The Real Deal New York

Editor’s note from the January/February 2014 issue of Luxury Listings NYC

By Stuart Elliott | January 08, 2014 12:07PM

Happy birthday to us!

Luxury Listings NYC turns one year old this month.

Just like a baby who learns to sit up, then crawl — then suddenly she is off and running, Luxury Listings has seen its own milestones in its first year.

First and foremost are the 100,000 doorsteps we reach in Manhattan with each issue. We’ve loved hearing about your experiences with the magazine over the past 12 months. Some examples: A family in the West Village that, looking for more space, used an issue of Luxury Listings to check, neighborhood by neighborhood, where they could afford bigger digs. There was also the 30-something woman whose parents were visiting from the Midwest, who couldn’t stop looking at the crazily priced lavish homes, unlike anything they had ever seen. And there was the grande dame from the Upper East Side who said she would pack each issue into her overnight bag during the summer months to take as beach reading in Martha’s Vineyard, browsing for properties like she was shopping at Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman.

Beyond the print magazine, more than 6,000 people liked us on Facebook in the few months after we launched a page there, and our debut party in the fall, featuring the stars of the real estate reality TV show “Million Dollar Listings,” packed the house with more than 400 attendees. Finally, a reader survey we put out last month was opened by more than a third of the people that received it, an incredibly high number for that sort of thing. We are thankful for the engagement and loyalty of our readers, and look forward to continuing to scratch that real estate itch throughout the rest of 2014.

Overall, it’s an interesting time for luxury real estate in New York City. On the one hand, the market for expensive homes is on fire, with asking prices running all the way up to $114 million (many are featured here, of course — see page 79 for that chart-topper). There is a dearth of properties for sale, which is driving up prices further, meaning that apartment hunters have to stay on top of the market and act more quickly than ever.

On the other hand, there’s the fear that rising interest rates — not to mention a new liberal mayor, who has said that “towering, glitzy buildings marketed to the global elite is not the type of development New Yorkers are looking for” — could dampen the party. See that story on page 26.

Of course, de Blasio will ironically live in the most valuable home in New York — the 11-acre Gracie Mansion, worth some $200 million according to estimates — as one of the perks of the job. Most of us, though, are pretty starved for space. That’s especially true for families — the mayor himself raised his children in a home with one bathroom in Park Slope prior to Gracie Mansion. In a story on page 8, we take a look at space-saving tips that should help, even for those who live in large apartments by New York standards.

We also take a peek inside the homes of two movers and shakers who have made their names on the small screen. We visit MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and his husband in their Hell’s Kitchen apartment (page 12), and take a look at the Upper West Side pad of one of the best known soap stars in the biz, Erika Slezak (page 18).

And don’t miss our take on “The Best of New York” — from the top buildings and views to the most luxe gyms and pools — starting on page 15.

Finally, I’d like to introduce our new managing editor, Lisa Keys, who has covered real estate for the New York Times and New York Post. We are very excited to have her on board as we enter our second year.

Enjoy the issue.