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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

buy on the dip near Wall Street

download a fact sheet

We've reduced the price on this great mini-loft at the South Star condominium at 80 John Street in the Financial District. On Wall Street, buying stock on the dip is when you get the most bang for the buck— here's a buying opportunity near Wall Street that solid fundamentals too. Now for $699,000 you'll get a triple mint, mini-loft, with a private roof terrace, high ceilings, appliances by Bosch & Sub-zero, good light; and all in a doorman building. This is a resale so the seller will be paying the transfer taxes too. Download a fact sheet and get the full details and upcoming open house info here.

download a fact sheet (168 kb .pdf)
see this listing

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Economic Stimulus Package:
Will It Work, and for Whom?

Here's a new post from our friends at the Wharton School of Business about the recently announced economic stimulus package. I'll be getting back to regular postings as soon as a few deals I'm working on wind down. NewsReal will continue to be updated with my bookmarks about real estate as I read 'em.

Congress and the White House recently settled on an economic stimulus package with unusual speed, pushing the throttle to pull the economy out of a nosedive. Is this just election-year grandstanding, or does economic stimulus really work? And if it can work, what works best?

While some experts argue that priming the economy now is unnecessary, ill-timed or even counter-productive, those who support the concept applaud the design of the recently approved $168 billion package, centered on rebates of $600 to $1,200 for more than 130 million households. "They have moved remarkably quickly, so maybe this time it will, in fact, be well-timed," says Nicholas S. Souleles, finance professor at Wharton. Souleles conducted a study titled, "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," that found a 2001 stimulus package did indeed help the economy recover from recession.


Saturday, February 9, 2008

video: foreign buyers in Manhattan

blogs and web sitesI've been away from the keyboards this week, working with foreign investors looking for a building. It's the kind of work that takes a bit more shoe leather than condo sales, so my time has been stretched a bit thin. My assessment of the market right now is that despite the uncertainty about the economy, it has once again heated up in Manhattan. People are looking at the long term strength of New York City and deciding that this is where they want to be. The recent tic down in interest rates didn't hurt either. Investment quality buildings in the five to twenty million dollar price range are few and far between. Amidst the running, I did manage to post some recent articles this week to NewsReal, and came across a video Web log site that covers NYC Real Estate called IntoThe, which posted the piece featured here on the strength of the Euro and how it's influencing real property sales in New York City. I'm curious to know what our readers think of the work on this site. I commented on foreign investment a couple of weeks ago when The Corcoran Report was released.

The ability to diversify into Manhattan property is something which Europeans, Asians and Middle Easterners are finding very attractive; but the deals have to work on their own merits too. The discount to the dollar is substantial, but the return is in dollars too, so the risk assessment to be made can be complex. With the dollar trading uncommonly low against foreign currencies it gives them an extra margin of comfort in their decisions. In condos, some are buying pied-a-terres for themselves, which is an easier decision based on need; while others are making traditional property investments and are seeking a return by appreciation over time, or by development. The understanding of the marketplace that a local broker can bring, and an attorney who can navigate our document heavy legal system, can be can critical to making successful acquisitions.

Updated 02.11.2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Four Seasons condo tower adds to the downtown skyline

the downtown skyline of 2011
lower manhattan skyline renderings by dbox

tribecaThe tallest residential tower to be built downtown, will be at 99 Church Street at the crossroads of Tribeca and the Financial District. Developer Larry Silverstein announced that the property would be operated by luxury hotelier The Four Seasons as their second New York City location, just at the edge of the World Trade center site. With the exception of the Ritz-Carlton at the Battery, Lower Manhattan lacks this level of accommodation. The Four Seasons' midtown branch is the priciest and arguably the best, in Manhattan today. Robert A. M. Stern Architects are responsible for the design. Mr. Stern's 15 Central Park West has recently sold to record setting sales figures, a fact Mr. Silverstein did not miss in his address. For this downtown project, he's given us another limestone clad building, but this one rises 80 stories with a tall, slender profile, and one would imagine, commanding views of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey and the NY Harbor.

"I never dreamed that I'd build something right next to The Woolworth Building and taller than it too"
—Robert A.M. Stern, Architect

Architect Robert A.M. Stern and WTC developer Larry Silverstein overlooking a model of lower ManhattanMuch of the northern facade from it will look over low rise neighborhoods up toward Midtown's skyscrapers. It's in close proximity to Cass Gilbert's historic Woolworth building, and becomes a skyline element, referencing the older stone buildings of the financial district and bridging them with the glass curtain wall towers of the World Trade Center site. Surely a delicate position contextually for any architect to work in. Mr. Stern remarked after the talk that "I never dreamed that I'd build something right next to The Woolworth Building and taller than it too"

Built on the site of the 11 story former home of Moody's (now tenants at Silverstein's 7 World Trade Tower) the lower half of the building will house a 175 room Four Seasons Hotel with the remainder dedicated to 143 private condominium residences of up to 6500 square feet, with hotel services. It was further described as a limestone and cast stone tower that rises to a dramatic skyline profile of full-floor penthouses and setback terraces. The Hotel entrance on Barclay Street leads visitors into four floors of lobbies, lounges, restaurant, ballrooms, and meeting facilities, as well as a spa, fitness center and pool. A second entrance to the restaurant is on Church Street. The public rooms of the Hotel face a through-block landscaped public plaza framed by a lower annex building that conceals building services and access to below-grade parking. A separate entrance and lobby at 30 Park Place serves the Residences. Amenities for the private residents are located between the Hotel and Residences and include a 75-ft heated indoor pool, fitness center, lounge area, and children’s room. The project is also a green, LEED certified, sustainable development. Corcoran-Sunshine marketing will be the agency for the condominium residences when offered.

four seasons condoAs a Tribeca resident I think that this is an appropriately sited and conceived property. While it is extremely large at 694,000 square feet, it has an elegant feel that is actually adding to the visual complexity that is emerging in the downtown skyline of 2011, when both it and the World Trade Center Memorial will be completed. It promises a decidedly up-market feeling to a somewhat dowdy part of the city and has the scale to be a major influence. It is not in the Tribeca Historic District, but close enough to bring patronage to the smaller boutique businesses here. In my opinion it should help expand the revitalization of the area of the proposed South Tribeca Historic District, below chambers and west of Broadway. It may well cause appreciation in values for nearby commercial and residential property. Would love to hear what our readers think of the design and their impact on the neighborhood.

Lobby and building plans continued after the jump.


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