Condos go for 31 percent off original prices at auction

Developer Jose Espanal says he is happy with results.

NOTE: I have updated this post to correct some totals and percentages.

Two auctions were held in succession of condos in two new developments at the Hotel Roosevelt today.

The Sheldon Good auction firm and the developers were bordering on euphoric with the results of the bidding for 26 units in the New Amsterdam Condominiums in Manhattan’s Washington Heights.

I didn’t speak with the developer of the 19 apartments in East River Tower that found buyers, marketed as situated in Long Island City, Queens, but he had ample reason to be pleased as well.

By my quick calculations, Jose Espanel, developer of the New Amsterdam building, had winning bids totaling Continue reading

Advertisements

When seeking a doorman building, look for a condo

He may be a budding doorman, but he's out of uniform. (Flickr photo by Photo-Fenix)

It’s just about the next best thing in Manhattan to having a chauffeured limousine always at your disposal.  That would be living in a doorman building.

Door personnel and concierges obviously do like to get paid for their work, and that means you’ll fork over plenty in common charges or maintenance fees to live in a doorman building.  In fact, the cost of all labor normally is the biggest budgetary item in such a building.

But the conveniences are manifold; I’m sure that I don’t have to enumerate them for you.

I got to wondering what percentage of buildings Continue reading

The High Road: What’s up with Sheldon Good in its upcoming auction of condos in Manhattan and Queens?

I’m old-fashioned in at least one respect.  I get the New York Times delivered to my door, and that’s how I normally learn about real estate auctions.

Whether by the public administrators of Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn or by companies that specialize in such auctions, advertisements in print are the norm.

Not so, it seems, with Sheldon Good & Co., Continue reading

Out and About: Don’t be fooled with a conversion

There is nothing like a gut renovation. (Flickr photo by Asturnut)

There is a 16-story building on West End Avenue in the low 70s that has undergone conversion from rentals to condos, a situation fraught with issues that I have explored from time to time.

Among the issues: How long will it take for the conversion to be completed? How deep are the developer’s pockets?  How will lingering tenants and ongoing construction affect the ambiance of the 1924 building? How certain is the quality of future work?

When I asked the listing broker three different ways how many of the units were occupied by owners, she told me that approximately 60 percent had that status, a healthy proportion indeed.  Yet Continue reading

Out and About: Before buying, fall in love with the nabe

 

A Central Park block in the mid 90s.

An extraordinarily wise and experienced real estate professional–okay, Paul Purcell is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, with which I’m affiliated–once said this to a seller whose apartment we were pricing:

You’ve got to like the apartment, but you’ve got to love the neighborhood.

Honestly, I’d never considered that criterion with quite so much emphasis.  When I think of it, however, the notion of which part of the city appeals to a buyer naturally has to come first.  (With me, it was one factor on which I have been willing to compromise, having lived in neighborhoods as diverse as Washington Heights and Gramercy Park, among several others.)

But I get it.

We all know that there are Continue reading

One is luckiest number at city estate auction

This is the best I ever can manage for a forbidden photo inside the impossibly lush Surrogate Courthouse.

Only a couple of dozen hopefuls turned out for the city’s estate auction in the Surrogate Courthouse yesterday, so two lone bidders ran away with co-ops at the minimum asking price.

Lawyer Glenn Ostrager was the sole bidder for the 825-sf apartment at 60 Sutton Place South, which he won for $580,000.  Paddle in hand, a second bidder dropped out before the auction even started after hearing the sale conditions read; among other things, the buyer is required to replace the metal-framed windows and the sliding glass door to the balcony.

Ostrager, who declined to be photographed or quoted much, said he lived in the area and planned to move into the new place.  That’s provided the board approves the sale.

Asked how he felt about succeeding with his bid, the lawyer responded by saying just this:

“I don’t have any reaction.”

Ostrager seemed like a nice enough guy, but let’s say that he wouldn’t be my first choice for a dinner companion.

No one showed up to bid on the units offered at Continue reading

City schedules estate auction of one-bedroom Sutton Place South co-op plus 6 other apartments

60 Sutton Place South

Co-ops ranging from Sutton Place South to Washington Heights are scheduled for another of the city’s estate auctions on Aug. 26.

Among the units to be sold is an 825-sf apartment at 60 Sutton Place South, a 1953 building in which 11 of 357 co-ops are on the market with asking prices from $605,000 for a 750-sf residence to $2.495 million for one of 2,410 square feet.

Manhattan Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin will seek to dispose of the properties, which can be inspected Aug. 12, 17, 19 and 24  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.  The following co-ops go on the block starting at 11:30 a.m. (usually later, however), and I expect to be there: Continue reading