Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Links

Now Open: 9/11 Memorial Preview Site (Curbed)
NYC Apartment Rents Fall (Bloomberg)
Toll Bros. Loss Widens (Bloomberg)
Real Estate Developers Seek To Unmask Bloggers (MediaPost)
10 Most Expensive Buildings Revisited, And The Price Depreciation, Isn't Pretty (Observer)
Skinniest House In Manhattan On Market For Fat Price (NY Post)
Cage Catches Two Bids On Olympic Tower Spread, Queen Latifah Kicks It At 88 Greenwich (NY Post)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NYC In "Cone Of Uncertainty" For Possible Hurricane Danny

Courtesy NHC

It doesn't look like a monster storm, but how often does NYC actually get hit by a hurricane? Well, the odds have certainly improved over the past several days as Tropical Storm Danny has formed East of the Bahama Islands and will likely be somewhere within a few hundred miles of our area on Saturday afternoon. While it is early, preliminary indications are that the storm will attain hurricane status, so it is just a matter of the track over the next few days. Fingers crossed!
Danny Forecast Advisory (NHC)
Danny Maps, Etc..(NHC)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ludlow And Orchard, A City Block Frozen In Time

180 Ludlow Street and 180 Orchard Street

Back of 180 Orchard (on Ludlow) and 179 Ludlow Street

The first half of 2008, wasn't it great? There was the 421-a induced construction boom, people buying apartments based on floor plans, people racing to buy apartments before the next looming condo amendment, fringe neighborhoods were in, and bonuses were still bonuses. Ahhh, good times my friends, good times! If you liked life at the peak, there is a city block bordered by Houston and Stanton, and Ludlow and Orchard which is preserved in time like a dinosaur in a tar pit. Now, you have to use your imagination and ignore the rust on the rebar, the yellowing and decay of posted permits, and the weeds in the cleared lots, but in that location you can easily turn back the clock several quarters and relive the boom times. Perhaps the entire block should stay that way forever, as a monument to the crash, when all the banks balked, an arrested development museum of sorts.

Tuesday Morning Links

NYC Rental Market Shows Signs Of Stabilizing (Observer)
Jacky Teplitzky, Nobody's # 2 (Observer)
Online Ads For Real Estate Double In Cost As Demand Grows (NY Times)
Green Rooftops Blossom In NYC (Crain's)
Reflections On The LIC Market (The Real Deal)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gehry's Beekman Tower Shines, And Shines, And Shines!

Break out the sunglasses! Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower is getting all steel-ed up, and if you are anywhere withing viewing distance on a sunny day, UV-protecting eye wear is a must. With its undulating steel frame you are bound to catch a glare at just about any hour. For those of us that love the design, I dare say, this project is exceeding all expectations.

Monday Morning Recap

Wow! More links from the Post than the Times! What is going on here?
Standard Hotel Now A Giant Peep Show (NY Post)
Reports: Madoff Dying Of Cancer (No, Not Of The Soul) (NY Post)
StuyTown Reserve Fund Nearly Wiped Out (NY Post)
Realtors Vie For Madoff Listing In Palm Beach (PalmBeach Daily News)
Apple Store On Fifth Earning "A Mercedes Per Square Foot" (Bloomberg)
Bedbugs Fouling NYC Real Estate Deals (NY Times)
Foreclosure Sought Against Alexico East Side Project (TRD)
Observer To Start Commercial Real Estate Newspaper (NY Times)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Morning, I'm Back!

Hey folks! I am back from vacation and ready to roll! It is a slow news time throughout the country with a seemingly universal vacation underway, but I will try to keep it lively with some fresh content over these slow times. It has actually been a busy summer with a surge of interest in sales, especially under $1 Million. It will be interesting to see if the mid-range $1 Mil.- $4 Mil. picks up after Labor Day, as I have a hunch it will.
City Adds Jobs, Unemployment Rate Up (Crain's)
Morgan Stanley Hiring! (AP)
Missing: College Grads Moving To Manhattan (TRD)
Kohl's Looking Into Manhattan Location (Reuters)
Brinkley, Joel Compete For High End Buyers Out East (Newsday)
Dick Fuld Profits On Sale Of Co-Op (TRD)
In Waldorf Towers, NYC's Most Expensive, Bland Rental (Curbed)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Morning Links

Interesting news. Nobel Prize winning economist, Paul Krugman, buys a co-op on the UWS (4th item). For many, Krugman has become the nation's most trusted economist, guiding us through the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Along the way, he spent plenty of time scaring the shit out of us too. So, I guess we can take it as a pretty good sign that he is a buyer in our market. Maybe he will start writing about how great things are now.
I'll be out of town this upcoming weekend, but I may have some entertaining material from the road.
Baldwin Bails On El Dorado, Looks Into Dakota. Big Renegotiated Deal At One York. And, Jack Welsh Buys Neighboring Apartment (Gimme Shelter/NY Post)
A Look At A Few Big Loses In NYC Residential RE (Observer)
Paul Krugman Buys NYC Co-Op (Observer)
Trippy Visions For The Grand Concourse, Bronx (Curbed)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Morning Links

LA Foreclosures Down 26%, Miami Down 22% (News Blaze)
Annie Leibovitz's Epic Renovation Spurs Lawsuits, Debt (Bloomberg)
Inside Langston Hughes' Harlem Brownstone (Curbed)
Construction Watch: One Jackson Square (Curbed)
Open Houses Busy In LIC (Observer)
Zeckendorfs Bail On "The Charles" On First Ave (NY Post, 2nd item via TRD)
The Best And Worst Deals Of The Last Year (The Real Deal)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Morning Links

Actually a quiet weekend for once here in the city. I kept myself busy on Sunday with some sales appointments, but it was clear we are officially in the heart of vacation season. One thing did happen which was a plane and a helicopter colliding over the Hudson. I am honestly surprised that this doesn't happen more ofter considering the idiotic lack of rules that cover the skies of NYC. We should also be thankful that it didn't happen over NYC and kill even more people. I pray for the families of the lost, I also pray for some common sense on the part of the FAA and policymakers.
Speaking of common sense, how about a tax credit for buyers that may actually apply to New Yorkers. The $8,000 credit helps few thanks to the income limit, and now comes another plan from NY State with the same issues (6th link). Can a guy get a little help with a jumbo around here?
Deadly End Game For 2 Trips Of Leisure (NY Times)
Renters Offered Unsolicited Reductions To Stay Put (NY Times)
Hot Dog Vendor Evicted From In Front Of Met, Can't Keep Up With $54,000 Monthly Rent (AP)
Sunday, National Luxury Real Estate Wrap (Luxist)
Looking To Clock Some Gs, Make that $25 Mil. For Brooklyn's Clock Tower Penthouse (NY Times)
Another Housing Tax Credit, This Time By NYS, Vast Majority Of City Residents Need Not Apply (NY Times)
Astor's Place Gets Chopped (NY Times)
Unstable Walls, Falling Bricks Cause Stir At 2 Fifth (Gothamist)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Morning Links

Fortress Seizes Sheffield From Swig (Bloomberg)
Mortgage Rates Slip To 5.22% (Bloomberg)
Curbed's Favorite Sheffield Memories (Curbed)
Porch Sitting: A Look At Astor Row, Harlem (NY Times)
Emeril Picks Up Sale Priced ($11.5 Mil.) Townhouse On East 61st (Curbed)
In Bronx: Less Asphalt, More Veggies (NY Times)
A Look At The Rockrose Split (The Real Deal)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Morning Links

Swig Set To Forefeit Sheffield 57 Today (Crain's)
Charles Gwathmey's New York (Observer)
Julianne Moore Lists West 11th Townhouse For $12 Mil. (Observer)
A Look At Luxury Bargains (ABC News)
Foreclosures Fade In NYC, Only 4 In Manhattan (NY Times)
Straphangers Angry As MetroCards Expire En Masse (NY Times)
Some Landlord Resort To Handing Out Cash To Brokers (The Real Deal)
Bronx Mom Sues Landlord After Rat Attack (NYDN via TRD)
Brooklyn Bridge Park Gets Tree Delivery (Curbed)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Morning Links

(Photo: NY Mag, Gwathmey Atop Astor Place)

Charles Gwathmey, Giant Of Modernism, Dead At 71 (NY Times)

Silverstein To Arbitration Over WTC (Crain's)
Delinquencies Fall For NYC Area CMBS Loans (The Real Deal)
Vijay Singh Buy $5 Mil Penthouse At Element On 59th (The Real Deal)
Nigerian Oilman Buys Three Apartments At Centurion (Observer)
East 78th St. Townhouse Fetches $15 Mil, $8 Mil Below Ask (Observer)
Russian Nuclear Subs Patrolling East Coast Of US (Gawker)
Twittering Doorman Abruptly Stops Oversharing (Curbed)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Confident Bottom-Fishers: Sales Market Getting Active

It is this time of the year that I usually hit a charter fishing boat in Montauk in hopes of catching something impressive like bluefish, tuna, bass, or even something more exciting like a shark (although now this is not so kosher). What invariably happens every year is that the skipper declares that the seas are too rough and we end up closer to shore and fishing for the same thing every year -- skate. Skate are a bottom-feeding fish, carnivorous, and not terribly pretty (okay, they are flat-out ugly). While they may be challenging on the eye, they are vibrant and plentiful.

I'm not entirely sure why I draw the analogy, but this year, I find myself landlocked in Manhattan, and fulfilling the real estate version of skate. After the "winter of fear", as I call it, suddenly there is an abundance of activity. For me, for now, it is largely sub-$1 Million business. This is not the high roller time of year. The big money -- and believe me it's out there -- is on a beach somewhere, or on that charter boat. There is a dramatic difference between today's market and that of just a few month ago.

For months, tire-kickers reigned supreme, and the universal thinking was 'I want to buy, but I think the market will come down more'. And come down it did. Prices in Manhattan have dropped as much as 30%, and in some cases even more. As they say, everything has its price. The thinking has shifted dramatically. Now what I hear most is 'I know the market may come down a little more, but I don't want to chance it'. I call it the rise of the confident bottom-fishers. And they are plentiful. So plentiful that my blogging is down and my weekends are shot, but there is activity, plenty of activity.

Sometimes, a sunny day and plenty of skate, is a good day, no matter where you are. We'll see if the big fish come back after Labor Day.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Morning Links

Luxe Apartments Get Slashed (NY Post)
Cost Sky High For High Line Park (NY Post)
Shark And Snark Season For NYC Coops (NY Times)
Cassa, Quietly Selling At $2000/ft. (NY Times)
Dolly's Latest Challenge: Selling 25 Units At Apthorp (NY Times)
Housing Begins Reversal (LA Times)
National Luxury Real Estate Wrap (Luxist)
Judge Denies Injunction, Paving The Way For Auction Of Sheffield 57 (The Real Deal)