Last year I covered the residential, commercial and residential expansions of the area below Chambers Street covering three distinct neighborhoods: Financial District, South Street Seaport and Battery Park City. We can now observe significant changes and an even more positive outlook for the years to come.Residential Q1’14 vs Q1’13 figures look very healthy. Condos average ppsf increased by 25% to $1,106, and the median price by 36% to $968K. The increasing demand for larger units (3-bed) with an average price that amplified by 30% to $2.350M is partially responsible for driving the prices upward. New Developments with 225 Rector as a Star product following by the W Downtown (pic below) and 75 Wall Street have a ppsf that increased on average by 30% to reach $1,391/sf and a median price who increased by 48% to $1,214M.

W Residences

Once stalled mixed-use luxury condo/retail developments such as 50 West Street is finally going up after securing a $400M debt/equity deal mid2013. The Top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth tower are being converted into condominiums that will average over $3,000/sf. The Four Season hotel and residences on Church and Barclay Street is under construction (below) and 22 Thames Street is slated to become the tallest residential tower in Downtown.

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Knowing that the cap of residential construction has been reached in BPC, and the Financial District residential inventories have dropped by 42% in the past year, these developments will help accelerating the residential life in the neighborhood.The retail activity and prospects are showing signs that very few New Yorkers could have ever imagined just a couple of years ago or even months following Sandy: on the Battery Park City side, Brookfield Place $250M renovation is revamping the entire market place of the World Financial Center (see rendering below) and is now connected underground with the World Trade Center Path Train Station and Fulton MTA transit center. Le District, a French food marketplace is slated to open later in 2014, along with Umami Burger.

Brookfield place

On the other side of the highway, Westfield, who owned the retail space of the WTC recently announced the signature of Eataly at 3 WTC, which follows high end designers (Breitling, Canali, Montblanc) setting up retails next to the 17,000sf Victoria Secret store in the 365x115ft long main hall known as the Oculus (see bottom pic), described as “an elliptical fish-tank-like area with a movable glass eyelid on the ceiling”. Tom Ford, Tiffany and Armani are also eyeing space at 3 WTC

Calatravas-Oculus

Westfield place

The commercial landscape is also transitioning: the high rent and low vacancy rate of Midtown and Midtown South have pushed startup firms in need of quick, cheap and efficient set up to the Financial District that has been deserting by financial services and is now being invaded by tech, media, and Internet companies. Several drivers have pushed to this direction. First, the MTA Fulton transit hub converges more than 10 subway lines which will facilitate the commute of the many Brooklyners employed by these creative companies. Second, the price of $52.49/sf versus $66.24/sf for midtown south combined with flexible workplaces is an attractive feature. Also, some tenants are acting as magnets such as Conde Nast’s media empire who has taken over 1 million sf of office space at 1 WTC, the hot ad agency Droga5 who settled on 90,000 sf and collaborative space provider WeWork who took over 300,000sf on Wall Street. Finally the area has 20 new hotel projects under construction which will bring about 1,700 rooms to facilitate tourism and business travelers’ needs. 

 

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The long awaited project of the Second Avenue subway line dubbed “T Line” has recently shaken the real estate activity on the Upper East Side, east of 3rd Avenue. The T Line – which will eventually run 8.5 miles from 125th Street to Hanover Square – has been in the plans for decades and long been awaited by commuters on the overcrowded Lexington 4,5,6 line. Now that the project finally broke ground, and is getting some momentum, with an anticipated opening date of 2016 for the stretch of 86th Street to 63rd Street, we can witness an increasing interest for properties located on the east side of 3rd Avenue among prospective buyers.

According to data provider CityRealty, the average sales price of Upper East Side condo east of Third Avenue was $1.57M compared to $2.34M for the entire Upper East Side. Activity in 2013 suggests that the gap is narrowing. Indeed, average price per square foot (ppsf) for condos on and eastward of Third Avenue increased 11.4%, above the 10.4% for the overall neighborhood. Similarly, co-ops average ppsf increase 7.7% compare to 5.3% for the entire area.

One of the most noticeable developments highlighting this trend is the condominium building at 515 East 72nd Street, where half of the 142 one-bedroom apartments closed between summer 2012 and 2013. Overall 90% of the 329 units have been sold which brought the building to the list of the 10 best-selling New York City building of 2013. This “spa-like” condo offers outstanding services and wellness amenities such as a pool, yoga rooms, rock climbing wall and fitness center which have been a major draw for prospective buyers. Over the past 12 months, sales averaged $1,318/sf and currently available apartments are asking $1,638/sf on average.

Another influential development which also made it to the list of the 10 best-selling New York City building of 2013 is the Manhattan House. A 513 unit luxury condominium conversion located on 66th Street off 3rd Avenue, where sales averaged $1,713/sf in the past 12 months while currently available apartments are asking $2,107/sf. The building offer five star hotel concierge services, full-time residence manager, valet, parking service, rooftop Manhattan Club with 10,000 square feet of interior and exterior entertainment space, Exhale Mind Body Spa & Fitness club, yoga studio, a bike storage, and children’s playroom designed by Roto.

Many of the high rise condominiums on the East side of 3rd Avenue offer sweeping river and city views but without the premium of their Midtown and downtown counterparts. It’s also an area that is not so congested, offers access to major food merchants, big box retailers, restaurants and located a few blocks away from Madison Avenue shopping strip

Corcoran Sales Market Report – 1st Quarter 2014

You wonder how the market did last quarter?
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January14_Newsletter

Corcoran Sales Market Report – 4th Quarter 2013

November 2013 Newsletter

One Madison Park, one of Downtown most awaited new development designed by Cetra/Rudy, is finally seeing the light of the day, or should I say, the end of the tunnel. Indeed, this magnificent development went through financial and legal turmoil, which stalled its progress. Another anecdote talks about a couple of residents, who bought on floor plans and decided to settle in the unfinished building, which later fell in bankruptcy. Fortunately, for these residents and excited buyers eyeing the Downtown market, One Madison Park is ready for completion and closings are happening as early as the 1st quarter of 2014. Developer Related led the rescue scenario which included creditors CIM and HFZ Capital, as well as interior design firm Yabu Pushelberg hired to finish the remaining half of the units, the lobby and amenity spaces. A couple of months ago, Related already had a successful experience with a similar situation at 225 Rector Place, a bankrupt building, that they transform into one of the most successful Battery Park City condominium.

One Madison Square Park stands upon a unique location, where Downtown meets Midtown South, and at the crossing of the Flatiron, Gramercy, NoMad and Chelsea neighborhoods. Facing the beautiful Madison Park, residents can enjoy the change of the season sceneries along with 360 degrees breathtaking views of Manhattan. No other residential building in NY offers these views – it’s a feature that you would only find at One Madison Square.

To preserve the residents privacy, the entrance of this 60-residence only boutique condominium is located at 23 East 22nd Street above which a duplex and triplex units will be available for buyers who prefers a “townhouse” living style to the “perched-in-the-sky” condominium. The lobby will be filled with marble walls and sculptural element. “A slender water feature casts light and shadow behind tall wood columns and a soft mosaic-patterned custom rug leads guests to a curated permanent art installation created specifically for One Madison”.

As mentioned above half of the residences feature Yabu Pushelberg interiors and the other half Cetra/Ruddy interiors. Yabu Pushelberg (see pictures below) brings a contemporary, elegance and calm environment to full floor residences. Living rooms layout with open kitchen and a set back with dining areas offer multiple views of the Manhattan skyline from one room, ideal for casual get together or dinner with private chef enjoying the top of the line kitchen features.  The master bedroom on full floor overlooks Madison Avenue and the Park, while the baths covered in custom blue Cippolino marble vanity with grey stained European oak cabinetry creating the feeling of a spa.

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The Cetra/Ruddy interiors (see picture below) are a “Modernist-style celebration of natural light and expansive skyline views” and feature lighter finishes such as wide plank solid white oak flooring and finishes in light hues which the loft like interior with sky high living, custom kitchen in satin-rubbed Indian Laurel veneer, and marble countertops. The baths feel like zen havens filled with stone surfaces from Italian travertine to rich marbles.

 

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The amenities and service level brought by related have been curated to meet with the future owners high expectations and demands. To that extend, the One Club will provide assistance with everyday needs as well as access to the most exciting activities and entertainment the city offers. The assistance extends to the organization, design and planning of private event within the building.

The amenities include an upscale dining room to provide owner’s guests with cocktail and gastronomic parties thanks to the butler’s service and gourmet catering kitchen. A screening room, lounge and entertainment rooms are available for relaxing outside your apartment. Residents can take relaxation to a higher level by enjoying the 75-foot pool and spa, located next to state-of-the art gym and yoga studio. 

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