NY Living Solutions

New York Living Solutions wins Aire contest

The Real Deal Online, NY Living Solutions wins Aire contest

July 21, 2010 01:30PM By Candace Taylor

alternate text

Bob Scaglion of Rose Associates (left), NY Living Solutions’ Gannon Forrester and the Aire at 200 West 67th Street

Aiming to gain an edge on the other new luxury rentals just hitting the market, Upper West Side tower the Aire held a contest last month, offering bonuses to the brokerage that completed the most transactions in the building.
The 80-agent sales and rental firm New York Living Solutions won the contest, helping to bring the building to roughly 25 percent leased, according to Rose Associates, the on-site leasing agent for the building.

The contest, which ran from June 1 to July 4, offered bonuses to the firm which completed the most transactions in the 43-story building, located at 200 West 67th Street, during that time period. The prize was $1,000 for each agent who completed a transaction in the building, plus $5,000 for the firm. (The developer, Kalimian Properties, is also paying a one-month broker’s fee.)

New York Living Solutions management is using its prize money to host a celebratory cruise around Manhattan for all its agents, said Gannon Forrester, a managing director at the firm. Agents will receive their $1,000 bonuses then, he said.

The company is focusing special attention on lease-ups of new rental buildings, he said, so the contest fit with that goal. “We made sure all the agents knew about it,” Forrester said.

Forrester directed inquiries about how many transactions the firm did to win the contest to Rose. Bob Scaglion, senior managing director at Rose, would not disclose that number, but said during the period of the contest, about 50 of the building’s 310 units were leased. Three other firms were hot on New York Living Solutions’ heels, he said, adding that Kalimian is running a similar contest at the building this month.

The goal of the promotion, in conjunction with a recent broker party, was to create buzz about the new building, which started leasing in May.

“A lot of the brokers weren’t familiar with the building, so having the party and the promotion was very good,” Scaglion said.

At the Aire, studios range in price from $2,500 to $3,600, one-bedrooms range from $3,600 to $5,000, two-bedrooms range from $5,600 to $12,000, and three-bedrooms are $11,500 to $15,000 (that’s not including a one-month-free concession currently being offered to tenants.) There are also a few as-of-yet unreleased “trophy” apartments that will rent in the range of $20,000 per month, Scaglion said.

The Aire faces stiff competition from other new Upper West Side rentals, including the Corner at 72nd and Broadway (both buildings were designed by Handel Architects.)

But brokers say the high-end rental market is showing surprising strength.

“You would be amazed at the number of rentals above $15,000 a month all over Manhattan,” said Nancy Packes, head of the eponymous new development marketing firm, which handles both sales and rentals.

This is due in part to a pickup in relocations that started early in 2010, she said. “Our core industries are hiring,” she said. “These people are very often coming from far away from New York.”

These new hires, many of them families with children, tend to rent rather than buy when they first move to the city, she said.

And while lavish spending has become socially unacceptable since the financial crisis, wealthy renters are still out there.

After the Lehman Brothers collapse, “everyone was concerned about buildings like the Corner and the Aire,” Scaglion said. “Actually, the depth of the high-end marketplace is good. People are just quiet about it.”

The top end of the luxury rentals marketing is now pushing $80-per-square square foot, up from the $60s during the downturn, Scaglion said.

“If you build a better product, they will pay for it,” he added.


Luxury Rental Building NYC Directory – 100 Maiden Lane

Luxury Rental Building  NYC Directory  – 100 Maiden Lane

100 Maiden Lane offers a rich blend of traditional architecture and the latest in lifestyle amenities. Add generous indoor and outdoor common areas and it all adds up to a unique style of living that gives you the best of both worlds.
Many homes have ceilings ranging from 9 to 12 feet with wood floors and oversized Thermopane windows. River views? Private terrace? Select apartments come with these, too.
Prices from:
Studios from $1800
Large 1 bedrooms / Flex 2 bedrooms from $2250
3 bedrooms from $3200
For all appointments call 212 227-0021.

Luxury Rental Building NYC Directory- 20 Exchange on Wall Street

 Rentals Directory- 20 Exchange on Wall Street

The Building: 20 Exchange Place was constructed in 1931 as the City Bank Farmers Trust Building. At that time the building was the 4th tallest building in the world and it remained among the top ten tallest buildings in New York until 1970. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Cross and Cross. In 1996, the building was designated a City Landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Upon completion 20 Exchange Place will be converted into Downtown’s finest luxury rental apartments, making it one of Lower Manhattan’s tallest residential buildings to date.

The Apartments: 

Soaring 11-foot ceilings and over-sized operable windows leading to spectacular postcard views. Modern Kitchens with state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances and custom European cabinets. Elegantly Appointed Baths featuring marble floors, contemporary tiling with custom sinks and vanities.

20 Exchange prices:

Studios from: $1850

1 bedrooms from $2800

2 bedrooms from $3500

Call 212-777-7100 for an appointment.

Stuyvesant Town Tenants Wins Court Decision-A Resident Speaks

Something For The Wanna Have’s.

The battle between The Tenant’s association and PCVST management company Tishman Speyer ended yesterday with the highest court in New York ruling in favor of the The Tenants.  This was the last possible appeal from Tishman after an Amicus brief was prepared which served to prove Tishman’s double dipping in the form of receiving J-51 tax breaks and market rate rent hikes. The law clearly bars deregulating units “which became or become subject to [stabilization] by virtue of receiving tax benefits” under the city’s J-51 program. This was a huge victory for the lower and middle class. During this time of excessive corporate greed and massive bonus payments justice was served today with a very clear message; You can’t expect to break the law, make a profit while also receiving tax benefits and not be punished. You can’t have it both ways and enjoy a capitalist compensation and a socialist compensation while you screw the people in the community. That’s called exploitation. This was a risk taken to earn a profit and the risk has not paid off. The beauty of which is pure capitalism. There are some commentator’s and journalists out there who see this as an unjust verdict. One of which is Steve Cuozzo in his NY Post article. He suggests that Jerry and Rob Speyer had another interpretation of the law (yeah no kidding) and writes “With so much hanging on the meaning of “by virtue of,” Jerry and Rob Speyer nonetheless rolled the dice. Now the court has made things far worse for them and for the entire decontrol cause, which too briefly offered a way out of the system’s socialist-style deathlock on the rental housing scene.” My answer to that is, Are you friggin serious Steve? So you’re supporting tax theft at the very least? This was a victory for pure capitalism and justice. If you take a profit gamble and you fail due to what is written in law then it’s game over. And the fallout from this can neither be protected or rationalized. If other landlords profit margin were based on the same expectations then that too is their big gamble. For the record I am a resident in Stuyvesant Town making $150,000 a year and I cannot save any money. This is a true victory also for the middle class. We deserve a victory after all our money has been either stolen from us or simply gobbled up by credit card companies and rent.

The final question I have is, now what? What happens from here with the decision. How will the money be parceled up for the victors? I live in a market rate apartment but I signed a lease agreeing to those terms.  While it’s true that 4,352  apartments are now market rate, I signed my lease agreeing to pay that rate.  I have asked employees working for Tishman Speyer whether I will receive a new re-regulated apartment and at this time it is not certain what the costs will be to TS or the re-structuring of the leases. I do not expect pro rated rent payments to be awarded but an apartment rate that could help me save would be nice.

INCENTIVES TO SEDUCE BUYERS !!!

Getting Inventive to Seduce Buyers

  

THESE are nerve-racking times for NYC Real Estate brokers. Although prices are higher this year than last, the average sales price for luxuryManhattan apartments slipped 17 percent, to $6.4 million, from the first quarter of the year to the second, according to Prudential Douglas Elliman. Though many brokers and developers insist they feel no serious qualms yet — they are counting on the weak dollar to keep attracting foreign buyers — some are unveiling new stratagems for luring higher-end clients and the brokers who know them.

Click the link to read the full article:

 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/realestate/28cov.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

NYLS Commentary:

Incentives to buyers are not new to the NYC residential real estate market. With residential rental apartments we tend to see a cyclical cycle in the overall volume of rental transactions. The Summer months (April – September) tend to be very active with a large number of out of town renters coming to New York City many for the first time. Generally in the summertime Landlords have the leverage and rent prices go up. The Winter months (October – March) are notoriously slower and the volume of transactions is almost cut in half. It is during this time when Landlords offer incentives to Brokers and tenants alike. 

Right now in the Financial District, The type of incentives being offered have not been seen since after 9/11 when many residents of Lower Manhattan were offered a 2 year grant by the Government as incentive not to abandon the area. Examples of Incentives downtown include 1 – 3 Months of FREE Rent, 1 Month Paid Broker Fee, Free I-Pod, etc…

In the Sales Market we have not seen a tremendous decrease in prices, Instead Developers have chosen to increase the incentives to Brokers raising commissions from 3% in some cases all the way to 6%. Incentives are also being given to potential buyers such as increased negotiating power, Developer picking up transfer tax, Free Vacation, etc…

Experts weigh in on how to fix industry crises…

The biggest problems in New York City real estate

Following criticism, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has vowed to crack down on shoddy construction and is instituting greater scrutiny of developers who break the rules. He is also trying to speed up the new condo approval process, and has introduced reforms targeting the appraisal industry.
By Dorn Townsend

In the wake of the subprime and credit crises, problems are becoming apparent even in New York City’s usually buoyant real estate market. Although real estate in New York City has escaped some of the ravages the rest of the country has suffered, cracks in the façade are starting to show. 

For this supplement, The Real Deal has chosen to bring some plaster: First, we home in on macro difficulties, as well as some less-discussed problems. We then weigh in with the advice of experts on ways to solve these issues. 

We take a look at the problem of the liquidity crisis. In the article Crisis or Correction, financial whizzes contemplate how they think the financial markets can ultimately return to a state of normalcy. For example, experts say the only way for the broader housing market to recover is by restoring confidence in lenders’ processes to securitize their mortgages. 

At the heart of the matter is the role of independent appraisers. Without appraisers capable of standing up to pressure from mortgage brokers to price unrealistically, it will be hard to restore confidence. Insiders consider how to make this happen in Restoring credibility to appraisers

Besides impacting banks and their ability to make informed investments, the present crisis is triggering fear among homeowners that they may lose their homes. In How New Yorkers spell foreclosure relief, we probe what’s being done to control the growing number of foreclosures — and experts share their views on whether the present actions are sufficient. 

In addition to these sweeping problems, the city’s real estate industry is facing some more local conundrums. One lingering difficulty is the manner in which different real estate firms arrive at different outcomes in their market reports. In Making sense of market reports, analysts reflect on whether the city needs a comparison-providing multiple listing service. Another growing difficulty emanates from spiraling energy costs, and the responses of commercial landlords to those costs. When it comes to energy costs, landlords over a barrel shows that many are turning to alternative energy sources and long-term fixed contracts as solutions. 

Finally, no problem has had a more tragic impact and received more recent coverage than accidents at construction sites stemming from crane malfunctions. In Shoring up construction safety, we review suggestions for reforming the city’s Department of Buildings and creating a culture of safety and accountability.

Two other stories discuss the mysterious flexibility of offices’ floor area over time and the new wave of scrutiny shoddy developers could soon see from the Attorney General’s office and the Department of Buildings.

 

RELATED LINKS:

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/making-sense-of-market-reports

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/crisis-or-correction

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/restoring-credibility-to-appraisers

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/how-new-yorkers-spell-foreclosure-relief

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/when-it-comes-to-energy-costs-landlords-over-a-barrel

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/shoring-up-construction-safety

http://ny.therealdeal.com/articles/cracking-down-on-shoddy-condos

NYLS Commentary:

This countries economic crises and the  government “recovery” plan (aka. the bailout) has rocked Wall Street this month and will undoubtedly affect NYC’s residential real estate market. As banks continue to fail and confidence continues to waiver, real estate in NYC remains as good an investemnt option as any for those who deposit more than the $100,000 limit in FDIC insured banks. Real Estate remains a great way to preserve money over time.

There are some great examples of this over time. During the most severe recession post WW2 (1975 to 1981) Markets slowed dow with interest rates reaching highs of 18% and declining home values of close to 30%. The market rebounded nicely during the 1980’s with home prices rebounded by as much as 400% and interest rates declined to around 8%. The best way to preserve money over time and hedge against inflation remains Real Estate. Again after the attacks of 9/11 real estate declined slightly (10%-15%) in Lower Manhattan yet over the past 7 years those who bought in Lower Manhattan neighborhoods (FiDi, TriBeCa, Battery Park) have seen their investments triple in value.

A look at buyers and sellers

A look at buyers and sellers

A snapshot of how buyers and sellers are reacting to the bleak economy — and to each other

 

 By Lauren Elkies

The bleak economy and credit crunch have claimed their share of victims in the New York City real estate world, but under the surface they have also shifted the foundations that buyers and sellers became accustomed to when the market was peaking.

This month, The Real Deal offers a series of stories about how buyers and sellers in the five boroughs and in the surrounding suburbs are dealing with one another and with the new financial terrain a little over a year into the crunch.

While prices have softened in some neighborhoods, first-time buyers are having more trouble than ever securing mortgages and getting a piece of the action (see Amid mortgage woes, first-time buyers seek solutions).

As their purchasing power has decreased, the pace of sales of the smaller units they tend to buy has slowed, creating a pileup of inventory. In Manhattan, there has been a sharp drop in sales of studios and one-bedrooms this year.

Meanwhile, some buyers fear more foreclosures could result in a growing number of vacant buildings, particularly in fringe areas of the city, which could contribute to an uptick in crime (see Watching for broken windows).

Experts weigh in on whether the so-called “broken windows theory,” which suggests that crime increases in areas of neglect, will play out in places like Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick and other neighborhoods with high foreclosures rates. Crime, of course, can put a damper on the appeal of a neighborhood and depress prices, driving away potential buyers.

In more prime areas, foreign buyers, who have been capitalizing on the weak dollar and propping up sales activity in the city, are now starting to pull back. As the dollar has started to rebound (at least a little), brokers say those with primary addresses in other countries are finally starting to hesitate and wait for deeper price cuts (see Fewer foreign clients buying).

On the seller side, market conditions and anxiety about the economy are causing some to drop asking prices to increase their chances of a sale, and prompting others to take their listings off the market altogether and wait until the market swings back (see Sellers feeling the pressure).

Even buildings are being put through the wringer. Co-ops have long put potential buyers through a rigorous board approval process. But now, lenders are turning the tables on them and more closely scrutinizing their books.

And, whether at a co-op or condo, gentrification continues to cause tension between existing board members and new residents, especially when the newbies push for expensive cosmetic upgrades for the building (see New buyers clashing with the condo board).

In the Financial District, the credit crunch has translated into fewer buyers at open houses (see Open house traffic hits wall in Financial District). And in the South Bronx, it has put activity on hold. The difficulty in securing cash has made it harder for small investors to buy into the area and stymied new residential development and rehabs there (see South Bronx buzz fizzles).

Beyond New York City, in suburbs like Westchester and Nassau and Fairfield counties, foreclosures on the rise are helping depress the overall market for sellers (see New York City’s suburbs slip).

And in parts of New Jersey and Long Island, there’s a real estate domino effect taking hold for so-called “trade ups” (see Trading up slows down).

Experts told The Real Deal that some sellers looking to unload their “starter homes” are out of luck, in large part because the buyers they need are unable to secure mortgages. And, until they pull their equity out of their homes, they don’t have the money to become buyers themselves.

And the Winner is ???

A reader writes, “It would be interesting if you guys did a reader survey on which NYC apartments have the most attractive women. I know it sounds silly, but somehow my friends and I had this discussion, and consensus seems to be that 2 Gold and Rivergate have tons of eye candy. I was also impressed with the quality of women at luxury condos like the Millennium in Battery Park City, 15 Broad, and Trump World Tower.” Great idea! But no love for the fellas? Folks, your suggestions for buildings with the hottest tenants (male and/or female) in the comments, please. Perhaps we can set up some sort of pageant. [CurbedWire Inbox]

Congrats to Financial District luxury-rental megatower 2 Gold Street for being named by the Curbed readership as the Manhattan building with the best-looking tenants. Rockrose’s gift to sunbathing 20somethings (and the dudes/dude-ettes who love them) beat out strong challenges from rental buildings like Soho Court, 88 Leonard Street, and Rivergate, and condo buildings such as The Orion and 15 Broad Street. See you on the roof deck, brahs!

20 Exchange Place

Streetscapes | Exchange Place

An Early Tower That Aspired to Greatness

Architectural Forum/Library of Congress; G. Paul Burnett/NYT

SURPRISING FIND The City Bank-Farmers Trust building, at left and above in 1931, has a plain facade except for 14 hooded figures at the 19th floor. The building’s two lavish lobbies were fashioned from 45 different kinds of marble. Today, the tower is being renovated for rental apartments and retail space.

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY

 Published: July 20, 2008

FIFTY-NINE stories does not seem like much now, but when planned in 1929, the City Bank-Farmers Trust Building was to be the tallest skyscraper in the world after the Empire State Building. With its sheer limestone facade, haunting sculptural treatment and rich marble halls, the building — which is being converted to residential use — is a surprising find on its cramped, odd-shaped block at Exchange Place, at the conjunction of Beaver, Hanover and William Streets.
Underhill/Library of Congress 

In 1929, the financial district was booming. The architects Cross & Cross were at work on a 50-story office building for Continental Bank at Broad Street and Exchange Place, which ultimately wasn’t built.

Then the National City Bank of New York merged with the Farmers’ Loan and Trust Company, and entered the skyscraper sweepstakes. When their architects, also Cross & Cross, filed plans at the Bureau of Buildings on Oct. 2, The New York Times described the new structure, at 71 stories and 846 feet, as the highest ever officially proposed.

The design for the City Bank-Farmers Trust tower called for an illuminated globe on top, but the stock market crash a few weeks after filing brought the project up short, and it was reduced to 59 stories.

Research by the Landmarks Preservation Commission gives the height as 685 feet, although just before completion The Times reported it as 750 feet. A partial set of engineering drawings from 1930 by the firm of Purdy & Henderson shows the 54th floor — several levels below the roof — as 670 feet high.

The exact height of the building remains unclear. But it is safe to say that, when completed, it trailed the Empire State Building (1,250 feet), the Chrysler Building (1,046 feet) and the Bank of the Manhattan (927 feet).

In August 1930, The Times reported that Gilbert Nicoll, a 20-year-old messenger, was near death after being hit by an iron bolt dropped from the 57th floor. He had been unemployed for months, according to the article, and the accident happened on his first day as a bank messenger.

The building was completed the next year. The outside is plain, even ho-hum, except for 14 moody hooded figures at the 19th floor. The magazine Through the Ages said in 1931 that they represented “giants of finance, seven smiling, seven scowling.” Figures of coins on the ground floor represented countries in which the bank had its main branches. The Times called the building “conservative modern.”

According to a 1931 article in Architecture and Building, the two lavish lobbies were fashioned from 45 different kinds of marble, quarried in Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, France, Spain, Belgium and elsewhere.

The brothers Eliot and John Walter Cross formed a talented and versatile partnership. Well born, well educated and socially connected, they did in-town mansions and country estates, banks and garages, lofts and skyscrapers — like the 1931 General Electric building at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue, with its Art Deco radio-wave imagery.

The architects’ niece Sarnia Marquand told a reporter in a 1980 interview that John Cross was the designer in the firm and Eliot handled the business side. Their most recognizable design is probably the sumptuously plain Tiffany & Company store at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, which dates to 1940.

According to the 1996 Landmark designation report, City Bank-Farmers Trust went through several changes, evolving into First National City Bank, and then, in 1976, Citibank. Its move out of the skyscraper happened in stages, the last one in 1989.

The tower is easy to see from a distance but hard to find on the ground in the maze of irregular downtown streets. The City Bank-Farmers Trust banking hall runs along William Street. It is a high, columned space in English oak with polished marble and nickel trim, all handled in the Art Deco classicism that had become a safe alternative to radical European modernism.

At Exchange and William, the main entrance to the banking hall is a high rotunda, flush with varying marbles, the most striking a golden travertine from Czechoslovakia, quite different from the pallid ivory-colored stone popular in the 1960s. From the tower there are wide views to the harbor and around to old skyscrapers on the land side.

Today, a real estate firm, Metro Loft Management, is renovating the tower for rental apartments, and has 350 units ready on the floors from 16 to the top.

A second phase, lower down, will involve office tenants; the company that takes the high banking hall will have a most spectacular retail space.

Jersey City vs. Manhattan

Jersey City vs. Manhattan

Median price for a condo in a new development in downtown Jersey City: $579,900

Median price for a condo in a new development in Manhattan: $1,475,000

Average price in Jersey City: $640,864.

1br: $539,304
2br: $656,795
3br: $1,231,666

Average price in Manhattan: $2,184,928.

Studio: $891,441
1br: $1,020,626
2br: $1,992,638
3br: $3,751,874

More Real Estate News !!!

Mayor Bloomberg warns that property taxes might have to be raised [Crain’s]

A look at architect Enrique Norten’s One York, where telecom mogul Michael Hirtenstein bought six apartments for $25 million [Curbed]

The rezoning proposal for Victorian Flatbush takes shape [Flatbush Gardener]

Ridgewood, Queens, offers bargains [NYDN]

Is the condo market really saturated? [NYMag]

Developer Aby Rosen talks about the Chrysler Building and Tom Wolfe [NYO]

Greatly Exaggerated? By JOSH BARBANEL

April 13, 2008

Big Deal

Greatly Exaggerated?

By JOSH BARBANEL

REPORTS of a decline of the Manhattan real estate market may have been premature.

Since the release of first-quarter sales results on April Fool’s Day, brokers have been ruminating on the extent of a slowdown in the property market. One report prepared for Prudential Douglas Elliman by Jonathan J. Miller, an appraiser, showed a 34 percent drop in quarterly sales, compared with the corresponding period in 2007, the steepest decline in sales in memory.

This finding, however, was called into question by higher sales figures recorded by other brokerage firms. And even one of Elliman’s top-selling brokers, Dolly Lenz, said in an e-mail message to fellow brokers, “Something is very wrong somewhere and I need a plausible response, as will we all.”

In a later e-mail message to a reporter, she said that despite some stress “here and there due to overbuilding,” the “market is really quite good over all.”

Last Wednesday, Gregory Heym, the chief economist for Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens, sent an e-mail message of his own to brokers at those firms. He said that while each company’s sales figures were only estimates, the Douglas Elliman report was incorrect and “missing almost 600 sales, which were available for anyone to view” in the city’s online records.

Mr. Miller, the president of Miller Samuel Inc., said he used the same methodology that he has been using for 14 years, based on a variety of public and proprietary sources, and that differences in firms’ reports could be caused by the timing of data collection. “I stand by my numbers and the methodology used to compile them,” he said.

Because there is often a lag of several weeks in reports of property closings, each firm tries to capture closings filed in public records up to a few days before the end of the quarter, as well as additional reports of closings from managing agents and other sources.

But a review of closing documents filed by last Wednesday, nine days after the end of the quarter, showed that the number of sales was roughly flat compared with the same quarter a year ago. They fell, but by less than 1 percent, or a decline of 11 sales out of nearly 3,500 sales reported in April 2007.

Last spring, the number of closings rose to record levels, but with contract signings lagging lately and uncertainty on Wall Street, few brokers are predicting a similar surge this spring. Yet who would have thought that Manhattan apartment prices would hit record highs in the first quarter, while prices fell across the country?

NYLS WINS !!!!!!!! ((NYLS 52 – LIC 43))

Final Score

Last night Team NYLS defeated Team “LIC” to win their 2nd “Urban Professional League” Championship…

GAME SUMMARY: With many fans cheering them on, Team NYLS got off to a shaky start and trailed by two points at halftime (22-20). In the second half however, Team NYLS got it together; led by leading scorer Laverne Goulbourne (22 points) and Michael Roche (14 points), NYLS hit a number of amazing shots to take the lead for good with 10 minutes left in the game. Team captain Giovanni Castro provided much needed leadership down the stretch and 6th man Ben Brown played great defense and provided excellent toughness in the second half. In the end it was Team NYLS 52 and Team “LIC” 43. Team NYLS finished the season with 13 wins and only 1 defeat.

Team NYLS would like to thank those who attended the game (and those who arrived just after the conclusion of the game) and the Championship Afterparty.

 N Y L S