Issue 9. June 2007

  Frances Katzen
Pertinent Articles:


This Summer, No Cooling Off for Manhattan Residential Market
Look to the spring we’re in and to history for how well the Manhattan housing market should do this summer. The inventory of unsold Manhattan condos and co-ops on the sales market has dropped during the last three months of spring. Inventory slid more than 11 percent from April through May and 25.7 percent from May 2006 to May 2007, according to Jonathan Miller, president and C.E.O. of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.........MORE
[The New York Observer]



Q & A: Foreigners learn the language
Few things underscore the quirks and excesses of New York real estate more than seeing them through the eyes of someone from a foreign country. Take the number of bathrooms in New York apartments. Europeans think Americans are obsessed with them. Or closing costs -- foreign buyers are appalled by what it costs to close a deal. They're also baffled by things like title insurance, and they're forcing brokers to come up with tortured explanations........MORE
[The Real Deal]



City and Extell buy property near Hudson Yards

The city appears to be buying up buildings next to the far West Side's Hudson Yards in order to build the Hudson Boulevard, which planners envision as an eight-block thoroughfare running from 42nd to 34th streets between 10th and 11th avenues.........MORE
[The Real Deal]



Wired to Sell
When Parimal Pandya, a 32-year-old network consultant at AT&T, walked into the sales office at Liberty Harbor, a mixed-use waterfront development going up in Jersey City, the sales agent launched into a standard pitch: the layouts, the finishes, the amenities........MORE
[New York Times]



Central Park North Rising

With new developments like 111 Central Park North fetching an average of $1,300 a square foot, the long-unheralded northern boundary of Manhattan's great park is unlikely to be a relative value for much longer. In recent years, the pace of new construction--and, therefore, prices--on Central Park North has lagged behind other prime areas in the city........MORE
[The Real Deal]




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Frances Katzen
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New York, NY 10022

(212) 350-8575

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It’s Hot and It’s Good Value


            For many years it was a grungy wasteland between Greenwich Village and midtown with the attractive English name of Chelsea filled with small factories, tenements and warehouses.  No longer my friends.  This area has had a remarkable resurgence starting about a decade ago when art galleries ventured into the western part of the neighborhood followed by the rejuvenation of the so-called “Ladies Mile’ for shoppers along Sixth Avenue.

            In the past several years, high-rise rentals and condominiums have sprouted and today what started out as a small stream is a flood.  It seems that every block has at least one new development or major conversion. The popularity of Chelsea is one reason that in the past several years we have seen 70% more product coming onto the Manhattan market with much of it absorbed quickly.  The building explosion in Chelsea has helped satisfy the insatiable desire for apartments in Manhattan and helped keep prices from increasing even faster than they have. Benefiting are high-priced rental tenants who can afford to convert to ownership in Chelsea.

            The list of buildings under construction or recently completed is long.  Included are:  the Altair 18, 32 West 18th Street; Chelsea House, 130 West 19th Street; the Lion's Head Condo, 121 West 19th Street; the Emory, 27 West 19th Street; the Chelsea Stratus, 101 West 24th Street, and the Caledonia, 450 West 17th Street, which describes itself as the first luxury condo on the Highline.

            Chelsea Stratus, at 40 floors, the tallest new building, sold 50% of its apartments in just six weeks, with many rental tenants converting to ownership, an indication of the quality of the property and the attraction of the area.

            Buyers in Chelsea are mainly the young, hip and “happening” who like the area’s upbeat energy and convenience.  It is a vibrant scene without the tourist influx that is taking place in certain downtown areas.  With Ireland experiencing an economic boom, and the dollar weak against the Euro, the Irish are aggressively purchasing in the downtown market, notably in Chelsea.  They are attracted not only by the prices, but by the energy of the neighborhood.  Initially, the high rise buildings in Chelsea were rentals, but increasingly the new properties are condominiums.

            The new developments are trend-setting with amenities. Hotel-style concierges, who make dinner reservations, order theater tickets and provide unparalleled services that are now de rigueur are popular.  For example, the Chelsea House has a screening room for residents along with its landscaped rooftop and backyard gardens.  Gardens are extremely popular; the Campiello Collection is a two building complex with shared gardens totaling more than 19,693 square feet at 151 West 17th Street and 224 West 18th Street.   The latter building also has a lobby mural of a painting by the Renaissance master Andre Mantegna. The Chelsea Slate at 165 West 18th Street has a pet spa and the Chelsea Stratus offers an indoor basketball court, billiards room and ding area with a catering kitchen.  Almost all have gyms.

            All this is not cheap, but in line with overall Manhattan prices and good value with all the amenities.   In the fourth quarter of 2006, the most recent period where statistics are available for Chelsea, the appraisal firm of Miller Samuel says the median price for an apartment was $735,000, or $1,106 per square foot.  For all of Manhattan, the median price was $799,000 and the square foot price for Chelsea was close to prices on the East and West Sides. The median price for a loft was $1,842,000, or $1,178 per square foot. 

            Meanwhile, as we approach the summer, when activity normally slows down, I am finding that the Manhattan market continues to buck the national downward trend.   Open houses are full and I see no letup right now.  With the approaching mass migration of college and professional school graduates coming to the city to start their careers I see demand continuing both in renting and in purchasing. 

            I wish all of you a good summer and hope you now have the time to read the books we’ve put away for our holidays.




Thanks to My Team

I’m pleased to let you know that I have been promoted to vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman named a member of the 2006 Chairman’s Gold Circle, an honor given to the firm’s biggest producers.  I want to thank the members of my team, the Katzen Group, for their work, dedication and support in helping me achieve these distinctions.
Thank you Jennifer McCready, Jacob Telyas, Daniel Treiman, Kevin King, Peter Burval and Heidi Brod.           


© 2006 An Independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is a service mark of Prudential Insurance Company of America Equal House Opportunity. All material presented herein is intended for information purposes only. While, this information is believed to be correct, it is represented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. All property outlines and square footage in property listings are approximate.

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