Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Jul 18, 16 Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Posted by in All, Real Estate

The transformation of Brooklyn’s cultural center has taken a huge step forward with the opening of the Ashland residential tower. The tower is located at the meeting point of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, where the cultural institutions are located with the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the anchor. New York has spent over $100 million in public spaces and arts organizations found there. New developments are sprouting up as affordable housing, retail, and office space grow. Ashland is 53 stories with 304 full-rate apartments sprinkled with 282 affordable units. They range in size studios to three-bedroom apartments with monthly rents for market-rate apartments starting at $2,600 and three bedrooms going for as much as $7,500. The affordable units are distributed by lottery. They will start at $801 for a studio, and a three-bedroom unit will cost $3,649 for a three-person household making between $126,995 and $155,400 a year. There were 82,262 applicants for the affordable apartments. “The location is incredible, as you have beautiful Fort Greene as your front yard, Downtown Brooklyn to the west, and you have all the cultural offerings literally right outside your door,” said David L. Picket, the president of the Gotham Organization, the developer of the...

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David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group and the Gowanus Apartment Lottery

Jan 12, 16 David Lichtenstein’s Lightstone Group and the Gowanus Apartment Lottery

Posted by in Real Estate

The Gowanus apartment lottery attracted way more bidders than units available. This shouldn’t have come as such a great surprise since the price was right and the location, most sought-after. But deciding to purchase the land to on which to build this property was not only a risk for David Lichstenstein, CEO and founder of The Lightstone Group, but a pricey one. “You must spend money to make money” might have been an infamous quote many centuries ago when uttered by Titus Maccius Plautus, but the sentiment still reigns true today. Thus individuals such as Lichtenstein, (along with other real estate investors) at the nadir or the housing market started, “snapping up foreclosures at bargain prices betting they could rent them for a tidy profit, and sell them for a tidy profit.” A risk it was, but as Frank Warren taught us when he said “be wise enough not to be reckless, but brave enough to take risks” to succeed, these have to be calculated ones. And when David Lichtenstein’s firm bought out substantial amounts of land it was because its leader was “convinced it would yield better returns for his New York firm.” While the Lightstone Group was not alone in this move, there were still many who avoided engaging in the risk, since at the time it seemed “unlikely to pay off quickly.” It was just the hedge funds and real estate investors with an appetite for success and not afraid to take risks, that did. And it seems this action paid off in many cases. One such example is the building at the Gowanus Canal. The 86 affordable apartments located at Gowanus’ 365 Bond Street were entered into a lottery sale led by the Lightstone Group. Eighty-six might not seem such a small number, but it’s all relative; with 56,000 applicants, the popularity and attractiveness of these units suddenly appears to be a very elusive thing. Prices of the units are actually extremely reasonable and thus very sought-after: a studio would...

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Vladislav Doronin Makes it to Top 20 Power Player List

Jan 12, 16 Vladislav Doronin Makes it to Top 20 Power Player List

Posted by in Real Estate

Who are New York City’s power players? Which real estate business men and women are making the most noise in the City? In this article we read about a few of the main players for 2015, one of whom is Vladislav Doronin of Moscow-based Capital Group. Making it to the list of ‘Top 20 biggest power players in New York City real estate“™ each year is no easy feat. In 2014 the region’s real estate business escalated by 21 percent and in the first quarter of 2015, sales reached $10.1 billion so there is a lot of money to be made for those who are successful. Vladislav Doronin has been heading Capital Group since he launched it back in 1991; in addition, just last year he became majority owner of the Aman Group. Who else is making the real estate news in New York City? According to an article in The New York Post, founder of Paris Forino Interior Design, Paris Forino, has been “thrust into the spotlight as one of New York’s most sought-after interior designers.” Her firm has only been in business since 2012, but lack of time has not prevented her from becoming one New York real estate businesswomen to be watched this year. DBOX founding partner, Matthew Bannister, has also been a part of some very impressive projects in the real estate industry. Since the launch of his firm back in 1996, he has participated in the creation of “the Emmy-winning film presentation of an imagined One World Trade Center; devised a stunning homage to New York for 432 Park Avenue; and green-screened preconstruction video fly-throughs of the New York by Gehry building.” Others who have been included in this list along with Vladislav Doronin, Paris Forino and Matthew Bannister include: Norman Foster (of Foster & Partners), Saif Sumaida and Amit Khurana (of Sumaida + Khurana), Soo K. Chan (of SCDA Architects), Annabelle Selldorf (of Selldorf Architects), Veronica Mainetti (of Sorgente Group of Americda), Robert Reffkin (of Compass), Jamie Drake...

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Bitty Brooklyn Bungalow Has Astronomical Price Tag

Jul 27, 15 Bitty Brooklyn Bungalow Has Astronomical Price Tag

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A tiny home in Windsor Terrace has an asking price designed to make prospective buyers take notice. The 900-square-foot, three-bedroom bungalow with a wild front and back yards was placed on the market for a cool $1.25 million. The little home is sandwiched between two much larger homes, giving the impression that it didn’t get the memo to grow up. The listing is a real lesson in realtor-speak: “Super sweet, lovely and charming” are the opening words of an exquisitely creative listing for the 17-foot wide cottage at 658 Vanderbilt Street. Especially upbeat is the home’s description as a “…truly unique property that has always, over the years, commanded the attention of onlookers and admirers!” This is definitely a true statement, however misleading it may be. Keep in mind that in Brooklyn, as location begins to become the be-all and end-all of a property’s worth, the real value here most likely lies in the fact that according to the area’s zoning rules, the baby-bear house can be swept into the trash to make way for a three story papa-bear near-mansion, with all the latest amenities. According to realtor Barbara Puccia, “Someone can move right in or knock it down” she said. “The neighborhood would be sad to see it go, but I have to market it in its full diversity. People are paying the same amount for a condo. Here you get a house with a back yard.” The house was built during the end of the 19th century, and rumors say that it was once located inside Prospect Park. Owner Heather Baley paid a mere $150,000 for the house in 1989. We are excited to see how the deal...

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Celebrity Chef Buys Fort Greene Townhouse for $2.4 Million

Jun 03, 15 Celebrity Chef Buys Fort Greene Townhouse for $2.4 Million

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Tom Colicchio, “Top Chef” judge and owner of Craft Restaurants and high-end Chelsea eatery Colicchio & Sons, just purchased a townhouse in the Brooklyn up-and-coming neighborhood of Fort Greene. Property records show that Colicchio bought the three-floor building at 366 Adelphi Street, which is divided into 7 separate dwellings, from Derek Cox, who himself purchased it in 1982. Colicchio’s intentions for the property are not immediately known. The eminent chef now lives in a duplex in the Meatpacking District with his wife Lori...

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Historic Brooklyn Mansion Listed for Record $40 Million

Feb 08, 15 Historic Brooklyn Mansion Listed for Record $40 Million

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An 18,000 square-foot, 150 year-old Brooklyn mansion, was put on the market for a stratospheric $40 million. The home is in Brooklyn Heights, at 3 Pierrepont Place, and its list price competes with some of New York’s fanciest Fifth Avenue townhouses. With 15 bedrooms and 16 baths, the home has some inspiring views of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade and the New York Harbor. The mansion, which is famous as the home of “Prizzi’s Honor” fictional mafiosa Don Corrado, is in reality owned by retired banker Jeff Keil. Keil is a former president of Republic New York Corp. He purchased the home back in 1991 for a mere $2.3 millon. The majestic home is listed with Corcoran Realty, by broker Vicki Negron. It was built in 1856 for a businessman who made his fortune trading tea and silks from China, Abiel Abbot Low. The home has some incredible historic details: original fireplaces; high ceilings; a dramatic central staircase with a skylight above it; and gardens and outdoor grounds of 9,000 square feet. The home was designed by architect Richard Upjohn, who also created the Trinity Church on Wall Street and St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Fifth...

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