Central Park NYC Fall folliage tour

Some of the nicest fall folliage is available for viewing just inside Central Park around the pool area near West 100th street and Park West Village. Here’s a sneak peek but make sure to hit the park before all of the leaves fall off the trees on the Upper West side.





Microsoft opens doors to Flagship store on 5th ave

On Monday, Microsoft opened the doors to it’s flagship retail store on Fifth avenue at 677 fifth avenue. The store will have 5 floors and 3 of them open to the public. It reportedly was a very busy day at the new store due to the launch of the Surface Pro 4 tablet.

The 22,369 square foot store will feature products from their partners as well including Dell.  Ideally located on Fifth avenue and 53rd street and within a stone’s throw of the Apple Store on Fifth avenue and 59th street, this will be the 113th store in the MS network.

Read the full coverage below

The Verge




Circa Central Park new condo construction update

Circa Central Park, the building that is being constructed on Frederick Douglass Circle, is progressing nicely. Built by the same developer that brought to the market the successful One Morningside Park at 321 West 110th street, there will be a total of 78 units ranging from 1 to 5 bedrooms. Prices will start at $1.1 million and many of the homes will have panoramic views of Central Park.

Construction of 285 West 110th street aka Circa Central Park
Construction of 285 West 110th street aka Circa Central Park

321 West 110th street had 55 units and 2 bedroom/2bathrooms were sold for north and south of $2 million.  Currently, there is one apartment available of just under 1400 sqft and it is asking $2.5 million. There are also two small studios for sale. One Morningside is just one avenue west of Circa Central Park and will directly influence the prices at the new building. Expect prices in the vicinty of $2000 per square foot.

Circa Central Park will have 1 to 5 bedrooms that start at $1.1 million
Circa Central Park will have 1 to 5 bedrooms that start at $1.1 million

Circa Central Park will benefit from proximity to Central Park and Morningside Park, subway access and Harlem’s Restaurant Row.



Families stay in small spaces to preserve childrens’ and their friendships

In the Sunday NY Times,  there’s an interesting article about people staying in smaller apartments because of the friendships that they and their children have made within the building. In one of the example a small family remains in a 500 square foot apartment because of the relationships that they and their children have made. The children play together in each other’s apartments or they have dinner sometimes at their friend’s apartment. This feeling of family can sometimes fill a void of missing their own families who may be located in other states and only visit occasionally.

In one such case, a family was about to leave their 1000 sqft apartment in Brooklyn for a townhouse but never moved in because they couldn’t leave their child’s friend behind. In another case, on the Upper west at the Park Royal, the parents have become very close friends and while they realize that the children may grow apart, they will remain friends.

It’s an interesting trend, as more families stay in buildings in Manhattan, there are more children and buildings can become communities. I know in our building on the upper west side at 400 Central Park west, we definitely sense that feeling of community. Now that we are expecting our first children, we have so many lovely neighbors and friends who have offer to help us out with walking dogs or taking care of our triplets. It’s a very nice trend.

Have you had any experience with this sense of community in your building?

Read the Full NYT Article

Thinking of buying on Central Park west?

If you are thinking of buying on Central Park west, one of the most classic building to examine would be the Emery Roth designed San Remo. The San Remo located on Central Park west between 74th and 75th street was converted to co-op in 1972 and is 27 stories tall including two 10 stories towers. Residents enjoy 24-hour doormen, state-of-the-art healthclub, community room and a storage room. Some apartments have terraces and there are some duplexes and plenty of pre war charm throughout the residents. Currently, there are 4 apartments available for sale from $5.3 million for a 2bd/2ba to $75 million for Demi Moore’s Penthouse.

Recent sales include apartment 7E which was an estate sale of approximately 4000 square feet that sold for $16 million in July of this year. The asking price for apartment 7E was $15.1 million and it sold about 4 months after it listed for sale. The carrying charges for this apartment were $8510 per month and it had 4bd/4.5 bathrooms.

The two entrances to two lobbies of the San Remo
The two entrances to two lobbies of the San Remo

Silverstein backs off on West side mega tower

Larry Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center, backed off on plans to build perhaps the tallest residential tower in Manhattan at about 1100 feet. The site falls under the Hudson Yards district so it would be have been necessary to build office space as part of the building but the developer was in negotiations with New York City officials to get a variance to build just residential/commercial. The feeling was that the site was closer to Midtown west and it would make more sense as primarily residential. Negotiations were also over the amount of affordable housing that make up part of the building. Apparently, an agreement was reached over the affordable housing component but then Silverstein decided to put the site for sale instead with CBRE.

This makes sense because by the time this property would have gone to the market, it may be too late for the luxury market. Additionally, 40th street and 11th avenue is a location that will probably be more desirable in another 10 years as it becomes more difficult (read impossible) to find sites. This site as a buy/hold would make sense and/or to build rental housing at this time.

Read the full article on Crain’s


Affordable luxury update 53rd and 8th

According to streeteasy, a handful of buildings including the building known as 53rd and 8th, are offering “affordable luxury” condos are only a fraction of what some of buildings are asking for luxury condos. This particular building offers 1 bedrooms of just north of 600 sqft as well as 2bedrooms and even some combination units that total over 2000 square feet. The most expensive listing is under $4 million. This is quite a difference from the usual price of luxury condos which typically start north of $5-6 million.

Since the building was a rental conversion the cost savings is passed on to the buyers. About 26 contracts were signed according to Streeteasy.




NYC Developer changes strategy

Gary Barnett, of Extell, the developer that brought to the market One57 is shifting gears according to Bloomberg. Extell is building a condo on the Lower East side of Manhattan and is launching sales in Asia first and will begin sales here in the US early next year. the prices for One Manhattan Square’s condos will be an un super luxury like $1 million to $3 million. At One57, a recording breaking sale closed this year for just north of $100 million.

Extell is being by smart by bringing to market a project that addresses the underserved needs of the affordable luxury market. Thanks to the fact that the land for One Manhattan Square was purchased in 2012 ahead of the spike in land prices, these apartments are going to tap into a market that is in a major shortage. Do you think that Gary Barnett is ahead of the curve again by turning his company’s attention toward a different market segment?


The Dorilton Upper West side jewel Building profile

The Dorilton at 171 west 71th street on Manhattan’s upper west side is one of the most beautiful buildings in Manhattan. Built in 1902 and designed by Emery Roth, this Beaux Arts prewar co-op features 57 units over 13 floors. The building was maligned in its time for being too ornate. The building features include a 24 hour doorman, laundry in building, roof deck, and basement storage. It sits at the corner of West 71st street and Broadway where you will find Trader Joe’s, The Gap,Coach,Brooks Brothers, Hugo Boss and Gracious Home all within walking distance. Currently, there is some facade work going on.

Availabilities are limited to one duplex that is for sale for $9.2 million and is in contract. Apartments are known for their beamed ceilings and fireplaces.

Facade work going on at The Dorilton
Facade work going on at The Dorilton

Should Morningside Heights be rezoned?

According to DNAInfo, local leaders in CB9 are pushing for a downzoning of Morningside Heights. Concern has grown since both the Upper west side and Harlem have had rezonings to prevent large out of scale towers that are proliferating in many other parts of Midtown especially Midtown. Zoning has not changed in Morningside Heights since 1961.

Should Morningside Heights be rezoned? What’s your opinion?

Read the full article from DNAinfo