New York City Real Estate Blog Archives for September 2010

Sweet Liberty: Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green Shaping Up As Stunning (And Green!) Success Story In Battery Park City

GreenIt's not a secret, but we don't make a big deal of it -- new Manhattan condo listings go up onto New Construction Manhattan every couple of days, every week. You'll find them if you're doing a search for apartment listings in a particular Manhattan neighborhood, but you generally won't find them here at the New Construction Manhattan blog. We're about covering Manhattan Condominiums, at least notionally, as opposed to specific Manhattan condominiums. (Although you don't have to go far to find information on NYC condos, obviously) So why are we making an exception for Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green, a pair of new condo listings in Battery Park City? Because this pair of new green condominiums are that exceptional. Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green aren't the first green condo listings to call Battery Park City home. Both in terms of the sprawling lawns and parks that define Battery Park City's aesthetic and the super-green condominiums already in the neighborhood, Battery Park City is one of Manhattan's greenest neighborhoods.

Flatliners: New York City Apartment Prices Flat Month-Over-Month, Again

New York apartment prices flatline month-over-monthSo much of what we do here at the New Construction Manhattan blog feels like fortune-telling -- looking at this trend or that, this swatch of data or another, and guessing at how it will all play out in the months ahead. Of course, that's Manhattan real estate in a nutshell, and true of real estate in general. But when NYC apartment sales surged in the second quarter, it was tough not to speculate and imagine a future of soaring prices, disappearing price chops, and other nasty things. Which makes it that much more surprising -- and a little bit humbling -- that S&P/Case Schiller's just-released NYC apartment sales stats for the second quarter revealed that Manhattan condo prices were, yes, totally flat year-over-year. Who knew? (Answer: not us)

Life Isn't Fare On The UES: Second Avenue Subway Reportedly Far Over-Budget, Far Behind Schedule, and Far From Reality

Upper East Side Subway ConstructionSomeday, it's going to happen. A clean, modern subway train is going to pull up, right on time, at a station below Second Avenue on the Upper East Side. And when that day comes, Upper East Siders of all stripes are going to be happy. Upper East Side green condos will be that much greener, given their newfound proximity to mass transit; Upper East Side residents will see their commutes made simpler, quicker and less excruciatingly packed; Upper East Side condominiums will appreciate in value. The sun will shine every day and every man, woman and child will get a pony. The first three outcomes of the long-awaited, currently in-progress Second Avenue Subway are actually pretty reasonable -- more mass transit access will mean a better Upper East Side, and more valuable Upper East Side apartments. But, in news that's both saddening and sadly unsurprising, it looks like UES residents are going to have to wait a little bit longer for the Second Avenue Subway. And by "little bit" we mean "two years."

Looking Good: Architecture Critics Praise 535 West End Avenue, The Upper West Side Condo With Classic Chicago Looks

535 WestEnd in the Upper West SideNew York City is a pretty great place, and this is true whether you're searching for a Manhattan condominium or not. But it can also be something of a closed circuit -- if New York is great (and it is), then it would seem to follow that everything that's great here is perhaps a bit greater than everything everywhere else. That's actually true when it comes to pastrami, luxury condominiums and a handful of other things, but of course it's not so across the board. But if you live in Manhattan long enough, it can come to seem that way. So it may give some New York-y New Construction Manhattan readers pause to see the elegant new Upper West Side condominium 535 West End Avenue praised for its Chicago-style aesthetics. Chicago, like the Second City? Yes, like that one: the one with better sausage-related food, a better hockey team and a unique and striking architectural heritage of its own. 535 West End has already emerged as a rising star among Upper West Side condominium listings, but understanding what makes Chicago so uncommonly attractive is a big part of what makes 535 West End Avenue such a looker.

456 Is In The Mix: LEED-Certified Chelsea Condo 456 West 19th Street Looking More Like Major Success

456 West 19th Street in Chelsea There's a lot to like about Cary Tamarkin's LEED-certified condo at 456 West 19th Street. Some of this has to do with its looks -- even amid the stiff competition provided by other Chelsea condo listings -- even the star-studded constellation of new condo listings around the High Line -- 456 West 19th Street is a beauty. (Architecture critics agree with us there) That there's some green building intelligence behind that elegant facade helps matters, too. And of course the condos for sale at 456 West 19th Street are exceptionally luxurious, even by Chelsea standards -- every apartment at 456 West 19th is a duplex, and the quality of finishes and fixtures are surpassingly high. But while we at New Construction Manhattan love us some 456 West 19th Street, it turns out that we're not alone -- Curbed reports that the high-end Chelsea condominium is shaping up as one of the true sales success stories of the current Manhattan real estate market. As is common -- even with NYC condo prices on the rise -- most of the condominiums for sale at 456 West 19th Street wound up selling for slightly less than their asking prices.

What's Hot Where In Manhattan Apartments: StreetEasy Runs It Down, From Upper East Side 2BRs to Financial District Studios

ManhattanHere at the New Construction Manhattan job, we do a lot of bird's eye view stuff -- or Top of The Nouvel's Eye View, if you prefer. That is, lots of stuff on the big trends in Manhattan real estate -- mortgage rates are down, NYC condo sales are spiking, and so on. But of course Manhattan real estate -- and certainly searching for NYC condos, which is probably why you're at New Construction Manhattan -- is not a top-of-the-Nouvel experience. The process of finding the right Manhattan apartment is a hugely personal, finely individuated and finally very human-scale process.

Just Maintaining: Are Maintenance Fees Climbing on NYC Co-Ops Another Reason Buyers Favor NYC Condos?

Maintenance fees climbing on New York City Co-OpsMonths ago, when we noted the recent spike in the popularity of NYC condos relative to NYC co-ops, the comparison came alongside much attempted soothsaying and no small amount of confusion. The absorption rate on NYC condos and NYC co-ops converge around the $1 million mark, but the way in which upscale Manhattan condos were outpacing similarly priced Manhattan co-ops was striking enough to note even then. That trend shows no sign of diminishing with news that co-op maintenance fees jumped $1.76 per square foot -- an increase of 19% -- over the past year. The condo renaissance -- an ambiguous, tenuous, neighborhood-by-neighborhood renaissance, but one all the same -- continues apace, it seems, in part by default. But what's going on with those NYC co-ops?

Free Falling: What Tumbling Rates on Fixed-Rate Mortgages Mean For People Buying NYC Apartments

MortgageWe're a NYC condominium blog here at New Construction Manhattan, which means that we spend much of our time and nearly all of our pixels covering -- wait for it -- NYC condominiums. Which is cool by us, certainly, given that NYC condos are kind of our thing, but also means that we've been glossing over what is one of the biggest stories in NYC real estate, as well as in real estate across the country. Namely, that would be the tumbling rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, which -- unless you're Alex Rodriguez, Mark Zuckerberg or someone who keeps several million dollars in cash on hand -- is what just about everyone who buys a NYC condominium will be signing on for after finding the Manhattan apartment of his or her dreams. Nearly every day brings news of a decline in the rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, to the point where it's difficult to keep up. When the Wall Street Journal wrote back in August about the historic lows in mortgage rates, it was a big deal; when those historic lows had dropped nearly another tenth of a point two weeks later, though, it was hardly a surprise.

Main Street, Out Of Exile: Roosevelt Island, Home To New York City's Dullest Retail Strip, Heading For Long-Awaited Makeover

Roosevelt Island viewThere's a scene in the otherwise not-so-good horror flick Dark Water that packs a solid laugh for New York City real estate watchers. Well, several scenes if you're the sort who finds the idea of haunted bathtubs amusing, but the one we're thinking of is when John C. Reilly's real estate agent proudly describes a Roosevelt Island apartment building (spoiler alert: it's haunted) to Jennifer Connelly as featuring "brutalist school" design. Which, as much as we love newer Roosevelt Island condo listings like the elegant Riverwalk, is certainly a fair enough way to describe the East Berlin-style retail strip (above) that runs down the center of Roosevelt Island. While the community's quiet, city-within-a-city vibe is a big part of what makes Roosevelt Island apartments appealing, no one will mourn the passing of those identical, charmless facades.

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