Good Manhattan rental deals to be had

By Michael Stoler | January 06, 2009 01:05PM

Amid a weakening New York City real estate market, Manhattan renters are gaining the upper hand as market-rate rents drop and the vacancy rate rises.

For the first time in recent history, landlords are no longer in denial about current conditions, and are trying to entice renters by reducing asking rents from record highs, as well as providing incentives.
Perks have included a concession of one to two months of free rent, payment of brokerage fees, free health club membership, invitations to complimentary breakfasts and cocktail parties, free storage space and reduced monthly rates for parking.

Deals for market-rate apartments are available from the brokerage community and individual owners, and others can be found by visiting the Web sites of landlords and managers of residential buildings.
If one visits the Web site of Glenwood Management, one of New York City’s finest developers of market-rate apartments, a prospective tenant would be able to find out that a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment at the Brittany, at 1775 York Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd streets, is available for a net effective rent of $4,670 per month. The apartment has a washer and dryer, nine-foot ceilings and walls of windows.
Another excellent opportunity is available at Glenwood’s Bamford at 333 East 56th Street, between First and Second avenues. A two-bedroom apartment with terrace, eat-in kitchen, and a living room over 420 square feet, is now being offered for $4,120 per month, in a building which has a health club and swimming pool.
Further east, an individual condo owner is offering a steep 36 percent discount to a new tenant to rent his two-bedroom, two-bath unit on the 26th floor of 100 United Nations Plaza, near 45th Street and First Avenue. The unit has a balcony, and East River views. A previous tenant paid a monthly rent of $6,200, but now the unit is available for $4,000 a month, plus another bonus — the developer is offering one free month for a two-year lease.
At the West Side’s Concerto, at 200 West 60th Street, between Amsterdam and West End avenues, rent for a three-bedroom, three-bath unit on the 49th floor with a balcony, has been reduced from $7,300 to $5,200 per month.
With the bleak economic outlook expect tenants to have the upper hand in negotiating rents for market-rate apartments.  

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.