Recent Transactions and Trends

After almost a year of delays, the bike-sharing system has arrived to New York.  Citi Bike is a program where eager cyclists can use bicycles provided by the city for a fee.  Cyclists have the option to pay an annual fee of $95, allowing them to use a bicycle for 45 minutes.  The bicycles must be returned to a bike station before the 45 minutes is up, otherwise more fees will be incurred.  But bicycles can be swapped out for another if cyclists wish to use them for more than 45 minutes.  Otherwise, a 24-hour access pass is available for $9.95 or a seven-day access pass is available for $25.  However, the latter passes only give you 30 minutes of use.

Opponents of the bike-sharing system believe that the bike racks placed throughout the city are obstructing access to buildings or reducing the amount of parking.  Proponents, however, are enthusiastic about the system because residents don’t have to worry about storing a bicycle in their buildings or apartments, which at times is either impossible or expensive.

It remains to be seen how the system will play out, and whether it will actually be a successful program that provides a useful service to cyclists.  This is what the bike looks like:

If you are unhappy about the amount you pay for rent, then this article will only arouse jealousy as well.  A number of tenants in the 12-story East Village building known as Jupiter 21 and located at 21 East 1st Street will be paying $10 a month in rent.  Tenants who are paying market prices, however, are faced with $3,000 to $10,000 a month in rent.  So why do these other tenants get a windfall?


The nine tenants paying $10 a month were entitled to purchase into this building under the New York City Asset Sales Program when the building was up for sale.  These tenants reached out to Donald Capoccia of developer BFC Partners for a collaboration.  Instead of constructing new units on top of the already existing structure, Mr. Capoccia purchased nearby air rights, striking a deal with the current tenants that led to the $10 apartments.


For a brief history of this building and this Lower East Side neighborhood, check out the Wall Street Journal article, which discusses how Jupiter 21 was part of a “moving pictures” theater according to a 1913 permit.  The building has also been the home of many artists.


Williamsburg residents; if you are fans of the HBO hit show “Girls”, you may have the opportunity to be neighbors with the show’s creator, Lena Dunham.  Ms. Dunham reportedly checked out a $4.45 million penthouse apartment in the Gretsch Building in South Williamsburg.  This glamorous three-bedroom pad boasts a giant 1900-square-foot wrap-around terrace with views of Manhattan and the Williamsburg Bridge.  The Gretsch, a 10-story building, is located at 60 Broadway and offers its residents a beautiful rooftop terrace and indoor parking.


More information on the building, the apartment, and Ms. Dunham’s show can be found here.


Source: New York Daily News

The world’s largest indoor ice center is being constructed in the Bronx, New York at the Kingsbridge Armory.  The announcement by Mayor Bloomberg won support by many local officials last year as well as former New York Ranger Mark Messier.  The project is in the beginning stages of the public and environmental review process and hopefully the groundbreaking will take place in late 2014.  The first phase of development will focus on five ice skating rinks and a community space, which will hopefully be complete by September 2018.  The second phase will take an additional year to complete.  The hope is to draw approximately 2 million visitors per year

When all is said and done, this indoor facility will be a 750,000 square foot (not a typo) ice center, with nine indoor regulation size ice skating rinks, useable for hockey national and international hockey tournaments, figure and speed skating competitions, and ice shows.  At least two rinks will be for sled hockey, i.e., hockey for individuals with disabilities.  In addition to the rinks, there will be dressing rooms, lockers, retail space for sports goods, parking for 480 cars, and a wellness center with off-ice training fitness, rehabilitation, sports therapy programs.

Click here to read the details surrounding Mayor Bloomberg’s announcement.

Apparently 1913 was the “baby boomer” year of New York City buildings because this year we have 13 buildings’ centennial birthdays to celebrate.  Here is a list of 100-year-old landmarks along with a picture of each to give you a sense of New York City during a pre-World War I era:

23 Wall Street or “The Corner” is an office building formerly owned by J.P. Morgan & Co. – later the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company – located at the southeast corner of Wall Street and Broad Street, in the heart of the Financial District in Manhattan, New York City.

The Woolworth Building, one of the oldest skyscrapers, and remains, at 57 stories, one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City.

The Times Square Building, formerly known as the New York Times Building, is an 18-story office building where The New York Times newspaper had its headquarters from 1913-2007.

The Shubert Theatre opened with a series of Shakespearean plays, including Othello, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice.  The theatre’s longest tenant was A Chorus Line, which ran for 6,137 performances from 1975 to 1990 and set the record for longest running show in Broadway history.  Later long runs have included Crazy for You (1992–1996), Chicago (1996–2003), Spamalot (2005–2009) and Memphis (2009–2012).

The Booth Theatre is named after 19th-century American actor Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth (Abraham Lincoln’s assassin) and was recently home to the critically acclaimed Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal, originally starring Tony Award winner Alice Ripley and Tony nominees J. Robert Spencer and Jennifer Damiano.

The Longacre Theatre was named for Longacre Square, the original name for Times Square.  Rumors exist surrounding a curse that lingers in this theatre.  Harry Frazee owner of the Red Sox and the man responsible for constructing this theatre needed money for his theatrical venue and sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New York Yankees.

The Cort Theatre’s façade was modeled on the Petit Trianon in Versailles and is one of the few Thomas W. Lamb theaters still extant and functioning as a legitimate theater.

Charles Scribner’s Sons Building was originally designed as the flagship bookstore for Scribner’s Sons publishing. The publishing house distinguished itself as the house of American fiction in the 20th century by publishing the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Edith Wharton, and Thomas Wolfe.  The street-level retail space is now home to Sephora.

Grand Central Terminal is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms.  It has been described as “the world’s loveliest station”.  According to the travel magazine Travel + Leisure in its October 2011 survey, Grand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually.

The World’s Tower Building: Edward Browning constructed this 25-story tower with the interesting idea that he could put a runway for airplanes on the roof so he could arrive and depart in style. Obviously it never happened given this was in 1913. 

Grand Army Plaza (not the one in Brooklyn) lies at the intersection of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue in front of the Plaza Hotel.   It has a fountain and other decorative elements in the Beaux-Arts style popular at the time and got fancied up during a $3.7 million renovation in 1990.

Hamilton Theatre: The stage itself has been dark for years (the building’s interior is, accordingly, beautifully decrepit), but area residents have been buzzing that it’s destined to get turned into a complex of condos while keeping the protected facade and other elements intact.

Royal Castle Apartments (in Brooklyn): The Beaux Arts style was very popular at the time the building was built.  The style was associated with wealth and luxury and considered appropriate for the Royal Castle, erected on one of Brooklyn’s most prestigious residential streets.  The name, too, was chosen to convey an image of luxury and social standing.

Click here for more information about this story.

Remember a time when New Yorkers who were priced-out of apartments in Manhattan were forced to look at neighborhoods across the East River in Brooklyn?  Well, chances are, potential tenants are priced-out of those Brooklyn neighborhoods today.  Many potential Brooklynites who cannot afford neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Park Slope are looking at areas such as Sunset Park, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. 


Pros and cons of living in latter-type neighborhoods?  Many potential tenants like the old Brooklyn vibe of these up-and-coming areas.  There is a sense of community, friendliness of the neighbors and the mom-and-pop shops.  Of course, the downside is that many of these areas are not fully developed yet and are oftentimes a substantially longer commute into Manhattan.  Nonetheless, although these up-and-coming areas are not completely developed, housing prices deeper insider Brooklyn are competing with real estate in solidly middle-class areas of Westchester, Long Island, and northern New Jersey.  It remains to be seen how the cost of living in these Brooklyn neighborhoods develops, and the extent in which real estate developers invest in these areas.


Click here to read specifics about certain Brooklyn neighborhoods.


Source: New York Times

Interested in knowing where the next “hot” office area is?  Surprisingly, it is the Garment District in New York.  According to commercial property executives, the Garment District will be the “next hot area where office rents will skyrocket.”  The survey was done by Marks Paneth & Shron’s Gotham Real Estate Monitor, which polled more than 100 top New York commercial real estate owners, managers, brokers, agents, and other professionals in commercial property.  These professionals speculate that there will be more upscale restaurants and retailers popping-up in the Garment District in the near future.  According to a number of commercial property executives, the next greatest number of an increase in office rents will likely be the Grand Central area (17%), followed by Hell’s Kitchen/Far West Side (15%) and downtown Brooklyn (12%). 


The Garment District is also known as the Garment Center, the Fashion District, or the Fashion Center.  The neighborhood lies between Fifth and Ninth Avenue from 34th to 42nd Street.  The Garment District has been known since the early 20th century as the center for fashion manufacturing and fashion design in the United States, and even the world.


See full story here.


Source Market Watch


NY2 is showing this exclusive three-bedroom listing located in Astoria, on Ditmars Boulevard and 36th Street.  This brand-new apartment has been gutted and renovated and is available now.  The unit is one floor up from the ground floor and offers a washer/dryer as well as a beautiful kitchen with granite counter-tops.  The master bedroom boasts French doors and the apartment is located three blocks from the N and Q trains.


Give NY2 a call or email us if you want to check out this apartment.


NY2 wants to offer you a great deal in Murray Hill, on 39th Street between Third Avenue and Lexington Avenue.  This two-bedroom, 750 square-foot apartment is available immediately.  One floor walk-up with windowed kitchens and bathroom.  Gorgeous hard-wood floor and ample closet space.  Importantly, this apartment is three blocks away from Grand Central Station, where you can catch the 4,5,6, and 7 trains.  Bryant Park is a five minute walk and you can catch the B, D, F, and M.  This apartment is in a central location and will make your life much easier.  How much – $2,500.  Heat and hot water included.  Call us or send us an email if you are interested.

Check out New York Squared’s most recent listing, located in 111 Fulton Street, in the Financial District.  This alcove studio is 750 square-feet and located in a full-service building.  The apartment is massive, with a separate sleeping alcove, large enough for a king-sized bed.  The building has the following amenities: bike room; concierge; doorman; elevator; full-service gym; live-in super; swimming pool; and storage space.  The apartment has state-of-the-art appliances including a dishwasher, and washer/dryer.  Finally, the roof deck is to die for.

Click here to take a tour of the building.


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