We took an opportunity today to visit the brand spankin’ new (yet very retro and vintage) Harlem Shake today over on Lenox Avenue. We were quite impressed with the overall aesthetic and design, kind of felt like walking back in time transported to the good ol’ days of Sock Hops and Bee-Bops. This prominent corner location called for something special and the owners of Harlem Shake definitely delivered. Most items on the menu are in the 6-10 dollar range and include classic favorites like double cheese burgers, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and amazing side orders like French fries, jerk fries, chili-cheese, cole slaw, and garlic pickles. Of course as the name describes you can select from your favorite milk shake flavors including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, and the “Harlem Shake” which is none other than red velvet. AWESOME. You can even get a root beer float! We’ll get ours with diet soda in order to save a couple calories. Harlem Shake is not to be missed and we are eager to follow this one because we have a feeling it’s going to be an enormous success. Just what the doctor ordered! Head on in for yourself for a casual lunch or a fun dinner date before hitting the movies.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By: REBNY Brokerage Division
NEW YORK – April 29, 2013 – Leadership of the Residential Brokerage Division of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city’s leading real estate trade association, will testify at a City Council hearing on Tuesday, April 30th in support of elements of a bill that will make the cooperative purchasing process transparent and reliable for home buyers.
Introduced in the City Council in 2010, Intro. 188 would require every cooperative board to create a list of purchase requirements that are available to any applicant upon request. The bill would also establish a timeline by which cooperative boards must inform applicants of their determinations.
REBNY members Pamela Liebman, president and CEO of The Corcoran Group; Frederick Peters, president of Warburg Realty; and Michael Bisordi, president of Tungsten Properties, will testify in support of elements of the bill.
“The Real Estate Board of New York strongly supports introducing timeframes and increasing predictability into the purchase process of coops,” said Steven Spinola, president of REBNY. “Providing a transparent framework around real estate transactions is good for the buyer and the seller of a coop, and good for City coffers. We favor these measures that will provide buyers with the certainty they deserve for these significant investments.”
At the hearing, the Residential Management Committee of REBNY will also be submitting testimony that will clarify management and coop board processes and will suggest language to reduce potential burdens placed on coop board members.
The hearing will take place at 1 p.m. at 250 Broadway. Full text of the proposed legislation is available here.
About The Real Estate Board of New York
The Real Estate Board of New York is the city’s leading real estate trade association with more than 13,000 members. REBNY represents major commercial and residential property owners and builders, brokers and managers, banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, contractors and other individuals and institutions professionally interested in the city’s real estate. REBNY is involved in crucial municipal matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes and legislation. In addition, REBNY publishes reports providing indicators of market prices for both the residential and commercial sectors. Please visit us online at www.REBNY.com
Spring has sprung for the Harlem real estate market and it is widely accepted that the housing market in Harlem and Manhattan has recovered. At this moment, the city is seeing some of the lowest levels of residential rental and ‘for sale’ inventory in recent history creating a marketplace favoring landlords and sellers. Buyers and renters have very limited options. As of this writing, there are only 107 condominiums, 93 co-op apartments, and 40 townhouses for sale in Harlem. These are extremely low numbers–and with ever-increasing demand for Harlem, prices are predicted to continue to rise while mortgage interest rates remain low.
Some of the top residential sales in March include a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom condominium at 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard that sold on March 8th for $1,759,000 or $1,135.57 per square foot. This sale was a penthouse unit on the top floor and included a 1,036 square foot private roof terrace with a gas grill and wood-burning fireplace. The most expensive cooperative apartment sold for $925,000 and was a 2-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment with direct river views located at 417 Riverside Dr. In the townhouse category, the 6 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 5200 square foot home at 136 West 121st street was sold for $2,425,000.
On the development front, there have been a couple of big announcements for 125th Street. Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg announced that a 400,000 square foot building will rise above an existing 42,000 sq foot single story retail and parking facility located on the north side between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. This development is currently planned to contain the new headquarters for The National Urban League, a civil rights organization, as well as the first civil rights museum for New York State. In addition, the building will also house new retail spaces and 114 units of affordable housing.
Across the street on the southwest corner where the Whole Foods grocer is planned, retail giant American Eagle also signed on as another tenant for the building’s first floor and mezzanine; Burlington Coat Factory will occupy the top three floors.
Over on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 131st and 132nd Streets, the remains of the Lafayette Theater (most recently the Bell Center and the Williams Institutional C.M.E. Church) were demolished in March. After the property went into foreclosure a few years ago, a deal with BRP Development Corporation was struck to develop a 166,000 square foot building including rental apartments, a new 700-seat Church for the Williams congregation, plus retail stores. The whole building is projected to cost $46M and is financed by Housing Partnership Development Corporation and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group. The new building, appropriately named “The Lafayette” is to be completed sometime in 2014.
The Mayor’s office announced this past month that NYC’s population is increasing for the first time in 50 years, and therefore the demand for new housing is growing. Due to big new developments projected for 125th Street, low market inventory, and low interest rates, I predict that we are going to see some of the biggest sale prices in Harlem since the height of the real estate bubble in 2006 – 2007 and it should continue in this pattern for many years to come.
Walking on 124th Street & Lenox Avenue I see Harlem Shake on the North/West corner. I wondered what was coming and did it have anything to do with the dance. Nope. Its all ahout Burgers & Milkshakes. A new burger joint is coming to Harlem and they promise to soon be known for the best burgers and milkshakes in Harlem, along with the vibe and aesthetics that gives homage to Harlem. Cheers to that!
One of my favorite landmarks in Harlem is the Bailey House at 10 St. Nicholas Avenue and West 150th Street. Named after the famous circus owner, James Anthony Bailey, the house was built with a quixotic vision for a 30-room stone mansion from 1886 – 1888. The property turned out to be an enormous 8,259 square feet filled with fireplaces, wood moldings, enormous bathrooms, play rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and numerous stained glass portraits depicting scenes with, of course, animals. James Bailey loved animals. In fact, each spring during his occupancy of the house, legend has it that Mr. Bailey would bring his taxidermy collection out onto the lawn to air it out. I’m sure the children in the neighborhood would have loved to have seen that!
In 1951, the house was purchased by one of the first black morticians. The mortician, Marguerite Blake, ran the house as a funeral home until her retirement. In 2008 the house first hit the market for $10,000,000. It was reduced to $6,500,000 in 2009 and then reduced further to $3,500,000. The house finally sold–all cash–to its current owner on August 19, 2009 for only $1,400,000. Since 2010, scaffolding has been up around the house and the work still progresses. Some contractors I’ve spoken to estimate the amount of work required to restore all 8,259 square feet to be around a $2,000,000 job. Quite a hefty sum, for sure, but to bring this mansion back to life will be well worth it for the owners to enjoy this home for years to come.
Attention all artists living in Harlem NYC: the second annual Harlem Arts festival is wrapping up their application period looking for artists that want to participate in this year’s festival. All artists from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The festival will take place towards the end of June in Mount Morris Park and the surrounding area. This is a great opportunity for you to showcase your work to thousands of people!
Number 233 West 139th Street closed earlier this month for the full asking price of $1,495,000. This house is located on Striver’s Row, one of the most sought-after blocks in all of Harlem for its quiet tree-lined streets and beautiful townhouses constructed between 1891 – 1893. This building, on the northern side of 139th Street, was designed by McKim, Mead and White in a neo-Italian style, which are wider than their counterparts on the southern side of the street. All of the houses on Striver’s Row have their own private parking accessible through a private road that runs through the back of all of the townhouses that was originally used for the stabling of horses.
233 West 139th Street is 19.25′ wide x 52.83′ deep. At 4,064 square feet, the final price per square foot is $367.86—which I would call an average PPSF for a townhouse in Harlem. The house was delivered in very good condition with a ton of original details intact including fireplaces, columns, and original inlaid oak parquet flooring. It is currently configured as a single family home with 4-bedrooms, a library, a den, living room, formal dining room, and an eat-in kitchen.
Congratulations to the new buyers!
Walking by Lenox Avenue and 118th Street today on the to way to the office I noticed that a new frozen yogurt place seems to be opening up soon at 173 Lenox Avenue. The website for the store, Papaya Seed, seems to be under development and our phone call to the contact number went to a non-working number. This area below 125th Street on Lenox feels like it needs more places to eat & shop since most of the commercial activity seems to be happening 10 blocks north on 125th street.
Does anyone out there have any information on this one?