Weekly Roundup: Basement apartments, seller’s market, plunging foreclosures, son of Lincoln’s house, trophy baths, Goldman Sach’s optimism

Manhattan luxury market unseasonably busy

Naturally occurring retirement communities populate Upper West Side

Condominium board gets TRO against Houston couple to prevent short-term stays

San Remo apartment offered for $29,750 in monthly rent went for $900 a month in 1940

Would changing rules for illegal basement apartments boost supply of affordable rentals? asks the Real Deal and Crain’s

Longtime home of Gershwin family goes on the market

Volume of property taxes kept increasing every year from 2005 to 2012

Residents of abutting buildings at war with developer of planned Fifth Avenue

Neighborhood group faults mayor’s plan for affordable housing

Fiercely competitive land prices forcing developers to build high-end condos

Sex symbol who has money troubles lists Malibu home for $7.75 million

6,800-sf TriBeCa penthouse wins undisputed approval of Brooklyn Nets star

New Jersey home was born to sell

Hip-hop star and reality spouse flip-flop Bel Air house handsomely

January numbers show 9.1 year-over-year sales growth, steady price gains so it’s a seller’s market

Supply of resale housing Continue reading

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Out and About: How about Riverside Drive?

A view of Riverside Drive last fall.

In some circles, Riverside Drive has never quite measured up to the desirability of Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, even though it was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.

But residences on the tree-lined serpentine roadway, which runs from 72nd to 181st streets along Riverside Park and the river beyond, are much in demand.

Lobbies, like this frosted beauty at 180 Riverside Drive, were designed to impress.

With many of them selling at a premium, the apartments in stately pre-war apartment buildings and converted mansions, for the most part, have boasted among their occupants notables such as Damon Runyon, George Gershwin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Paul Krugman, according to Wikipedia.  My former sister-in-law and brother-in-law live there, and my first home in Manhattan was there as well, at No. 425.

Fictional characters have included the leads of 6 Rms Riv Vu by my late friend Bob Randall, the Will & Grace mainstays, Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, copywriter Freddy Rumsen of Mad Men and White Collar‘s Neal Caffrey.

When I checked one day last year to see how many apartments were available on Riverside Drive, I found Continue reading