In 2007, before the financial world turned upside down, a condominium developer signed a contract to pay more than $33 million for a former assisted living facility in the heart of the West Village.
More than three years later, the developer, FLAnk, has closed on the purchase of the building at Hudson and West 12th streets. FLAnk paid just a few million dollars short the full pre-crash price: $33.3 million.
The deal is the latest sign that the city’s residential development engine is beginning to crank up again, opines the Wall Street Journal.
SITE OFFERS EXPANDED PROPERTY SEARCHES FOR BUYERS
Pulling data from the Real Estate Board of New York’s RealPlus database–which collects listings information from brokerages–Buyfolio.com founder Matt Daimler and his team have launched a new Manhattan- and Brooklyn-centric apartment listings database, notes BrickUnderground.
Buyfolio pored through the listings information to create what Daimler contends is “the largest database of building information in NYC,” enabling buyers to search reliably using criteria such as whether buildings allows pets or has a part-time doorman.
“Brokers are very good about putting helpful information like ‘full-time’ doorman or ‘doorman works from 8 to 5’ or ‘sorry no pets’ in the multi-paragraph listing description they create for each of their listings,” says he. “But they are terrible at checking the boxes that should go along with the listing indicating the presence of a doorman, garage, gym or the pet policy.
“So we used natural language search to analyze tens of thousands of listings, looking for similarities and inconsistencies. Over time we built a complete database of this information for over 8,000 multi-tenant buildings in NYC.”
1,200 NEW MANHATTAN APARTMENTS TO BE COMPLETED THIS YEAR IN SIGN OF MARKET STRENGTH
New York City will beat out 43 other major markets this year in terms of apartment vacancy rate, employment growth and other key economic indicators, according to a report that is tied to an index that forecasts the strength of those markets.
The Big Apple is expected to record the nation’s lowest vacancy rate, 3 percent, according to brokerage Marcus & Millichap’s National Apartment Index for 2011.
The brokerage also forecast that the city will demonstrate strong employment growth by adding 84,000 jobs, a 2.3 percent increase from 2010. Both factors propelled New York to the top of the index, surpassing Washington, D.C., which held the No. 1 spot in 2010.
There will 1,450 units completed, expanding market-rate apartment inventory by a mere 0.9 percent this year from 2010, the brokerage said. In Manhattan, 1,200 new units will come online versus 4,900 units last year, helping market-rate vacancy to improve.
STATE POSTS ONE OF BIGGEST PRICE INCREASES IN THE U.S. DURING DECEMBER
New York State had one of the nation’s largest increases in home values in December, according to CoreLogic’s monthly home price index report.
Including distressed sales, New York experienced the fourth-largest growth of home prices in the U.S., climbing 1.66 percent from November to December.
JUDGE SIGNALS THAT SECOND-HAND SMOKE IS GROUNDS FOR BREAKING LEASE
A federal court judge has ruled that an Upper East Side tenant could break her lease and pay reduced rent because she had complained about a neighbor’s cigarette smoking and the landlord failed to take appropriate action.
The ruling was the first of its kind because most smoking-related matters between landlords and tenants do not go to trial, experts said.
Tenants will begin to use second-hand smoke as an offensive measure against landlords, Stuart Berg, a partner at Kurzman Eisenberg Corbin & Lever, predicted.
The situation is more complex for co-ops, said Berg, who is working with two buildings in which the boards are requiring smoking tenants to install ventilation or air filters in the apartment.
Co-ops have to vote and amend co-op bylaws for restrictions to be imposed, the lawyer observed, adding, “It is easier for non-co-op residential landlords to deal with it by modifying leases and not permitting smoking in the apartment.”
FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY PLUNGES FROM ITS PEAKS BECAUSE OF NEW STATE RULES
Newly scheduled residential foreclosure auctions in New York City hit another low in January, continuing the downward trajectory that began in the aftermath of the so-called “robo-signing” controversy late last year.
According to new data from PropertyShark.com, which tracks the number of foreclosure auctions scheduled for the first time, on a monthly basis, there were just 106 such filings in January, down from 247 in October 2010, when the scandal surfaced and lenders began to impose temporary foreclosure freezes. The city’s peak was 473 newly scheduled foreclosure auctions in June 2009.
In October, the state’s chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, ordered foreclosure lawyers to sign sworn statements certifying that to the best of their knowledge, bank paperwork contained “no false statements,” thereby freezing many foreclosures in their tracks.
REBNY FINES NESTSEEKERS $5,000 FOR IMPROPER LISTINGS AND UNCHARACTERISTICALLY BROADCASTS THE PENALTY
In an unusual move, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) sent a mass e-mail to more than 500 members notifying them that the trade group had fined the residential brokerage Nest Seekers International $5,000 for claiming another broker’s exclusive listing was its own.
QUEENS WATERFRONT TARGETED FOR HUGE NEW MIDDLE-CLASS APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT
Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans for the first large-scale, middle-class housing complex in New York City since the 1970s, a development officials hope will transform 30 acres of Queens’ long-abandoned, industrial waterfront into a vibrant residential community.
The Related Cos., Phipps Houses and Monadnock Construction will create 908 housing units in two buildings.
A minimum of 685–75 percent–will be “permanently affordable” to middle-income New Yorkers, Bloomberg said; the city is targeting families with household incomes ranging from $32,000 to $130,000.
Known as Hunters Point South in Long Island City, this development has been in the Bloomberg administration’s plans since the mayor’s first term.
IF YOU DON’T FANCY THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, HOW ABOUT A STATEN ISLAND FERRY BOAT?
The former Staten Island ferry boat, Gov. Herbert H. Lehman, is being sold on eBay at a starting bid of $500,000.
Bidding for the 297-foot-long boat, which was built in 1965 for $42 million, ends tonight. The price does not include pickup or shipping.
Retired in 2007, the 1960s-era boat appeared destined for the scrap heap after it was purchased by a Bronx salvage company for $152,500. But the owners of La Viviana Industries “didn’t have the heart to cut it up,” said Pat Dolan, who’s brokering the sale. “They want to sell this now. Cash offers will be considered.”
The boat can carry 3,500 passengers and up to 40 vehicles.
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