Category: REAL ESTATE ARTICLES

SENDING OUT MULTIPLE CONTRACTS OF SALE TO TWO OR MORE PURCHASERS*
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SENDING OUT MULTIPLE CONTRACTS OF SALE TO TWO OR MORE PURCHASERS* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

Can a seller send out multiple contracts of sale to two or more purchasers when selling an apartment or house? This has been a long standing debated issue in real estate and the answer is grounded in basic contract law and a variety of ethical considerations.

Click here to read Eric P. Gonchar's full article...

CO-OP BOARD DENIALS: A GUIDELINE*
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CO-OP BOARD DENIALS: A GUIDELINE* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

Unfortunately, co-op Board discretionary decisions to approve or deny a Purchaser admission in a coop still exists. Purchasers still face denials for admission to coop buildings. There was a time when many co-op Boards concluded that if a bank would give a prospective buyer a loan, then the Board would consent to the sale of an apartment. Co-op Boards have since become much more concerned and selective about their future neighbors. This article will explore why co-op Boards can deny a Purchaser admission to a co-op and what remedies the Purchaser or Seller may have.

Click here to read Eric P. Gonchar's full article...

Apple’s New California Facility: Is this the Model for Amazon HQ2?
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Apple’s New California Facility: Is this the Model for Amazon HQ2? | Ruth Wharton

Despite the dizzying pace of change, everything old is new again.

Recently, all the talk is about which city Amazon will choose for its new headquarters. As we think of major tech office centers in the US, it is interesting to look at another company’s new building plans.

Apple’s new center in Cupertino, California is a $5 billion project accommodating 12,000+ employees. Apparently, from an architectural standpoint, it is not revolutionary at all.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. I saw this article when using the Financial Times app and thought you might be interested:

Silicon Valley’s less-than-revolutionary office concepts 

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

HIRING A MANAGING AGENT FOR YOUR CO-OP OR CONDO*
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HIRING A MANAGING AGENT FOR YOUR CO-OP OR CONDO* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

Hiring or replacing a managing agent or management company for your co-op or condo can have a very significant impact on a building’s operations. Choosing the right management company can be a challenging job. Making the right choice can be time consuming and confusing. The relationship between a co-op or condominium and the management company is probably the most important relationship a board maintains.

Click here to read Eric P. Gonchar's full article...

NYC Office Trends: Smaller Spaces for Big Savings
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NYC Office Trends: Smaller Spaces for Big Savings | Ruth Colp-Haber

New trends in office space: smaller spaces, more common area, and modern design.

We have been seeing that top management of all NYC businesses—from law firms to finance firms—are reducing the amount of their office space in order to cut costs. Any reduction in office space costs goes right to the bottom line.

A few specific trends happening now:

1) Big executive offices are passé. If executives do have private offices, they are smaller than in the past. If a space is already built with big offices, these “ego offices” are repurposed to accommodate several employees, creating a type of bullpen.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

NEW HEATING LAW CHANGES IN NYC*
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NEW HEATING LAW CHANGES IN NYC* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

On October 1, 2017, a change to the NYC heating regulations will go into effect when the heating season begins. The new regulations require owners of buildings with central heating to maintain minimum temperatures in residential apartments during heating season. The new rule increases the minimum nighttime temperature in apartments to 62 degrees. During the designated heating season, October 1 through May 31, residential buildings will now have to maintain an internal temperature of no less than 62 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M., instead of the current 55-degree minimum. The new law also eliminates the outdoor temperature trigger during nighttime hours, thereby requiring the indoor temperature level be maintained regardless of the outside temperature.

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FinCEN EXTENDS AND BROADENS REAL ESTATE PURCHASE DISCLOSURES*
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FinCEN EXTENDS AND BROADENS REAL ESTATE PURCHASE DISCLOSURES* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) is a bureau of the United States Department of Treasury. FinCEN’s mission statement is “to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and combat money laundering and promote national security through the collection, analysis and dissemination of financial intelligence and strategic use of financial authorities.” Their goal is to protect the country against financial crimes, money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing by obtaining and analyzing financial transaction data for law enforcement purposes.

FDNY ENACTS NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT REQUIREMENTS*
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FDNY ENACTS NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT REQUIREMENTS* | Eric P. Gonchar

© Eric P. Gonchar. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Eric P. Gonchar.

In June of 2016, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) adopted new rules requiring apartment buildings to post identification signs along with directional markings and exit signs in hallways. All apartment buildings and hotels in New York City must comply with this new requirement by March 30, 2018. However, if the building contains any duplex or triplex units, the property was required to install these new markings by March 30, 2017.

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Heads-up! Built-Out Spaces from Closed Hedge Funds May Yield Dividends for Growing Financial Firms
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Heads-up! Built-Out Spaces from Closed Hedge Funds May Yield Dividends for Growing Financial Firms | Ruth Colp-Haber

The VIX, which measures volatility in the stock market, is currently at historical lows. However, the turmoil in the hedge fund industry is increasingly high. As a result, some financial firms are downsizing or closing their doors. When the firms downsize, they assess their office operations and often seek to sublease some or all of their space. This presents other hedge funds, broker dealers, and money managers with an opportunity to save money by leasing new space when the sublets hit the market.

Financial firms with many traders and computers have extensive infrastructure needs such as: supplemental air conditioning, ample voice and data wiring, built-in trading desks, and high-end furniture and phones. Given these IT and HVAC requirements, their spaces often need costly build-outs to ensure smooth trading operations.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

What Does a 21st Century Law Firm Look Like?
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What Does a 21st Century Law Firm Look Like? | Ruth Colp-Haber

Given the economic pressures facing the legal industry, many law firms are either downsizing, folding outright or moving to new—more efficient—office spaces.

Accordingly, there is a lot of activity in the law firm office space sector.

Along with the above commercial forces at work,  law firm layouts are changing. There is less need for secretarial space, and law libraries (with hard copy books) have been significantly reduced—if not eliminated. However, the old law firm spaces can easily be re-configured by a landlord to meet the needs of the 21st century law firm.

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The Dirt Dictionary: ‘T’ is for Tenant Improvement Allowance
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Yes, you know this, but this column is a dictionary (of sorts), so let’s define a TIA—tenant improvement allowance—as the amount of money a landlord will give toward preparing a space for occupancy and delve into it.

Typically, a TIA is stated either as a per-square-foot amount or a fixed sum. Any overage is borne by the tenant. The rationale for giving the TIA is to attract quality tenants (especially useful in a soft market). This is also used to finance the overhaul of outdated spaces. The amount is totally negotiable, so tenants are well advised to rely on their savvy local brokers to guide them.

Click here to read Jeff Margolis's full article...

A Theme of Renewal & Motion in New York City’s Commercial Real Estate Market
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A Theme of Renewal & Motion in New York City’s Commercial Real Estate Market | George Grace

New York City’s commercial real estate market is a very intense environment—it exemplifies capitalism at its best. As one area attempts to solve its problems, another area is concurrently built and becomes the solution to those problems. In this city, something goes up, and something else comes down—resulting in opportunities for everybody. Depending on what your needs are as both a tenant and a business, the going up and the going down can potentially be beneficial.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

Commercial Real Estate Concessions: Are You Getting the Best Possible Deal?
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Commercial Real Estate Concessions: Are You Getting the Best Possible Deal? | Ruth Wharton

S&P Global Market Intelligence reported recently that, “it’s a good time to be in the market for prime New York City office space.” Commercial Real Estate Concessions: Are You Getting the Best Deal? “I think we’re starting to see a cycle that’s beneficial for tenants. It’s going to accelerate more.” Colp-Haber said in the report. However, many tenants that are in the market are disappointed that base rental rates are still high. While base rental rates remain unchanged, what has changed are the concession packages being offered by landlords.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

Three Reasons You Need to Hire Your Own Commercial Real Estate Agent
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Three Reasons You Need to Hire Your Own Commercial Real Estate Agent | Ruth Colp-Haber

Obtaining new office space is one of the major decisions that your company will make. Despite that fact, some business people mistakenly think that they have the ability to negotiate a lease on their own—or alternatively, they naïvely use multiple brokers in an attempt to obtain a good deal on space. One hard working broker is the best route for the following reasons:

  1. All major brokerage firms have access to the same Costar office space listings (multiple brokers do not lead to access to additional spaces).

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

Retail Vacancies
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Retail Vacancies | George Grace

Because there’s a fairly high retail property vacancy rate (just walking down the streets of Manhattan, you see many “for rent” signs on stores), I don’t think rental rates for retail property will rise. I believe the fairly low level of demand for retail space can be explained by three factors:

  • People do not have as much disposable income, so they’re not spending as much money.
  • Online alternatives such as Amazon are taking business away from brick and mortar stores.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

In the Retail Market? Time to Rent or Buy?
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In the Retail Market? Time to Rent or Buy? | George Grace

We are currently representing a buyer who’s in the market for a commercial building, condominium or cooperative. As I’ve been scouring the market, I’ve noticed that sale prices have increased dramatically over the past year. However, rental rates for retail property have gone down over the same period. Interest rates have been so low for so long that there seems to be a disconnect between rental rates and sales prices (i.e., a bubble). This is reflected in the fact that sellers are asking for capitalization rates under 5%.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

New NYC Neighborhoods: World Trade Center—Media & Tech Hub
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New NYC Neighborhoods: World Trade Center—Media & Tech Hub | Ruth Colp-Haber

The new World Trade Center is a sprawling 16 acre mixed-used environment composed of 5 iconic office towers, an 8-acre Memorial Plaza, and over half a million square feet of shopping and dining. The transportation hub makes it one of the most convenient destinations to access in the city. There is unmatched mass transit—11 subways & PATH trains which are accessible directly from the buildings. The World Trade Center offers direct, weather-protected access to most of the City’s subway, bus, and ferry lines.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

Why an Exclusive Broker Is the Right Choice
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Why an Exclusive Broker Is the Right Choice | George Grace

During the course of a conversation with a tenant, they asked why anyone would want to use an exclusive broker to represent them in finding and negotiating a lease. Of course, any tenant in the market for a space has full control of the leasing or acquisition process. If a tenant goes out and talks to five different brokers, and goes to look at five different spaces with them, what they’ve essentially done is create five salesmen. Each broker will tout the space they showed and say how great it is. Their incentive is to close on the particular space they showed or lose the commission for that deal.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

The Mercy Center’s 13th Annual Gala Dinner and Auction
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The Mercy Center’s 13th Annual Gala Dinner and Auction | George Grace

On March 16th, I had the great pleasure of being honored by the Mercy Center of the South Bronx. Mercy Center was founded in 1990 to address urgent problems of the women and children of the area by providing an oasis from a violent home, a place for children to learn to read, and for parents to study English as a second language. Enclosed is a video of my acceptance speech. I hope it will inspire you to support the important mission of Mercy Center.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

What is NYC’s Next Hip Neighborhood—Hudson Yards?
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What is NYC’s Next Hip Neighborhood—Hudson Yards? | Ruth Wharton

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and the biggest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. When completed in 2025, Hudson Yards will have several NYC firsts, including: New York’s first Neiman Marcus, a collection of restaurants curated by Chef Thomas Keller, and The Shed, a new center for artistic invention. In addition, there will be 14 acres of public open space, a 750-seat public school, and an Equinox® branded luxury hotel with more than 200 rooms. The development of Hudson Yards will create more than 23,000 construction jobs.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

What Actually Happens at a Real Estate Closing?
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What Actually Happens at a Real Estate Closing? | Peter Roach

A real estate “closing” is the event where parties meet in order to consummate a real estate transaction. At a typical real estate closing, where one party is selling real estate to another, the parties who will attend the closing consist of the sellers and their lawyer, the buyers and their lawyer, the bank's attorney, the title closer, and one or more real estate brokers

If the purchase is being financed, there are actually two transactions that occur simultaneously; the sales transaction between Seller and Purchaser and the mortgage transaction between Lender and Borrower (who is also the purchaser).

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Avoid Management by Lease
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Avoid Management by Lease | George Grace

In an ideal world, commercial tenants would work with both internal and external stakeholders to determine how much space they need before looking at properties. Management would go through a strategic planning process to figure out where the company is going, how it’s going to get there, and who’s going to take it there. The company would consult with an architect to determine its exact space needs, and necessary board or upper management approvals would be obtained beforehand.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

Global Office Space Bargains: How Does NYC Compare?
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Global Office Space Bargains: How Does NYC Compare? | Ruth Colp-Haber

Most of we New Yorkers assume that our city is probably the most expensive place in the world. However, with respect to office space, this is not the case. New York is actually the fourth most expensive city in the world. On a worldwide basis, ahead of New York, are Hong Kong, London, and Beijing. Not surprisingly, New York retains the title of “Most Expensive City in the United States.” There are many factors that affect the comparative rate for office rents worldwide. For example, each city has costs on top of the base rent.

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

Landlords Increasingly Looking to Shift Insurance Obligations to Tenants
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Landlords Increasingly Looking to Shift Insurance Obligations to Tenants | George Grace

Landlords have recently become more aggressive in trying to shift some of the costs of insurance that they traditionally carried onto their tenants. In a large commercial building, the cost of all of these policies can be significant. Essentially, the insurance requirements increase the cost of leasing space. Tenants should be wary of the extra costs these insurance requirements can impose. A lease renewal I’m currently involved with showcases this new approach. Under its existing lease, the tenant was required to carry standard liability insurance covering the leased premises, as well as property losses for the tenant’s furniture and equipment.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

Which NYC Neighborhood Offers the Best Deals on Office Space?
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Which NYC Neighborhood Offers the Best Deals on Office Space? | Ruth Colp-Haber

When I first started in the commercial real estate business, there was a very simple maxim: ask the CEO where he or she lived, and find a property that offered a convenient commute. However, my experience in the business has shown it’s rarely that simple. When companies look for space, they have a lot of conflicting criteria that they use in order to evaluate different NYC locations. For example:

  • How is the subway access?
  • Are there good restaurants and stores nearby?
  • Is the vicinity very crowded?
  • Can you get a taxi conveniently?
  • Is there parking available?

Click here to read Ruth Colp-Haber's full article...

After Surrendering in Bankruptcy, Contesting Foreclosure is not Allowed
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After Surrendering in Bankruptcy, Contesting Foreclosure is not Allowed | Peter T. Roach

Oftentimes, a debtor files a bankruptcy petition that will stay a pending foreclosure. Should the debtor seek relief under Chapter 7, all property of the debtor becomes property of the bankruptcy estate and subject to disposition by the Chapter 7 trustee, with court approval. Should the Chapter 7 trustee determine that there is no equity in the mortgaged premises, he/she will “abandon” the property, and title will then revert back to the debtor. The debtor must then either pay the secured debt, or “surrender” the property to the secured creditor in satisfaction of, at least, the secured portion of the debt.

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A Bronx Tale: Millions of Untapped Consumers
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A Bronx Tale: Millions of Untapped Consumers | George Grace

Recently, I’ve started working with a national company based in the midwest. Their New York office is located in Westchester County, but they have become eager to relocate closer to the city. One of the places they are considering is in the Bronx. I thought this was an interesting choice, as I have written previously about how relatively low and stable the rents are in nearby Westchester. My client elaborated that it wants to be in a more densely populated area because of its sales organization; the more people near it, the better off it is.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

Should I Buy a Short Sale?
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Should I Buy a Short Sale? | Peter Roach

A “short sale” is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from the sale will be “short” of the aggregate amount needed to pay, in full, the liens secured by the property being sold.

Typically, the property being sold is in foreclosure and the lender is willing to accept a lesser amount than the total amount owed—as full payment of its mortgage—in order to avoid the time and expense of completing the foreclosure.

Click here to read Peter Roach's full article...