Month: July 2014

The Cary Building

The single best quality of TriBeCa and much of lower manhattan are the cast iron buildings of the late 1800’s and 1900’s. I came across the Cary building on 105 Chambers street and stopped in my tracks when I saw the beautiful pre-war details on this corner property. There are several Dept of Buildings permits posted on the door but the interior seems gutted. TriBeCa is exploding with the most luxurious residential gut renovations there are, and I thought this might be the perfect site analysis. What I found was that this building was sold as part of a portfolio to Jeffrey Lam of The Lam Group in 2011. There are 2 penthouse residential units, and a number of retail condos along Chambers and Church Streets. The rest of the building seems to be empty and am wondering if they are holding out for a full residential turnover after the expiration of the office leases.  The building, a total of 32,000/SF sold for $22 Million, that’s about $687 per square foot.

In case you were wondering (I was), Tribeca residential apartments sell for over $1200/SF.

Here’s the link to the Real Estate Weekly story on the sale:



Sake Bomb, Woodbridge

Italian headscarf and Chinese Buffet. Thank you Woodbridge.

Italian headscarf and Chinese Buffet. Sake Bomb Restaurant.

If you’ve ever driven through Route 1, Route 9 or Route 35 in Jersey, you’ve probably seen the retail strips lined along the road. Home improvement stores, lots of fast food, liquor stores, department stores, local retail chains, diners and the occasional Chinese buffet. I was invited to this location–and since still feeling inspired from my trip to Dubai, I created a makeshift turban from my Versace scarf and headed over. It makes sense why most of these buffets are along retail strips on the highway; hundreds of thousands of cars each day pass by, providing high visibility to businesses AND the rents are arguably more favorable than being in a large mall complex, like the Woodbridge Center Mall.

Route 1

Route 1, Woodbridge

Rents range from $15.00 to $25.00 Per Square Foot (annually) on this Route 1 hub. By comparison, retail rents in lower Manhattan can be over $300 PSF!


Living Legends at Dubailand


Living Legends at Dubailand Model

Building 5 Dubailand

Living Legends Condo Building Rendering

This is the mini-model of the Living Legends development. Currently on the market are the 12 buildings you see towards to top of the model, each with studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments at various stages of development. Buildings 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12 are scheduled for completion in early 2015, while the others are in the pipeline for the following year in 2016.

There are three main reasons I would invest in this development:

1. Dubai is a tax-free Emirate. No property tax (which can be significant portion of your maintenance expense), no sales tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax. You can either work there and keep more of your income in your pocket, or you can keep a second home there with reduced maintenance expenses.

2. New Legislation setting clear guidelines for residential loans, such as a 65% loan to value limit for foreigners (50% for pre-construction), including a contingency of max loan term of 25 years and for principal to be paid off by 65 years old. As well as being able to own the property on a freehold basis (all yours, land and improvements, with no restrictions or long term leases from the government).

Map Dubai

Dubailand Southeast of the Central Business District

3. The prices are….reasonable! While granted, many of the properties in prime locations can be wildly overpriced and unachievable to the average folk– I thought the offerings at Living Legends not only were beautiful but reflected thoughtful market pricing. Here are the average offer prices:

Studio: $110,000 USD

1 Bed: $170,000 USD

2 Bed: $295,000 USD

3 Bed: $380,000 USD


The developer requires a series of deposits, including in most instances the 35% down payment at the time of contract, and three other payments over the 6 to 9 months leading to completion of the project, with the full balance paid at the time your keys are handed to you. If you wanted to avoid the red tape of having to qualify for a loan in a foreign country, you and a few of your buddies can save up your bonus money and time-share the apartment over the year—and be one of the few lucky ones to have a place to crash during the World Expo in 2020.  Sigh…will my dream ever come true….!?


Fresh back from my trip to Dubai and am still on a high of Arabian architecture. Having visited the major attractions; the Burj, the largest malls, the luxury retail, the gold & spice Souqs…one of the best moments was randomly running into the developer & broker for the Living Legends (at Dubailand) development at the Jumeira Beach Hotel. The mini model of the site was on display and the sales manager Mr. Murthy so graciously discussed the development along with the various career opportunities available for aspiring real estate developers and brokers in Dubai. Here is a sneak peak of the trip. Just got back from a 20 hour journey from the middle east and will post more on my International page as the week progresses.