Autumn in New York: Manhattan & Brooklyn

The dining room of the penthouse duplex at 430 East 10th Street in the East Village. | TOWN RESIDENTIAL

The dining room of the penthouse duplex at 430 East 10th Street in the East Village. | TOWN RESIDENTIAL

Manhattan real estate remains hot and is increasingly exclusive. That’s the message from Corcoran’s second quarter 2014 report. The average price for resale co-ops, resale condos, and new developments increased 20 percent over last year, up to $1.697 million. That number topped the first quarter and sets a new record high price. Median price, however, while increasing six percent to $920,000, has still not rebounded to the 2008 second quarter all-time high of $975,000. Price per square foot saw a large gain, up 15 percent to $1,286 market-wide, which is also a new record. Larger units are seeing higher price gains, with annual growth at two percent for studios, six percent for one-bedrooms, 11 percent for two bedrooms, and a whopping 23 percent for three bedrooms.

New development slowed in the second quarter, but not for lack of demand. Price increases reflect not only appreciation but also the high quality of new supply. The new development market increased 63 percent over last year and price per square foot increased 31 percent. Median price was up 16 percent, to $1.731 million. New developments skewed larger, with 27 percent three-plus bedrooms, compared to just 14 percent of existing stock. New development price growth was strongest in one and three bedroom units. The greatest number of new development closings took place on the Upper East Side.

A hot real estate market spreads ever wider across the city

Douglas Elliman’s second quarter report found that consistent with a declining vacancy rate, Manhattan rents grew steadily over the past five months. Tight mortgage underwriting standards and an increase in city employment levels were key factors. Median rental levels increased 5.4 percent to $3,205 compared to second quarter 2013, the biggest increase for that quarter in six years. The number of new rentals increased modestly by 7.2 percent to 4,938.

In Brooklyn, Elliman found, the rental market is also hot, with prices up for the 14th consecutive months and smaller apartments bearing the bulk of the increases. Tenants showed a greater willing to seek affordability elsewhere rather than renew existing leases. Price gains were seen across the studio and one-bedroom markets, with more mixed results in the larger size categories.

The median rent level in Brooklyn grew 6.6 percent from a year ago to $2,852, but the luxury market level increased only 1.8 percent to $4,500. The number of new rentals listed jumped 127 percent to 892 over the same period, reflecting strong tenant resistance to renewing leases at higher cost.

For Manhattan buyers, new developments, particularly on the Upper East Side near the Second Avenue subway, provide great options. When Phase I of the new line opens in late 2016, it will carry 200,000 straphangers from 96th Street to connections at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue.

For views of the East River, the spanking new SixtyFour at 300 East 64th Street at Second Avenue was developed by architects Stonehilll & Taylor. A luxury condo conversion of a rental building, SixtyFour is exclusively sold through Douglas Elliman. Unit sizes runs from one to three bedrooms, including a penthouse, all with hardwood floors and oversized or floor-to-ceiling windows, and square footage ranges from about 725 to 1,431. Bathrooms have soaking tubs, Kohler Caxton sinks, and marble vanities.

A communal open-air penthouse, furnished and with a barbeque grill and four exposures, offers spectacular views of the river and the Queensboro Bridge. The building also includes a screening room and a gym. Prices start at about $925,000. (

The Charles from Bluerock Real Estate was designed by Ismael Leyva, with interiors by David Collins Studio. A luxury condominium with private access full-floor residences –– including a duplex penthouse with two large terraces, each more than 3,000 square feet –– the Charles is at 1335 First Avenue near 72nd Street. Prices average $2,500 per square foot. Special touches include very high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and white oak Oyster Gloss wide-plank flooring that in the living rooms has radiant heat. Eat-in kitchens are outfitted with mirror-polished, high-gloss lacquer cabinetry and Corian countertops and backsplashes. Polished dolomite marble tile bathrooms with radiant heat floors feature Kohler tubs.

Shared building amenities include a residents’ lounge, a Technogym, a game room, and private storage. Exclusively marketed and sold through TOWN Residential, the Charles’ move-ins begin late this year. (

Another East Side option is the penthouse at 515 East 72nd Street, set high above the river. This full-floor, five-bedroom residence has 5,419 square feet with wide-plank quarter sawn white oak floors and floor-to-ceiling windows. It also has two landscaped outdoor spaces totaling 3,461 square feet, one with a kitchen. The living room and family room share a Magny Le Louvre double-sided, wood-burning limestone fireplace. The eat-in kitchen with SieMatic cabinetry as well as a pantry opens into the family room. A sprawling custom master bathroom is done up in Nordic White onyx and travertine for the walls and ivory travertine for the floor. Also featured are a freestanding tub and a glass-enclosed shower with a floor-to-ceiling window looking out on the East River.

Communal amenities include a private half-acre park, a fitness center, a heated indoor pool, and a Jodi’s Gym for kids. Marketed and sold through Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, the penthouse is priced at $17.5 million. (

Corcoran Sunshine is also selling 15 light-filled, full-floor condominiums at 60 East 86th Street, just off Park Avenue. Designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, the building offers three- to four-bedroom residences, including a triplex penthouse with four bedrooms and a private rooftop terrace that has an outdoor kitchen and dining area as well as a fireplace. There is also a triplex townhouse with a private garden and one duplex with two terraces. All units have direct elevator entry, oversized casement windows, and wide-plank rift and quartered white oak flooring, while a select group offer 20-foot ceilings, eat-in kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces with gas starters, and Juliette balconies. Kitchens are outfitted with Vals quartzite floors, custom lacquer cabinetry with white satin finishes, fluted glass doors, and marble tops. Appliances are by Gaggenau and fixtures are from Lefroy Brooks. Custom-built master bathrooms boast Lefroy Brooks fixtures, Driftwood marble floors and walls, rosewood cabinetry with carved Driftwood marble sinks, and fluted glass showers.

The building includes a fitness center with a landscaped terrace and a playroom for kids. Prices starts at about $7.05 million for a three-bedroom home and up to about $20 million for the triplex penthouse. (

If the High Line Park is your hot button, consider 505 West 19th Street. Off Tenth Avenue, the building was designed inside and out by Thomas Juul-Hansen and is made up of towers framing the park. With just 35 units ranging from one- to five bedrooms, including a penthouse, square footage ranges from 1,050 to more than 5,800. A number of units include direct elevator entry and some have private outdoor space. Features include large windows positioned to enhance privacy for the lower floor units and with expanded views on the higher floors. Kitchens offer quarter-sawn white oak, and cerused, limed, and stained gray cabinetry trimmed with brass. Master baths with radiant heat floors offer honed Stellar White marble floors and shower walls and black lacquer vanities. All units feature Kohler cast-iron tubs and glass-enclosed showers. Community pleasures include a fitness center. Marketed and sold by Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, prices start at $2.54 million. (

Downtown, a duplex penthouse co-op with private outdoor space has just come on the market at 430 East 10th Street, between Avenues C and D. This loft-like, four-plus bedroom unit in a meticulously renovated building merges modern amenities with original details, including exposed brick walls, wood beam ceilings, and rustic wood columns throughout. Spanning more than 3,400 square feet with a private rooftop that practically matches the interior square footage, the apartment has new electricity and plumbing, central heating and cooling systems, double-paned windows, and white oak “floating” floors installed with professional-grade acoustic soundproofing. The living room/ dining room has six large windows. Highlighted by a skylight and a doublewide cement sink, the open kitchen has cabinetry created from the original 19th century flooring topped with Belgium bluestone. The corner master bedroom suite has a walk-in closet and an en suite bath with a freestanding tub, a glass-enclosed shower, double vanities, and Lefroy Brooks fixtures. Listed with TOWN Residential, it’s priced at $3.998 million (

Other Lower Manhattan properties include the contemporary architectural statement Ismael Leyva created at the Tribeca Royale at 19 Park Place near Church Street. Developed by ABM Realty LLC, it’s made up of 24 half and full-floor condominiums pre-wired for smart-home technology, each with floor-to-ceiling glass curtain walls with frameless glass balconies, wide-plank European oak floors from Mercier, and in-home washers and dryers by Miele. One- to three-bedroom units range from 716 to 1,336 square feet, and the mix includes a duplex and a penthouse that has a gas fireplace framed in Calacatta marble. Master baths with radiant heat floors and hydronic towel warmers are done up in polished onyx porcelain slab walls by Ariostea Ultra Onici and honed walnut brown marble floors. Fixtures include a Wetstyle oval-shaped freestanding tub and a glass-enclosed shower with a slatted teak floor.

Communal amenities include a second-floor outdoor landscaped terrace, a play area for kids, and a fitness room. Priced from $1.120 million with an anticipated 421a tax abatement, this development is marketed and sold through Halstead Property Development Marketing. Occupancy is set for spring 2015. (

New developments are popping up across wide swaths of Brooklyn. According to a July report from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, there are 7,800 housing units in the development pipeline, 2,000 of which will be market-rate condominiums. Streeteasy ( recently reported that Brooklyn’s up-and-coming neighborhoods include those on the eastern edge of the borough, such as East New York and Carnarsie and neighborhoods near Prospect Park such as Kensington, Flatbush, and Sunset Park.

The view from a penthouse living room at 388 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn. | HALSTEAD PROPERTY

The view from a penthouse living room at 388 Bridge Street in Downtown Brooklyn. | HALSTEAD PROPERTY

Centrally located in Downtown Brooklyn and developed by the Stahl Organization, the SLCE-designed 388 Bridge Penthouse Collection is now on the market atop Brooklyn’s tallest condominium, located between Fulton and Willoughby Streets. On floors 45 through 53, there are 40 two- to four-bedroom penthouses, most of which are duplexes with private outdoor space for eyefuls of New York’s landmarks. Square footage ranges from 1,133 to 2,371. All feature wide-plank gray wash white oak floors, ceilings as high as 11 feet, and solar shades. Master bathrooms feature white quartz walls, limestone floors, walk-in showers, and custom designed white lacquer vanities. This full-service building with a 24-hour doorman includes a 46th-floor sky lounge with a fireplace, pool table, large screen TVs, a pantry, and a wet bar. The adjacent outdoor terrace features a playground, two barbeques, and a lounge area. Amenities also include a playroom, a pet spa, and a two-story Manhattan Athletic Club, to which membership can be purchased. Marketed by Halstead Property, prices begin at $1.742 million. (

The Gluck+ Architects-designed 345 Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. | REDUNDANT PIXEL

The Gluck+ Architects-designed 345 Carroll Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. | REDUNDANT PIXEL

Developed by Sterling Equities and designed by Gluck+ Architects, a new boutique development at 345 Carroll Street, between Hoyt and Bond Streets, begins selling units this month. The building includes 32 luxury residences, with 18 two- to four-bedroom units with square footage ranging from 1,215 to 1,973. There are also eight four-bedroom penthouses, sized from 1,847 to 2,393 square feet, and and six one- to three-bedroom garden duplexes, with square footage ranging from 1,647 to 2,899. Master baths have custom herringbone Italian marble radiant heat floors, walnut vanities topped with marble, glass shower stalls, and tubs with marble decks. Amenities include a vegetable garden and one that is landscaped, a rooftop deck, a kids’ playroom, a dog-washing area, and a bocce ball court. Lobby attendants are 24/ 7 and parking and storage areas are for sale. Marketed and sold through Stribling Marketing Associates, prices begin at $1.5 million with occupancy slated for fall 2015. (

Over on Williamsburg’s south side, the Oosten at 429 Kent Avenue, near South Eighth Street, is now selling one- to three-bedroom units, including duplexes with double-height ceilings. There are also four penthouses with five to six bedrooms and direct access to private garage spaces. The mix also includes 15 three- and four-bedroom townhouses with private garages. Square footage ranges from 801 to approximately 5,093 square feet for the penthouses. The townhouses average 4,075 square feet. The communal amenity list is long –– an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, juice and coffee bars, a library, a landscaped courtyard, and a rooftop terrace with a reflecting pool. Occupancy is set for late 2015. Exclusively marketed by Halstead Property Group Development, prices begin in the high $600,000s. (

Cliff Finn, executive vice president at Douglas Elliman Development Marketing, offered his take on Brooklyn’s rental market.

“Many renters prefer the technology, design, and amenities of today’s new developments and they are usually willing to trade off a little space and often location to get it,” said Finn. “Brooklyn is no longer the big discount to Manhattan it once was. However, in most cases there is still a bit of a discount when compared to comparable buildings in Manhattan neighborhoods, which now may only be a 10 percent to 25 percent savings, sometimes higher or even lower depending on the location. Compared to some Upper East Side and Upper West Side locations, one will find parts of Brooklyn more expensive.”

Finn offered a telling comparable.

“An average sized one bedroom in our new boutique rental development, 267 Pacific in Boerum Hill, recently rented for $3,600. The same unit in the similarly sized new Hell’s Kitchen development would rent for $3,900, and in a new Greenwich Village rental, perhaps $5,000. The appeal, aside from new development housing stock, is the authenticity of its neighborhoods. Renters and purchasers like the look and feel of the various intimate neighborhoods with their small neighborhood parks, mom-and-pop businesses, and the light and air one gets from having more low and mid-rise buildings.”

The signature design feature at 267 Pacific at Smith Street is the 50-foot by 50-foot “Sign Language” mural from famed street artists Chris Stain and Billy Mode who collaborated with the Brooklyn youth arts group Cre8tive YouTH*ink. The mural, which covers the entire right side of the building, pays tribute to legendary photographer Martha Cooper. Marketed through Elliman, the GF55 Partners-designed project offers 60 units with wide-plank solid white oak floors, ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, some with terraces, plus penthouses with private terraces and spectacular views. Bathrooms have CaesarStone-topped vanities.

Communal amenities include a large bike garage and dedicated workshop and a large rooftop terrace with entertaining space, a sundeck, a misting shower, and barbeque grills. Almost ready for occupancy, monthly rents will start at $2,525. (

In Bedford Stuyvesant, a five-bedroom, three-story pre-war townhouse is now for rent at 22 Arlington Place, between Fulton and Halsey Streets. Extensively restored, the single family home’s original details remain intact –– including high ceilings with crown moldings, hardwood floors, a center staircase, stained glass windows, pocket doors, wainscoting, and decorative fireplace mantles. All the bedrooms are generously sized with ample closet space, and the master suite has access to a private terrace and garden. Other amenities include a formal dining room and a washer and dryer. Listed with TOWN Residential, the no-fee monthly rent is $11,995, but the owner is offering a free month based on a 12-month lease, bringing the monthly rent down to $10,995. (