Urbane Development

 

In the Neighborhood

 

Everything old is new again…here’s a 1919 pitch in a less expensive section of town. Could it be Murray Hill again? 

The Opportunities of Murray Hill

By John P. Fox, Executive Secretary Murray Hill Association

April 1919

Persons seeking to buy a private city house at a reasonable figure in a most convenient section and with desirable neighbors, will find some of the best bargains in the market today on Murray Hill.  In spite of the popularity of the movement uptown, Murray Hill still contains some of the oldest and best known families inNew York, and more than one resident who has moved away, after trying apartment house life on upperPark Avenue, has come back to Murray Hill determined not to leave the section again.  Old as many of the brownstone houses are, when remodeled again and modernized inside and make attractive outside, nothing could be more comfortable, quiet, homelike, than some of these old dwellings are today.

Click once to enlarge, twice to read.

In The Neighborhood…as Manhattan was developing 1912 through 1925… Lexington

Madison Avenue…

Park Avenue…

Fifth Avenue…

A Fashionable Part of Town…Carnegie Hill

In a State

Deeds

 

No small wonder that New York State Statues required only a licensed attorney–a member of the state bar–could close a real-estate deal…

The Delivery of Deeds

By H. Gerald Chapin, on the New York Bar

January 1917

A deed of land becomes effective only from the time that it is delivered.  The Real Property Law ofNew York(Sec. 244) so declares and for that matter the rule applies to all other instruments.  The grantor must have intended it to become valid and binding and until that intention is carried into effect, the paper is practically a blank sheet, inoperative to transfer title or create any obligation.  All the Courts are in accord on this point, but there is a wide divergence of opinion as to what circumstances are sufficient to establish that delivery has taken place.

Squatter’s Sovereignty, 1917, page 1 and 2

In National News

Manhattan (New York County) property title issues began with the Dutch colonial records, continued with the English (who left town with them), and many situations carried on through the nineteenth century…here are a few snatches of the consternation…

Searching the Hall of Records was not simple thing as a new century began…

Apartment House Management

Throughout the 1920s the care and maintenance by landlords of their increasingly upscale multiple-dwelling edifices became a burden, and with the Great Depression the large units were broken up, causing different issues.

                                                                                     

Behind the Barricade

Investors were pouring their capital into residential buildings, and the City was moving forward with stronger zoning and its own urban development plans… 

Now here is a few headlines from no so long ago…2010 and 2011…to judge how times haven’t changed all that much.

The New York Observer, March 11 “The Co-Op Evangelist”

Sylvia Shapiro, 59, author of The New York Co-Op Bible, is writing a novel, High Rise Anxiety, based on her experiences as a co-op board president interacting with the “bipolar” residents of her building on East 9th Street and University Place. She thinks her neighbors personify co-op insanity because some saw her as a highly competent and honest president, while others saw her as inconsiderate, pushy, inexperienced, and heavy-handed. Shapiro, a litigator, bought her apartment for the insider price in 1991 when the building went co-op. Read the article

The Cooperator, January 2010 “Fraud Detection for Co-ops and Condos”

To prevent fraud in co-op and condo communities, boards must have a hands-on governing style, have a sound system of checks and balances to keep finances transparent, and be wary of one of the most common schemes—board members getting kickbacks from contractors. Some other precautions to take: never give a credit card to the super for expenses; have at least one board member countersign all checks; and do a yearly audit. Most important, always file charges if wrongdoing is discovered. Read the article

The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, January 1, 2010

“Five Key Housing Issues to Watch in2010”

Rising mortgage rates and the uncertain future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two of a series of worrisome issues that threaten to undermine the housing market’s modest 2009 rally. The impending expiration of federal programs that fueled the comeback, such as an $8,000 tax credit, is at the root of the problem. Other matters that may keep homeowners awake at night include the slow start of the Obama administration’s loan-modification program and the coming wave of sharp increases in adjustable-rate mortgages.

The New York Observer, March 9 “In the Shadow of the Boom”

IStar bank has sued for foreclosure on One Madison Park, the architecturally ambitious 60-story condo tower at 23rd Street and Madison Avenue, where such celebrities as Naomi Watts have reportedly purchased apartments. Only 12 of the building’s 90 condos are occupied. The tower is Ira Shapiro and Marc Jacobs’s first Manhattan project, and their firm, Slazer Enterprises, is the defendant in more than a dozen lawsuits; Jacobs and his wife, Rochelle, have also asked the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office to investigate Shapiro for fraud. Read the article

New York Post, January 21, 2010 “Square Feet: Midtown’s Madness Is Home Sweet Home for This Family”

Though most New Yorkers would never consider living in Times Square, over the past decade condo developers have been building in the area and selling their apartments to relocated businesspeople and out-of-towners who want a pied-a-terre. However, due to high prices, it took nearly three years for one project, the Platinum, on West 46th Street, to close on 90 percent of its units. Stephen and Pearl Caruso are the exception to the no-New-Yorkers rule—in 2006 they bought a two-bedroom condo at 1600 Broadway; Pearl contends it’s “convenient to everything.” Read the article

smartmoney.com, January 14, 210

“The Benefits of Missing the Global Party”

Tishman Speyer–BlackRock’s $5.4 billion StuyvesantTowndefault has become a symbol of many things, among them the inability of world-class professional investors to recognize a bubble. The Government of Singapore Investment Corp., Norway’s Government Pension Fund, the China Investment Corporation, and Dubai World all bought properties at the height of the of U.S. real-estate market and lost hundreds of billions of dollars when the market collapsed. The catastrophe should serve as a warning of the next crash: experts predict an accelerating failure rate of commercial mortgage-backed securities in 2010.

City Hall,March 1, 2010

“Landlords Look to Build Support for ‘Rent Freeze’ Bill in Wake of Stuy-Town Ruling”

A bill under consideration in the State Assembly would nullify a landmark court ruling last year that found that the owners of StuyvesantTownand PeterCooperVillagehad collected tax breaks while illegally converting rent-regulated apartments to market rate. If the bill is approved, landlords would be allowed to keep as many as 80,000 units at market rate by paying back the tax benefits. If it isn’t approved, building owners could be liable for hundreds of millions in rent overcharges, and many would be forced into foreclosure.

The New York Observer,February 2, 2010

“TheBellTolls for Co-ops”

Governor Paterson wants to close the loophole that allows co-op owners to pay no taxes on the loans for their apartments, a move that would bring an annual $50 million into New York City’s coffers. While condo and house owners are taxed as much as 2.175 percent, co-op owners—who technically don’t own a piece of real estate—have not been taxed since the Koch Administration. The real-estate lobby, however, fears that the new tax will hurt the already fragile co-op market.

The Real Deal, March 22
“UES Residents Ousted Due to Second Avenue Subway Construction”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has informed residents of a 12-unit building at 1873 Second Avenue, between 96th and 97th Streets, that they’ll have to vacate their apartments for 30 to 60 days due to construction of an air vent at an adjacent building for the Second Avenue subway. The M.T.A.’s letter to the tenants assures them that the agency will pay all their related expenses while work is done to reinforce the structurally weak building. An M.T.A. spokesman said that he hoped the work would begin in April. Read the article

The New York Observer, February 9, 2010
“Rich Guy Fight at the Essex House”

The Board of Standards and Appeals has ruled, for arcane legal reasons, that a solarium that blocks the Central Park view of Essex House condo owner Ernst Georg Hartner should not be torn down. Hartner, a Munich-based businessman, had sued to regain his view after the solarium, currently owned by banker Ira Saferstein, appeared on the ledge of the apartment building next door. If the ruling is allowed to stand, preservationists fear that a rash of such structures will sprout across city rooftops, transforming the New York skyline.

Urbane Development: In National News

The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, January 1, 2010
“Five Key Housing Issues to Watch in 2010”

Rising mortgage rates and the uncertain future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two of a series of worrisome issues that threaten to undermine the housing market’s modest 2009 rally. The impending expiration of federal programs that fueled the comeback, such as an $8,000 tax credit, is at the root of the problem. Other matters that may keep homeowners awake at night include the slow start of the Obama administration’s loan-modification program and the coming wave of sharp increases in adjustable-rate mortgages.


smartmoney.com, January 14, 2010
“The Benefits of Missing the Global Party”

Tishman Speyer–BlackRock’s $5.4 billion Stuyvesant Town default has become a symbol of many things, among them the inability of world-class professional investors to recognize a bubble. The Government of Singapore Investment Corp., Norway’s Government Pension Fund, the China Investment Corporation, and Dubai World all bought properties at the height of the of U.S. real-estate market and lost hundreds of billions of dollars when the market collapsed. The catastrophe should serve as a warning of the next crash: experts predict an accelerating failure rate of commercial mortgage-backed securities in 2010.