Posts Tagged ‘new york post’
Monday, July 2nd, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on July 2nd, 2012
There is rumor that the prime minister of Qatar is ready to pay nearly $100 million for the city’s most expensive penthouse — a super-slick, Thomas Juul-Hansen designed, two-story showplace atop the One57 condominium across the street from Carnegie Hall, The New York Post reports this morning (is this the same apartment they reported sold for $ 90 million earlier this year or another unit?)….almost triple the cost of the apartment he had wanted to buy where the co-op board rejected him.
Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani was turned down by the Fifth Avenue co-op board where he wanted to spend $31.5 million on two apartments owned by the late Huguette Clark, an eccentric American copper heiress according to reliable sources.
The massive duplex penthouse nestled above the hotel portion of the building features a “grand salon,” a large mezzanine, four fireplaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, at least five bedrooms, and motorized window shades. While negotiating to buy the 10,923-square-foot spread, Sheik Hamad also opened discussions with Extell Development about buying a cluster of four separate, full-floor condos in the 90-story One57 building, at 157 W. 57th St. That would up the total purchase to a staggering $250 million, sources said. Will the Sheik feel disillusioned when moving into the tallest residential building in Manhattan….only to look up and see Macklowe’s even taller building on Park Avenue looking down on him? So those who said One57 will be a RUSSIAN building, may turn out to be wrong after all. Qatar has an unelected, monarchic, Emirate-type government. The position of emir is hereditary, yet many refer to Qatar as a democracy: Qatar has the world’s highest per capita GDP and proven reserves of oil and natural gas. Qatar tops the list of the World’s richest countries by Forbes.
This story proves the lengths (and costs)some super-rich buyers have to go to to be able to buy a prize property in Manhattan: Does this mean that co-ops are worth half of condo’s that do not have the legal right to turn down buyers? Are co-op’s over-reacting to this profile of buyer? Granted, diplomatic immunity does come with certain risks and other owners in this building could be horrifically affected by an owner of this caliber not paying their common charges, or worse….. remember the Khassoggi’s at Olympic Tower? Is the co-op that rejected this buyer feeling wounded to-day or relieved?
Monday, March 26th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 26th, 2012
This morning Ben Bernanke spoke on the subject of the economy: his conclusion was that the improving employment and growth figures were a product of CATCH-UP. We can see the same thing clearly happening in the luxury Manhattan real estate market.
The above picture shows a line of prospective buyers (no this photo was not taken in 2007!) waiting to get in to an open house at 422 West 22nd Street over the weekend. The new building is one of very few new buildings offering ‘affordable’ price points for buyers eager to be in a top location and a brand new building. These price-points have been largely ignored in the past few years and even more so going forward as developers are mostly focused on the very high end of the market. More importantly this showcases how many buyers waiting for the ‘bottom’ of the market now feel they may have missed that. I spoke to some buyers over the weekend who regret not buying a unit I was selling at 245 Tenth Avenue…..it went to contract at the end of December 2011, and a very similar unit just went to contract…..3 months later……for about 12% more.
So the real estate market’s energy is probably just like the overall economy…. playing catch-up. Its always easiest to see the best time to buy or sell in the rear view mirror. So what does the future hold? Several thousand new apartments are currently in the development stages, and already the sleeping giant that was new construction has awoken. Around the city fences are being erected around construction sites, and the roar of concrete trucks is being heard throughout the city….this is just the beginning. I think the result will be a surge in construction-related employment. Imagine just the downtown market alone where I am personally familiar with about 2,000 units that will be built over the next 2-3 years: thats lots of concrete, wood, windows, steel, bath fixtures, appliances, plumbing, electrical, cabinetry, security, engineers, architects, etc, etc. And once they are completed, all these properties will require furniture, electronics, movers, transfer taxes….what I am really trying to say is that when a sleeping giant awakens, the earth moves and we will see an unprecedented hive of economic activity in New York very soon.
One area that Bernanke addressed was those un-employed who could not find work because they did not possess the new skills the market is looking for. If you compare this factor to real estate, many home owners are disturbed how their apartments are not selling at the record prices they read about in the N ew York Times and Post….or worse, not selling at all. Often these apartments exist in buildings that are out of touch with what the consumer of today wants and expects. I own an investment apartment in a building that had the most hideous lobby and entrance: it looked like a border crossing. The lobby renovation is almost completed, and all of a sudden the pricing in the building just bounced upwards: its a lesson that just like those in need of learning new skills to function in todays new economy, apartmentss and buildings have to upgrade and evolve to compete.
Sunday, March 18th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 17th, 2012
Do you pay $ 55 per month for rent? Probably not. In this morning’s New York Post, a pensioner proudly boasts how he does in fact pay $ 55/month in rent. Why? Because he is entitled to that rent….and you are not! It’s called rent regulation, a law enacted in New York in the 70′s that applies to a few of us……a select few.
I am not in any way saying that pensioners should not get a break from high New York rents that they cannot afford: but why are a select few people entitled to these breaks when others are not? Who is deciding this? God? The argument is always that a law exists to protect certain select people and their relatives…..and that same law simply does not address everyone else….sorry! I guess these people who hide behind a completely ridiculous law must also endorse the laws that allow individuals and corporations earning millions to pay zero taxes? I guess these same people simply don’t care about the next generation trying to get a go in life, or quite frankly everyone else who has to foot the bill? If I knew I only had to pay $ 55/month in rent I would have to work significantly less, wouldn’t you?
I don’t object to tax breaks. I don’t object to subsidies. I don’t object to rent assistance and relief. But why is it that only a few select people get to enjoy these enormous benefits?And where is the OUTRAGE at these abuses? Doesn’t the US Constitution protect us all and promise fair and equal treatment….to ALL?
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 9, 2011
This week, Amercan Idol fans were shocked when one of the shows biggest talents, Pia, was voted off the show…..it was another reminder of the dangers of mass tastes dictating. Without Simon Cowell, the judges superficial, uneducated, Jenny-from-the-block evaluation failed us all. I feel the same way about real estate reporting these days: so much of real estate reporting about New York real estate relies much too heaviuly on celebrity. This week I had a very interesting conversation with a top reporter of a major newspaper on the subject.
It amazed me how restricted this reporter was by how competitive the press has become to get the latest scoop on the latest celebrity spotting/purchase/appearance…..real-estate wise! This very intelligent reporter agreed that there was a need for an organization or two to stop this insanity and become a bit more educational, and dare I say intellectual/smart, about understanding what does and does not happen in the world of real estate. Surely, when the quarterly reports are distributed, the consumer deserves some more detailed analysis/reporting on what all those figures mean, rather than just spewing them out verbatum, cicling round eventually to the one huge sale of a billionaire or celebrity?
Certainly the New York Times, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, Observer, Curbed, The Real Deal, etc have all produced some well written, well researched articles. We hope they focus more on these well researched and analysed pieces. The Paris Hilton-esque stuff is becoming annoying.
Just like American Idol, are we all doomed to be overwhelmed by the masses desire for shallow, superficial ‘news’ without any form of analysis or depth? I think there are enough people out there who want and expect more. Maybe what we are experiencing right now is a fashion for the ultra-superficial: hopefully the next fashion will be INTELLIGENCE, a well designed Burberry coat, not Jeggings, and hopefully it lasts?
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on March 29, 2011
So train-wreck-du-jour Charlie Sheen is heading to New York for his VIOLENT TORPEDO OF TRUTH tour on April 8th. The New York Post reports that most of the high end hotels in town have removed the welcome matt after Charlie recently trashed his Plaza Hotel room though violent torpedo methodology. We hear he is now looking to rent an apartment for this trip. Would you rent your apartment to Charlie?
Joking aside, legally one has to wonder what the law allows in the way of discriminating against a self-admitted drug user and patron of porn and prostitution. We know of many owners who took months and years to evict this profile of tenant. Most buildings in Manhattan do not allow rentals of less than 6 months. Most require 12 month leases. Very, very few allow 1 month leases. All require a waiver of right of refusal by the building board if its a condominium, and (God forbid!) a co-op would require Board approval. So while an individual owner or shareholder of New York City real estate may wish to help Charlie in his quest to promote the VIOLENT TORPEDO message, chances are any sane board would nix the idea.
Joking aside, if you or I were ever to admit to the antics of this guy, wouldn’t we be behind bars?
So now its probably up to the townhouse owners of Manhattan to provide housing for our fearless crusader. Maybe a park bench in Central Park is an option?…..let’s face it, if this violent torpedo of truth keeps going, Charlie may want to get a taste of his future.
Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Rupert Murdoch made official on Tuesday what has been widely reported for the past few months: The Wall Street Journal will be launching a New York section in April. Speaking at a midtown gathering of the Real Estate Board of New York, the News Corp. chairman lauded the real estate industry—a likely source of advertising revenue for the section—and lobbed a grenade at the Journal‘s rival, The New York Times.
“We believe that in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did,” he said in prepared remarks. “In so doing, they have mistakenly overlooked the most fascinating city in the world—and left the interests and concerns of people like you far behind them. I promise you this: The Wall Street Journal will not make that mistake.”
So who exactly from the Real Estate Board of New York was invited to this event? The brokers who pay for the organization to exist? Or was it another closed-country-club-style gathering for a select few? We hear that Josh Barbanel from the New York Times has been hired away already: who will follow?
I guess the only way to judge the WSJ section will be to actually see it: their recent real estate supplement was just ok in our opinion. If this section becomes one big advetorial, controlled by those with the biggest budgets and the most influence it could de-legitimize the section and indeed the entire Journal.
But the Wall Street Journal does indeed have a huge opportunity to address the luxury real estate market, something the New York Times often dilutes with it’s emphasis on affordable housing. The big question will be if the focus is placed entirely on celebrity gossip, are there enought celebrity transactions to feed the Post, the NYT and the WSJ with enough exclusive material? Or will the New York real estate sections all start looking like the magazines at the grocery store checkout? Some real, thoughtful, clever real estate reporting would be most welcomed!