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Sales at Forest City-Greenland’s 550 Vanderbilt slow down

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Sales at Forest City-Greenland s 550 Vanderbilt slow down
Cleveland-based REIT had a turbulent 2016
New York /
Sales at Forest City Ratner and Greenland Group’s Prospect Heights condominium development 550 Vanderbilt have slowed considerably in recent months, which developers attributed to a weakening condo market.
The joint-venture partners have sold 167 units as of late January, Forest City executives said during an earnings call Monday morning meaning they sold 27 units in the seven months between June and January. They had sold 140 units during the first 12 months of sales, between June 2015 and June 2016.
“Pricing is within our our pro-forma range, although the pace is modestly slower than initially anticipated,” said Robert O’Brien, CFO of Forest City Realty Trust, the parent company of Forest City Ratner . According to O Brien, 110 apartments in the 278-unit building remain available.
Despite Forest City s assessment, appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel told The Real Deal that the Brooklyn condo market doesn t seem to be slowing down. In fact I ve had a number of people tell me that because of all the emphasis on rentals there is a shortage of condos. Slowing sales at 550 Vanderbilt could boil down to high asking prices, he speculated.
StreetEasy data shows that sales have remained brisk in recent months at competing condos the Oost[……]

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Trucking exec sues for missing breakfast bar and private elevator at 56 Leonard

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Trucking exec sues for missing breakfast bar and private elevator at 56 Leonard
Ronald Dana bought $29M penthouse in 2017
New York /

A New Jersey trucking mogul has sued the developers of 56 Leonard, alleging he did not get the private elevator access and breakfast bar he was promised in his $29 million penthouse.
Ronald Dana — founder of the Dana Companies — said Alexico Group and Hines failed to deliver on specific features that sold him on the Tribeca condominium, including soaring 14-foot ceilings, a private elevator, a breakfast bar and an integrated curtain system for the apartment’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
In addition, the sponsors attempted to “conceal defects” in the unit — namely poorly-installed wood flooring, which began to crack and warp months after Dana took possession of the pad last year, the complaint said. In the suit, Dana also claimed Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group “knowingly and purposefully” lied about the state of the apartment during the marketing process.
The March 9 suit was filed by Dana’s Lower Manhattan Inner City Real Estate Associates, LLC, which closed on the 56th-floor pad in April 2017, public records show. The full-floor penthouse — measuring 5,858 square feet — has four bedrooms, a conservatory and 360-degree views, per the listing. It has two balconies, and custom interiors by Herzog de Meuron feature[……]

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Miami real estate loves Bitcoin – will Bitcoin love it back?

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Miami real estate loves Bitcoin – will Bitcoin love it back?
Developers and brokers are embracing the cryptocurrency – but have they factored in its volatility?
Miami /
(Photo illustration by Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal. Credit: Getty Images)
A condo for sale in Miami hit the market earlier this month accepting only Bitcoin, grabbing headlines as one of the only U.S. real estate listings to limit itself to the cryptocurrency.
The one-bedroom pad at 480 Northeast 30th Street listed on Dec. 8 for 33 Bitcoin, or about $550,000 at the time, according to the listing agent. But as of Tuesday, 33 Bitcoin is now equal to about $603,000. In dollar terms, that’s a jump in the asking price of about 10 percent in less than two weeks.
As Bitcoin mania mints a new crop of millionaires, many who struck it rich betting on the cryptocurrency are looking for ways to diversify their wealth. Real estate agents and sellers are hoping to lure them by touting their Bitcoin-friendly listings.
“A lot of folks who have been speculating on Bitcoin are trying to find a place to put this wealth,” said Andrew Hinkes, a Miami-based attorney. Foreign investors sitting on “mountains of capital” could also turn to Miami real estate as a safe haven for their cryptocurrency fortunes, he said.
But the 480 Northeast 30th Street example illustrates just how tricky things can ge[……]

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Premier Agent prices skyrocket, but brokers pay up

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Premier Agent prices skyrocket, but brokers pay up
On the UWS, cost per lead rose to $197 from $72 over nine months
New York /
(Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal)
The city’s residential brokers slammed Premier Agent when it debuted in March.  But now, they’re fighting each other for a seat at the table.
Thanks to auction-based pricing, the cost to participate in StreetEasy’s agent advertising program — where agents purchase buyer leads in specific ZIP codes — has shot up over the past few months.
On the Upper West Side, for example, the price per lead skyrocketed 183 percent to $196.88 in October, compared to just $72.07 in May, according to data obtained by The Real Deal. On the Upper East Side, the cost per lead climbed to $166.84 from $107.08 over the same time period.
StreetEasy’s parent company, Zillow Group, acknowledged the price jumps last week, when it reported revenue from Premier Agent rose to $197.1 million during the third quarter, up 24 percent year over year — in part because of New York agents’ participation.
“We were dramatically undermonetized in New York relative to the size of our leads, the size of our audience,” CEO Spencer Rascoff said during an earnings call on Nov. 7. “So there was a bit of a gold rush in New York where agents and teams were buying impressions at a very low price and leads at a very low pri[……]

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Sotheby’s wants to replace home staging with augmented reality app

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Sotheby’s wants to replace home staging with augmented reality app
AR technology is coming to the luxury brokerage business
New York /
Curate by Sotheby s International Realty
The elaborate staging of an apartment is a staple of the brokerage business. Now Sotheby’s International Realty is hoping to replace actual furniture with a smartphone app.
The augmented-reality app, dubbed “Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty,” allows users to look at an empty apartment through their phone’s camera and throw in different virtual furniture sets on the screen.
“There’s a cost to physical staging,” says John Passerini, who handles interactive marketing at Sotheby’s International Realty, told Bloomberg. “And there’s even an environmental impact to it—carting [the furnishings] from one apartment to another. Plus, you can’t do things on the fly. Once you choose a physical staging set, that’s it, so if a client doesn’t like the modern furniture you’ve chosen, too bad.”
The brokerage is currently testing the product at a $7 million apartment at 481 Greenwich Street that’s about to hit the market. Sotheby’s is the first real estate brokerage to launch a virtual home staging app, though home goods retailers Ikea, Lowe’s and Pottery Barn already offer similar technologies.
Unlike its cousin virtual reality, augmented reality technology doesn’t create new world[……]

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Compass reels in Southampton broker Matthew Breitenbach from Elliman

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Compass reels in Southampton broker Matthew Breitenbach from Elliman
He joined Elliman in 2015 after working with mom, Corcoran’s Susan Breitenbach
New York /
719 Ocean Road and Matt Breitenbach (Credit: Corcoran and Getty Images)
It s still January, but Compass is fishing in the Hamptons again.
The Union Square-based firm said Monday it hired Douglas Elliman s Matthew Breitenbach — a top East End agent and son of the Corcoran Group s Susan Breitenbach — to join its Southampton office.
The son of two real estate professionals, Breitenbach started in the business at the Corcoran Group, where he spent eight years working with his mother, the No. 2 agent in the Hamptons, according to The Real Deal s July 2017 ranking of residential brokers. His father, Stephen, is a luxury homebuilder and owner of Breitenbach Builders. Matthew Breitenbach joined Elliman in 2015.
According to Compass, Breitenbach has sold more than $1.5 billion in real estate — a good chunk while working with his mother. His celebrity clients include the NBA s Jason Kidd and Kyrie Irving, as well as the actor Jeremy Piven and music mogul Russell Simmons.
Breitenbach said he d been doing well at Elliman, but shares Compass hunger and desire to grow and build in the Hamptons.
I really want to attack the luxury market even harder than I have been, he said, adding that Compass market[……]

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