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25Feb2014

Arvik Group

New York luxury real estate has always had an irresistible charm for investors from all over the world. Now, with more and more high-end properties appearing on the map of Manhattan and an average price per square foot almost reaching its 2009 peak – over $2,000 – buying in the City seems smarter than ever before.

New York is, indeed, a city of choice for billionaire globetrotters looking for a safe investment in the current volatile market. It offers an attractive blend of of political and economic stability that is nowhere else to be found, including other US cities. Manhattan stands out comparing to other financial metropolises like London, Singapore and Tokyo, due to its relatively low but steadily growing real estate prices and low interest rates. A combination of these factors, plus an abundance of new high-end construction, plus the growing-again price per square foot, makes New York simultaneously a safe bet and a hot market for luxury real estate investors.

At 57th Street, though, luxury has become outdated. These days, there are ultraluxury buildings, which are every bit as much from top to bottom. What is offered is not simply a luxurious space for living – it is about a certain lifestyle which only comes with an ability to spend roughly from $20 up to $100 million on an apartment in one of the new “it” real estate zones in Midtown. And there is quite a long line of those willing to buy one or two. According to the New York Times, a part of 57th Street with the new crop of high-end skyscrapers is transforming into Billionaires’ Row. This name itself is a good pointer for many potential buyers.

And even the pickiest buyer will get whatever they want – and more. Those planning to become actual residents of Billionaires’ Row can expect opulence bordering on hedonism (and there is nothing wrong with that!) in their buildings. Top world architects such as Rafael Viñoly and Christian de Portzamparc, amazing floor plans, interior design by Thomas Juul-Hansen and Deborah Berke, high-end appliances, private yoga and performance rooms, indoor pools – the list goes on and on. Owning such an apartment is, well, a definition of being rich. And don’t forget the view. Gary Barnett, president of Extell Development that is building One57, a 1,004-foot tower on 57th Street just east of Seventh Avenue, calls Central Park views “the money shot.” It is simply because such views cannot be found anywhere in the world; and not many skyscrapers like this one can be built. All this makes this investment very reliable.

One look at 57th Street offers a good perspective of the ongoing transformation. There is the above-mentioned One57 and the planned 1,400-feet tower east of Broadway by Extell Development; 432 Park Avenue by Harry Macklowe and the CIM Group; and a 900-feet residential tower by Steven Roth and Vornado Realty. Properties are selling at a record pace: One57 opening in December is already 70 percent sold, and 432 Park that started selling this year is over 50 percent in contract. As amusing as it sounds, if you are planning to move to Billionaires’ Row – you’d better hurry. Real estate brokers are swamped with foreign buyers, which is a clear sign of Midtown turning not just into a new real estate hot zone but the hottest one – and we are talking globally.

  • 25 Feb, 2014
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