What happens when the sponsor turns over control to the Condo?

When a sponsor sells a condo, at some point they turn over control of the condo to the owners. According to Cooperator, it must happens in 5 years maximum or when 50% of the apartments are sold.

From there, the owners have to be ready to take the baton. In the article, the writer goes through the steps necessary to be ready. Among them, a team of advisers needs to be in place including lawyers, accountants and engineers. The owners must make sure that the sponsor has lived up to their requirements as laid forth in the offering plan.

There are buildings that I know of that have had facade or construction defects only a few years after they were built. Perhaps they did or did not consult with an engineer when taking control from the developer. Also, the wording in the offering plan is to protect the sponsor and not necessarily the condo going forward so a legal review of the offering plan may be necessary.

Thinking of buying in Lincoln Square?

Now with the warm weather upon us, Manhattanites are looking for anywhere that they can to find refuge from the heat. One such place is Columbus Circle and the shops at Time Warner Center in the background.  The area is officially known as Lincoln Square and is very conveniently close to Midtown, shopping, many subway lines, Lincoln Center and of course Central Park.

The Time Warner Center which was completed in 2004 by the Related Company has two 80 story towers which houses condos, office and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Currently, there are 10 apartments for sale in the Time Warner Center ranging from $5 million for 2bd/2.5ba 1433 sqft(133m2) apartment to $24.75 million for a 3bd/3.5 ba 3491 sqft(324m2) 70th floor offering. The shops at Time Warner feature high end retail.

Thinking of buying a Condop?

There are about 300 or so buildings in NYC that are condop but many people get confused as to what it actually is. Typically, it’s a residential co-op on top of retail where the retail is a condo. Read Brownstoner’s more detailed explanation to find out what exactly they are and where most of them are.


Extell’s Central Park Tower seeking EB-5 financing

Due to the present credit crunch and slowdown of the Manhattan luxury real estate market, developers are finding it difficult to gain financing for their projects. Extell, the developer of One57 at 157 W 57th street, is working on what would be the tallest residential tower yet. At a cost of approximately $2 billion, Extell has already started construction on the lower floors but does not yet have the funds for the upper floors. So they are turning to the EB-5 visa program which allows a foreign national to invest $500,000 to $1million in exchange for a green card. This program is capped at 10,000 visas per year and is very popular with the Chinese. Many feel that the EB-5 program is being used contrary to it’s intent which was to spur construction and create jobs in poorer areas.  The Central Park Tower will have a Nordstrom on the lower floors.


WSJ coverage

Thinking of buying a family sized apartment on the Upper west side?

Are you looking for a good value on Manhattan’s upper west side under $5 million? As always the further you go downtown the pricer it gets. You can buy a 1000 sqft(93m2) 1 bedroom for just over $5mm in 15 Central Park west, the Zeckendorf Developed building that started the luxury boom. However, it might be hard to squeeze two children into a 1 bedroom so let’s look at where you can get the most size and value for your money. Several buildings come to mind. In this search let’s rule out any buildings where the monthlies run more than $3 per square foot. We will also take a look at only pet friendly buildings that have a concierge or Doorman. After all, you are not going to leave the family pooch behind and who will sign for all of the Amazon deliveries.  Let’s take a closer look.

11 Riverside drive aka The Schwab house(co-op) whic h  is between 73rd and 74th street has a total of 636 units spread over 19 floors. Yet, there are only 5 apartments for sale. It is usually a good indication when few units are for sale.  You can find a 3 bedroom/3bathroom  listed for sale for under $3 million. Monthlies are only about $2 per sqft total which is reasonable. Location is excellent of course as you are close to Riverside Park, express subway, Fairway(if it stays in business) as well as Lincoln Center. Positives-Roof deck and location.

Lincoln Towers co-op aka 140,150,160,165,170,180,185,205 West end avenue is spread over several buildings between 66th to 70th street from Amsterdam avenue to Riverside boulevard. One 5 bedroom/4.5 bathroom is available here for $3.75 million with the monthly charges being $6,011. A 4 bedroom is also being offered for sale in the pet friendly building with a full time doorman for $3.5 million. This development deserves a visit and since it’s large perhaps you can find some larger units that were put together and now being offered for sale. Positives- Location, greenery, proximity to all of the same amenities as neighboring Schwab house.

221 West 77th street(condo) is a ground up construction by the Naftali Group and is a follow up to their successful 210 W 77th street. 26 units on 18 floors and 10 are already in contract. For around $5 million, there are two apartments to choose from- one is a 3bd/3.5ba 2048 sqft(190m2) and the 2nd is a 2bd/2.5ba 1735 sqft(161m2) offering. They are asking $4.925 and $4.05 million respectively. Monthly charges average $2.30 per sqft. Obviously, this is a much higher price point at $2400 or so per square foot up to $3000 per sqft on the higher floors in the building. For the higher price, you get a more central location, and an impressive amenity package including a basketball court, a fitness center, a paneled library with pool table and a roof deck with gas fire pit.

1 West end avenue (condo) is a new construction building that offers 8 listings under $5 million with at least 2 bedrooms. Perhaps this is the building where you will find the most value. For just over $5 million one apartment which features West and and northern exposures offers 2748 sqft (255m2) with 3bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Monthly are only slightly more than $1 per square foot thanks to a tax abatement of 20 years! This gives an owner or investor a chance to purchase and sell well before the taxes go up. Appreciation has been very strong in the surrounding buildings in the last few years. Thanks to the tax abatement and finishes and development team this might be the best place to invest your capital or make your home.

Certainly, there are lots of other buildings where $5mm can go even further and even a lower price point as well. I believe this is where an experience real estate broker can help to give you guidance in assessing value, and understanding the dichotomy that is the Manhattan real estate market. Depending on your own personal situation, it may or may not be the right time to buy right now and a seasoned professional can help you to determine where you can find the best combination of value and amenities that you desire in your Manhattan apartment.



Take a visit to Central Park’s secret garden

Central Park’s secret garden aka the Conservatory Garden is often overlooked by many people but is one of the most beautiful treasures of the park. Take a quiet break underneath the pergola or one of the benches that provide shade underneath a canopy of trees. Take a look at these photos to get a peek inside. You can enter the Conservatory Garden on the East side on 5th avenue between 104-105th street or in the park at one of the two entrances just inside the park.




400 Central Park west high floor with southern Park views enters the market

Apartment 11k in 400 Central Park west has entered the market. The apartment features a galley kitchen, dining area, expanded bathroom, 5 closets plus a wall of built-in closets and a 19' terrace with magazine worthy views of Central Park. Click to read more and see interior photos. 

Continue reading 400 Central Park west high floor with southern Park views enters the market

Amsterdam bike lane on Upper west side open

Manhattan’s upper west side has a new protected bike lane which starts from around the Beacon Theatre at the beginning of Amsterdam avenue and continues up through the upper west side. When I rode it the other day the lane was not entirely painted green yet but works fine just the same. This coincides with Citi Bike’s expansion to 110th street and the Upper east and Upper west side.



25 CPW- The Century building profile

One of the most iconic buildings on Central Park west, The Century was built in 1932 and declared a landmark by the LPC in 1985. The Art Deco condo contains about 350 units spread over 32 stories. Currently, prices range from $995,000 for a 1 bedroom to $3.695 million for a 2bd/2ba of 1700 sqft(158m2). Rentals are also available in the Lincoln Square, pet friendly, building from $2850 for a studio to $15,750 for a 2bd,2.5ba 1815 sqft(169m2). The Century is located between 62-63rd street on Central Park west in Manhattan’s Lincoln Square area.

Prices are around $2000 per square foot and monthly charges run around $2.25 per sqft which seems very reasonable especially given it’s neighbor just to the south 15 CPW, the Robert A.M. Stern building that created the luxury boom with it’s sellout of over $1 billion.  If you are thinking of buying in 15 CPW, expect to shell out about 3-5 times the price of apartment in The Century condo.

25 CPW