Friday, November 30, 2007

Coming Next Week: Live Chat

Just want to alert everyone to be on the lookout next week, as we will be launching a live chat gadget which will be found on the upper right hand corner of the blog. A live broker or agent should be available to chat for the better part of the day between 9 am and 10 pm. Everything at this point is tentative and experimental and I'm sure many adjustments will be made. If you have any suggestions on how to make this new feature work best for you, feel free to leave a comment (oh, so yesterday).

Friday Links

NYC Market Slowing? (Wall Street Journal)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Morning Links

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday Morning Links

Wild Design For Noho Building (pictured above, via Curbed)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Best Plan For Hunters Point South: Scrap It!

I've done alot of thinking about Hunters Point South lately. I've attended the scoping meeting, the community feedback meeting, and of course, spent countless days wondering the LIC waterfront, which I love, pondering the opportunities. I have heard plan upon plan, too many plans really for such a limited space. I have come to my conclusion as to what the EDC should do with Hunter's Point South, that is, scrap the plan, and sell it! If the city really wants to achieve it's lofty goals of creating an abundance of "affordable housing" selling would be the best plan. Here is what I would do:
1- Create a 15 acre park on the South West Point. With incredible City and East River views, this park could be one of the City's best. LIC needs parks.
2- Sell the remaining 15 waterfront acres to a developer. Build 3000 units (not 5000 as the city envisions). Require the developer to make 20% of the units available to low and middle income as condos not rentals. The remaining 2400 units would be free market, and I'd be willing to guess that the city should be able to command $600 Million for the property (or about $250 per buildable market square foot) under those terms. So the City would get 600 "affordable" units for free while netting $600 Million and a 15 acre park. The proceeds from the sale could potentially build thousands of "affordable" units in another area. The good news does not stop there.
3- Since the park would be on the South side of the Point, "Lot B" (The 15 acre privately owned parcel where the Budweiser plant now stands), would have an unobstructed city and river view, and hence would become far more valuable. In exchange for an up zone, the city could ask for 25% "affordable" housing condo units, and the high school that they want to build in the area. With 3000 units anticipated, you get another 750 affordable units and a free school, not bad.
So, in total, the city get 15 acres of much needed parkland, 1350 "affordable" condo units, a free high school, and $600 Million for thousands of additional "affordable" units throughout the city. The city will also benefit long term by a substantial increase in property values, which translates into more income via property taxes, transfer taxes, mortgage recording taxes, etc..
The residents of Hunters Point benefit by getting the much needed park and high school, lower density (2000 less units than the city wants to cram in), a more stable, balanced and desirable neighborhood, and higher property values, which again benefits the city.
Just an idea, throwing it out there, comments welcome.

Tuesday Links

Despite Spitzer's Efforts, Commuter Costs Will Rise (NY Times)
National Home Prices Continue Skid (CBS Marketwatch)
Schumer Rips Countrywide, Wants Them "Cut Off" (NY Post)
Open House Bandits Busted, One A Regular At Elaine's (Curbed)
16 Feet Of Sewage Backs Up Into 90 West St. (WABC TV)
$1 Million Worth Of Art For Each 2nd Ave Subway Station (NY Post)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Tisserie on Union Square: Awesome On 2nd Try

I'm not much for sweets and pastries, yet with Tisserie's proximity to my office (across the street), and it's impressive design, I was intrigued and eager for it's opening a few months ago. I heard about the exorbitant amount of money that was spent (in the millions was the rumor) to build it out. On my first visit, I wondered how they ever hoped to recoup the costs. I had a pastry which for me was too sweet, and a mini-brownie that was pretty tasty. I had also noticed the prices were on the high end, and I wasn't interested in a $3 bottle of Perrier. It seemed like all they had was pastries and coffee, and I didn't understand how it would keep them afloat. That was until yesterday. It seems that the selection has grown dramatically. There are all sorts of gourmet sandwiches (very tasty), a wide variety of quiche, even personal pan pizzas. The only thing that was missing was a simple french "jambon sandwich", which you see in pastry shops in Paris- I'll have to talk to them about this. I plan on trying everything. I can't say that they'll master everything, but I'm sure they have mastered at least a few things. The mini brownies at 75 cents each are a bargain and keep me coming back, but the topper was an absolutely awesome almond croissant that I had yesterday. It was so good that I have been virtually obsessed since. I'm drooling thinking about it. OK, that's it, I'm going back for another!!!!

Condo Construction Slowdown Good For NY Real Estate Market

There has been plenty of talk recently about the slowdown in filings for new condo construction recently, but not many articles talking about the cause and possible beneficial effects. While the media harps on the negative as usual, you may assume that the construction slowdown has everything to do with skittishness or uncertainty in regards to the economy. That is not the case, or at least not the whole case.
The primary reason is changes that the city has made to the 421-a tax abatement program which allows developers to pass along 10-25 year tax abatements to it's buyers in exchange for building affordable units elsewhere. Many politicians felt that the existing form of 421-a caused greater segregation, allowed rich to dominate areas where working class people once dominated (areas like Hell's Kitchen, for instance), and move the poor conveniently to some place outside of the center of Manhattan. I say politicians favored the change because I haven't heard many others seeking the change in the program which has created thousands upon thousands of affordable homes, while stimulating construction that provides thousand upon thousands of jobs. Leave it to the politicians to mess with a good thing. Well they did, and initially, substantial changes were slated to take effect January 1st of 2008. That date has since been moved out an additional 6 months since so many projects were trying to break ground, to beat the deadline, that there was a shortage of companies capable of providing concrete and foundation work (in order to qualify for the 421-a abatement a foundation is required to be in by deadline). In essence the deadline created a surge of project filings with the AG's office in 2006, and a commensurate decline in the first 9 months of 2007 (-31%).
There is a real silver lining to the story. The surge of inventory, much brought to market in pre-sale between 2006 and 2007 has been readily absorbed by eager buyers over the past 18 months. There is still more to come, but nothing indicates a glut. In fact, considering that new condos coming to market in the 2nd half of 2008 through 2009 are likely to be far less than the 18 months prior, inventory could decline further causing higher prices. Among those likely to benefit are condo owners that have bought in areas with 421-a abatements where they will no longer be allowed. If a condo owner has 8 or 9 years left on his tax abatement (which is transferable), and the newer condos in the area cannot offer a tax abatement, the condo owner with the abatement has a major leg up.
So, when you hear about condo construction slowing in Manhattan, don't think gloom and doom, think future limited supply.
Related Article: Developers Scale Back Future Plans (The Real Deal)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Night (Post Turkey) Links

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. In light of all the tumult in the National housing market and credit markets of late, I'd say that all of us in New York have much to be thankful for. After taking the long weekend off and taking in some fresh air in the country, I am inspired and ready to blog my heart out between now and Christmas break. So, check back often, as I am sure the content will be flowing. Here are some pertinent links from the weekend:
Searching For New York's Hidden Places (NY Times)
Amenity Watch: Triathlon Training At Laurel Condo (NY Sun)
Curbed Voters Prefer Brookfield Proposal For Hudson Yards (Curbed)
"Brownstoner" Blogger Plans Flea Market (Bkln Paper)
Interview With Architect Karl Fischer (The Real Deal)
Holiday Shopping Season Off To Record Start (CBSMarketwatch)
Hunter Point South To Count On Unorthodox Financing (Observer)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Morning Links

Photo from South Brother Island (NY Times)

The Second Avenue Subway Is Coming, Really! (NY Times)
Hudson Yards Proposals Revealed (The Real Deal)
City Buys Last Private Island On East River (NY Times)
Speyers To Unveil Solar Farm Atop Rockefeller Center (NY Observer)
Prices Shaved At The Powerhouse In LIC (Curbed)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Not So "Crazy" Broker Alert: Bloomberg Reports Wall Street Bonus Will Be Up!

I've taken plenty of heat over the past number of months over my assertion that Wall Street Bonuses would be up this year. I had a bunch of haters on my own blog challenging me to outrageous bets (I'm not a gambling man), heaping insults, and even had Curbed term me playfully as a "crazy broker". I did not profess to be a genius, I was simply looking at bonuses on a company by company basis and doing the math. This is a good lesson on how the media, and sometimes the public harps on the negative and assumptions are made without thinking for oneself. Well, perhaps vindication is near, very near. This morning Bloomberg reports that Wall Street bonuses this year will be up by at least $2 Billion. Granted, Goldman Sachs employees will get the majority of the loot and this surge of cash is no panacea for concerns about our local real estate market. However, it will not hurt the real estate market as so many pundits have assumed without study. Porsche dealers, rejoice! Here is the article:
Here was my market update which noted higher Wall Street Bonuses on Oct 4th:
A Recipe For Higher Prices (A. Fine Blog/Oct. 4th)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Report On Hunters Point Scoping Session

There was not a whole lot new to report from yesterday's scoping session held by NYC's EDC. There was a small but unified group who insisted that 20% of Hunters Point South should be set aside for "low income" housing and 30% for "middle income", which is contrary to the current plan to offer 60% to for middle income, which in this case is defined as family income between $50k and $150k. I'm not sure why the low income folks chose a 50% total number rather than the 60% the city was proposing, but, whatever. Here are 4 issues that I raised in the comments part of the meeting:
1- The project is too dense. 5 Million Square feet of residential is the equivalent to 10 Citylights buildings. That's too many, and add a 150,000 sq. ft school, and parking for thousands somehow wrapped by the buildings, and not only is it too dense, I kind of doubt that it's even feasible.
2- Hunters Point needs parks and it seems that the City is passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a perfect property and make one of the city's greatest parks. The plan does call for parkland of 10 acres, but most of it is on the shore line and I get the feeling that part of the 10 acres is actually 'open space'- roads, sidewalks, etc.. If anything they should cut 2 of the planned 6 40 story towers and make the point a park.
3- No mention of the 7 train at all. No plan on how 20,000 to 30,000 additional people are going to cram onto the train at the Vernon Jackson station.
4- Although Joe Connoly from CB2 tells me that there is an ownership component to the "affordable housing", I'm not hearing that much from the City. I'm not sure why the City somehow thinks that subsidising housing on a persistence/rental basis is somehow a great thing. A great thing would be to help low and middle income families own their homes. I think there is no question that ownership promotes pride and a better kept development. The city should be helping low and middle income citizens buy homes, so that they are not low and middle income for life. In the long run these families will lift up, set roots in the city, and add to the stable tax base of the city. It will also make those folks buying high priced condos in the neighborhood alot more comfortable in their investment and the prospects for Hunters Point's long term viability.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nouvel Cooperates And Out-Moderns MoMa

(NY Times)
Architect Jean Nouvel has designed a stand-out 75 story tower which will be mixed use and add 40,000 square feet of exhibition space to The Museum of Modern Art. The new building will have a hotel, Museum space, and of course, condos. Full details in today's New York Times:
Next To MoMa, A Tower Will Reach For The Stars (NY Times)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gramercy-Flatiron Condo Development-O-Rama

Gramercy Starck Condo

50 Gramercy Park North

141 Fifth Avenue Condo

260 PAS Condo

240 PAS Condo
1107 Broadway (on right)

One Madison Park Condo
So what's going on in The Gramercy/Flatiron area for condo development? If it's The Flatiron area, a fair amount. Gramercy, not so much. The one recurring theme is, it's pricey in this part of town! The New York Post reported this week that a 10,000sf apartment at One Madison Park just sold for a downtown record of $33 Million. 1107 Broadway, the Northern portion of the former "Toy Building" is planning condos with prices of $2300-$2500 per square foot. A 2149sf 3 Bedroom with park view at Ian Schrager's palatial 50 Gramercy Park North condo will set you back a cool $7.2 Mil..
While 5 out of 7 major new condo developments in the area have prices ranging from $1500-$2900 per square foot, two relative bargains stand out- Gramercy Starck, and the 2 apartments left at Landmark 17. At Landmark, there is one unit, nearly 4000 sf listed at less than $1000/ft, while the other one is closer to $1250/ft. I'm not sure if it's a volume discount or just an attempt to move the remaining units, but they appear priced to move, especially considering the average price for units in contract of $1500psf. The Starck, still has numerous units averaging around $1200/ft.. Considering the high level of luxury, and the international following of it's designer, Phillipe Starck, compared to the rest of the market, these also seem priced to move.
So, there are a couple of bargains out there, but the main theme here is - if you want to live on a park, it's going to take plenty of green.
(Disclaimer...All price ranges are approximate and subject to error)

Wednesday Links

$5 Mil. Sale Sets Downtown Record at Beaver House (NY Observer)
Oh, That's Better: Sub-Prime Renamed Non-Prime (Newsday)
The Shame Of New York- MSG Soap Opera Continues (NY Times)
Bear Stearns Takes Charge, "Cloud Lifts" (CBS Marketwatch)
Modest Recovery For Nat'l Housing Market Forecast For 08' (Cbs Marketwatch)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's The Deal With..That Huge Building On 23rd + 3rd?

It's been 8 months or so since anyone has really talked about it, yet, the huge (approx. 260,000 sf), development by J. D. Carlisle on 23rd and 3rd looks like it is nearing completion. Last we heard, rumor had it that the building was a condo and that only Irish investors were initially offered the chance to buy.
Well, according to my inquiry today, despite the tentative name of "Gramercy Green", Carlisle tells me that there are no Irish involved, and it will not be a condo either. Carlisle is targeting a spring opening for the high end rental building of approximately 300 units. Prices have not been set. Kind of a shame as there are a dearth of condo options in Gramercy.

One Madison Park Sets Downtown Price Record

According to yesterday's New York Post, rumor has it that a 10,000sf, 12 bedroom, 15 bath apartment has been sold at One Madison Park for a cool $33 Million, a record for Downtown. The slender 60 story tower with fantastic Madison Square Park and Midtown skyline views and an incredible amenities package is attracting stars, celebrities, and magnates from around the globe. So, if you want to live with Liev Screiber, Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon and the unnamed "British Developer" who paid $33 Mil., you can still one-up them all- the penthouse is available for a reported $45 Million.
The building is moving skyward quickly with work on the 15th floor today. From the looks of the picture, you'd never know it was the future home to the rich and powerful, but even ultra, ultra lux high rises have to start somewhere!

Tuesday Links

Preparing For NYC Earthquake (NY Times)
Dressing Up Construction Sites (NY Times)
Changes In Store For South Street Seaport (AMNY)
5 Developers Vie For Tainted Gowanus Lot (Bkln Eagle)
New School To Be Announced For BPC (The Sun)
$33 Mil. Sale At One Madison Park Sets Downtown Record (NY Post)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Links

Balazs Cashes In (Crains)
Highline Sparks $900Mil In New Development (NY Post)
Embracing The Upper East Side, Reluctantly (NY Times)
Race and Drug Allegation Fly In Stein's Murder Case (The Real Deal)
Open House Robberies (Curbed/True Gotham)
Curbed's Weekend Celebrity Real Estate Wrap (Curbed)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday Links

BREAKING: Linda Stein Murder Mystery Solved

Linda Stein's personal assistant, Natavia Lowery, 26, has been arrested and is being held for the bludgeoning murder of her boss. Linda Stein was both a punk-rock pioneer, and later a real estate broker to the stars. Further details:
Assistant Arrested In Killing Of Real Estate Agent (NY Times)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Condo Review: Coming Soon, The Harrison, The Best Condo To Hit The Upper West Side!

Ok, by now you probably already know it, I am a huge fan of the architect Robert A.M. Stern. The fact that I am a fan of classic design and luxury is the primary reason that I am such a fan. I love classic prewar architecture, space, dimension and quality, yet, I also like things being brand new and loaded with amenities and the highest quality appliances, etc.. Robert A.M. Stern builds buildings that will stand the test of time and become timeless New York classics. Today I had the opportunity to preview Mr. Stern's latest creation, The Harrison, Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam. If you meet 2 prerequisites, there is no better new condo in New York. Those prerequisites are: 1- you want to live on the Upper West Side, 2- your taste are more towards classic, conservative design. If you meet these 2 conditions, The Harrison is a home run!

There are so many things to love about The Harrison, I will list a number of them and probably still miss many.

1- Location. If you like the Upper West Side, you can't find a better or more central location than 76th and Amsterdam. Ok, yes, Central Park West would be better, but at 76th and Amsterdam you are a short jaunt to the park, Lincoln Center, Broadway, Fairway Market, The Museum of Natural History, tons of bars, restaurants and more. The area is also known for exceptional public schools.

2-Fantastic building design. The Harrison is actually 2 towers built on a large lot stretching the length of Amsterdam from 76th-77th Street and a fair portion of both blocks half way to Broadway. One building on the corner of 76 and Amsterdam, home of the Amsterdam Inn refused to sell to make way for the development, but this actually turns into an unexpected plus. By virtue of the fact that they split the development into 2 towers, open space in front of the towers is far more generous than would be the case if they filled the entire block with one large building. The benefit is that many apartments in the middle floors that wont have the world's greatest views still have open space and light that wouldn't be the case if it was built filling the entire block.

3- Superb exterior architecture. In the tradition of New York classics, the building's exterior is red brick and limestone. The windows, while over sized, are still in the realm of the normal. Stern goes against the trend of sheets of glass architecture and the result is apartments that are comfortable, classic, and homey. While the modern sheet of glass look is sleek and modern now, who knows how we'll look back at that look 20 years from now- they could look like glamorized Ramada Inns by then. The advantage of normal windows is that they are alot easier to deal with in terms of window treatments and make for a more intimate home. Floor to ceiling windows are bright, but alot of people complain that they feel like they are falling out of the building when near them, they are difficult to cover, and therefore the feeling of privacy is compromised.

4- Highest quality, classic finishes. It is obvious from the time that you walk into the showroom that no expense has been spared for the finishes of the apartments. Start where you would least expect it- the doors. The doors are thick, heavy, tall and substantial. It's a small thing, but indicative of the thought put into the finished product. The kitchens are phenomenal. Covered in African Mahogany panelling, you have a 36" Sub-Zero fridge (in all but the studios-48" in 3 beds and larger) with double freezer drawers, Viking gas burner, Viking convection and Viking conventional ovens, and Miele dishwasher. The kitchen is finished off with white quartzite counters and back splash, under mount double sink and handsome custom chrome hardware. The bathrooms are palatial in size and finishes. A 6' Tea For Two (5 1/2 feet in units smaller than 2 bed) soaking tub is surrounded by statuary white marble. The same marble is utilized around the sinks, walls and floors (the floors also integrate a design of white pearl, black marble, and gold limestone). Simply put, if you like the highest quality classic finishes, The Harrison does not disappoint.

5- Amenities. This is another feature that Realted Companies, the developer has mastered. Having bought Equinox Fitness Club, viola, an Equinox Fitness Club is in the building (I think residents get a generous term membership for free). What else? A more intimate resident's fitness lounge, a dinosaur themed spacious children's playroom, outdoor garden, rooftop sun terrace, entertainment lounge, on-site 24 hour garage, doorman, concierge, and a related personal assistant (not sure what this is, but it can't be bad).

6- Price. While the plan has not been approved by the Attorney General's office, word is that prices will start in the $1200's per square foot (at least in phase 1). Considering the great location, extreme quality of both finishes and architecture, and the full array of amenities, these prices seem very reasonable. It is anticipated that sales will start in earnest before Christmas (previews available now), and occupancy is slated for Spring of 09'.

All things considered, if the Upper West Side is your turf, and you prefer classic to modern and appreciate new with loads of amenities, you will not find a better condo in the area. Plainly put, I've seen every nearly every new condo in Manhattan, but The Harrison truely blew me away!

NYC Condo Prices Soar in The 3rd Quarter, But Jury Is Still Out

A report just released by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) show that 3rd quarter prices for condos rose by 20% citywide and 25% in Manhattan vs. the same time last year. Coops meanwhile showed a stagnant uptick of just 1%. The report has been the subject of much debate. Third Quarter closings are largely representative of deals struck a quarter earlier (April-June), which, no doubt was prior to the whole Mortgage debacle. While the report may not be indicative of the current market, it does point to the trend that Condo ownership continues to outperform coop ownership.
As for the current market, I can report that at A. Fine Company, we have seen a marked improvement in both web and call volume and a strong increase in sales vs both the August-September freeze and vs. last year. We have seen a strong trend towards foreign buyers, and with the current state of the dollar, this comes as no surprise. While foreign money is pouring into Manhattan, we are seeing alot of domestic money pouring into alternative markets like Long Island City and Harlem.
City Sizzles Amid US Housing Market's Big Chill (NY Post)
City's Apartments See Price Increases In 3rd Q (NY Sun)

NYC Schools Report Cards In: PS 290 tops PS 6?

The NYC Board of Education released it's annual school report cards and controversies and shockers abound. One that stuck out to me, being a parent of 2 future elementary schools students on the Upper East Side, was that PS 290 (The New School) was rated an "A" while often lauded PS 6 (The Lillie D. Blake) was rated a "B". The newest ratings seem to reflect a shift in long-term thinking which long regarded PS 6 as the superior school that everyone wanted to send their kids to. The PS 6 district is mainly West of Lexington Avenue in the richest area of NYC, while PS 290 is mostly East of Lex, not quite as rich, but certainly not shabby. While the report cards may come as a shock to some, I wasn't surprised. I actually had a conversation with a parent in my building a couple of months ago who told me that they moved within the neighborhood from the 6 district to the 290 district intentionally. I have also heard rave reviews of late from parents with children enrolled in 290. The good news is, that if you are moving to the UES, all options for public education are terrific. Real Estate agents are abuzz about the ramifications of the report cards all over the city. To see how your local school has fared, check the first link courtesy of The New York Times.
Search Schools (NY Times)
The Day After School Grades Come In Parents Are Buzzing (NY Times)
School Report Cards May Have Effect On Real Estate Market (Daily News)
Real Estate Agents Happy/Sad About School Grades (Curbed)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday Links

Bloomberg For Governor? (Gothamist/NY Post)

On The Market: 1215 SF 2 Bed, 2 bath Condo on West 115th St, $2900

Today, we will be initiating a new segment, call "On The Market". The idea is to occasionally give viewers a sense of pricing for both rentals and sales in various areas.

Our first "On The Market" segment looks at an attractive rental in South Central Harlem, a 2 bedroom/2bath that measures 1215 SF. The apartment is in a new condo building that just opened named "The Palomar" at 266 West 115th Street. The building is a 7-story structure with only 15 units. The building features elevator, storage and video intercom security. This apartment was sold to an investor (by A. Fine Company) who eventually plans to live in it and paid $655,000.. Additional apartments in the building are available for sale with the same layout for slightly higher prices. The apartment features a huge living room with juliet balcony, plenty of room for a dining area, gourmet granite kitchen with stainless steel appliances, 2 full marble baths, large master bedroom, ample 2nd bedroom, plenty of light, and a washer/dryer in the unit. The apartment is available for a 1 year lease with possible option for a 2nd year.

If you haven't been to this part of Harlem in a couple of years, the progress of the neighborhood will likely stun you. Many of the gorgeous prewar town homes have been restored, and where there once was blight and vacant lots, high quality condos have taken their place. The area is conveniently located with both the 2/3 and the B/C trains within 2 blocks. Wining and dining options are flourishing in the area, and of course you can always treat yourself to Harlem classics like Lenox Lounge and Sylvia's nearby. For those looking for luxury in a convenient location at prices that are 40%+ less than just a mile South, condos like this one are a solid option. For more info, check:

Zen Palate, Union Square, Goes Dark, Gone.

Walking through Union Square last night I was sad to see that Zen Palate has closed. The notice in the window thanked customers and explained that they their lease had expired. There were no gripes about losing a lease or a greedy landlord. Considering the low height of the building, you have to wonder if a future condo is in the works, or if the landlord just found someone willing to pay a bizillion more in rent. If I hear anything about the future of the building, I'll post it. meanwhile, in just a few moments outside of the former Zen Palate, many pictures were taken, and cell calls made changing the location of that nights date. Zen Palate- you will be missed, fortunately they still have a few locations left.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Foundry: Another Solid Choice In LIC

Well it's finally here, The Foundry LIC, a well conceived low-rise condo with tons of outdoor space, right up the block from The Powerhouse. I had spent months stalking the property trying to lean any shred of info on it's opening, pricing, etc..Well, after much effort, I got the call, and had the opportunity to get one of my clients in within the first 24 hours of opening last week. She loved it for it's outdoor space and incredible views of Manhattan from the West side of the building. The Foundry has a more intimate, boutique feeling than it's larger neighbor The Powerhouse, yet comes with 24 hour doorman in a gorgeous double height mahogany and novella cream stone lobby, concierge and a nice array of amenities including full gym. The apartments feature the typical upscale bells and whistles- gourmet granite kitchen, spa inspired marble baths, and very pleasant over sized windows, but the real draw is an abundance of outdoor space. We are not talking mere terraces here, units on the 1st and 4th floors tout private roof decks and terraces of 400+ square feet. The units on the 4th floor with roof decks also have expansive views to the South and West. If you are not one of those that want to pay for the outdoor space, don't fret, there is a huge shared and landscaped deck on the 2nd floor (my guess over 6000sf). 685 sf 1 beds without outdoor space start in the upper $400's, with large deck from the low $600's and 2 bedrooms with outdoor space start in the mid-$700's. Prices average mainly in the $700-$800psf range. The project is developed by Eckstein and sales are being handled by Orren Azani of Elliman. All things considered, the Foundry is a solid choice for living in LIC and should be strongly considered if you are looking in the area.
Hunters Point Development-O-Rama (A. Fine Blog)
Condo Market Still Hot In LIC (A. Fine Blog)
NYC EDC Plan For Hunters Point (A. Fine Blog)
Condo Explosion In LIC North (A. Fine Blog)
Return to A. Fine Blog

Early Monday Links

Foreign Buyers Take Manhattan (NY Times)
Tokyo Inn Coming To LIC (Curbed)
Religion And Rentals Mix In Harlem (NY Times)
Bloomberg: No Tax Break For Dolan's Dolts At MSG (NY Post)
Zeckendorfs Sue Swig (NY Sun)
A. Fine Quote On Gerry Brauser (NY Daily News)