The Real Deal New York

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January 2009
  • Toning down luxe pitches

    In nod to current zeitgeist, value replaces ostentation

    When the Park Columbus first came on the market a year ago, the marketing team introduced the building with a campaign that emphasized the conversion’s luxury, its high-end finishes and its amenities. “It was the amenities-driven campaign you saw all over Manhattan over the past four years,” says Hunter Frick, project manager at Halstead Property Development Marketing, which handled the marketing of Park Columbus, located at 101 West 87th Street. “We stressed the children’s playroom, […]… [more]

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  • What’s a developer to do?

    A look at the tough choices being made at three condos

    In today’s unforgiving real estate market, being a residential developer is no longer as simple as securing a plot of land and announcing plans to build a condo project. Characteristics that prospective buyers once considered small imperfections, like a long walk from the subway, an extra $100 a month in mortgage payments or even a steep flight of stairs, are now major liabilities for developers that could mean extra months, or even years, on the […]

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  • More quick eats, less upscale fare

    Low-budget restaurants gain ground as closures of high-end eateries grow

    When the stock market started its stunning series of swoons last fall, budget eateries Chipotle and Just Salad on Maiden Lane were among the few Wall Street-area businesses still drawing lunchtime lines, while demand slowed at high-end restaurants. As 2009 starts, restaurant industry brokers expect inexpensive eateries, along with cut-rate coffee conglomerate Dunkin’ Donuts, to continue adding locations to capitalize on demand for lower-priced fare in the economic crisis. Newmark Knight Frank Retail, for example, had […]

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  • Extell plows ahead

    Will Gary Barnett be the last man standing in New York real estate?

    Three years ago, an up-and-coming real estate firm called Extell Development Company was denied the right to develop the controversial Atlantic Yards site, despite outbidding rival Forest City Ratner by $100 million. Now, the world has completely changed for both companies, with fortunes rising for one and falling for the other. The credit crisis has halted the $6 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn for Forest City Ratner, while Extell has emerged as the most […]

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  • Buyers getting bolder

    Lowball offers, new contingencies now define market

    One of the most profound impacts of the Wall Street crisis on New York City’s real estate market is the sudden and dramatic emergence of the new buyer’s market. Virtually overnight, the advantage has shifted from sellers, who once presided over lightning-fast sales and bidding wars, to buyers, who now dictate every aspect of the transaction from the closing date to the discount off the asking price. “It is unequivocally a buyer’s market,” said Elaine […]

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  • A year to forget

    Crystal ball predicts brutal months ahead as industry shrinks

    Last year, the most expensive co-op sale on record occurred in Manhattan and a group of investors paid more for the GM Building than anyone ever paid for a U.S. Office tower. But most regard 2008’s records, which The Real Deal details as part of a series, as footnotes, rather than the main stories of the year. That’s because, as our year in review recounts, after Wall Street collapsed in September, the key question became: […]

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  • Not too proud for rentals

    As sales slow, brokers migrate to less-prestigious deals

    With residential sales slowing, an increasing number of brokers who once worked exclusively in sales are now taking on transactions that in the past they never would have touched: rentals. According to Daniel Baum, COO of the Real Estate Group New York, it comes down to dollars and sense. “We are seeing a number of brokers who in the past, in all sincerity, wouldn’t even consider working the rental side of the market — you might even say shunning […]

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  • Records: The highs — and many lows — of the past year

    Record deals overshadowed by slowdown in activity and drop-off in overall prices

    Last year, the most expensive co-op sale on record occurred in Manhattan, a condo in Brooklyn sold for the highest price ever, and a group of investors paid more for the GM Building than anyone has ever paid for an American office tower. These high-water marks, however, did not define the year that was in real estate. Residential and commercial brokers say the game changed following September’s financial crisis and the effect on deals will […]

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  • Review of a regrettable year

    After Wall Street's fall, trouble catches up to New York City real estate

    Until recently, it seemed like New York City’s real estate market was the exception to the rule. Unlike the rest of the U.S., what went up here showed few signs of going down, at least not dramatically. However, after Wall Street as we knew it collapsed in September, the question became how low the city’s commercial and housing markets would go. While we’ll possibly only begin to answer that question this year, a review of […]

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  • Crystal ball warns of brutal year

    Operating in the black: one of the biggest challenges for 2009

    If there is one glaring conclusion from 2008 that everyone can agree on, it’s that making predictions about New York City real estate is often an exercise in futility. But with key facts at hand about construction financing, condo sales and office vacancies, everyone in the city’s real estate community is preparing for a brutal 2009. In this month’s Q & A, some of the biggest residential and commercial players tell The Real Deal what […]

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