The Big Apple: A 30-room co-op could be yours

High Line is proving to be an increasingly strong magnet for developers

With the next section of the elevated Chelsea park known as the High Line poised to open next month, New York developers are gearing up numerous projects along the route in hopes of capitalizing on rising interest in the area.

The High Line has helped transform an area that remains a long walk from public transportation, offers less retail than other downtown neighborhoods, and until recently was associated with crime and industrial blight.

The second section, which is slated to open sometime in June and will run from 20th Street to 30th Street, is a less-developed area but has already attracted new construction.

Even with $60 million for adjoining apartments, not just anyone can assume board approval in famed building

Two adjoining duplex apartments at a legendary Park Avenue address are about to be put on the market for $60 million.

The grand apartments on the 12th and 13th floors of 740 Park Ave. are owned by philanthropist Courtney Sale Ross, the widow of former Time Warner CEO Steve Ross. The duplexes have access to each other but are not fully combined, say brokers familiar with them. Together, they have more than 30 rooms.

A sale would represent a rare turnover at 740 Park, perhaps the most prestigious residential building in New York and one with a notoriously difficult co-op board.

New foreclosure auctions plunge

The number of new scheduled foreclosure auctions in NYC (93) registered a 65 percent decrease in April 2011 compared with one year earlier and a 12 percent decrease from March this year.

As opposed to March 2011, Brooklyn foreclosures were down 54 percent, and the number of new Staten Island foreclosures decreased 20 percent. Manhattan foreclosures were up 4 percent; Queens, 3 percent more; and the number of new scheduled foreclosures was level in the Bronx.

Scheduled auctions for coop units registered the biggest change, jumping 253 percent over April 2010; the rise was from 19 to 67.

In addition, there were 981 residential properties that received at least one lis pendens (formal notice filed by the lender against a homeowner with three months of unpaid mortgage) filing in New York City in last month.

The total was 23 percent off the same month in 2010 (1,271) and a decrease of 1 percent compared with the prior month.

By number of pre-foreclosure filings, Queens was on top in April 2011 with 373, followed by Brooklyn with 317.

Biggest hostel in the Americas has another distinction: its architect

In the 1880s, when the women who ran the Association for the Relief of Respectable and Indigent Females needed an architect for the charity home they were building on 104th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, they chose the most famous architect of the time, Richard Morris Hunt.

Now, it’s mostly 18-29 year old travelers who spend the night at the Youth Hostel at 891 Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side.  But folks of any age are welcome. There’s room for 672 travelers, making the hostel the largest  in the Americas.

Don’t fall in love with the wrong architect for renovations

When  you have a great contractor on board and the budget in place to undertake your dream renovation, a key piece of the puzzle is the architect.

Says, that individual “can make or break your project since you need this professional to get your renovation approved and signed off by the Department of Buildings.”  Instead of a long list of what to look for, the Brick blog provides six telltale signs of a bad match.

If you think there are more strollers and households with unmarried partners, you’re right

Manhattan was the only borough in New York City to record an increase in the number of children under age 5 in the last decade as well as in the number of married couples with children, according to newly released census figures.

Among five surrounding New York counties, only Rockland recorded such increases.

Also, the city was home to 29 percent more households consisting of unmarried partners and 10 percent fewer single mothers in 2010 than in 2000.

While the total number of households with children declined and the number that included someone 65 or older increased, the age gap widened between New York City and residents of the rest of the state, who, taken together, are growing older at a faster rate.

Pick up a co-op on upper CPW at a foreclosure auction

Unit 15E at 444 Central Park West is hitting the auction block on May 18. The unit has a $223,976 lien on it.

If the co-op matches the building’s other E-line units, it’s a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with perhaps 1,250 or 1,300 square feet. The other comparable units in the building have sold just around the $1 million and slightly higher range, and unit 3E is on the market asking $1.1 million.

The auction is scheduled to take place in Room 130 at 60 Centre St. at 2 p.m, though anything can happen between now and then to prevent or postpone the sale.

Upper West Side’s Ariel West stands out not only for its height but for its new smoking ban as well

One condominium on the Upper West Side has taken the step of prohibiting residents from smoking inside their apartments.

Even smokers who moved into the building, the Ariel West, before the ban must abide by it. The building is one of the first in the city to approve such an extensive ban. (Several rental buildings introduced bans last year, but established tenants who smoked were not affected.)

Owners in the building, a 32-story glass tower at Broadway and 99th Street, voted 47 to 3 to approve the ban late last month. There are 68 owners in total; 46 votes constituted the supermajority required to change the bylaws.

Units in 2 East Harlem condominiums are to be auctioned

Two new East Harlem condominiums will hit the auction block next month as their anxious developers forego the traditional brokerage route and instead attempt to unload the entirety of their inventory in one shot.

In all, 34 units once listed for a combined $20 million will go up for sale, with eight of those units being sold with no minimum bid.

The first of the two buildings, the 12-unit Winfield condo at 231 E. 111th St., and was developed by Lou Foundos. Prices had ranged from $325,000 to $650,000 per unit previously, but suggested opening bids at the auction begin at $149,000.

The second property, at 178 E. 117th St., has been dubbed the Alto by developer Moshe Gold of G&L Realty. The eight-story, 22-unit condo comprises entirely of two bedrooms listed at $650,000 to $850,000. Suggested opening bids will begin at $249,000 for the Alto.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
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