News

Nate Berkus Just Sold His Sky-High Manhattan Penthouse

Elle DecorJune 21, 2016

It should come as no surprise that design guru Nate Berkus is also a real estate mogul.

The interior designer has sold his Fifth Avenue penthouse apartment for $9.8 million to financier-slash-jewelry-designer Charles de Viel Castel, according to Luxury Listings NYC. That's nearly twice what he paid for the three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath pad in 2013, the Observer reports.

Highlights of the space include 10.5-foot coffered ceilings, three wood-burning fireplaces, a wrought-iron staircase, and a closet that is bigger than most apartments.

Rumor has it that Nate and his husband, Jeremiah Brent, could be on the hunt for a more kid-friendly home, but there's no word on where the family's heading next. It may not be too far away – the designer moved to this space from an apartment building just three blocks away, according to the Observer. One thing's for sure: It will be stylish beyond compare.

Nate Berkus Sells Greenwich Village Duplex For $10M

Luxury Listings NYCJune 20, 2016

Remember Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s absolutely dreamy Greenwich Village duplex apartment? Well, no surprise, but the interior design power duo has managed to sell the place at 39 Fifth Avenue for $9.8 million to financier and jewelry designer Charles de Viel Castel. Emily Beare of Core had the listing.

Nate Berkus Has Sold His Village Duplex For $10M

The Real DealJune 20, 2016

From Luxury Listings NYC: Remember Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent’s dreamy Greenwich Village duplex apartment? Well, no surprise, but the interior design power duo has managed to sell the place at 39 Fifth Avenue for $9.8 million to financier and jewelry designer Charles de Viel Castel.

Nate Berkus’ Gorgeous Village Penthouse Sells for $9.8M

ObserverJune 20, 2016

The Oprah-approved designer has sold his gorgeous Greenwich Village penthouse, for nearly twice the $5 million he paid for the space in 2013.

 

The duplex did, of course, get the full royal renovation treatment from the famed interior designer, who resided in the three-bedroom, 2.5-bath pad at 39 Fifth Avenue with his husband, fellow interior designer Jeremiah Brent, and their daughter, Poppy, who was born in March last year. Now that they have a child, perhaps they’re looking to upgrade to some kid-friendly digs, but it couldn’t have been easy to leave this prewar co-op.

 

It was, of course, featured in Architectural Digest–on the cover, obviously, showcasing such features as the corner living room with 10.5-foot coffered ceilings, three wood-burning fireplaces, and a formal dining room. The chef’s kitchen “offers space only found in old-world New York mansions,” per the listing held by Core broker Emily Beare, which apparently means a “Butcher block,” marble countertops, and lots of fancy appliances along with a wall of windows and skylights.

 

The duplex has a wrought-iron staircase, a study, and a “glass enclosed office,” perhaps so one can look out at the loveliness of the space while doing work. Which, in Berkus’ case, is designing even more pretty spaces. There’s also a master suite with eastern views, a fireplace, and what the listing promises to be a “dressing room larger than most bedrooms.”

 

The penthouse was scooped up by non other than financier-slash-jewelry designer Charles de Viel Castel, who paid $9.8 million for the space–sure, it’s not quite the $10.5 million that Berkus was first asking, but it’s definitely not chump change!

 

Burkus is a big fan of Greenwich Village–he moved to this penthouse from 23 West 9th Street, a brisk three-minute walk away. “This neighborhood, particularly the blocks around West 11th and West 10th streets, has a unique magic,” Berkus told Architectural Digest.

 

Well, even if he makes the daring leap outside of those two blocks, we think it’s safe to assume he’ll make it (almost) as stylish as this one. Almost.

On the Market

The New York TimesJune 19, 2016

A two-bedroom two-bath in a prewar elevator building with a live-in superintendent. 

 

PROS A long foyer leads to a spacious living room with an adjacent dining area. A kitchen pass-through lets in light and connects the space to the dining area. A roomy master bedroom suite has a double shower with two shower heads. There are high beamed ceilings throughout.

 

CONS The windows look at neighboring buildings. The second bathroom has a quirky layout with a column in the middle. The building lacks a doorman.

 

102 East 22nd Street, 1EF 

Gain A Competitive Edge

Crain's New YorkJune 19, 2016

When Unilever needed space for its Co-Creation (Pitch) Center—where the multinational brand works with consumers on product development—commercial broker Alex Cohen’s client, based in the U.K., was interested in opening up in Red Hook or the Lower East Side.

 

Cohen, lead commercial broker for New York City brokerage CORE, knew that those neighborhoods would not be ideal. He turned to an app on his iPad called CoStarGo to illustrate this. CoStarGo provides detailed listings and property data, photos and other information.

 

“I had to show them the Lower East Side was not developed the way the Hudson waterfront is,” he said. “It was sweatshops and tenements. It doesn’t lend itself to the kinds of creative occupancies that neighborhoods like Tribeca and SoHo do.” Unilever eventually signed the lease for a 30,000-square-foot space at 99 Hudson Street in Tribeca, moving there in 2015.

 

Many real estate professionals in the city are turning to specialized apps and websites to keep in touch with clients, show spaces to distant prospects, research properties and promote listings. There are plenty of tools vying for their attention, with real estate tech startups raising a record $1.75 billion in 2015, according to CB Insights.

 

Apps can be especially useful for on-the-go research, say brokers. When Cohen needs to learn who owns an off-market building for investors, he uses Reonomy, a real estate analytics software. That can save him precious time. “I’m negotiating right now for a NoHo building that is not on the market,” said Cohen. “We used Reonomy to identify the actual owner behind the LLCs. He’s overseas.”

 

Reonomy has some competition. Commercial broker Michael Vallejo and his client passed a building recently where a client was interested in the office space. Vallejo, who works for TheSquareFoot brokerage in Manhattan, quickly turned to Falkon, a real estate property research app focused on New York City, to find the owner’s name.

 

“I shot [the landlord] an email right there and askedhim if he had anything available that met the client’s requirements.” Though he did not, Vallejo said the app saved him from a lot of time-consuming sifting through city records.

 

Compass, a tech-enabled residential brokerage based in Manhattan, has developed its own apps. “New Yorkers are obsessed with data and obsessed with real estate. When you can match data with real estate, New Yorkers love you,” said James Morgan, a top broker there.

 

Not long ago, the technophile broke out the firm’s market data app during a pitch to a couple on Central Park West. “I’m pretty sure I got the listing because I was able to pull out my phone and share exciting news about an innovative app,” he said.

 

Nooklyn, a tech-enabled brokerage based in Brooklyn, has attracted more than 23,000 users to a platform where they can rent apartments, connect with roommates, and learn about neighborhoods. Nooklyn’s 116 agents list properties on it, as well. “It took off immediately,” said co-founder Harley Courts.

Mickey Drexler’s TriBeCa Home

InCollectJune 17, 2016

Mickey Drexler unloads another NYC gem.

 

Just last month, we reported that Mickey Drexler was selling his stylish TriBeCa residence. Now, the J. Crew CEO is unloading another stunner in the same neighborhood. The twenty-four-foot-wide, 9,000- square-foot Renaissance-style loft is located in a late-nineteenth century building designed by Hugh Getty for Samuel Crooks, a wholesale coffee and tea merchant. The building was used as a roasting plant before it went residential.

 

Drexler enlisted the French architect Thierry Despont to transform the space into a single-family residence. The five-bedroom home is filled with stunning fixtures, unique materials and finishes, and custom design touches that incorporate elements of the structure’s industrial past. The property boasts a grand entrance foyer with glass block inspired by the Modernist architect Pierre Chareau's seminal Maison de Verre in Paris, a 1,500-square-foot living room with soaring ceilings, a rooftop terrace, a gym, a sauna, and a commercial-sized elevator.

 

For the furnishings, Despont opted for rich textures, bold colors, and lustrous finishes, creating a sleek and sophisticated ambiance throughout the home. In the living room, sumptuously upholstered furniture mingles with striking mid century lighting and sculptural decorative objects, while the black-and-yellow dining room boasts graphic patterns and geometric forms, including a commanding Stilnovo chandelier. This one-of-a-kind loft is listed for $29.9 million. Click here to view the full listing.

Vast Tribeca Apartment

InmanJune 15, 2016

This spacious apartment in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood has been recently renovated with a new kitchen and remastered bathrooms. On top of sweeping views of the city, a media room and new wine bar, the place has an upgraded Creston AV system to control temperature, lights, music and shades.

 

The home is listed at $9.995 million by Jim St. Andre with CORE.

How to Find the Best Retail Space for Your Pop-up Shop

NCR SilverJune 15, 2016

Opening a pop-up store is a great way to boost your business — if enough people find it. Because these stores are temporary by nature and the window for making a profit is small, picking the right location is critical. Choose well, and your pop-up should thrive. Choose poorly, and it may go bust.

 

Pop-up shops can live in countless places, from empty retail storefronts to public event spaces to active stores that may rent you room to sell your related goods.

 

If you choose to rent empty retail space, scouting locations is not dissimilar to shopping for a traditional store location, said Alex Cohen, lead commercial specialist at New York City real estate company CORE. Some of the same considerations apply: visibility, storefront size, signage potential and the volume and demographics of customer traffic to neighboring retailers.

 

“Obviously, you want to avoid locations that may be subject to road closures, police actions and other calamities that may undermine your sales,” Cohen said.

 

Here are Cohen’s top tips for choosing the best, most appropriate spot.

 

Clarify your goals

 

Before you look for locations, determine what you want from your shop.

           

“You must establish whether the goal of the pop-up is to maximize net revenue from sales, which would make a location’s rent cost and other expenses critical concerns, or to build brand awareness or launch a new product, in which case the relationship between rent and potential sales is less direct,” Cohen said.

 

Determine how much money you have to spend

 

Don’t assume empty store space equals low rent. “Even neighborhoods with a large amount of vacant storefronts don’t necessarily mean your pop-up will get a deal on rent,” he said.

 

When you look at a space, think about how much time and money will it take to make it work. Does it have the basics you need, such as enough shelving and good lighting? Do you need a dressing room? Can you build one if there isn’t? Does it have adequate electricity and access to Wi-Fi for your POS system?

 

Decide how visible your pop-up shop needs to be

 

“One approach is to focus on very high-traffic and expensive rent areas where foot traffic and visibility will drive customers to the the pop-up store location,” Cohen said. “In New York City, this would mean renting a store in Times Square for a mass market audience, on Madison Avenue in the 60s if you are targeting well-heeled tourists or the wealthy, Upper East Side and older demographic, or prime Soho streets for the affluent younger shopper.”

 

An alternative approach is to rent space in a lower traffic, less visible (and therefore less expensive) location. “But for these locations, more marketing dollars will be spent to drive traffic to the store as a destination.”

 

Know your target customer

 

No matter how much money you have to spend on location, if you put your pop-up shop in an area where none of your potential customers will find it, you won’t succeed.

 

Know who is most likely to purchase your products and do all you can to locate your pop-up in their path. If you’ve been selling merchandise online or in a main store, you may already know your niche. Next, research the types of customers who frequent the area you’re considering. Visit the space at different times of day. Pay attention to other shops in the area to see if you can capitalize on their customer traffic.

 

Read the fine print

 

Know the terms and restrictions of your lease or rental agreement. “Definitely avoid stores where your leased possession of the store is dependent on when and if an existing tenant vacates. An existing tenant holding over in the space can eat into your valuable selling period,” Cohen said.

 

Be sure you can make temporary modifications the site or shop if you need to. Confirm the rules for signage and the hours you may operate.

 

Know the difference between a lease and a license. A lease is a temporary agreement for use of a space. It will state how you may and may not use the space and is generally for exclusive use of a space. A license gives you the right to use the owner’s space, much like a lease; however, it may not grant you exclusive use of a space. A license is granted for more short term use of a space.

 

Finally, be sure you have the permits required by the municipality in which you plan to conduct business.

Interiors For 74 Kent Street

New York YimbyJune 14, 2016

One of the landmarked Eberhard Pencil Factory buildings has sat vacant at 74 Kent Street in Greenpoint for several years, after a drug bust and a failed residential conversion. Now, renovations are nearly complete at the 108-year-old building, and the owners, Caerus Group, are on the hunt for trendy tenants to fill the space.

 

They’ve commissioned SGA Architecture to create renderings of what the built-out spaces could look like. For now, the floors are renovated and empty. Caerus hopes to attract tech, media, and design tenants, and restaurants or retailers could fill the ground floor and lower level.

 

The brokers, Alex Cohen of CORE and Stephen Ruiz of Cushman and Wakefield, expect to rent the space for roughly $50 a square foot. “Vice Media was the first to pay those kind of office rents [in North Brooklyn],” said Ruiz, referring to the company’s new headquarters in part of the former Domino Sugar Factory campus in south Williamsburg. “And there are projections that rents could get up to $60 or $70 a square foot.” He added that this was the largest office space available for rent in the area right now, rivaled only by the 40,000-square-foot community facility space in the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg.

 

The 33,000-square-foot building features 16-foot ceilings, and individual floors range from 8,200 to 9,200 square feet. Tenants on the second and third floors will get private terraces, and there will be a shared, landscaped roof deck on the top floor.

 

74 Kent first hit the market at $60 a square foot in December, but no tenants have signed leases yet, according to the brokers.

 

Kickstarter moved into another one of the landmarked pencil factory buildings two years ago, becoming the first major “TAMI” tenant to arrive in Greenpoint. TAMI stands for technology, advertising, media, and information.

Winka Dubbeldam Asks $13.75M For Renovation

6sqftJune 13, 2016

When Tia Cibani, creative director of popular Canadian fashion brand Ports 1961, left the label after the birth of a new baby, she was far from abandoning her fashion career. The young international designer launched her eponymous label in 2013. Though a creative career and family life are a lot to balance, being able to call this four-story, 5,000-square-foot West Chelsea townhouse home certainly didn’t hurt. When Cibani purchased the home for $4.4 million in 2007, it needed a total overhaul, and noted Dutch architect Winka Dubbeldam, designer of Tribeca’s V33 and the Greenwich Street Project at 497 Greenwich Street, was just the innovative force the project needed. The 1910 townhouse–with colorful contemporary interiors that are anything but stodgy–is now on the market for $13.75 million.

 

The 21-foot wide home on a street lined with the coveted neighborhood’s loveliest townhouses and gardens got the full treatment from Dubbeldam and her firm Archi-Tectonics. Dubbeldam is known for her innovative designs using sustainable materials and smart building systems, all of which are evident in the choices made during the four-year renovation that transformed this remarkable residence. The home was featured in New York magazine, where Cibani explains the creative collaboration process in which she designed the interiors herself.

 

12-foot high carved wood walls separate the entry foyer from the main parlor/living room; the walls slide in two directions to create private or public open space.

 

Warm Siberian oak floors imported from Russia offset modern details like an all-glass rear facade and a unique interior staircase separated from the living area by floor-to-ceiling panes of glass. Light from a skylight and a rear garden fills the home.

 

On the garden level are a guest suite with an en-suite bathroom and kitchen, a laundry room and a den with a wet bar.

 

One floor up on the parlor floor is the aforementioned living room with a fireplace, a large open kitchen from Valcucine and a dining room overlooking the large, landscaped rear garden through floor-to-ceiling windows.

3 Apartments Under $1.1M to See This Weekend

DNAinfoJune 10, 2016

188 Woodpoint Road, 2B

 

Lowdown: This second floor corner apartment in a small elevator condo from 2011 has triple exposures and a 228-square-foot terrace that opens directly onto the living rooms.

 

“It’s really all about the terrace,” said Win Brown, of CORE. “It’s like doubling the size of your living room.”

 

Besides the fluid boundary between the terrace — which is the largest in the eight-unit building — and the living room, there’s also a pass-through window from the kitchen to the terrace, making it easier to move dishes between the two spaces.

 

The unit also has ebony-stained oak floors, Carrera marble counters in the kitchen and a king-sized master bedroom with a double closet and en suite bath.

 

The building has good financials, Brown noted, and has two commercial spaces in the ground floor, including a home design firm and an empty unit that formerly housed a yoga studio.

 

Location: It’s perched on the corner of Woodpoint and Skillman, amid a mix of other new development and typical vinyl-sided row houses in a quiet area of Williasmburg. It’s just three blocks from Cooper Park, with its new tennis courts and other features. It’s three blocks from the Graham Avenue L train and near the area’s new boutiques as well as older faves, like Fortunato’s.

 

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s priced very well for a two-bedroom in today’s market,” Brown said.

This $675,000 Studio Comes With A Secret Garden

GothamistJune 09, 2016

A little sidewalk door marked 340a on West 11th Street is a portal to a magical world that you can be a citizen of... if you have $675,000. That's how much a studio apartment is going for in the 19th Century "back house" at the address. It's damn charming, and will transport you to a more bucolic, old world Manhattan. Sometimes New York City looks like that.

 

The West Village apartment features a wood-burning fireplace, a little alcove for you to dream sweetly in, pure bliss, other things you'd expect in an apartment, like a stove, a bluebird that comes to your window every morning, and a courtyard. A private courtyard, but presumably you'll need to share it with 41 other units in the complex. Bonus: no upstairs neighbors, as this slice of heaven is on the top floor. 

Manhattan’s luxury market is sputtering back to life

The Real DealJune 09, 2016

After getting pummeled in the first quarter, Manhattan’s luxury condominium market looks to be getting off the mat. Brokers say they have seen a rise in sales activity since April, spurred by lower asking prices, stabilizing financial markets, and warmer weather.

Village Studio For $675,000

CurbedJune 07, 2016

This West Village studio may be teeny (the "alcove" that functions as a bedroom is barely 50 square feet), but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in charm. The unit is located on the top floor of a 19th-century "back house," which has its own private courtyard and is accessed via its own little walkway from the street. And the apartment itself has plenty of lovely characteristics, including a wood-burning fireplace. (The bathroom is a whole other story, though.)

 

This isn't the first time an itty-bitty unit in this building has hit the market: Last year, a ground-floor studio was listed for $625,000—and according to city records, it actually sold for $200,000 more than its asking price. Never underestimate the power of privacy and a good location to drive up the price of a New York City apartment.

Owning a Dog in NYC

Street EasyJune 06, 2016

Advice From Real Estate Brokers Who Deal With Dog Owner Clients

 

If you’re a dog owner who is trying to find a dog-friendly listing, there are brokers who specialize in this category.

 

“Dogs and cats are welcome in many of New York City’s condominiums and co-ops, although in some buildings, there are restrictions such as the dog’s size, breed restrictions and the number of dogs in each apartment (which is usually no more than two), ’’said Michael Rubin, an agent with CORE whose many listings are in pet-friendly buildings.

 

“With any obstacle it’s important to understand your client and know what type of pet they have – its size, the breed and knowing whether or not the breed is on a restricted list. Some co-ops will want to meet with the animal and make sure it fits the building’s requirements. From past experience, I recommend talking to the super, speaking to the managing agent and reading the house rules. It really comes down to knowing your client and knowing what buildings have restrictions or not,’’ Rubin said.

Dreamy Soho Rental For $8,500/Month

6sqftJune 03, 2016

There’s something ethereal about this co-op, now up for rent at 57 Thompson Street in Soho. Maybe it’s the artwork, or the exposed brick that’s been painted white, or the nine-foot ceilings, or the treetop views from the big windows. Simply put, we believe the listing when it says this two-bedroom apartment has a dreamy, peaceful quality to it.

 

The apartment is located on the fourth floor of an elevator building, in the back which keeps things quiet. The open living room is the first thing you see when you walk in; that leads back toward a kitchen, dining area and a sitting room with a built-in desk. The apartment has three exposures and plentiful windows, allowing light to flow into rooms you’d like to curl up and relax in.

 

The open kitchen is outfitted with a Viking oven, dishwasher and breakfast bar, located just adjacent to the dining area.

 

The master bedroom is adjacent to the living room and is pretty much the same size — it’s big enough to easily fit a king bed. The second bedroom, which makes for a whimsical children’s room, can fit a queen.

 

57 Thompson Street is located on a tree-lined block of West Soho, an area known for its charming cafes and shops. The listing describes the co-op as intimate, which means the neighborhood, building and apartment are all cozy as can be.

Macklowe taps CORE to market condos at 1 Wall Street

The Real DealJune 03, 2016

Harry Macklowe’s Macklowe Properties tapped CORE to handle sales at its $1.5 billion residential conversion of the office skyscraper at One Wall Street, sources told The Real Deal.

The Ultimate Staycation? A Second Home in the Same City

The Wall Street JournalJune 02, 2016

On Friday evenings, Eric Straus and his wife Varinda Missett pack their things, grab their dog and leave their Midtown Manhattan apartment for their weekend home—50 blocks downtown.

 

Last summer, Mr. Straus and Ms. Missett paid $1.988 million for a two-bedroom apartment in the Manhattan neighborhood of Tribeca, which they use as their weekend getaway. “What I love is that unlike the Hamptons, it’s a quick subway ride down there, and it totally feels like you’re on vacation,” Mr. Straus, 56, said. In comparison to the hustle and bustle of Midtown, their cobblestoned Tribeca street is “quiet—it feels like a country home.”

 

Getting away from it all doesn’t have to mean actually getting away. Some home buyers are buying vacation homes in the same city or metropolitan area as their primary residence. They say the key to relaxation is a change of scenery, even if it’s just a few miles from where they normally live. “Different neighborhoods have different experiences,” said New York City real-estate agent Shaun Osher of Core, who said he has several clients with more than one home in the city. “If you walk on the street in the West Village, it’s like a different world to the Upper East Side.”

 

Real-estate agents said the trend is being driven by busy professionals, many of whom need to be close to work in case of an emergency, or simply don’t want to spend weekends in traffic. Nationwide, the yearly delay per auto commuter was 42 hours in 2014, up from 37 in 2000, according to a 2015 report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Inrix.

 

Having a second home nearby comes in handy for overflow house guests, or when a dinner downtown goes late. Urban revitalization also plays a role: Many buyers want to experience the new restaurants and art galleries popping up in gentrifying neighborhoods. Another bonus is that a home in an up-and-coming city neighborhood can be a good investment.

 

Beatriz Barrios had lived for years in a four-bedroom house in South Miami when she started looking at vacation homes in Florida beach towns like Vero Beach and Naples. She quickly realized that it would be difficult for her husband Gerard, a doctor, to spend much time there. “If we go too far from home, we’re never going to go,” she said. Instead the couple paid $360,000 for a two-bedroom beachfront condo on the island of Key Biscayne, just across the bridge from Miami proper.

 

The Barrioses stay in South Miami during the week and spend many of their weekends on Key Biscayne. Because it’s only about 13 miles from their house, Ms. Barrios said it’s easy to go back and forth for parties or to see friends. She also likes to spend the occasional beach day on Key Biscayne during the week.

 

Having two homes in one city is particularly attractive to business owners with erratic schedules, said New York City real-estate agent Tina Fallon of Realty Collective. She said she has noticed more Brooklynites vacationing within the city in the Rockaways, a strip of beachfront in Queens.

 

Victoria Hagman, Realty Collective’s founder, used to own a vacation home in Greenport on Long Island’s North Fork, at best a two-hour drive from her home in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After selling the Greenport place she chose last summer to rent a houseboat for six weeks in Far Rockaway. The journey from Red Hook can take as little as 30 minutes by car, letting her go back and forth when she needed to for work, and friends took the subway to visit. Plus she was drawn to the Rockaways’ surfing and nightlife. “It’s like Brooklyn—there’s something happening all the time,” said Ms. Hagman, 35.

 

Empty-nesters Alan and Sue Ravitz live primarily in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. Instead of buying a larger home, “we thought it would be much more fun to have a completely different environment in the city for us to experience,” said Ms. Ravitz, 58. Plus their Midtown art gallery 57W57Arts requires them to work nearly every Saturday.

 

So they bought another one-bedroom on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, about 40 minutes away by subway. “We don’t have a 2½-hour drive in traffic, and it feels completely different,” Ms. Ravitz. Part of the allure for the Ravitzes was also the chance to renovate and decorate another space. Their Brooklyn Heights apartment, which they bought at auction in 2010 for $440,000, required a gut renovation.

 

Andrew Rhoda, 35, said he and his husband, J. Ben Bourgeois, also “love creating spaces.” That is one reason why, in addition to their three-bedroom house in the Hollywood Hills, they have a loft about 8 miles away in Los Angeles’ up-and-coming Downtown.

 

The two homes couldn’t be more different. The Hollywood Hills house is Spanish-style with a pink-stucco exterior and a swimming pool. The loft has 17-foot-high ceilings and exposed brick. With a private rooftop patio and a view of the nearby high-rises, “it’s a very different experience from the beach or the Hills,” Mr. Rhoda said. And while most people drive from place to place in the Hollywood Hills, the Downtown loft lets them walk to restaurants and galleries.

 

After buying the loft, they started using it for date nights about once a week. The space also comes in handy when Mr. Rhoda, a real-estate agent at Compass, has showings downtown or when Mr. Bourgeois, an event producer, is working on downtown projects.

 

Plus, the loft “has turned out to be a really great investment,” said Mr. Rhoda, estimating that it has more than doubled in value since they bought it for $395,000 in 2011.

 

Owners said they have methods of ensuring the nearby second home doesn’t just feel like an extension of the first. Ms. Barrios said her Key Biscayne condo is decorated in beachy whites and blues to accentuate the vacation-home feel. She also keeps an entirely separate—and more casual—wardrobe at the condo to avoid having to bring clothing back and forth. She added that she and her husband make sure not to bring any work with them to Key Biscayne. “When I go over there I make sure it’s only to relax,” Ms. Barrios said. “Otherwise you’re not getting away.”

 

One challenge of this strategy, at least in New York City, is that some co-ops don’t allow pieds-à-terre. Even those that do may still look askance at an owner with another home in the city, for fear the apartment would be used for nonresidential purposes, said Gill Chowdhury of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, who represented Mr. Straus in the purchase of the Tribeca apartment. Mr. Straus was initially looking for a co-op, Mr. Chowdhury said, but expanded the search to condos after losing out on a West Village apartment for that reason.

 

The process went smoothly after that. Mr. Straus said he and his wife use the Tribeca apartment not only on weekends, but if they have an event downtown during the week, or to house “overflow visitors” over Christmas. His wife also uses the apartment as a home office.

 

“I’m so in love with Manhattan, and my wife is too,” he said. “We wanted another Manhattan experience.”

Townhouse On Washington Mews for $30K/Month

6sqftMay 27, 2016

Washington Mews might be one of the best blocks not just in Greenwich Village, but in all of New York City. It’s a gated, cobblestone street that’s lined with quaint carriage houses and one of them has just hit the market, asking $30,000 a month. Located at 64 Washington Mews, it’s been totally renovated into a lofty and modern two-bedroom home with three levels connected by an open staircase and lit by skylights.

 

The carriage house was constructed in 1840 and is now used as a single-family home. One big perk: the rental comes with a parking spot on the private street.

 

A formal foyer, which is flanked by closet space, leads to the open kitchen, dining and living room. This main room gets all its light from three big south-facing windows in the living room, as well as light streaming down from the open staircase. The dining room is distinguished by a French marble gas fireplace, while the kitchen has charming casement windows that look out onto a courtyard.

 

The stairwell leads up to the third-floor living quarters, which is lit by four skylights. The large master bedroom has two full walls of closets and storage. Three windows, framed with shutters and wooden planters (which have their own automatic irrigation system) overlook the cobblestone street of the mews. The second bedroom is equally as charming, with French doors opening to a balcony perched above a courtyard. The bathroom is decorated with marble and boasts a soaking tub and separate, large steam shower.

 

Now it’s down to the downstairs level, which is currently used as a den/media room. (It could also be transformed into a third bedroom.) This floor has another marble fireplace, as well as an office, bathroom and laundry room.

 

Yes, the monthly rent is expensive, but it’s hard not to pine over a space, and street, so charming.

 

Interior Designer Lists Dazzling East Village Digs For $2.95M

New York PostMay 26, 2016

Interior designer Rhea Breck, who used to work for Celerie Kemble before branching out on her own, and her husband Owen Breck, a partner at asset management firm Heronetta Management, have listed their East Village digs for $2.95 million.

 

The 12th-floor co-op at 170 Second Ave. comes with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, large windows overlooking St. Mark’s Church and views of the Empire State Building.

 

The space was formerly Owen Breck’s bachelor pad and came with an Xbox and 50-gallon trash can in the kitchen before Rhea cleaned it up.

 

The home now sports a grand gallery that opens through sliding French doors into the open chef’s kitchen/dining room with a built-in dining banquette, custom lacquered cabinetry and a large center island. Other features in the home include a Sonos speaker system and Nanz crystal doorknobs throughout.

 

The listing brokers are Core’s Henry Hershkowitz and Heather McDonough.

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