The Real Deal New York

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November 2009
  • Hide-and-seek housing

    In rocky market, secrets proliferate, as do detectives

    During the boom years, Manhattan real estate seemed like an open book. As prices climbed higher, news of record-breaking Manhattan deals — like Harry Macklowe’s $60 million Plaza buy or Jonathan Tisch’s $48 million co-op purchase at 2 East 67th Street — was reported not just throughout the country, but all over the globe. With city data about real estate transactions being published online, some brokers jockeyed to have their names linked with high-profile sales. […]… [more]

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  • New York could see a double dip in residential market

    Some experts predict a second slide of home prices in the city

    While prices and sales activity have picked up in New York in the last couple of months, a number of analysts are predicting a second round to the downturn here, with prices likely to fall. Estimates range from a drop of a few percentage points to up to 17 percent. Barry Ritholtz, the New York-based CEO and director of equity research at Fusion IQ, an online quantitative research firm, noted that “there’s still some downside […]

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  • Final hours for rental firm?

    Manhattan Apartments struggles in downturn, but a merger may help the teetering brokerage

    Jerry Weinstein, the founder of Manhattan Apartments, in the firm’s office near Times SquareA few months ago, Michele Colen found the apartment she had been searching for: a newly renovated, no-fee Upper East Side studio in a building that welcomed Leo, her golden retriever-dachshund mix. That day, she swiped her debit card twice: once for the security deposit, and once for the first month’s rent, plus a $50 credit check fee. Her bank statement showed […]

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  • Going after borrowers gets personal

    Lenders suing for more than $400 million in loan guarantees

    From left to right: Kent Swig, Yair Levy, Harry Macklowe and Aby Rosen could be personally liable to lenders. Contrary to popular belief, commercial lenders did not throw out all of their standards in the recent cycle of easy credit. When developer Aby Rosen structured his $133 million loan for the acquisition and development of the Shangri-La hotel at 614 Lexington Avenue in April 2007, the mortgage document included a personal guaranty to cover losses […]

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  • Real estate’s bright (and not so bright) ideas

    The best and worst policies and proposals floated to get NYC's market back on track

    New York’s real estate market is at something of a crossroad. For more than a year now, the industry has been dealing with the fallout from Wall Street and the credit crisis, leaving brokers, developers, city officials and everyone in between groping for strategies to keep financially afloat. While it’s hard to fault real estate professionals for throwing any ideas they have at the problem to see which ones stick, some of those approaches have […]

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  • Lawyers battle in workout wars

    The Real Deal takes a look at the changing role of real estate attorneys

    Phil Rosen of Weil Gotshal & Manges in his office in the GM Building. If you happen to take the Van Wyck Expressway to work, you might have seen it for yourself one morning during rush hour last year: In the breakdown lane a few miles past John F. Kennedy International Airport, an amiable-looking man with closely cropped curls, round glasses and a well-tailored suit sat in his black Lexus LS, gesticulating angrily and screaming […]

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  • Compiled by Linden Lim

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  • Commercial market report: Landlords dangle record amounts of free rent

    Manhattan’s office leasing market fails to keep momentum from previous months

    The amount of free rent that landlords are offering to entice reluctant tenants to sign contracts has hit record levels in the current downturn, despite the fact that asking rents have started to stabilize in parts of the Manhattan leasing market. In the third quarter, two Midtown leases were signed with 17 and 18 months of free rent — double the average of eight and a half months, figures from the most recent report from […]

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  • Thompson Hotels, which owns eight properties nationwide (including five in New York), decreased room rates by 30 percent this year to lure guests. However, those rates started to inch up again this fall as traveling started to resume a bit, said Jason Pomeranc, the company’s co-owner. The room décor at the company’s hip boutique hotels pays homage to 1960s and ’70s rock-and-roll counterculture, as does Pomeranc’s Soho office (which is next to 60 Thompson, the […]

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  • Lenders get more help with “extending and pretending” commercial mortgages

    How long will banks be able to delay dealing with troubled loans?

    The new tax rules handed down by the Treasury Department in mid-September are prompting more lenders to employ already-popular “extend and pretend” and “delay and pray” strategies. These darkly comic catchphrases, of course, are used to describe the practice of extending the maturity on troubled loans rather than working out a deal that would reveal just how little the debt is now worth. Those who follow commercial real estate say the federal government’s new regulations […]

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