real estate trends

Gramercy Park, real estate trends, Stuyvesant Town

Stuyvesant Square Park, Stuyvesant Square, NYC parks

That’s right–Stuyvesant Square is its own neighborhood. Haven’t heard of it? That may be because you’ve been confusing it with neighboring Gramercy Park or Stuyvesant Town. But in fact, this charming little neighborhood is a highly desirable enclave in its own right.

Situated around Stuyvesant Square Park, the area is bound roughly by 14th and 18th Streets and First and Third Avenues. It could be considered the southeastern corner of Gramercy Park or an extension of planned development Stuyvesant Town, but some real estate professionals like the exclusivity that the lesser-known moniker offers. Others have come up with creative alternatives like “Gramercy Park on Stuyvesant Square.” But regardless of what you call it, Stuyvesant Square has a unique blend of limited space, historic landmarks, and mixed uses that makes for a bustling New York City neighborhood.

More on Stuyvesant Square here

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Architecture, Features, real estate trends, Starchitecture

cesar pelli, Pelli Clarke Pelli

Growing up just west of the Andes Mountains in the small town of Tucumán in northwest Argentina, Cesar Pelli wasn’t exposed to the vibrant cityscapes that he today helps to shape. He got his start designing low-cost, affordable housing for the Argentine government, which helped him develop an appreciation for each project’s unique sense of place. Breaking from the traditional mold of many world-famous architects, he designed buildings as a response to their neighborhoods, not as a preconceived signature aesthetic.

Now, with a long list of acclaimed international projects to his name, Pelli is lauded for creating structures that honor a city’s history and enrich the local landscape. And here in New York City, home to some of his most celebrated works, the Pelli mark has making an indelible impression on the architecture and real estate fields.

We dive deeper into Cesar Pelli’s past, present, and future

Manhattan, real estate trends, Recent Sales

condos sales manhattan july

Though everything seems to slow to a glacial pace during the summertime months, a sluggish market wasn’t the case for condo sales the week of July 14th. Buyers steadily scooped up prime properties with the city so far recording 249 condo and co-op sales. Manhattan’s biggest buys came via the usual suspects—Flatiron’s One Madison, and uptown faves Carnegie Hill and the Arpthorp—with deals ranging from $10.1 million up to $14.5 million.

According to CityRealty‘s Market Insight report, although the city’s top exchanges registered above 23rd Street, when eyeing contracts closed over the last 90 days, it looks like Downtown Manhattan reigned supreme when it came to the highest number of units sold (337), and the top prices garnered per square foot ($2,077 and $2,047 in the West Village and Soho, respectively). Overall, the area recorded an impressive $1 billion in total sales over the last three months.

All the details in graph form here

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Features, Major Developments, New Developments, real estate trends, Starchitecture

the plaza hotel entrance, the plaza hotel curb

Great neighborhood? Check. Great apartment? Check. Curb appeal?

Killer first impressions can be long lasting — and whether it’s a newly advertised flavor of Ben & Jerry’s, an ad for Tory Burch’s latest shoe collection —or finding new digs, “love at first sight” spot-on marketing moments play a sizeable role in how we make our decisions.

Industry experts note that a large percentage of a house hunter’s decision to explore a property further than the curb is based the project’s “wow” factor. Truth is, it sets the “perception” stage of what’s to come beyond a grand entrance or swanky lobby that was designed to provide a sense of arrival and belonging. Obviously, at the end of the day, a building’s outside will only persuade potential buyers to see more, and first impressions can vary from one individual to the next, but the “I was meant to live here” moment is fairly universal.

How a building’s design tugs at your desire to ‘be someone’

real estate trends, Transportation

sas, nyc sas, second avenue subway, second avenue subway 2014, SAS 2014, mta, nyc subway construction

Plans for a Second Avenue subway have been on the drawing boards since flapper dresses were all the rage. But not until now has this pipeline dream started to take shape.

One of the hottest discussions among the locals is undoubtedly the new line, and according to the MTA, 65 percent of Phase I is now complete. When it debuts in December 2016, it is slated to carry 200,000 straphangers, which in turn will reduce overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by as much as 13 percent (that’s 23,500 fewer passengers on an average weekday). Phase II will extend the line from 96th to 125th Street, and the MTA just announced that $1.5 billion (only a third of the total estimated cost) is now set aside with the hope that the federal government will chip in, too. But those who wonder when the 8.5-mile stretch of tracks (125th Street to Hanover Square), you’d better hold onto your hat—it’s 2029! Though this is still 15 years away, that hasn’t stopped the prices of properties flanking the SAS from riding high in anticipation.

Why buyers are looking at construction workers starry-eyed

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Features, opinion, real estate trends

There’s been lots of chatter on the street and in the media on the subject of “poor doors” in new developments for those who have qualified for affordable housing. And though this subject has created quite a bit of controversy, it’s actually not quite what it seems. Rather than being outraged that our city allows real estate developers to “discriminate” against those who could never consider paying for the privilege of residing in their latest and greatest luxury building, naysayers should think about reading up on exactly what affordable housing is and isn’t—“rich” home seekers having an edge over the so-called “poor.”

We look at 80/20 and the ‘poor door’ controversy here

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Cool Listings, Features, real estate trends

holmby hills mansion, spelling manor, tori spelling mansion, spalling mansion, candy spelling

Okay, we know homes are more often than not sold through real estate agents, but did you know that more than a few are sold under the radar? That somehow, there are always a handful of residences “secretly” up for sale, and try as he/she may, your broker will never come across them on an MLS—a place where just about everybody on earth can search for a specific building or neighborhood any day of the week. Here’s the lowdown: These homes are known as “pocket listings” and though there is a signed and perfectly legal agreement between the agent and seller, the listing is never entered into an MLS for the world to see. There’s no big open house shindig; no advertising—and obviously no press splash.

So, why would a seller risk more unsold days on the market instead of opting for an open listing, you ask?

Find out more here

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Features, New Developments, real estate trends

apartment blueprint, 151 west 5th street, nyc blueprints, floor plans

In the mid-2000s, when the real estate market was red hot with new developments, home seekers gave nary a thought to making what can be described as the biggest decision of their lives: Buying something sight unseen.

For them, traipsing through model apartments, checking out pretty renderings, gawking at miniature models, stroking teensy squares of countertop finishes, thumbing through shiny marketing materials filled with information on everything but the kitchen sink to make an actual purchase was par for the course. (Oh, wait! They did include the kitchen sink.) But then all that changed by late 2007 when the stock market took a nosedive. Not a single potential buyer would even consider a new place to hang their hats without actually standing inside a frameless glass shower stall, checking out the size of a Sub-Zero refrigerator or getting high from real-time views seen through floor-to-ceiling window—and developers took note.

But that was then and this is now, and with an improving economy and increasing demand, the tides seem to have turned once again.

Is buying off blueprint back in full force?

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Features, Manhattan, real estate trends

downtown flips

At any given hour when you turn on a home design television channel you have about a 50% chance of landing on a realty show about flipping houses.  In real life, though, it’s not all hunky property brothers and fairy tale endings; trying to flip a house is a gamble, which is why oftentimes the most successful flippers are those on the inside, like real estate developers and seasoned brokers.

For anyone looking to make a flip, New York is ripe with opportunity thanks to low inventory and a constant race to be bigger and better.  Within the city, Downtown Manhattan is the ripest fruit on the vine.  Full of highly desirable, trendy neighborhoods, it’s a hot bed for investors.  There’s no textbook definition of a flip, but it’s generally thought of as a three-year turnover.  Downtown there have been 58 apartment swaps within the past three years.  We take a look at some of the greatest hits.

This way for all the triumphant flips


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