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Thread: Harlem Residential Development

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    Default Harlem Residential Development

    There have been a lot of updates on new construction in Harlem recently, but not much talk of it on the forum. I thought it'd be a good idea to bring it all together in one thread. First up, the Gateway:

    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Second phase of The Gateway Condominium in Harlem underway 01-SEP-06



    Construction has started on the second phase of The Gateway Condominium at 2100-2102 Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 113th and 114th Streets in Harlem.

    The second phase consists of 42 units in a new, 11-story building.

    The first phase consisted of 36 units in renovated 5-story buildings at 2098 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

    According to the City Planning Commission, which approved a designation of an Urban Development Action Area Project for the development in March, 12 of the units were to be sold to families having annual incomes not greater than about $56,000 and it should have about 4,323 square feet of retail space, 3601 square feet of open space and 2,665 square feet of community facility space to be leased to a day-care provider.

    The project has studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments ranging in price initially from $275,000 to $1,100,000. Two-bedroom, two-bath apartments with 1,259 square feet have prices ranging from about $912,775 to $944,250.

    Norman Horowitz, senior vice president of the Halstead Company, told CityRealty.com today that Steven C. Gaetano is the developer and architect for the project and his son, Matthew Gaetano is the builder.

    On January 4, 2006, Community Board 10 approved the project on condition that, among other things, the buildings “must be of uniformed signage,” the developer must use “locally based marketing groups” and “professionals” and that the “owners have a meaningful collective voice in the commercial tenant selection” and that “external, esthetically-pleasing lighting be installed on the perimeter” and that “the rooftop mechanicals be enclosed within an esthetically pleasing structure.”

    Stephen G. Kliegerman, executive director of project marketing for Halstead Property, said, "We are proud to be part of a development which will offer community residents the opportunity to invest in the neighborhood by setting aside 14 of the new construction units only for people who reside in Community Board 10, guaranteeing the community will not only retain residences and home ownership in their community but also reap in the benefits of the renaissance of Harlem."

    The project has a 5,100-square-foot roof deck, a fitness center, a courtyard garden, a live-in superintendent, storage rooms, a community room, washers and dryers in the new construction section apartments, and an attended lobby. Many of the apartments in the new building have balconies.

    The low-rise building has a brick and terra cotta façade and the new building will have a simulated stone façade. There are subway stations on Frederick Douglass Boulevard at 110th and 116th Streets.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    RiverBridge Court nearing completion on West 148th Street 31-AUG-06



    BFC Partners of which Donald Capoccia is a managing principal is completing RiverBridge Court, a residential condominium development at 603 West 148th Street in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem.

    Occupancy is planned for this fall.

    Meltzer/Mandl Architects PC is the architect.and it is also working with BFC Partners on a 12-story project at 46 Bond Street. BFC is a member of a venture with L & M Equity Participants and Allstate Realty Associates LLC that is developing Schaefer Landing in Brooklyn.

    The development consists of a five, full-floor, 1,466-square-foot, 3-bedroom apartments in a 6-story building that is connected by a bridge to an 11-story building with 41 two-bedroom apartments.

    Apartments have Brazilian cherry wood flooring, washers and dryers, bathrooms with Carrara marble and tone countertops.

    The project is between Broadway and Riverside Drive. It has a roof deck with views of the Palisades in New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge and there are three private rooftop terraces available for purchase for about $45,000 by owners of the condominium apartments.

    The building has a canopied entrance with sidewalk landscaping and wall lanterns leading to a lobby decorated with slate, wood and stone. It will have a 24-hour concierge, a fitness room, and a covered bridge behind the concierge desk leads through the garden courtyard to the tower, which has a roof deck.

    The three-bedroom apartments have keyed elevators that open directly into the units and many of the two-bedroom apartments have terraces.

    Three bedroom units start at about $780,000 and two-bedroom units at about $495,000.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Sales have started at 2002 Fifth Avenue in Harlem 31-AUG-06



    Sales have started at 2002 Fifth Avenue, a 7-story apartment building that overlooks Marcus Garvey Memorial Park in Harlem on the northwest corner at 124th Street.

    The 75-foot-high building has been developed by North Manhattan Construction Corporation of which Michael Waldman is a principal.

    Alexander Compagno & Associates is the architect.

    The building has 24 apartments and is a cooperative with condominium rules.

    One-bedroom apartments with one-and-a-half baths and about 800 square feet are priced from about $464,400, two-bedroom units with one-and-a-half baths start at about $539,600, two bedroom-units with two baths start about $642,000, and three-bedroom units start about $950,000.

    The building, which has setbacks at the 5th and 6th floors, has a doorman, a roof deck, a fitness center, an 18-car garage and storage units.

    Mariano Puente has designed the interior spaces, which include a double-height lobby with a fireplace. Many of the apartments have balconies.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Sales have started at The Langston in Harlem 29-AUG-06



    Sales are underway at the Langston, the 180-unit residential condominium building at 68 Bradhurst Avenue between West 145th and 146th Streets in Harlem near Hamilton Heights.

    The 10-story building is the second development in Harlem for the Gotham Organization Inc., and the Richman Group Development Corporation, which built the Hamilton, a 77-unit residential cooperative located at West 145th Street and Edgecombe Avenue, in 2002.

    The Gotham Organization, of which Joel I. Pickett is a principal, also developed Harlem USA, the groundbreaking entertainment and retail destination located on West 125th Street, 90 East End Avenue, Key West at 750 Columbus Avenue and the New Gotham at 520 West 43d Street.

    The Richman Group Development Corporation and its affiliates (The Richman Group) is one of the nation’s largest developers of multifamily housing and is the 10th largest apartment owner in the country.

    The Langston is part of the Cornerstone Program to develop new middle-income and market-rate housing on vacant city land of the New York City Housing Preservation and Development Department. The New York State Affordable Housing Corporation provided $720,000 in funding to make 18 of the apartments affordable to low-income buyers. These units ranged in price from $147,000 for a one-bedroom to $192,000 for a three-bedroom for biyers with a household income between about $40,140 and $58,300.

    Of the remaining units, 102 are for mixed-income households, which means that persons with a maximum household income of about $103,620 could qualify, and 59 are market-rate.

    Market-rate Two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouse duplexes are priced from $620,000 to $1,125,000. The three-bedroom duplexes have 18-foot double-height window walls, electric fireplaces, dual-floor entry, and private terraces.

    Wachovia and JPMorgan Chase Bank provided the $60.5 million construction loan.

    GreenbergFarrow is the architect.

    The building, which is pet friendly, has an on-site superintendent, a fitness center, a garage, a residents’ terrace, bicycle storage, and concierge and doorman services. It will also have about 37,000 square feet of retail space.

    It is adjacent to Jackie Robinson Park and very close to the A, B, C and D subway lines.

    Apartments have GE Profile stainless-steel kitchen appliances, Sienna Applewood cabinetry, Kohler Hourglass spa tubs, and LG washers and dryers.

    The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. has been selected to display abstract expressionist works in a gallery setting in the model residence and sales office at The Langston and the featured artists include Barry Charles Johnson, Karen Leon Aponte, Gail Shaw-Clemmons, and Dianne Smith. The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. is a community-based, cultural arts and preservation organization serving the West Harlem and Washington Heights communities. The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. utilizes art and culture in open, public spaces to add aesthetic interest to the area, promote historical and cultural heritage, and foster a sense of community involvement and development.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Dwyer condo building rising on St. Nicholas Avenue 25-AUG-06



    Construction is underway on The Dwyer, a 51-unit residential condominium building at 258 St. Nicholas Avenue on the northeast corner at 123rd Street in Harlem on the former site of the 9-story Dwyer Warehouse, which was demolished in 2002 after the death of Modesto Olivo Sr., a construction worker on the site, during a planned residential conversion of the property.

    Dwyer Development Corporation of Tarrytown, N.Y., of which John Cross is the president is the developer. Mr. Cross is also the sole owner of Townsend Builders, the project’s general contractor.

    James McCullar & Associates is the architect and he also designed the very handsome 6-story housing development for “special needs families” that was completed in 2003 at 189 Stanton Street, the 70-unit residential condominium building that was completed in 1988 at 445 West 19th Street, and the conversion of P.S. 139 in Harlem for public housing in 1988.

    The building will recall the original building’s massing and red-brick masonry but space removed to provide courtyards is transferred to a penthouse level. It will have a roof deck on the 10th story.

    The design calls for a metal-clad, four-sided corner with turret and parts of the street facades will also be clad in metal. The building will have 7,500 square feet of “cultural space,” and about 6,100 square feet of ground-floor and basement retail space.

    Studio apartments range in size from 758 to 812 square feet and in price from about $376,950 to $460,845. One-bedroom units will range in size from about 900 to 1,800 square feet with prices ranging from $471,000 to $1,080,450. Two-bedroom, two-bath apartments with about 1,650 square feet range in price from $917,144 to $1,114,313.

    According to Denice Johns of Society Estates Inc., the building will have a 24-hour concierge, central air-conditioning, and some apartments will have Juliet balconies with French doors. Apartments will have washers and dryers and stainless steel kitchen appliances and white Cararra marble bathrooms. Ceiling heights range from 9 feet 4 inches to 10 feet 6 inches. The building’s lobby will have polished bluestone floors and American Cherry wood paneling.

    Startsandfits.com, which claims that the warehouse was its “favorite building in the city,” has noted that “In April 1985, 90 people received medical treatment after being exposed to hazardous material fumes after a fire broke during renovations of the building.”

    The building is convenient to public transportation and Columbia University.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    The Lenox in Harlem nearing completion 21-AUG-06



    The 12-story, red-brick residential condominium development at 380 Lenox Avenue is nearing completion and occupancy is expected this fall.

    The 77-unit building is known as The Lenox and it occupies the east block front of the avenue between 129th and 130th Streets and is directly across the avenue from another new residential construction project, the 8-story, 19-unit “Lenox Grand” at 381 Lenox Avenue.

    The development at 380 Lenox Avenue is a venture of Uptown Partners, of which Joseph H. Holland, a former New York State Commissioner of Housing, Starla Caldwell and her husband, Lewis Futterman, are principals.

    The building has a two story limestone base and setbacks on the 8th and 10th floors. The building contains 77 apartments According to an article by Hasani Gittens in the May 30, 2006 edition of The New York Post, the building “set a record for a condo purchase above 125th Street – selling a penthouse unit for $2.4 million” in May.

    According to the building’s website today, 47 of its 77 apartments have been sold. The available apartments range in price from $763,350 for apartment 10 G, a two-bedroom-two-bath unit with 1,179 square feet to $1,992,900 for a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath apartment, 12 J, with 2,289 square feet.

    The building has been designed by GF55 Architects of which David E. Gross and Leonard Fusco are partners.

    The building has a roof deck, a 24-hour concierge, attended parking, valet service, a fitness center. Many apartments have washers and dryers and each apartment has kitchens with Frigidaire appliances and granite countertops and bathrooms with Kohler fixtures and marble floors and wainscoting.

    Mr. Holland’s father, Jerome Holland, was an All-American football player at Cornell University who became president of two colleges, ambassador to Sweden and the first black member of the New York Stock Exchange.

    The younger Mr. Holland also graduated from Cornell University and then from Harvard Law School and opened the first Ben & Jerry’s store in Harlem, was ordained a minister, wrote two professionally produced plays and acted in one of them as a homeless man, according to an article by Teri Karush Rogers in the November 6, 2005 edition of The New York Times. That article indicated that the $9 million equity portion of the $40 million construction cost of 380 Lenox Avenue came from the RD Management Corporation of which Jay Furman is a principal.

    The building was highlighted in an article by Julia Vitullo-Martin in the March 2, 2006 edition of The New York Sun as “Harlem’s first large, fully market-rate apartment building in decades – building without government subsidies and on 100 percent private land.” The article noted that Mr. Futterman and Mr. Holland “bought the development rights from Mount Calvary Church, which had run out of money while trying to build a new church in the 1980s.” The article emphasized that conditions have changed in Harlem, which in 1990 “had 243 murders, compared to 42 last year.”

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    New Lenox Avenue building with wood-burning fireplaces 21-AUG-06



    Sales have started at the Lenox Grand, an 8-story condominium building with 19 apartments at 381 Lenox Avenue on the northwest corner at 129th Street.

    The building is across the avenue from the 12-story, 77-unit red-brick residential condominium development at 380 Lenox Avenue, which is know as The Lenox and is nearing completion and occupancy is expected in late October.

    Rose Tree Development Corporation of which Peter Rosenbaum is president is the developer and D+DG Architecture P.C. is the architect for this building.

    This building is distinguished by a duplex roof deck and a video security system and private storage units.

    Eleven of the units have outdoor space and all apartments have wood-burning fireplaces with raised hearths, Whirlpool washer dryers and kitchens with GE Custom Style stainless steel appliances with cherry wood cabinetry and granite countertops and bathrooms with crema marfil marble and fixtures by Hansgrohe and Toto.

    The building will have 24-hour underground parking, floor-to-ceiling windows, a 24-four concierge service in a marble lobby that will have two Miró prints.

    The lower two floors of the building are commercial.

    Prices for 2-bedroom, 2-bath units range from $733,425 to $878,160. Available apartments range in size from two-bedroom, two-bath units with 1,160 square feet that is priced at about $817,980 to two-bedroom, two-bath units with about 1,326 square feet that is priced at about $800,000.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    New condo conversion on Fifth Avenue in Harlem 18-AUG-06



    AFC Realty Capital, of which Arthur Fefferman is president, is converting the four-story building at 2056 Fifth Avenue on the southwest corner at 127th Street into “Rhapsody on Fifth” and expanding it by two stories to create a 22-unit residential condominium apartments.

    The project, which is scheduled for occupancy about next Spring, has been designed by BKSK Architects, of which Harry Kendall and Stephen F. Byrns are principals. Mr. Byrns is a commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Commission. BKSK’s has designed several notable TriBeCa projects such as the Hubert, 116 Hudson Street, 124 Hudson Street and the Fisher Mills Building. AFC Realty Capital was the developer of 116 Hudson Street and Fisher Mills Building projects.

    The existing, red-brick building has a rusticated limestone base, rusticated quoins, numerous stone decorative balconies and decorative stone trim around the windows some of which arched. It is missing its cornice, but the renovation plans call for the “recreation” of a cornice and the addition of two stories.

    The conversion will also carve out a large interior courtyard for the use of residents and a ramped, “glowing bridge with glass accents ” entrance that leads to a 17-foot-high lobby.

    The building was at one time home to the Finnish Community Center and most recently the Gospel Temple Church.

    According to Oskar Brecher, the president of the AFC Development Group and formerly the founder and principal of American Landmark Developments Inc., and prior to that a former executive with Cadillac Fairview, a major commercial real estate development company, the building will have 1,800 square feet of retail space.

    The project is a few blocks north of the Marcus Garvey Memorial Park and close to the proposed new Marriott Hotel and residential condominium tower designed by TEN Arquitectos for a site at Park Avenue and 125th Street and it is also close to La Marqueta, a fresh fish and produce market to be developed along Park Avenue and also to the 475,000-square-foot planned retail facility known as East River Plaza.

    Apartments have “floating glass appliances” by Jenn-Air, washers and dryers and range in size from about 520 to 2,000 square feet and one-bedroom apartments start at about $620,000.

    The building will have a doorman 16 hours a day, a superintendent, and there is an interactive video surveillance system. It also has a fitness center, individual storage units and a bicycle room.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Lapis lazuli comes to East Harlem 17-AUG-06



    Construction is nearing completion at La Casa Brava, a 6-story residential condominium building at 232 East 118th Street that is distinguished by its intensely colorful and unusual façade, one of the most dramatic in the city.

    Designed by Peter L. Gluck, the façade is framed in a lapis lazuli blue glazed brick that wraps around the front of the building and “peters out” on its side facades, a nice deconstructivist touch.

    The façade design is also unusual as it irregularly frames the inset windows that are all multipaned differently.

    Mr. Gluck told CityRealty.com today that the irregular framing on the front façade is meant to be “read” as a “tear” or “rent” at one scale while the different windows reflect the different apartments at another scale.

    Mr. Gluck received a honor award from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 2004 for his even more colorful five-story building for the Little Sisters of Assumption Family Services on 115th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

    Stephen Kessner, the owner of the R.E. Group, is the developer. He began to develop residential properties in the East Village and the East Nineties and in 1983 he acquired his first properties in East Harlem where he now claims to be the largest “for profit” property owner with about 5,000 tenants in 60 buildings. His management company is R.E. Management Inc., and his construction company is R. E. Builders, Inc. His son, Michael, is director of operations for the R.E. Group.

    Duplex apartments are on the first floor and basement and the penthouse apartments have spiral staircases up to bulkheads and patios on the roof. Kitchens have G.E. Profile stainless steel appliances and G.E. washers and dryers. Bathrooms have radiant floor heating.

    Apartments range in size from 800 to 1,450 square feet and have individually controlled heating and air-conditioning and video intercom security. Prices initially ranged from about $465,000 to $695,000.

    The building has an elevator and a common roof deck and because it is built almost full on the lot the upper rear apartments have sunset views.

    The renovated building, which is between Second and Third Avenues, is two blocks from crosstown buses on 116th Street and four blocks from a subway.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Wrap-over building nearing completion in Harlem 16-AUG-06



    The Almat Group, of which Donald Matheson is a principal, expects to complete construction around the end of the year of One Strivers’ Row, a 7-story residential condominium apartment project that incorporates the shell of a 5-story building that was erected in 1894 at 2605 Frederick Douglass Boulevard on the southwest corner at 139th Street.

    The project will contain 14 apartments and has been designed by Michael Ivanhoe McCaw.

    It is across Frederick Douglass Boulevard from Strivers’ Row, a group of tan-brick townhouses between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and 138th and 139th Streets that comprise the St. Nicholas Historic District, created in 1967, and was rebuilt in the 1890s by David H. King Jr., who commissioned three major architecture firms – McKim, Mead & White, Bruce Price and Clarence S. Luce, and James Brown Lord – to design the townhouses. The 1900 census indicated that residents were white middle-class business and professional people, many of whom were Jewish.

    King’s speculative development was underwritten by the Equitable Life Assurance Society, which took it over following the financial panic of 1893. After World War I, many black professionals began acquiring the houses and residents included W. C. Handy, Scott Joplin, Bill (Bojangles) Robinson, Fletcher Henderson and Eubie Blake.

    An article by Paula Deitz in the April 16, 1981 edition of The New York Times indicated that houses in good condition in the district were then selling for more than $100,000 with an average price of about $75,000.

    An article by Laura McCandlish in the January 13, 2005 edition of The Amsterdam News indicated that some of the renovated houses on “Strivers’ Row” were “selling for as much as $2 million a piece.”

    According to Ellen Shandalow of Warburg Realty, a three-bedroom apartment with two-and-a-half baths and 1,586 square feet at 2605 Frederick Douglass Boulevard is now priced at $1,030,250. Other units include a one-bedroom, one-bath unit with 712 square feet that is priced at $465,000 and a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with 1,244 square feet that is priced at $820,380.

    The modern façade of the 7-story building wraps over the top of the masonry façade of the 1894 building.

    The building has a roof deck, video intercom security, bicycle and stroller storage, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Bosch dishwashers and ovens, wide-plank white oak flooring, and washers and dryers in each unit.

    In addition to the residential units, the building has a commercial unit and community space.

    The building is close to the City College of New York.

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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Kalahari apartment complex rising in Harlem 15-AUG-06



    Construction has begun on the boldly decorative Kalahari apartment complex at 40 West 116th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues.

    The mixed-use, mixed-income condominium complex extends through the block to 115th Street and consists of two 12-story high buildings, the longer of which is on 116th Street.

    The project will contain 148 apartments in Tower A on 116th Street and 101 units in Tower B on 115th Street.

    The site will have a large, landscaped central courtyard and the project will have doorman and concierge service, attended parking, a roof deck, a gym, community meeting rooms, and retail space. 129 apartments are “market rate with no income or asset restrictions and 120 are “affordable” and include 14 studios, 23 one-bedrooms, 70 two-bedrooms and 13 three-bedrooms. Of the 120 affordable units, 48 will be sold to eligible purchases with household incomes not exceeding 90 percent of area median income, 42 units to purchasers with household incomes not exceeding 130 percent of area median income and 30 percent to households with incomes not exceeding 185 percent of area median income.

    FSLM Associates LLC, of which L & M Equity Participants, Ltd., and Full Spectrum are the principals, is the developer.

    GF55 Partners LLP, of which David E. Gross, Leonard Fusco and Shay Alster are principals, is the executive architect; Schwartz Architects is the design architect; and Studio JTA, of which Jack Travis is a principal, is the consultant architect.

    Architect Frederic Schwartz provides the following commentary on the project’s design on his website:

    “Outwardly facing the neighborhood, the street elevations are inspired by nomadic and tribal cultures of Africa. The Kalahari Desert is home to the Bushmen tribal group, individuals who have adapted and survived under the harsh conditions of migratory life for several centuries. This group and the characteristics of this desert region provided spiritual inspiration and directly reflect the cultural aspirations of our design. The bold use of color, texture and pattern inspired by the ways of survival through adaptations and sense of self provides a point of departure. The ‘intensity’ with which one selects and uses color, texture and pattern has always been a clear and distinguishing means of definition amongst varied cultural groups. Our design takes direct influence from cultural specifics and details of the architectural aesthetic from a trilogy of tribal groups in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Ndebele of South Africa, the Ashanti of Ghana, and the nomadic Bushmen of Botswana and the Kalahari Desert. Inspired by designs of the Ndebele tribal peoples (neighbors in the south of Africa to the bushman of the Kalahari), the decorative motifs used on the 115th and 116th Street elevations embody the strong color and patterning on exterior facades of the dwellings. Adrinka symbols, found printed and woven in the cloth created by the Akan peoples of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa are used throughout the Kalahari, serving to fuse South African regional color and texture with West African patterning and symbolism. Black cultural specifics in the design and decorative aspects of The Kalahari (and indeed in the naming of the project) evolves from the understanding of how environmental design disciplines are closely tied to and affected by the social and behavioral patterns of the communities who inhabit them. The design concept seeks to embody ‘the spirit of transformation and migration by the larger group to a better place of sustenance.’”

    GF55 Partners designed the Madison Court Midrise and Townhouses project at 1787 Madison Avenue between 117th and 118th Streets, a project developed by L & M Equity Participants, and the Triangle Court Complex at St. Nicholas Avenue and 119th Street.

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    From GlobeSt.com

    Last updated: September 1, 2006 11:00am

    Harlem Apartment Trades for More Than $5M

    By Tom Sosnowski



    NEW YORK CITY-Broadhurst Willows, a 130-unit apartment building at 307 W. 143rd St. in Harlem, has sold for $5.3 million, which equates to $40,769 per unit. Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. arranged the deal. The Related Cos. is the seller and the buyer is Sharp Management, a private investor.

    Peter Von Der Ahe, a senior director in the Manhattan office of Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group, and Armand Tiberio of Marcus & Millichap’s National Tax Credit Property Advisors in Seattle, represented the seller and procured the buyer in this transaction.

    “When this rent-stabilized property is taken to market in 2009, the new owner will have an excellent condo conversion opportunity, or the ability to capitalize on increased value through rent increases,” says Von Der Ahe.

    Broadhurst Willows, built in 1930, consists of 87 studios, three one-bedroom units, 39 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. In 1990, it received renovations through the issuance of Section 42 low-income housing tax credits. In addition, Broadhurst received tax abatements through the 421A program, which added additional restrictions to the property through 2020.

    Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.

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    August 2006

    Harlem adjusts to post-boom housing market

    Harlem deals no longer as plentiful; townhouse bargains disappearing


    By Melissa Dehncke-McGill

    "Places on Central Park North that have views of the park can be $1,000 a square foot and even a bit higher than that," said Michael Goldenberg, executive director of sales for the Wide Side at Halstead, adding that new condos throughout Harlem are typically selling for $550 to $650 a square foot.

    Developer Joseph Holland, who is developing the Lenox at 129th Street, is even more enthusiastic about the condo market in Harlem, adding it is "at the tip of the iceberg" due to "pent-up demand."

    Like the rest of Manhattan, the rental market is getting quite hot.

    "We find a lot of people are renting," said Sandy Wilson, managing director of the Harlem office for the Corcoran Group. "They want a feel for the neighborhood before they buy, so our rental market is very strong."

    Which brokers are going to benefit from all this business -- the big Manhattan firms who have moved into the area over the last two years or the mom-and-pops that have been there historically - remains an open question.

    "It's too early to say anything about market share," said Holland. While the big brokerages are being hired to market new developments, according to brokers, Holland added that "mom-and-pops have been able to hold on to customers they've had historically. It will be a battle over whether the new residents will stay with locals or a big shop."


    Gary Cannata
    head of the Harlem office, Prudential Douglas Elliman

    Q. What part of the market is faring best in Harlem?

    A. You are starting to see tremendous action in the rental market; you get so much more for your dollar. People who are interested in greater Harlem want to test it before they buy it.

    Q. What is faring worst?

    A. What is not faring as well are resales of townhouses and gut renovations. The prices have gone a bit crazy, not unlike Manhattan, and people have a greater expectation than the market can bear. Some of the numbers don't make sense, and there are some that are tremendously overpriced. To a certain degree [sellers] get somewhat greedy. It is difficult having a meeting of the minds between buyers and sellers that is realistic.

    Q. What group of buyers is the most active right now in the overall Harlem market?

    A. Mostly young families and singles, but basically people that have been priced out of the traditional established Manhattan market and are comparison shopping in Queens, Brooklyn and New Jersey. That's where our competition is. We are trying to remind them that we are part of Manhattan and there is no bridge or tunnel to get here. Every day, I'm seeing more commercial services here, and I think that helps elevate all neighborhoods.

    Q. A stereotypical notion is someone moving to Harlem from farther south in Manhattan, buying and renovating a townhouse. How active is this segment right now?

    A. It was extremely active 12 months ago, but it is slowing down because the prices have outreached the growth.

    Q. What sort of residential per-square-foot prices are you seeing in Harlem?

    A. The average is $600 to $650. If it's priced at $550, it's more brisk. People are pushing $700, but unless the amenities are there, it's really in the $600s. Considering that it costs $1,100 or $1,400 for a new development in Manhattan, here your dollars go a lot further.

    Klara Madlin
    president, Klara Madlin Real Estate

    Q. Which part of Harlem is faring best as the overall market slows in the city?

    A. Central Harlem from Morningside to Mount Morris, from 110th to 125th streets.

    Q. Which part of Harlem is faring worst?

    A. Some sections that border Washington Heights north of 155th Street and east of Broadway. The infrastructure hasn't gotten there yet.

    Q. What is the most underrated neighborhood in Harlem as far as there being an upside in prices?

    A. East Harlem, north of 125th Street and east of Fifth Avenue, what used to be called Spanish Harlem.

    Q. What is the most overrated neighborhood in Harlem?

    A. Around 125th Street, the central Harlem corridor; it came up the first and fastest.

    Q. Which is the strongest property type in Harlem right now -- condos, co-ops or townhouses?

    A. It's hard to say. A lot of the townhouses that used to fly out, the sellers have overpriced them and there is not a lot of inventory. The buyers are leery because they need work. There's no longer a deal. Co-ops sell if priced right -- a lot have come on to the market recently and at really high prices. [Condo] developers have not lowered their prices.

    Q. Is there too much new condo inventory coming to market in Harlem?

    A. There's too much condo inventory throughout New York. I saw this happen before in the late '80s to '90s. Some became rental buildings. At the moment, it seems that the demand is still there. It's still cheaper to get a condo in Harlem.

    Q. What is the most exciting new condo project (that you are not involved with)?

    A. The Dwyer condos: they are warehouse lofts at 123rd and St. Nicholas that are more like a Downtown loft building. Most others are brownstones that are floor-throughs or brand-new buildings that look alike.

    Q. What group of buyers is the most active right now in the overall Harlem market?

    A. Young couples in their 30s and 40s and professionals that think Harlem is an exciting place to live because it is still on the island and they are priced out of Downtown. Mainly, it's Manhattan, although we are getting people from Europe who live in Manhattan, too. They think it's kind of cool and aren't as afraid of Harlem. They don't have the same impression as other Manhattanites.

    Q. What group of sellers is the most active right now in the overall Harlem market?

    A. The condo developers for both small and big projects. Townhouse owners were cashing out over the last two years -- this year there are a few, but most cashed out already. Some are attempting now, but they are trying to get prices that are way over the top, so I don't know how serious they are.

    Q. How have the big brokerages done in relation to the mom-and-pop brokerages in Harlem?

    A. [The big brokerages] have a lot of the new condo developments. But the smaller agencies have the customers that we share and the sellers of the townhouses -- people who have been in the neighborhood for a long time, so they have a little bit of distrust for the big companies.

    Q. A stereotypical notion is someone moving to Harlem from farther south in Manhattan, buying and renovating a townhouse. How active is this segment right now?

    A. Not as active as it has been because the prices are too high now. If you are paying over $1.4 million for a shell, you are not getting those people anymore. I think those people are going to go to the Bronx. It's hard to find a shell for $800,000, and you will have to put in at least $500,000 by the time you are done and it would take a few years. But the average apartment in Manhattan is over $1 million, so maybe it's worth it.

    Q. Is there a need for some sellers to lower their prices now that the boom is over?

    A. They are pricing 15 percent over what will sell. People don't even want to look to make a lowball offer. Though, still today, if you underprice, you'll get a bidding war. The customer makes the market. The customer has seen a lot; they know what things are worth.

    Bill Rohlfing
    founder, Uptown Townhouse

    Q. Which is the strongest property type in Harlem right now -- condos, co-ops, or townhouses?

    A. You're asking a developer of townhouses, so I believe the property that will hold its value and increase is the single- or two-family townhouse. All buyers are moving Uptown for one thing -- space -- and I believe that space is the premium in Manhattan.

    Q. Which part of Harlem is faring best as the overall market slows in the city?

    A. All of Harlem is doing well that I can see, especially everything below 125th, the Mount Morris Park, Sugar Hill and Strivers Row areas -- but these areas have always been stronger in sales. The other areas seeing aggressive growth are areas surrounding the newer condos, at Lenox and 130th, Lenox and 110th, the Langston at 145th, and Bradhurst and the Dwyer at 123rd and St. Nicholas. Of course Hamilton Heights is doing well also due to Columbia's expansion, and the redesign of Riverside Park at 127th to 133rd and the areas north of Riverbank Park between 147th and 154th streets.

    Q. What is the most underrated neighborhood in Harlem as far as there being an upside in prices?

    A. If I were to pick neighborhoods, I think Hamilton Heights -- which I still consider Harlem -- is still underrated; that's everything east of Broadway and west of Amsterdam from 140th to 154th streets. Hamilton Heights west of Broadway has already taken off. The area north of 125th between the bridge [Park Avenue] and Lenox has been underrated, but is picking up steam. There are a few areas above 155th that are underrated, but they are smaller pockets.

    Q. A stereotypical notion is someone moving to Harlem from farther south in Manhattan, buying and renovating a townhouse. How active is this segment right now?

    A. That notion of the "early adopters" in Harlem I think is waning. The majority of bargains are snatched up by the developers in the area at the moment, so I don't see as many individuals renovating as I did a few years ago. Also, I think the pricing is getting to the point where buyers are wondering, why not get something completed, instead of taking the risk of the project on top of these higher numbers?

    I find that this buyer is working full time, understands nothing about construction and would rather have it done for him and move in, where a few years ago the early buyer was someone that was capable of having a flexible career, had already dabbled in construction or development, and had the time to focus on the project of a property.

    Q. What is the most exciting new condo project?

    A. I like 111 Central Park North, the Dwyer, the Langston and the Lenox. The latest pocket of new development seems to be going on east of Jackie Robinson Park due to the Langston's development, and once again, there is new development on every inch of Harlem -- it's all active. I'm really happy to see they are putting up something nice and with glass at 111 Central Park North, as opposed to some of the other "prefab" stuff Uptown.

    Q. What sort of per-square-foot prices are you seeing in Harlem? What is the range you are seeing?

    A. Condo prices range from $600 to $800 per square foot. I've heard they are going for over $1,000 per foot on 110th Street now.

    Shimon Shkury
    partner, Massey Knakal

    Q. Is there too much new condo inventory coming to market in Harlem?

    A. No, Harlem is different because the zoning density does not allow for large building. Every development that takes place will be on a smaller scale; that's why more can be built. There's not a lot of vacant lots that allow more than 20,000 square feet.

    Q. What is the most exciting new condo project (that you are not involved with)?

    A. The Athena at 111 Central Park North overlooking Central Park with apartments starting at $1.5 million. It will get numbers equivalent to prices we see on the Upper West Side. The neighboring building, 125 Central Park North, sold at up to $1.6 to $1.7 million because it's still on the park, which attracts people.

    Q. What sort of per-square-foot prices are you seeing in Harlem?

    A. With respect to condos, it depends on the location and amenities, generally $600 to $700 a square foot. In an elevator building or a unique location such as 111 Central Park North, I believe it has gone above $1,000 a square foot. Townhouses run $350 to $500 a square foot if it requires no renovation. If it is a shell, it's about $250 to $300 a square foot.

    Sandy Wilson
    managing director of the Harlem office, the Corcoran Group

    Q. Where is the most active area for new development?

    A. Frederick Douglass Boulevard. We call that the development zone, from 100th to 125th streets.

    Q. What part of the market is faring best in Harlem?

    A. We find a lot of people are renting. They want a feel for the neighborhood before they buy, so our rental market is very strong. They can get a floor-through one-bedroom or sometimes two-bedrooms for reasonable prices. Rents are anywhere from $900 to $3,500.

    Q. What sort of per-foot prices are you seeing in Harlem?

    A. Prices range between $500 and $1,000 a square foot depending upon what's new and its proximity and amenities and if it is tax-abated. But the average is around $600 to $700 a square foot.

    Q. With a lot of big Manhattan brokerages moving to Harlem in the last two years, has it gotten more competitive from a brokering point of view?

    A. At first, one would think that, but we find ourselves to be a lot more collegial. With Warburg and Corcoran, we had a get-to-know-you event and we are planning to have more of those and be more inclusive. That was a first in a series of get-togethers at Tribal Spears, a new little café on Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

    Michael Goldenberg
    executive director of sales for West Side, Halstead Property

    Q. What is the most exciting new condo project (that you are not involved with)?
    The Dwyer at 123rd and St. Nicholas sold very well because it was priced at a level that people perceived as a very, very good value.

    Q. What sort of per-square-foot prices are you seeing in Harlem?

    A. The basic condo product ranges from $550 to $650. In terms of luxury, it's $600 to $800. Places on Central Park North that have views of the park can be $1,000 and even a bit higher than that.

    Q. How have the big brokerages done in relation to the mom-and-pop brokerages in Harlem?

    A. There's nobody that can give an honest answer to that question. Anyone that answers it is being self-promotional.

    Q. A stereotypical notion is someone moving to Harlem from farther south in Manhattan, buying and renovating a townhouse. How active is this segment right now?

    A. Not much because of the supply situation. Demand is there, but prices for townhouses have reached a very high level, often with the property needing a lot of work and buyers have to decide if it makes economic sense. But right now the real problem is that there is no inventory.

    Christopher Halliburton
    executive vice president, Warburg Realty Harlem

    Q. Which part of Harlem is faring worst as the overall market slows in the city?

    A. Probably the west side of Harlem from 135th to 155th streets has a little bit more resistance amongst buyers. Some of it has to do with amenities and transportation. There is only the local No. 1 train there, as opposed to central Harlem with access to all those trains.

    Q. What is the most overrated neighborhood in Harlem as far as there being an upside in prices?

    A. I don't think at this time there's an area of Harlem that's overrated or overpriced. If you look at the brownstone market, one might look at Hamilton Heights or Strivers Row as areas that are pricey. They deliver a great product in most cases. Washington Heights delivers a great product; you have to deliver services to complement it. That's something people question at this time and thus deem it pricey.

    Q. Which is the strongest property type in Harlem right now -- condos, co-ops or townhouses?

    A. If you have a townhouse between 110th and 125th street west of Fifth Avenue, it's going to be snapped up quickly because it is highly desirable. You can take the condo market and say the same thing. The city is a set of concentric circles and as close as possible to between 110th and 125th street is very desirable.

    Q. What group of sellers is the most active right now in the overall Harlem market?

    A. Developers, in terms of the total numbers and then, second, owners of unrenovated townhouses.

    Joseph Holland
    president, Uptown Partners

    Q. Which part of Harlem is faring best as the overall market slows in the city?

    A. I think the area that I'm working in [developing the Lenox at 129th Street and Lenox Avenue], Central Harlem, is doing the best. I believe that's the case because there are more services, with new services like restaurants and retail stores coming in. Central Harlem is developing a cachet there that this is the place Uptown where development is happening.

    Q. What is the most overrated neighborhood in Harlem as far as there being an upside in prices?

    A. There are no real bargains left in Harlem. At this point, the price of land is not what it is in Manhattan, but it is rising. As a developer looking for sites, I have to pay top dollar for land. The challenge is paying as much for land as elsewhere in Manhattan and not being able to get comparable sellout prices at the end of it.

    Q. Is there too much new condo inventory coming to market in Harlem? Will this drive down prices?

    A. No, I think there has been a pent-up demand for new condo development and we are at the tip of the iceberg for market-rate condominiums in Harlem. I haven't seen rental buildings developed yet because the interest rates are still low enough. There may be a shift if interest rates go up; then rental housing will make a comeback.

    Q. How has the Harlem market fared in relation to the rest of Manhattan?

    A. Comparable market-rate housing is 30 to 40 percent below what you would find Downtown, so as interest rates go up there would be buyers who, as their opportunities become more limited, I'd expect they will look at a place like Harlem.

    Q. How have the big brokerages done in relation to the mom-and-pop brokerages in Harlem? What sort of market share do they have?

    A. It's too early to say anything about market share. Mom-and-pops have been able to hold on to customers they've had historically. It will be a battle over whether the new residents will stay with locals or a big shop.

    Q. A stereotypical notion is someone moving to Harlem from farther south in Manhattan, buying and renovating a townhouse. How active is this segment right now?

    A. It's clearly moving toward the end of the cycle. The brownstone and townhouse revolution started in the '80s, when the city made a tremendous investment in renovating its housing stock. The market has matured because there isn't the inventory.

    Copyright 2003-2005 The Real Deal, Inc.

  14. #14
    The Dude Abides
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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    Dwyer condo building rising on St. Nicholas Avenue 25-AUG-06
    Construction update courtesy of Harlem Fur:


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    From http://cityrealty.com/new_developments

    New through-block condo project in East Harlem 15-JUN-06



    Fire escapes have given a lot of New York City buildings a bad name, or, rather, a bad appearance – spindly, dark appendages tacked onto otherwise handsome facades with little regard to style or composition.
    There are, of course, some attractive fire escapes, but they are the exception.

    In its design for a new residential condominium, through-block development in East Harlem, the architectural firm of Grzywinski Pons has made an exterior staircase, which is what a fire escape is, an important design element by encasing it in the same materials as are employed in the building’s solid-front balconies for use as a roof terrace access for the duplex penthouse apartment.

    The development is planned by Rudd Realty for 411 East 115th Street and it will be a through-block project that will also have a façade on West 116th Street. The 116th Street façade, which has the angled roof-access exterior stair, is raised two stories on pilotis and has a façade that would make Donald Judd, a minimalist artist and an aficionado of protruding rectilinear boxes, probably drool at its sculptural quality, although probably scoff at its asymmetry. The 115th Street facade is very handsome with large square windows on the west side and smaller rectangular windows on the east side.

    The project is anticipated to have 31 apartments. Grzywinski Pons is a young architectural firm that attracted considerable attention with its design for THOR (The Hotel on Rivington Street), a major new landmark on the Lower East Side, and for its design of 115-119 Norfolk Street, a 7-story building with 24 apartments that has an open-top atrium entrance and a random design of fretted glass windows.

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