Showing posts from March, 2011

$48M Plaza condo buy sets new city record

There's a new record in town. Russian composer Igor Krutoy has closed on the 6,000-square-foot Plaza Hotel condominium he chose last month after an epic search for Manhattan trophy apartments, and according to the Post, he paid $48 million for the 12th-floor pad. That's the priciest single condo ever sold in New York -- and the musician isn't even getting the whole floor in the deal. As the Wall Street Journal reported when the contract was signed, Krutoy and his wife, Olga, had been making offers on all the big-ticket condos in the city -- including the $55 million, two-unit combo at 15 Central Park West and equally stunning listings at the Time Warner Center -- before settling on the Plaza spread, which has views of Central Park but wasn't officially on the market. The couple apparently grew tired of losing out to higher bidders, which is why they were willing to pony up the cash for the 1 Central Park South home, sources told the Post.

Source: Real Deal

Manhattan apartments lure investors

Eight apartment buildings below 96th Street in Manhattan were sold or went into contract this year; investors say borough has "everything going for it." When UDR Inc. agreed to pay $260.8 million for a tower in Manhattan's Financial District, it was not only the borough's biggest apartment sale in almost three years. It was also the company's first foray into New York City. The deal this month by Highlands Ranch, Colo.-based UDR is the latest by a multi-family property investor trying to establish a beachhead in the borough, as apartment demand climbs and rents recover from last year's lows. Several new players are finding opportunity as city mainstays such as Equity Residential, which bought three prime high-rises from developer William Macklowe in 2010, turn their attention to less costly acquisitions outside New York. Manhattan “has everything going for it from a multifamily perspective,” said UDR Chief Financial Officer David Messenger, whose company is …

Condo Conversion in the Cards for Iconic Hotel Chelsea?

Some sexy names have been attached to the possible $90 millionish sale of theHotel Chelsea, including boutique hotel big shots Ian Schrager and Andre Balazs. But today Page Six floats a lesser-known name as the front-runner: David Edelstein, president of Tristar Capital. And though he may not have the name recognition of a Schrager or a Balazs, his plan is certainly going to turn some heads. Sources say Edelstein wants to turn the bohemian landmark into a condo-hotel, adding a mix of apartments in with the hotel rooms. Hey, if the Plaza can condofy the famed Frank Lloyd Wright Suite, can't the Chelsea do the same with the Bob Dylan Room? Page Six also reports that former Chelsea manager Stanley Bard is bowing out of the bidding, probably because his head exploded as soon as he heard the c-word.
· Close on Chelsea [Page Six]
· Hotel Chelsea coverage [Curbed]

Suze "American Dream is Dead" Orman vs. Warren "Buy Now" Buffett: Whose Real Estate Advice Should You Follow?

You know Suze Orman - she delivers hardcore financial gut checks to everyday Americans on a regular basis. In her latest book, The Money Class, she also recently delivered a pretty striking declaration: that the American Dream - which, for many, includes home ownership and upward economic mobility - is as dead as a doornail. To back this up, she points to huge numbers of jobless and what she sees as the near impossibility of getting credit these days.

But you might also have heard of Warren Buffett. He just so happens to be the third richest human being on the planet.  In Buffett'smost recent letterto his company's shareholders, he, too, made a striking declaration of his feelings about owning a home: "[h]ome ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s lower prices and bargain interest rates."  And the Oracle of Omaha didn't stop there - he literally raved about home ownership, saying that "the third best investment I ever made was the p…

Oprah's BFF Gayle King Shows Off Her Manhattan Penthouse

If you can get over the incestuousness of this segment—Oprah bestie Gayle Kinggoing on Oprah designer Nate Berkus's show to talk about her fabulous Manhattan apartment—then you'll be rewarded with a glimpse into the private life of Oprah herself. How so? Because the interior design is in accordance with various Oprah Rules, including no white ceilings. It makes sense that the Queen of All Media would have a say in the place's decor. When the penthouse at East 57th Street'sPlace 57was bought for over $7 million, it was done so in the name of Oprah's deceased cocker spaniel, making some think that Gayle had a little help with the down payment. Check out the clip below for a peek inside, and a look at some pretty darn interesting Harlem-inspired wallpaper

Manhattan McMansions?

Despite love of condo development, buyers prefer their townhouses old, not newMarch 01, 2011 07:00AM Recession notwithstanding, the median sales price of a Manhattan townhouse jumped 13.2 percent between 2009 and 2010, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel. One reason for the jump is that, unlike condos, very few newly built townhouses have been added to the housing stock, according to Jonathan Miller, the president and CEO of Miller Samuel. 

That begs the question of why so many New Yorkers spend millions to painstakingly renovate historic brownstones, rather than just building new houses. After all, many Manhattanites love newly built condos, and modern McMansions have spread like wildfire across the country in recent years. 

Building a house in Manhattan isn't for the faint of heart. "It's easier to build a building in Timbuktu than to renovate a small kitchen in Manhattan," joked Stribling senior vice president Tim Desmond. 

But there's more…