The Real Deal New York

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January 2011
  • Market seesaws toward wealthy buyers

    In turn of fortunes, NYC's high-end market rallies, while lower end stays cool

    Fans of the musical “Annie” will recall the scene where the bedraggled redhead first enters Daddy Warbucks’ spectacular mansion, presenting a vivid contrast to the down-on-its-luck Manhattan of the 1930s from which Annie has just emerged. It may not be too much of an exaggeration to say that the scene is a bit like the Manhattan of today. That is, if Daddy Warbucks were a pop star or Russian oil tycoon. The economic downturn continues […]… [more]

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  • CMBS 2.0

    A behind-the-scenes look at how the commercial mortgage-backed securities market began rising from the dead

    Anthony Orso, CEO of Cantor Commercial Real Estate, intends to bundle, securitize and sell $600 million worth of loans as CMBS in March. Conditions weren’t exactly ideal when Doug Tiesi arrived from London in the spring of 2009 to head up The Royal Bank of Scotland’s North American real estate advisory group. The bankers on his new team were shell-shocked from the recently imploded markets and the layoffs that followed. The market for securitized commercial debt […]

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  • Yaron Hershco’s Lemons by the Sea

    United Homes developer in court again for alleged 'one-stop' scheme in Far Rockaway

    Yaron Hershco of United HomesRuthleona Clement — a black pharmaceutical auditor with a soft-spoken, professional demeanor — sat awkwardly across the table from four white lawyers wearing expensive suits and glimmering watches in a Brooklyn U.S. District courtroom last November. Unable to afford an attorney, Clement, 31, is representing herself in a lawsuit against all of their clients — chiefly United Homes, most known as a pioneering luxury developer in Downtown Brooklyn. The suit alleges […]

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  • Can Heiberger do it again?

    Citi Habitats founder tries his hand at new firm, this time wooing the city's top agents

    Andrew Heiberger, in his new office last month, said he plans to recruit “Ivy League” brokers.Andrew Heiberger has decided that Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is a neighborhood. Most New Yorkers think of the massive rental housing complex as part of the East Village. But it’s large enough to warrant its own neighborhood, at least according to the 42-year-old founder of Citi Habitats, who largely credits himself with creating the current layout of neighborhoods in Manhattan. […]

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  • Loan-to-own: Predatory or practical?

    Some developers call the strategy underhanded, but courts aren't so sure

    The collapse of the commercial real estate market in New York has sparked a phenomenon that is being widely debated in legal and financial circles: Is loan-to-own an act of bad faith or simply a smart business move? Lenders are increasingly willing to foreclose on defaulted loans for office towers, malls and multifamily high-rises. But some developers are crying foul over what they say are “pretextual” defaults, created by a lender to help third-party investors […]

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  • What to expect this year in the residential market

    Not much good news ahead, but predictions aren't that terrible, either

    From left: Kathy Braddock, Jonathan Miller, Frederick Peters, Barbara Fox Possible price erosion. No more government stimulus propping up the market. But all with the saving grace of more stability. Those are some of the things we can look forward to in the New York residential market in the coming year. Indeed, the good news is that the predictions for the New York City market aren’t dire for the coming year. The bad news is […]

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  • Rosen and Schrager, post-split

    The longtime duo quickly jump into other projects and pairings after ending their real estate power partnership

    From left: Aby Rosen and Ian Schrager Now that their split is official, financier Aby Rosen and hotel impresario Ian Schrager are wasting little time moving on. Rosen acknowledged publicly for the first time last month that he had reached a deal to buy his ex-partner out of the Gramercy Park Hotel, the troubled boutique project the pair sank $200 million into renovating during the frothy pre-crash days. Then he issued a news release touting […]

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  • Tags: By the numbers

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  • Frank Sciame, CEO of Sciame, is a builder both architects and developers can like. “Thou shall not kill a good design,” says Sciame, who has an architecture degree. And offbeat building plans don’t force him off-kilter or over budget, as evidenced by his work making Thom Mayne’s 41 Cooper Square a reality. His company, which has constructed hundreds of buildings since it was founded in 1975, also has a development arm. Last month, it co-invested […]

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  • Turning a page after closing the 2010 book

    With New Year, Manhattan office market shows some strength

    Manhattan’s commercial market bounced along the bottom for much of the last 12 months. But the start of the New Year brings fresh signs that landlords, even in the lagging Downtown market, are gaining back some of the leverage they lost over the past two years. Both Midtown and Midtown South are beginning 2011 with good news — the availability rate has declined by over 2 points in the last year and the average asking […]

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