The housing market has seen a spectacular upturn last year and that positive momentum continued through 2022. With low stock and high demand, multifamily rents rose in April to an all-time high of $1,659, according to a recent Yardi Matrix report.
The condominium market is reaping the benefits of a booming housing market. In New York City, both renters and buyers are particularly interested in this asset class. In 2021, Manhattan condo sales were 102 percent above 2020 levels, and 33 percent above 2019 levels, according to CORE—a boutique real estate brokerage company in New York City.
Shaun Osher, founder & CEO of CORE, talked to Multi-Housing News about the borough’s condo market and a particularly attractive building situated at 150 W. 82nd St. on the Upper West Side. Designed by BKSK Architects and one of the few conversions from the prewar era, Marlow pays tribute to the site’s history, while accommodating the needs of the modern-day homebuyer. The 10-story building features 27 residences, ranging from studios to four-bedroom penthouse duplexes.
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Tell our readers about the history of the building and its conversion process.
Osher: Marlow is a classic prewar, fairly ornate building on the Upper West Side, built in 1926 by American architect George Pelham. It is a construction type that was common at that time period in New York City.
Alterations to buildings of this period require careful attention and detailing to adapt them for modern-day living. Buildings constructed in this era in New York feature particular signature elements, such as visible beams, well-proportioned rooms—but with small kitchens and baths. BKSK adapted the building to celebrate these quintessential Upper West Side apartments by highlighting the best aspects of the architecture, while making living spaces that meet the needs of a modern buyer.
The project also included energy-efficient retrofits, including replacement windows, new perimeter insulation and replacement of heating and cooling systems. Much of this work required approval by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission.
What types of residences does the property offer?
Osher: The appeal of Marlow comes from the blend of a detailed conversion of a boutique, prewar building with the charm of the old, mixed with the convenience of a now fully renovated and modern amenitized building.
Marlow’s 27 luxury residences offer a wide range of sizes and floorplans, featuring herringbone wood flooring throughout the kitchen, living and dining rooms, with 5-inch plank oak wood flooring throughout the hallways and bedrooms.
Each unit offers abundant natural light, prewar beamed ceilings up to 9 feet with Windsor Pinnacle series double-hung windows, abundant storage and walk-in closets throughout, as well as a stacked Miele washer and dryer. The kitchens offer Miele appliances, custom stained matte white oak cabinetry with lacquered white bronze detailing, specialty etched glass backsplash in a satin finish, and Kohler brushed brass faucets.
What are the common-area amenities of Marlow?
Osher: The development features an array of family-friendly and outdoor amenities, including a 24-hour doorman, residents lounge with a kitchenette, a children’s playroom, gym equipped by Matrix USA, tranquil courtyard, landscaped rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and a barbecue area, a laundry room with commercial size washer and dryer, and storage units.
Who is your target buyer pool and how are sales going?
Osher: Due to its great location in the perfect residential pocket of the Upper West Side, we knew we would have a lot of interest from young families, as well as those looking to relocate within the city or invest in a pied-a-terre. Marlow offers residents convenient access to some of the gems of the Upper West Side, including walkability to Central Park, top-of-the-line restaurants, cafes, music venues, landmarks and more. So much so that Marlow is over 65 percent sold and we are looking forward to welcoming our residents soon.
What is the current state of Manhattan’s condo market? Expand on Marlow’s strengths in this context.
Osher: Throughout the U.S., the real estate market has continued to see a lack of inventory, paired with sales hitting historic highs in 2021—and we see no signs of slowing down this year. As people return to the city and the market shifts back to pre-pandemic momentum, Manhattan sales have experienced incredible improvement from where we once were.
New York’s housing market is back and Marlow is reaping the benefits. Above all, we have seen increased interest from buyers looking for the convenience of a condo unit that has the feel of a single-family home with the accessibility and openness to the outdoors, and Marlow meets these needs with added historic charm.
How is the Upper West Side performing in terms of condo sales?
Osher: Our data indicates that charming neighborhoods like the Upper West Side are among the most in-demand residential pockets, particularly for modern condos like Marlow. Due to this demand, data is showing that sales for Upper West Side condos have increased year-over-year.
The Upper West Side is quintessentially New York, offering an artistic, inviting neighborhood with an abundance of quiet streets and greenspace. Its ideal location within the Upper West Side caters to a neighborly, outdoor-centric lifestyle, with Central Park just steps away.
What are some of the current trends in condo development and design?
Osher: When it comes to development and design, people are taking into consideration that we have been in a pandemic for the last two years, and their desires are shifting. There is a huge demand for outdoor space and access to the outdoors. With more time spent at home, there is a trend of buyers looking to maximize their space in order to work comfortably, whether full-time or with a hybrid remote schedule.
Now more than ever, there is such value placed on the home, with the increased need for a safe, comfortable and enjoyable space. People are valuing their homes above any other asset portfolio and they are searching for the home of their dreams to support the modern way of living.
What are your expectations for Manhattan’s condo market going forward?
Osher: The fact that we have record low inventory paired with high demand will keep the market buoyant.