New York City Luxury Rental Blog Archives for June 2011

The Art Of Residential Revitalization, Now On View In Chelsea

A formerly hard-partying block in Chelsea has slipped off its dancing shoes and stepped into something a little more comfy -- or, more to the point, a bit more residential. The Wall Street Journal reports that the West 27th Street block between 10th and 11th Avenue, formerly the site of several notably noisy night clubs, has recently given way to new commerical and residential construction -- with Chelsea Muse, a new luxury rental, leading the way. And while the economy is still somewhat unsteady, the development surge in West Chelsea's former club haven is showing every indication of continuing its book. Factor in the arrival of the second leg of the High Line, and it's easy to understand why the Journal deems the northern reaches of Chelsea "poised for a new wave of development."

New Developments Make Hell's Kitchen Hotter Than Ever

Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen is burning up these days as a host of new construction condo developments have helped the once warehouse-full neighborhood earn its status as one of the most in-demand neighborhoods in Manhattan real estate. Hell’s Kitchen is saying goodbye to old patches of cement meant for parking lots and boarded-up buildings that waste space, and those browsing Manhattan rental listings can attest to the fact that the new Hell's Kitchen rentals that have risen from those formerly vacant lots are very appealing indeed.

The Wall Street Journal traces the rise to popularity of this once-underdeveloped -- and poorly named: we, and you, should be calling it Clinton these days -- neighborhood, thanks in large part to a bumper crop of new construction luxury rental developments. And with these new apartment complexes comes a demand for more commercial business to move into the area; Hell’s Kitchen's future looks bright not only in terms of new luxury rental housing, but in terms of the commercial development that will follow on behind.

Zoned In: Will Rezoning Make It Easier to Rent in Tribeca?

Recently, Luxury Rentals Manhattan posed a question that anyone searching for a NYC rental apartment has surely asked him or herself: "Are Manhattan rental apartments now a rich person thing?" It’s no secret that New York City is the nation’s most expensive place to rent, and although -- given how much more expensive it is to buy a Manhattan apartment -- renting in Manhattan still seems like the way to go, it's all relative: MNS’ figures show that in May 2011, rental prices increased by 6% from last year’s average. That's overall, though, and as anyone browsing Manhattan rental listings has surely noticed by now, rental prices, while high throughout Manhattan, are highly variable, even between bordering neighborhoods. Averaging studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom costs for each part of Manhattan shows that Tribeca is New York’s most expensive place to rent, while Harlem is the cheapest. That’s not particularly surprising, but some of their findings are. Contrary to popular belief, or common sense for that matter, renting in the Upper East Side is actually less expensive than renting in Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side, or Chelsea. So what does any of this have to do with rezoning North Tribeca and lowering housing costs?

High Five (Figures): Demand For Ultra High-End Manhattan Rentals Continues Surge

The Manhattan real estate market is a complicated thing, as any regular Luxury Rentals Manhattan visitor -- and anyone who has ever tried to find a rental apartment in Manhattan -- could tell you. But one of the most peculiar features of the ongoing turnaround in the Manhattan rental marketplace is just how much more quickly the market for high-end Manhattan luxury rentals has turned around than has, say, the market for $2500-per-month Manhattan rental apartments. Given that there are more people in New York capable of paying more modest monthly rents than there are those willing or able to cut five-figure checks on the first of each month, the turnaround would seem to be somewhat backwards. But this is Manhattan real estate, and the top-down turnaround has become both harder and harder to ignore and -- per a recent New York Times report -- even more pronounced in the early months of summer. The demand for five-figure NYC rental apartments has been higher than that for smaller, less expensive Manhattan apartments.  So, what exactly does this mean for Manhattan real estate?

Keep Your Cool: 5 Tips for Surviving the NYC Summer Rental Market

To those who follow us here at Luxury Rentals Manhattan, all this talk about the resurgence of the Manhattan rental market may seem like beating on the same old drum. After all, we’ve predicted the eventual perk-up of the real estate market in all its stages, from the barely-glimmering pulse of life to its gargling infancy, from the rental market’s irritable adolescence to its full-fledged ripening. And there’s been no surer sign of the NYC rental market’s full comeback than May’s most notable statistics: prices hiking roughly .68%, vacancies dropping to .69%, and the return of the grueling competitive sport known as rental bidding wars. With all our warnings of fewer landlord concessions and high demand, a renter scouring NYC apartment listings might be feeling a bit in the doldrums at his or her prospects of securing a dream apartment. But at the Luxury Rentals Manhattan blog our goal is not to terrify, but to help. There’s no need for doom and gloom just yet: here are five useful pieces of advice for NYC newcomers tackling the competitive Manhattan summer rental scene.

Hold On to Your Hats (And Wallets): Bidding Wars Return to Manhattan Rentals

Monthly Apartment Vacancy Rates in ManhattanSummer has struck New York City in in all its sunny glory: ninety degree days, Shakespeare in the Park, and a humidity heavy enough to peel paint at fifty paces. And as those with a sharp eye on Manhattan real estate listings know, the temperature isn’t the only aspect of New York City that is heating up. We here at Luxury Rentals Manhattan have been anticipating -- loudly and often -- the onset of summer sparking an upswing in the New York City rental market, resulting in a bump in rents and a drop in vacancies. As we’ve warned, renters have been paying fees and winning fewer concessions. But now a sign of the real estate market’s growing robustness has appeared that hasn’t been seen since the economic halcyon days: renter bidding wars.

High Five: High Line Phase Two Extends to 30th Street -- Will Real Estate Boom Follow?

NYC apartments for rent near High LineIf you follow Manhattan real estate, you are familiar with The High Line. And if you don't follow Manhattan real estate, and are in town for a convention or to see the sights or check out Anything Goes on Broadway or whatever... well, welcome to the Luxury Rentals Manhattan blog, and we'll presume you're also familiar with The High Line. After just a few short years on the West Side, the winding, lushly landscaped park that runs on the former freight train tracks above 10th Avenue has become both one of Manhattan's must-visit venues and one of the greatest success stories in Manhattan real estate. While Chelsea rental listings were, truth be told, doing pretty all right before the High Line went from random-old-elevated-train-tracks to hugely popular public park, the arrival of the park gave a huge boost to apartment listings near the High Line, and helped occasion the development of such blockbuster, high-end Chelsea rental listings such as The Ohm and The Tate. And with the opening of the High Line's second stage -- which will run from 20th Street all the way up to 30th Street -- today, the High Line looks likely to work its real estate magic again, this time for North Chelsea and the emerging and highly promising Hudson Yards neighborhood bearing the goofy-ish nickname The Linc.

Are Manhattan Rental Apartments Now A Rich Person Thing?

Rich people things: New York City is full of them, from the hundred different takes on seared foie gras to the chilly boutiques of Soho and so on up and down the market. While our media has done a good job of making sure that New Yorkers are up on the latest trends among very wealthy New Yorkers -- and we've certainly done our part here at the Luxury Rentals Manhattan blog, at least insofar as noting the popular renting-a-condo trend among the city's  star athletes -- there's a sense, at least for those of us still living in the actual-existing economy, that these are trends not worth chasing. Which makes it all the more appealing that, albeit at the highest of high-end price points, the wealthiest New Yorkers are now making like everyone else in NYC. Where most of us live in Manhattan rental apartments, the richest New Yorkers long turned to ultra-exclusive co-ops. Now, though, with uncertainty the word throughout the economy, New York's rich are opting to do what everyone else does -- and rent. Yes, they're renting the highest of high-end Manhattan rentals, but for the wealthiest New Yorkers as well as everyone else, renting seems to be the move. The reasoning behind it, unsurprisingly, is proof that -- at least when it comes to finding a place to live in NYC -- the rich are not so very different from you and I.

That Spring Bump In Manhattan Rental Prices? It's Late, But It's Here.

Studio vs 2 Bedroom Rental PricesHere at Luxury Rentals Manhattan we’ve kept an eagle-eye on the recently-calm state of the luxury rental market for you, although we'll admit that at times it was like watching paint dry. Month after month, and well into the anticipated warm-weather boom period, Manhattan rental stats remained boldly, brazenly blah -- up a healthy percentage over last year's counterparts, but inching up only a fraction of a percent month to month. Sure, we warned that a bump in Manhattan rental prices was coming -- we're a blog about Manhattan real estate, and as such know what's coming. But after months of the same warnings, a sort of a chicken little vibe became almost inescapable. As we’ve previously noted, rents barely rose month-to-month this year as landlords have remained prudent, hedging their bets on a a strong spring eliminating the last vestiges of ennui from the market. And now, as June dawns in a flurry of sticky 90 degree days, it seems like spring has finally sprung in the Manhattan luxury rental marketplace.

Cell High: Roosevelt Island Luxury Rental The Octagon Scores Unique Green Honor

First things first: The Octagon, on Roosevelt Island, is one of the elite new luxury rental listings on Roosevelt Island -- which is a distinction that increasingly means something. But The Octagon is also more than that -- something simultaneously both more futuristic and more historic than the average Manhattan luxury rental, and another sign of Roosevelt Island's rise as a neighborhood worth watching on the Manhattan real estate scene. The Octagon New Yorkers know today -- a 500-unit luxury rental building that's also one of the greenest green rental buildings in New York City -- was built in 2006, around a (yes) octagonal building with a much longer story behind it. The octagon that forms the hub of The Octagon dates back to 1841, and was built then by Alexander Jackson Davis as a blue octagonal entrance building to what was known then as the New York City Lunatic Asylum (Today, of course, we no longer say "lunatic asylum," and instead use the term "Port Authority Bus Terminal.") That the space has since become one of the most luxurious rental listings on Roosevelt Island -- after 55 years of service as a 19th-century mental hospital, if you're just joining us -- is notable enough. But with the installation of a new, energy-efficient fuel cell that makes The Octagon the first green apartment building in NYC and New York State to be so-powered, The Octagon also has a claim to being one of the greenest green rentals in Manhattan.