All posts by Brian Silvestry

I have been in the real estate industry first as a licensed agent and as a broker since 1999. I have sold in every Manhattan neighborhood though do work a lot on the Upper west side where I live and upper Manhattan. I speak French,Portuguese, and Spanish.

Ghostbusters filming on the Upper West side

Earlier this week the Ghostbusters movie was filming on the Upper west side near 103rd street and West end avenue. No parking signs were posted throughout the neighborhood and right in the middle of the Jewish holidays which was insensitive to say the least. Luckily, they were not towing or ticketing cars according to Gothamist.

This is a remake of the Harold Ramis classic and stars an all female cast. Filming was in Boston and had since moved to New York City.

NY Ranger center buys NYC condo in Tribeca

Derick Brassard has purchased a 6th floor 2bd/2.5ba Tribeca condo for $4.1 million at 1 York street. The amenities at 1 York include a swimming pool,  sun deck,  and fitness center. The apartment has 14-foot ceilings, and views of the Empire State Building. The monthly carrying charges are just under $3k. Currently, there are 4 apartments available for sale in the 32 unit full service building. The prices range from $2.695 million to $18 million for a 4bd/4.5ba 5350 sqft offering.


Yorkville condo boom-Is now the time to buy?

Yorkville, which runs from 72nd street to 96th street east of Third avenue, is seeing a luxury building boom right now according to NYPost. Property values for condos are less in Yorkville per square foot than  west of 3rd avenue Upper east side. Buyers priced out of the Upper East side are now venturing east of 3rd avenue and the mix of offerings can be surprising. There are boutique condos to super luxury developments. One such luxury development is The Charles which made headlines with a sale of its top 6 floors for $59 million. The Charles is located at 1355 First avenue and has 27 units spread over 32 floors. Only 4 units remain available.

Several developers are planting stakes including Extell which recently purchased the site of Gristedes at 86th street and 1st avenue for $100million. That site is part of an assemblage that will allow them to build a large condo tower on the site.

Developer fine-tunes Upper West side condo strategy

Developer Mike Naftali certainly learned his lessons from his development 210 W. 77th street. Originally, when sales launched no units sold. After an intelligent reboot, sales were much more successful and now the building is 70% sold. Now the developer will use the feedback given from buyers on the first building to customize his offering for his next condo on the same block at 221 W. 77th street. One of the things they adjusted was making the kitchens more homey and less hotel like according to NYDN. They found that families on the Upper West side wanted more comfort and less hotel like finishes. Additionally,he added in a couple of 2 bedrooms and 5 bedrooms as well whereas the other Upper West side project had no 2 bedrooms and only a handful of 5 bedrooms. Both condos are located on West 77th street between Broadway and Amsterdam avenue. Prices will start from $4.85 million to $23 million for the new condo.

Thinking of buying a NYC apartment for your child?

According to WSJ, some parents are purchasing apartments for their college bound children. While this is not a new idea by any means, parents who do the math of paying rent while their children pursue their education, sometimes decide it makes sense to buy a place instead. At that point, some purchasers are also thinking of their retirement in Manhattan at the same time. Why wait 10 years or more when the prices will be higher? Purchasing now gives them a place for their college age children as well as place to eventually live in or use as a pied-a-terre. In some cases, parents may be planning when the children are several years away from college age. There was one example of a wealthy family purchasing in the famed Extell building One57 aka 157 West 57th street a few years ahead. Their daughter was recently born!

Consider these factors as well in your purchase:

1- If it’s a co-op will they allow college student children to live there? Many co-ops do not want their buildings turning into dorms.

2- A condo would be a much wiser investment since you or your children can rent it out without restriction.

3-What areas will appreciate the most over the next few years? My bet is on Harlem and upper Manhattan as well Hudson Yards area.


NYC Tenant buyouts- New rules

Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to sign legislation that will curb communications between landlord and rent regulated tenants concerning buyouts. There are approximately 1.3 million rent-restricted apartments in NYC and some tenants complain of being harassed to vacate. According to LINK, some 266,000 apartments have been deregulated since 1994. Tenant advocacy groups say that tenants get repeatedly harassed into accepting offers and leaving. Tenant related harassment complaints have doubled since 2011 in city Housing Court.

With the new law, landlords would have to wait 6 months to re-approach a tenant who has rejected their offer to relinquish the apartment. What do you think? Is this going to curb harassment of tenants in rent regulated apartments?

Will the Chinese market volatility affect NYC lending?

From 2013-14, Bank of China was involved with $4.73 billion in top loans for prominent NYC properties according to the Commercial Observer. Now with the decrease in value of the Yuan and Chinese economy reeling how will that affect available capital for large NYC projects? Several heavy hitters including SL Green have relied on loans from Bank of China.  Will refinancing these loans be difficult due to a drying up of Chinese lenders?

Upper West side NYC building sold $26.5 million

Certes Partners has purchased 214-218 W. 95th street for $26.5 million according to WSJ. They are already the owners of 206 W.95 street which they purchased for $15 million one year ago. The combined cost of $41.5 million for a buildable square footage of 85,000, of about 18 stories, looks like a great purchase. $500 per buildable square foot means that they can build something in the affordable luxury market of around $2000-2500 per square foot. It would be great to see some smaller apartments to address demand but most likely we will see family sized apartments of 1200 square feet and up. The location is great since it’s close to Broadway and one block from the express subway stop at West 96 street.

206 W. 95 th street was acquired by Certes Partners for $15 million last year.
206 W. 95 th street was acquired by Certes Partners for $15 million last year.

They are currently discussing with their architecture firm CetraRuddy to see how they should design the building.