Thinking of selling your Harlem SRO?

SROs or single room occupancies have a wide range of value in Harlem.  SROs are typically set up as rooming houses where there might be several rooms per floor with a common bathroom or kitchen. The most valuable SRO will have a certificate of no harassment and be delivered vacant. The least valuable will have non-paying tenants and be delivered without the CONH. What is a CONH and why would having it add at least $100k to the value of your SRO?

A CONH is granted after an investigation or look back by NYC’s Housing Preservation and Development of approximately 3 years. They are looking at your history of tenants to see if any tenants were forced out or harassed. Some of the questions on the application ask if you have had a discontinuation of service like heat, hot water or electricity, a potential sign that the tenants might have left due to poor living conditions. It takes approximately 7 months according to reps at HPD to get a CONH assuming the application is in order. You can have an experienced lawyer do this for you and they will charge $3k-$5k depending on how complicated the case is. So if you have some advance notice you might want to apply for this prior to putting your house on the market. If you are a DIY’er then you can fill in the application yourself and can visit the HPD during the week between 9-11am with your walk in questions. Make sure your property is registered with HPD. The CONH is valuable because the purchaser of your property will not be granted building permits to alter the SRO without a CONH. Also, while it may be difficult for you to come up with the names of all the tenants who lived in the property, it is impossible for the buyer so in some cases they may even just decide to sit on the house for 3 years before applying for the CONH. For that, they will expect a severe discount.

Certificate of no harassment application

As you are arranging your future plans to sell, you will want to maintain an excellent relationship with your tenants so they vouch for you if contacted by the City. Also, if they are not a rent stabilized tenant then you might not want to renew their lease which will give you the option to ask them to vacate with a 30 day notice. If you can get by without the income, vacating the house just prior to listing will make it easier to show and sell, but certainly ethically empty out the house prior to closing. If the tenants are rent stabilized then you may need to offer them a buyout or leave that up to the next purchaser. If you must deliver the house occupied make sure that your tenants are current. A building full of non-paying tenants will be only taken on by investors if the price is very low.

As this sale is a complicated one, you will need a team to insure the most lucrative sale including an experienced and knowledgeable real estate broker, a real estate attorney plus perhaps even an architect or expediter. Even though it may seems like a burdensome effort, it will be worth it in the end especially if you know that you have lead time. If you have even only a few months before you will sell, it makes a lot of sense to plan ahead and get a CONH and get the house vacant for closing.

The Secret Garden on the Upper East side

Is the Secret Garden aka the Conservatory Garden on 5th ave and 103rd street the best place to see the Fall colors? It’s definitely worth a visit and now is the time to go. You can enter the garden through 5th avenue or inside the park as well.



Upper West side school rezoning approved

The rezoning of several schools within Manhattan’s Upper West side district 3 has been approved. The contentious debate lasted over 1 year.  Proponents of the plan say that it will integrate the school system and alleviate over crowding. PS 452 will move 16 blocks south to a large facility and PS 191 will get a new building as part of the Riverside Center complex. It will be in the base of the luxury rental building at 61st street and west end avenue known as 21 West end avenue. The school will also start a gift and talented program for 3rd grade and up.

Some of the buildings including part of the Lincoln Towers complex will no longer be zoned for the coveted, yet crowded PS 199 but will now be zoned for PS 191 in it’s shiny new digs.

Opponents of the plan feel that the effect of the rezone was not studied enough and believe it will not alleviate over crowding and integrate the schools.

The rezoning will take effect in September 2017. Children that are already in the schools will not be moved and their siblings will be grandfathered in.


Read the WSJ coverage of the District 3 school rezone

400 Central Park west apt 11K Sold and closed

A high floor, 1 bedroom/1bath condo in 400 Central Park west has been sold. The asking price was $1,375,000 for the south facing apartment with the 18′ terrace and views of the park.

The building features a 24 hour concierge, live-in-super, on-site management, gym, laundry, children’s playroom, storage and parking(wait list).

The property was sold at the asking price.


French Preschool coming to West 97th street

Les Petits Sourires will be opening a location on Manhattan’s upper west side at 120 W 97th street. The school will serve only 20 students with 5 teachers. The programming will be from 7:30am to 6pm with half of the day being in French. Pricing is $2,399 per month for the full day program. There will be options for half days etc…

Information sessions will be held on Thursdays 5 to 7pm in December according to DNAInfo.

Riverside Center Upper west side now Waterline Square

Three of the biggest starchitects will be designing the three remaining buildings coming to the Riverside Center development. Richard Meier and Partners Architects, Rafael Viñoly Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates will all be designing buildings that will have the name 1,2 and 3 Waterline Square.  The three condos will have condos on top and rentals on the bottom and will have a 20 year tax abatement. The development is between 59th and 61st street, the Hudson River and Freedom Place. They will connect via a park to 1 West end avenue, the amenities rich Silverstein and Elad collaboration that is selling very well. 21 West end avenue is right next door and is a rental building with 616 units and will be the new home of PS 191 if the Upper west side school rezone goes through later this month.

It will be interesting to see the pricing of the new condos since the sales have gone well at 1 WEA and One Riverside Park sold out very quickly as well. If I was guessing, I would say around $2500 per sqft and up given the market conditions and location. Completion is set for 2018.

More Waterline square coverage here from CurbedNY

One Manhattan Square Extell’s latest

One Manhattan Square, Extell’s new ground construction at 252 South street began selling last year in Asia first and according to the developer 80 units are already in contract. There will be 815 units with approximately 700 of them being either 1 bedroom or 2 bedrooms. The 823 foot tall tower will be full of amenities including a full size indoor basketball court. Gary Barnett, of Extell, grew up in the neighborhood and acknowledges the neighborhood has come a long way. This building is aimed squarely at the affordable luxury market. Prices start at around $1600 per square foot.

There are 7 seven listings on streeteasy and 2 of those are in contract. These days developers are keeping information on sales very guarded.

Upper west side buildings to drop Trump name

140,160 and 180 Riverside boulevard are going to be dropping the Trump name as a result of a 600 person petition that was signed. Equity Residential is the owner for these 3 buildings which will soon just be known by their street addresses.

Read the post on Crains

Thinking of buying a 3 bedroom on the Upper west side?

With more families than ever looking to stay in Manhattan instead of relocating to the suburbs, family size apartments are in demand. Despite the luxury market being glutted, prices have not substantially come down in Manhattan’s real estate market as a whole. Assuming you do not want to subject your entire financial history to the scrutiny of a co-op board, your first choice is probably going to be a condo. A quick search on streeteasy finds only nine 3 bedroom and 3 bathroom condos on the upper west under $4 mm. Between $4-5mm, you have another 11 listings to look at including a couple in newly constructed buildings.

Compare that with co-ops, there are 18 co-ops for sale under $4 million with at least 3 bdrm/3baths and another 7 offered between $4 million and $5 million.

So altogether on the Upper west side under $ 5 million you would 45 apartments to choose from which is not many.

Central Park tennis courts closing for the season soon

On Manhattan’s upper west side, the oasis well known to the tennis fanatic as the Central Park tennis center, is set to close November 20th. But wait…There is talk of an extension. Stay tuned or just check in with the tennis center to see if in fact you only have 11 more days to play outside on one of the 26 Har tru tennis courts mid park at 94th street.