Real Estate

Rental Incentives during peak summer months in NYC? Sounds too good to be true but it’s not.

New York’s prime leasing season is well under way and there are more choices then ever for prospective renters. Typically, from May through August property owners across New York City have the upper hand as college graduates flock to the city in preparation for their new jobs as well as families gearing up to secure a residence before the new school year. Renters in NYC know all too well to expect higher rents during these summer months, and those that find themselves in the cycle of leasing during the summer are usually prepare for sticker shock.
For the first time in almost four years of growth in the NYC real estate market property owners are having to get creative with incentives like paying the broker fee and offering free rent to attract more interested renters. There are more choices in the market now more than previous years because prices are beyond what most people can or will pay for a rental. Renters looking for a new place to call home this summer have a competitive advantage as they can be more choosy in what they put an application in for. People who may not have ideal credit are getting approved much faster than in past as landlords appear to be more willing to work tenants. While incentives are typically neighborhood specific, certain older rental buildings are also competing by offering their own incentives.
As one of the leading boutique firms in the New York Metropolitan Area, NY Living Solutions specializes in helping renters and buyers navigate the Financial District. NY Living Solutions has access to many no-fee apartment rentals all throughout Manhattan including luxury condominiums as well as new grand opening properties with incredible amenities.

Exclusive Coop for Sale Located in the Trendy Columbia University neighborhood

200 West 108th Street, #14a

$1,250,000 FOR SALE
2 beds 2 baths
Property Type: Coop
Maintenance: $1,827
Pet Policy: Case By Case

Located in the Columbia University neighborhood, Pre-war apartment in excellent condition and a spacious layout.(Approx 1250 sf) high-floor with open eastern and northern exposures. Views overlooking Central Park.

Apartment features pre-war details, a windowed kitchen, Large living room, corner master suite, Spacious 2nd bedroom, 2 full windowed bathrooms, high beamed ceilings and great closet space. This coop has a renovated marble lobby, P/T doorman, new elevators, central laundry, and a live-in super

Just a couple of blocks from Central Park and its many attractions,
Located Close to several subway lines (1/2/3/B/C).

531 Manhattan Ave – Two Family Townhome for Sale

531 Manhattan Ave – Two Family Townhome for Sale

This Harlem Townhome is located just East of Morningside Park and a short walk to Columbia University. This highly desirable location, is home to a well maintained Two-Family.

2nd, 3rd & 4th Floor Triplex: Features – Two Bed / Three Bathrooms, Kitchen, Living Room, Den/Home Office, Three Fireplaces (One on each floor) and two Skylights on the top Floor. This space currently has the only access to the garden, via a spiral staircase off the den.

Garden Level: One Bedroom & One Bathroom features Large Living Room with Open Kitchen, Generous Bedroom with a walk-in closet. Ceiling fans located in the living room and bedroom. The bedroom in the rear of the unit has two west facing windows with garden views. This unit currently has no access to the garden.

Basement: Laundry space for the one bedroom tenant, plenty of dry storage space. This area houses all of the properties Mechanicals: Boiler, Water Tanks (2), and Separate Electric & Water Meters.

Lot Size: 15×80
Building Size: 15×55 – Approx. 4100Sf including basement
Building Can Be Delivered Vacant.
Currently Configured: Triplex (2Bed/3Bath) & One Bedroom (1Bed/1Bath)
Steps to fine restaurants, reputable jazz clubs, shopping centers, bookstores and movie theaters.
Transportation: A, C, D & B @ 125th Street MTA Stop & M60 Bus to
LaGuardia Airport – 2 Blocks Away
Low Taxes

$2,500,000 FOR SALE
4,100 ft²$609 per ft²7 rooms 3 beds3 baths

 

City Council approves Hudson Square rezoning

Hudson Square

The City Council voted Wednesday to approve the rezoning of Hudson Square in Lower Manhattan. The rezoning will allow developers — including the area’s dominant player Trinity Real Estate — to move forward with several large-scale hotel and residential projects.

As part of the approval process, Speaker Christine Quinn secured a commitment for a vote on landmark status for the adjacent South Village Historic District, according to a statement from Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a preservation group. But community activists were concerned that the city did not discuss any landmark designations for sites south of Houston Street, which is home to nearly half of the proposed district.

“The landmarking commitment only covers about half the endangered area and won’t take effect until nine months after the rezoning, allowing developers ample time to knock down historic buildings,” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village group, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, two key council committees approved a controversial part of the proposal, which would let developers build 2,000 to 3,000 new apartments — many of them affordable — in the neighborhood. —Hiten Samtani

The Most Expensive Real-Estate in the World

By Robert Frank

Associated Press Monaco

If you think real-estate in Manhattan or San Francisco is expensive, consider Monaco.

The price of real-estate in Monaco — the world’s most expensive locale — is now an average of $5,408 a square foot, according to a report from Citi Private Bank and Knight Frank, the London real-estate firm. Spending $1 million will get you a 200 square-foot closet – presumably without a water view.

The second most expensive locale is Cap Ferrat in the south of France, at more than $4,800 a square foot. That’s followed by London, at $4,534 a square foot, and then by Hong Kong, at $4,406 a square foot.

New York is a relative bargain, coming in at number 17, at more  than $2,161 a square foot (this seems to be a little  high, even for Manhattan). The only other U.S. locations on the top 50 are Aspen, at number 39, with $974 a square foot, followed by Telluride ($760 a square foot) and Miami, at about $580 a square foot.

Here is the list of the Top 10

LOCATION    AVG PRICE PSF

Monaco – $5,408

Cap Ferrat — $4,800

London — $4,534

Hong Kong (houses) — $4,406

Courcheval 1850 — $4,081

St. Moritz — $3,951

Gstaad — $3,701

St. Tropez — $3,600

Geneva  – $2,959

Hong Kong (apartments) — $2,625

NJ State Leads Nation in Down-Payment Size

BUYERS in New Jersey have the highest down-payment rate in the country, putting down an average 13.71 percent of the purchase price, according to a new report from LendingTree. That surpasses percentages in cities like Washington, and states like New York, Hawaii and California, though only by tenths of a point. In New York, the average down payment works out to 13.47 percent. The national average is 12.24 percent, for the year ending in November.

Of course, very few borrowers pay the average percentage, which is computed by figuring out the average down payment on conventional loans made by banks and government-insured Federal Housing Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs loans, which have down payment minimums of 3.5 percent.

Countrywide, about a quarter of all mortgage loans are government-backed, according to lending specialists.

Full Article Here:

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-The Crest 63 Wall Street

 Rentals Directory-The Crest 63 Wall Street

The Building: Nestled in one of New York City’s oldest neighborhoods, The Crest is unique in it’s perfect harmony of classic form and modern function. Designed by noted architects Delano and Aldrich, the Wall and Hanover building erected in 1928 was originally constructed as the headquarters for the oldest and largest partnership bank in the country, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. In 2004 the New York City Landmark was entirely refurbished and reinvented as The Crest, one of the The Financial District’s exciting and luxurious rental destinations.

The Apartments: Prewar opulence and contemporary style merge in apartments filled with much sought after architechural features as soaring high ceilings and oversized windows. Each apartment boasts beaming maple flooring, elegant marble baths, modern kitchens with granite countertops, maple cabinetry and top of the line appliances, individual climate control and high speed wiring.

The Crest prices range from: 

Studios: $1850

1 Bedrooms: $2150

Flex 2 bedrooms: $2245

Full 2 bedroom/2 bathrooms $3200

Contact: 212-777-7100 for appointments.

Manhattan To get It’s Own MLS

Please go to The Real Deal for the article-

Halstead Property announced today that it has completed the process of instituting a VOW, or “Virtual Office Web site,” making it the first major city brokerage to do so.

According to Diane Ramirez, the president of Halstead, the company has received approval from the Real Estate Board of New York for a VOW, a new type of Web site expected to have far-reaching consequences for the industry. That means that Halstead customers may now search all of the industry’s listings — provided directly by REBNY — without leaving an individual Halstead agent’s Web site. In the past, site visitors could see only Halstead exclusives.

Tenants Questions Answered in Stuyvesant Town Conference Call

While the settlement agreement between the Tenants Councel and the defendants Tishman-Speyer has not yet concluded a conference call was held today for the tenants association members.
Questions had been previously emailed by the tenants and those present on the call to illuminate the facts were Council member Dan Garodnick, Councel for the plaintiffs Alex Schmidt and Congresswoman Carol Maloney.
It is now known that the highest court in New York ruled in favor for the tenants whose apartments had been improperly deregulated by managing partners Tishman-Speyer to receive re-regulation and refunds.
The settlement is still under negotiations all of which were elucidated in today’s conference call.
1. The settlement: Until the settlement has been finalized there will be an interim agreement lasting 7 weeks, a 7 week stay, if the defendants stipulate that this is a class action suit that interim agreement may be extended until July.
2. The new billing: Tenants will begin to receive their new rent stabilized rent bills in the next few days for the January billing cycle.
3. The rates: The calculations will be based from when the apartment was last stabilized plus the allowed 20% vacancy rate increase plus the allowed capital improvement increase of 1/40th of the cost of improvement plus the rent guideline board yearly rate increase (usually 3%) this will determine the rate of your new apartment. An example may be- $1500 last stabilized rent plus $300 vacancy rate plus $1000 (example for $40,000 capital improvements) plus 3% annual increase ( we will say 3 years for this example) equals $3059. This will be your new rate. However, if you pay less than this example that could be attributed to your actual apartment then the lesser number takes precedent. In some cases the market rate you pay may be lower than the stabilized rate.
But once you’re rate is calculated that will become your new stabilized rate. No one will receive any increases.
It has been estimated that 30-40% of all market rate tenants will not receive a reduction. In part because so many have re-negotiated their rents since the economic collapse began last September 2008.
So to summarize the agreement made was that whatever number is lower will be paid for the balance of the lease.
4. Tenants ready for their lease renewal:For people who renew their leases in the interim period they may be affected and will pay a higher rent. The maximum increase will be subject to the rent guideline board (usually 3%).
5. The 1/40th rule: This is a legal provision. A landlord can make improvements and charge this number. Currently it is an indefinite law to receive the costs even after the costs have been recouped. Counsel members are looking to change this to a 1/84th rule in addition to a limitation on recouping costs. They will argue to have costs limited once they have been fully recouped. Currently there is no limitation for landlords due to the current law which enables them to charge for capital improvements indefinitely.
6. How do you validate the capital improvement costs?: How can a tenant certify the investment made by the landlord? Invoices will be subpoenaed for MCI’s. An independent expert/consultant will be part of the scrutiny efforts. As negotiations continue in the settlement more legislative evaluation is to be considered. Going forward- newly rent stabilized tenants will be subject to the MCI increases.
No MCI’s have been calculated in the current rent stabilized rates- meaning in the future there could be additional charges factored in to these rents. However there is a State 2 year rule – state law has a statute of limitations if a landlord did not factor in the MCI charges during that period.
7. Apartments with forced vacancies: Vacancy rates entitle the landlord to receive a 20% increase but artificially created vacancies may affect the estimated rate. The landlord could be forced to roll back the rate. That is vacancies forced through deregulation would have received an improper increase. Each unit will be scrutinized to determine the proper rate.
8. The 10 step formula: An independent expert/consultant will be part of the scrutiny efforts to determine what exactly is the correct number to be appropriated for each affected market rate apartment.
9. Acceptance of the new rent rate:Do tenants waive their rights if they accept the final rental rate? No was the quick answer to this. The settlement agreement will bound all parties but tenants have the right to opt out of the settlement and may pursue litigation.
10. The refunds:Monies have been placed into an escrow account and have been turned over to joint custody to Tishman/and the attorney for the tenants. The attorneys for the tenants are looking to gain full control of the funds. Once this has been negotiated the refunds will be returned. Councel for the tenants hope this will be concluded by the end of January. The distribution of the funds has not been fully determined at this time. The retroactive discussions continue but will not be litigated while the 7 week or extended stay is in effect. Councel for the tenants stipulated that the defendants must agree to retroactive payments or there will be no settlement.
11. Former tenants: How can they make sure to participate fully? They should send an email which was suggested as better than a phone call to:liskow@whafh.com or doster@whafh.com
Please give your name/ current contact info-former address at PCVST- and the dates you lived there.
You will be made automatic members of the class action suit. There is no limitation at this time. But you must be placed in the databank. You are only eligible to receive escrow funds if you had been a resident after April 1 2009.
12. Tishman and foreclosure or bankruptcy: This case will be preserved as by New York State law. Damages and claims will be preserved.
13. Tenants in restored units: This question was asked by a tenant living in a restored apartment which is not the same as a renovated apartment. Councel remarked that this was a category worth investigating. But that it was likely to be the same process as with a renovated unit, the 1/40th rule.
And so after 90 minutes the conference call had concluded. It has been a terrific victory for affordable housing and on behalf of all the tenants, for which I am in that category I would to thank our advocates and legal Councel for their tremendous diligence and hard work. I will report on the first rent bill I receive in the coming days.

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.

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.

Real Estate News !!!

Latest Headlines

http://ny.therealdeal.com/

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.

State of the Market: Hoboken vs. Jersey City

Grove Street (Jersey City) published a new entry entitled “Hoboken / Downtown Jersey City” on 6/17/2008 5:19:32 PM, written by Grove Street JC.


Hoboken / Downtown Jersey City

In response to a JCList.com thread on “The State of the Hoboken (Real Estate) Market.”

So one poster posited that Hoboken real estate isn’t selling well, and another post stated that “all of the buyers are over in Jersey City.”  Is this true?  Our view, is yes, it is true. Let us examine:

Hoboken real estate, particularly in the areas more than a 10 min walk, is not selling well.  The only desirable locations are really the places that are close to the PATH.  Of course there are nice condos/apartments way out from the PATH, but typically it requires a shuttle bus or lightrail.  While not terrible, your typical first-time homebuyer is looking for proximity to mass transportation.  Especially if they work in Manhattan and would be taking the PATH or Ferry.  Areas closer to the Hoboken PATH surely may be in higher demand, but there isn’t as much new construction (which is what homeowners are looking for

On the other hand,Jersey City is developing rapidly, and 95% of all the new developments/construction are located within a 5 minute walk to either the Grove Street, Exchange Place, or Newport PATH trains (depending on which neighborhood you are in, Paulus Hook, Powerhouse, Liberty Harbor, Hamilton Park, Newport, etc).  Putting yourself in the shoes of a first-time homebuyer (most likely a NYC transplant looking for more space), why would anyone desire to live in a condo where a shuttle bus is required?  In Hoboken, when RE was booming and before JC started to develop, homebuyers accepted the shuttle bus as they may have been priced out of waterfront Hoboken property (lack of supply as well).  Now that Jersey City has started to revitalize (in the Grove Street area particularly), first-time homebuyers are flocking to downtown JC – because of its excellent proximity to PATH trains and also brand-new luxury construction/amenities.  So, when faced with the choice of living in a brand-new apt 3 minutes from the PATH, or an older Hoboken apartment with the shuttle bus — obviously homebuyers are leaning toward downtown Jersey City.

Currently, in terms of neighborhood, Hoboken offers much more currently in the way of cafes, restaurants, nightlife, shopping.  But for a first-time homebuyer, looking to invest in an area – JC is certainly a better value because much of the new construction is located near the waterfront and the PATH train.  Add in the fact that you’re part of an exciting, growing neighborhood, and JC is the better option over (established) Hoboken.  Already there are a number of excellent restaurants, cafes, and boutiqe shops lining the streets of Grove Street.  To be fair, it’s nothing like (established) Hoboken, but it’s definitely a different feel — a type of urban, dynamic vibe that permeates through the streets, shops, and people. 

Our view is that Hoboken real estate has seen a ceiling, while JC still has room to grow (once the US economy recovers, JC should soon exceed Hoboken RE growth). 

Permalink: grovestreetjc.com/2008/06/17/hoboken–downtown-jersey-city.aspx

Hoboken Weathers the Market

Published: June 22, 2008
HOBOKEN was often held up as the prime example of the booming real estate market, and now it appears that the city is showing that it can hold its own in a down market, too.

A rendering of 800 Madison, part of the Upper Grand development.

Average sales prices are still increasing for downtown condominiums in Hoboken, although most asking prices are open to negotiation these days, as several developers acknowledged in interviews.

Developers say that their new buildings are still selling out, if somewhat slower than in the past. (One that didn’t, the Velocity, suffered from construction delays and questions about its site near city housing projects, and switched to a rental building late last year.)

The Web service Streeteasy.com reports that waterfront properties continue to command premium prices about 30 to 35 percent above those on Hoboken’s west side, a former industrial area that was nearly unimaginable as a neighborhood only five or six years ago.

But development on the west side is continuing, fueled by interest from buyers and renters, developers say.

The Tarragon Corporation is completing its sixth residential building in the neighborhood at its eight-square-block Upper Grand development. The company now has four condominiums and two rental buildings there, and will soon break ground on the west side’s first high-rise condo.

William Rosato, Tarragon’s president, acknowledges that the market on the west side has cooled over the last two years. “It used to be that if we asked $500,000 for a condo, five buyers were standing in line to buy,” he said. “Now, if you ask $500,000, people wait to come in and begin a negotiation.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Rosato added, “Prices are holding pretty strong, as is the pace at which we sell.”

Benjamin D. Jogodnik, a vice president of Toll Brothers who runs its City Living division, said the company had sold more than 400 high-end condominiums at three Hoboken developments since late 2005, when the statewide residential market began to deflate.

There are only a handful of units left at one of those developments, Harborside Lofts, a 116-unit building with balconies and rooftop terraces. The terraces were sold separately, at prices that reached $225,000.

Mr. Jogodnik said the second buildings at both the Hudson Tea and Maxwell Place complexes are approaching completion. Both developments have had steady sales, with Maxwell Place now about 95 percent sold.

Toll Brothers is also building 10 “maisonette” town houses at Maxwell Place. The town houses have the Hudson River outside their doors, and lots of glass facing the view.

The town houses are priced about $1 million above other high-end apartments in Hoboken. The asking prices range from $2.5 million to $3.8 million, for houses that range from 2,300 to 3,800 square feet of space.

No marketing has been done since the town houses became available last fall, and work on the pier outside the windows still obstructs the view of the river from most of the unfinished condos.

“But we have sold four,” said Mr. Jogodnik. “Four in six months, at these kinds of price points, in this market? I’m O.K. with that.”

Bargaining is taking place at all price points for condos old and new, according to statistics from Streeteasy.com. While the average price of a two-bedroom apartment in Hoboken has increased 9.4 percent since the beginning of the year — to $634,917 — more than half of the two-bedrooms currently on the market have had their original asking prices reduced, by an average of 5.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the average price for a one-bedroom unit has dropped 9.3 percent since January — to $420,797 — and 40 percent of those units now on the market have had their asking prices reduced, by an average of 3.3 percent.

There are relatively few three-bedroom units in Hoboken, most of them penthouses, but the average price is up by 3.3 percent, Streeteasy.com reported, to $882,943.

More of the negotiating is occurring on the west side than on the waterfront, Streeteasy.com indicated. About 88 percent of the two-bedroom units listed on the inland side have reduced prices, taken down by an average 7.4 percent.

Still, new high-end developments keep springing up.

The Vesta Group, a developer of boutique condo buildings in TriBeCa and Chelsea in Manhattan, has just begun marketing a 16-unit project on Observer Highway on Hoboken’s south side.

Vesta is promoting the building as Hoboken’s first with video doorman technology, which allows deliveries of groceries and packages while the apartment dweller is out. Vesta is selling two- to four-bedroom units for $690,000 to $1.47 million.

Marketers of this building and others are stressing Hoboken’s walkability, and the fact that schools, shops and retailing are close at hand.

There is one residential amenity that Hoboken has been conspicuously lacking, however, ever since the last movie theater closed in 2005.

But last week, Tarragon, in partnership with Clearview Cinemas, broke ground on a five-screen theater.

Sex and the City – The Real Estate Episode

Real estate of Sex and the City

The Sex and the City movie is everywhere! The HBO series included some fabulous shoes, but at Trulia, we’re more interested in the fabulous real estate. Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda each had distinct personalities, and the housing to match. Here’s a look at some great properties listed on Trulia that would surely be approved by the girls of Sex and the City:

• Carrie – When we last left Carrie, she was enjoying the single-girl lifestyle in a brownstone apartment in the Upper East Side. This classic brownstone with modern upgrades priced below $800,000 might make a great first home purchase. The private outdoor patio looks like a great spot for an evening cosmopolitan – or two!
• Samantha – This sleek condo a few blocks up from the Meatpacking District has Samantha all over it. The modern interior with huge windows and great views has the sexy look that would appeal to her uninhibited sensibility. (And the glass shower door doesn’t hurt, either.)
• Charlotte – Nothing but a classic Park Avenue pad for her! This beautiful Park Avenue co-op has the traditional, sophisticated look that Charlotte embodies.
• Miranda – The only one to move outside of Manhattan, Miranda would enjoy the extra space that comes with this Park Slope home. Its backyard is great for a family, and a second unit in the house could either be rented out as an investment or used for overnight visitors from Manhattan.

Fri, Jun 6, 2008

Real Estate News

(http://www.truliablog.com/)

Celebrity Listings Fix

Recent Celebrity Listing Activity

(http://www.truliablog.com/)

Actress from hit TV series ‘24′ sells LA beach bungalow

sold for $1,200,000

2br / 2ba 762 sqft 

Multi-millionaire Sidney Kimmel sells Palm Beach mansion for $77.5 MM to former Goldman Sachs COO

sold for $77,500,000
9br 18,437 sqft

E! ‘Talk Soup’ host Joel McHale unloads Glendale, CA home

sold for $732,000
2br / 2ba 1,634 sqft

MTV Reality TV star Lauren Conrad buys Spanish-style home in Hollywood

sold for $2,360,000

3br / 1ba 2,166 sqft

Actress Sharon Stone slashes price on Mediterranean mansion – again!

$10,000,000

7br / 8ba 

Former home of Rat Packer, Dean Martin, just listed

$5,495,000

5br / 6ba

Disco queen Diana Ross lists French Normandy-style mansion

$39,500,000
15br / 14ba

Bravo’s famous flipper, Jeff Lewis’ TV home on the market

$2,995,000

3 br / 3.5 ba 3,024 sqf

 

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

Prices come down to help move new projects

Condos on the chopping block

 

 By Lauren Elkies

As sales have slowed and inventory has grown, developers are clamoring to move new development condo units, many by adjusting prices.

Price cuts are outpacing price increases, and prices appear to be falling on the whole in the two most active boroughs for development, Manhattan and Brooklyn, particularly in Harlem and much of Brooklyn.

The Real Deal compiled a project-by-project and neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of price changes among listings where there were price fluctuations during the past 90 days. Data was provided by StreetEasy, the home listing and data Web site. Listings excluded resales.
The data showed that 54 percent of Manhattan listings that saw a change in price had dropped their prices in the three months, and 64 percent of Brooklyn properties that had fluctuating prices cut theirs.

Although the actual average price changes in Manhattan were about three-and-a-half times more than the changes in Brooklyn, where there are more fringe neighborhoods and sales prices are lower, the average net price change was comparable at -$15,362 in Manhattan and -$14,516 in Brooklyn.
While the data show some price drops, Andrew Gerringer, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman’s development marketing group, said that the developers he is working with are negotiating, but not by not slashing prices.

“Developers are offering brokers more commission and paying closing costs,” he told The Real Deal.

Although not all brokers readily acknowledge developers are adjusting prices, and the StreetEasy research is limited, (because it only covers a three-month period and the number of price cuts need to be considered relative to the initial prices), the data provide a glimpse into how market conditions are affecting pricing. The data was also impacted by big price cuts at a single development, which could affect totals for an entire neighborhood.

MANHATTAN

Manhattan held up fairly well over the three months ending May 15 with slightly more condo price decreases than increases. There were 178 increases with an average change of $146,483 and 208 decreases with an average change of $153,864.

Of all submarkets in Manhattan — Downtown, Midtown, Upper West Side, Upper East Side and Upper Manhattan — only the Upper East Side, the most expensive market in terms of the average price per listing ($4.1 million), was in the black in terms of a net price increase ($106,436), meaning that on the whole, developers raised their prices more than they lowered them, StreetEasy determined. Percentage-wise, the Silk Stocking District also had the most price increases (27) relative to decreases (11).

“The Upper East Side, on a valuation basis, has not spiked as much as other popular and trendy neighborhoods, so it has a little more headroom for pricing,” said Jorden Tepper, executive director of sales at Century 21 NY Metro Fine Homes & Estates.

Downtown Manhattan, which has a new development inventory that almost matches the size of all the other submarkets combined, saw the most price increases of all submarkets with 88, despite concerns about an inventory oversupply, particularly in the Financial District. A couple of projects contributed to the steep total, including River Ridge condos with 13 increases (and three decreases) and Tribeca Summit, also with 13 increases (and three decreases). As a result of a few large markdowns, the average net change, however, was -$18,128.

Upper Manhattan fared the worst in terms of the number of price reductions with 75, compared to only 14 increases. Harlem had 52 price decreases and six price increases.

“People who wanted to be on the Upper West Side were getting priced out and went farther north,” said Sofia Kim, vice president of research at StreetEasy. So developers started building aggressively to meet demand. At the same time, current market conditions are putting pressure on prices in fringe outlying neighborhoods including Harlem.

“All fringe neighborhoods are suffering,” said Darren Sukenik, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman. “These fringe neighborhoods were successful in an inappropriately manic-driven market two years ago.”

Of 29 Manhattan neighborhoods, more than half saw negative net changes.

After Harlem, Chelsea had the most price drops with 18.

“With Tribeca and Soho’s stunning condo lofts coming to market month after month, Chelsea no longer has the allure it once did,” said Jeffrey Tanenbaum, a vice president at Barak Realty. “Not to say Chelsea is passé, but it no longer is the most exciting flavor of the month.” Tribeca saw 19 price increases and five price decreases. Soho was split with four increases and four decreases.

But in a testament to the allure of a good project, there were 22 price increases in Chelsea.

The greatest price cuts Downtown were in the West Village, where three changes brought the average net price change to -$2.2 million. The price decreases included the $2.5 million price slashing of Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi’s duplex from $32 million to $29.5 million and the $4 million cut in price at Hudson Blue at 423 West Street.

BROOKLYN

The majority of Brooklyn’s 23 neighborhoods saw overall price drops. Prices were slashed at 183 units with an average price decrease of $42,195. There were 103 listing increases averaging $34,660.

In the popular and increasingly saturated new condo market in Williamsburg, where the market varies by area, there are bound to be price changes.

“Williamsburg is definitely a hotbed of activity so you’re going to have more competing developments,” said Kim of StreetEasy.

Williamsburg was home to the greatest number of units with price changes (104). Developers raised prices 64 times and lowered them 40 times. The majority of the price increases were at Northside Piers. Without that project, the area would have done poorly with 40 price decreases and only 11 increases.

Northside Piers, a Toll Brothers project marketed by Halstead Property, had 53 price increases — four units at the project had as many as four price changes — in the three months, with an average price change of $40,302, StreetEasy data indicate. Although increases might seem strange considering Toll Brothers reported its eighth-consecutive quarterly decline in revenue last month and might want to sell units quickly at lower prices, prices were too low from the start, said a broker who has worked on the project.

“Northside was the first tower ever in Williamsburg,” said William Ross, a director in new development marketing at Halstead, and former director of sales for the Brooklyn office. As such, Ross said the team did not how to accurately price the units. “We did the best we could,” he said.

The majority of the 180 units in the building have had price adjustments, Ross said. Last April, Halstead reduced the prices of 35 units in the building, all large units with unimpressive views, by an average of 12 to 15 percent, or $65,000 each. “We found out the larger units that don’t have views didn’t sell until we did the decrease,” Ross said.

The numbers for Clinton Hill (24 price reductions and three increases) and Park Slope (18 decreases and zero increases) were pretty weak, but some brokers attribute the price drops to developers trying to push the neighborhood boundaries.

As the boundaries of Clinton Hill and Park Slope expand farther away from main transportation lines, so do price reductions. Homes in the heart of Park Slope and along brownstone row in Clinton Hill are selling well, said Tom Le, vice president and associate broker at the Corcoran Group in the Williamsburg office. But projects on the outskirts are on shakier ground. Too many developers do not create the right product in the right location, Le said.

NYLS Agent Rob Riley stars in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

CAT 2008

Robert Christopher Riley(Servant/ understudy Brick, Gooper and Lacey) is extremely grateful to be working with such a talented company in his Broadway debut. Favorite credits: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Fences, Witness for the Prosecution, A Christmas Carol, Untold Truths (written and performed with Kashi Johnson). He holds an MFA from Ohio University and a BA from Lehigh University.

Rob C. Riley has been a member of the NYLS family since day one. Riley attended Lehigh University with NYLS Co-Founder Michael Roche and Chief Operating Officer Giovanni Castro. Despite attending grad school in Ohio and facing a hectic acting schedule here in New York, Rob C. Riley has been a top producing agent at NYLS. Unfortunately for NYLS, Riley’s acting career has taken off.  Robert Chistopher Riley is now starring in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway http://www.cat2008onbroadway.com/index.html.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Final Weeks! Strictly Limited Engagement Closes June 22!

The Broadhurst Theatre
235 West 44th Street | New York, NY 10036

Schedule Tuesday at 7PM, Wednesday at 2PM & 8PM, Thursday at 8PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM & 8PM, Sunday at 3PM;
no performances Mondays

Running Time 2 hours and 45 minutes, including two 12 minute intermissions

Price $61.50-$96.50

RCR

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?

2008 AIDS WALK !!! ((REGISTER NOW))

Aidswalk Logo

NYLS is proud to be participating in our second annual Aids Walk on May 18th, 2008. Please join our team and help raise money by walking through Central Park for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

If you are interested in Joining this years NYLS Aids Walk Team, Please visit www.aidswalk.net and click on “TEAMS” and look for our two teams, “NYLS DOWNTOWN” and “NYLS GRAMERCY”. To donate to this worthy cause please click on “Donations” under our team name.

If you have any questions please visit www.aidswalk.net or give us a call at 212.962.3940.

(The 2007 NYLS Aids Walk New York Team)

2007 NYLS Aids Walk Team