It’s that time of year when we take a look back at the biggest stories of the year and look ahead at what’s to come. And if 2014 was the year of the ultra-luxury listing, 2015 shows no sign of cooling down.
This past year saw major increases from 2013, with $16.8 billion in residential sales, over 17 percent of which was accounted for by purchases over $10 million. Plus, the top 25 sales of the year all closed for over $25 million. News of big sales at One57 will likely continue, with 520 Park Avenue vying for the title of most-talked-about building. We’ll also start hearing more from 30 Park Place, 432 Park Avenue, and the Woolworth Residences. To help you visualize all of these high-rolling record setters and predictions, the folks at CityRealty have put together some handy charts and infographics.
Check out the year in review and 2015 predictions here
Lost in NYC via Ed Yourdon via photopin cc
When we get into heated debates about NYC being the greatest city on Earth, we like to cite the fact that our sophisticated, methodical street grid makes it impossible to get lost. But what happens when the entrance to 432 Park Avenue is not actually on Park Avenue? Our egos get a little bruised.
Known as “vanity addresses,” these luxury buildings choose to go by swanky street names like Park or Madison Avenues, but in reality their entrance is on a lowly side street. The front door for 432 Park, for example, will likely be on 56th Street, 150 feet from the Avenue. But how do developers skirt the traditional numbering system to create something that’s more of a brand than an address?
Find out here (hint–it doesn’t come cheap)
Image © Thomas X. Casey, BronxNYC
Brooklyn may hold the title for most unaffordable place to buy a home in America, but when it comes to affordability for renters, the Bronx is the worst. According to the Daily News, a new report shows that tenants in the borough spend 68% of their earnings on rent, which roughly equates to $2,000 per month for a three-bedroom apartment.
The Bronx has one of the lowest median incomes in the country at $34,388. It also has a 9.5% unemployment rate, and 30% of the borough’s population lives below the poverty line. However, state controller Tom DiNapoli released a report earlier this year that said approximately 60% of renters in the Bronx spend more than one-third of their income on rent.
Image via Flickr
Does it feel like there’s either a Starbucks, Chase Bank, or Duane Reade on every corner? Well, that’s actually quite a realistic feeling. According to the Center for an Urban Future‘s seventh annual State of the Chains report, national retailers in New York City experienced a 2.8 percent increase in 2014, the largest jump in four years and the sixth straight year to see a net increase. Queens is experiencing the fastest growth in new stores, and coffee king Dunkin Donuts maintains its top spot for the seventh year running with a total of 536 locations, 21 more than last year.
More on the findings here
Tour real estate listings at home with Halstead’s 3D Walkthru
House hunting can be quite the time suck, but you can now peruse real estate listings in a whole new way from the comfort of your couch. A new offering from Halstead Property called 3D Walkthru uses 3D technology similar to Google Street View that allows clients to tour an available property online. The digital platform is so advanced that users can get right into a room, peeking out windows and checking out the kitchen appliances.
More details ahead
We all know the typical gentrification pattern–artists move in to a neighborhood and make it hip; they’re followed by trendy coffee shops and cool vintage stores; rents rise; the artists move on to the next frontier. But what if the influx of artists to a neighborhood slowed gentrification? It sounds like an impossible premise, but it just might be taking shape in East Harlem.
Fast Co. EXIST takes a look at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, the project which has transformed an abandoned public school building in East Harlem into 89 units of affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. A whopping 53,000 creatives applied to live in the building, where studios will rent for as low as $494/month and two-bedroom units will go for $1,022/month. But isn’t Artspace’s goal to break the gentrification cycle—”to preserve the cultural fabric of a small corner of Manhattan that’s starting to change quickly” by preserving its affordable housing?
Read more ahead
There is no shortage of towers on the rise in Manhattan, but amongst these glass and stone beauties are a handful that stand head and shoulders (and several hundred feet) above the rest. A red hot real estate market and cutting edge building technology have paved the way for towers of both unprecedented heights and prices. But worthy of equal credit are the visionary developers and architects who dare to change the NYC skyline.
Here we’ve handpicked 12 of the most newsworthy buildings of 2014; these towers boast groundbreaking designs and record-breaking (or soon to be record-breaking) prices. But we ask you: Out of the dozen, which deserves the title “Building of the Year?” Cast a vote above to help us decide which is 2014’s most important tower!
Extended by popular demand… Voting ends
TODAY, December 12th at 11:59 PM WEDNESDAY, December 17th at 11:59 PM and we’ll reveal the winner on Friday, December 19th. And if you’re still torn between two (or all), jump ahead for the low-down on each, from height to 2014 news highlights.
More on each of the buildings here
125th Street via jmd41280 via photopin cc
14th Street, 23rd Street, 86th Street–there’s no question that these east-west thoroughfares are some of the city’s most bustling corridors of commercial, cultural, and residential activity. And 125th Street in Harlem could now be joining their ranks, a real estate trend dissected in a WSJ article today.
Big-name NYC developers are cashing in on the street’s transformation. Greystone & Co. bought a $11.5 million site through a bankruptcy auction earlier this month, where they’ll put 75 market-rate and affordable apartments, along with ground-floor retail space. Across the street, Continuum Co. will add 700 residential units and 85,000 square feet of retail. Nearby, Wharton Properties has obtained funding for their 33,000-square-foot retail complex that will be anchored by Whole Foods.
Certain neighborhoods are becoming increasingly sought after by observant Jews—but in keeping with what is written in the Torah, apartment hunting can be a formidable undertaking. Observant Jews not only have to deal with New York City’s low vacancy rate but they need to find a home that, most importantly, is within walking distance to shul (synagogue) from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday and some Jewish holidays—owing to the fact that Sabbath obligations, of which there are a lot, do not allow one to drive a car. It goes against what’s written in the Torah to start or extinguish fires during the Sabbath, and, well, cars burn fuel. And by the way, this also means cooking only one, single, solitary item.
Find out more here
It’s that time again when everyone starts looking back on the year as it comes to a close, but it’s also the time to look ahead to the new year. We already know 2015 will bring a slew of new developments to the New York City skyline, and right on trend with that forecast, Bloomberg has reported that construction loans are up 24 percent in the city.
On-the-rise neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and Harlem are being aided by the construction loan boom, especially for the renovation of multi-family buildings. The loans, often well over $1 million, are appealing for gentrifying areas because they usually require borrowers to only begin making interest payments once the renovation is complete. For example, a Clinton Hill resident secured a $800,000 construction loan to renovate a century-old multi-family brownstone and estimates that the value of the home will more than double to at least $2.2 million after the renovation.
More information here