Millionaire tenants hold on to rent-stabilized apartments

What do a polo-playing multimillionaire, former tobacco executive and surgeon have in common? All three are among the tens of thousands of deep-pocketed tenants who currently occupy rent-stabilized housing in Manhattan’s poshest zip codes.

Many of these tenants snagged their below-market rentals decades ago, and as of 2010 an estimated 22,642 rent-stabilized households had incomes that exceeded $199,000, according to census data cited by DNainfo. And of those, roughly 2,300 households had incomes of more than $500,000, the news site reported.

“It’s ridiculous,” Carol Kellermann, president of good-government group Citizens Budget Commission, told DNAinfo. “It’s not making affordable apartments available to low-income people.”

Under state law, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal will deregulate a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartment if the landlord proves a tenant’s annual income exceeded $200,000 for two consecutive years and the rent was above $2,500 per month. Landlords have tried aggressively to pursue the luxury decontrol procedure in recent years, filing 8,185 petitions from Jan. 2011 to Dec. 2013.

Still, deregulation is a polarizing issue in Albany, with tenant advocates opposed to losing any rent-regulated units while landlords often look to get rid of them in hopes of cashing in on a hot real estate market. [DNAinfo]Julie Strickland


Shipping Container Houses…Brought to You by GM?


On Jalopnik today, there’s news of GM helping build shipping container houses in Detroit. From the story:

GM is helping to build Detroit’s first homestead made of recycled materials, which will be occupied by a college student studying urban agriculture. Since the homestead will be part of an urban-farm study, the student will serve as caretaker as well as maintain the farmland surrounding the property.

The living space is 320 square feet — 40 feet long, eight feet tall and 10 feet wide. There are two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen.

Sounds like a great way to repurpose and rethink urban living. I also find if fascinating that GM is involved in this initiative. Have you ever listed a shipping container house? Be on the lookout for a white paper from CRT on alternative forms of housing in the near future.

State to allow long-term leasing of former Chelsea prison

550-west-20th-stTOPAlbany is expanding its options to find a new bidder and use for Bayview Correctional Facility, a former women’s prison in Chelsea.

The state’s economic development corporation, the agency handling the sale, is now giving would-be developers the option to buy the 550 West 20th Street property outright or purchase a long-term lease, Crain’s reported. The Empire State Development Corp. is searching for a buyer that would convert the 110-square-foot building over to commercial use, specifically office space.

“There is a lot of cost in renovating the building,” Kenneth Adams, ESDC president, told Crain’s. “By offering respondents to do a lease instead, it allows them to focus their financing on the renovation cost.”

The Related Companies and the William Macklowe Company are among the developers that have expressed interest in the site, Crain’s reported. The World School, WeWork and piano manufacturer Steinway Musical have also viewed the space. [Crain’s]Kerry Barger

New York tech scene outgrows Silicon Alley, tax breaks coming to co-op, condo owners … and more

New York City's High Line,

New York City’s High Line dubbed one of the coolest industrial area revamps in the U.S.

1. New York tech scene outgrows Silicon Alley [WSJ]
2. New York State bringing tax break to co-op, condo owners [Habitat Magazine]
3. Tin-roof Tribeca farm house hits market for $3.75M [Curbed]
4. Failed deal leaves Washington Heights synagogue in shambles [NYT]
5. Ditmas Park to sub for Greenpoint (again) in “Girls” filing next week [Ditmas Park Corner]
6. Mapping Jersey City’s changing skyline [Curbed]
7. Pier 40, High Line among coolest revamps of fallen industrial areas [Business Insider]

Julie Strickland

Joe Rose files suit against father-in-law

From left: Joe Rose and Marshall Rose

From left: Joe Rose and Marshall Rose

Former Department of City Planning Commissioner Joe Rose filed suit against real estate honcho and father-in-law, Marshall Rose. The suit claims the property company executive cut the commissioner out of deals and hacked his personal email following a split from daughter Wendi Rose.

Joe Rose went to work for his father-in-law’s Madison Avenue real estate company after serving under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani from 1993 to 2002, then split from wife Wendi in 2010.

Marshall Rose, no blood relation to Joe Rose, allegedly cut his son-in-law’s ownership interest in the businesses from 22 percent to 0.01 percent following the marital split, removed him from a $19.5 million Four Seasons Hotel deal in Washington, D.C. and “intentionally disseminated” both his personal and business emails “to outside parties for use by Rose’s daughter and her representatives in connection with divorce settlement negotiations,” according to the lawsuit.

“Rather than seeking to promote the financial interests of the company, Rose used the company as a vehicle to settle his own personal and familial scores,” the suit says.

The litigation aims to have a judge reinstate Joe Ross to his previous role in the Georgetown Company, the Post reported.

“The court ruled yesterday against the efforts of Joseph Rose to obtain preliminary relief in connection with his baseless claims, finding that Joseph Rose is unlikely to succeed,” Davidson Goldin, Marshall Rose’s spokesperson, said in a statement. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

Barbara Corcoran joins auction firm



Concierge Auctions, a luxury real estate auction firm serving high-net-worth individuals worldwide,  announced that Barbara Corcoran has joined the organization as a Strategic Advisor.

Corcoran, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country, as well as an author, speaker, and television personality, will work alongside the firm’s management team in directing the company’s brand and growth.

The addition of Corcoran to the Concierge Auctions team comes at a time of aggressive expansion for the company. Now in its seventh year in the high-end luxury real estate market, the firm produced $194 million in sales in 2013, a 36% increase over 2012. In Q1 2014, the firm booked over $45 million in transactions, a 129.63% YOY increase. Following its domestic success, Concierge Auctions is now focused on an international expansion plan; the firm recently conducted auctions in Canada, Fiji, and the Bahamas and opened an office in London.

“In order to meet the global demand for our solution, we are scaling up our team with the best talent in the industry,” said Laura Brady, founder and president of Concierge Auctions. “Bringing Barbara on board was an obvious choice. Her experience and success in the luxury real estate sector is unrivaled, and we look forward to the great things we’ll accomplish together.”

In 1973, Corcoran co-founded the  New York real estate firm, The Corcoran Group. She built the business from a $1,000 startup to an enterprise worth $66 million at the time she sold to NRT Incorporated, a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp.  in 2001. As one of the “Sharks” on ABC’s hit TV show, Shark Tank, Barbara has invested her own money in over 20 businesses and counting.

“I partner with businesses based not only on their product or service but much more importantly — their people. The Concierge Auctions team is special,” said Corcoran, “And Concierge is filling a void in the highest end of the market as the smart way to buy and sell the world’s finest properties. I am bursting with ideas on how to push their rapid growth.”