Archives for posts with tag: West Chelsea
Breaking News! New York City recently fell down the list of nation’s priciest Zip Codes, owning only 2 spots versus 6 a year ago! Something must be happening! This 3rd quarter 2015 newsletter will support some signs of a possible slow down in the Manhattan Market based on the price level/inventory and sales volume data.
On the other hand, Manhattan’s best neighbor, Brooklyn, is pursuing its growth stage supported by an escalating demand for properties ranging from entry level to luxury apartments.
Finally, the New Development pipeline section will focus on the number and quality level of units scheduled for delivery from 2016 to 2018 in Manhattan, which could spark some worries in the Super and Ultra Luxury products offerings.
I truly hope that this newsletter will be beneficial and informative while shaping your real estate plans. I remain available to consult with you at your convenience.
Cheers,
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Hi,
Finally! Spring has arrived with a blooming enthusiasm from home hunters taking on their search for a new nest and hoping for more inventories to hit the market. These hopes seem realistic at first since the market is moving ahead from a month of February 2015 that recorded a new historical low level of inventory with only half the number of condos than the pre-2008 average. However, the demand for housing has not decelerated, keeping high the challenges to buy a property in New York.
In this Q1 2015 Newsletter and moving forward, both Manhattan and Brooklyn are getting their equal share of market snapshots and reports, with a new format of the Corcoran Market reports.
This Newsletter highlights the dynamic of key real estate metrics and bring them in parallel with the economic and demographic activities that have been and keeps contributing to the emancipation of New York City.
I wish you a great Spring season and welcome your Real Estate questions.
Cheers,
Q1 2015 Newsletter

The neighborhood of West Chelsea extends approximately from West 14th to West 30th street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway.

In the past 5 years, West Chelsea has drawn worldwide attention notably through the success of the High Line elevated parkway: a 1.43mile former railroad line (west side line) running along the lower West side of Manhattan from 14th to 29th Street (shown below). The repurposing of the park was inspired by the famous Promenade Plantée in Paris and has spurred many new real estate developments along the 9th and 10th Avenue rows, where multimillion dollar condominiums are burgeoning. The proximity to the High Line park along with the quality of mom and pops stores, art galleries and Google’s economic boost to the area  have been attractive factors for home hunters. 

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To better enjoy such quality of life, buyers have been flocking to one of the best place to contemplate in the city: the Seminary block. Located on West 20th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue, this exclusive street block is home to the 1800’s Episcopal seminary that is supported by the church. For the story, in 1878, the new appointed Dean Eugene Augustus Hoffman led the expansion program of the seminary which included the construction of new campus facilities based on an Oxford model with neo-gothic buildings facing onto a central quadrangle. More recently, upon the opening of the Desmond Tutu Center 2007, the western part of the seminary facing 10th Avenue operates primarily as a hotel and conference center. The seminary has been maintained impeccably and the area is pristine.

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For buyers in need of a large home (3,500sf +) the options available in condominiums remains very limited and…expensive. At this time, there are only 8 condos with 4+ bedroom available in the area at a median price of $15.950M, an average ppsf of $3,415 and size of 3,825sf. Any current condos over 4,000sf will cost more than $16M with maintenance and Real Estate taxes approximating more than $10K/month.

With so few options, my attention drew toward the townhouse alternative and more specifically to the Circa 1853, Anglo-Italianate style 5-story townhouse listed at 438 West 20th Street by townhouse specialists Paul Kolbusz and Sara Gelbard. The house is currently asking $8.580M and offers close to 4,800sf of exquisite space, light and luxury. After my visit, I was stunned by how much more a homeowner could get out of a townhouse compare to a condominium. To expand on this idea, I compared and put into perspective the main attributes of both property types.

Facade

Cost of ownership.

As mentioned above, buyers should expect to pay in the $15M range for a 4,000 sf condominium in this area. The monthly cost of ownership of such condominium range in the $9 to 11K/month or over $100K/year. Comparatively, at $8.580M, the townhouse looks like a bargain. In addition, the average yearly cost of ownership ranges in the $10-14K which include real estate taxes, insurance, fuel/gas/electricity and basic repair and upkeep. The townhouse alternative would leave no less than $100K in the owner’s pocket every year on top of $6M on the purchase! Certainly a budget that can be used for other investments or lifestyle upgrades.

Full Service and amenities: the condominium alternative will bring all the services as soon as you walk in which should justify the $6K+ of common charges to be paid each month. The doorman will be there to greet, the gym should have the state-of-the-art fitness equipment, the common areas such as rooftop and lounge would be kept in great conditions and offer additional space for gathering or relaxing. Most likely a dry clean service will be available (at an additional cost of course) and maybe valet parking will be available.

On the other hand, the townhouse lifestyle can bring these 6K+/month into better use. This could translate into hiring a housekeeper or nanny for instance. With so much space in the house, there is the possibility to have a live in house staff to occupy the garden level space so that the owners can keep their privacy through the rest of the house. To substitute for the gym and stay active, the townhouse has also enough space to build a private workout area, and host a private trainer. Still not convinced?

The no-doorman alternative keeps the owner’s privacy to its highest, which many people value in New York City. With a valet parking across the street, this townhouse location really make it simple and effort less to come and go whenever you need.

As far as outdoor space, 438 West 20th Street offers a beautiful and large garden, as well as two terraces each on the 3rd and top floor, that can be re-arranged at the new owner’s taste. The top floor overlooks the Chelsea skyline with no vis-à-vis: a wonderful place an homeowner could appreciate in many ways. Finally, with 5 floors boasting high ceilings, the elevator will allow for quick rides up and down the house and be a wonderful asset for visitors with limited mobility.

The townhouse exclusivity:

Let’s take a walk through the house now and show the townhouse shines a lifestyle and exclusivity that no condominium, no matter how expensive they are, will offer.

This house is currently set up as a 6 story single family with 6-bedroom 3.5 baths, which had undergone a complete and tasteful renovation that preserved its unique character since its 1853 origination. Among the 6 stories, The ground floor has a living area and guest room which provides a sense of autonomy from the separate street entrance and access to the rear garden (see pics below).

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As you open the cast iron gate and walk through the front garden, the house welcomes you into a beautiful first floor foyer assorted with one of the five wood burning fireplaces built with marble mantles: think about the cold/rainy/snowy days of NY and how cozy the feel of coming into a warm house hearing the wood fire cracking noise. Passing the foyer, the house leads you to a fully renovated kitchen featuring a Bertazoni oven and Carrera marble counter tops that opens to a casual dining room with access to the rear garden. In an instant, you can disconnect from the outside and any nuisance you want to escape.

Foyer Kitchen CasualDining Garden2 Garden1

One flight up through the beautiful staircase with coffin corners or using your private elevator will lead to the parlor floor which opens up on the light filled living room overlooking the seminary. On the other side of the parlor floor lays a formal dining room overlooking the private garden. Both rooms are separated by a wet bar with a fridge, a great feature that became handy in this grand space built for entertaining.

Staircase

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As you reach out to the third floor, the master bedroom sanctuary features a grand fireplace, and connects to the bathroom through a large customizable walk-in closet. The master bedroom is a gem: dual sink with Delta facets and a jetted, freestanding tub. To complete this oasis of relaxation, the floor benefits from a home office/ lounge area with direct access to a calm and quiet back terrace.

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Bedroom view

The fourth floor brings two additional bedrooms, a full bathroom and a washer dryer. This floor could also be reconfigured as a laundry room, a recreation area or a cinema. It is certainly a floor that opens to ideas for tailored space configurations.

2ndBed 

Reaching the fifth floor will bring an owner’s wildest thoughts into perspective. A top floor gallery with a terrace boasting incredible views of Manhattan. The floor has plumbing for a full bathroom or an outdoor hot tub/Jacuzzi (just a thought), and can be used as an additional entertaining space, an art or music studio, or a projection room among other things.

Gallery Gallery2 Terrace terrace2

Urban sophistication: 

To conclude, the choice of living at 438 West 20th Street reflects a modern, subtle, and sophisticated lifestyle. This townhouse is one of the best accomplished mix of historical grade property with modern features that bring a unique atmosphere and experience that the future owners will be able to embrace for many years ahead.   

November 2013 Newsletter

Once a stalled hotel project, the entire block of 10th avenue between 20th and 21st Street, aka 500 West 21st street, finally broke ground to lead toward the construction of a luxury condominium building.

The developer, Sherwood equities, known for being very meticulous in their approach, was able to snap the construction site from the Hotelier Andre Balazs and investor Charles Baichman for $23.5M in 2010, half the price these two paid for the side in 2008.

The proximity to the High Line and the evolution of the neighborhood as a more family-friendly area has led this 32 units building to offer larger apartments, many said to be over 4,000sqft. The apartment mix should consist of 12 two-bedrooms, 13 three-bedrooms and 4 four-bedroom, with 2 penthouses and 2 duplexes. The architect Ms Atkin mentioned that 65% of the units will feature either a terrace or a balcony, and most of them will have 2 exposures, and command views of the Empire State Building and the High Line. Thanks to the zoning, which aimed at preserving West Chelsea’s landscape, the building will be no higher than 80 feet, and blend well with the area by reflecting its industrial character, respecting the stately Romanesque Church and Seminary Row along the 20th street side.

The interior design was handed to Mark Zeff whose focus is to give a “luxurious industrial” quality to the property to balance with the contemporary classic feel of the layouts and building design. To that extend, he is “planning to run a thread of oil-rubbed bronze from an exterior canopy throughout the public spaces and even into some areas within units”.

Finally, on top of the gym, playroom and meeting room, the project will feature a garden of mature trees on the second level of the building that will act as a screen from those passing on the High Line. Residents at this level will enjoy private terraces extending into the foliage. Image