Thursday, January 17, 2013
I'm back to blogging, so to ease in, might as well go with some low-hanging fruit from my neighborhood, Brodsky's 135 East 79th. The building has come a long way since we checked in a few months back. The building, which is barely marketed, is 2/3rds bricked, and at least 1/3rd sold. With asking prices in the $3000's per square foot, that is pretty impressive. The brick work is exquisite, and this is one of the very few new developments that harmonious blends into its surroundings.
The 135 East 79th Files (A. Fine Blog)
The 135 East 79th Files (Curbed)
Posted by Andrew Fine at 3:05 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Hey folks! You may notice that from time to time I take a bit of a sabbatical from blogging. It usually happens once a year, and lasts from a couple weeks to a couple of months. Usually, it is just the result of burnout, or some form of writer's block. This past sabbatical, dating back to just post-Sandy was a little different. This time I was rather busy.
First, I am proud to say, I have discovered Brooklyn! For years I was in some odd form of denial that the borough actually existed. I'm not sure if I can blame this on some pro-Manhattan snobbish bias, or just flashbacks to the numerous times I went to visit grandparents in the old Williamsburg. I'm talking 80's here folks, and there wasn't a hipster in sight! To me it was gritty, too gritty, and it for a long time tainted my perception of the borough. So much so, that I didn't step foot out there. A referral client 6 months ago changed all of that. I felt obligated to take the client, but, flying blind, I endeavoured to split the deal with a good colleague who knew the area inside and out. Slowly I have learned the neighborhoods from Brooklyn Heights to Fort Greene to The Slope, Boerum Hill, and Carroll Gardens to name a few. Sure, they are all primarily in the northwest part of the borough, but I suppose you have to start somewhere. I remember my first trip to Smith Street in Carroll Gardens and how I marveled that the structures, all being 3 or 4 stories, have somehow stood the test of time, and if shot in black and white without cars could easily be a scene from the old New York, generations before my increasingly old ass was born. It has been invigorating! It has made the business feel new again, despite my many years plying the trade in Manhattan. It is visually and intellectually stimulating. So, I have been killing a bit of time out there just exploring, and have just signed my second deal in the borough.
Second, have I mentioned how absolutely sizzling hot the Village market is here back in Manhattan? Wow! The cabinet is bare of inventory, and buyers seem to be ravenous for any morsel which might be had. I was fortunate to list a Classic 7 at 31 West 12th Street, just before Christmas that needs everything, and I mean everything! The bones however are an absolute delight to anyone with a true appreciation of pre, prewar living! While most brokers were taking a vacation, shopping, or generally lounging, I was inundated with hundreds of emails the second the listing hit the market. Within a week, and a non-stop showing schedule, we ended up with multiple bids, and several attractive bids above the ask. We have a contract out, and knock wood, it should be signed shortly.
Aside from that, I enjoyed my break, enjoyed some quality time with my loving family that I so cherish, read the auto-biographies of Malcolm X and Ben Franklin (what a pair, right), and dodged the flu and lost. So that's it. That is why I haven't been blogging. Call it an excuse, that's fine, but I was so repeatedly reminded today at the Inman Connect (real estate tech junkie) convention, that I must write and here so I do. I hope everyone enjoys the flurry of posts you are likely to see in the very near future.Share B
Posted by Andrew Fine at 4:39 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2012
|lone deli serving tea by open flame, Fifth Ave bet 13th and 14th (A Fine)|
|14th Street + Fourth Ave (A Fine)|
|Union Square Park, tree down (A Fine)|
|Con Ed trucks, Union Square North (A Fine)|
|wifi lifeline, W Hotel (A Fine)|
|Nat'l Guard, 24th and Lex (A Fine)|
I crossed the border to what I would later refer to as "Zombieville" on the Fifth Avenue bus. Starting at 39th Street nearly every light was out, but I had a cheerleader of sorts, a chortle throated New Yorker pointing out every light that was randomly on through the 30's. "There is hope, there is hope, the lights are coming back on. I have faith, faith that the lights will be on come tonight." His hopes were brought down to reality by a French woman who corrected him- "those lights were there yesterday, they are the same." By the time I reached the upper 20's, all traffic lights were out, and the bus proceeded cautiously with sudden jerks to avoid unchecked crossing traffic. Aside from 14th Street, there were no traffic agents to organise the chaos. But, traffic was light, and the streets, suddenly, very dark. As I made the decent into the darkness on this gray, gloomy afternoon, the visuals were surreal. A dark Flatiron building, dark stores up and down Fifth Avenue. The usually teeming streets were virtually deserted, a ghost town. The usually gorgeous prewar facades of the district were suddenly transformed to haunting, lifeless masses.
I got off the bus at 14th Street and was struck by another sensation- silence. Yes, there was the occasional honk and the few drivers down there seemed impatient, but I have never heard the city so quiet. City folk joke how it is hard to sleep in the country, that they need noise to sleep, so it wouldn't be surprising that the few remaining residents there were indeed losing sleep. I reached for my phone, and Twitter app to record what I was thinking, seeing, and hearing. Ah, that's right, no cell service, no mobile internet, a comfort stripped. I managed to find my client safe and sound and delivered an unsolicited warm meal and jug of water. I wasn't looking to stay long. The light of day was fleeting, her apartment getting dark. I was eager to just get the hell out of ZombieVille! Why call it ZombieVille? That is exactly what it seemed like as I ventured north up Fourth Avenue and past Union Square Park. There were very few on the streets, and the homeless and methadone zombies suddenly made up a near majority of those who were. Passing the Union Square W there was a sign of normalcy- hipster looking youngsters on iPads and cell phones. But, they were tightly grouped. Turned out that the W had a back-up generator and the people out front were feeding off the wifi as a lifeline to the outside world, or at least that above 39th.
Nearing the border I passed a mobilization of National Guard jeeps and humvees at 24th and Lex, an unusual site. At that point I moved on to Third Avenue to grab a bus out of there. There was no traffic downtown, but the bus was packed with East Village refugees, many with 3 or 4 bags in hand. We moved swiftly to the border, and right at it, 39th Street, the traffic was suddenly think as molasses. It took 45 minutes to get to the next stop at 42nd Street, to escape the refugee bus. Although I still had 40 some-odd blocks yet to go by foot, there was palpable liberation that I had escaped ZombieVille and I was yet again on the other, vibrant, noisy, safe side of the border.
Posted by Andrew Fine at 1:14 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
|135 East 79th (A. Fine 10/31/12)|
|135 East 79th Bricks (A Fine 10/31/12)|
135 East 79th Soaring To New Heights (AFB 9/24/12)
Ye' Old Curbed Files, 135 East 79th (Curbed)Share B
Posted by Andrew Fine at 11:15 AM
Friday, October 19, 2012
|56 Leonard worker (A Fine)|
|56 Leonard south side of foundation (A Fine)|
|56 Leonard render (Herzog & De Meuron)|
Curbed Files on 56 Leonard (Curbed)
Good Article on 56 Leonard From 2008 (de Zeen)
Work To Begin At 56 Leonard (11/2012 Tribeca Trib)Share B
Posted by Andrew Fine at 12:08 PM
|84-86 White front from south (A Fine)|
|84-86 White from southwest (A Fine)|
There were many pitched battles over re-zoning areas in Chinatown, the LES, and East Village over the past several years, but one little known stretch bound by Broadway and Lafayette and White and Walker Street made it through the process. The area on the NW corner of Chinatown (and likely to be inaccurately marketed as Tribeca) was changed from a manufacturing zone to a commercial zone 4 or 5 years ago. What is rising at 84-86 White Street is a result. Here we have a 13 story residential building that will contain 34 residential units. Given the location, odds are that we are looking at a condo, but there is very little available about the building aside from the building permit. So, for now, we'll add this to the "mystery development file". Feel free to fill in the blanks, people!
Chinatown Blocks Re-zoned (TRD, 7/2008)Share B
Posted by Andrew Fine at 11:27 AM
Thursday, October 18, 2012
A have a few entries lined up for Tribeca, and this is the first of three- 137 Franklin Street. The mini-condo in the perfect location is looking mighty sharp. The building consists of 3 duplex condo units ranging in size from 2900-3900sf. The sign on the outside of the building indicates that only one is left, the 3rd and 4th floor duplex listed at $6,85Mil.. Do they get extra credit for a near perfect match with the rendering?
Curbed Files, 137 Franklin (Curbed)
StudioMDA, the architect (StudioMDA)Share B
Posted by Andrew Fine at 4:11 PM