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Old October 20th, 2006, 09:29 AM   #481
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It is not very clear what this article is talking about with connection to the renderings... but this news story came with the rendering of that 50+ tall tower. In the article, they state that construction is about to begin on two buildings that are both next to eachother. I assume that the other building is the little yellowish 20+ (or 27 story tower that they mention) in the rendering. Anyway much attention will be for that mysterious 50+ story tower.






27-Story Sheraton Hotel Coming to Downtown Brooklyn
First New Commercial Building to Go Up Since Rezoning Plan Adopted in 2004


By Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Construction fences are up and work has begun at the site of two new upscale and “hip” hotels in Downtown Brooklyn. A Sheraton and another, as-yet-unidentified “but hip” hotel are planned for the site, according to the developer, John Lam of The Lam Group, a Manhattan-based builder of hotels in the city.

This is the latest in significant development news for Downtown Brooklyn and the first new commercial building to begin construction since the Downtown Brooklyn Rezoning Plan — designed to create such construction — was approved.

There has been talk of a 600-foot-tall commercial tower to be built by Thor Equities at 120 Willoughby St., between Duffield and Gold Streets at Flatbush Avenue Extension; and a rumor of another one at the opposite end of the Downtown Shopping District, at Boerum Place and Fulton Mall. But no activity has been announced on either front, and Joseph Sitt of Thor has since put his property and the adjacent renovated Gallery at Fulton Street, formerly the Albee Square Mall, on the market.

The Sheraton Hotel site is on the west side of Duffield Street just feet from the gritty Willoughby Street, but also just feet from the glossy MetroTech campus, where the landmarked Verizon building at 101 Willoughby (7 MetroTech) is undergoing a conversion to luxury condominiums.

The site includes two properties — one a three-story building, the other a parking lot, with addresses of 216-228 Duffield St.

A search of the Department of Buildings website revealed that permits have been issued for the demolition of an existing three-story building, which contains one retail space and two apartments (all empty), and for the installation of the sidewalk shed and fencing. But permits have not been approved yet for construction of the proposed side-by-side hotels.

According to Lam, the side-by-side hotels will be 27 stories tall, will contain a total of 500 rooms and will share an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar which will command wide-angle views. Community space, a restaurant and a spa and pool are also planned.

“It will change the whole neighborhood,” said an enthusiastic Lam, when reached by phone yesterday. Lam also said that he anticipates about 1,000 business travelers a day.

“The Sheraton will be more of a formal business traveler hotel; the other will appeal more to the hip, young population who need a place of their own,” he said, adding that Brooklyn is definitely attracting this population now.

Describing the design by architect Gene Kaufman as “sleek,” he added, “It will have a very exciting look.”

Construction is expected to begin within one month on the first stage, the Sheraton with 320 rooms; and within six months on the 180-room adjacent hotel, for which he does not have a firm commitment yet. The hotels should be completed in two years, in fall 2008.

Denying that he is a visionary in selecting this particular site, Lam said Downtown Brooklyn definitely needed more hotel rooms, it was very difficult to find a site and was pleased to find this one. The site is adjacent to an 800-car underground parking development planned by the city and also included in the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning.

As reported last year in the Brooklyn Eagle, The Lam Group purchased the 15,000-square-foot site for $9 million. Brian Leary, a partner with Massey Knakal Realty Services in Brooklyn, was the broker. At that time, Leary said the rezoning would allow approximately 180,000 buildable square feet on the site. According to a DOB permit application, Lam plans a development of about 160,000 square feet. Leary also said last year that in a 30-day period he received multiple offers and the sellers were pleased with “Lam’s $9 million non-contingent full price offer.”

The Lam group is a very reputable hotel developer and operator in the New York City market, Leary added.

“This is great for the downtown office district and its surrounding communities. It will provide the borough with additional needed hotel rooms and opportunities for more local employment.” Mack Tham, the former director of Real Estate and Development for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, who reported he has had several conversations with the “shy and reticent” hotel developer, who is originally from Hong Kong, is aware of at least seven major hotels Lam has built in the Greater New York City area. These include the Holiday Inn in Chinatown, the Clarion SoHo, the Four Points Hilton at 160 W. 25th St., the Best Western Convention Center at 522 W. 38th St., and Lam’s Convention Center Hotel at 449 W. 36th St. — all in Manhattan; and in Queens, the Sheraton at JFK and the Super 8 in Jamaica.


This is The Lam Group’s first Brooklyn project


Architect Kaufman, who is best known for his current designs of Schaefer Landing on the waterfront in Williamsburg and Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, also has a lot of experience in designing hotel properties. These include the Chelsea Hampton Inn, Tribeca Boutique Hotel, plus a 21-story hotel at 160 W. 16th St. and a 28-story hotel at 1 E. 35th St.





© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006

Last edited by krull; October 23rd, 2006 at 11:40 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #482
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Bad news today for this new foster tower planned on the Upper East Side... The project is not dead yet...





Board 8 votes against Foster tower on Madison Avenue


19-OCT-06

Community Board 8 last night voted 20 to 13 with 2 abstentions to recommend that the Landmarks Preservation Commission not grant a certificate of appropriateness for a proposed residential addition to 980 Madison Avenue opposite the Art Deco-style Carlyle Hotel, the most prominent skyline landmark above 61st Street on the Upper East Side west of Third Avenue.

The board’s vote is advisory and the commission’s hearing on the project is scheduled for October 24.

The proposed addition has been designed by Lord Norman Foster for Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the Seagram Building and Lever House, who presented his plans to the board last night.

The existing building at 980 Madison Avenue is a five-story, limestone-clad structure that extends from 76th to 77th Streets and is known now as the Carlyle Galleries Building and its tenants include the Gagosian Gallery and the East Side office of Prudential Douglas Elliman, the real estate firm.

It was built in 1950 and designed by Walker & Poor and is notable for a large, protruding sculpture over the entrance by Wheeler Williams. The building, which is in the Upper East Side Historic District, was expanded with the addition of one floor in 1987.

In an October 28, 2001 article in The New York Times, Christopher Gray noted that the 40-story Carlyle Hotel on 76th Street and adjoining 14-story apartment building on 77th Street comprised “the signature project of Moses Ginsberg.” Mr. Ginsberg subsequently lost the Madison Avenue blockfront in the early days of the Depression and it was acquired by Robert Dowling who, Mr. Gray wrote, “put up the old Parke-Bernet building across the street...to protect the Carlyle’s west light.”

980 Madison Avenue was acquired in 2004 for about $120 million from the Peter Sharp Foundation by RFR Holdings Inc., of which Mr. Rosen is a principal.





The proposed plan for 980 Madison Avenue would remove the top floor, which was added in 1987, and erect a reflective glass tower at the northern end. The tower would have 22 floors and 18 condominium apartments and its plan is two interlocked ellipses for most of its height.

Mr. Rosen’s plans call for the creation of a 10,000-square-foot, publicly accessible, rooftop sculpture garden and about 25,000-square feet of gallery space on the third and fourth floors for art exhibitions.

Several leading figures in the art world spoke in favor of the proposal.

Jeff Koons, the artist, said it was “a very special building.” A statement by Larry Salander of the Salander-O’Reilly Gallery termed it a “godsend” and statements were read expressing enthusiasm for it from Larry Gagosian, the art dealer, and William Ruprecht, the president of Sotheby’s. 3 Marc Glimcher of Pace Wildenstein also spoke in favor of it.

Jane Parshall, a board member, described the project as “overbearing” and not “contextual,” and another board member, Elizabeth Ashley, said that its height of 355 feet is far above the 210 feet limit of the Madison Avenue Special Preservation District.

One board member called the proprosal “a tour de force” and another described the tower as “feathers in a cap.”

Lord Foster is also designing a mixed-use tower for Mr. Rosen at 610 Lexington Avenue immediately behind the Seagram Building, which Mr. Rosen owns. Lord Foster designed the recently completed Hearst Building on the southwest corner of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue and is known for his high-tech designs.

Lord Foster’s design for Tower 2 at Ground Zero for Silverstein Properties was recently unveiled.

The planned new tower would not only obstruct many views to the northwest from the Carlyle Hotel from Central Park, but also many views to the south from the Mark Hotel, directly across 77th Street from 980 Madison Avenue. The Alexico Group, a residential developer, recently acquired the Mark Hotel.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY.COM INC.


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Old October 20th, 2006, 09:38 AM   #483
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Originally Posted by 3tmk View Post
oh so that's what they're building on the 23rd street at Madison sq!
But that place is really tight, they're going to be pushing the floor to height ratio to the extremes for this one, but the views are going to be awesome, it's looking north to midtown, unobstructed view, damn they're going to sell like hotcakes!

Yeah...





47-story condo tower with 90 units planned for 23rd Street


29-AUG-06

Records on file with the New York City Department of Buildings indicate that Slazer Enterprises of New City, New York, has commissioned Cetra/Ruddy Inc., the architects of the 58-story Orion at 350 West 42nd Street to design a 47-story building with 90 residential condominium apartments at 20 West 23rd Street on the former site of a building occupied from 1985 to last year by Aperture, the photography magazine.

Although the Building Department’s records indicate that the building will be 544 feet tall, Keith Goich of Cetra/Ruddy Inc., told CityRealty.com that the building will be about 604 feet tall.

The great Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, whose address is One Madison Avenue, on the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and 24th Street that was designed in 1909 by Napoleon Le Brun and was the tallest building in the world at 700 feet until 1913 when that title passed to the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway. The New York Life Insurance Company Building on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue at 26th Street is 615 feet tall and the Merchandise Mart Building at 41 Madison Avenue is 577 feet tall.

The new building would be the tallest on the south side of Madison Square Park, and would tower over the 423-unit Madison Green at 5 East 22nd Street, and the Flatiron Building.

Madison Square Park has been the center of considerable real estate activity in recent years.

One Madison Avenue has been acquired by Ian Schrager and Aby Rosen who may convert it to a hotel and condominium apartments. The former Toy Center at 200 Fifth Avenue and 1107 Broadway are being converted to condominium apartments as is the former Gift Building at 225 Fifth Avenue and the top floors at 15 East 26th Street are being converted to residential condominiums and 50 Madison Avenue was recently enlarged and converted to residential condominiums.

The Flatiron District is not only convenient to Midtown, but also to Chelsea, Gramercy Park, Murray Hill and the Union Square districts and it is well served by public transportation.

A report today by therealdeal.com indicated that the planned building at 20 East 23rd Street would be 60 stories tall, but Mr. Goich indicated that the correct figure was 47. He said that questions about the building’s name, Saya, should directed to Richard Cantor of Cantor Pecorella, a marketing company, but Mr. Cantor did not return a call this afternoon from CityRealty.com.

The article at therealdeal.com by Vanessa Londono indicated that apartment prices “will range from $1 million to $6 million,” with a 7,500-square-foot triplex priced at $30 million” and occupancy planned for 2008.

Slazer Development LLC built Mirabelle-on-the-Hudson recently in North Bergen, N.J., a 23-unit residential condominium project. A call to Ira Shapiro, a principal of Slazer Development, by Cityrealty.com was not returned today.

Slazer Enterprises owns 20 and 22 East 23rd Street and has entered into air-rights agreements with the properties at 18, 24 and 26 East 23rd Street and 23 East 22nd Street, which has a 33-foot-4-inch frontage on 22nd Street.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY.COM INC.



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Old October 21st, 2006, 12:01 AM   #484
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hottness!
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Old October 21st, 2006, 02:41 AM   #485
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Condo Hotels Could Threaten Brooklyn Manufacturing
Trump’s Development In Greenwich Village Is Seen as Precedent
Leaders from W’burg, Red Hook, Greenpoint Are Up in Arms



by Sarah Ryley
published online 10-19-2006

BROOKLYN — Condo hotels are one of the hottest new trends in real estate. In the three years since the first was built in south Florida, at least 115 have been built or are under construction in premiere cities around the world, with one glaring omission — New York.

Donald Trump would build the first if his proposed 45-story luxury condo-hotel is approved for a location a few blocks away from SoHo, in a Greenwich Village manufacturing district that permits only conventional hotels. His project has Brooklyn leaders in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Red Hook concerned that it could set a precedent for other real estate developers looking for a “back door” around zoning regulations in their hard-fought manufacturing districts.

“Chelsea and Greenwich are hot areas; Greenpoint and Williamsburg are hot areas, too,” said Brian T. Coleman, CEO of the Greenpoint Manufacturing Design Center. “It’s not off the charts to say that someone may be willing to attempt to do the same thing here.”

He said the hard-fought Williamsburg-Greenpoint rezoning passed in 2005 protected manufacturers, the majority of whom rent, from the pressure they or their landlords were getting to convert industrial buildings into far more lucrative residential units.

Joel Greene, a broker for the Condo Hotel Center, said a “source who said he’s with the people doing the finances on the project” told him yesterday afternoon that the Trump project will break ground on Nov. 1 and kick off sales on Nov. 15.

“They do have permits to do some demolition and some work, but no building permit has been issued,” said Tori Edmiston, press secretary for the NYC Department of Buildings. She said the department is also working with the Department of City Planning “to consider appropriate enforcement measures.” This would come as a surprise to the elected officials and activists opposing the 246 Spring St. Trump project, who when interviewed this week were under the impression that the matter was still caught up in a zoning debate.

That’s because city zoning regulations permit only transient hotels in manufacturing districts, not residential ones with tenants staying in units for more than 29 consecutive days. Greene said he’s unaware of any condo-hotels in manufacturing districts, and that to his knowledge they are all zoned as residential units.


Part Hotel, Part Condo, Part Time Share


Condo hotels are part condominium, part hotel and part time share. The units are owned by individuals, who receive all the amenities of a four- or five-star hotel, including concierge and room service. When the owners aren’t using their condo, they turn the keys over to a management service that rents out the unit and gives the owners a portion of the money, which can be used to offset the mortgage, for example.

Rachael Raynoff, press secretary for the Department of City Planning, said the department recognizes that “the condo-hotel model may present an enhanced risk of unlawful residential occupancy,” and is working with Buildings to clarify what constitutes a transient use and how to enforce the residential restriction.

Greene said he regularly gets inquiries about condo-hotels in New York, and has a VIP waiting list of over 100 people wanting the first shot at making an offer on the Greenwich Village property.

He said the location for Trump’s SoHo project is unique because “most condo-hotels are built in oceanfront resorts, the Las Vegas strip, downtown areas, like downtown Miami and downtown Chicago,” not manufacturing districts — even though SoHo is one of the city’s hottest addresses. And, Greene said he expects the units to start in the low $800,000s, whereas “the average investor is looking to invest around $300,000.”

When asked if he could foresee less expensive condo-hotel units selling in some of Brooklyn’s hip neighborhoods, like Williamsburg, he responded, “You put Donald Trump’s name on it and I could sell it in Haiti.”

Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said, “[Trump] knows if he is able to build here, it will utterly transform the neighborhood by opening the door for other condo-hotels to be built in this neighborhood. And he knows that the same thing could happen to other desirable manufacturing districts throughout the city.”


Hot Trend Still Cool in New York


Sheldon Greene, president of the Condo Hotel Center, a premiere information center on condo hotels, said he was a little mystified as to why the hot trend has been so “slow and coming to New York City.” While condo hotels are most popular in places like Florida, Las Vegas, Dubai and the Caribbean, they’re also big in places like Toronto and Chicago. “A lot of people who live in the suburbs and who frequent Chicago like to have a place of their own. We can give you a four- or five-star hotel, and when you don’t want it we can put it in the rental program,” he said.

He added, “It’s hard to dispute Donald Trump’s choice of locations — the guy is a visionary. Maybe he senses that [the Greenwich Village manufacturing district] is a coming area, and maybe it’s not the way he wants it now but it will be one day in the future.”

Other officials and organizations that sent letters to the two departments and the Office of the Mayor expressing concern over the project include: The Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, Brooklyn’s Community Board 1, the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, the Waterfront Preservation Alliance of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Senator Velmanette Montgomery, and the Pratt Center.

Officials from The Trump Organization did not respond in time for publication.


© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006

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Old October 21st, 2006, 02:50 AM   #486
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Brighton Beach to Get Modern High-Rise
Named The Sochi After Russian Resort City Known as Summer Capital of Russia





By Linda Collins
published online 10-19-2006

BRIGHTON BEACH — Possibly giving developer Joshua Muss a run for his money, a 22-story modern high-rise will soon be built in Brighton Beach, just blocks from Muss’s massive Oceana Condominium and Beach Club.

The Bobker Group, a Brooklyn-based development company originally from Australia, reports it has closed on a waterfront residential development site at 271 Sea Breeze Avenue.

The company, in conjunction with several partners, plans to construct an 85-unit condominium tower on the property, which is currently a vacant lot, according to Ben Bobker, a principal.

“We will be breaking ground within a few months,” Bobker said, adding that completion is anticipated for 2008.

The Bobker Group’s partners include Perry M. Finkelman, CEO of American Development Group; and Mark Engel, CEO of Langsam Property Services Corp.

Architect Michael Even of EM Design Group, based in Manhattan, is designing the project.

And with its location in the predominantly-Russian area of Brooklyn, the development will be called The Sochi after the famous Russian resort city on the Black Sea, known as “the summer capital of Russia.” Brighton’s Sochi will offer unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean. That is because the New York Aquarium is across the street between the high-rise site and the beach.

The units will range from one-bedroom to three-bedrooms plus there will be several duplex penthouses. Amenities will include high-end imported finishes, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, secured parking, and a lifestyle-enhancing health club to include tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool and a fitness center.

The Bobker Group is currently developing over 500,000 square feet of residential condominium projects in the city, including the Morgan Lofts, an $80 million project at 36th and 5th in Manhattan; 127 Twin Tower condominiums in White Plains; and a 42- unit development in Gravesend, Brooklyn, adjacent to the prominent Syrian Jewish community, in conjunction with well-known Russian general contractor Joe Klaynberg from Wonderworks.

This new site is a large through-lot (to Brighton Avenue) that is 21,720 square feet and measures approximately 150 feet by 145 feet. It is zoned for residential use.

The June sale was reported at $13.8 million by propertyshark.com.


© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006



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Old October 21st, 2006, 03:54 PM   #487
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Thats a lot of building projects for just one city
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 02:15 AM   #488
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Quote:
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Atlantic Yards is planned for 8.7 million square feet near Downtown Brooklyn and would include housing, office and retail space and an arena for the Nets basketball team. According to the study, the project would generate $1.9 billion in sales and income tax revenue for the city and state over 30 years, in today’s dollars.
This is all a lie b/c the one who really benefit from this project the most will be Ratner, who is not giving a dime for this project.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 02:46 AM   #489
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Thats a lot of building projects for just one city
Well, its not just one city.. Its five broughs... And Brooklyn was once a seperate city itself.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 02:59 AM   #490
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Nyc is great very booming as expected form the US' most populous city
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 04:30 AM   #491
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Well, its not just one city.. Its five broughs... And Brooklyn was once a seperate city itself.

right, and today its one city...
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 07:57 AM   #492
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thats why i love when ppl say NYC is down and out, this page completely proves otherwise.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 11:11 AM   #493
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right, and today its one city...
Well, many old time brooklyners still like to see themselves as being a seperate city... In a way they are right in that Brooklyn, like the other boroughs has its own personality, competely different from Manhattan. I mean, if you really want to experience NYC, then cross the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 06:23 PM   #494
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There is also another construction booming part of NYC... and that is across the river in New Jersey.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:01 PM   #495
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love that foster tower!
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 11:59 PM   #496
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/ny...ty/22intr.html
On the Block

By JENNIFER BLEYER
Published: October 22, 2006


Josh Haner/The New York Times

NOT since the Dodgers departed in 1957 has there been a slugfest in Brooklyn like the one over Atlantic Yards.

The plan is colossal — 16 high-rise buildings and an 18,000-seat basketball arena on 22 acres near the borough’s busy downtown — and fans and opponents have matched its magnitude with their own statistics. The developer, Forest City Ratner, which is also the development partner of The New York Times Company for its new headquarters in Midtown, says that the $4.2 billion project will bring 4,000 permanent jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenue and more than 6,000 units of housing. Opponents counter that the plan will corral $2 billion in public money and tax breaks, crowd 15,000 new residents into the area and clog local streets with thousands more cars.

Ever since the idea was floated in 2003, the sides have also framed their appeals broadly, citing big-picture concerns about urban policy and socioeconomic justice.

Less noticed amid the large numbers and loud clamor is the sound of the street: the skepticism and dread, or hope and excitement, of people who live and work near Atlantic Yards.

But that sound is there, on the neighborhood’s sidewalks and stoops, in its stores and coffee shops, in its kitchens and parlors. There is the Nets fan dreaming of walking to home games. The mother worried about steering her stroller across an even busier Flatbush Avenue. The teacher hoping that one apartment in the tall towers has her name on it. And the gardener fretting over the shade thrown by those same towers.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:11 AM   #497
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Lower Manhattan Looks Ever Upward In Its Transformation


BY MICHAEL STOLER
October 19, 2006

Wall Street is now home to more luxury condominium developments than investment banks. Talk about a dynamic transformation.

Hundreds of companies and individuals are flocking to live and work in Lower Manhattan. Not because they have to do so. These entities can choose to be anywhere — and they've chosen to be downtown.

In the early 1990s, and immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, companies and individuals were fleeing Lower Manhattan. But the seeds of dynamism — rugged, boldfaced American dynamism — took root.

"Over the past 10 years, Lower Manhattan has transformed itself from a business district to a vibrant, growing residential and mixed use neighborhood," the senior vice president of World Trade Center Properties LLC, Janno Lieber, said.

There are 3 million square feet of retail space downtown. Wall Street, it seems, is outdoing Madison Avenue in terms of shopping prestige. New retail tenants include Hermés, Tiffany, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and Hickey-Freeman. More than 30 new gourmet restaurants have opened in Lower Manhattan since Spetember 11. The BMW dealership on Wall Street is the highest grossing dealer in America.

Downtown Manhattan is the fourth largest central business district in America with 91 million square feet of office space. For the first time since the end of 2001, more than 90% of downtown's office space is leased. More than 4 million square feet of office space was leased downtown in the first nine months of 2006, compared to 3.4 million square feet of leasing activity for all of 2005.

In August, about 1.04 million square feet of office space was leased downtown, the largest single amount since January 2002.

"We have rents that are a considerable value to Midtown Manhattan and other international business districts. And we have valuable financial incentives, including exemptions and reductions in energy expenses and commercial and sales taxes, unparalleled access to public transportation, inviting parks, spectacular open space, and a bustling retail, restaurant, and cultural scene," the president of the Alliance for Downtown New York, Eric Deutsch, said.

Investors from around the world are interested in owning office buildings in Lower Manhattan. In 1956, Socony Mobil, the successor to Standard Oil, moved its headquarters from 26 Broadway to 150 E. 42nd St. when the building was acquired by the Koeppel family. Last week, the Koeppel Companies announced it had retained CB Richard Ellis to sell the landmarked, 31-story, 650,000-square-foot structure, built in 1926. Industry leaders expect the property to fetch close to $210 million.

Earlier this month, a joint venture of Silverstein Properties and California State Teachers' Retirement System purchased from the Koeppel Companies the 35-story, 611,000-square-foot office building at 575 Lexington Ave.The joint venture paid some $440 million for the building.

Moody's Investor Services owns the 11-story, 336,000-square-foot office building at 99 Church St. Last month, Silverstein Properties announced that Moody's had signed a 20 year lease for the 15th floor of the 52-story 7 World Trade Center, and will occupy about 600,000 square feet of the 1.7 million square feet of available office space. Moody's has retained CB Richard Ellis to market the building.

Industry leaders expect 26 Broadway and 99 Church St. will be sold to an investor that will continue to operate the buildings as offices due to the lack of available office space in Lower Manhattan. The primary reason to operate as an office building (as opposed to a conversion to a residential condominium) is the discontinuation of the 421g real estate tax abatement.

The 421g program was established in 1995 as part of a comprehensive plan to revitalize the Lower Manhattan business district. The program provided both exemption and abatement benefits for the conversion of existing commercial buildings into residential properties.The program benefits were available only for conversions for which building permits were issued by the Department of Buildings on or before June 30, 2006.

On June 28, the Moinian Group obtained a building permit to convert all the office building at 95 Wall St. to residential units. On June 30th, Zamir Equities obtain a building permit to and plan to convert the top floors of 40 Broad St. into 128 luxury condominiums. Now that's good timing!

Earlier in the year two other major office properties were sold in Lower Manhattan.In July, the 32-story,55 Broadway (aka One Exchange Place) was sold by the Bank of Communications to Raymond Chalme and Dan Blanco, principals of Broad Street Development. The new owners paid $82 million (or $273 per square foot) for the property.

In March, L & L Acquisitions and GE Asset Management purchased the landmarked, 29-story, 1.05-million-squarefoot 195 Broadway, the former headquarters of AT&T, directly adjacent to the Fulton Street Transit Center development site. They paid $270 million, or about $257 per square foot, to H.J. Kalikow, which is owned by MTA chairman and real estate investor Peter Kalikow.

The building, completed in 1916, served until 1983 as the corporate headquarters of AT &T and was sold to H.J. Kalikow in August 1983.

"Five years ago, pre-9/11, downtown was becoming a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week, fully diverse community: residential, retail, commercial, education, and the beginning of improved transportation," the chairman of global brokerage at CB Richard Ellis, Stephen Siegel, said."That was interrupted by 9/11 and now has returned with even greater promise of fulfilling that direction. The transportation infrastructure is a complete reality and will be improved dramatically, and with the residential infrastructure that exists and is growing virtually daily, the basis for corporate occupancy downtown becomes an easily reached decision."

Downtown's 14 subway lines, 32 bus lines, PATH trains, and waterway ferries make it ideally suited to residential and commercial development.

"The trend of the diversification of the tenant base moving away from financial services to a broader base, plus the spectrum of media companies, telecom, design, publishing, and more legal firms moving to downtown is aiding in the trend for companies to relocate to Lower Manhattan," the president of Rudin Management, William Rudin, said. "With significant announcements of more tenants making deals will reinforce the trend of companies realizing to take advantage of the various incentives and affordability, making downtown a significant viable alternative to Midtown."

One company that is taking advantage of lower occupancy costs and incentives of moving downtown from Midtown is Darby & Darby, a leading intellectual property law firm. It announced it had signed a lease to relocate its headquarters to the 41st and 42nd floors at 7 World Trade Center.

The law firm signed a 15-year lease for about 80,000 square feet and will be relocating from its office at 805 Third Ave., where it has been a tenant for the last 17 years.

Mr. Rudin said, "Last week, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the conversion of 55 Broad St., the most wired and technologically advanced building in the country. The mayor and others were on hand celebrating the creation of the smart building concept. Twelve original tenants have been in the building since the building opened in 1996. Some day the next YouTube or Bloomberg LLP will be saying it had its office at 55 Broad St."

Trinity Real Estate is the largest owner of commercial real estate in the Hudson Square neighborhood of downtown Manhattan. The property is owned by Trinity Church, an Episcopalian parish founded in 1697. The parish became a prominent city landowner in 1705 when England's Queen Anne gave a large land grant to Trinity Church.

"We see a lot of interest from our bread-and-butter creative companies: publishers, media, architectural firms, postproduction companies, advertising businesses, and the like,"the president of Trinity Real Estate, Carl Weisbrod, said. "We are the neighborhood of choice for these businesses.We still get higher rents with lower concessions than we have seen since before 9/11.There is a strong desire among our current tenants to renew and expand.The sublet space on the market is very low, a good indication of market strength. Our market is being aided by both the exceptionally high rents in Midtown and the lowered resistance to the Lower Manhattan market around the World Trade Center."

Mr. Janno said, "The Downtown business district is key to the city's economic future. Downtown needs new office space to replace the almost 15 million square feet of office space that was lost on 9/11; to attract first-class companies who want state-of-the-art space but can't pay Midtown rents; to maximize the potential of the transportation hub; to ensure the City's economic future. Tenants are being faced with a choice: Pay higher rents, move out of the city altogether, or move downtown."

People are flocking to Lower Manhattan to live. Some 37,000 individuals reside in Lower Manhattan south of Chambers Street.The population has increased to a projected population of 42,000 by 2007 from 22,000 in 2001, making Lower Manhattan the city's fastest growing residential community.

A total of 29 new developments are underway totaling 4,000 new units and an additional 4,000 units in various stages of planning, increasing downtown's residential stock by 40% to 28,500 units by 2010.

"Downtown has reinvented itself as a mixed-use, residential–office community, primarily as a result of Mayor Giuliani's incentives instituted 10 years ago," one of the co-founders and principals at Rockrose Development, K.Thomas Elghanayan, said. Rockrose was a pioneer downtown when he converted 45 Wall St., a vacant office building, into 435 residential units in 1997."Building on this transformation, in the next few years, we'll see one of the greatest urban development programs in U.S. history," he said.

Residential construction is booming in Lower Manhattan, especially in Battery Park City. Earlier this year, the fist tenants moved into the newest "green" residential rental tower at 211 North End Ave., the Verdesian (a clever name play on the green theme), developed by the Albanese Organization in partnership with the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. "The apartments leased up in just six months at rents of $58 per square foot," a principal at the Albanese Organization, Christopher Albanese, said.

This building was the second building of the partnership that in 2003 opened the Solaire. The partnership broke ground in August on Site 3 in Battery Park City at 70 Little West St. This full block development (bounded by Little West Street, Battery Place, Second Place, and Third Place) will contain a 33-story, 500,000-square-foot, 250-unit luxury Green Condominium designed by Rafael Pell occupancy is expected in the summer of 2008.

A few months ago, the Sheldrake Organization opened the sales office at Riverhouse, One Rockefeller Park on Lots16 and 17 in Battery Park City.The 26-story condominium has 264 luxury units. "We are doing well on the project with 50 contracts out and signed with approximately $100 million in sales," the president of the Sheldrake Organization, Christopher Daly, said.

Albanese Development is also serving on a fee basis as the as the co-developer with Andre Balazs of the 43-story, 320-unit luxury condominium on 15 William St. at the intersection of William and Beaver streets for SDS Investments.

"Downtown is a city within a city: office, residential, schools, retail, restaurants, and every retailer is looking to be there," Mr. Siegel said.

Mr. Elghanayan said,"The density of population has reached a point where more and more stores remain open after the office buildings close. Downtown no longer lacks supermarkets or other amenities necessary for a vibrant neighborhood."

Downtown has become one of the largest tourist attractions in the world. The annual visitors projection for Lower Manhattan is 8 million, with attendance at select downtown sites at 4.5 million, the highest level since 2001.


To house these tourists, the hospitality business is booming. Downtown presently has 2,500 hotel rooms with an occupancy of 89.2%, up from a low of 69.3% in 2002, and the highest level since before 2000.To meet the demand, one of the largest owners of commercial and residential properties in Lower Manhattan, Joseph Moinian, is planning to build a mixed use, 440,000-squarefoot,53-story W Hotel 53 and condominium tower on a site behind the former Deutsche Bank building at 123 Washington St.The project would include 220 hotel units and 180 condominiums.

As reported earlier this week, Goldman Sachs acquired the mixed-use site in Battery Park City that was built, developed, and owned by Forest City Enterprises. The complex north of the World Financial Center is the home of a 463-room Embassy Suites Hotel and 170,000 square feet of retail space which includes a United Artists 16-screen movie theater. It paid $300 million for the complex, which is near Goldman's new headquarters under construction in Battery Park City.

Early next year, BD Hotel and Robert DeNiro's hotel on Greenwich Street, Travelers, have the opportunity to secure one of the 72 rooms at the Best Western Seaport Inn Downtown at 33 PeckSt.,or one of the 53 guest rooms and suites at the Exchange Hotel, formerly the Manhattan Seaport Suites, at 129 Front St., one block north of Wall Street.

Early next year a new Best Western Hotel will open in Chinatown. Additional hotels are planned for sites at 8-10 Stone St., 161-169 Maiden Lane, and 115-117 Nassau St. Indeed, the future is bright for Lower Manhattan.


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:45 PM   #498
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Buying, By the Numbers
Down the street from your place, another new condominium tower just sold out. Where on earth are all these people coming from? We found out.





255 Hudson Street: The Brokers Buy Here, Too
*Percentages in some categories may not total 100 because of rounding.


By S.Jhoanna Robledo
October 23, 2006

If you live in Manhattan, someone is trying to sell you a condominium in your neighborhood. The spectacular building boom of the past half-decade has vastly shifted the market from co-ops to condos, which account for 25 percent of the city’s salable housing stock but make up more than half the homes for sale right now, says appraiser Jonathan Miller. Most of those apartments are new—hyperpromoted, star-architected, buzz-heavy buildings that added sizzle to the hot market. Thousands more units, planned during the boom, are poised to hit the market in the next year. As of August, 64 residential-construction permits had been issued in Manhattan alone this year. (The total last year was 104.) Developers still think they’re going to sell everything they can build; almost none have thrown up their hands and turned their buildings into rentals, as often happened during the late-eighties crash. Which means everyone seems to be asking the same thing: Just who is buying all these apartments?

To find the answer, we spoke with buyers, brokers who trade heavily in condos, and developers of nearly two dozen projects, some fully sold, some not. The buildings are spread throughout the city, mostly in Manhattan, and most have more than 30 units (some have hundreds). Their owners gave us access to their sales breakdowns, many of which appear in the graphics on these pages.

What emerges is the new face of the condo client—or, rather, faces. Some trends became immediately obvious. New York is—unlike, say, Miami or Las Vegas—a city of local buyers. Investors make up a much smaller slice of the pie here, maybe 4 percent (compared with up to 40 percent in those other cities). The new condo buyer is also much less neighborhood-driven than New York buyers have traditionally been. The building, rather than its site, is king. “It’s no longer truly about location alone,” says Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group president Kelly Mack. Buyers swap the Upper West Side for Tribeca, Chelsea for Murray Hill, the East Village for Prospect Heights. “It used to be our competitors were other buildings on the Upper East Side,” says Orin Wilf, the developer of 170 East End Avenue. “[Now they’re] all over.” Toby Klein of Two Trees Management, which has sold off units in three condos in Dumbo, says the now-coveted neighborhood didn’t see outsiders—investors and foreigners alike—six or seven years ago. “We were strictly a local story,” she says. These days, only a quarter of its contracts are from the area.

Exceptions to this rule are mostly confined to particularly beloved or transitional neighborhoods. In Williamsburg and Greenpoint, “40 percent come from the immediate vicinity,” says David Maundrell of AptsandLofts.com, which markets numerous buildings in both areas. A few projects surprise their builders, too. At 184 Thompson, sales agents expected lots of interest from parents of NYU students. Instead, they got lots of local tenants who were finally ready to own as well as overseas buyers drawn to the mystique of the Village.



The Gantry: They're Young and They're Moving to Long Island City


BUYERS ARE YOUNGER.


The largest shift in buyer demographics is age. Today’s apartment- hunters are yesterday’s renters, those in their twenties and thirties. At 147 Waverly Place, a third of the buyers are between the ages of 27 and 35. At the Gantry in Long Island City, where prices are a little lower, 85 percent of buyers are 39 or under. At the Croft Building on 71 Nassau Street, it’s 69 percent, and at 255 Hudson, 55 percent. “Earning capacity has grown among young people” in the past twenty years, notes developer Edward J. Minskoff. (The median salary for a beginner lawyer at the top law firms in the city is $145,000, according to Brooklyn Law School.)

What’s behind the change? For starters, all those Suze Orman shows extolling the virtues of homeownership. (That mortgage money is still cheap, and interest rates still aren’t rising, helps too.) “It just seems like a lot more people my age are talking about buying a place,” says 30-year-old Nicole Manzi, who’s about to go into contract with her husband for a new one-bedroom in Harlem. Adds Corcoran’s Barrie Mandel, who represents a handful of projects downtown, including Bernard Tschumi’s Blue on Norfolk Street, “Real estate is seen as a 401(k).” And we all know what the financial gurus say about having a 401(k).


THEY’RE SINGLE WOMEN.


In the second season of Sex and the City, a then-babyless and boyfriendless Miranda Hobbes went apartment-hunting and was met with skepticism because she was a woman shopping alone for a big apartment.

Well, it’s seven years later, and Miranda’s not alone anymore. Highlyann Krasnow of the Developers Group, the firm charged with selling apartments at the Hudson on West 60th Street, says her sales team expected to see mostly Upper West Side family buyers. But young single women? “It’s not an intimidating thing for them anymore,” she suggests. Adds broker Samantha Kleier Forbes, “They don’t wait to get married to get a diamond ring, they don’t wait for a husband to have a baby, so why should they wait to get their own apartment?” If and when these women do couple up and move on, condos are less of a hassle to deal with. “Selling [a co-op] isn’t easy,” says Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern, Kleier Forbes’s sister and fellow broker. “If you meet a guy and want a bigger place, they’re hard to rent out, if at all. Some co-ops won’t even let you.”



76 Madison Avenue: Two-Thirds Home, One-Third Away


THEY’RE FORGOING THE SUBURBS.


Single women may be a new marketing niche, but their married friends are definitely putting down urban roots, too, and these new buildings are, to a degree not seen in decades, appropriate to house them. Half of the buyers at 141 Fifth Avenue are about to start a family or have already. Couples and families make up 57 percent of 101 Warren; 58 percent at 310 East 53rd Street. At the Element on West 59th Street, exactly half the buyers have kids. Even in Williamsburg, still a playground of the hip, single, and carefree, condos are keeping the Peg Pérego posse from leaving: At North 11th and Roebling on McCarren Park, slightly more than half the buyers are couples, and 11 percent have kids; at Schaefer Landing, 40 percent are married. Reduced crime, an economy that’s less fundamentally unstable than it was 30 years ago, and a general migration toward urban living has families staying in town once the kids are born, and they need big apartments with rooms for the kids.

The new condos are explicitly built thus, with larger, almost suburban apartments. “The mix used to be much more heavily weighted to studios and one-bedrooms,” says Jonathan Miller. “One of the problems of eighties condo architecture was that kitchen size was [usually] the same for a one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom.” Not so the new buildings. And, adds Corcoran’s Shlomi Reuveni, project manager for the Element and for the Olcott on West 72nd Street, “the suburbs are also expensive now. Prices went up everywhere.”


THEY’RE FORGOING PARK AVENUE.


When the Plaza and 15 Central Park West, both world-class properties, opened last year, brokers expected lines of foreign investors and pied-à-terre buyers outside their sales offices. (They’re the buyers who usually go for high-priced, name-brand projects.) But although those folks did turn up, these buildings have largely been sought out by New Yorkers who, a couple of decades ago, wouldn’t have been caught dead looking anywhere except a Candela building on Fifth or Park Avenues or a townhouse just off Central Park. “A condo [used to be] a slight notch up from a rental,” explains Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Leonard Steinberg. “They had popcorn ceilings and cheap veneer parquet floors and through-wall air-conditioning.”

But as their look and feel have improved—name architects were hired, the battle of amenities began, brand-name fittings and finishes like Wolf and Miele and Waterworks became de rigueur—new buildings began to lose their ticky-tack reputation, and Social Register types have begun to come by for a second look. At 985 Park, the prospectus touts its “new interpretation of classic Park Avenue style”; the Veneto, Related’s new building near Sutton Place, evokes “50s European glamour.” Some buyers are realizing that a century-old building, even an immaculately kept one, has its drawbacks. “These condos are better,” says Shaun Osher, CEO of CORE Group Marketing, which handled the sales at Blanca, a boutique project on East 73rd Street that has attracted transplants from traditional Upper East Side co-ops. “The kitchen, the plumbing, the air-conditioning are all new.” (Though there are stories that they’re not as sturdy as the dowagers: A number have had problems with leaks, mold, and quality control.)

These off–Park Avenue buyers have been willing to pay almost anything for space that meets their demands. According to the most recent Stribling Luxury Market Report, a penthouse at 15 Central Park West is in contract for an astounding-even-in-Manhattan $4,500 per square foot. (The $40 million Duke-Semans mansion, the highest-priced townhouse ever sold, rang up at $2,000 per square foot.) The Plaza has also seen a few $45 million deals; Kirk Henckels, who wrote the Stribling report, says the ones who bought at the Plaza were mostly Americans, “and the majority of the Americans are New Yorkers.”



165 Charles Street: Where the Culture Business Sleeps


THEY’RE SPENDING THEIR BONUSES


State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said in 2004, “Wall Street profits and bonuses are critical to New York City’s economic well-being.” Nothing much has changed since then. Lawyers and finance guys still rule, at least real-estate-wise. Now that the stock market’s back to breaking records—the Dow did it again last week—bonuses are bound to be big again. (Last year, they totaled a record $21.5 billion.) That money is heading into blue-chip apartment buildings, including 255 Hudson (where the finance industry accounts for 27 percent of new owners) and 310 East 53rd Street (23 percent), and often those bonuses are their down payments.


Why now? Real estate is a relatively good place to park new money. “It’s its own asset class,” says Hal Henenson of Prudential Douglas Elliman, and diversifying one’s portfolio means including a home or three. (He adds that lawyers, even more than finance folk, seem to be the ones doing it most.) Though many could easily pass a co-op’s financial scrutiny, Corcoran broker Garret Lepaw says he sees shoppers going condo: “Even when they can afford to buy traditional co-ops, they may not do so. They like the flexibility and freedom” to sell or sublet.


THEY’RE RETIRING TO MANHATTAN


Not only are young families staying here to raise their kids, but their empty-nest parents who left a generation ago for the suburbs are moving back. “They want to be in a place where the entire world is outside their door,” explains Tom Postilio of CORE Group Marketing. At 45 Park Avenue, not far from the Midtown Tunnel and a quick hop from the theater district, 72 percent are coming from outside Manhattan, and half of those are from the near suburbs. At the Onyx Chelsea on West 28th Street, 10 percent of buyers so far are empty-nesters. A fifth of those who’ve purchased at 520 West 19th Street, all in their mid-forties to early sixties, plan to use their apartments as home base when they’re here; at the Jade, 16 percent are buying second homes. One businessman in Queens says he and his wife are trading in their house on the quiet streets of Forest Hills for the Avery on the Upper West Side. “It’s near Lincoln Center and has views of the water,” he says. Adds Postilio, “It’s nice for them to be able to go to the museum or Central Park when the mood strikes. They’ve done their time in the burbs, and they have freedom to explore.”



15 Central Park West: Locals and Couples Predominate


THEY’RE FROM CHINA, INDIA, AND KOREA


We may not be flooded with international buyers—as noted above, this is a homegrown boom—but in neighborhoods like Times Square and the Upper East Side, they’re certainly a factor. (Condos are often the overseas buyer’s only option, because many co-ops don’t allow pied-à-terres.) Twelve percent of purchasers at 310 East 53rd Street come from overseas; at 105 Norfolk Street and at Roebling Square in Williamsburg, virtually no one does. (An ad on the Amsterdam version of Craigslist gets points for trying, though: “Centrally located in Fort Greene, one of Brooklyn’s hippest downtown neighborhoods …”) They also gravitate toward elite properties attached to international personalities, like André Balazs’s 40 Mercer (where foreigners snapped up just over a fifth of the apartments) and the Richard Meier–designed 165 Charles.

But the big change here is the source of those buyers. Russian entrepreneurs, stashing their earnings in the stable U.S. economy, have been big buyers for the past few years. So have the Saudis, and condo marketer Michael Shvo says they’re buying whole buildings now, not apartments. Now, however, Korean money is starting to make itself felt. And rather than buy units sight unseen to rent out to tenants, as the Japanese often did in the eighties, says Jonathan Miller, many are keeping their properties for themselves.

The weak dollar’s helping as well: “Anyone from London, it feels like half off,” says Shvo. The recent loosening of laws in South Korea, dictating where and how much citizens can invest, has changed matters too, as have the manufacturing booms in India and China. “[India] is a booming economy. So what do you do if you have too much money? You invest at home and overseas,” says DJK Residential agent Kent Pahlajani, who has worked with many subcontinental buyers. Having a place here allows overseas executives to circumvent increasingly expensive hotels, which may not have room for them anyway. (The number of international visitors will have increased from 4.8 million in 2003 to a projected 7.3 million by the end of this year, and the 2006 hotel-occupancy rate is very high, at 85.5 percent.) “Hotels aren’t as comfortable [anyway],” says Pahlajani. “If you come here for a week each month and spend $400 a night for a room, that’s expensive!” The fact that a New York condo is in the United States seals the deal: “They know their investment can’t be politically compromised,” says Minskoff. In a global economy, it’s always nice to know that your apartment can compete.


Copyright © 2006, New York Magazine Holdings LLC.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 11:12 PM   #499
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Flickr has a recent shot of the illegitimate recladding of 2 Columbus Circle.

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Old October 23rd, 2006, 11:35 PM   #500
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nice new projects, i like them
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