Category Archives: New Developments

Manhattan Boutique condo versus high rise- which is better?

A Manhattan boutique condo can have some advantages that a high rise might not. A smaller building can mean more of a personal feeling when coming home. In a Manhattan building with 30 or less apartments, chances are you are going to have more customization and less mass production like a new building with 200 units plus. In the boutique building in NYC, you will see amenities but not the scale that you would see in a high rise luxury building like One Manhattan Square or One Riverside where you have swimming pools, bowling alleys, lounges, party rooms and gardens.

In a large building you might pay more per square foot for these due to the amenities like in Waterline Square on Manattan’s west side or 15 Hudson Yards, where prices hover around $3k per square foot. In a smaller boutique building, you will have less amenities but can expect a roof deck, doorman, gym, and maybe a garden. Take for example, the 6 unit 207 West 75th street building which is brand new and averages only $2k per sqft.  In a 6 unit, be prepared to be involved in the operation of the condo.  In a 39 unit building like the Chamberlain at 269 West 87th street, you get amenities like a children’s playroom,storage, gym,doorman and common outdoor spaces and again averaging around $2k per sqft. Also, in small building, any repairs will hit each apartment owner more than in a large condo with more owners to divide up the costs.

I think it comes to your lifestyle. A small building works well for some people who do not need the amenity suites that some of the large luxury buildings offer. For some people they feel this is akin to living in a hotel and some people love it and some do not.

What is your preference: Boutique or high rise with tons of amenities?

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Hudson Yards effect on nearby condo and rental buildings

As Hudson Yards continues it’s march towards completion in 2025 and many amenities are open or near open including the Culture Shed, and the Vessel, the development is effecting nearby development.

According to Real Estate Weekly, brokers in nearby developments- both rental and sale are seeing increases in activity. These new developments include 515 West 29th street aka Five One Five, a boutique condo building with 3 listings on streeteasy starting at $4.375 mm for an 1895 sqft(172m2) 2bd/3ba. Also listed on the same block is 550 West 29th street which features a 3290 sqft(306m2) penthouse with a huge outdoor space  in a 19 unit boutique building.

Neaby rental buildings are also seeing increased activity due to the influx of new commercial tenants to Hudson Yards. According to brokers representing those luxury rentals, some do not want to live exactly where they work but with a 5-10 minute walk and as a result are choosing nearby Hell’s Kitchen developments like Sky and The Oskar.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard rents in Sky

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

50 Riverside boulevard aka One Riverside Park availability

The Extell Development building built in 2015, with a 20 year tax abatement, and 50,000 sqft of amenities currently has 9 units for sale. They are all resales, averaging approximately 10-20% more than their sold prices in 2015. The averge price per square foot is $1,878 per square foot. The average days on the market is 181 and if you remove one listing that has been for sale for 451 days, it goes down to 150 days on market.

There have been 4 sales this year and none in the last 3 months. That’s an average of 1 sale every 2 months which means the inventory would last about 18 more months.

The two resales sold this year were sold for a 100,000 or 6% profit and a $1.2 million loss, suggesting the building is roughly valued very close to the 2015 levels or less in the case of the larger apartments purchased from the sponsor.

Given that there are many more years left in this tax abatement, this might be the right time to get into this building with it’s amenity suite including the La Palestra athletic club, bowling alley and lounge, rock climbing wall and 75 foot lap pool.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Thinking of buying a Manhattan luxury property for investment?

This is 3rd part of the series focusing on the purchase of Manhattan properties for investment. In this part, we take a look at the luxury market and it’s opportunities.

According to the latest study from streeteasy.com 2018 is the year of the discount for luxury property, roughly defined as $4mm and up by the study. 59% of the properties that closed were discounted and median discount was $980,000. This is up from 36% of the properties in 2016 and also up from 2017’s number of 54%.

One way to take advantage of the Manhattan luxury market is to buy and hold the property. Right now, the luxury market is in the 3rd year of buyer’s market. Less product is coming on the market, and land sales have slowed. Once this inventory is absorbed, then we will again see a shortage of inventory in the luxury market and the prices will rise again.

Also, luxury rentals will be more and more in demand. Take for example 1 Hudson Yards. It is a building with luxury amenities, liklap pool, salt water pool for children, cold plunge pool plus a bowling alley and lounge with kitchen, penthouse party room, and tons of outdoor space. In addition, there is an gym similar to an Equinox, a basketball court, and plenty of outdoor grills for barbecuing. In a neighborhood that is developing with construction everywhere, take a guess how many rentals are available in this 178 unit building. Zero! All rented. 1 bedrooms were $4800, 2 bedrooms $9,000 + and 3 bedrooms $15k and up. The rental market also for the last 2 years, has been oversupplied and this will change in the next 1-2 years. In 20 years of real estate brokerage, I have seen several cycles.

Take an apartment in Waterline square as an example. A 3bd/3ba in 1 Waterline Square aka 10 Riverside boulevard is asking just over $5 million. Due to the tax abatement, the monthlies for this 1824 sqft (169.4m2) apartment is $3,642 including the taxes.  A 3 bedroom/3bath of about the same size rented for $14,000 in 50 Riverside boulevard back in June of this year. Let’s do the numbers on this purchase assuming an asking price purchase.

$5,000,000 purchase
$14,000 rent monthly
$3,642 monthly charges
$10,358 net or $124,296 annually
2.5% return 

The 2.5% return does not take into account the market price of this apartment in the future as well as tax benefits such as depreciation. Let’s say in 5 years, the apartment is worth $6 million. Your rate of return then would be 5.6%.

Additionally, the monthly net income could support approximately $2 million in mortgage which could lower your necessary cash outlay to $3 million from $5 million. This would raise your rate of return in 5 years to 15%!

The luxury market is full of these type of deals where you can take advantage of the slowdown in demand and get in on the market before the market turns up again. If you understand that the tech and finance sectors are not going anywhere and also understand that Millenials might find it harder to purchase and many may decide to rent luxury instead of buying then you can take advantage of the opportunity that not everyone sees.

 

Part 1 of the Manhattan investment buying series

Mansion Global coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Two new high-rises on West 124th street

According to Patch.com plans have been filed for 2 new building to rise on West 124th street between 7th and 8th avenue.  Each will be 12 stories tall. The existing buildings will be demolished but no plans have been filed as of yet. The average size unit will be just over 1000 sqft and the total square footage for both buildings will be 226,704.

Patch.com coverage

Ariana Grande and fiance Pete Davidson purchase luxury apartment in West Chelsea

Ariana Grande and her fiance SNL’s Pete Davidson have purchased in the Zaha Hadid building in West Chelsea. The building is full of amenities including a private Imax Theater and skylit pool. There are 39 units in the building with 5 showing as active on listings site Streeteasy. Prices range from just over $5mm to over $13 mm for the available units.

This swimming pool in 520 West 28th street where Sting and Trudy Styler might run into their new neighbors Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson.
This is the gym in the Zaha Hadid West Chelsea new development

Full coverage

Sting rented an apartment in the same building

New condo building launching sales soon in Central Harlem

BRP Companies is getting set to launch sales at The Rennie on the site of the former Renaissance Ballroom at Adam Clayton Powell and 137th street need Harlem’s Striver’s Row. Prices will be approximately $530k to $1,700,000. The building will feature a tax abatement obtained under the former framework of the 421a program. 20% of the 130 units will be affordable. Amenities include children’s playroom, gym, rooftop deck, resident’s lounge, garden and 24 hour doorman.

Full coverage here

Lower East side Co-op turns down $54 million for air rights

The Seward Park Cooperative on Manhattan’s Lower East side turned down $54 million from a developer in exchange for 162,000 of air rights. After a long negotiation process, the proposal was put to a vote but did not get the necessary amount of shareholder support to pass. The developer will still build adjacent to Seward Park,  but will build two towers of 17 and 20 stories instead of 20 and 33 stories.

NYT coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

303 West 137th street New building construction update

303 West 137th street, a new 6 story building by Harlem developer, Icer, has topped out. It will eventually house 16 units over 14,655 square foot. It is located on a beautiful, double brownstone block, near Saint Nicholas park. The building has a brick facade and terraces. Unfortunately, the design is lacking in any architectural merit and could be the poster child for adding more landmark designations to protect historic homes and blocks.

West 137th street looking east. 303 is in the background

Previous coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

24 luxury contracts signed last week

24 Luxury contracts were signed last week for property $4mm and above in Manhattan. Discounts drove the action as the average discount from the listing price is over 10%. It’s not unusual that property owners who purchased in the last 3 years are selling at a loss in order to liquidate.

In other reports, rents are still trending down with concessions like free month’s rent and owner paid broker fees fueling activity especially in new developments where 90% of the apartments were rented with concessions. Just under half (44%) of the new leases signed in Manhattan in April included concessions.

Does it make sense for a Manhattan owner to pay the broker fee?

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.