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.
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