Moscow 57 in the LES

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What makes a restaurant/artistic venue successful in a competitive environment? I do not know. What I do know, however, is that globalization and the continuous erosion of borders, gives an infusion to a contextual and rich multi-layered diaspora in New York City.

I believe that the Lower East will continue to see a dramatic shift in its socioeconomic and artistic position in the coming years. Recent real estate news announced commercial and residential plans for the area. Property owners of small buildings have seen a sharp increase in the resale returns of their assets in the past two years. Transformation is inevitable at a local and global level.  Thus, we just have to artistically incorporate the history of each space – the old with the new. We have to test the boundaries by allowing and supporting the opening of venues that might push the limits of what is already in the neighborhood.

What does all of this have to do with Moscow 57? It is a new, and vibrant restaurant/entertainment venue that recently opened in the Lower East Side on Delancey Street.  As a local resident, passionate about my neighborhood, I decided to visit the venue. I wondered how I would feel at Moscow 57 – what they had to offer me. Words do not suffice to describe not only the remarkable interior design, but also the people that make the venue. It encapsulates with it, part of the Lower East Side’s rich history and culture, while bringing with it a post-modern and magnificent energy to our neighborhood. Moscow 57 is a not only a host for art, music, and interpersonal expression, but it pours eclectic joy over my beloved Delancey Street. I was able to personally speak to the owners, Ellen Kaye and Seth Goldman – who had time for a little local like me. Peter and Jahad behind the bar, made my world go around, with the infused vodkas and beyond this world martinis; to top the whole enchilada (ok no enchiladas) but the mouth watering Baklava – was a heart felt and outstanding performance by Ms. Ellen Kaye hosting and preforming with the M57 Band that includes Ethan Fein and Benjamin Franklin Brown. This is what dreams are made of, and this is the type of venue that I want to stay forever open in the LES.

Visit Moscow 57 at 168 ½ Delancey Street, New York, NY www.moscow57.com

Technological Innovation and the added value of a real estate professional in a transaction.

There is a tremendous dynamic movement in the innovation of digital spaces for communication and information. One of the biggest industries moving forward, it seems, is the technoscape. What this means, of course, is that there will be more possibilities for individuals looking to lease or purchase an apartment – to explore listings and options. New York City is a very particular market, somewhat contextual, and because of the process involved in purchasing  either a cooperative, or a condominium, or even leasing a retail space, or office space, there is indeed a need for real estate brokers. Who will be the leaders of tomorrow in this arena? the personnel, adapting to that shift.  Real estate investments, for example, are not just about finding a “foreclosure,” but understanding various approaches to buying an asset that will continue to produce, even in an uncertain economic cycle. In other words, the local knowledge that a broker brings, by being involved with the market first hand, with the process, the valuation, the socio structural understanding, will be an added value to the continuation of digital implementations to distribute listings. When a prospective buyer, renter, business owner develops a trusting partnership with a real estate professional, they can add value for a better transaction. It is not as useful to see them as one entity replacing another. I always look forward to working with my customers/clients, and to understand their priorities, and to share the information that is available via the various innovative informative mediums. Team work; the leadership of today, and tomorrow, is many, not one isolated incident with an app after dark looking for ways to get around the broker. 

Dear Owners: Have you asked your management company recently how they are curtailing illegal sublets in YOUR building?

This is the time of the year when people travel, and like the summer, there is a lot of activity in short-term sublets. While there are laws in place to try to curtail short term illegal sublets – it is still happening, particularly in small rental buildings, where the super is not present, and management companies are not familiar with the foot traffic in and out of the buildings that they manage. Having a video camera that does not work and no one reviews is pointless.

While the “rent stabilized” properties continue to diminish in our pool of housing, there are still however a few small-walk up buildings that are rent stabilized. In such properties, the “owner” can only increase the rent within the city guidelines. http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/faq/rentstab.html

Due to operating costs, and the restriction(s) on how much an owner can increase the rents on lease renewals in these types of properties, there is a lack of additional revenue for building improvements. Technically, the available apartments should be given to persons who qualify for them financially. The prospective tenants, are applying because cannot afford a more expensive apartments!

There are cases when people who have substantial wealth are able to obtain leases in their names in such apartments, often because they have invested their liquid assets in foreign investments, including but not limited to income producing properties, or investments in which their actual financials can’t be traced. No taxes, no records.
Is this fair? The unfairness comes when these individuals start to lease out short-term the very small rent stabilized apartments that are meant for people who can’t afford more, low income to some degree – yet these individuals with higher means – are doubling rents and pocketing every penny. More money for those who already have money off the backs of the ones who do not.
Instead of the rightful owner. So, next time you think about subletting your apartment illegally short-term, think about the ramifications that it has on your neighbors, and in our community, as well as the city itself. It is not cool. It lacks ethics.

The importance of listening and communication

We are all busy it seems. New York City is a very fast-paced city. Recently, I have noticed, that people are constantly so distracted, they do not listen, they do not take time to respond properly. We are heading towards a speech style that is going to sound more like text. That is, short chopped up sentences that leaves us confused as to the intended meaning of the message. Imagine what would it be like if people paused in the first contact of interaction to say: “hello, how are you today?” pause, and then go on. It is something to think about…..

Anything priced well and in a coveted location will sell fast in Manhattan

A few years ago listings sold, sure, but there was room for negotiation, and pricing somewhat at a pace reflecting the mood of the economy. This year, if an apartment looks priced under market value, be aware, as this can be basically is a tool to create a bidding war. Cash is king in accepted offers. Should that be fair? As a buyers agent, no, that does not seem fair. I always advise my clients/customers to be aware of the rates psf in the given location, this way they refrain from using emotional logic and overpay. If another prospective purchaser wants to do that – then let them pay, you move on to a fair deal. There is no such thing as a “deal” really – particularly in coveted locations and prestigious buildings. What there is, however, is a “fair deal.” It is important to buy an apartment that has future resale value. Don’t take for granted things like view, light, floor level, how big the bedroom is. Just a thought.
Manhattan is expensive; be prepared to spend. Just don’t empty out your accounts – unless your accounts are bottomless and you really just don’t care.

Colombia, South America, Real Estate Investment

It looks like some real estate investment is occurring in Colombia. Sam Zell, owner of a Chicago International Investment company, was one of the real estate leaders who took this important step. Colombia is a beautiful country, with glorious vacation locales like Cartagena. The clear beaches, breezy climate, wonderful food and rich history – will continue to develop as a vacation destination for some in some areas of Colombia. Additionally, Bogota, the capital, also continues to foster opportunities for new corporations to establish, and old corporations to expand into and continue to grow and enjoy new and affordable commercial spaces. This is an exciting transaction and business relationship to keep an eye for. As globalization continues to prominently affect our globe, the need to establish cross- cultural relationships in the real estate landscape will be more pronounced and feel less disconnected.