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

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Halal and Hipsters on West 29th Street

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Buying Up Domain Names In Order To Turn a Profit

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