Of late, pundits have alternatively lamented and celebrated diminishing funding and student enthusiasm for the arts and humanities at the nation’s schools. If only the Chinese-born artist Wen-Ying Tsai, who died in January, were here to advise these two camps—which often seem at intractable odds—as to the entirely possible marriage of their views.
Mr. Tsai, who trained in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, later applied his technical skills to creating motorized, ultra-modern sculptures, which showed at the Museum of Modern Art and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. He also helped to establish the Tsai Art and Science Foundation, which promotes artists and scientists whose work illustrates the intersection and interdependence of the two disciplines. Now Mr. Tsai’s longtime home at 7 East 19th Street has passed from his family’s hands, according to city records—for the tidy sum of $12 million. Perhaps some portion of the proceeds will go toward mediation for those warring factions?
Investment Sales 2012
56 West 11th Street Realty LLC has purchased a 31,000-square-foot building at 56-58 West 11th Street in Greenwich Village for just under $18.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.
The nine-story building, built in 1912, features 36 residential units, with what broker Howard Morrel, who arranged the off-market sale, said is “virtually guaranteed upside” in Read More
The investment sales market, most brokers agree, has been heating up over the past 12 months. Approximately $25.8 billion in commercial properties changed hands last year, a turnaround that represented an 88 percent increase over 2010. But while the positive uptick is easily verifiable, what happens next for Manhattan’s investment sales market is still up in the air.
Accordingly, The Commercial Observer set out to speak with the real estate industry’s most accomplished capital markets and sales practitioners to learn what’s in store for 2012. Over the next several days, we’ll post interviews with heavy hitters like Richard Baxter of Jones Lang LaSalle, Darcy Stacom and William Shanahan of CBRE, Woody Heller of Studley and Peter Hausperg of Eastern Consolidated. But, first, after the jump, none other than J.D. Parker of Marcus & Millichap.
A self-described car guy, Woody Heller, executive managing director and head of the Capital Transactions Group at Studley, sees parallels between automobiles as hard assets and commercial real estate investment sales velocity in New York. Apart from the obvious luxury to be found in cars and Class A buildings alike—his 33-million-square-foot transaction volume likely doesn’t include a jalopy—both markets have also lately been bolstered by similar factors.
“With debt available and with interest rates so incredibly low, it encourages one to buy because money is so cheap,” he said. “If the asset class is in favor compared with what much of the alternatives are—if borrowing costs are incredibly low—it continues to steer people to want to invest in hard assets like real estate.”
To look at the buildings neighboring it, 567 Vanderbilt Avenue is a typical four-story, mixed-use apartment building in Brooklyn. From the bricks it was built with to the upwardly mobile professionals and strollers it presumably houses, the structure is nearly identical to the other assets in that corner of Prospect Heights.
With a recent shift on the ground—characterized by relatively new restaurants like James, Cornelius and, inevitably, the Vanderbilt—sales prices in the neighborhood are rising.
But over on Vanderbilt Avenue in particular, where trendy bars and cafés pop up each week, prices are absolutely surging, in part because of Nostradamus-like predictions of basketball fans flooding the zone once the Nets start playing inside the proposed Atlantic Yards arena and, ultimately, exiting en masse from doors leading directly to the street.
It was at the Soho building that now houses Dos Caminos—that high-concept Mexican cantina to the stars—that Marcus & Millichap associate vice president Adelaide Polsinelli discovered her career path.
Ms. Polsinelli’s uncle had owned the five-story building until his death, in 1983, and had rented the ground floor to the owner of Read More
If this time last year you wanted to know much a multifamily building cost in your neighborhood, you were, as they say, out of luck. That’s because this time last year, there were next to no building sales. And mid-turmoil Great Recession, with no points of comparison, or comparables, it was kind of impossible to Read More
The multi-family sector of the real estate market is often described as the healthiest of the commercial bunch.
Insomuch as there is, in fact, the occasional transaction, that description holds water. Especially when compared to the office-building market, which, as CB Richard Ellis recently reported, saw a measly three transactions of greater than Read More