louis cerruzi new york city

The NY Neighborhoods on Every Developer & Buyer’s Radar

There are a lot of factors that real estate developers and buyers need to take into consideration when making investments for their next projects. There is an art to finding the right neighborhood at the opportune time. Sometimes all of the tell-tale signs of an up and coming area are there, but the neighborhood just doesn’t experience the boom everyone was expecting. More often than not though, the signs of the perfect neighborhoods are the ones along the subway lines to Manhattan or offer waterfront property.  

There are a few neighborhoods right now that show incredible promise of being a real estate jackpot:

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Knickerbocker Hotel

Remarkable Residences on the Upper East Side

Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a highly desirable area of New York City that is close to many businesses, landmarks, and attractions. From museums and retail stores to public and private parks, the Upper East Side has a lot to offer visitors and potential residents. There are plenty of residential buildings in the area, and some of the best and brightest are highlighted here:

The Knickerbocker — 308 East 72nd Street

Knickerbocker Hotel
Image courtesy Alejandro Vega | Flickr

Opened in 1997, The Knickerbocker building is one of Manhattan’s best-kept secrets on the Upper East Side. The building, which stands 21 stories tall, includes 74 unique condominium units. The post-war building offers luxury amenities that house hunters have come to expect from upscale Manhattan real estate. A doorman is present 24 hours a day. In addition, a gym with updated gym equipment and a children’s playroom are just a few of the amenities that add to the value of The Knickerbocker. Residents are also welcome to enjoy a daily continental breakfast and have access to an expertly landscaped outdoor patio area. The building also offers amazing views of the surrounding Manhattan landscape from all sides, and The Knickerbocker is in a prime location right near Central Park and the East River. Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a sparkling glass chandelier, high ceilings, and an attentive concierge.

Each unit includes huge picture windows that give way to spectacular views, natural wood flooring, and kitchens with granite countertops and updated appliances. Master bathrooms are anchored with elegant marble floors, glass-enclosed showers, and oversized soaking tubs. Floorplans range from one to four bedrooms, and select units have balconies that are perfect for relaxing or outdoor entertaining.

The design of The Knickerbocker was led by the architectural team of Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron, who are responsible for many New York City buildings including Gotham West, Vanguard Chelsea, and The Foundry. Past sales of condos in The Knickerbocker have ranged from $700,000 to $5 million.

Colony House — 30 East 65th Street

Colony House is another iconic residential community on the Upper East Side. Built in the post-war style, Colony House is the namesake of the Colony House Restaurant which was formerly located on the building’s main floor. Constructed in 1962, Colony House stands 17 stories tall and has 65 residential units available for rent and purchase. The units range in size from one to five bedrooms, and each one has many luxury amenities.

The community features of Colony House are a true refuge from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding area. A rooftop deck is outfitted with lush landscaping and a grand view of nearby Central Park. Other community amenities include a fully equipped fitness center, a 24-hour doorman, and ample storage.

Each unit is appointed with high-quality materials and fixtures, as well as spacious rooms with large picture windows and hardwood floors Select condos offer magnificent city views, and all bathrooms feature high-quality marble. Vacancies at Colony House tend to be filled rather quickly, as it is a co-op building. One current property for sale is a three-bedroom unit listed at nearly $4.5 million.

Astor Terrace — 245 East 93rd Street

Astor Terrace is a condominium community that includes five separate buildings. Built in 1985, Astor Terrace was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron, who collaborated to create what has been described as one of the best 10 condos in New York City. Astor Terrace, which is 32 stories high, includes an impressive 290 residential units.

Filled with sought-after community amenities, Astor Terrace is an ideal place to call home. An on-site maintenance staff and 24-hour concierge ensure that residents’ needs are always met. The all-new fitness center offers professional-grade exercise equipment, and each unit has a personalized security system. Moreover, select units have balconies. In addition, residents of Astor Terrace have exclusive access to a private park directly across the street.

The individual units at Astor Terrace offer stunning views and ample natural lighting thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows.

Astor Terrace is a wonderful building full of the luxury amenities that buyers have come to expect from Manhattan real estate. The building offers both rental and purchase options, making it a great option for short-term stays while serving as an excellent option for those who’d like to call Manhattan their home long term. Prices for these upscale condos range from $1.3 million to $3.5 million.

The Upper East Side is a great place to live and work, and these condos demonstrate that luxury living in the middle of a busy city is possible. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city, Astor Terrace, The Knickerbocker, and Colony House are some of the best condos that Manhattan has to offer.

Featured Image courtesy Alejandro Vega | Flickr

Alwyn court

Alwyn Court – French Renaissance Luxury in the Heart of Manhattan

After two years of construction, Alwyn Court opened its doors in 1909 and quickly became one of the most coveted residential apartment buildings in New York City. Located at 180 West 58th Street at Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, Alwyn Court is situated in a prime area near major landmarks like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Central Park. Developers Walter Russell and Alwyn Ball Jr. hired the architectural firm Harde & Short to carry out their grand vision of creating a building in the elaborate French Renaissance style of the 16th century. Standing 12 stories high, Alwyn Court represents everything that was considered luxurious at the turn of the 20th century—ornate details, a grand foyer, and spacious suites.

Building Highlights and History

Image courtesy Tony Hisgett | Flickr

Alwyn Court is known for having one of the most intricately designed terra cotta facades in the entire city. Cherubs, flowers, fleur-de-lis, and decorative patterns adorn the building like icing on a cake. Perhaps the most noted feature on the façade is the personal symbol of King Francis I of France: a pair of crowned salamanders, who keep watch above the main entrance to the building.

The beautiful façade draws attention from tourists, locals, and even professional photographers, who appreciate how the building stands out against the more subdued, less ornate structures that surround it. In 1966, Alwyn Court was declared an official New York City Landmark, and in 1979, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, which further solidified its iconic status. Over the years, the weather took its toll on the facade, until it received a thorough cleaning and restoration in 1980, when the building became a co-op.

Alwyn Court also features a truly unique interior courtyard decorated in a style that mimics the carved exterior façade. The courtyard walls are painted with intricate, trompe l’oeil style murals of stonework and carvings, meant to trick the eye into thinking they are three-dimensional. These murals span the entire height of the building and were created by the artist Richard Haas during the 1980 renovation. A glass skylight covers the courtyard.

Alwyn Court is one of the city’s many pre-war buildings that accommodated the shift of the elite from large suburban mansions to smaller, but no less luxurious apartments in the heart of the city. Initially, the building comprised just two dozen residential units, and grandeur was the main selling point: these massive original suites contained between 12 to 34 rooms each. By the 1930s, however, the neighborhood around Seventh Avenue was less desirable than it had been in the past. In 1938, the owners of Alwyn Court decided to completely overhaul the interior and subdivide the large suites into 75 smaller units. The building still has this configuration today.


Image courtesy Tony Hisgett | Flickr

Alwyn Court provides all the luxury one would expect in a centrally located Manhattan condo. Each of the building’s units has standard amenities such as hardwood flooring, high ceilings, and top-of-the-line appliances in the kitchen. Staying true to Alwyn Court’s classic roots, high quality materials are used throughout and can be seen everywhere from the marble fixtures in the bathrooms to the craftsmanship of the solid wood cabinetry. Wood burning fireplaces command attention with intricate details and rich finishes. Like other luxury condo buildings in Manhattan, Alwyn Court features a concierge, 24-hour doorman, bike room, and storage space.

The building’s crown jewel is the spacious penthouse unit, which boasts remarkable city views, plenty of natural light, and a private outdoor terrace planted with greenery. The 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom suite is 2,800 square feet and also includes a living room, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, and family room, as well as an 18-foot-long entrance gallery with picture windows. The third bedroom suite has a private entrance on the south side of the building and is separate from the other bedrooms. This lone penthouse suite was recently purchased for over $5 million. Prices for the other units in the building vary; a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo sold last year for nearly $2.5 million. Overall, Alwyn Court’s uniqueness, smaller size, and historic status make it an attractive choice for those who prefer pre-war buildings.

Alwyn Court continues to maintain its classic elegance by preserving as many historic details as possible. Each renovation and restoration has maintained the façade carvings and other elaborate details that have made the building famous. As more new residential and mixed-use skyscrapers spring up in Manhattan, historic buildings like Alwyn Court become more desirable, as their numbers are limited. Potential buyers would be hard pressed to find a condo in a historic building with such astounding curb appeal—and in a prime location, too. If you are looking to own a piece of history, Alwyn Court may be the right choice.

Featured image courtesy Rob Nguyen | Flickr


Central Park is the Backdrop for These Luxurious Hybrid Hotel-Condos

Hotel-condo hybrids are not exactly a new phenomenon, but they seem to be gaining popularity across the nation as more and more are popping up around the country. These buildings have a mixture of hotel rooms and condominium units; those who buy the condo units may use them as vacation homes or as their primary residence. In some buildings, the owner has the option of allowing the hotel to rent out their unit when they aren’t using it. The hotel then shares the rental revenue with the owner.

For condo owners, such an arrangement allows them an extra source of income and helps defray the cost of buying the unit. In addition, hotel-condos typically boast many attractive amenities, such as restaurants, a concierge desk, and maintenance staff. The hotel benefits from the arrangement because it provides a more diverse stream of revenue. Selling condos can also help finance the construction of a hotel until it is completed and starts turning a profit.

The Plaza Hotel

The Plaza HotelNew York’s Plaza Hotel is one of the most iconic buildings in the city, and perhaps one of the most famous hotels in the entire United States. Built in 1907 in the French Renaissance chateau style, the Plaza became synonymous with wealth and luxury because of the many international socialites, celebrities, and public figures who stayed there while visiting New York. The hotel has also featured prominently in countless books and movies, including The Great Gatsby, the beloved children’s book Eloise, and the Home Alone movie series. Rising 20 stories high, the landmark building is situated directly across from Central Park and Grand Army Plaza, anchoring the southeast corner of the park.

In 2008, the hotel began offering condominium units after completing a massive renovation project that preserved the interior’s historic details and added updated features and finishes. Owners of the 181 private residences enjoy a slate of top-of-the-line amenities, including nanny and butler services, car service, and access to the hotel’s many restaurants, a gourmet food market, and health and wellness facilities. They also have their own European-style garden with a cascading water fountain. The median price for the Plaza’s condo units stood at $3,636 per square foot in 2008. Since then, sales prices have appreciated somewhat, although not as much as prices for luxury condos in other buildings along Central Park. Still, the units have fetched staggeringly high amounts—in 2015, the creator of American Idol, Simon Fuller, sold his two combined apartments in the Plaza for $38 million.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Ritz Carlton Central Park
Image courtesy Karen Chen | Flickr

Right down the street from the Plaza, the Ritz-Carlton is another luxury hybrid hotel-condo that has the benefit of having Central Park in its front yard. The building has been in existence since 1930 and was the former site of the Hotel St. Moritz. In the early 2000s, the interior was completely gutted and refurbished in luxurious style to create the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. The renovated building re-opened in 2002 with 259 guest rooms and 12 ultra-exclusive condominiums that span the top 12 floors of the 33-story building.

The residences at the Ritz-Carlton feature award-winning design and all of the amenities you would expect from an upscale chain of hotels. Walls of windows provide expansive views of Central Park and Manhattan, while high ceilings lend a feeling of spaciousness and highlight the opulent finishes in each unit. In addition, condo owners enjoy the privacy of a separate lobby for residents, as well as access to all the amenities offered to hotel guests, which include a day spa, fitness center with personal training services, twice daily housekeeping, and more. Several fine dining restaurants are located in the building and its prime location puts it near New York’s most popular attractions. Current listings for the Ritz-Carlton Central Park indicate that a 4,500-square-foot 2 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom unit is priced at nearly $40 million.

Ritz-Carlton residences are available at other locations in New York City as well, including the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, which was home to one of the most expensive condo listings in recent New York history. In 2014, a triplex penthouse suite in the building was listed at an astonishing $118.5 million. Ritz-Carlton also offers residences at dozens of its other hotel and resort properties around the world.

This is just a small sample of the many hotel-condo hybrid buildings all over Manhattan. These residences give potential buyers the unique opportunity to “try before they buy,” as they can book a hotel suite and see what each building has to offer. Owning a condo in a hybrid hotel building opens up a world of possibilities—and in many cases, at the same cost as living in a luxury residential building.


new york

18 Gramercy Park a Private Condo Community in the Heart of Manhattan

18 Gramercy Park
Image courtesy Jim and Janine Eden | Flickr

Built in 1927, 18 Gramercy Park is a stately building situated in the heart of the Gramercy Park neighborhood. 18 Gramercy Park continues to be one of the most exclusive luxury condo communities in Manhattan. Originally a women’s hotel, the building was then used as a YMCA until its conversion to a residential building in 2012. The 18 Gramercy Park building has undergone many renovations in the last century, but its timeless elegance remains. 18 Gramercy Park, which stands 17 stories tall, offers stunning views of Manhattan from all sides of the building.

At Gramercy Park, which has been in existence since 1831, accessibility has always been limited to property owners and their guests. The level of privacy and exclusivity offered by the park and its associated properties is just one reason why celebrities find it so desirable. Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, Thomas Edison, Jimmy Fallon and Julia Roberts have all called the Gramercy Park neighborhood home. Living in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan offers one the ability to be secluded in one of the world’s busiest cities.

The latest renovation to 18 Gramercy Park was completed in 2013. With a final cost of estimated at $14.4 million, the renovation gave this historic building a stunning overhaul that retains its early 20th century charm while adding the modern-day amenities that homeowners have come to expect.

Community Features

Exclusive access to a private park is just one of many amenities offered to the residents of 18 Gramercy Park. A specially made key is required to access the historic park, and the general public is not permitted past the park’s gates. This high level of privacy — both inside and outside of 18 Gramercy Park — makes it a huge draw for residents who desire a means to privately enjoy the outdoors. The park has only 383 keys in existence and is so private that even Google Maps was unable to accurately display photos of the park, as cameras are strictly prohibited. Other park rules prohibit Frisbee throwing and pets, which ensures the peaceful atmosphere is preserved.

Gramercy Park
Image courtesy Jeffrey Zeldman | Flickr

Privacy is a prominent theme in the design of the building, which contains 14 impressive condos that occupy entire floors, as well as two duplex-style penthouse suites and a three-floor maisonette. Continuing a tradition of high-end comforts, 18 Gramercy Park has a full-service spa and fitness center catering to residents’ every need. The spa, which is designed to be a relaxing respite away from the hustle and bustle of the city, is outfitted with a soothing decor and modern amenities for a genuine spa experience. The fitness center is complete with high-tech fitness equipment to accommodate any type of workout, private spaces suitable for fitness classes, physical therapy or massages, as well as a sauna to help residents relax and unwind.

Residents can enjoy the sights and sounds of the city on the community rooftop deck, and penthouse units include dedicated outdoor green spaces. The building also includes a 24-hour doorman, weekday concierge service, and a stunning lobby decorated with the finest materials available. The lobby and common areas are outfitted with white marble, luxury textiles, and beautiful hardwood. Nearby eateries and retail shops are within walking distance, making it easy for residents to stay close to home.

A Look Inside

Each residence is designed with ample square footage with a focus on luxury details. Several distinct floor plans provide residents with a variety of options suited to their particular needs. These full-floor condos feature 4,200 square feet of space with end-to-end living rooms overlooking beautiful Gramercy Park. Master bedrooms contain two full bathrooms complete with glass enclosures, Italian marble tile, heated floors, and oversized soaking tubs. Full-sized eat-in kitchens feature professional grade appliances, white oak flooring, and marble countertops.

Over the course of the conversion and renovation of 18 Gramercy Park, great care was taken to maintain the character of the building, which was originally designed by architect Robert T. Lyons. The architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, which is responsible for the latest renovation, has been the creative force behind other esteemed projects, including Harvard Business School and 15 Central Park West.

Currently, there are only a handful of units for sale, and they start at $15 million for a 4-bedroom, 5.5-bath condo, although past sales have been as high as $22 million. Penthouse suites have sold for as much as $42 million and average 6,300 square feet.

For potential buyers looking to escape the prying eyes of the outside world and enjoy total peace and tranquility, 18 Gramercy Park is the perfect place to call home. Much like a small world within the-fast paced Manhattan atmosphere, 18 Gramercy Park allows residents to enjoy the best of both worlds.


Discover the Best Luxury Condo Communities in SoHo

SoHo is home to beautiful streetscapes, art, and a comfortable, familiar atmosphere. SoHo luxury condos continue to attract the attention of numerous high-profile residents.

A longtime icon in the fashion industry, SoHo has attracted fashion industry powerhouses such as Tory Burch, Heidi Klum, and Iman, as well as other A-listers who are moving in all the time. Not only do celebrities love to live in SoHo, but production companies are using it as a prime location for filming, with box office hits such as Men in Black, Taxi Driver and The Seven Year Itch filmed in the heart of this historic neighborhood.

Despite its celebrity inhabitants, SoHo is a decidedly down-to-earth city that is tremendously walkable and bike-friendly, enabling visitors and residents to enjoy a wide array of eateries, boutiques, and art galleries. With such a diverse history, it’s no wonder that SoHo is one of the best places to call home in Manhattan.

One Vandam – 180 Sixth Avenue

One Vandam is a stunning structure that overlooks the Manhattan skyline. The exterior of the building is the vision of renowned BKSK Architects. The design team at BKSK Architects has created a lot of buzz in the Manhattan area for its work on the New York Law School and various residential buildings in the area.

From the exterior, the massive windowpanes and stone work showcase the interior, as staircases appear to float and light fixtures seem to be suspended in mid-air. Outdoor gardens are an integral part of the building’s design, surrounding the residents’ lounges as well as an added bonus for penthouse suites. These outdoor patio spaces are perfect for entertaining due to the striking limestone tile work and outdoor fireplaces surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city.

There are three distinct penthouse floor plans that offer an unparalleled level of luxury. All of the penthouses at One Vandam have private elevator access and are available in full-floor or duplex configurations. The Penthouse A floor plan, which has the most amenities, features multiple balconies, a rooftop great room, and even an outdoor shower. Each penthouse suite has a minimum of 5,200 square feet, and the sprawling spaces are designed with a contemporary elegance that is hard to duplicate in Manhattan. Pricing for condos in the One Vandam building begin at $6 million and penthouse units begin at approximately $17 million.

Renwick Modern – 22 Renwick Street

Designed by the well-respected architectural team of Philip Johnson and Alan Ritchie Architects, the Renwick Modern has endured several transitions over the years, but it is still one of the most amazing condo communities in SoHo.

The Renwick Modern houses 18 unique condos — three of which are penthouse suites. Each penthouse unit occupies a private floor and offers private access to common areas. Penthouse units include designer kitchens with leather-accented cabinetry, marble countertops, and custom tile flooring. Private outdoor spaces are great for entertaining, and the 360-degree views are guaranteed to be a conversation starter.

Art is the overarching theme of the building, which offers an eclectic artists’ library and unique artistic decor throughout the building. The bathrooms feature intricate glass tile, soaking tubs, and natural woodwork. Natural wood is also prominent in both of the common areas, and individual condo units and various types of wood finishes are used to create a unique and interesting aesthetic. The breathtaking outdoor spaces are the epitome of serenity with detailed individual stone lining the walls and a recessed water feature that adds visual and auditory appeal. The indoor pool is augmented with a wall of windows that bring the outdoors in, making it a wonderful place to hang out no matter the weather.

The pricing for these gorgeous condos begins at around $1.5 million, with select units selling for more than $10 million.

514 Broadway

Built between 1890 and 1900, the condos at 514 Broadway feature old-world charm combined with modern conveniences. The well-maintained pre-war building features 60 loft-style condo units, offering the charm of traditional architecture that residents have come to expect from New York City condos.

Exposed wood beams and metal ductwork highlight one of the building’s premium units. Units can be fully customized to residents’ specifications, or they can be purchased or rented as-is. 514 Broadway emphasizes SoHo’s rich history of art, bringing it to life by allowing residents to express themselves through the uniquely personal design elements of their condos.

Prices begin at $1 million or around $3,000 monthly to rent, giving potential residents flexible options. The ability to rent at 514 Broadway is great for those who reside in New York on a part-time basis or for those still exploring their options.

This is just a small glimpse into the flourishing condo community in SoHo, and it is easy to see why people continue to flock to the area. Luxury condos are at a premium, and the units strike the perfect balance of location and price. The residents of SoHo enjoy a rich center of art, culture, and retail that offers all the amenities of a big city and the charm of a small neighborhood.


Discover the Ultimate Manhattan Luxury High Rise

As more new condominium community developments crop up in the New York City metropolitan area, developers remain committed to including luxuries that set their buildings apart and give them a definitive edge. One of the most sought-after condo developments in the Manhattan real estate market is the awe-inspiring, puzzle-like structure at 56 Leonard Street. Scheduled for completion in 2016, this 60-story glass skyscraper in the high-end Tribeca community is beautiful inside and out.

Building Highlights

56 leonard st
Image courtesy WikiMedia

Those that are looking to make Manhattan their home often place a high value on all-inclusive, resort-style living and prefer on-site amenities versus simply being located near spas and eateries. Given the demographic of luxury condo owners, privacy and an air of exclusivity are also essential.

Building amenities include incredible city views, an indoor/outdoor theater that is perfect for live performances, a conference center, a grand library, and a full-service spa and fitness facility. Standard Suites in the 56 Leonard Street building all have unique,  two-to-five-bedroom floorplans and a feel that is decidedly modern, with clean lines that appeal to millennials as well as those that are intimately familiar with the nuances of the Manhattan real estate market. A departure from the historic architecture of the area, the condos at 56 Leonard Street are stunning nonetheless.

Luxury Penthouse Suites

Described by the designers as “ten glass houses in the sky,” 56 Leonard’s 10 gorgeously appointed penthouse suites are the pride and joy of the development. Each penthouse unit was designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, who painstakingly crafted each unit with a grand vision of contemporary style that lets the outside in.

Each penthouse unit features an expansive floor plan with a generous square footage. Floor-to-ceiling and panoramic windows frame a magnificent New York City view that is unlikely to be rivaled by older buildings in the neighborhood. At 14 feet high, the ceilings further enhance the grandeur of these penthouses. All units come with a real wood-burning, enameled steel fireplace and a grand piano-shaped kitchen island.

The penthouse suite owners benefit from individual private elevators that take them straight to their residences, bypassing the building’s common areas. This is the ultimate feature for high-profile residents or anyone who desires a higher level of privacy.

Community Features

In addition to being able to entertain small groups in the privacy of their homes, condo owners can also utilize numerous community spaces for hosting larger events. The catering kitchen is big enough to accommodate sizable groups, and the private dining area is available for sit-down affairs. There is also an indoor/outdoor theater, which is perfect for both private and public events.

The community features at 56 Leonard are hard to find in other buildings in the area. On the 10th floor, there is a massive infinity lap pool set against a tiled stainless steel backdrop for the ultimate relaxing swim. The spa area of the building includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, complete with a steam room and sauna. During the summer months, owners can take advantage of the building’s outdoor hot tub overlooking the skyline, and the landscaped outdoor area is perfect for tanning. A secluded room for massages also occupies the floor and can be used for a variety of private spa services.

Pricing for these lavish condos ranges from $3 million to $47 million, and residents have the option to lease or purchase. The dizzying height of the 56 Leonard Street development guarantees its place among the most notable structures in the Manhattan skyline. As of fall 2015, all but two of the building’s penthouses were spoken for.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the condos at 56 Leonard Street, and this excitement will undoubtedly increase once the building fills up and news of what the building has to offer begins to spread.  Although still a novelty in the area, the building was designed with such attention to detail that its iconic form will stand as a landmark for some time to come.