The Real Deal New York

February 2011
  • Entrepreneurs rush into NYC real estate market

    Social media sites, data collection firms among new start-ups launched

    Citi Habitats founder Andrew Heiberger’s well-funded new brokerage, Town Residential, made a splash when it debuted late last year. But the brokerage is far from the only new business in the city. The start of 2011 ushered in a flurry of new start-ups, many with innovative new business models related to New York City real estate. Ironically, many of these models don’t involve actually doing deals. With prices down and fewer sales, entrepreneurs are looking […]… [more]

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  • REITs on the rampage

    A look at 10 public real estate companies -- with analysts' take on whether they're good investments in 2011

    REIT bigwigs, from left: Marc Holliday (SL Green), Steven Roth (Vornado), Mort Zuckerman (Boston Properties) and Sam Zell (Equity Residential) When you look at the ground floor, the market’s only so-so. There are still empty stores, commercial trading is slower, and apartment buildings continue to dangle incentives to get renters. But pull back, and it’s clear that many of the businesses that own these types of properties fared extremely well in the last year — […]

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  • The leftovers market

    Inventory is up, but brokers are complaining about slim pickings

    A penthouse at 54 Bond Street that had been on and off the market since 2009 finally went into contract last month. “It’s like being in the desert,” luxury broker Donna Olshan recently said of the inventory in the high-end Downtown Manhattan market. “There’s nothing to buy,” reiterated agent Alison Rogers of DG Neary Realty, when the fourth-quarter Manhattan market reports were released. The very beginning of the New Year is always a cyclical low […]

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  • Tumult at Nouvel Tower

    A behind-the-scenes look at the 11th Avenue condo, where buyers have complaints about construction

    The Jean Nouvel tower at 100 Eleventh AvenueOutside, a late-January snowstorm has left a delicate frosting on the shimmering gray-green jumble of steel and glass that is 100 Eleventh Avenue, making the newly constructed condo tower all the more eye-catching in the flat winter light. Inside, however, fat drops of water fall from the ceiling, forming a puddle on the polished-granite floor of the Jean Nouvel-designed lobby. Todd Eberle, a photographer who lives on the […]

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  • Vacation deflation

    New Yorkers see values in their go-to second home markets suffer

    This three-bedroom home on 41 acres in Woodstock, N.Y., sold for $899,000, just below its asking price With the mercury low and snow continually hammering the city, escaping the five boroughs on weekends has become a must for many New Yorkers. But they may be taking cold comfort in their getaways, since their second homes aren’t worth as much as they used to be — sometimes by a long shot. From the Rockies to Central […]

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  • Trevor Davis, surrounded by lenders, digs in

    South African builder faces 1055 Park woes, Chapter 11

    Trevor DavisTrevor Davis could hardly be called shy, but the last few months have probably tested his stomach for public scrutiny. The down market hasn’t been kind to the gregarious, South African-born developer, known for hunting big game and taking on big, controversial projects. “He’s been a little quiet, actually,” said Dan Fasulo, managing director of research at Real Capital Analytics. “This downturn has been difficult for many local developers that didn’t have access to […]

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  • Clans with plans

    An unscientific look at some of NYC's cultural real estate fiefdoms

    Not too long ago, New York City real estate was defined by the likes of the Astors and the Rockefellers. Not so anymore. While those original real estate families — from European countries like Germany and France — have made their lasting mark on the city, today’s big players are just as likely to be Jewish immigrants from Syria or Iran, or hotel developers from Taiwan or India, as they are to be from old-money […]

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  • Awash with insurance cash

    Carriers, bankrolled by reliable premiums, find 'perfect storm' to invest in NYC real estate

    Among last year’s major deals involving insurance companies were refinancings are (from left) 345 Park Avenue and 125 West 55th Street With their recession-proof premiums still rolling in, traditionally conservative insurance companies are ramping up their investments in New York City commercial real estate. “REITs and insurance companies have the perfect storm to acquire properties,” said Jahn Brodwin, senior managing director at Manhattan consulting firm FTI Schonbraun McCann Group. “Both are looking for the same […]

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  • Forecasters change tune — for better

    Cushman now says it expects Manhattan office rents to reach record levels by 2014

    The healthy appetite from large tenants for big blocks of space seen in 2010 continued last month, with Hong Kong-based apparel company Li & Fung taking nearly 500,000 square feet in the Empire State Building, amid reports that Nomura Holding America might lease about 600,000 square feet at Worldwide Plaza. The increase in activity, especially in Midtown and Midtown South, has driven asking rents and net effective rents up. It’s also led forecasters to reassess […]

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  • New York, meet the competition: Honolulu

    The Hawaiian city -- shockingly -- outranks NYC as the top national commercial market, one report claims

    For those New York real estate professionals suffering from seasonal affective disorder, here is this month’s most unwanted news flash: The commercial market in Honolulu (yes, that Honolulu) has emerged as a rival to New York City — at least when it comes to a few key statistics. According to Moody’s CMBS index released last month, the New York Metro area scored a 77, ranking it second-best among the 56 cities tracked, behind — you […]

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