Center amenities (3.5 acres of greenspace! A movie theater! Other crap!), he gets smiles instead of frowns:

So much so that... offer comes in! Mikey negotiates the numbers up to $1.7 million, which is still $50,000 less than Ros requires. He gets Ros to meet with him in person to sway her into the deal...

But c'mon! We know Ros by now. She's not going for it. Though Michael does get her to put in an offer of $1.5 million on the Tempo unit so she doesn't miss out on it before it hits the market AKA so he can nail down at least one of the promised commissions.

And hey! The updater shares that Michael scored a second commission from Ros when he sold her apartment for $1.75 million. And Ros scored her Tempo for $1.65 million. Hurrahs for patience, persistence and pocketing that cash!

Meet Warburg's "3 under 30" triumvirate of wrinkle-free agents: David Jacobs, Margaret Wailes, and Jay Glazer.

Dave's trying to unload his parent's condo in the Trump World Tower at 845 U.N. Plaza in Turtle Bay. He brings Mags and Jay along to get some feedback on the 23rd floor property and to help him with pricing. The challenge? His parents sunk a million (!!) bucks into fancy renovations that need to be reflected/recouped in the market price. No wall-creeping carpet in this unit, darn!

A tour of silly hi-tech sound systems and overpriced custom cabinets awaits!

The triad agrees that the price should veer towards $3 million, even if comparable non-reno'd pads are going for $2.4 million.

Oooh, look! A boat view! For people who like to wave at boats, or maybe just space out the window watching them go by:

Now that they've nailed down a price range, the brokers have to figure out a marketing strategy to pump up their Trump. Off they elevate to the 39th floor (in the same building) to look at a comparable unit, priced at $3.39 million:

The brokers bond brains to figure out an alluring hook for an open house...something useful that the youngsters can teach the elders...JACKPOT! They come up with the idea to have a "tech seminar" for their fellow Warburg colleagues to school them on the latest real estate internet tools. But they all seem committed to the idea.

Before the open house party, there's a pit stop at the Central Park Boathouse. Warburg Prez Fred Peters and his wife are being honored for their work with the Neighborhood Coalition For Shelter. Way to give back, Freddie! There, Fred advises the threesome to "get the feet of the brokers who work the neighborhood" into the open house. But aren't they just inviting their co-workers?! Just send an e-mail blast for crying out loud. Maybe there is a need for a tech seminar!

AnyI'vestoppedtryingtomakesenseofthismessways, it's open house time and the hosts are whipping out iPads and teaching the old folks which end is up:

So now that fellow Warburg brokers are aware of Dave's $2.95 million parent's pad, I know you're foaming to know what happened. In a word: Nothing. In five words, courtesy of Dave: "Traffic's strong, but no offers." I'd link to the listing, but it's nowhere to be found...was it even on the market?!

Episode Grade: Points for Ros finally packing her duffels and fleeing the truffles. But annoyance with Dave and broker buds for boring ideas means these aspirers get only 2.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.

Less Than $1M For a Pre-Civil War House in Fort Greene

CurbedNovember 09, 2011

If the pre‐Civil War houses of the West Village are a bit out of reach, financially, consider this Fort Greene charmer, a detached two‐and a‐hal story home "sporting Greek Revival and Italianate architectural details." (Looks like a modified saltbox to us, but hey, we're no broker.) 141 Clermont Avenue comes with itsoriginal wide‐plank floors intact and lots of wood: beams, floors, lofted bedroom upstairs. It's currently configured as two one‐bedroom apartments (squeezed into 1,324 square feet!) but would be easy enough to renovate into a single family residence. Side bonus: the lot is 25'x100' and it's got a driveway. · Three of a Kind: Historic Houses That Are Decorators' Dreams [CORE Blog] · Listing: 141 Clermont Avenue [CORE]

Osher's CORE Acquires Residential Firm R.P. Miller & Associates

The Real DealNovember 08, 2011

CORE Acquires R.P. Miller & Associates Inc. and Names Reba Miller Managing Director of Sales

November 08, 2011
New York, NY – (November 8, 2011) – CORE is pleased to announce that today, it has acquired R.P. Miller & Associates Inc., owned by industry leader, Reba Miller. In addition to this acquisition, Reba Miller will take a role as CORE’s Managing Director of Sales, where she will oversee both the firm’s agents and its re-sale business.

“I have admired and have been friends with Reba for over a decade. She has one of the finest reputations in the industry,” states Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE. “She is a consummate deal maker with the highest level of integrity and professional standards. Reba fits perfectly into our culture as a forward-thinking marketing and sales company. I feel that her expertise is going to provide our agents with the best level of management service in the city – bar none. “

“After many years in the real estate business, I recognized that CORE's business model was complimentary to my own way of thinking,” notes Reba Miller, CORE’s new Managing Director of Sales. “I look forward to continuing to represent the CORE vision of integrity and outstanding service. The incredible support that Shaun and his management team provide for the agents speaks volumes about the belief they have in their business and agents. This is truly a great match for both of us.”

Over the course of her twenty-seven year career, Miller has sold over $1 billion in real estate with notable sales including deals at 15 CPW for $4,000/foot and at The Plaza for $5,000/foot. In addition to these record-breaking sales, she has done 90% of the sales and leasing in converted buildings such as Leonori, 26 East 63rd, 44 East 677th and 21 East 66th, where numerous apartments have been sold or rented multiple times since 1985. In addition, R.P. Miller & Associates, Inc. has sold and represented properties in other top residential condominium buildings including Olympic Tower, Trump Tower, The Chatham, The Empire and The Europa.

She also has extensive experience in new development; her past projects included 985 Park Avenue where, in partnership with Barbara Fox, 9 units sold at an average price of $6 million, the successful repositioning and rebranding of 333 West 14th and the sellout of 211 Madison. Among Miller’s many other accolades was receiving a third place Deal of the Year Award for her work on a complicated deal at 188 East 78th, resulting in 6 commissions paid at the closing. Miller is presently the Co-Chairman of The Board of Directors of the Real Estate Board of New York, where she’s served for the past three years.

“The acquisition of Reba Miller and her firm is a real coup for CORE,” notes Barbara Fox, President of Fox Residential Group, Inc. “Reba is one of the smartest, most creative minds in residential brokerage in Manhattan today. Reba’s experience and business wisdom will be of great benefit to CORE.”

This acquisition will add to CORE’s recent strategic growth and evolution; which included the launch of an innovative new website, the development of CORE Control, a new listings platform built in collaboration with StreetEasy and the opening of a new corporate headquarters in Flatiron.

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

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Chelsea Housing Gets Google Lift

The Wall Street JournalNovember 04, 2011
Google Inc.'s decision five years ago to move its New York headquarters to 111 Eighth Ave. was expected to bring a flurry of new office tenants to the Chelsea area. Less anticipated was that some developers would seek to cash in on the influx of tech workers in the design of their residential projects.

One such developer, Harlan Berger, chief executive of Centaur Properties, began assembling several prime plots of land at West 16th Street and Eighth Avenue in 2004 when the sprawling brick building across the street at 111 Eighth was more of an eyesore than an attraction.

But in 2006, Google signed its first 270,000‐square‐foot lease there, and Mr. Berger quickly saw an opportunity. At one point, he said he had informal talks with the Internet search giant to create "Google House," a residence solely for Google employees, who would live across the street from work. The project ran into bumps with zoning, and never materialized, he said.

Google declined to comment about whether it was ever in discussions with Mr. Berger.

Nonetheless, a building that the developer erected at 305 W. 16th St. clearly caters to the area's growing tech set. "Google is a game‐changer for the neighborhood and the city," said Mr. Berger.

At least two Google employees have purchased condos in the building, and Mr. Berger also said he is seeing an unusual number of young and first‐time buyers, including parents who purchased a two‐bedroom for a New York University student.

To attract more tech‐savvy buyers, the developer plans to offer several tech features, including an iPhone app that would allow residents to talk to the doorman remotely.

But not all aspects about 305 W. 16th have been universally appreciated. The building's black angular design doesn't fit with Chelsea's wood‐beamed art galleries and brick townhouses, critics say.

Mr. Berger said he has sought to help offset a masculine feel of the design by purchasing a 38‐foot daisy flowerpot weighing more than 6,000 pounds to sit in the building's rooftop garden.

While developers in many neighborhoods have turned to building rentals as condo financing has become hard to come by, Chelsea's condo market is reviving, in part thanks to the growing community of tech and other workers in the area, developers say.

Chelsea has more new condo projects in the pipeline than any other neighborhood, according to Shaun Osher, founder and chief executive of the Core Group, which specializes in new development. Indeed, the number of condo unit sales in Chelsea jumped to 121 in the third quarter, from 78 in the year‐earlier quarter, according to Miller Samuel Inc., a real‐estate appraisal firm.

Other developers are moving to meet residential demand in Chelsea. DDG Partners recently received a $26 million construction loan and has already broken ground on a condo building with roughly 40 units at 345 W. 14th St.

"For young, tech professionals, when they get married and have families, we don't see a lot of them leaving the neighborhood," said DDG Chief Executive Joe McMillan. "Living close to work is not a bad thing."

One of Chelsea's largest, and sometimes controversial, luxury condo projects also plans to launch sales near the beginning of next year. The Brodsky Organization has gradually assembled two rows of landmark buildings on 20th and 21st streets, between Ninth and 10th avenues from the General Theological Seminary over the last couple of years.

The developer is completing the interior renovation of the second of these buildings, which will be a 38‐unit condo project at 422 W. 20th St.

The first building, the Chelsea Enclave at 177 Ninth Ave., was a ground‐up development and is already almost sold out at a near top prices for Chelsea of $1,711 a square foot, according to StreetEasy.

A jigsaw of zoning laws in Chelsea and the Meatpacking District has helped protect the neighborhood's diverse commercial and residential uses. However, in some cases this has prevented developers from creating more residential projects to cater to demand.

At 837 Washington St., Taconic Investment Partners is building a new office building, where the company says it could fetch top commercial office rents of $100 a square foot on top floors. Still, Taconic Co‐chief Executive Paul Pariser conceded a residential building would have been desirable.

"It would have been unbelievable to go residential, but the district doesn't like the use," Mr. Pariser said.

Psst, Seller: Your Stove Is Showing Its Age

The New York TimesNovember 04, 2011
FOR those who wince every time they look at the cracked Formica counters in the kitchen, the decision to sell the old apartment may be especially liberating.

They can begin to dream of making a fresh start in a new kitchen, with fancy granite countertops and shiny new appliances.

But not so fast. Buyers are more selective than ever, brokers say, and even a wobbly stair rail or a squeaky floorboard can scuttle a potential sale — let alone an outdated kitchen, a funky bathroom or an awkward layout.

So before the first open house, it is often a wise idea to renovate. That can be as extensive as a full gut job, or as limited as painting cabinets and replacing appliances.

The notion that a property for sale needs to be blemish-free represents a sharp change from the real estate boom years, when buyers felt pressure to snap up apartments at first sight, harvest-gold fridges and all, or lose them.

It may also seem counterintuitive to invest in a place you’re about to leave behind for good. But buyers in today’s market are often seriously considering eight, nine, maybe even a dozen listings, so any way of separating yourself from the pack is key, brokers said.

“You don’t want the buyer to be like, ‘We kind of like that place, I don’t know,’ ” said Michael Garr of the CORE Group NYC. Instead, the reaction should be, “Wow, this is so beautiful.”

Mr. Garr said two of his six current listings had been renovated to sell, at his urging, and so had another, on West 22nd Street, that sold this fall.

In general, money spent on new dishwashers, fresh coats of paint and stone bathroom tile will come out of the seller’s pocket and can’t be tacked onto the list price. But brokers say that type of spending is preferable to chopping the list price, which can convey to buyers that something is wrong with the property.

Mr. Garr, for example, said that the offers he had received on a renovated two-bedroom condo on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea were higher after he persuaded the seller to do some work, even though the asking price didn’t change.

What also may come as a surprise is that buyers, with all due respect, often do not have a lot of imagination when it comes to decorating, no matter how many design magazines they may have flipped through.

Instead of presenting them with a blank canvas, it’s better to put forward a finished, up-to-date space with things like high-quality light fixtures, embedded computer cables and fresh bathroom vanities, said Nic Bottero, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens.

“It’s much harder to sell a raw space,” Mr. Bottero said, “because they just can’t visualize it.”

And while many listings — perhaps even the majority — include the word “renovated,” even a change made as far back as the Clinton administration can qualify an apartment as renovated. The work listed in six apartments in this interactive feature was done after the decision to sell was made.

To be fair, a costly renovation does not always make sense. While a fresh coat of paint is generally worth the cost, a $50,000 kitchen-and-bathroom replacement probably won’t be recouped in a $300,000 studio.

But for a million-dollar-plus apartment, spending the money may be a sound investment.

After buyers walk through your door for the first time, Mr. Garr said, “ you don’t want them going someplace else.”

Condo Developers Flock to Chelsea

The Real DealNovember 04, 2011

Broker Exchange

The Real DealNovember 01, 2011

Halal and Hipsters on West 29th Street

The Real DealNovember 01, 2011

Buying Up Domain Names In Order To Turn a Profit

The Real DealNovember 01, 2011
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