The Week in Real Estate: 9.4.09

  • Carlos Peralta, whose entry in Forbes' 2003 billionaires list mentioned his interest in hydroponic tomato-growing and baseball, also has a good eye for comically plush real estate.

    According to city records, a high-floor apartment at Trump Tower that came on the market with broker Mark Shemel for $13.5 million belongs to the Mexican telecom mogul. Listing photographs show a place with a lot of yellow ("off white," Mr. Shemel argued); a lot of glass ("I don’t know if you know Lalique? It’s a very well-known glass-designing brand"); plus a lot of pillows (10 on one couch, more on a bed that's under a mirrored ceiling).

    And Mr. Shemel pointed out that there are padded walls: "It’s all about that cozy feel," he said, "all about that nice, comfortable, warm feeling." More here.

    Think Properties.

  • After dropping famed architect Frank Gehry from the Nets basketball arena planned for Brooklyn, the developer of the massive mixed-use project has brought in New York-based architecture firm SHoP to assist in the design of the venue, according to a person informed of the decision.

    The developer, Forest City Ratner, plans to unveil renderings of the $800 million arena later this month.

    The choice seems a face-saving move for Forest City, as a substantial backlash from public officials and the press followed its decision to drop Mr. Gehry in the name of cost. More here.

    SHoP designed a remade South Street Seaport last year via General Growth Properties.

  • Less than a year after Morgan Stanley got its $10 billion TARP loan (and exactly two and a half months after the money was repaid), the mammoth firm’s chief executive and chairman has bought a 33-foot-wide, 107-year-old limestone carriage house. It’s in relatively bad shape, but might have the city’s largest in-house garage.

    According to city records, Paul Mellon’s 99-year-old widow Bunny sold 165 East 70th Street last month to an anonymous limited liability corporation for $13.5 million. Two sources close to the deal said that the buyers are John J. Mack and his wife, Christy. A spokesperson for Morgan Stanley had no comment. More here.

    Sotheby's.

  • At the Nevele!
    There’s so much to do!
    Or don’t do a thing!
    People do that, too!

    For native New Yorkers of a certain age—say, 35-40—these words evoke powerful associations. A montage of racquet sports and pillow fights. Cozy firesides and fancy dinners. A sprightly synthesizer.

    The promise of A place you go! With your family!A place Where you feel at home! And you’re glad to be—at the Nevele! (At the Nevel-EEE!)

    This was the 1981 ad for the Nevele Grande Resort, a cylindrical hotel in the Catskills.

    The hotel, which closed in July, is scheduled for auction today, September 1—but according to Auction America Realty, a contract had already been signed on the property following an offer yesterday afternoon. A representative for Auction America said that the company was “not at liberty” to disclose the price or buyer, and that the auction would proceed as planned to seek backup offers on the Nevele. According to the auction listing, the property includes 432 hotel rooms, an 18-hole golf course, skating rinks, and 2 “NightClubs/Bar.” More here.

  • It’s been just over two years since the deconstruction of the former Deutsche Bank building downtown endured a major fire that left two firefighters dead, and the tower—damaged in September 11, 2001—still stands at its same height.

    Now, its demolition seems likely to take longer than was expected just months ago. 

    In June, officials said they expected the black building down by next spring, some eight-and-a-half years after it was damaged. But last month, deconstruction contractor Bovis Lend Lease filed a plan with the city that is considerably lengthier than it initially expected, and one person briefed on the filing said the plan would likely add an additional six months to the deconstruction schedule. More here.

  • Top-shelf corporate law firm Bingham McCutchen is, oddly, looking for office space.

    The firm has, according to an industry source, hired Cushman & Wakefield broker Mitchell Barnett to look for around 200,000 square feet, even though the firm’s lease for 145,500 square feet at Boston Properties’ 399 Park Avenue doesn’t expire until August 2017, according to research database CoStar.

    The firm now occupies floors 19, 20, 21, 23, 24 and 26 at 399 Park, and an unspecified amount of space at One Battery Park Plaza. More here.

    PropertyShark.

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