Real Estate News from September 2011

  • Unprecedented Farm Rises in Murray Hill By Daniel Muhlenberg | September 20, 2011

    Manhattan is known for lots of things, but farming is definitely not one of them, unless you’re talking about the nineteenth century. So it’s rather surprising to learn that there is a fully functional farm on the end of East 29th Street. Riverpark Farm, located at 430 East 29th Street in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood, provides a breath of fresh air (literally) in a city in need of new green spaces. An alliance between Riverpark restaurant and the Alexandria Center for Life Science - New York City built the farm on a stalled construction site that temporarily lost its financing, so Riverpark Farm sits on the lot that will become the Alexandria Center’s West Tower. It will eventually move to a different part of the Alexandria Center, but it looks like it’s here to stay, which is encouraging because it is a powerful example of innovation emerging from adversity.

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  • West Chelsea: A Zoning Success By Phil Ryan | September 20, 2011

    In 2005, the New York City Department of Planning, correctly anticipating the demand that the then-decaying High Line would bring when renovated, as well as with the desire to regenerate a relatively unique section of Manhattan, undertook an intensive re-zoning of the area roughly bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from 16th to 30th Streets. Despite such a small area, the influence of the High Line, which runs directly through West Chelsea, and the trendiness of the neighborhood have made the re-zoning a wild success; West Chelsea is one of the fastest-developing parts of Manhattan.

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  • The Empire State Building Adds a New Color: Green By Adam Rothstein | September 16, 2011

    Manhattanites have long enjoyed the splendor of the Empire State Building, especially at night when it is lit up in a fashion befitting the city that never sleeps. By officially going “green”, this historic NYC landmark has now added a new color to its repertoire. With a series of renovations, totaling roughly $106 million, the Empire State Building, as reported in Crain’s New York, has officially been awarded with a highly coveted LEED Gold rating. Though unto itself this is an interesting development, the implications are perhaps even more important. With such an historic building, one that is over 80 years old, it could be the beginning of a new trend in which other older buildings follow suit.

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  • FiDi: Real Estate Development Continues to Rise By Kimberly Milner | September 15, 2011

    Crossing the milestone of the tenth anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the city collectively seemed to release breath. After ten years a lot has happened; murkiness has settled in the national political and economic stage. But New York City has always been a stage of its own. With the unveiled memorial drawing eyes back to downtown Manhattan, resilience was the word in the air. According to the Alliance of Downtown New York, a site devoted to reporting the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, thirteen million square feet of office space was destroyed in the WTC attacks, and 16,000 jobs lost south of Chambers. But Lower Manhattan is striding ahead with developments, and is reinvigorated with a new sense of community. Lower Manhattan’s more competitive luxury real estate market has seen spikes, and a particularly educated, family-oriented new community is becoming as prominent as downtown’s studded beasts of finance.

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  • Mine + Yours: Combining Two Apartments Into One By Adam Rothstein | September 12, 2011

    Here’s an idea: why not combine your luxury apartment with your next door neighbor’s, and make a tidy profit on both? This sentiment applies to a new trend, in which luxury apartment owners are opting to combine their apartments with those next door, literally breaking down the barriers that separate their homes, in order to create one “super” apartment. The reason? Bigger apartments translate into higher asking prices. This is especially true within NYC luxury condominiums and co-ops, because the general rule of thumb states that, unlike other places in the U.S., larger spaces command more money per square foot.

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  • NYC Condo Trends: The Condo Conversion and the Mega-Condo By Kimberly Milner | September 08, 2011

    Rethink glass condo towers shooting from the ground. For the next few years, a condo boom isn’t exactly in store. With tight financing on mega-projects, developers must display Manhattan business savvy to compete in the NYC condo market of booms and falls. So instead of another article to predict cycles, let’s look at the market and new tactics developers are employing. What are the numbers really in the pipeline for 2011 condo plans and, more importantly, what will they look like? As conversions and boutique buildings become reinvigorated elements of the market, the buzzword on the real estate scene (because after all, this is New York City) is diversity.

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  • Historically Low Mortgage Rates Abound By Adam Rothstein | September 07, 2011

    According to experts, today is the best day to buy New York City luxury apartments. With mortgage rates at historic lows, now might be the prime time to take advantage of these decreased interest rates. Not only is home-ownership a solid investment in that properties theoretically appreciate in value, but buying a Manhattan condominium is a bargain in our current financial climate. Whether it is a 30 or 15 year fixed rate, national mortgage rates are all decreasing, sometimes significantly from week to week. Interest rates are almost the lowest they have ever been, and if you can afford it, today may be the best time to buy Manhattan luxury real estate.

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  • Second Avenue Subway: Great for First Avenue By Adam Rothstein | September 06, 2011

    Due to the long-running construction of the much anticipated Second Avenue subway line, which will run from 125th Street to the Financial District upon completion, Manhattan’s East Side is slated for upcoming changes -- many of which we at Elegran won’t be able to predict in advance. However, there is one noticeable change already underway. As explained by the Wall Street Journal, this transformation can best be seen along First and Second Avenues. Traditionally, Second Avenue has been the more popular street of the two, with a variety of restaurant and nightlife options, while First Avenue had consisted mainly of bodegas and nail salons. But as a result of the disturbance caused by the Second Avenue subway construction, there is a a visible change taking place, with First Avenue poised to benefit the most from the messy construction.

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  • Hudson Yards Part 2: The Result By Phil Ryan | September 06, 2011

    In Part 1 of this exclusive Elegran series on the Hudson Yards development, we analyzed the details of Manhattan’s largest real estate and development undertaking. In the 33 acres of re-zoning and re-development that constitute the Hudson Yards, the Department of City Planning expects that up to 12,600 new units of housing will be available, encouraging both current and prospective residents to stay in Manhattan and accommodate new growth in a sustainable and efficient manner. But how will this change the way we view luxury real estate in New York City?

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  • Hudson Yards Part 1: An Overview By Phil Ryan | September 01, 2011

    The Hudson Yards, one of the signature development projects in the works for Manhattan, is a vast undertaking, requiring the coordination of a multitude of city organizations. Upon completion, the Hudson Yards’ numerous skyscrapers are expected to contain thousands of residential units, millions of square feet of retail and office space, and copious amounts of waterfront and green space. The Hudson Yards can only be described as massive, covering a 33-square-acre area that was extensively re-zoned in 2005. But what are the Hudson Yards, especially since so little of the project has even hit the groundbreaking phase?

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