Jeff Levine and Benjamin Levine of Douglaston Development (center) and the Edge development
The Real Deal swung by Williamsburg last week for the “Hardcore House Party” grand opening at Douglaston Development’s the Edge, where the waterfront building’s shiny new amenities — among them, a pool, spa, basketball court and party lounge — were on display. Members of the sales team were also on hand to take us on a tour of the model units, and told us that the 565-unit condominium at 22 North 6th Street is currently around 35 percent spoken for.
…”This is the place to be!” exclaimed a cheerful Jeff Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development. It was a family affair for the developer of the Edge, whose wife, daughter and son, Douglaston project manager Benjamin Levine, were also in attendance. Welcoming the crowd of partygoers (many buyers, included), the elder Levine joked that “in full disclosure,” he and his colleagues would be back at the Edge soon to block residents’ views when they build on the adjacent site the company also owns.
…Meanwhile, Benjamin said his father’s company is still looking for new building sites, but financing has often been the sticking point. “All the stars need to align and it’s very cloudy out there right now,” he said. Still, the company is gunning particularly hard for Hunters Point South, after working on the proposal for what the young developer described as “months.” No word yet on when the city might render a decision.
…Fresh-faced City Council member Stephen Levin, the Williamsburg Democrat, had only high praise for Levine and his project, which he said “set the precedent” for the redevelopment of the Williamsburg waterfront. The final plans by developers Isaac Katan and CPC Resources for the Domino Sugar factory, on the other hand, turned out “a little denser than [he] would have liked.” He added that now is the time to get affordable housing projects off the ground, since they’re a relatively safe bet for the banks, and as he understands it, their willingness to finance those types of initiatives comes in cycles.
…Later on in the night, we ran into CB Richard Ellis broker Jeffrey Sharon, who explained that the biggest issue facing New York City’s commercial real estate market right now is the aging stock of office space. Other than One World Trade Center and 11 Times Square, he said, most of the new development is going on in New Jersey, and that’s drawing companies away from New York City.
From left: outside the Steiner Studios Flatiron District Party; Barbara Wagner of Rubenstein Associates and Steiner Studios CEO Doug Steiner; Rooftop partygoers brave the elements in complementary slankets
Also last week, The Real Deal hit the Steiner Studios party in the Flatiron District, where film industry players collided with real estate bigwigs to eat, drink and dance among a plethora of go-go dancers. The party, which included a rooftop lounge area complete with red Slanket-type robes (a blanket with sleeves) for guests to keep warm, included a lavish spread of global cuisine and an open bar with all the fixings. Steiner Studios, the largest film production site outside of Los Angeles, is a 305,000-square-foot facility situated on a 15-acre site in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
…Stephen Kliegerman, executive director of Halstead Property Development Marketing, was spotted trying to navigate a packed party on the rooftop.
… Eighty Metropolitan sales director Jay Overbye told us the Williamsburg condominium is roughly two-thirds sold, after three years on the market.
… We were told by a Steiner employee that Steiner Studios head David Steiner is the biggest Democratic Party contributor in the state of New Jersey.