Monday, October 31, 2011

Photographer David La Chapelle closes on Pre-war Chelsea 1 bdrm Parlor floor apt for 1.75M

For a fashion photographer known for neon sets, nude ladies, and provocative posing, David LaChapelle sure picked a classy 'n' classic apartment for his New York move. The celebrity photog-turned-artist just closed on a chocolate-hued 1BR, 1BA parlor-level co-op on West 21st Street for $1,739,500. Architects Povero & Company worked with interior Joseph Picardo to kit out the interior with Italianate detailing, hand carved plaster moldings, massive wooden doors, marble fireplaces, etched glass, custom cabinetry, built-in audio and visual systems, electro-gadgetry window treatments. "Seminary Block," interesting choice for one of fashion's more outré, envelope-pushing image makers.

See additional photos and floor plan here:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Occupy Wall Street supporters target REBNY over parks access

Occupy Wall Street supporters target REBNY over parks access
The real estate association took some heat on Twitter, Facebook
October 21, 2011 12:15AM

By Miranda Neubauer

Supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement have now begun targeting the Real Estate Board of New York on social media and then in turn by phone, following news reports that REBNY seeks to submit a proposal to the city limiting the public access hours of privately owned public parks.

As has been widely reported, protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement have for several weeks been camped out in Lower Manhattan's Zuccotti Park, which is owned by Brookfield Properties but is open to the public around the clock. Brookfield has expressed some misgivings about the presence of the protesters, and last week the commercial property owner, manager and developer called off a planned clean-up operation of the park scheduled for sanitary purposes at the last moment, even as the protesters began taking the clean-up into their own hands and vowed to resist any attempt at their removal.

In response to an opinion article in today's New York Times by Jerold Kayden, a professor of urban planning at Harvard University, on the legal gray area of such privately owned public spaces, and the news reports of REBNY's plans, a Twitter user called @OccupyMyCat this morning posted, "Announcement! It's time to Occupy REBNY, the Real Estate Board of New York!" In a related post, the Twitter feed @OccupyWallStNYC posted "Some #OccupyAdvice 2 concerned citizens: Make sure #RealEstateBoard doesnt [sic] close parks on 'reasonable' use pretext," and encouraged its followers to call REBNY's main number to "tell them not 2 pressure city 2 close parks." That post was shared on Twitter at least 64 times.
Read Full Story Here:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NYU plans to expand to downtown brooklyn

NYU wants science graduate center of its own in Downtown Brooklyn

October 26, 2011 09:30AM

While the Bloomberg administration's eye is on Roosevelt Island for a new applied science graduate school, New York University would prefer to open one in Downtown Brooklyn. Specifically, the New York Daily News reported the school wants to take over the former Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters at 370 Jay Street and transform it into its Center for Urban Science and Progress.

"It would make Brooklyn the urban center of the universe," said Paul Horn, NYU's senior vice provost for research. "There are a lot of advantages to being there as opposed to isolated somewhere."

Having released ambitious plans for Roosevelt Island, Stanford and Cornell are seen as the front-runners to land $100 million in construction grants and free land from the city for a science school. But Bloomberg has suggested he may pick multiple winners for different sites. NYU does not see itself in competition with Stanford and Cornell as it would need just $25 million in city funds for the $450 million, 200,000-square-foot project. Plus, it would help breathe new live into a building the city has long wanted to rehabilitate.

The school would feature 50 NYU faculty members and house classes for 400 master's students and 100 Ph.D. students. [NYDN]

Friday, October 21, 2011

Real Estate Sales In Brooklyn Have Good Third Quarter

Real Estate Sales In Brooklyn Have Good Third Quarter
by Dennis Holt (, published online 10-17-2011

Much Activity in W’burg, Park Slope and Bed-StuyBy Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — For people who have been heartened or disheartened by the quarterly results of residential real estate sales in Brooklyn, the third quarter results have to warm the heart.
Third-quarter reports of such sales for 2011 are becoming available, and the Brooklyn numbers are positive. While the city overall showed improvement, according to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Brooklyn gained the most value in average sales price with an 8 percent increase to $589,000. (The average price for a home in Manhattan was $1,393, 000.)
In Brooklyn the busiest neighborhoods in terms of residential sales were the usual ones — Williamsburg with 225 sales, Park Slope with 187 and Bed-Stuy with 109. These real estate active neighborhoods are also geographically quite large.

Read Full Story Here:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Celebrity Closing

Dakota Fanning gets 225 Lafayette digs

Actress Dakota Fanning and 225 Lafayette Street Young Hollywood actress Dakota Fanning, known for her roles in "I am Sam," "Man on Fire" and the "Twilight" saga, has just moved into a two-bedroom rental apartment at the Spring building at 225 Lafayette Street in preparation for beginning her studies at New York University, the Post reported.

Fanning wouldn't be the first celebrity to pick the 1924 Beaux Arts building, also known as 60 Spring Street, as her home. Keith Richards' daughter Theodora Richards, singer John Mayer and film director Wes Anderson are all said to live in the building.

The property, originally constructed to house the East River Savings Bank, was converted to a 40-unit condominium by Africa Israel in 2004.

Fanning's mom, Joy, and younger sister, Elle, also an actress, have stopped by for visits, the Post said. [Post]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History Repeats Itself...

The Appraisal

In an Earlier Time of Boom and Bust, Rentals Also Gained Favor

During the boom years in Manhattan real estate, credit was easy, speculators developed building after building to meet rising demand for apartments, and values kept climbing, fed by a flurry of resales. But then Wall Street plummeted and the housing market followed suit, as values deflated and apartment sales came to a standstill.       
“Many people had expected cooperatives to be affected by the recent slump in Wall Street, as indicated by the number of calls from bargain hunters looking for so-called distress sales,” an industry analyst at the time said. “We found that less than half a dozen apartments were offered for resale as a result of the market break.”
Read The Full Story Here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Behold: The day of the biggest real estate sale to hit Brooklyn in decades is nearing and a swelling crowd of potential beneficiaries is salivating. At stake are 34 mint-condition properties in Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo that the Jehovah's Witnesses spent decades accumulating and now are considering selling as they ponder a headquarters move upstate. All told, the portfolio spans 3.2 million square feet—more than the entire Empire State Building—and is worth well over $1 billion.
“There is great potential here to transform the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn borough president.
Even with the sale likely a few years away, he and others are dreaming big about what could be. For the city, the sales could return the holdings of the largest landlord in Brooklyn Heights and vicinity—the nonprofit Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the Witnesses' business arm—to the city's tax rolls. The move could net City Hall millions of dollars a year in revenue.

Read more:

Friday, October 14, 2011

While many buyers/sellers sit on the fence; New York rental market is once again becoming a "landlord's market"

Manhattan Rents Jump as New Yorkers Stay Put

Manhattan apartment rents climbed 4.9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as tenants opted to renew leases in a tightening market, leaving home-seekers to compete for fewer vacancies.
The median effective rent, or what tenants pay after landlord-sponsored incentives, increased to $2,970 a month from $2,831 a year earlier, according to a report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and broker Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. New leases declined 6.9 percent to 7,998, and the number of listings on the market dropped 1.9 percent to 4,605.
Stricter mortgage-lending standards and weak consumer confidence are limiting demand for home purchases, leading to increased competition for rentals, according to Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based Miller Samuel. Tenants are staying put as rents rise and a limited supply of three- and four-bedroom apartments prevents them from trading up, he said.
The interior view of a model apartment is shown in New York City. Photographer: Rinze Van Brug via Bloomberg
Read Full Story Here:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is the South Slope on the way to becoming the next "Hot" Brooklyn Nabe?

Patrons were crestfallen last year when Freddy's, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, poured its final shots. While the boisterous tavern—a hangout for artists, cops and others since Prohibition—was razed to make way for Atlantic Yards, one of its owners had an epiphany. “We could reinvent ourselves,” said Donald O'Finn. “We could start again.”
In February, Freddy's was reincarnated near the corner of 17th Street and Fifth Avenue. The area, south of the Prospect Expressway and between Fourth Avenue and Green-Wood Cemetery, has had a surge in bars and restaurants in recent months.
Though its name is disputed—old-timers consider it part of Sunset Park, while newcomers prefer South Slope or Greenwood Heights—the area's sudden popularity is not. A spinoff of Carroll Gardens' famous Lucali pizzeria began serving wood-fired pies and calzones in a candlelit shopfront on 20th Street and Sixth Avenue in March. That's just a block from Lot 2, a locavore establishment and the first East Coast outpost of Katherine Dyer, a former San Francisco restaurateur.

Read more:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Williamsburg sales heat up

Three years ago, Williamsburg real estate looked like a terrible bet. Saturated with amenity-laden new developments at the exact moment when the economy plunged, the neighborhood looked like a textbook case of oversupply. Except that it hasn’t turned out that way. Today, the Williamsburg market, though still evolving, is looking surprisingly stable. According to the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, new condominiums accounted for 87.8 percent of transactions here in the second quarter of this year, their biggest market share in three years. Prices were up 6.2 percent from the same period in 2010. And the Corcoran Group’s second-quarter survey found average prices up for the neighborhood’s co-ops and multifamily townhouses as well.What’s changed? The emerging neighborhood has emerged. Older, better-paid New Yorkers—the 38-year-old Pitchfork writer turned ad-agency executive who married a banker, say—have supplanted the broke-new-graduate cohort. “As Manhattan gets more homogenized and mall-ified, Williamsburg is the antidote,” says developer Douglas C. Steiner (though, it must be said, the same labels are often slapped on the new Williamsburg). Some builders also took condos off the market entirely, turning the apartments into rentals. Price cuts helped, too, though it never became the fire sale a lot of Williamsburghers were hoping for. And with only a few new projects, like the just-opened 144 North 8th Street, joining the field, supply and demand look to be well balanced again. Here’s how four once-teetering developments are faring now.

The Edge
This waterfront development sold 100 of its 565 units from spring 2008 to fall 2008. Then Lehman Brothers toppled. In the two years after that, only about 50 sold, says developer Jeff Levine. “There was very little velocity,” he says. Since last year, however, there’s been one transaction after another here—252 apartments. Now, The Edge is 70 percent sold, and “on any given weekend, we have about 150 visitors in our salesroom,” he says.
Read More:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Richard Meier unveils personal artworks at On Prospect Park

It was an unusual occasion -- a world-famous architect presenting his own works of sculpture and collage in a building he personally designed -- but it drew quite a crowd.

"Art in Architecture: Selected works by Richard Meier," an exhibition presented inside a ground-floor space in Meier's own glass and steel tower, On Prospect Park, at 1 Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn last night, featured a selection of 56 collages and four stainless steel sculptures created by Meier between 1992 and 2009.

"I really do the collages and the sculpture for myself," Meier told his audience at a reception to mark the opening of the exhibit (see photos above), "as a hobby, a pastime -- instead of going to the movies. I wasn't so sure [the exhibition] was a good idea, but seeing how it's all been put together… It's like I've come out of the closet. And to be in this building of course, is extra-special."

The Meier exhibit, which will run until Jan. 15, is just one of many recent collections to show in the common spaces of the residential building. Last year, the building's residents came together to form an art committee, starting the Gallery @1GAP, named after the building's address on the ground floor of the property. They recently organized an exhibition by conceptual artist Raphael Zollinger.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A downtown Manhattan office building has sold for $49.8 million and its new owner, a subsidiary of Izaki Group Investments USA, has ambitious plans to convert it into luxury condos. The deal closed on Tuesday.
The 165,000-square-foot building, at 335-337 Broadway and marketed as 93 Worth St., is expected to be fully vacant by the end of November. And the condo conversion plans, which have been filed with the New York state Attorney General's office, is expected to be approved before the end of the year, said Eldad Blaustein, CEO of the Izaki Group.
Crain's first reported the sale of 93 Worth St. in June

Read more:

Monday, October 3, 2011

New York Exceptionalism

American debt has been downgraded. Has Manhattan real estate? A data-driven review.

We know the eurozone is barely hanging on, job reports are terrible, and nobody’s hiring. What we don’t know—because it typically takes a few months to become evident—is what all of this means for New York real estate. Is this a moment to buy? To sell? To panic-sell? In the weeks after the Standard & Poor’s downgrade, we asked a wide range of brokers, analysts, and executives to size things up. As you’d expect, they more or less fell into two camps—the ups and the downs—but their opinions tended to funnel down to one conclusion.

From the optimists: “In my opinion, we’ve already come off the bottom,” declares Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and commentator for the T­oday show. She says newcomers are still pouring in, especially from China and Brazil, and that those wealthy buyers are indifferent to the downturn. She’s backed up by Victor Calanog, chief economist at the analytics firm Reis, who’s seeing “large transactions that seem to defy gravity.” (A penthouse just sold on First Avenue—that’s First, not Fifth—for $11.025 million.)

Read the full story here:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lower Manhattan Resurgent

By Roland Li

In the last decade, Elizabeth Berger has witnessed not merely the rebirth of the World Trade Center, but the transformation of Lower Manhattan. As president of the Downtown Alliance, the largest business improvement district in the United States, Berger has been one of the area’s biggest advocates, and her organization’s efforts have contributed to one of the most dramatic changes in the city.
“We’re about telling the story of Lower Manhattan on behalf of owners, on behalf of brokers, on behalf of the institutions, to attract commercial tenants, to attract residents and to grow tourism,” said Berger. “One of the founding ideas was the idea that creating a vital residential neighborhood would support, not supplant, Lower Manhattan as a compelling business. That has turned out to be the case.”
Read The Full Story Here:
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