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Preview: Real Estate+ :: The New York Sun

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Real Estate+ :: Stories from The New York Sun



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Commissioned Artworks Make This Home More Valuable Than Money

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When Leonard Rosenberg and Colombe Nicholas's second child was born, the couple launched a new family tradition: Rather than having traditional family photos taken, they commissioned some of the best-known artists of the 20th and 21st centuries to create portraits of their son, Ian, now 17, and daughter, Morgan, now 21."We wanted to instill in the kids a love of art," Ms. Nicholas said. "You can always hand money down to your children, but we thought this was something really special to give...



Wall St. Woes Give Rise to Talk of 'Black September'

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

As layoffs begin on Wall Street as well in the professional service industries, the real estate industry is bracing for a wave of office space to hit the market, followed by a precipitous fall in rental rates and a surge in vacancy. Even the most optimistic real estate executives are finally beginning to worry, with many dubbing this month "Black September.""Due to the recent events, rents are down by at least 10% to 15% and trending downward," the president of Newmark Knight Frank, James Kuhn...



The Default Phenomenon Comes to N.Y.

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Manhattan is getting an unwanted taste of South Florida. Developers of new condominiums are finding that apartments they thought had sold are unexpectedly coming back into their hands as buyers not just layoff victims, but some who are wealthy and employed default on contracts. In some cases, these supposed buyers are having to walk away from five- and six-figure deposits. This phenomenon, common in Florida and other real estate markets decimated by the housing slump, was virtually unheard...



Boutique Broker Explosion Goes Into Reverse

Wed, 24 Sep 2008 22:18:48 EST

When Debra Kameros in June merged her 12-employee real estate company with one of the city's biggest firms, Prudential Douglas Elliman, she said she was relieved that the cost and hassle of phone bills, support staff, and photocopy machines were no longer her concern."I'm loving my ability to focus on being a broker and not on the running of an office," Ms. Kameros, who founded her company 25 years ago, said. "I've thought about that a lot over the years the prospect of not having to worry...



The Week in Review

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

1. Yankee Stadium Soil for SaleDirt from Yankee Stadium is on the market for as much as $199.99, amNewYork reported. Offers for stadium dirt are available on the Web sites eBay and Craigslist, along with ticket stubs from the last game played at the 85-year-old stadium, on Sunday. The dirt is being offered for sale in glass containers that read "Yankee Stadium Infield Dirt, Final Game, September 21," or heaped in a pile on a table. The team currently is in negotiations with the city to...



The Fillips That Take Buildings From Merely Wonderful to Genius

Thu, 25 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

It's the fillips, or flourishes, that really count in the great paintings. Those grand curlicues of putti-protecting clouds; those diaphanous veils that encircle half-shell Venuses; those gilded glimmers from the orderly chests of beribboned, medaled warriors.For architects, however, the real badges of honor are often more obscure: a fusillade of endless doors, a few unnecessary flying buttresses, and other small details that separate the genius from the merely wonderful.Two such occurrences...



At Street Level

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Manhattan's commercial real estate market may soon be flooded with millions of square feet of available office space as a result of this week's Wall Street shakeout.



'Triberbia' Couple Goes Green

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The David Rockwell-designed Riverhouse got a celebrity boost when word spread that Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyra Banks had bought apartments in the "green" building. But Heather and Ross Bauer were sold on their two-bedroom, two-bathroom condominium long before Mr. DiCaprio and Ms. Banks decided to move in.For the Bauers, parents of an 8-month-old baby girl, much of the building's appeal came from its location at northwest Battery Park, an area nicknamed "Triberbia" for its family-friendly...



Fannie, Freddie, and the Multifamily Market

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The world of commercial real estate has been in a state of disarray amid the subprime crisis and the resulting foreclosures, rising unemployment, and the dislocation of the securitization and capital markets. Now, investors and lenders are debating the implications of the federal government's rescue of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While some say that the bailout is enabling the multifamily real estate sector to proceed at a healthy pace, others worry that the companies will be so...



A Real Estate Site Stirs Up The Industry

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

When Internet entrepreneur Michael Smith founded the real estate Web site StreetEasy.com in 2006, he took an unorthodox approach to staffing."For the first year, we had no one from the real estate industry working here," Mr. Smith said, adding that many of the site's most popular features, such as apartment price changes and days on the market, might never have become part of the site if an industry insider had helped to sculpt it. "We didn't want any of the assumptions that come from being in...



Supporting Cast

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Caryatids, those stately maidens holding up the porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, and their male counterparts, known as Atlantes or Telemones, are obvious means of humanizing architecture.In our increasingly virtual and animated world of superheroines, superheroes, and supervillains and in an architectural era that is becoming decreasingly rectilinear such curvaceous and brawny embellishments may once again become popular.The city's most dramatic caryatids are atop the...



Townhouses Offering Condo-Style Services

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The occupants of a newly renovated Greek Revival townhouse in the West Village will enjoy something few New York City homeowners have: the benefits of owning a house without giving up the luxury of condominium-style services.A new company, Aberdeen Townhomes, is buying up historic townhouses in the city and outfitting them with fancy electronic doormen, concierge services, and air-conditioned storage units for grocery deliveries. Because the homes are coming on line during one of the worst...



Ground Zero: Progress Report

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

On the seven-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, construction at the World Trade Center site is underway amidst a backdrop of anticipation and uncertainty. The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Christopher Ward, will deliver an updated scheduling and budgeting assessment for the site at the end of the month. Mr. Ward has already signaled that the previous deadlines and budgets for projects at the site were "unrealistic" and there...



'Hostile' Lending Environment Weighs on Investors

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The skies are ominous for real estate investors, especially those seeking financing.Take the failure last week of Silver State Bank of Henderson, Nev., which had about $2 billion in total assets. The bank's collapse the 11th such failure so far this year follows an announcement last month by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that the number of banks on its "problem list" rose 30% during the second quarter of 2008. At the end of June, there were 117 banks on the agency's watch list, up...



Week in Review

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

1. Safety Concerns Halt School Visits to United NationsThe city of New York is suspending all public school visits to the United Nations due to safety concerns, The New York Sun reported. In a September 8 letter to top U.N. officials, the city's liaison to the world body, Marjorie Tiven, expressed "profound disappointment" over the U.N.'s failure to make good on pledges to secure the building, and said the city has "no choice" but to suspend all school trips. The letter to the U.N...



Franklin Avenue Changes as Crown Heights Attracts New Residents

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

A main thoroughfare in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood, an increasingly powerful magnet for recent college graduates and young professionals seeking affordable rent and access to mass transit, is undergoing a transformation. The bodegas, hair salons, and fast-food restaurants lining the section of Franklin Avenue that runs between Eastern Parkway and Atlantic Avenue, on the western boundary of Crown Heights, are slowly being replaced by organic markets, caf , and clothing boutiques...



Get a Grip

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Some say you can tell a person's character by the way they shake your hand. Well, something similar may also be the case with buildings: Show me a store or home with an unusual doorknob, and the odds are that what's inside will be interesting.Given the city's fascination with fashion, it is surprising how little attention has been given by designers and architects to the lowly doorknob. The vast majority of fashion boutiques feature doorknobs that are simple globes, bars, or thumb latches. In...



615 2nd St.

Thu, 4 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

615 2nd St.Between Eighth Avenue and Prospect Park West$3.495 millionApproximate Annual Taxes: $6,900Broker: Libby Ryan/ Brown Harris StevensThis 20-foot-wide, Park Slope townhouse, built in 1910, contains many features that define the area's limestone homes, including a central staircase and a kitchen (built on a rear extension) on the parlor level. The first floor, in addition to the kitchen, contains a living room, dining room and rear deck with access to a garden below. The second floor...



Let the Light Shine In: Skylight Art and Drama

Thu, 4 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

The ideal art studio is north-facing, with high ceilings and large, angled windows that provide plenty of natural light without allowing in the burning rays that can alter pigments and fade furniture.The double-wide brownstone at 20 W. 10th St. has two such apartments; the great architectural draftsman Hugh Ferriss once occupied one, and the great Art Deco painter Guy P e du Bois called the other home.The key to the beautiful light is the skylights, and there are several similar skylights in...



Eateries Opening Where Banks Once Stood

Thu, 4 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EST

Many New Yorkers likely haven't entered a Bruegger's bagel shop since the late nineties, when the chain closed all of its Manhattan locations as the low-carb Atkins diet swept the country.They'll have another chance starting this fall, when Bruegger's will open its first New York City location in a decade.The Burlington, Vt.-based company signed an agreement recently with Queens-based Hart Street to open 20 Manhattan restaurants over the next seven years.Bruegger's isn't the only low-cost...