Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Morning Links

More later.......

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Morning Links

City Take Control Of Hunters Point South Land (The Real Deal)
Arris Lofts, Beaver House Have Change Of Brokers (Curbed)
Stanhope Sees 45% Price Chop (The Real Deal)
Jeff Blau Turned Down By Coop Board For $31 Mil. At 820 Fifth (Curbed)
Taxi Sharing Plan In The Works (NY Post)
A Look At Related's West Side Rail Yards..In 2019 (Observer)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lucida Ready To Get It's Retail On! H&M Opens Tomorrow!

Clockwise from top left: H&M Display ready on 2nd Floor, New Barnes and Noble entrance on 86th, Lucida art, and Bank of America branch entrance next to H&M entrance.

It's finally happening! If all goes according to plan, the H&M at The Lucida on 86th and Lex is scheduled to open it's doors tomorrow. Free goodies all day are promised! Also opening soon, a super-sized Barnes and Noble, which should be nearly as large as the Union Square branch. The new B&N will take the place of their 86th Street (2nd and 3rd Aves.) and Lexington Ave store (86th and 87th). In addition, looks like B of A has taken the corner spot. Still wondering where the Sephora will be located in the mix- no sign of that long rumored store.

Wednesday Morning Links

Rental Prices Fall In Manhattan (NY Post)
Times Square Plan Not Going Over Well, A. Fine Quoted (NY Post)
Abandoned Developments In SE Queens Leave Their Mark (NY1/video)
Vornado's Fascitelli Promoted To CEO, Has His Work Cut Out For Him (WSJ)
Toll Bros. SVP Speaks Out Against Gowanus Superfund Designation (The Real Deal)
The Subway Series...Of Food (NY Times)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rant: Lack Of Transparency Escalates Suspicion Of Swine Flu

I usually don't rant twice in two or three days, but this has been bugging me. It has been clear from the start that in an effort to prevent panic, Mayor Bloomberg and the Health Department have been systematically downplaying the Swine Flu virus. First, the Mayor decided that it was not necessary to test people who were healthy otherwise and only test the very sick. This in effect kept the documented case numbers down, which in turn lessened the odds of panic or severe economic impact. While that makes sense in ways, it lacks transparency and on some level honesty. Then the Mayor made numerous comments downplaying the virus, many of which he probably now regrets. Just ask the widow of fatality #1 in Queens. Now, strike three in my book, is the lack of information regarding the past three fatalities- all three, despite ages of 34,41, and "50's", have all been labelled as having "underlying health conditions". That phrase is far too vague and the lack of transparency only exacerbates potential fears and suspicions. Let's give "honesty is the best policy" a shot here!

Lounging In Traffic, Times Square, More Questions Than Answers

(L) Loungers, (R) A bit of gridlock at 47th and Broadway

I know, I know- this is just the beginning, and the hideous lawn furniture that they have set out for tourists on Seventh Avenue in Times Square will eventually be replaced by tar covered in gravel and nicer outdoor furniture, but the whole idea just strikes me as silly. As it stands, five blocks of Broadway, in the busiest intersection in the world have been cut off from traffic. So, the 50,000 vehicles that through Times Square every day are now inconvenienced so that a couple of dozen people can lounge in the middle of Seventh Avenue, and already disoriented tourists can walk in the street. This scheme poses so many questions, but here are just a few:

- Is this the best use of $1.5 Million when the city is in an extreme financial crisis?
- Should we encourage tourists to wander the streets?
- How many tourists will get pick pocketed while relaxing or sleeping in the middle of Seventh Avenue?
- What happens when the homeless figure this out? Wouldn't they have the same right to a chair or lounger?
- How many freaks will be tempted to break out the bikini or speedo and tan in Times Square?
- Is there going to be a bike lane on that stretch? Or do bikers have to go around as well?
- Isn't loitering to be discouraged? Could this embrace of loitering in Times Square be a potential security threat?
- Given the obesity epidemic in the U.S., shouldn't the domestic tourists be forced to work off a couple extra calories?

So far, the traffic on Seventh Avenue isn't bad, but it looked rough on Broadway and on 47th Street during the a.m. rush. Planners claim that by cutting off traffic on Broadway there will be no diagonal crossing between Broadway and Seventh, and traffic will actually move 17% faster. You can count me among the skeptics on that one. You also have to wonder how hotels and theaters on the pedestrian stretch will handle cabs, pick-ups, deliveries, etc..And, what will the true impact on traffic be? Maybe it will just scare people out of driving in Times Square, or maybe it will scare people from driving here or coming here at all. It's early in the game, so I can say that the jury is out. One thing is for sure, it is a strange sight. One thing is not for sure, why?

Tuesday Morning Links

Apthorp's Redevelopment Plan Faces September Deadline, Or It's Off (Globes Online)
Bargains Abound In The Hamptons (Asbury Park Press)
City's Park Plans Run Out Of Green (NY Post)
More On The Starbucks Bombing This Weekend At 92 Street (NY Post)
Conde Nast Downsizes And More Commercial RE Headlines (NY Post)
Astor's Place Still On The Market, Even After $17 Mil. Price Chop (NYDN)
Second Swine Flu Death, Increased Hospitalizations Concern Public (Gothamist)
City Destroys Wetlands It Wants To Protect (Queens Crap)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rant: Susan Boyle Is Not News, Simon Takes The Nation Of Suckers

A holiday is one of those rare opportunities for me to catch the local and national news, at length. Unfortunately, such occasions usually prove to be a source of aggravation and annoyance. Such was the case today, when shortly after waking up, I turned on GMA, and the first story I heard was regarding Susan Boyle's second appearance on the talent show, "Britain Has Talent". Having no greater interest in the story than who won an episode of "The Gong Show" in 1976, I promptly changed the channel. On to NBC and "The Today Show", and lo and behold, there she was again; Susan Boyle. Seven minutes of Susan Boyle, to be exact. Not only that, the spectacular promise of not just one, but the top two American Idol contestants to appear perform shortly thereafter. Oh, joy! Now I don't have anything against metro-sexuals, or whatever kind of -sexuals these people are, but, to have the winners of a talent show constantly crammed down my throat by the media is the about as palatable as the last pancake in a pancake eating contest.

When the whole Susan Boyle story broke a couple of weeks ago, I was suspicious. Sure, she sang very well, and yes she was ugly, but the whole thing had the scent of a plant. There had to be something driving this - an angle. As it turns out, the angle is that NBC will be trying to sell the fledgling American version of "Britain Has Talent" ("America Has Talent"), at the end of June. If I recall correctly, the show has aired in seasons past, and it has been more or less a flop. But, with the whole Susan Boyle story, and follow-up spin story of some kid who could sing whose mother was in a wheelchair (thankfully this big spin story didn't catch on), NBC and Simon Cowell are angling for a summer sensation. Which brings me to a dual point, our media is completely void of any originality, they are pathetic, and Simon Cowell is a genius who has learned to play them like Nintendo (that is, if people still play Nintendo).

ABC is perhaps the worst culprit. Sure, every time the American Idol show makes a headline, Fox gains because they have the show, and NBC, it could be argued, gains by the potential viewers of America Has Talent, which they air. But ABC? What about the other networks? What is wrong with these people? Don't they realize that they are being complicit in forfeiting millions of viewers by taking the easy road of regurgitating the easy story. Has the media gone so popcorn, so unimaginative that they are incapable of producing original content? Apparently so, and Simon Cowell knows it. Just feed the media a story that has video footage, a story, and no work and the media is all over it. You have to hand it to him, he may not be American, but he sure has talent when it comes to playing the weak sheep that are our media. Remind me to tune into BBC if I want actual news.
Sighting: Bruce Willis with white straw hat and hot leggy brunette exiting Central Park at East 84th Street.

Memorial Day Links

Small Explosive Detonates At Starbucks On 92nd And Third (Fox 5)
City Registers 2nd Swine Flue Death, Declines Any Real Detail (NY Times)
End Of Road For Drivers In Times Square (NY1 Video)
Curbed Kicks Off Summer Hamptons Coverage (
The Poet Of Property- Hired Gun Writes Thousands Of Ads, Bios (NY Times)
More Takers For 15 Year Loans (NY Times)
Even Set Aside "Affordable Housing" Has Trouble Moving (NY Times)
National Luxury Real Estate Round Up (Luxist)
Watch Out! Google Car Back In NYC To Shoot Street Views (Gawker)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Special: 7 Room Prewar, Low 70's, West of Third, $6000.

It doesn't get much better than this, on size or price! A prewar Classic 7 (3 Bed, 3 bath, maids room, formal dining room), high ceilings, hardwoods, moldings, elevator. Amazing low 70's prewar elevator building. $6000. Showing during the remainder of the weekend and into next week (if still available). Call Andrew Fine, 646-237-4175, or email .

Friday, May 22, 2009

Check back on a regular for updated links. I am at Main Beach in East Hampton, working on material for my Hamptons blog,, which will debut soon. You are not missing much here, bulldozers are at work making adjustments, and there is a stiff breeze off the ocean making this a non-beach day. A mile inland it is gorgeous.
You can already tell that the economy is having an impact out here. The traditional beat the rush to the big weekend seems gone. Route 27 was a breeze last night and most of the restaurants seemed empty at 9pm..Of course, the weekend is young, so we'll see how things pan out.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nouvel's 100 Eleventh All Sorts Of Glassed Up!

Pics by A. Fine Intern, Daphnee Demosthene

This is one blog post that requires no words......
Unless, of course, you don't recognize Jean Nouvel's 100 Eleventh Avenue.....Speechless otherwise.

Thursday Morning Links

Pretty light on the headlines this morning, but the first one is a doozy!
Wow: Coldwell Banker To Close In New York City (The Real Deal)
Calvin Klein Tears Down Southampton's Tacky Dragons Head, Plan "Minimalist Mansion" (Cityfile)
Broadway Pepped For Pedestrian Takeover (Curbed)
Apthorp Broker Talking Discounts (TRD)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Extell's "Alydyn" Soars Like Its Boom Times

(L) Before: Feb 9th, 2009...................(R) Today!


We've seen plenty of developments go all slow-pokey on us of late, but Extell's Alydyn (the condo-rental combo that is sister to Rushmore and Avery) certainly isn't one of them. Since our last peak just a few months ago, Extell had added 15 stories on the west building and 20 stories on the east. I'm sure the crane businesses are happy here as multiple cranes are being employed simultaneously. Sure helps to be NYC's best financed company!

Wednesday Morning Links

Courtesy Curbed

Portion Of Washington Square Reopens, Shiny And New (Curbed)
All Hell To Break Loose? Swine Actually Closes Rich Kids School, Horace Mann (Gawker)
Is Trump's "Billionaire" Brand In Jeopardy? (Crain's)
HUD May Front The $8000 Tax Credit (CNN/Money)
Former Lehman Head Puts Apt On Market, looks For $10 Mil. Profit In 2 Years (Cityfile)
Warehouse 11, In Williamsburg Joins The Nondo List (Curbed)
Nouvel Looks To Tack On 7 Stories To Midtown Tower (TRD)
Pop Up Stores Pop Up In East Hampton (TRD)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living In NYC: 10 Questions With Carlos Watson, MSNBC Anchor, Author

Carlos Watson, MSNBC Anchorman and author of the new website, has agreed to 10 questions for our "Living In NYC" segment. Carlos, after graduating Harvard and then Stanford Law has extensive experience both in politics (ex: heading up Clinton's 1992 Miami Dade effort) and political analysis (seen on CNN on a regular from 2004-2006). Carlos has also hosted interview programs for CNBC and Hearst/Argyle stations, the later won him awards including The Gracie Allen award and an Accolade award in 2008. Carlos, who is a Miami native, moved to New York a couple of years ago to take an anchor position with MSNBC and to launch which offers a crisp and concise look at news, trends and politics. We thank Carlos for taking the time to share a little window into his life in New York.

AFB: When did you move to New York, and what was your initial reaction?

I moved to NY two years ago. Actually, I had been spending a lot of time here on and off for five years. But two years ago it became home. I have loved it -- the food, the basketball, sometimes the jawboning -- and definitely the friends. Lots of them. NY has definitely been nicer than advertised.

AFB: I understand that you live in Hell's Kitchen, what's the draw?

I like the hustle bustle. It's close to work. Plus it's close to my favorite pick up basketball game -- and you know that matters!

AFB: There is plenty of new development in your area. Have you seen any buildings that peak your interest?

I looked at buying a year or so ago -- and am glad I waited. But next year, I may stick my head out and take a peak again because there were some new buildings that I liked in the 50s as well as 40s.

AFB: I am coffee obsessed. What do you consider the best cup of joe in Hell's Kitchen?

Coffee is fine, but what I really need is Mt. Dew. And I get that anywhere -- the corner store, Duane Reade, you name it. I also need dessert -- and for that Hell's Kitchen won't do. You have to mosey over to the Black Hound on 2nd Avenue. All I can say is that you will thank me later!

AFB: Any restaurant recommendations in the West 50's?

You're asking a guy from Miami. OK. We've got nice Cuban both at Victor's and at Guantanamera. We also have some great Brazilian on 46th Street between 5th & 6th.

AFB: Best meal in Manhattan under $20?

Run don't walk to Righteous Urban Barbeque on 23rd Street between 7th & 8th. The rib tips are so good they should be illegal!

AFB: Best meal in Manhattan over $50?

I'm not a fancy guy so I've got to think about that. But I did have a good meal at the Waverly Inn.

AFB: If you could move to any other neighborhood in the city tomorrow, where would it be?

Probably the Village -- especially during the summer.

AFB: What is your biggest "quality of life" pet peeve here in NYC?

Weather -- need it to be warmer.

AFB: What is your favorite touristy thing to do in NYC?
A little Central Park walk -- or better yet the foreign films at the Angelika or elsewhere.

Thanks, Carlos!

The Carnegie Hill Prewar Classic Mini-6 Is Back! $4500.

Just when you thought it was safe to renew your overpriced lease- the Carnegie Hill Prewar Classic mini-6 Is back! Many of you remember this popular 2 bed++ from mid March. The same unit one flight down has opened up. A fair amount of work is to be done, and I will not have access until tomorrow, but just wanted to give you a heads up. What do you get? One large bedroom with decorative fireplace, 2 smaller bedrooms connected by a french door, a large living room with decorative fireplace, a formal dining room, separate kitchen, and yet another room that could be used as a maid's room, or walk-in closet. All this less than a block from Central Park in a prewar elevator building inside the P.S. 6 school district (assuming that you don't get wait-listed). $4500.. Call 646-237-4170 or

Union Square Park Gets Tree Happy, Happy Kids To Follow

Japanese Pagodas lining Union Square West, (R) trees in the west playground

(L) In the background, 35' Northern Catalpa, nice brickwork too (R) pavilion work

(L) playground surface is multicolored to absorb less heat (R) view from east

Things are really moving along at Union Square Park. Weekend before last, a dozen Japanese Pagoda trees were planted to line the West side of the park. Let's just say that the Union Square Partnership doesn't mess when it comes to trees. Wimpy trees they are not, reaching around 25' at the onset. Visually, the addition of the trees is a delight, and a huge upgrade to the former asphalt jungle that was the Farmers Market. But it doesn't stop there- all sorts of trees have been hauled in to fill the playground area with shade producing foliage. Perhaps most impressive is a 35' Northern Catalpa waiting to be planted somewhere near the center of the playground. In addition, 6 Saucer Magnolias, 2 Golden Rains, and 2 Dawn Redwoods will fill the playground (many have already been planted). And, about that playground- you can see the Western portion (for toddlers) is nearly complete. The area which includes a sandpit, castle type jungle gym, and swings is now expected to open to children by the end of June (you heard it here first). The rest of the playground should be open by Fall depending on the progress of the pavilion and new restroom structure. If past performance is any indication, I'm sure it will be delivered on time or sooner.

Tuesday Morning Links

Tot May Be 2nd Swine Flu Fatality In Queens (Newsday)
St. David's On Upper East Side Closes As Swine Flu Reaches 100,000 (US News & World Report)

Hamptons Home Decline Greatest Since Brokers Started Keeping Records In 1982 (Bloomberg)
Plans For Huge LIC Strip Club Abandoned, And More LIC Headlines (LIQCity)
Three Townhouses On 90th Street Available, Together Or Individually (Curbed)
385 West 12th Flashes Some Copper (Curbed)
Meyer, Cipriani And Others Bail On Tavern On The Green (NYT)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Morning Links & Comment

Good morning all! Looks like the swine flu strikes again with 4500 kids in Queens getting an unexpected vacation. While I don't buy into the media hysteria which quickly vanished, I don't think it's easy to dismiss a flu virus that spreads easily in May. The City and State have both made a concerted effort NOT to test. I think this is a disservice and a blatant attempt to bury the story. I'm no doctor, but you would figure that those exposed now would have some sort of immunity, should it come back a fiercer version this winter. I think people have the right to know.
In other news, last night I attended the East 86th Street Association meeting regarding its plans for a makeover. The association has secured $2,215,000 for new Bishops Crook lampposts to line the length of the street (but the installation is delayed a year thanks to the city contracting process), new planters, benches, garbage cans, bollards and more. The news that got the most positive response was that the marquee that Duane Reade is using for signage on 86th West of Lexington is being audited by the DOB. I did have the chance to approach DOB about the shrink wrapping of building with advertisements, and it fell on deaf ears- they seemed to have no interest.
AG Forces Sheffield 57 To Suspend Sales (The Real Deal)
Farmers See Lower Results At Union Square Thanks To The Economy (Villager via TRD)
A Look At St. Vincent's Renderings (Curbed)
Near Fatal Village Beating may Have Been Hate Crime (Gothamist)
Residents Forced To Stay At Incomplete 225 Rector (TRD/Fox)
Can Yankee Stadium Fail? (WSJ)
Bike Commuting Up 10% In 2008 (NY Post)
Seven Injured In Chinatown Fire (CityRoom)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Morning Links

Silverstein Preps To Move 1,359 Rental Units (NY Times)
Columbus Square, UWS 700 Unit Rental, Ready To Launch (NY Post)
PS6 Breaks Ground On DOE's First Green Roof (NYDN)
St. Vincent's Tower Must Get Smaller (NY Post)
Alchemy's Horn" "We Think The Market Has Gone Down 23%" (NY Post)
London Financial District Rents Crash To 1991 Levels (Bloomberg)
EV Grieve Has A Flashback (To 2007) (EV Grieve)
New Beer Garden Opens In Queens (Queens Crap)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Midtown Condo Update: Centurion, Cassa, Centria




Following up on yesterday's feature on Number 5, here is an update on a few more condos in progress in Midtown.

Centurion (56th, 5th +6th), legend I.M. Pei's impressive limestone effort, is nearly finished with occupancy expected any time now. The limestone is from France, not Indiana (excusez-moi), to give a different hue and to set itself apart from other limestone buildings in the city. The limestone is gorgeous- no offense, Indiana. The building tapers back to conform with zoning in the area which limits the amount of space flush with the street to 85' feet. While the final product looks great, the 17 story structure looks small compared to what I had assumed from the renderings. Perhaps, I.M. Pei is so brilliant and cognisant of the surrounding buildings that he can blend in seamlessly.

Cassa NY (45th, 5th +6th)- Recently started sales. Somehow this developer found much better zoning than I.M. Pei.- the 45 story tower boasts views and the architectural power tandem of Enrique Norten/TEN Arquitectos and Cetra Ruddy. Looks like it is almost topped.

Finally, we have The Centria on West 48th Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. This building has been filling up for more than a year now and is nearly sold out. There are some studios and 1 beds left starting at $640k and $850k respectively.

Wednesday Morning Links

Nation: Median Home Prices Down 14% From Last Year (AP)
"You Can Rent A Space In Jersey For The Taxes You Pay In NY", Spinola (Globe Street)
As If They Could Actually Get Anything Done: NY State Senate Introduces Rent Bills (Crain's)
A Look At 5 Abandoned Subway Stations (Environmental Graffiti via Curbed)
Flashback To The Future: New Buses To Bring Back The Pull Cord (NY Times)
Yanks Happy To Sell You A Bag Of Grass For $80 (NY Post)
Bidding Is On For AIG Towers (Observer)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Number 5: An Optimistic Plume In An Otherwise Dour Landscape

(L) A Peak At The Plume, (R) Getting Closer

(L) Bottom In Red, (R) Full Red And Yellow

My feet got a pretty good workout today, shooting various condos in the often neglected midtown area between 42nd and 56th Streets (you'll see more of those later).

Oddly, the one condo that I nearly neglected and that I thought I would like the least was my favorite. That favorite was "Number 5" at 5 East 44th, by Phillip Johnson/Allan Ritchie Architects. From the renderings, I thought the building would look preposterous, but as I got my first peak from a block away, I was instantly intrigued. From that distance, coming from the West, all I could see was a couple of stories on top with a yellow column that struck me as a complete contrast to it's surroundings, like an optimistic plume in otherwise dour company. As I approached the building, the initial reaction stuck and as I took in the large red column that ran 5 stories from the ground, followed by 12 stories of yellow column, all against a white metal clad exterior, I was amused that something so seemingly out of place made sense. Perhaps, the photos don't do it justice. Maybe you'll hate it, I thought I would, but I would suggest that you give it a look, just for the fun of it. Clearly the architects took into account that the surrounding contrasts would be brilliant, as the building itself has turned out.
The building is just over 50% sold with 8 of the 17 units remaining including a penthouse. Prices are relatively reasonably at around $1200/psf.

Tuesday Morning Links

Solow Lot 38th to 42nd Streets, East Of First (Photo: Andrew Fine)

Reality: Victoria Gotti Face Foreclosure On Westbury Mansion (NYDN)
Trend: Vacant Storefronts Turn To Billboards (NY Times)
It's Official: Lawyer Dreier Pleads Guilty In $700 Mil. Real Estate Note Fraud (CNN)
Lincoln Center Is 50, But Nobody Knows If Was Named After Lincoln (City Room)
Putting Starchitects On A Tight Budget (The Real Deal)
April Foreclosures: All Remain Calm (Curbed)
BidOnThe City Loses First Big Listing, As Mansion Sells The Old Fashioned Way (Observer)
A Guide To NYC's Taxi Fleet (CityFile)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Tower Reaches For The Sun: Solar To Power Common Areas

Just got word from Robert Roe of Roe Corporation that Star Tower, a 25 story luxury condominium under construction in Long Island City has decided to reach for the sun and install a 15 KW solar system on the roof. The system will provide some of the electricity for the common areas and will have a generate a modest reduction on power charges reflected in the common charges (already a low .40 cents/psf). The result will equate to an annual Five ton reduction in greenhouse gases. "It's a win/win situation" explained Roe, "various tax credits make the system affordable, while it helps the environment". Roe corp had previously announced a green roof on top of the retail space below which will create a 5000 square foot private park. That's not all- plans are afoot to also integrate solar water heaters on the roof. While Roe was mum about possible LEED certification, it sure seems like LEED points are adding up.

Monday Morning Links

Rental Prices Down, Hipsters, Others From Brooklyn, Burbs Invade Manhattan (NY Times)
After Trip And Fall At One Beacon, Couple Opts For The Brompton (NY Times)
Linden 78 Misses Deadline, Buyer Free To Walk (NY Times)
Retails rents Fall, Restaurant Applications Jump (Observer)
National Luxury Real Estate Wrap (Luxist)
The Real Deal Raises Questions About Brokerage Manhattan Apartments (The Real Deal)
Bloomberg Call Summit On WTC Mess (Globe St.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Inside: The Brompton

(L) Sitting area in lobby, (R) Reverse of lobby, front door.

(L) Hall through gardens, (R) Concierge desk past hall

Upstairs hallway

The Brompton, built by Related Companies and designed by Robert A. M. Stern (of 15 CPW and The Chatham fame) has turned out to be better than rendered, and in excess of already high expectations. The building is, in my mind, a masterpiece. This is the only way I can frame my impressions in total after my opportunity to view the building and one its units from the inside yesterday for the first time.

From the second you walk in the front door, the building screams luxury and opulence, but in a classic, classy way. Sure everything is brand new and it has that spiffy clean feel, but you can tell that the building was built with the idea that a patina will only make it better. The lobby is very comfortable, open and bright, with high ceilings, and views of 2 classically designed gardens which flank the long hall from the entry lobby to the concierge desk. There is marble and cherry wood panelling everywhere. The cherry wood is not too dark as the arched high ceilings with decorative accents lighten everything. The sitting area is pleasant with high end furnishings and fresh flowers. The layout of the lobby is unusual in that you enter on 85th Street, and the length of the lobby is a couple hundred feet including the long hall under glass through the interior gardens. This was done in order to keep the lobby off of the less desired Third Ave or 86th Street sides, which makes plenty of sense. And, it was done right. The concierge desk itself is quite substantial with cherry wood panelling and marble top, adorned with fresh flowers. From front to back you encounter no less than 2 doormen and 2 concierges.

Overall, the interior of the building, right to your front door , gives you a sense of privilege and wealth. It's not tacky, or over the top, which just amplifies the affect.

If you want to see what's inside the front door, check my previous post :
Inside: The Brompton, Cnv 2, 2 baths, $5500.

Inside: The Brompton, Convert 2 With 2 Baths, $5500

Top: kitchen, bath. Bottom: living and dining, bedroom

The Brompton has long been one of the most anticipated new condos in Manhattan. With Robert A.M. Stern (of The Chatham and 15 CPW fame) you knew it would be good, but, in fact, it has turned out great!

Part one of my look inside The Brompton features a recently closed convertible 2 bedroom apartment with 2 full baths on the Eighth floor with west exposure.

The interiors have lived up to every expectation and then some. This apartment is solid all around, the doors are thick and heavy wood, the cabinets in the kitchen are solid maple, every piece of hardware is thick and substantial. The nearly floor to ceiling windows have marble sills and employ soundproofing which makes Third Avenue seems as if it were miles away. The herringbone hardwood floors look great.

The kitchen, while compact, is a chef's dream. It has the best of appliances- a Sub Zero fridge tastefully camouflaged by maple panelling, a Viking stove and cook top, and a Miele dishwasher also hidden under the wood panelling. The use of the paneling creates the sense of more space and refined consistency. The is also a pantry built in to provide ample storage space.

The baths are gorgeous. The master is spacious and lined with marble and inlaid marble accents. A blank marble double sink stands between a 6' soaking tub on one end and a glass steam shower on the other. This is a bathroom that you would be reluctant to leave once you immersed yourself in such luxury. The second bath is also marble with a steam shower and more than adequate for your occasional guest, should you ever decide to share your spoils.

There is ample closet space throughout the apartment including 2 walk-ins in the master and several other thick doored closets, one with a stacked Meile washer and dryer.

All this could be yours for $5500./mo.. Sure, apartments similar in size in the area could be had in the $4000 range, but they would pale in comparison, if white glove luxury and only the very best of everything is what you desire. Did I mention that a membership to the adjacent Equinox for 2 is included in the rent? Oh, I could go on and on, because as you know, I love The Brompton!
To see this rental unit for yourself, call Andrew at 917-856-8112, or email at

Friday Morning Links

Manhattan Retail Rents Plunging (Crain's)
The Cost Efficacy Of Building Green (Globe Street)
Chop: One Rector Park Reduces Prices 22% (Downtown Express)
Corcoran's Liebman: Brooklyn Market Doing Well (Brownstoner)
more later.......

Thursday, May 7, 2009

3 Columbus Circle Makes A Glass Of Itself

It was a prewar beauty, well, pretty nice at least. But, rather than a good old fashioned scrub down and refacing, 3 Columbus Circle is going all glassy. Whatever it looks like, the office building owned by The Moinian Group, certainly has location and views going for it. Just check out the snazzy website if you crave more.