Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stuyvesant Town Settlement Clears Path to Sale of Complex

A settlement over rental rates at Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village removes a major hurdle to a sale of Manhattan’s largest apartment complex, almost three years after the property’s previous owners ceded it to lenders.
“The importance of this evening’s announcement should not be diminished,” Harris Trifon, a credit analyst with Deutsche Bank AG in New York, wrote in a note after the law firm for the plaintiffs announced the deal late yesterday. “It has removed the last significant obstacle which needed to be cleared before a sale could take place.”

Read the Full Story Here:

Selling your home during the holiday season?

Too Much Holiday Cheer Could Prevent Your Home From Selling, Experts Warn.

NEW YORK CITY — These real estate agents are no Grinches, but they do want to strip your home of every ounce of tinsel, oversized Christmas trees, and reindeer sleighs in the windows.
If you're trying to sell your home during the holiday season, unpacking that big bin of holiday decorations could prove to be a big lump of coal for house hunters, experts warned.
"Try not to get a huge, huge Christmas tree," said Jennifer Lee, of Charles Rutenberg Realty, who said an oversized tree only works to make your apartment look smaller. Instead, look for a tree that's smaller, to make the living space seem bigger, she said.
Sleighs in the window? Also a no-go.
"It's cute in a way, but I think it distracts from the light and obscures the view," Lee said, adding that the decoration also blocks light.

Read more:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stalled Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District Development to resume

Liftoff on Fort Greene Project

The city is moving forward with the final pieces in its long-delayed project to develop the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District at the edge of Fort Greene.

A development partnership is proceeding with a roughly 500,000-square-foot tower with 600 units of housing, half of which will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents. It also will have retail, office and cultural space.

[image] Ten Arquitectos
A rendering of a planned 32-story tower in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, that also will include new public space.

The city first sought developers to build on a city-owned parking lot at Fulton Street, Rockwell Place and Ashland Place in 2007, but the economic crash slowed progress.

"In 2008, 2009, 2010 things weren't happening. Luckily the market's come back," said Melissa Pianko, executive vice president for development of Gotham Organization, which together with DT Salazar Inc. is building the tower.
Read Full Story Here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brooklyn Mansions? A peek at some of South Brooklyn's priciest real estate

The mansions of South Brooklyn

The borough’s priciest homes — outside the brownstone belt
November 01, 2012
By Tracey Samuelson
To most New Yorkers, luxury Brooklyn real estate means gracious four-story brownstones in Brooklyn Heights or sleek new-construction condos in Williamsburg.
But some of the borough’s priciest real estate is actually much farther south, in communities often overlooked by outsiders, including Gravesend, Bay Ridge and Brighton Beach.
In fact, some of the most expensive properties ever sold in Brooklyn are located in its southern neighborhoods, where high-end real estate often boasts water views, in-ground pools and plenty of square footage.
Brooklyn’s current record holder is a townhouse at 212 Columbia Heights in Brooklyn Heights, which sold for $11 million earlier this year, according to the real estate data provider PropertyShark. But before that, an 8,200-square-foot brick mansion at 2111 East Second Street in Gravesend held the record for Brooklyn’s priciest-ever transaction, selling for $10.26 million in 2009.
The priciest sale in Brooklyn in 2011 was also in the southern half of the borough — a single-family house at 451 Avenue S in Gravesend sold for $10.25 million.
The strength of South Brooklyn’s real estate market is due in part to the tight-knit communities that live there, brokers said. Over the years, for example, Gravesend has attracted a small but significant population of Sephardic Jews primarily from Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. Brighton Beach, of course, is known for its preponderance of Russian immigrants.
Many wealthy members of these communities choose to remain in South Brooklyn rather than decamping for more fashionable areas of the city, sources say.
Buyers of South Brooklyn luxury properties “could afford to be anywhere, but they consciously pick to be there” because of their ties to the area, explained Sheepshead Bay native Victoria Shtainer, an executive vice president with Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Sandy aftermath assesements

Sandy changing the way New Yorkers look for homes

9:00 am, November 22, 2012
By Holly Dutton
The Centurion
In the aftermath of Sandy, the term evacuation zone has replaced schools and parks at the top of New York apartment hunters wish list, according to brokers.
“People will now ask things like, what zone is this in?” said David Maundrell, founder of Brooklyn-based real estate brokerage firm and website, which features listing in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
“This is just something New Yorkers didn’t think about before, even though we’d been warned. This is something that will be with us for a very long time.”
Waterfront property has always been a coveted asset in real estate, not just in Manhattan, but worldwide.
Read full story here:


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lower Manhattan homes in demand — even after Sandy’s landfall

I think this story is a bit optimistic. If severe weather is going to become a pattern in lower manhattan and other waterfront communities in the boroughs; there may be some negative affects on properties in those locations.
Developers may seek out higher ground for new projects.
Time and the weather forecast will tell.

Lower Manhattan homes in demand — even after Sandy’s landfall


From left: Jonathan Miller, Gary Malin and Michelle Bourgeois
Hurricane Sandy hasn’t lessened the demand for Lower Manhattan residential properties, the New York Observer reported. Though it’s early to say what effect the storm will have on the Manhattan market as a whole and a slew of Lower Manhattan properties are still pumping out flood water from two weeks ago, showings and closings have not slowed down since Sandy passed through.
Even the day of the storm, as winds howled, Town salesperson Michelle Bourgeois helped close a deal on a Tribeca apartment — located in Zone B — for two clients. She even got both attorneys and found an open bank to finalize the deal.
“With the lack of inventory downtown, there’s a huge demand for properties of that size in great condition,” Bourgeois told the Observer. “When you get one that you love, well, you don’t want to risk losing it.”
According to Hall Willkie, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens, the storm will not have a general impact on overall downtown property values. “It may affect specific homes within buildings or locations which were severely damaged by the storm but not on the long term market as a whole,” he told the paper in an email.
Appraiser Jonathan Miller said the waterfront remains a strong selling point. But he said he expects a change for lending — with tight credit, a mortgage for an apartment located in a flood zone could sink the deal. [NYO]Zachary Kussin

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stalled Brooklyn Condo Developers who successfully converted to rental bldgs

Over the past year, there have been more than few Brooklyn condo developments that have had some trouble getting sales off the ground. That, combined with a hot rental market, has prompted many to convert to rentals and the results, as you can see from the map after the jump, have been good. Not as good as, you know, selling condos, but still, there's definitely no shortage of people looking to pay $2,600 for a 2BR a subway stop or two away from Manhattan.

Read the full story here:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

12 New Condo Projects hit the market

On the Market

Sackett Union, 291 Union Street, Cobble Hill
Price: $1.85 Million
This long-gestating project has finally made it to market: a 32-unit condo with a mix of two- to four-bedrooms, plus attached townhouses with dedicated parking spots. Sales began in late August, and 22 deals are already signed.
Sample unit: 5A
Details: A 1,823-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath duplex with a washer and dryer, parking space, and terrace.
Brokers: Wendy Triffon and Jill Preschel, Alchemy Properties

5 West, 5 West 127th Street
Price: $525,000
This building’s thirteen units went on the market in July, and twelve have sold, perhaps reflecting condo buyers’ push northward to less expensive territory. The amenity list helps: gym and bike storage, and outdoor space for a lot of apartments.
Sample unit: 1B
Details: An 840-square-foot one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath duplex with a private, 725-square-foot planted garden.
Brokers: Jeff Krantz and Kristin Krantz, Halstead Property

Chelsea Green, 151 West 21st Street
Price: $2.7 Million
The glassy façade tops an unusual lobby with neo-Baroque window screens, and the kitchens were co-designed by Le Bernardin chef Eric Ripert. Developers of this ecofriendly project—it’s certified LEED gold—have sold most of the 51 units from floor plans, but three remain available.
Sample unit: 11B
Details: A 1,534-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath with a flexible layout and three exposures.
Read Full Story Here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Flexible lease terms available for New Yorker's displaced by Sandy

A look at today's brownstone

Rafael Vinoly Architects; Marilynn K.Yee/The New York Times
Left, a rendering shows East 64th Street with No. 162 razed and replaced by a fritted glass structure with a bowed facade by Rafael Viñoly. Right, No. 162 as it looks today.
WHEN Charles Lockwood’s now-classic book “Bricks and Brownstones” was published in the early ‘70s, there was only one thing to do with an old New York town house — restore it to within an inch of its pristine 19th-century glory. The brownstone revival movement had started a few years earlier, and in Manhattan and growing swaths of Brooklyn, the talk on the street was of marble stoops, brass doorknobs, wide-plank pine floors and original wainscoting — the fancier the better.      
Impeccably restored town houses still set the tone today for most brownstone neighborhoods. But it’s increasingly common to find vintage town houses sheathed in glass, aluminum and other relentlessly contemporary materials. Especially in Brooklyn, rear facades are being opened up — “blown out” is the term architects use — to provide large doses of light and air. Many of these reworkings take the form of sweeping glass rear walls, designed to transform spaces that for all their charm are typically small and dark. Some changes boggle the imagination: Preservationists still talk about owners who sought to install a lobster tank atop a newly acquired town house.
Although the neighbors aren’t always thrilled about such developments, they don’t automatically storm the barricades in protest. Some even engage in cordial conversations with their neighbors and the architects, the goal being to end up with a design that makes everyone happy.
This is what happened on East 64th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, a stretch of town houses edged by trees and graceful bishop’s-crook lampposts. Though not protected by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the block has its share of bay windows, decorative pediments and Juliet balconies. The ornate homes will soon be joined by a second Modernist facade.
No. 164, a five-story building owned by Anthony Faillace, the founder of a hedge fund, sits behind a boxy natural granite facade punctured by oversize maroon steel-framed windows, designed by Michael Rubin Architects. Next door at No. 162, a 19th-century town house will be razed and replaced by a six-story structure featuring a bowed facade of fritted blueish-gray glass. The architect is Rafael Viñoly, whose high-profile creations pepper the globe. The owner, Eduardo Eurnekian, a prominent Argentine businessman, plans to use the building for offices and residential space.
In Mr. Viñoly’s opinion, the new building will be a good neighbor, even if it initially turns some heads. “The facade being replaced is undistinguished,” he said. “And imitating an architectural vocabulary simply because it’s there isn’t an appropriate response nowadays.”
And Kenneth Laub, a commercial real estate broker who created and for many years led the block association, couldn’t be more pleased.
“Both Mr. Eurnekian and Mr. Viñoly consulted with us about the design,” said Mr. Laub, whose 8,000-square-foot town house across the street, complete with atrium, portable frescoes and eight working marble fireplaces, is on the market with Halstead for nearly $28 million. “Originally Rafael proposed a facade with dark brown metal louvers, which to be honest we weren’t crazy about. But we talked, and I suggested some ideas, and he was very cooperative. What they ended up with is much softer and nicer.”
Mr. Laub realizes that the story could have ended quite differently. “But both men say they love what this street has become and they want to get along with their neighbors,” he said. “Name a street as beautiful as this. And if Viñoly’s building is impressive and brings greater credence to the street, we’re happy.”
Ask architects and urban historians why infatuation with the look of the traditional 19th-century town house, a beloved feature of so many New York neighborhoods, seems to be waning in some quarters, and the answers are many and varied.
To start with, the city’s vintage town houses aren’t getting any younger.
“When the brownstone revival movement started, the effort was to restore buildings,” said Brendan Coburn, a Brooklyn architect who so radically transformed his Carroll Gardens row house that everything behind the red-brick facade is brand-new. “But in the past 40 years these houses have aged a lot. Many have fallen apart. They need major electrical and mechanical work.” If the innards of a building are being redone and a facade is crumbling, he said, an owner might choose to redo the entire look.
Read More Here: 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Brodsky Organization takes on Brooklyn Development

The Brodsky family has been developing Manhattan real estate for more than 50 years, eventually becoming the city’s largest developers of middle-class housing. But the development group is now turning its attention to a 440-unit rental project at 336 Flushing Avenue Extension in downtown Brooklyn, known as City Point, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Read the full story here:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Landlords, brokers reach out to storm victims


Stuy-Town will not charge rent in the days its buildings were without basic services. Stonehenge Partners is offering short-term leases, and some brokers are waiving their fees

Read more:

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm featured on Huff Post Live discussing Sandy aftermath

Today, I was featured on Huff Post Live discussing the difficulties of being and independent contractor and still trying to earn money In New York City post hurricane Sandy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy's Aftermath

First and foremost, my heart goes out to all the people of New York City, New Jersey and the rest of the Eastern seaboard affected by Sandy.
I was fortunate to get through it unscathed. I've looked at my block and don't see any downed trees or damage. A tree is down in my neighbors back yard and is leaning on the cable TV wires. I hope I don't loose my Internet, although I don't think I will get much work done anyway! Despite that yesterday evening, during the height of the storm, I received an email from someone inquiring about an appointment! Very insensitive in my opinion; however this person needs to move immediately! *Blank stare at my computer screen*
There is no public transportation at all. Half of the City is without power. Schools are closed. Airports are closed. The New York Stock Exchange is closed and most of lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, including Red Hook, Gowanus, and Dumbo were submerged in water.
You can help out by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


Friday, October 19, 2012

31-Room Clinton Hill Mansion Seeks a Whopping $10M

Fort Greene may be the best neighborhood in Brooklyn, but it's not the only one that can have a $10 million house—this 31-room mansion at 278 Clinton Avenue in Clinton Hill has just been listed for the same price. It's the most expensive listing in the neighborhood by more than $700,000, and it's one of the most expensive properties in the whole borough. Built in 1884, the beautiful red brick home retains its original Queen Ann and Neo Grec architectural details, and it has a 60-foot wide front garden. There's a two-car garage, and the 6,900-square-feet of living space is split into several apartments that can be rented. There's also an additional buildable square footage up to about 5,700 square feet.

Read Full Story Here>>

Thursday, October 11, 2012

NYC residential sales rise 6% in 3Q | Crain's New York Business

Buck Ennis[+] Enlarge
Citywide, the number of home sales in the third quarter were up 6% from year earlier levels.
Updated: October 11, 2012 2:26 p.m.
Home sales and prices rose across the city in the third quarter, according to a new report. In Brooklyn and Queens the average sales price hit its highest point since late 2007, at $619,000 and $411,000, respectively.
According to the quarterly residential sales report from the Real Estate Board of New York, the average price paid for a home in the city rose 1% over the last year, to $786,000.
Citywide, the number of home sales in the third quarter were up 6% from year earlier levels. Manhattan led the five-borough pack with a 7% jump in home sales volumes, while Brooklyn and the Bronx each saw a 5% rise.
Steven Spinola, REBNY's president, said the improvements signaled a housing recovering for the city.

Read more:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

360,000-SF Victoria Project To Highlight Harlem's Past--and Future

A rendering of the two 26-story
towers that will be built above
the historic Victoria Theater on
125th Street in Harlem.

NEW YORK CITY-A new hotel, apartments, retail and cultural space are all part of a $143-million plan to bring a mix of commercial uses to Harlem’s storied 125th Street corridor. After Empire State Development approved Danforth Development Partners plan to construct more than 300,000 square feet above the historic Victoria Theater in July, the developer has tapped architect Ariel Aufgang to design the project with a special focus on preservation and progress.
“The whole idea of developing this mixed-use structure is that we are trying to make a destination for the community and for people from outside the community,” Aufgang tells “It will be the center of attention.”
The project – which will rise midway between the New York State Office Building and the Apollo Theater – involves the construction two 26-story towers, a hotel and an apartment building, will be constructed above the historic Victoria Theater, whose original 1917 terra cotta facade and ornate lobby will be restored. The two towers, a 210-room hotel and a 230-unit apartment tower, will have a combined 360,000 square feet of space.
Aufgang – part of Suffern, NY-based Aufgang + Subotovsky Architecture – says the team is working to preserve and restore historic components of the theater while bringing new amenities and services to the area. He notes that the hotel will be the first full-service hotel in the history of Harlem, complete with a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and a four-story base called the “podium,” which has 25,000 square feet of retail space and 25,000 square feet of cultural space. Upon completion, it will house institutions such as the Classical Theater of Harlem, JazzMobile, the Apollo Theater Foundation and the Harlem Arts Alliance.
“What’s most remarkable about the job is the mix of all the different uses and the fact that it is also combining a presentation program that will link with Harlem’s past and a brand new building on top that will connect with the future, and that’s the most compelling part,” he says.
Aufgang says the entrance to the hotel will be on 125th Street, through the Victoria Theater's lobby, which will be restored, with its signature fountain, marquee, grand staircase and lighting, much of which has been preserved. Restoration will be based on original plans and designs, including paint colors. The hotel lobby will feature high-end retail space. The entrance to the apartment tower will be on 126th Street through a porte cochere. The covered circular driveway will facilitate the flow of vehicles transporting residents and minimize traffic congestion on the street. Each building will face the street--the hotel entrance on 125th Street and the apartment building entrance on 126th Street.
In terms of community response, Aufgang says the neighborhood has welcomed the project. Both ESD and the Harlem Community Development Corporation have already approved the general project plan, and he adds that the project has been very well received. “It is a big building, but everyone agrees that is right-sized for the elements that are needed for the community now,” he says.
Jacqueline Hlavenka Jacqueline Hlavenka, East Coast Editor for and Real Estate Forum, is responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to commercial real estate in New York City. Prior to joining ALM, she served as a municipal beat reporter for Greater Media Newspapers in central New Jersey. Her work has also been published in The Asbury Park Press, The Village Voice, Interior Design Magazine and Condé Nast’s Cookie Magazine. Contact Jacqueline Hlavenka.

Friday, October 5, 2012


New Affordable housing proposed for Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s Lincoln Road may be site of new rental, with affordable, below market-rate units

October 04, 2012 12:00PM
Project rendering (credit: Curbed)
Prospect Lefferts Garden could soon be getting a nine-story, 133-unit building. Situated near Prospect Park, at 33 Lincoln Road, the building would have 20 percent of its units be affordable to low-income tenants and the rest of the units would be 10 percent below the market rate. The ground floor would include two retail spaces and a community space. Other building amenities include underground parking and storage for rent, a gym, a café and a roof deck.
Tom Anderson of Anderson Associates last night presented the plan for the property, which would sit atop a 26,000-square-foot lot, to the ULURP Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 9. Building permits are still filtering through the Department of Buildings and the plan will go to the full Community Board toward the end of the month.
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has already green-lit the proposal.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Valuable information for the 1st time buyer or renter in New York

real estate


A guide for first-time renters and buyers

Roommates Matthew Gorman, left, and Steve Kaliski hang
Photo credit: Roommates Matthew Gorman, left, and Steve Kaliski hang out in their kitchen. (Charles Eckert)
It's no secret that the New York real estate market requires skill to navigate, but it's especially difficult for those who've never rented or bought property before.
While prospective renters and buyers can arm themselves with knowledge of market conditions, average rents, closing costs, inflation statistics and brokers fees, problems pop up in the process (the elevator broke, a co-op denies an application) that are hard to prepare for.
We spoke with real estate experts and a first-time renter to get advice for new renters and buyers, and to help experienced New Yorkers avoid repeating mistakes in the future.
The preparation
Gary Malin, president at CitiHabitats, said knowing the city's market conditions often doesn't arm prospective tenants and owners with enough information.

Read the full Story Here:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

NY Inventory continues to dwindle sparking bidding wars

The number of apartments listed for sale in Manhattan shrunk to the lowest level in seven years, creating yet another challenge for would-be buyers, market reports say.

Brokers said the new supply hurdle for buyers could lead to higher sale prices in the months ahead and has already triggered a frenzy of bidding wars in the past few months, as sales surged and few new apartments came on the market.

Bloomberg News
Residential buildings on the Upper East Side.

When Amanda Sawyer, a Corcoran Group broker, put a two-bedroom apartment on the market in Greenwich Village in June for $1.495 million, she said eight would-be buyers submitted written offers within a week.
Read the full story here:

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Story behind the elusive Key to Gramercy Park

THERE are 383 aspirational keys in circulation in the Big City, each of them numbered and coded, all of them equipped to unlock any of four wrought-iron gates offering privileged access to undisturbed siestas or tranquil ambulation inside the tree-lined boundaries of Gramercy Park. At age 181, the only truly private park in Manhattan is lovelier and more ornamental than ever; yes, the colorful Calder sculpture swaying blithely in the breeze inside the fence is “Janey Waney,” on indefinite loan from the Calder Foundation.

Read Full Story Here >>

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sneak PEEK at Midtown West's newest LEED certified Luxury Rental Bldg

They named this building after me ;)

1 Month Free on Spacious 1 Bedroom in Heart of Midtown w/ Large Walk-In Closet, Open Kitchen, Bamboo Floors, and No Fee

Welcome Home to Crystal Green, The latest residence by Glenwood, the name responsible for the finest rental residences in New York City.

Crystal Green offers incomparable luxury and service throughout its residences and common areas.

Enjoy an array of amenities that are an extension of your home.

Conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan, you are in an oasis in the center of a bustling neighborhood.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oprah sells NYC Penthouse Apt

NEW YORK, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Oprah Winfrey sold her magnificent 57th Street penthouse apartment today to London-based Hedge Fund Partner Mark Hillery and his wife Melissa. Mr. Hillery works for Brevan Howard, Europe's largest Hedge Fund Manager.
Both parties appear delighted with the outcome. Mr. Hillery was represented by Anjollie Feradov, a senior salesperson with SKNY Real Estate, specializing in high end NYC property sales to the international community.
Ms. Feradov said that after an extensive search, the Oprah apartment came on the market and it's incredible views and large terrace won the hearts of the London based couple. "The Hillery's recognized the value that NY real estate represented compared to other world capitals, but mostly were looking for a New York home that they felt was a good representation of the excitement of the city. Oprah's Penthouse fit their needs and the sale was consummated quickly".
The Hillery's are planning a high-end makeover to the posh-pad, to "Open up some of the spaces and take advantage of the magnificent views". according to Feradov. GRADENYC will be handling the high-end renovation.
Ms. Feradov attributes her success in representing the international buyer to her ability to listen and understand the Buyers' needs. "Many agents are focused on where they think the Buyer should invest their money, I focus on what the Buyer needs and wants"
"In today's market, Buyers are savvy and don't have time to waste, I provide the shortcut". the power broker said.
SKNY Real Estate is a boutique real estate firm, founded by Steven Kopstein and Mudar Humaimidi in October 2011 and based in SOHO. The firm has represented many high end international clients.
For more information, contact Steven Kopstein at 917-414-3653 or
Media Contact: Steven Kopstein, SKNY Real Estate, 917-414-3653,
News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Market Snapshot

As you’ve probably noted, several real estate market reports were recently released. The data analyzed sales for Manhattan during the last quarter (October through December 2011). There was a plethora of information but the key take-away is that while the market overall is stabilizing, there are some weak spots. Here’s a compilation of the various data:

· Luxury sales of $3 million and up price tags rebounded in early 2011 and continued strong.

· Continued activity by foreign buyers – the most since the 2007 peak.

· Housing prices have stabilized, with the median sales price of $855,000, 1.2 percent above 2010’s median price.

· Q4 2011 sales volume was down 35.3 percent from Q3 2011.

o Analysts point out that the Q4 2010 total may have been inflated due to a last minute surge of buyers who expected the Bush capital gains tax cuts to expire.

· Sales of new condominiums declined most steeply, down 27 percent from Q4 2010 and down 45 percent from Q3 2011. Some causes:

o Fewer new condos have come on the market as development has slowed.

o Lack of condo inventory has hurt sales.

· The median condo price rose 10 percent from last year to $1.197 million.

· Buyers had difficulty getting mortgages for homes in the million-dollar price range.

Manhattan’s real estate market, especially the mid-market price range, continues to be mixed, but prices are stabilizing. The silver lining is that New York continues to outperform other real estate markets and remains highly desirable domestically and globally. We believe there will be good opportunities in 2012 for informed buyers and sellers.

I’d be happy to discuss these reports and Manhattan’s real estate picture in greater detail. Please call or email me to set up an appointment. You can reach me at either ( I would also welcome the opportunity to discuss your 2012 real estate needs and plans.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

247 CPW was a record selling townhouse which closed at 22.38M now slated to set the highest rental record asking only 110,000 per month

[Updated at 11.20 a.m. with revised price] A 13-room townhouse at 247 Central Park West recently sold by Keith Monda, the former president of handbag company Coach, is now set to hit the rental market for a staggering $110,000 per month, listing broker Matthew Lesser of Leslie J. Garfield told The Real Deal yesterday.
Despite the sale having hit public records last month, the identity of the new owner of the property, who is being represented by Lesser in the rental listing, still remains a mystery; he’s in public records as a LLC. Lesser declined to comment on his client, saying just that the owner currently lives abroad.
“My client purchased the house to live in it,” Lesser said. “Because he and his family live overseas his plans changed and he has chosen to lease the house for a certain period of time. My client absolutely plans to move here at some point in the future.”
Read full story here: 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Record setting sale for Brooklyn Heights

February 10, 2012, 2:33 pm

Big Ticket | Sold for $11,000,000

Frances Roberts for The New York Times The brownstone at 212 Columbia Heights has 7,000 square feet of space.
A five-story Italianate brownstone in Brooklyn Heights with sweeping views of the New York Harbor and Manhattan skyline that sold for $11 million was the biggest sale of the week, according to city records, and the highest price ever in the neighborhood.
The 7,000 square-foot, seven-bedroom home, at 212 Columbia Heights, has five gas fireplaces, 14-foot-high ceilings on the parlor floor and “a stunning garden facing the Brooklyn Heights Promenade,” according to the listing on the Corcoran Group Web site.
The seller, according to city records, is Nina Collins, a literary agent. When she bought the home with Marek Fludzinski, a hedge fund manager, in 2005, they paid $8.5 million, then the highest price for a town house in Brooklyn.
Read full story here:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Earl Johnson — A Grassroots Politician Who Made A Difference

Earl Johnson fell in love with Clinton Hill in the 1970s, despite the fact that banks had redlined the neighborhood, crime was high, and the streets were dirty.
Mr. Johnson knew the potential was there. So with the Pratt Area Community Council, he worked with landlords to improve conditions. Eventually, banks started making mortgages, allowing a new wave of brownstoners and small business owners who owe it all to him and others like him.
“Young people moving in today should read the history to see what the old-timers like us have accomplished,” said Mr. Johnson, 78.
His story is the story of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Read Full Story Here:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Take a peek at the latest "shoebox" apt

Property Porn Of The Week: A Super-Designed 200-Sq. Ft. Shoebox Apartment

As of 2009, the median home size for the typical urban household in the Northeast was 1,500 square feet, according to the National Association of Home Builders. And in New York City even that much space can be hard to come by. Take the $345,000 apartment for sale at 344 West 12th Street. The West Village studio apartment is barely200 square feet in size.
You might expect to find a cramped, cluttered dorm room of a home encompassing such humble dimensions, and if we were talking about my former digs (I actually inhabited a 225-sq. ft. studio for two years), you would be correct. But the difference between this tiny unit and, say, my former 1970s-era shoebox unit, is that this one is designed right.
Read the full story here:

Monday, January 23, 2012

His Style, Her Style, Their Style

Nadia Bishai and Hisham Modine furnished their duplex with art she collected on her travels and tables and chairs of his design. More Photos »

The brownstone at 127 St. James Place in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, boasted a lustrous pedigree. Its elderly owner, Adele Premice, was the daughter of Lucas Premice, a Haitian aristocrat who fled to the United States in the early 20th century. Her younger sister, the glamorous actress Josephine Premice, reigned for decades as the toast of Broadway.

Well into the 21st century, Adele was still ensconced in the building, long known as Little Haiti. Her rooms overflowed with Haitian art and were redolent of the expensive perfume she loved. But as she aged, so did the building where she had lived since the 1940s. Water poured through collapsing ceilings. Gaping holes in the floors made every step treacherous. The rear garden grew wild as a jungle.
The summer day in 2007 that Hisham Modine saw a “For Sale” on the crumbling facade, few traces of the brownstone’s glory days remained.
Mr. Modine, who had moved to New York from Egypt to study architecture at nearby Pratt Institute, was nonetheless intrigued. He had a deep fondness for Brooklyn: ever since 1990, when a taxi dropped him off in front of his Pratt dorm with $50 in his pocket, he had lived only in that borough.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

With Manhattan running out of buildable space, developers turn to Brooklyn

Residential developers increasingly turn to Brooklyn, but face different renters

January 18, 2012 10:30AM
From left: renderings of Three Northside Piers, 388 Bridge Street and 88 Willoughby Street
As space for residential development dwindles in Manhattan, developers are turning to Brooklyn, the Wall Street Journal reported, but they must be careful if they want to appeal to the different sensibilities of Brooklyn renters.
Citing a report by Nancy Packes, a consultant to some of the city’s largest developers, the Journal said 14,000 new residential units are being planned for Brooklyn in the coming years, compared to just 5,000 in Manhattan. Read full story here:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Landmarked Historic District in the East Village

East Village gets second historic designation

January 17, 2012 06:25PM
From left: 315 East 10th Street and Ben Shaoul
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a block-long historic district on East 10th Street at an emergency public hearing and vote today. The creation of the historic district follows developer Benjamin Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group’s application in December to add a rooftop addition to a townhouse at 315 East 10th Street, which Magnum purchased late last year. The newly designated area extends from avenues A to B along the south side of 10th Street.
“We moved as quickly as we could, and today was the earliest possible day we could hold the hearing and vote based on the amount of research needed to complete the report and justify the designation,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, director of communications for the LPC. But because the permit was grandfathered in, Shaoul will be allowed to proceed with the plans at 315 East 10th Street.
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Much More Than Just ‘Maintenance’

Much More Than Just "Maintenance'
Published: January 12, 2012

In New York, the cost of a co-op or condo can seem an impossible hurdle. But alongside the asking price is another figure that can induce sticker shock: the monthly maintenance fee — or, as it’s called in condos, the common charge.
The fee can range from a few hundred dollars a month, for a small condo, to many thousands for an exclusive co-op. And as millions of owners have discovered, it almost never goes down and rarely stays flat. Often, the increases happen yearly.
Potential buyers should be concerned about the fee, not only because it is real money paid out of pocket every month, but because it has a direct impact on property value.

“The market rewards low maintenance and punishes high maintenance,” said Roberta Axelrod, the director of residential sales and rentals for the real estate firm Time Equities, who sits on 10 co-op boards. Apartments with low monthly charges tend to sell for more, and those with higher fees for less. That is not to say that buildings are doing away with amenities. In fact, new condo projects tend to be full of perks like exercise rooms, screening rooms, children’s play areas and even indoor pools. Yet all of these things add expense.

Friday, January 13, 2012

For apartment landlords, 2011 was grand indeed

The Manhattan residential rental market ended 2011 with a bang.
Rents in the fourth quarter were up solidly from year-earlier levels, according to market reports released Thursday. The median Manhattan monthly rent of $3,145 for all sizes of apartments was the highest median since the fourth quarter of 2006, when median rents reached $3,265, according to the quarterly report by Prudential Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel Inc. Meanwhile, median net effective rent jumped 9.5% to $3,121 from the fourth quarter of 2010, as landlords dialed back on concessions like a month of free rent.
Separately, brokerage Citi Habitats reported that the average Manhattan rent rose 6.2% to $3,322 a month last year.

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Brooklyn and outer-borough sales outperform Manhattan

Outer borough housing markets hold up better than Manhattan’s: REBNY

January 11, 2012 10:00AM

Houses near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway

In an unusual twist, home prices in the outer boroughs held up better than those in Manhattan in an overall dreadful fourth quarter, according to the latest figures from the Real Estate Board of New York cited by the Wall Street Journal.

While the median price in Manhattan tumbled 8.5 from the prior year quarter to $750,000, prices actually inched up by 2.9 percent in the Bronx to $350,00 and 1.4 percent in Brooklyn to $473,000. And while the median prices in Queens and Staten Island fell 4.8 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, that’s still less than the declines in Manhattan. Citywide, the price drop measured 2.3 percent.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Best of New York Real Estate 2011

The Real Deal staff’s picks for top real estate stories of 2011

We look back at Occupy Wall Street, Europe’s debt crisis, major deals and booming brokerages
December 30, 2011 04:13PM
By Leigh Kamping-Carder
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New York real estate faced a whirlwind year in 2011, and numerous contenders surfaced when The Real Deal sat down to pick our favorite stories of the year.
There was the limping recovery of the residential sales market, coupled with several standout deals and the runaway revival of the rental market. Developers snapped up distressed properties, such as One Madison Park, while other stalled projects like the Azure cond-op tower came back to life.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Top Real Estate Trends 2011 Wrap Up

MANHATTAN — The financial markets are unstable, unemployment remains high and credit is tight, but that hasn't seemed to hurt Manhattan's real estate market much in 2011.
DNAinfo asked real estate experts and brokers how the markets fared this year, what trends they saw, and their predictions for 2012. Here's what they said:
1. Foreign buyers help prop up the condo market
Buyers from China, Russia and South America have turned to Manhattan real estate as their own economies and residential markets have been in flux — and they've been plunking down all cash for amenity-laden condos.
"The foreigners are leading the way," Jacky Teplitzky, a managing director and team leader of the Jacky Teplitzky team at Prudential Douglas Elliman, said after returning from a recent work-related trip to Brazil.
"From South America, No. 1 is Brazil, and the reason is their economy is extremely strong," she said. "They haven't been hit by the credit crisis. The exchange rate is extremely favorable. The local real estate is really expensive."
Teplitzky said Brazilians she's worked with tended to follow their friends to the East Side between 57th and 79th streets.
Jonathan Miller, an expert real estate appraiser, wrote in Prudential Douglas Elliman’s third quarter report for 2011 that foreign buyers were likely to be the reason that the number of condo sales hit a four-year high (while co-ops, which are notoriously difficult for foreign buyers to purchase, remained unchanged).
"In any country, if their economy is up and down and precarious and unbalanced, they still see the U.S. as a safe place to invest," said Doug Heddings, of the residential boutique firm, the Heddings Property Group.
Heddings saw an "explosion of foreign buyers," especially from China and Russia in 2011. Chinese families, for example, were attacted to properties featuring the latest techology and amenities for their children so they could attend college here, even if they're years away, he said.

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