Real Estate News from December 2011

  • 15 Central Park West Apartment Sets Records at $88 Million By Frances Gonzalez | December 21, 2011

    The apartments at 15 Central Park West are famed for their prized spaciousness and their history of housing some of Manhattan's wealthiest residents. A new construction condo building designed to recall pre-war flapper luxury, 15 CPW's apartments are renowned for their close proximity to Central Park, classical style, and amenities that range from a 75-foot-long private swimming pool and screening room to a stocked library and elegant motor court with copper-roofed pavilion. Those who choose to buy condos at 15 CPW typically top the lists of both Manhattan's more elite homeowners and also the more private; while the post-war condo rarely houses showboating celebrities, the net worth of the residents of 15 Central Park West is rumored to top $50 billion. And now the famous NYC apartment building has secured a deal for the record books. Ekaterina Rybolovleva, the 22-year-old daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitriy Rybolovlev, has signed on to buy a condominium at 15 Central Park West for a staggering $88 million.

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  • United Nations Residential Building in Progress By Justin Spees | December 21, 2011

    The United Nations in Midtown East is a premier Manhattan tourist destination and a defining symbol of the Big Apple’s global significance, but one question most people don’t ask themselves is “where do all those diplomats live?” Luxury apartments, definitely, but where? Zeckendorf Development, a New York development firm, has finalized plans with the community board to build a 44-story residential tower across from the UN building that will house diplomats. The development plan has been stalled for ages, but the agreement was finalized recently, and Zeckendorf plans to start construction at the end of next year.

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  • Occupy Wall Street vs. Trinity Church By Justin Spees | December 20, 2011

    Ever since Occupy Wall Street was evicted last month, the movement has been in recession. Shortly after, Occupy movements in other cities were shut down. The Occupy Our Homes movement did little to rejuvenate the movement, and while the Occupy media team insisted the intellectual goal was steadfast, Zucotti Park stayed empty. The movement knows it needs a new location, so on December 10th it began appealing to Trinity Church to allow them to occupy its adjacent park in Soho, between Canal and Grand Street and Varick Street and Sixth Avenue.

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  • Zone Green Takes Aim at NYC's Zoning Laws By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 20, 2011

    In 1961, very few people were concerned about the environment, to say the least. That was the year that New York City’s notoriously strict zoning laws were established, and, remarkably, they are still in place today. One of the unforeseen consequences of those laws is that they are now acting as inhibitors to building green-features on new buildings, or even to retrofitting older buildings to meet greener standards. In response to these impediments, the City Planning Commission, led by Chair Amanda Burden, proposed a series of rule changes to the city’s zoning laws, dubbed “Zone Green,” in order to make them more environmentally friendly, and in doing so they are hoping to establish the first comprehensive, citywide effort to make buildings energy efficient.

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  • Cornell Wins Bid to Build Roosevelt Island Campus By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 19, 2011

    After 2 months of reviewing proposals from various universities to build a science and engineering school on Roosevelt Island, Mayor Bloomberg announced today that Cornell University has won the competition. This came to no one’s surprise after Stanford University withdrew their proposal 3 days ago; the 2 schools were widely considered to be the only ones under serious consideration, although Columbia University and NYU were also in the running. An anonymous donor gave $350 million towards Cornell’s bid to help build the campus, greatly enhancing the credibility of their bid.

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  • The NYCEDC is Taking Light Show Requests By Justin Spees | December 19, 2011

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  • The Upper West Side Just Got A Little Smarter By Justin Spees | December 16, 2011

    We’ve written before about the Riverside Center complex, the sprawling residential development that has plans to open in the Upper West Side by September 2015. The massive, five-building project will include, in addition to 2,500 residences, a movie theater, an auto showroom, office space, and a 1,500-space parking garage.

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  • World Financial Center Hits Roadblock By Justin Spees | December 15, 2011

    The world of Manhattan real estate has known for months that the law firm Milbank Tweed, Hadley & McCoy LLP has been in talks with Brookfield Office Properties about leasing 300,000 square feet of space inside the World Financial Center after its current contract runs out. The law firm currently rents office space from JP Morgan Chase at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, and its lease agreement is about to expire.

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  • Condo in Central Park South Doubles in Price By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 14, 2011

    The high-end of Manhattan’s real estate market continues to exceed expectations. Who would’ve guessed that a luxury condo in Central Park South that sold for $4.1 million in 2005 would now be on the market for $8.3 million? Arca Advisors bought 69A in The Park Imperial on 56th Street six years ago, and after renovating it they’ve found that it has doubled in value. If you want to know why 69A is so valuable, the reason is pretty clear: there are barely any high-end Manhattan properties available in Central Park South. The Real Deal quoted a source familiar with the transaction as saying, "The renovation is partly influencing the price, but there's also nothing left on the market. If you have an $8 million buyer who wants a view of the park, there's nothing to show them."

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  • Harlem's Restaurant Scene On the Rise By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 13, 2011

    If you want to find some of the best dining in Manhattan, look no further than Fredrick Douglass Boulevard in Central Harlem. In the past 3 years, over a dozen new restaurants have opened between 110th and 125th Street in Central Harlem, including Red Rooster, 5 & Diamond, and Bier International. This wave of new restaurants is challenging the perception that Harlem is a ‘fringe’ area in the restaurant world. In a way, this was inevitable; opening a restaurant in Harlem is a cheap, safe investment for restaurateurs competing a volatile, crowded Manhattan restaurant scene. Consequently, Harlem has drawn in many restaurateurs who previously wouldn’t have thought about opening up shop in the area.

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