It’s official; the City Planning Commission approved the re-development of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) this morning. SPURA is the largest tract of undeveloped New York City-owned land in Manhattan south of 96th Street. The decision was unanimous and the next step for the development is for the City Council to approve the land use plan. Once the City Council approves the plan, the bidding from developers will begin. The best proposal will be selected by the city with help of the competent community board.
Qatar Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad purchased a townhouse for nearly $50 million at 22 East 71st Street, reported the NY Post. The deal was made in absolute secrecy without the involvement of a broker, but the deal was instead done through Tower Management Holdings in order to protect the identity of the Prime Minister.
The townhouse was bought from RFR Realty President Aby Rosen who reportedly was famed for throwing incredible parties at the townhouse.
Carlyle and Extell, the developers of The Rushmore, were sued in 2010 and had to refund a total of $16 million for missing a closing deadline, which according to the developer was just a typo. This refund stands today as the largest refund in New York City history.
The financially struggling co-op/Hotel on the Upper East Side, The Mark, won a battle against former co-op buyer Roberta Campbell. Campbell refused to stick to the purchase agreement and did not pay the down payment of $4.68 million. The NY Times reports that the buyer found “missing cooktop grates, shower enclosures and a microwave; unfinished floors; and a lack of heat, hot water, gas and air-conditioning”. Unfortunately, this is not an early 20th century slum, so this stuff doesn’t fly. The judge ruled against her as Ms.
The re-development of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) is finally headed to its next stage. Community boards and city officials formed an agreement after nearly five exhausting decades of discussions, negotiations and disagreements. The area in Manhattan's Lower East Side spans 1.65 million square feet. It is supposed to be used for 900 housing units and nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space. The most controversy came from the issue of the ratio of affordable housing to market price housing.
Trends in New York can border on ridiculous sometimes, but they tend to catch on like irritating wild fire. This particular one started with the record condo sale of $88 million at 15 Central Park West. Since then, buildings and condo owners around the city have been trying to emulate it with one owner in particular trying to sell his apartment for nearly $100 million.
Olivier Sarkozy, 42, the younger brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, bought a townhouse for $6.25 million at 123 East 10th Street. The nypost.com reports that Sarkozy plans to share the apartment with his girlfriend Mary-Kate Olsen, who is 16 years his junior. The five-story townhouse has an impressive 4,200 square feet, which seems to be big enough for a new love nest. It’s a pre-war building that was built in 1854, has a convenient roof deck and was on the market for 46 weeks.
We reported yesterday that Kate Winslet received an apartment deeded from her ex-husband Sam Mendes. Now we have learned that Kate doesn’t plan to stay there. The apartment, which is a penthouse duplex, is listed for rent at $30,000-a-month. It has 3,300 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and an additional 1,700-square-foot roof terrace. It’s the first time ever that the unit has been on the market for rent.
Ben Stiller’s NYC apartment at 110-118 Riverside Drive on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is listed for $9.6 million. It’s a duplex with 10 rooms, 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and amazing Hudson River views. The duplex has 4000 square feet of living space and was initially bought by Ben Stiller for $10 million just 4 years ago. So, Ben may lose almost a half million dollar on this deal. The apartment is listed with Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Courtney Love’s lease ended this year at her townhouse located at 250 West 10th Street. For a while she was renting it out, but it has since gone back on the market for sale. It is listed with Corcoran and bears the initial price tag of $11.4 million. The last transfer of the townhouse was in 2010 for $7.64 million. It has 7 rooms, 6 fireplaces, a garden, and had been renovated by a star designer & architect two years before she moved in in 2011.
In 2005, Strategic Hotels & Resorts sold the Jumeirah Essex House for the princely sum of $440 million to the Dubai Investment Group. Dubai Inv. ramped up the value of the building by committing over $90M for renovations and converted some of the best apartments into condominiums. Now after 7 years Dubai Inv. has sold the building to the exact same organization, which sold it to Dubai in first place.
A celebrity divorce provides us with some interesting NYC real estate news. Kate Winslet and director Sam Mendes divorced in 2010, but had a shared apartment in Chelsea, which the couple bought in 2003. According to City Records Sam Mendes has deeded the $2.15M condominium to his ex-wife. The gorgeous boutique building with only 12 units is located at 532 West 22nd directly below the High-Line park.
Kate Winslet continues to live in the apartment, but Sam Mendes has been in England since the two split in 2010.
Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff, a German Olympic Dressage Champion, has sold her NYC apartment in The Plaza Residences to the CEO of Harman International Industries. Linsenhoff first listed the apartment with Sotheby’s International Realty in March 2011 for $10.9 million. That’s $1.5 million more than the selling price of $9.495 million.
We learn that the new Yankees outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has just rented a NYC apartment at the beautiful Laurel condominium on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The apartment is a 2778-square-foot, 4-bedroom, with 3.5-bathrooms. It had been on the market for only three days before Ichiro made it his “home run”. The monthly rent of the apartment is about $40,000.
Recently, we learned that Anthony Wiener’s beautiful wife took him back after the Wienergate scandal and now we learn news is in his favor again. Former Congressman Anthony Wiener and his wife moved into a beautiful 2,210-square-foot, four-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom luxury apartment – where he most likely spends time changing his son’s diapers or doing laundry as he lost all of his political clout. The monthly rent of the apartment is estimated to be around $12,000 to $14,000.