November 23rd, 2014

Screen-Shot-2013-07-22-at-9.34.16-AMPosted by Leonard Steinberg on November 23rd, 2014

Have you noticed the growing number of INSTAGRAM shots of pets contorted into ridiculous poses and outfits in a desperate shoutout for love and attention? Brokers are notorious for using pets to attract business (it works!). They are also notorious for photographing themselves and broadcasting these exquisite images to the planet (some are painfully photo-shopped and others SHOULD be photo-shopped!), yet these poor pets don’t have a choice. The PSELFIE (add “p”for pet) has become an equally ubiquitous pop-culture phenomenon as the SELFIE. This photo from


November 22nd, 2014

structengin_installationPosted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 22nd, 2014

Many New Yorkers have succumbed to their chiropractors recently as they arch their heads to the skies to fully embrace the sky scraping height of 432 Park Avenue, the tallest (1,396ft) residential condominium tower in New York City now fully topped out and visible from neighboring states, let alone zip codes. Few realize the extent of engineering installed into such a tower: one important element are giant cylinders every 12 floors that will act as wind tunnels to minimize movement. These use up a substantial amount of space: at current pricing hovering around $8,000/sf, you do the math!

Tall buildings must resist falling over due to lateral forces from elements such as wind, earthquakes, or their own weight. Beyond insuring against catastrophic failure, engineers and architects must engineer these structures so that they do not flex too much: movement can damage joints, cause leaks, and even break windows and facades. Inside, excessive movement can also jostle or jam elevators, crack walls, and cause noisy creaks and groans. Many people are sensitive to even slight motion in buildings. Expensive ultrafast elevators must be installed too, since regular elevators slow down as they move higher into the air, especially on windy days.

At 432 Park Avenue, the structure consists of an architecturally-exposed concrete tube system, coupled to a central core with concrete strengths of more than 14,000 psi. A flat slab spans from core to perimeter with no interior columns, giving the interior space planning the maximum flexibility possible. Given the tower’s height and aspect ratio of more than 15:1, the efficiency of the structure is of the utmost importance in order to create structure that works harmoniously with the architecture. To that end, every inch of concrete is utilized to provide lateral stability and maximize efficiency. Structural engineers use wind-tunnel laboratories to test their designs.

As with most high-rise buildings, controlling the perceptibility of lateral motion building in high wind conditions is a key design focus. The series of openings through the structure were developed through wind-tunnel testing that improve the aerodynamics of the building. In addition, two tuned-mass dampers were designed to further reduce lateral accelerations to acceptable levels for the occupant’s comfort.

So when people ask why apartments in these massive, super-tall condominiums cost what they do, knowing more about the extent of engineering and design that goes into building them may answer part of that question.

Just Announced! C24 Gallery has secured the retail space at 560 West 24th Street!

November 21st, 2014

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C24 just bought the retail space of the Steven Harris designed 560 West 24th Street condominium currently under construction. This gorgeous limestone clad instant classic boasts 8 full floor and duplex apartments including two exceptional penthouses. A 4 bed/4.5 bath full floor home starts around $7million.  On Monday we reveal the sublime fully furnished model apartment with interior design by Lucien Rees Roberts and an art collection curated by Janelle Reiring of Metro Pictures.

Full article:


Listing: 560 West 24th Street, 4th FL


November 20th, 2014

nyc-skylinePosted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 20th, 2014

Major Urban Centers such as New York are growing: In 1950, about 825 million people lived in large cities and two-thirds of the world’s 2.5 billion people lived in rural areas. Today, half of the planet’s 7 billion people live in cities. We have entered the age of the large city as the number of people living in urban environments continues to soar. We have passed the inflection point where the systems of the city define life for the bulk of humanity.

Large cities in developed countries such as the USA are actually significantly more efficient than their rural counterparts yet someone living in New York consumes a QUARTER of the energy than someone living in Dallas (5.875million people in the Dallas/Fort Worth region): technology, policy and ingenuity will work to create the future. More focused, less spread out cities with a strong public transportation system have the capacity to be much more efficient. About 55% of New Yorkers use mass transit, yet 90% of the USA population commute by car. New York has the largest fleet of natural gas and Diesel-hybrid busses in the USA and over 4,000 hybrid cabs. New York City’s GDP is about $1.4 trillion, approaching 10% of the entire USA’s GDP, and is larger than all of Spain or Mexico.

The percentage of urban populations keep growing throughout the world: New York is just one of many global cities with an enormous city-focused population. While the New York Metro region hosts over 20 million people, cities such as Tokyo (37 million), Jakarta (26 million) and Seoul (22.5 million) remind us this is a global trend. Twenty six cities throughout the world have populations in excess of 10 million people.

As urban centers expand, great thought and planning has to be given to the capacity of their infrastructure. In this lies tremendous efficiencies that will benefit all.


November 19th, 2014

100987825-121017_EJ_stone_mansion_0014r.530x298Posted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 19th 2014

New York City imposes a 1% tax on apartments selling for $1 million or more. It is called a MANSION TAX. It is a disguised additional tax as we all know all to well that there is no such thing as a mansion in New York that costs $1 million, $2 million, or $5 million for that matter. From a tax perspective, the word MANSION is as mis-used as the word ‘luxury’, but it is a sure-fire way to get the votes. Now comes word that City Hall is floating around the idea of RAISING this absurd mansion tax to generate more income for its affordable housing plans. The Mansion tax generated about $259 million for New York State in 2013.

This tax raise is being supported by some of New York’s wealthiest real estate owners who would much prefer buyers of real estate to pick up this tab than the owners of rental buildings. Shocking. I think its really bad business to raise taxes on a discriminatory basis. This law is already discriminatory in that it identifies real estate costing $1 million as a mansion when clearly that is not the case.

Mayor De Blasio should first focus on the gross inequality of real estate taxes whereby similar valued properties are being taxed ridiculously differntly from one another, his own home in Park Slope being the perfect example. The Mayor pays less than $3,000 per year in real estate taxes where some similar valued properties are paying double and triple. If all those homeowners who are paying half the taxes of similar valued property owners were to pay the same as this disadvantaged select group, I feel certain much more tax revenue would be raised than by picking on a small group of home buyers.

The SkyGarage at 200 11th Ave, PH1 was recently featured by @Zacharykussin for @luxlistingsNYC

November 17th, 2014


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Full Article:

Listing: 200 11th Avenue, PH1


WATCH: Leonard Steinberg tours CBS through 2 North Moore St for LIVING LARGE!

November 12th, 2014

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Listing: 2 North Moore Street


November 8th, 2014

Twitter-Logo1Posted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 8th, 2014

This week’s mediocre results from TWITTER may signal a shift: is the world getting tired of the shallowness of so much of what is reported? Is 160 characters enough to truly get  a message of substance across? Is the world starting to look for just a bit more substance than the headline/billboard-speak that we have all become so used to?  Surely some depth and insight is needed in a world driven purely by headlines and sensationalistic reporting. Twitter is grappling with flat growth. It may be a sign.

This week we were discussing the dreadfully misleading shallowness of real estate intelligence and data at the Real Estate Expo. So much of the emphasis on figures and reporting represents 1% of the market.  It is an ongoing outrage that in an industry that fuels billions of dollars worth of commercial activity the reporting is so weak, generalized, sensationalistic and inconsistent. This will change and improve…..there is hope.


November 6th, 2014

0d05cbb73737ddde0e615b0f8144f491a12b6611Posted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 6th, 2014

As real estate land fumbles about the future of the markets, word on the street is that some are doing quite well indeed…. bonus season is about to dawn on us and all bets are they will be good! Money managers at hedge-fund firms that oversee more than $4 billion earned about $2.4 million this year, an increase of almost 8% and pay for senior traders and analysts at large funds with average industry performance rose about 5%, partly driven by competition from private-equity firms and banks. Analysts earned about $372,000 in salary and bonus. Hedge-fund bonus pools continued to grow in 2014, inflated by management fee income. Higher incomes usually imply a strong real estate market…..right now I would definitely not call this a buyer’s market, but rather a buyer’s MOMENT. The calm before the traditional January storm…..?



November 2nd, 2014

Unknown Posted by Leonard Steinberg of URBAN COMPASS on November 2nd, 2014

At URBAN COMPASS we developed an APP many months ago in house that has turned the industry upside down. It demonstrates to the world how simple and easy it can be to search for everything real estate in the palm of your hand. Now with the introduction of larger screen PDA’s this technology tool has become seriously important and is impacting all industries……real-estate-land has always been a bit slow on the uptake, but that is changing too.

I remember about 15 years ago when Barbara Corcoran put together a rather cheesy, yet highly effective, television commercial showing the world how simple and easy and effective it was to search for real estate on a desktop or laptop computer using the web instead of searching via the archaic column ads. posted weekly in The New York Times real estate section. There was Barbara sitting at her desk with her broad unmistakeable grin clicking away to the listings displayed on the company website with Rosemary Clooney singing ‘Come on A-my house’ in the background. We knew then that Barbara had true STAR QUALITY and boy have we been proven right with her hit show THE SHARK TANK, an ABC-TV ratings hit! Those tiny New York Times column ads, with their painfully vague abbreviations barely described a fraction of the properties they were trying to sell. I recall attending classes on how to write these ads, cramming as much information into 2 to 5 miniature lines. It was a joke. The world had changed and Barbara wisely recognized how impactful viewing property on a larger screen with beautiful photographs and floorplans and all the information clearly depicted would impact the way people searched for a home.

The next revolution took place many months ago when URBAN COMPASS and its team of brilliant engineers and scientists built one of the most exciting, insightful and seamless real estate APPS for the real estate world….in house, not out-sourced and then clumsily integrated to other systems. Search had transitioned from the desktop or laptop into the palm of the consumers hand, viewable from a ski-slope in Aspen, a sidewalk cafe in Williamsburg, a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean, or in the deserts of Africa. This was indeed a revolution and over the past months this APP has become better and better with more features to make the life of the consumer and their brokers easier and better. We have witnessed a major evolutionary step. And it showcases technology at its best: when it truly caters to the needs of the consumer and performs in an intuitive, easy fashion. Many are now beginning to copy this APP, just the way others copied Barbara’s bold move to the web many years ago. There is something great about being first……and as a tech innovator URBAN COMPASS will continue to lead the path forward.

These are exciting times indeed. And we all owe some gratitude to Barbara for leading the way on being innovative and looking towards the future and changing with the changing times:  I feel I learned so much from her and I am forever grateful.