Sep 27, 2016

Penn Station Farley Complex | Moynihan Train Hall

Moynihan Train Hall Rendering by governorandrewcoumo Image Courtesy SOM

Penn Station Farley Complex | Moynihan Train Hall

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans for the Penn Station Farley Complex along with announcing the developers and builders who will collaborate on the project. 

255,000 square feet (larger than Grand Central Terminal), and will be known as the Moynihan Train Hall. It will hold Amtrak and the LIRR, along with 700,000 square feet of retail and office space. 

A new train hall with LIRR ticketing and waiting areas, a redesigned LIRR concourse at Penn, plus a redesign of the A,C, E and 1,2, 3 subway lines at Penn Station-34th Street are among the sweeping  T

The James A. Farley Post Office into a world-class transportation hub. The Governor announced the selection of a developer-builder team including three companies, Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska AB to redevelop the Farley Building, creating a new 255,000 square foot Train Hall to house passenger facilities for the Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak. 

The James A. Farley Post Office building larger than Grand Central Terminal will be known as the Moynihan Train Hall. It will hold Amtrak and the LIRR, along with 700,000 square feet of retail and office space. 

To see renderings of Moynihan Train Hall, click this link:

To see renderings of Penn Station LIRR Concourse, click this link:

For more information about A SubwayC SubwayE Subway and 1 Subway2 Subway3 Subway at 34th Street Station redesign, click this link:

Unveiling The New Penn Station Farley Complex

Related reading:

Sep 19, 2016

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | August 2016

Market Wide Summary 

Summer 2016 wrapped up with year-over-year decreases in sales and average price across the market. Contracts signed decreased by approximately 20% for both condos and co-ops versus last August.

Average sale price was down year-over-year for both condos and co-ops, while median sale price was down for condos but rose in the co-op market.

Both condos and co-ops saw annual decreases in average price per square foot, though average price per square foot for studios in both market segments increased. Condos spent more time on the market compared to last year and last month but co-ops, on average, sold more quickly than last August.

Discounts for condos and co-ops grew from last year, partially due to inventory increases in both markets.

Condominium Market Snapshot 

Fewer sales at the high end of the market contributed to an average sale price decrease of 26% versus last year and 15% versus last month, while median sale price had an annual decrease of 17%.

Average price per square foot was down 11% overall compared to last August, with decreases across all bedroom types aside from studios. Average price per square for studios increased by double digits, while the greatest decline was in the three bedroom market, down 23%. Significant annual gains in condo inventory have resulted in listings staying on the market 43% longer than last year.

In August 2015, 22% of listings were on the market for over 100 days, whereas this August, 39% of listings stayed on the market for over 100 days. Difference from last ask to sale was -3.0%, which is a significant change from the - 1.0% negotiability in the market last year. Contract activity also decreased both year-over-year and month-over-month by 19% and 15%, respectively.

Cooperative Market Snapshot 

Compared to both last year and last month, average sale price in August fell roughly 20%. Median price, however, grew 8% from last August. These diverging indicators signal a decline in sales at the top of the market.

Across the market, average price per square foot decreased 9% annually and 16% versus last month. The studio market was the only segment to see an annual increase in average price per square foot, while one, two, and three+ bedrooms saw decreases over the same time period.

Coops spent fewer days on the market compared to last year, but discounts were more common. Inventory grew 9% versus last August, but there were 12% fewer listings than last month. Although contract activity increased slightly from last month, the metric declined 21% from last year.

Sep 7, 2016

Back to School | NYC Colleges and Universities

Updated originally published September 03, 2011
Columbia University, Morningside Heights campus

New York City is an academic capital of the world and attracts students from all over the country and globe to its many fine colleges and Universities.

Washington Square, NYU, Greenwich Village
For many students coming from all over the country and world, Labor Day was their first weekend living in the city.

To all the new students entering NYU, Columbia and all the other fine undergraduate, graduate, law schools and med schools throughout NYC, I wish you all much success.

Parents from all over the country and abroad are investing in Manhattan real estate while their children are attending schools here. Many parents are buying condos for their adult children and for themselves and other family members. For many it is a great investment. Children get housing while in school and starting their careers, the parents get a great asset and a pied-a-terre in Manhattan.

Click Below for links to

Manhattan, NYC Colleges and Universities















Sep 6, 2016

Back To Private schools on the Upper West Side

Originally published September 05, 2011

The Upper West Side of Manhattan is home to many private schools. 
Below are some of the finest private schools on the Upper West Side.

The Calhoon School West End Avenue

The Calhoon School - West End Avenue

The Calhoun School is a progressive, independent, college preparatory school located in the heart of Manhattan’s West Side. Founded in 1896, Calhoun has grown into a two-building coeducational institution with 670 students, ranging from three-year-olds to twelfth graders.

The former Claremont Academy- Stephen Gaynor School

The Stephan Gaynor School
 West 89th and West 90th Street

The Stephen Gaynor School, a non profit organization, provides a unique educational experience for children ages 5-14 with learning differences in a nurturing environment where children are helped to reach their academic potential. At Stephen Gaynor the pattern of academic failure is broken and children are taught to become successful learners with unlimited potential.
The historic Claremont Riding Academy building was supposed to be converted to condos, the units were supposed to give the feeling of a barn. The market turned and the condo developers sold the building for $12 million to the Stephen Gaynor School, which is located behind Claremont on 90th Street. The developers bought the building for $14 million in 2007.

Abraham Joshua Heschel School

The Abraham Joshua Heschel School was founded in 1983, a new model of Jewish day school was created. An independent school offering a pluralistic approach to Jewish learning in addition to secular studies. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun recently purchased the building at 270 West 89th Street from the Abraham Joshua Heschel School for $20 million. The trade symbolizes growth for two Jewish institutions on the Upper West Side. B'nai Jeshurun had rented space in the building from Heschel for its Hebrew School since 1984, when B'nai Jeshurun sold the building to Heschel.

Trinity School 139 West 91st Street

Trinity School 139 West 91st Street

Founded in 1709 as a charity school supported by Anglican missionaries, the school had its first classes meet in Trinity Church at the head of Wall Street.  Its first schoolhouse was built on the church grounds in 1749, and it is the oldest continuously operating educational institution in the city of New York. The school stretches nearly the length of 91st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. 

Ethical Culture School -33 Central Park west

Ethical Culture School - 33 Central Park West

The Fieldston Ethical Culture school is committed to academic excellence, ethical learning, and progressive education, ECF offers a rich and challenging curriculum in the arts, sciences, and humanities. A coed, nonsectarian school, it serves a diverse community of about 1,700 students from PreK to 12 on two campuses -- one in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and the other in Manhattan.

The Dwight School - 291 Central Park West

The Dwight School - 291 Central Park West

Founded in 1872, The Dwight School is a PreK-12 private international school located on Manhattan ’s Upper West Side. In 1996, Dwight became the second school in North America to offer the full International Baccalaureate (IB) program from kindergarten through grade 12. With the opening of Woodside Preschool in the fall of 2005, Dwight became the first school to offer the IB Primary Years Program for children ages 2-4. Dwight continues to be a pioneer in international education and today nearly 40 countries are represented in its student body.

Columbia Grammar and preparatory School

Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School is one of the oldest institutions in America, with a long and notable tradition of excellence as a college preparatory school. Facilities include a state-of-the-art theater to computer and science labs, five art studios, including filmmaking and photography and library for children and programs PK through 12.

West Side Montessori school

West Side Montessori School - 309 west 92nd Street

West Side Montessori School (WSMS) is an independent early childhood Montessori school serving 209 students, ages 2.10 through 6. Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City and accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools, the American Montessori Society, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Mandell School - 795 Columbus Avenue.
The Mandell School is a member of ISAAGNY (Independent School Admissions Association of Greater NY) and the Parents League. The Mandell School is committed to providing a rigorous educational environment for children and their families, which through intellectual stimulation and emotional support, enables them to become responsible active citizens of the world.

K-8th grade is located at 795 Columbus Avenue. There are 3 preschool locations as well: one on 150 Amsterdam Ave. (between 66th & 67th St.).  Another preschool in the west village on 160 Christopher St. and one on the UWS (775 Columbus Ave.) that opened 75 years ago.  

Many private schools have long waiting lists and have admission requirements/procedures similar to colleges and universities. Most private schools require mandatory testing from the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) as well as interviews, school tours, and references. The best time to contact schools for brochures, applications, and procedures is after Labor Day and ERB testing forms should be completed in early October.

For More Information:


Parents League of NY

 The Archdiocese of New York     1-212-691-3381
 Abacus Guide                          

courtesy of:

Aug 25, 2016

Low Rates | How Much Apartment Can You Afford?


Understanding The Related Costs of Apartment Buying

You'll need to think about more than a mortgage payment to determine if you can afford an apartment in Manhattan. To assure you are purchasing a home within the confines of your budget, you must consider down payment requirements, closing costs, taxes, carrying charges, and yearly maintenance requirements as well.

How much can you afford?

First consult with a mortgage broker or banker to determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Calculate the estimated mortgage payment plus monthly maintenance (coop), common charges and real estate taxes (condo).

Several formulas exist to help determine how much a lender will allow a consumer to borrow. One of the more accurate formulas is a front- and back-end ratio. It states that the buyer can afford as much as 28 percent of his or her gross-monthly income toward the monthly mortgage payment, assuming that the consumer's other debt payments (credit cards, car loans, student loans, etc...) are less than or equal to 8 percent of his or her gross-monthly income.

Most NYC coops have stricter financial requirements than most lenders. Most coops use a 25% debt to income ratio formula. Many coops will only allow a maximum of 75% financing although some will allow 80%. Coops may also require liquid assets available after the closing to cover 2 years worth of maintenance or 1 year of mortgage and maintenance. Every building varies and uses their own formula.

While condos will allow 90% financing many lenders today will only finance 85% (LTV) loan to value. A minimum 15% or 20% down payment may be required. Before you start looking for an apartment in Manhattan you should be pre-approved and qualified by a lender.

Understanding your financing needs before you search for a new home will help you move ahead quickly and confidently when you find the right home.

Aug 18, 2016

Manhattan Market Report | July 2016

Manhattan Market Report | July 2016

Market Wide Summary

 Market indicators differed between the condo and co-op markets in July with the co-op market fairing better than condos. Average price was down significantly for condos but up for co-ops year-over-year, while median price was up in both markets. Increased median prices in both markets indicates that a small number of sales this month skewed the data for average price in the condo market, which will be reviewed in the subsections below.

Average price per square foot increased by almost a third for co-ops, but dropped 13% in the condo market. Listings, on average, spent a greater number of days on the market for both residence types. In line with preceding months, discounts were common across the market as difference from last ask to sale was -2.6% for condos and -2.5% for co-ops. Listed inventory rose annually market-wide, but dipped slightly from last month as the summer lull in new

Condominium Market Snapshot 

Average price was down 18% versus last year while median price was up 2%, indicating that average price in July 2016 was skewed by a small number of high sales. Overall, average price per square foot dropped 13% from last year, though three bedrooms, one bedrooms, and studios had year-over-year increases.

Condo listings stayed on the market 18% longer than in July 2015 and 11% longer than they did last month. Difference from last ask to sale was -2.5%, which was not far from last year’s statistic of -2.0%. While down versus last month, condo inventory is 26% higher than last July. Contract activity fell 21% year-over-year and 15% month-over-month.

Cooperative Market Snapshot 

Building on annual increases in last month’s co-op market, both average and median price were up year-over-year 9% and 12%, respectively. Average price per square foot rose 27%, which was anchored by an atypically high 36% increase in average price per square foot for 3+ bedrooms.

This increase is due in large part to a three bedroom sale on Park Avenue. All other bedroom types saw year-over-year increases in average price per square foot. Average days on market rose 17% versus last year and 12% versus last month, likely caused in part by a 9% annual increase in listed inventory.

Difference from last ask to sale was -2.5% this month, compared with 1.2% over ask in July 2015. The month-over-month change in difference from last ask to sale is again skewed by the Park Avenue sale. Overall contract activity was down 19% from last year and 18% versus last month.

Manhattan Total Listings 

Buyers had more options this month than in July 2015, as inventory across Manhattan increased by 18%. Total listings dropped, however, from last month, continuing a downward trend since total listings reached a post-2012 peak in May 2016. Across the market, listings were down 5% from June 2016. For the last fourteen months, condos have comprised over half the market share, and July 2016 continued that trend with condos making up 55% of total listings. As with condos and co-ops, townhouse listings also increased annually by 11%.

Manhattan New Listings by Price Category 

Following a full year of inventory increases, July 2016 marks the second consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in new listings. This month, 21% of inventory was made up of new listings, whereas in July 2015, new listings comprised 28% of total inventory. New listings across all price categories were down compared with last year, with the greatest annual decrease in the $5MM+ category, down 17%. Consistent with the percentage of new listings below this price point last July, 77% of new listings this month were under $3MM

Aug 17, 2016

REBNY Broker Confidence Index 2Q-2016


The Real Estate Board of New York’s Real Estate Broker Confidence Index for the second quarter of 2016 was 7.04, a .19 drop from the first quarter of 2016. There has been a slow, steady decline in overall broker confidence in the market since the fourth quarter of 2014 when it was 9.22.

Similarly, the overall broker confidence index for the market six months from now was 6.47, dipping .26 points from last quarter.

This index has also continued to decline from the fourth quarter of 2014 when it was 9.23, the highest it had been since we began surveying our brokers. Nevertheless, despite this trend, residential and commercial brokers remain cautiously optimistic and positive overall.

The drop in overall broker confidence in the current market and the market six months from now was driven primarily by the commercial broker index. Though the residential broker index is higher than the commercial index for this quarter, the general downward trend of the commercial index since the second quarter in 2015 has contributed to the overall decline of broker confidence.

The Commercial Broker Confidence Index was 6.57, an increase from last quarter’s 6.36. This marks the first increase in commercial broker confidence since the second quarter in 2015. Similarly, the Commercial Broker Confidence Index for expectations of the market six months from now was 5.71, up 0.16 from last quarter. Concerns about our country’s political future and instability in China and Europe, have continued to influence the outlook of the commercial brokers.

Some brokers voiced their concerns sensing a slowdown in the retail market due to the industry’s transition to mixed-use and online shopping. Others also felt that government regulations were affecting banks’ abilities to finance transactions.

Despite the slowdown in retail leasing activity, there was still a fair amount of tech office leasing activity this quarter. Residential Broker Confidence Index was slightly lower than last quarter with confidence decreasing to 7.52, down 0.58 from last quarter. Rising interest rates and the lack of sales inventory continue to be ongoing concerns among residential brokers in the current market and the market six months from now. Some brokers mentioned that domestic buyers are delaying on purchases because they anticipate the prices will drop.

Foreign buyers have also grown more cautious due to Brexit and other global economic turmoil. Residential broker confidence in the market six months from now dropped back down to 7.23 from 7.92 last quarter. Some brokers remain positive because the current lack of sales inventory creates more competition.

Uncertainty over interest rates and the Presidential election left many residential brokers unsure of what market conditions will be like six months from now.


Aug 10, 2016

New Development 269 West 87th St. The Chamberlain

New luxury residential condo development coming to the Upper West Side

                                         269 West 87th Street | The Chamberlain                                               Rendering by FxFowle Architect

The developers have leased the garage between Broadway and West End Avenue with plans to convert it into a 39 unit luxury apartment building.

Current site 269 West 87th Street

A new 17 story story residential luxury condo is being planned at 269 West 87th Street on the upper west side. The current building is a parking garage.The 115,884-square-foot building, The Chamberlain, will feature apartments ranging from two- to five-bedrooms. Residential units are expected to average 2,574 square feet each, and will include townhouse and penthouse layouts. 

Two duplexes will fill the first two floors, followed by a full-floor unit on the second and three apartments each on the third through 11th floors. The 12th through 14th floors will host two units each, topped by three full-floor penthouses on the final three stories.

Entrance of 269 West 87th Street. Rendering by FxFowle Architects

The structure will also be set back after the 11th floor, creating large private balconies for residents on the 12th, 13th and 14th floors. 

Amenities will include a central garden, a lounge, a library, a fitness center, a playroom, a multi-purpose sports court, storage for 39 bikes, and an underground parking garage. Quadrum Global and Simon Baron Development are the developers, and have a 99-year lease on the site. FXFOWLE Architects is behind the design. Demolition permits were filed for the existing three- and seven-story parking garages. 

Aug 9, 2016

It's Rental Season in NYC - Be Qualified and Prepared


Renting an Apartment in Manhattan, NYC

Everyone wants their first New York City rental experience to be a positive one. As a current or future New Yorker, it pays to know the rules of renting to make your experience as hassle-free as possible. 


Carefully gather the documentation you need in advance of your search. Prospective renters often lose the opportunity to live in their dream apartment because they were unprepared to present the necessary paperwork. Make a check list of information to bring with you in order to finalize your lease agreement. You will almost certainly need all of the following:

1.     A letter of employment and salary verification
2.     Bank account numbers (checking and savings), as well as any credit card numbers
3.     Current bank statements
4.     Contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers) of previous landlords
5.     Contact information of your personal accountant or attorney, if applicable
6.     Contact information of any personal or professional references
7.     Tax returns from the last two years
8.     Recent (current) pay stubs, typically from the last two pay periods
9.     Two forms of personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc)
10.  40-50 x the monthly rent in annual income is required.

If you are relocating from outside of New York, prepare your funds ahead of time. Landlords will not accept personal out-of-state checks. Bring traveler’s checks or certified bank checks in amounts sufficient to cover two months rent, any brokerage fees, a credit check fee, and any additional fees such as a move-in/move-out fee or building application fee.

The Corner - 72nd & Broadway

Searching For Your Rental Home

Once your personal and financial documentation is in order, you will then be prepared to view and select prospective apartments. Remember, your agent can provide you with a wealth of information to assist you in making an informed decision. Ask plenty of questions about neighborhoods, building types, public transportation access, or anything else that might be of interest to you.


When you have selected a suitable apartment, you must then fill out a rental application, or other applicable documents. Carefully read any document presented to you by your future landlord before entering into any contract. Although many leases contain predominantly boilerplate language, clauses may be added to the lease contract that supersede or alter the lease agreement in some way. Such additions are called riders.

In addition, the type of leases presented may vary. A Standard Form of Lease, for instance, may differ greatly from a Rent Stabilized Lease Agreement or a Cooperative Sublease Agreement. Take the time to read and digest the language of any documentation presented to you, and always ask questions should it contain something you don’t fully understand. Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.

A credit report and reference check will be done. Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.

In Manhattan, residential real estate is made up of rental buildings, condos, condops, coops and townhouses. All can make fine homes and all are available for rent.

Please contact me to rent your Manhattan Apartment.

courtesy of:
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker, The Corcoran Group

REBNY member

Jul 27, 2016

Manhattan Monthly Market Report | June 2016

Market Wide Summary 

Continuing last month’s trend, sales in both the condo and co-op markets were down year-over-year. In terms of average and median sale prices, the condo market was up compared to last year while the co-op market was down.

Average price per square foot grew 3% versus last year in the condo market, but declined 12% in the same time period for co-ops. Inventory continues to grow across the market, impacting negotiability and average days on market. Discounts were prevalent in both the condo and coop markets; difference from last ask to sale was -2.9% for condos and -0.6% for co-ops. Average days on market grew 10% and 25% for condos and co-ops, respectively, versus last year.

Condominium Market Report

Both average and median sale prices were up in the condo market compared to last June, rising 7% and 13%, respectively. While sales remained level month-over- month, the metric decreased 15% versus last June. Overall average price per square foot grew 3% year-over-year, driven by large gains in average price per square foot for both studios and three+ bedrooms. Two bedrooms saw the largest annual decrease in average price per square foot, dropping 11%, while one bedrooms had a modest decrease of 3%. Properties remained on the market for 10% longer than in June 2015, averaging 90 days on market versus 82 days on market last year. Difference from last ask to sale was -2.9%, which was a larger difference than last June. Inventory in the condo market increased a significant 25% versus this month last year, but was nearly level with last month.

Cooperative Market Report

For the seventh month in a row, the co-op market saw a decrease in year-over-year sales. Contract activity declined 27% versus last year and 15% versus last month. Both average and median sale prices were down annually a minimal 1% and 2%, respectively. While average price per square foot was down 12% versus last year, co-ops have seen a steady increase in the past three months.

All bedroom types experienced year-over-year declines in average price per square foot, with the greatest drop of 13% in the two bedroom market due to an unusually low average price for two bedroom. Co-ops spent an average of 73 days on the market, which was 25% greater than in June 2015. Difference from last ask to sale was -0.6% compared to 0.9% last year. After five consecutive months of growth, co-op inventory dropped 5% versus last month, though inventory remained 9% greater than in June 2015.

Manhattan Total Listings 

After six months of growth, total listings decreased for the first time since December 2015. Total listings decreased 3% versus May 2016, which had the highest amount of inventory since October 2012. Total listings rose 17% year-over-year marking the fifth month of annual increases. Condos comprised 54% of June inventory. Condos have made up over half of total listings since May 2015, partially explained by the increasing number of new development condos. Condo inventory increased 25% relative to last year, while co-op inventory saw annual growth of 9%.

Negotiability Factor for Condos and Co-ops 

Trends in negotiability for condos and co-ops have been diverging since September 2015. Over the past year, both condo and co-op inventory has been expanding, creating an environment in which price discounts are common. Negotiability for condos has been increasing month-over-month since March 2016, and moved to -2.9% from -1.4% year-over-year. This month last year, negotiability for co-ops was 0.9%, indicating that units were being sold over ask, versus -0.6% below ask in June 2016. In spite of these changes, difference between last ask and sale price in both the condo and co-op markets is small compared with levels prior to 2014.

This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Legal Disclaimer - The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group. This site is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/or services in any state other than New York.

Legal Disclaimer - Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. - All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been complied from sources deemed reliable. Though information is believed to be correct, it is presented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. I operate a business that supports Fair Housing.“We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program which there are no barriers to obtain housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin.”

© Copyright 2006 -2016 © © Al l Rights Reserved