Luxury Rentals

March 2011



Prospective Renters

Essential Resource



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A rendering of the interior of the new Soho development 55 Thompson, developed by Manhattan Skyline. Visit the on-site leasing center opening this August or call 212-925-5550 to be put on the priority list. Below: The exterior of 55 Thompson, located at Thompson and Broome streets.

the manhattan rental market:
On the road to recovery
essentially getting the same rents as before the crash of 2008.” But Gavriani doesn’t expect rents to stay the same as they were in 2008—rather, he expects them to surpass 2008’s numbers. “We’re expecting that many listings coming up for renewal during the coming summer season, traditionally the busiest of the annual rental cycle, will be even higher than their 2008 rents, which should be the real proof of how far the market has recovered,” he said. George Arana, licensed associate real estate broker and senior vice president at Halstead Property LLC, agrees. he rental market in Manhattan is well on its way to recovery since the economic crisis of 2008, many brokers are saying. “Things have been moving up in both rental and sales, although not at the same rate, nor at the same pace in every neighborhood,” said Paul Gavriani, Corcoran senior vice president and associate broker. “My rental listings in certain neighborhoods, for example, in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and Soho, have recovered to the point where we’re


By Rachel Morgan

“The 2011 rental market hit the ground running,” he said. “Traffic has picked up and there is still a limited supply of inventory available. [For] example, I listed 20 West 16th Street, a Parlor Duplex three-bedroom, plus den and three-bath with a private terrace, for $9,800. In two weeks, I had three interested parties, one even offering the year’s rent up front. I feel that we’re on an upturn.” Tierney Model and Chris Leavitt of Sotheby’s International Realty said that the year has started out with a bang. “The rental market has been very consistent this year, very, very busy,” they said.

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Michael Bolla, marketing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman, said Manhattan rentals have bounced back. “The rental market hasn’t slowed,” he said. “The high-end rental market has returned with a vengeance. With the uptick in the market, Daniel Hedaya, executive vice president for Platinum Properties, is excited for the busy spring and summer renting season ahead. “Things are definitely improving in terms of the market and rents,” he said. “We have seen concessions cut back and landlords start to gear up for the busy spring [and] summer season. With new buildings on the horizon and several

While things appear to be looking up, not all brokers are so quick to declare the market recovered. “I think the economy is bouncing back, but I’m not certain if we’re there yet,” said Jeffrey Wachtenheim, broker at the Real Estate Group of New York. “New York is a city that very much relies on Wall Street. If Wall Street is doing well, New York real estate will do well. I think that consumer confidence is back, which is very important, [but] I also think there are a lot of frustrated renters and buyers out there, who still think the market is similar to 2009 and they can’t understand why they are losing bidding wars, can’t find rent concessions or

rates and the decrease of landlord incentives, it is clear that we are gearing up for a very busy summer season with less negotiation power in the hands of the renter.” Evan Rosenfeld, senior associate salesperson at Citi Habitats, also said renters are losing power in the improving market. “[The renting market] is great if you are a broker but pretty tight for a renter,” he said. “Incentives are drying up, so start signing leases.” Vicario Brensley Phillip, sales and rental agent at the Real Estate Group of New York,

‘the rental market hasn’t slowed. the high-end rental market has returned with a vengeance.’
ones already launched, it should be interesting to see what happens over the summer.” John Zakowski, sales and rental associate at Essential New York Real Estate, predicts a tightening in the market for the next rental season. “Concessions are slowly receding, which is the best indication of a stronger rental marketplace where overall time on the market for rentals is diminishing and rents are escalating,” he said. “There is approximately a 16 percent drop in newly constructed rentals on the market since the prior quarter. Current reports indicate that approximately 7,000 new units came on the market, which spells an acute tightening of the rental marketplace for the second and third quarters of 2011.”
A triplex loft with a rooftop garden at 242 East 58th Stret, listed at $15,000 per month by Corcoran agent Paul Gavriani (212-937-1695). Above right, a triplex loft at 125 East 12th Street, listed for $11,500/month with Corcoran agent Paul Gavriani (212-937-1695).

why there is so little inventory.” Adina Azarian, founder and principal broker of Adina Equities, agrees. “I don’t think that the economy as a whole as bounced back,” she said. “If you know what the deficit is, then you know we are in a precarious position. However, there does seem to be a renewed burst of economic growth in New York City.” According to Caroline Bass, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats, this upswing in the market means that renters have less negotiating powers than they may have had in the past. “The rental market is definitely experiencing a tightening compared to the previous two years,” she said. “With the decrease in vacancy


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525 East 72nd Street

265 East 66th Street

420 East 61st Street

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EE iNG F d o id LS OODS N k TA R H N O RE HB e o EAT EIG Sid N
p Up ton ll in Hi ark y Cl rra cy P e Mu mer uar a q Gr on S For over 30 years, e ni lag we’ve been helping il U new yorkers tV s Ea live well
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Greenwich Village/Union Square Penthouse loft at 56 East 13th Street, Apt. 8, listed at $8500 per month by Real Estate Group of New York agent Jeffrey Wachtenheim (917-605-7777.)


t G R G N r Eas t Side s I N ppe We IT U C er

also predicts a tougher season for renters. “The inventory is extremely low for this time of year in many areas of Manhattan,” he said. “With the spring and summer season - peak rental season – approaching, it’s going to be tough for new renters.” C.B. Whyte, senior vice president and associate broker at Stribling, agrees. “I am finding that the rental market is stable,” she said. “It is not plummeting. The landlords are no longer providing the renters with any incentives for signing the lease.”

is a major plus for renters. “Renters all want the same things—a good landlord or property management company,” Azarian said. “Meaning they are responsive and will take care of any problems or issues if any arise during tenancy and are honorable and trustworthy. Renters always want to know, ‘Who is the landlord?’ After that, it’s about a fair deal and fulfilling their wish list.” Mary A. Vetri, senior vice president and associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens, ticks off a list of wants for potential renters.

Whyte said that the market is on its way up from March’s rockbottom status. “The market has now stabilized we are now longer plunging,” Whyte said. “I believe we hit bottom last March. Well-priced inventory that comes on the market in good condition will sell and will rent.” As far as what renters are looking for this season, Arana said it’s about value. “As always, the most bang for their buck,” he said. “That comes in the form of well-proportioned rooms and great kitchens and baths, and of course, [it goes without] saying, location, location, location.” Rachel Glazer, salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens, said that extra amenities are deemed less important by renters. “Location is key,” she said. “Most want a doorman, rooftop terrace and gym. The ‘extras’ offered recently, [like] free breakfast, lounges [and] pet spas, are not driving rentals.” Azarian says that a good landlord “Conveniences and a safe location; easy access to subways, gyms, food shopping, dry cleaner and laundry, pet-friendly buildings, doorman if a high-rise, and common outdoor space,” she said. In addition to the normal amenities, Bass has heard an interesting request lately. “The majority of renters want a clean building, a nice-sized apartment and decent renovations,” she said. “Renovations do not necessarily mean granite and stainless steel, although those kitchens and baths from the ’70s just don’t cut it. Lately, I have received quite a few requests that the apartments have to be bedbug-free.” Bolla said it’s not so much about amenities when it comes to an apartment’s value in the eye of a potential renter. “To my clients, ‘new features’ never matter; it’s all about the apartment,” he said. “Hot features and amenities come and go; what never goes out of style is a great apartment.”

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place yourself in the center of everything

Image is a combination of photography and an artist’s rendering. © dbox 2011. Prices subject to change.

Now Renting at 32nd & 6th 212.695.3232 Studios, One- and Two-Bedrooms starting at $2,665

the living room of the new far West side luxury development the Ashley, listed by Citi Habitats starting at $2,950 for a studio (212-794-1133).

all signs point West


The newest hot spot in the rental market is the far West Side of Manhattan • By Rachel Morgan
there is a good amount of older manufacturing and commercial buildings which feature lofts that people want to live in.” Tierney Model and Chris Leavitt, sales associate and vice president and associate broker of Sotheby’s International Realty, respectively, agree that properties in the area are becoming more popular, “especially with the new developments and unique amenities west of Midtown West.” While some brokers say that the area still lacks development, Jovanovic said that the low rents for views,” he said. “These buildings have all the bells and whistles.” Senad Ahmetovic, licensed real estate broker and senior vice president of Halstead Property LLC, Midtown Office, pointed out even more amenities being offered to entice tenants. “There are several newer buildings west of 10th Avenue, and those developers knew that they had to lure the tenant that far west with ‘something extra,’” he said. “All of those buildings more or less are built with condo finishes and offer a range of super-luxury amenities, from

hen it comes to the rentals market in Manhattan, all signs point west. The West Side of Manhattan has become inundated with new developments like the Ashley, the Aldyn, the Beatrice, the Continental, Silver Towers, Clinton Park, the Helena and superdevelopments like Columbus Square and MiMA. But to attract renters to the stretch of land that runs along the Hudson River, developers had to offer increasingly impressive amenities. “Northern Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Clinton, the garment district and so forth are offering more in order to drive the traffic up,” said George Arana, licensed associate real estate broker and senior vice president at Halstead Property LLC, Village Office. Arana has also done business in the area way west as of late. “I recently negotiated a deal in Clinton, 43rd Street off 11th Avenue,” he said. “It was a penthouse and though it took two months to rent, I found a tenant who loved the space. Being in the business for 20 years, I always felt that there is someone for every property out there. It’s just a numbers game.” Mark Jovanovic, Corcoran senior vice president and associate broker, agreed that the area is one to watch. “The West Side of Manhattan is really exciting,” he said. “Not only do you have many new buildings and developments, but

‘ProPerties in this area are becoming more and more PoPular, esPecially with the new develoPments and unique amenities west of midtown west.’
commercial space has helped build it up. “The lower cost of retail space further west has made it more affordable for many galleries, cafes and restaurants to open, which has added a great deal to the feel and vibe of the area,” he said. “The Hudson River Park has also added much needed green space, and come spring and summer, it’s a great outlet.” He also took note of the area’s sometimes over-the-top amenities. “The amenities are definitely there, whether you want an Olympicsized pool, tennis or basketball court or a roof deck with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline buildingwide wi-fi access, washer and dryer units in each apartment, swimming pools and state-of-the art cardio and weight training systems with sauna, steam and spa services.” These features are offered to create a sense of having everything you need right in your own building, Ahmetovic said. “They want their tenants to feel they do not need to leave the premises, so one will find an onsite convenience store at the Helena or a nail salon and BBQ grill at the Silver Towers. People who want these types of services don’t mind the location as much,” he said. Mark Menendez, executive vice

president and director of rentals at Prudential Douglas Elliman, says the area is developing into a whole new neighborhood. “It’s a growing community, and I think there are still opportunities for deals,” he said. “It’s exciting to see a neighborhood develop in our city.” But Menendez thinks it is the location, rather than the amenities, that’s attracting renters. “I think it’s on its way like many areas in Manhattan before,” he said. “I believe with its proximity to midtown and access to the riverfront it will become a hot neighborhood. Developers are responding to sophisticated renters’ needs and buildings have become the ‘one stopshop’ for your lifestyle, with all the amazing amenities that are being offered.” Martin Newman, sales and rentals agent at the Real Estate Group of New York, said that beyond all the luxury amenities, the area’s main appeal is that it offers value. “Midtown west will do well with tenants looking to get the most bang for their buck,” he said. “If you’re looking to have a brand-new apartment with all the amenities you could imagine but on a budget, this is the place to be. Nowhere else in the city can you find buildings with floorto-ceiling windows, views that seem endless, tenant lounges, roof decks, and concierge services at these price points.” But if you’re looking to move to a neighborhood that is already well developed, he said, you may want to look elsewhere, at least for now.


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“This is not the option for you at the moment,” he said. Mary A. Vetri, senior vice president and associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens, said that “new rental construction will bring more people to area. I have heard that developers are luring renters there now with crazy amenities. Slowly, all ‘areas’ that are fringe location take a bit a time to gather newcomers and developers can be very creative.” Caroline Bass, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats, points out that the far West Side appeals to certain types of renters. “The developing areas around 11th Avenue on the West Side of Manhattan are ideal for people who are reverse commuters given the proximity to the West Side Highway,” she said. “Since most of the developments are all-inclusive —gym, dry cleaning, spa services, cafes, outdoor decks, parking, valets —it is also an attractive option to busy, overworked professionals with zero time.” While she wouldn’t necessary classify the area as “happening,” she said there is definitely movement. “I would say the area is emerging and definitely creating interest,” Bass said. “With all the services the far West landlords offer, it gives people a reason to check out the buildings.” According to Bass, throughout most of the city, the one amenity

646 Ninth Avenue duplex rental listed by Miron Properties agents Chad Moser (917-723-2292) and Jeffrey Schleider (212-888-6250).

more centralized locations.” In addition to amenities, landlord incentives are also driving traffic to the area, Wagner said. “This is one of the major destinations for landlord incentive offers, such as a month’s rent free on a 13-month lease, or two months’ free on a two-year lease, with the landlord paying a month’s commission to the broker in either scenario,” he said. “These offerings usually are limited to original inventory on the newer buildings. If an apartment is already a re-rental, incentives may or may not be offered. Once the vacancy rate

that renters seem to want is the convenience of skipping the weekly trips to the Laundromat. “A hot feature that is always on my client’s wish list is a washer [and] dryer in the apartment,” she said. “Over the past two years, with most of the new developments converted to rental projects, I have noticed an uptick in the amount of apartments with this amenity. My last two clients who rented apartments in had a washer and dryer and they were absolutely thrilled. Although this may be an extra expense for developers, this is definitely a selling point for renters. I hope to see this trend continue.” Douglas Wagner, executive director of leasing at New York Properties, LLC, calls the area the leading edge in the world of renting. “This is already the next great frontier for Manhattan rentals,” he said. “So far, the new offerings are in high-rise doorman buildings. We anticipate the development of more idiosyncratic loft-style homes in the coming year. Opportunity exists for renters to live a luxurious lifestyle, often for the price of smaller apartments with less special features in

in the few new buildings hits a high absorption level, we anticipate the end of many incentives, as the rents will rise and these properties will catch up with their more centralized competitors.” But traditional amenities are still being offered as well, Wagner said. “Tenants are mostly living in the high-rises and traveling away from the far western reaches for culture, nightlife and dining,” he said. “In the far west, new buildings, common attractions include dishwashers and washer-dryers in most apartments. There are some amazing health-club facilities, lounges and other features that make it possible for residents to enjoy many life-maintenance activities close to home.” In short, the plethora of amenities will reward those who make the trek way west But not every broker agrees that this is a happening area. “I work with very few clients who actually want to live west of Ninth or 10th Avenue,” said Ken Shvetz, senior associate salesperson at City Connections. “I think those buildings appeal mostly to first-time renters or people new to the city.”

But he does admit that moving further west in order to have access to better amenities is a trend he sees. “Occasionally you get customers who are looking for the concessions or luxury offered there that they can’t find elsewhere in their price range in the city, and are willing to go far west to find it, but typically I think a lot of brokers advertise these properties as teasers and end up renting people in more central neighborhoods once they disclose the location,” he said. C.B. Whyte, senior vice president and associate broker at Stribling, said that while the area is on its way to becoming a happening area, it’s not quite there yet. “Way west is coming along,” she said. “There currently is no buzz, as more needs to be done. I am confident it will happen and become a viable neighborhood. Luring renters with varied amenities is a smart move on the part of the developers, and bringing on essential retail tenants and community services helps as well.” Rachel Glazer, salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens, said that sometimes these amenities don’t maintain a long relationship between renters and the area. “These are not catching on as quickly as the developers would like,” she said. “I rented one on West 37th Street where the renter was lured with two months free and crazy amenities. The tenant doesn’t love the area, though, and isn’t going to renew.” Columbus Square is another major development on the West Side of Manhattan that has lured perspectives with amenities galore, and in Columbus Square’s case, the creation of inhabitants’ very own mini-community within the development. “Not only did we build residential units, we created a needed retail corridor that will serve as a main street for our residents and the

entire neighborhood,” said Jeffrey Brett Davis, director of development of Columbus Square Management. “Columbus Square offers not just beautifully designed lobbies and lounge space but state of the art fitness centers, a 70-foot saltwater swimming pool, children’s play rooms and lusciously landscaped decks. Our amenities are more in line with what you’ll find in some of the most sought-after condo buildings in Manhattan.” MiMA offers a similar scenario, offering a theater, a hotel, nightlife, restaurants and retail space, all within a single development. “It’s a very exciting development; we are very excited to bring it into the marketplace,” said Daria Salusbury, senior vice president of Related. “The reactions to date have been very positive.” But developers still had to think outside the box when it comes to attracting renters to the far West Side, the final frontier of Manhattan, if you will. “The midtown west area is in transition to becoming a series of very vibrant neighborhoods,” said Paul Gavriani, Corcoran senior vice president and associate broker. “From Riverside Boulevard to west Chelsea, there is an abundance of infrastructure, [like] the Highline; the Hudson River Park system with its playgrounds; exercise paths; and new development with breathing room for modern designs like outdoor spaces, parking garages, and large-scale retail services and grocery stores.” These features have only led to growth. “There are some sizable resident populations growing in these areas and many retail services will be coming to serve them,” Gavriani said. “But until that is firmly established, new development buildings have had to be a little more forward-thinking in encouraging renters to pioneer into these areas.”


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Price indicates ASKING median rents.

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,150 $2,837 $4,500 $6,500 $15,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,550 $3,500 $6,000 $10,000 $39,000

56 East 13th Street.

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,300 $1,699 $2,200 $2,675 $3,480

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,300 $3,325 $5,995 $13,000 $17,000


Price indicates ASKING median rents.

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,550 $2,000 $2,800 $5,995 $15,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,497 $3,450 $5,300 $11,500 $21,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,800 $2,000 $2,241 $2,500 $3,800

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,698 $2,330 $3,150 $4,163 n/a

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,795 $2,400 $3,597 $5,050 $30,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,850 $2,450 $3,295 $4,400 $6,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,100 $2,800 $3,000 $2,950 $3,800

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,295 $1,550 $2,400 $2,250 $2,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,100 $3,316 $6,450 $10,000 $22,250

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $3,385 $3,800 $8,400 $16,000 $14,875

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,795 $2,792 $4,500 $7,000 $12,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,472 $2,100 $2,750 $2,850 $6,150

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,850 $2,550 $4,150 $6,250 $16,500

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,599 $3,500 $5,262 $6,500 $5,325 $2,425 $2,925 $5,797 $10,300 n/a

BOCOCA (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens)
Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,675 $2,300 $3,250 $6,000 $3,980

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $1,450 $1,775 $2,125 $3,550 $8,000

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,000 $3,077 $5,000 $7,750 $16,500


Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR

$1,650 $2,000 $2,400 $3,437 $13,750

Studio 1 BR 2 BR 3 BR 4+ BR $2,100 $2,900 $4,295 $5,897 $16,000


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new kid on the blocK
here’s a new development on the West Side—and it’s more than just a luxuryliving high-rise. Related Development’s newest venture, the 63-story MiMA— named after its mid-Manhattan location—boasts not only rentals and condominiums, but the development itself also houses the Frank Gehry– designed Signature Center, opening in early 2012, home to Signature Theatre Company; a YOTEL New York designed by David Rockwell; and more than 20,000 square feet of public space that can be used for dining, meetings, events and the like. MiMA also boasts the largest outdoor terrace in Manhattan, along with ground-level retail. “You have a unique development in Manhattan, where you have residential, culture, and retail space, and hotel, within a total city block,” said Daria Salusbury, senior vice president of


MiMA brings you the best of the new luxury market • By Rachel Morgan
Related Companies. “We have over an acre of amenity space.” Salusbury said that when discussing MiMA before its inception, Related really thought about what the area and renters and buyers would want. “When we set out to build this building, we were really thinking, ‘What does this building need? What sort of lifestyle does this building offer?’” she said. “It’s a very comprehensive lifestyle aspect of the building.” In terms of living areas, MiMA has two options—MiMA Rentals on floors 7 to 50, and One MiMA Tower, consisting of condominiums, featuring “Five Star Living,” on floors 51 to 63. The building itself is green—once completed, it is expected to have LEED certification and the newest environmentally friendly features. And don’t forget about the gym. MiMA’s 44,000-square-foot M Club boasts an Equinox fitness center, a heated indoor lap pool, a boxing room, full-size basketball and volleyball courts and even outdoor space perfect for entertaining—private dining pods, outdoor barbecue, three terraces and catering kitchens. Don’t worry, your pet won’t be left out of the mix. All their needs can be met at MiMA’s Dog City, MiMA’s unique take on caring for urban fourlegged friends. Dog City includes

something about pets?’ and created Dog City. Dog city is its own entity. [In it] you will be able to coordinate pet visits, plan play dates, get dog grooming, use the outdoor area for dogs.” But this isn’t your average run-ofthe-mill pet groomers. “It’s full-service spa for dogs,” Salusbury said. “We’ve had a very, very

‘you havea unique development in manhattan, where you have residences, culture, retail and a hotel within one city block.’
a pet spa with indoor and outdoor playing areas, grooming and training facilities, in-home feeding, walking services and even scheduled puppy play dates. “We knew a lot of our residents are very concerned about pets,” Salusbury said. “We are pet friendly. We thought about this and said, ‘Why don’t we do positive reaction to Dog City, because your pets become your family.” When you decide to move in, MiMA can help with that, too, providing a move-in coordinator who will help you find the best movers and even help you set up all your gadgets once you’re in your new pad. Sounds like the best new place in town, if you ask us.

luxury rentals

Far left, the exterior of MiMA; above, the pool. Above right, the basketball court, and right, the game room.

luxury rentals


if you could live anywhere in new york city, where would it be?

I would make Governors Island my private estate. —Mark Menendez, executive vice president and director of rentals at Prudential Douglas Elliman

I think I would like to move to the West Side around Lincoln Center, as I spend a great deal of my time now going to the Met and theater. —C.B. Whyte, senior vice president and associate broker at Stribling

Harlem, in a historic townhouse. —Chris Leavitt, vice president and associate broker and Tierney Model, sales associate of Sotheby’s International Realty

I’d have to say Flatiron. I love that neighborhood with all of its great restaurants and the fact that it’s close to the East Side transportation. —Daniel Hedaya, executive vice president of brokerage firm Platinum Properties

I live in the West 70’s off of Central Park West in a onebedroom apartment with a terrace. I absolutely adore my neighborhood and my building. I have no desire to live anywhere else. — Caroline Bass, senior vice president and associate broker at Citi Habitats

If money were not a concern, I’d probably get a sick bachelor pad in the West Village. At this stage in my life, I don’t think I could give up my midtown east amenities to pay double the rent for a walkup with no laundry in a creaky prewar building, but hey, if money were no object, well, dare to dream. —Ken Shvetz, senior associate salesperson at City Connections

It would probably be the Upper West Side. Either along Central Park West or by Riverside Park in one of the prewar buildings with big rooms. I love the Upper West and the whole feel up there. —Senad Ahmetovic, licensed real estate broker and senior vice president of the midtown office of Halstead Property LLC

I am thinking about moving slightly south, somewhere between West Fourth and West 13th streets. I absolutely love Waverly Place. I would also love to live at 15 Central Park West. I’ve done both sales and rentals there and [they are both] simply phenomenal. – Rachel Glazer, salesperson at Brown Harris Stevens

If I could live anywhere in New York, it would be in the Visionaire Condo or the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City. I love it down there. —Vicario Brensley Phillip, sales and rental agent at the Real Estate Group of New York

Exactly where I live. I love New York. When I leave, I miss it. — Michael Bolla, marketing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman

luxury rentals

Ask Reba!
Q: How can I know that my Broker truly represents me when they are being paid by the Seller? A: New York State law requires real estate licensees who are acting as agents of buyers or sellers of property to advise the potential buyers or sellers with whom they work of the nature of their agency relationship and the rights and obligations it creates. There is now a disclosure form that is mandatory which your agent should give to you once substantive contact is made. This form may be given to you more then once and it may disclose different relationships. If there is only one broker in the transaction then a dual agency may be required. If the broker represents you than you would need to receive the form and agree to have the broker represent you but if that same broker shows you her exclusive she will have to give you a different form because in that case she would represent the Owner or if all parties agreed a dual agency.
You might want to know that New York Living described me as one of the “top 20 Brokers in New York City”. I won an industry award as the Third Place Deal of the Year which resulted in 6 commissions being paid at the closing. I have sold one apartment more than 7 times, and rented it 5 times - always at record breaking prices. I have contributed to articles in The New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Observer, New York Sun, On the Avenue, Mann Report, and Crains’ New York Business, to name a few. I have participated in many educational seminars at the Real Estate Board of NY’s request and I have appeared on television and radio as a real estate expert. Over 26 years of providing guidance to buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, converters and developers, I have been encouraged to share my expertise in a more public forum that will be called “Ask Reba”. I look forward to sharing my vast real estate knowledge directly with you. Please send your questions to me at Also please note our current featured listings! Sincerely,

Reba Miller


Furnished studio in top location For $2,100 Studio in chic madison Turn of the Century full serviced condominium building. Unit is fully and tastefully furnished and beautifully renovated. Far Less than a hotel and in the most prestigious location. Unit has no real exposure but it has everything else. High Ceilings, good closets, new bathroom, new kitchenette. Move right in to choice location. Near top restaurants, museums, shops, and transportation and of course Central Park. $2,100 web id 396259

Mint 4 rooM oFF Madison Pre war Mint 1BR + Den, 1 BTH beauty facing south. 930 sq ft. ,HI ceilings and Herringbone floors plus Brand New Windows. New Kitchen with stone counter tops and floors, white glass tiled backsplash, stainless steel appliances, New Electric. Over 9’ beamed ceilings. Exceptional unit for the discerning Tenant. Quiet and with BIG windows especially for a prewar...a must see. full svc bldg price: $5,100 web id 366959

hiGh in the sKY , 2321 sq ft. 211 Madison avenue, unit 30a Morgan Court private 30th half floor in boutique white glove condo. 2BR, 2.5 Bth 2321 square foot Duplex with amazing views , 30’ LR with wrap windows, oversized eat-in kitchen, huge masters with ensuite baths, washer/dryer, private storage;Townhouse feeling in the sky Corporations are welcome. No board approval. no Fee!!!! $12,000 web id 265618

park/60th Furnished or unfurnished 1Br 502 park avenue , unit 12h A World Class Address, A Glamorous resident.This 1 BR 1 BTH has top finishes with steel appliances, deep soaking tub, detailed panelled doors, hand-laid solid oak herringbone floors, crown molding, and handcrafted Italian brass doorknobs. Fully equipped with washer/dryer, new linens, towels, sheets, pillows. No pets please unfurn$4900/furnish $5,100 web id 900401

circa 1890’s BeautiFul townhouse European charm ,magnificent 5 Bedroom 4 Full Baths plus multi level and beautifully landscaped outdoor garden is a turn of the century beauty. Other fine features:Solarium Greenhouse, full floor basement (featuring a full size laundry room) , and generous lofty entertaining space. There are 2 wbf’s, multi zone central a/c & oil fueled hot air. If you are looking for a turn of the century jewel, look no further; you have found your home. price:$14,495 web id 894950


TEL: 212.980.4449

what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen as a broker?

An owner overslept and hid under the covers in the bedroom. Halfway through the showing, the prospective tenant sat down on the side of the bed and then jumped up screaming, thinking it was a dead body, at which point the owner came out of from hiding under the covers and admitted she didn’t know how to get out of the embarrassing situation when she realized there was a showing in progress. So she planned to just stay quiet under the covers until the showing was over. Everyone laughed and we handed the owner her robe. —Paul Gavriani, Corcoran senior vice president and associate broker

I went to show an exclusive property of my which was supposed to be vacant. I opened the door with my clients behind me and noticed the previous tenant making love on the living room floor. I then told them that they had five minutes to leave because my clients had a plane to catch. —George Arana, licensed associate real estate broker and senior vice president at Halstead Property, LLC

The “crazy” shock value has pretty much worn off, as I have been a broker for many years. You never know what will be on the other side of the door until it’s opened. —Mary A. Vetri, senior vice president and associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens

I took my client, his wife and his best friend to see a condo rental on Lafayette Street and they fought over the unit. So I rented them both different apartments in the same building for $9,000 and $10,500. That was a very nice day. —Vicario Brensley Phillip, sales and rental agent at the Real Estate Group of New York

A couple of years back, we showed a full-floor unit in one of Manhattan’s true luxury buildings that had 365-degree skyline views of the river and Central Park. The apartment was impeccably finished with every possible gadget and system one could dream of, including a fallout shelter. That was a first. —Mark Jovanovic, Corcoran senior vice president, and associate broker

I was hosting an open house back in 2007 when a verbal bidding war broke out between three separate parties. It got out of hand, tempers flared and a shoving match broke out. —Mark Menendez, executive vice president and director of rentals at Prudential Douglas Elliman

A bidding war over a railroad-style, two-bedroom apartment in the East Village. The apartment was small and dark with virtually no closet space. Floors were so squeaky and uneven that if you were over six feet tall, you could almost touch the ceiling with your head in one corner. The landlord wouldn’t even paint even though each room was painted a different color, but that didn’t seem to bother anyone. Asking price was $2,100 and after multiple bids, the apartment ended up renting for $2,350. —Senad Ahmetovic, licensed real estate broker and senior vice president of the midtown office of Halstead Property, LLC

I had a client that wasn’t feeling well for a few days, and had to go to their bedside while they were sick to have them sign the lease. —Evan Rosenfeld, senior associate salesperson at Citi Habitats

A purchaser who brought their dog along when they viewed apartments and then insisted the dog is at the closing. —C.B. Whyte, senior vice president and associate broker at Stribling

[At a duplex that was being shown], I went down to the lower level to check out the laundry room, and there was a minefield of dead cockroaches all over the place. There must have been hundreds. You couldn’t even walk without stepping on one. … It would have been like walking across a sheet of bubble wrap. I guess a roach bomb had been set or something, but no one was sent to clean up the mess afterward. You’d think the super, property manager or exclusive broker would have noticed and bothered to clean it up before showing the apartment. But no, they were actively showing the unit and this was right outside one of the bedroom doors. Let’s just say I didn’t take any clients to see the listing. —Ken Shvetz, senior associate salesperson at City Connections

The craziest thing I’ve seen is when I went to show an apartment and the owner was accidentally in the nude in his living room. He had just gotten out of the shower and I guess didn’t realize we were coming. —Daniel Hedaya, executive vice president of brokerage firm Platinum Properties


luxury rentals

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(212) 759 3920

Appointments to fit your schedule.
Insurance subject to availability and qualifications.Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, Illinois © 2009 Allstate Insurance Company.

1510 Lexington, NYC’s first entirely non-smoking residential building, features studio to three bedroom luxury rental apartments just steps from Central Park and the Lexington Avenue Subway on the Upper East Side. All residences feature condominium quality finishes, Energy Star stainless steel appliances, custom closets and washer/dryers. White glove services complement an extensive amenity package that includes a café, green roof park, extended hours fitness center, children’s playroom, and private roof club with billiards, big screen media area, indoor and outdoor fireplaces. For more information, call 212.348.0500 or visit The Aldyn is Extell Development Company’s newest luxury residence in the vibrant Riverside South neighborhood. Many of the 286 exquisitely crafted rental and condominium residences enjoy unobstructed views of the Hudson River. Aldyn residents will be treated to over 40,000 square feet of amenities, including the LA PALESTRA Athletic Club and Spa and a KIDVILLE USA indoor playground. For more information on rentals, please call Citi Habitats Marketing Group at 212.308.1777 or visit

Algin Management is a family-owned company that manages, builds and owns some of New York’s finest residential properties, including the West Side’s most striking rental building, Sessanta. Sessanta’s apartments are unusually large and offer breathtaking views. What sets Sessanta apart is the attention to detail concerning amenities, one being the desirable lighted outdoor tennis court. Play a set, take a swim, or stroll in the English garden, Sessanta is where you want to live. For more information, visit

The Ashley, a newly constructed rental property, is the latest addition to Manhattan’s vibrant Riverside South neighborhood. Residences feature classically designed oversized floor plans with sophisticated and elegant details. An extensive selection of amenities includes a 40,000 sf LA PALESTRA Fitness Center & Spa, Abigail Michaels Concierge Service, residents’ courtyard, lounge and a host of services. The Ashley is now leasing for immediate occupancy. The Ashley Leasing Center is located at 400 West 63rd Street, New York, NY 10069. For more information, please call 212.247.4600 or visit us at WWW.THEASHLEYNYC.COM

Bettina Equities: Living Well, In the World’s Greatest City. Bettina is known for affordable prices that make Manhattan living in the finest buildings within reach, with NO FEE! Attractive studios, spacious three-bedroom duplexes and triplexes in the most desired neighborhoods: East/West Side, Clinton, Murray Hill, Gramercy Park, Union Square and East Village. Experience the difference in the way our buildings are run— with a quality commitment and ongoing attention to amenities such as exceptional maintenance/upgrades, a responsive management staff and roomy, comfortable layouts. (212) 744-3330.

Jimmy Brett, Senior Vice President, Associate Broker with Citi Habitats is a highly valued member and consistent Top Producer throughout his decade long career with the firm. Beginning in 2007, Jimmy has been consistently recognized by NRT, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage holding company, as being amongst the top 1.4% of NRT’s 54,000 sales associates; Jimmy’s team “Team Brett” has also been acknowledged within the top 100 teams nationwide. Please contact Jimmy at 917.687.4614 or jbrett@

luxury rentals

Columbus Square, a collection of five unique rental buildings and over 500,000 square feet of prime retail and community space rising from 97th to 100th Streets between Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue, has become one of NYC’s most sought-after residences. Each apartment is smartly designed with nine-foot ceilings, piece-laid white oak strip flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, and solar shades. Residents are surprised by the elegant touches that are generally reserved for condos, such as valet parking, acres of landscaped roof decks, and a 70-foot salt water swimming pool. For more information log onto or call 1-866644-8813.

The Continental – Unparalleled Amenities and Views in Midtown Manhattan. The Continental, a new 53-story, Costas Kondylis-designed luxury rental tower situated on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 32nd Street features studio, one-bedroom, one-bedroom with home office, and two-bedroom apartments. The building offers extensive recreational and leisure amenities maintained by lifestyle experts American Leisure, including the Continental Club & Spa. Residents also enjoy Abigail Michaels concierge, on-site valet, parking, and 24 hour dooman services; BuildingLink; bicycle storage; and multiple sundecks and terraces. Monthly rental prices range from approximately $2,665 to more than $6,275. For more information, visit or call 212.695.3232.

MiMA, named after the middle of Manhattan and developed by Related Companies, is a 63-story mixed-use glass tower featuring luxury rentals and condominium residences. MiMA features a meticulously curated blend of residences, culture and lifestyle offerings including M Club, a sprawling 44,000 square foot package of health, recreation and entertainment amenities. All residents will also have access to personal assistants, a 24-hour concierge, doorman, on-site valet and a move-in coordinator to handle every last detail.

Paramount Tower Located at 240 East 39th St. in historic Turtle Bay, every detail of Paramount Tower delivers exceptional luxury rental living. From the private semi-circular driveway and landscaped entrance to the elegant designerfitted corridors and superb one-two- and three-bedroom homes, every aspect of this 52-story tower boasts Glenwood’s signature attention to quality. Full-service amenities include 24-hour doorman, state-of-the-art swim and fitness center, saunas, residents’ lounge and children’s playroom. For additional information, call 212.430.5900 or visit

RPMiller&Associates,Inc. WHERE OVER MEANS SOMETHING GREAT: With over 26 Years of Fine Residential Brokerage, over 1 Billion Real Estate Transactions, over 22 conversions for development and over 26 years with the same customers our team of experts handle sales and leasing all over Manhattan. Our international business is from all Over the World. For direct contact call 212 980 4449 or email

The Solow Townhouses on East 67th Street offer a classic townhouse lifestyle with a fusion of contemporary architecture, dramatic high ceilings and traditional luxury. Choose from a two-bedroom duplex or a three-bedroom triplex townhouse. Each offers private entrance into a formal reception foyer, garden, 17 food high ceilings, private elevator, wood-burning fireplace and marble baths. Residents also enjoy all the amenities of adjacent full service high rise, with health club, indoor pool, valet service and 24 hour garage available. Contact the leasing office at (212) 249-8971 for more information.

Next issue of Observer Rentals on stands May 18th, 2011.
Contact Robyn Weiss, Associate Publisher Observer Rentals at and 212-407-9382 for advertising information
luxury rentals


MiMA is more than the hottest new Related Rental. It’s the only building designed to satisfy your greatest passions. It’s fabulous new apartments with designer closets, kitchens and baths. It’s M Club, a 44,000 square foot amenity space with residents-only fitness club by Equinox,® including indoor lap pool. It’s Dog City,SM a full-service pet center with spa. It’s even Signature Theatre Company’s three world class theaters in the all new Signature Center. It’s everything you love, right where you live.

The luxury of Related in the Middle of Manhattan
From the developers of Time Warner Center • 212.594.MIMA

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