September has arrived with the shorter days reminding us that the Autumn equinox is on its way September 22nd. This colorful new month in NYC marks the most prominent cultural art institutions seasonal openings including Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Theater Openings, as well as, annual events such as 11 day San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, Brooklyn Book Festival, New York Film Festival, Fashion Week and the U.S. Open.
New York is an exciting place with industrious people re-imagining its landscape and how we do business and live with every neighborhood and building is its own market. A low interest rate environment and sellers/sponsors coming to the table to make deals is keeping the New York City real estate market chugging along. Miller Samuels, the best known real estate appraiser in New York in a recent article in Brick Underground entitled: “What happens to NYC residential real estate if there’s a recession?” states there is “no sense that we are teetering on some sort of precipice because leverage is pretty tight and the economic base is fairly solid.” And, Steven Gottlieb, a broker with Warburg Realty says, “Sellers are becoming more realistic,” and as buyers settle into the political and economic uncertainty they are “coming out of the woodwork.”
This week – September 5th, Mortgage rates continued the summer swoon due to weaker economic data. While economic growth is clearly slowing due to rising manufacturing and trade headwinds, economic fundamentals are still solid for U.S. consumers. The unemployment rate is low, housing affordability is improving, homebuyer demand is rising, and home price growth is stable. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 3.74 percent from 3.79 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.71 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.81 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 1.36 percentage points below the 52-week high of 5.10 percent, and matches the 52-week low of 3.74 percent.- Freddie Mac
This month’s Culturally Incline focuses on Midtown. Behind the towering glass and steel buildings are historical institutions worth the journey – Morgan Library, New York Public Library, Japan Society, Museum of Modern Pinball, Transit Museum Gallery Annex, MoMa offering stimulating ever-changing exhibits. Midtown is the go-to for high end shopping, sophisticated jazz clubs, and where the who’s who meets for fine dining. Pursing the midtown area you will discover the magic of the Beaux Arts architectural style brought from Paris that was the rage at the time. Beaux Arts builders were interested in a decorative, ornamental flair and monumental grandeur than the perfection of scale and proportion and some of the best are in Midtown: Grand Central, New York Public Library, New York Yacht Club, Knickerbocker Hotel, The Lyceum Theater, and New York Estonian House to name a few. Take a whirl and be transported through some of this months highlights and my Neighborhood Guide, rich with cultural activities, real estate listings, and restaurants to visit in Midtown.
Midtown’s landscape is evolving too. The JPMorgan Chase Tower (aka 270 Park Avenue or Union Carbide Building) is the tallest voluntarily demolished building in the world (708 ft tall) overtaking the Singer Building, the current record holder demolished in 1968. The Hotel Marguery, a 12-story Renaissance Revial built in 1917 centered around a 250-foot long Italian garden graced this spot. The hotel had 29 stores, 110 luxury suites (6 to 16 rooms apiece) and 180 long-term apartments. The hotel had a storied history too with Nikola Tesla, inventor/engineer as a resident and Albert E. Langford, a wealthy textile executive who was shot in the hallway and home to an underground gambling-ring. “The Sony Building” – 550 Madison an originally the AT&T Building, a post modern skyscraper designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee is being redesigned by Snøhetta and the Olayan Group. One Vanderbilt (One Vanderbilt Place), a 67 floor super tall skyscraper has risen next door to Grand Central (42nd & Vanderbilt) designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox as a class A office Tower.
Amazing full amenity residential towers are each special jewels and two numerous to name, but here are a few.
The Centrale – 136 East 50th a 71 story tall full-amenity residential building designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects combining the Art Deco style with contemporary elements. The exterior showcases reflective glass façade articulated with facets of terracotta chevrons. Champalimaud Design envisioned the interiors of each residence to express worldly sophistication and timeless originality. Sales for available units range in price from $1,695,000 to $10,500,000. The Centrale has a total of 124 units. Sizes range from 777 to 2756 square feet. The condo is being developed by Ceruzzi Properties and SMI USA. The development is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Rose Hill 30 East 29th, a 46-story skyscraper currently taking shape in a historic section of. The building is named for its location on the former Rose Hill Farm estate, and CetraRuddy is designing an Art Deco-inspired facade as well as the interiors. Sales for available units start from $1,195,000. Rose Hill has a total of 123 units. The development is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Central Park Tower – 217 West 57th a mixed-use super tall skyscraper being developed by Extell Development Company and Shanghai Municipal Investment Group along Billionaires’ Row on 57th Street in Midtown with Breathtaking views of Central Park.
53 West 53, (aka MoMA Expansion Tower and 53 West 53rd Street, and formerly known as Tower Verre) is masterfully designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, is a supertall skyscraper currently under construction by the real estate companies Hines, Pontiac Land Group and Goldman Sachs, located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City adjacent to The Museum of Modern Art.
New York City is resilient as we are reminded with the Tribute Lights in the night sky. An iconic symbol that both honors those killed and celebrates the unbreakable spirit of New York. One year after September 11th a student wrote the following poem:
We were eight.
Before September 11th, we would wake up with a list of “Don’t Forgets”
Don’t forget to wash your face
Don’t forget to brush your teeth
Don’t forget to do your homework
Don’t forget to wear your jacket
Don’t forget to clean your room
Don’t forget to take a bath
After September 11th, we wake up with a list of “Remembers”
Remember to greet the sun each morning
Remember to enjoy every meal
Remember to thank your parents for their hard work
Remember to honor those who keep you safe
Remember to value each person you meet
Remember to respect other’s beliefs
Now we are nine.
Embrace the beauty of this new season and relish the joys it bestows. I look forward to hearing from you.
“By comparison with other less hectic days, the city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience—if they did they would live elsewhere.” – E.B. White
“In New York the opportunities for learning, and acquiring a culture that shall not come out of the ruins, but belong to life, are probably greater than anywhere else in the world.” – Thomas Wolf
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Tell your friends and family that I am on duty to help with their home purchase and selling plans for 2019. The Warburg Way is best encapsulated in Fred’s blog article “At Your Serve” I recognize that being entrusted with a client’s listing or new home search is a significant responsibility. My goal is to build relationships through the deployment of experience and expertise, wielded with the integrity for which the Warburg brand is known.