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Author Topic: condos on the way  (Read 6768 times)

Offline daisy

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condos on the way
« on: September 09, 2006, 01:53:25 PM »
http://www.therealdeal.net/issues/SEPTEMBER_2006/1157064204.php
September 2006
Astoria, a renters' haven, readies for buying wave
Condo projects spotlight new appeal of Queens area near Manhattan
By Gabby Warshawer

A condo conversion at Ditmars Boulevard
The condos are coming.

That's the big story in Astoria real estate, according to local agents. While the western Queens neighborhood has long been a popular rental choice for young professionals priced out of Manhattan, demand for condominiums keeps growing as renters become buyers.

"There's a major shortage of condos," said Steffan Partridge, an agent at Partridge Realty. "There's a building boom in Astoria right now, so we're waiting for them to show up."

At least six new condo buildings will be completed in Astoria within the next year, bringing hundreds of new apartments to the market, according to Adriano Hultmann, an associate broker at the Corcoran Group.

Meanwhile, a warehouse conversion by Pistilli Realty at Ditmars Boulevard and 45th Street, which was slated to have 200 condo units and be finished by the end of last year, has yet to hit the market. Demand for the apartments has only grown during the extended wait.

In a bid to lure prospective Manhattan buyers, many of the new projects are incorporating high-end touches.

A luxury building planned by the Criterion Group at 30th Avenue and 23rd Street will have 29 units, including two 1,500-square-foot penthouses.

Another, the Astoria Windsor at 30-80 21st Street, will also be a 29-unit luxury building. Asking prices at the Windsor average $800 per square foot.

"In general, new condos with low common charges and tax abatements go for around $600 to $750 a square foot," said Hultmann. Older condos in the area sell for about $450 to $550 a square foot, and co-ops average $250 to $350 a square foot, he said.

Agents say the current market slowdown has meant sales prices in Astoria are holding steady rather than continually rising. But they are doing brisk business with rentals. Partridge said rents are $100 to $200 more a month than they were in April.

"If you go on Craigslist, there are almost no no-fee apartments listed in Astoria, but there used to be a ton of them," he said. "There's a shortage of apartments to rent and buy."

Although there's lots of demand for condos, Mike Demkiw, an agent with Horizon Realty, said the neighborhood lacks high-end services.

"With three senior centers, Astoria is still considered the capital of senior citizens," said Demkiw. "We have Starbucks and cafes, but not many high-end retailers."

Some prospective buyers don't mind the absence of luxury trappings.

"The one downside to Astoria is a near complete lack of bookstores, both chain and independent," said Jamie Lendino, a technology writer who has rented an apartment in Astoria for the past three years.

Lendino, who moved to the neighborhood from Bensonhurst, said he's otherwise satisfied by Astoria's services.

"I would definitely consider buying property here," he added. "The problem is that there doesn't seem to be much available."


Fresh developments may spawn city's newest neighborhood -- Lower Astoria

Many of the larger new developments in Astoria are planned for the area west of 21st Street, said Adriano Hultmann, an associate broker at Corcoran. This section of the neighborhood -- which Hultmann calls Lower Astoria in much the same style real estate agents created Nolita and the dubious East Williamsburg district -- extends to the East River, is more industrial than residential, and has a large supply of warehouse space.

"There are virtually no large lots for development in the heart of Astoria," said Hultmann.

"I get calls every day for loft space in that area," said Steffan Partridge, an agent at Partridge Realty.

Partridge said most of this part of Astoria isn't zoned for residential development and, while people are clamoring for housing there, warehouses are sitting empty.

"Four brothers recently invested $1.3 million in a high-end lounge there, and they're at the forefront of the neighborhood," said Partridge, referring to Hell Gate Social, a new bar at 12-21 Astoria Boulevard.

"It's also close to [Long Island City's] Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum," he said. "A lot of sophisticated people want to live around there."

Offline Gleason

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2006, 09:04:00 PM »
...real estate puff piece.

Meanwhile, across town ...

http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/09/05/why_astoria_will_never_be_cool.php

Anyone want to take on Curbed? Go ahead.

"Lower Astoria"?

Maps call it Sunswick Creek. Nineteenth century landfill of ashes, industrial waste and dead horses. Friends who lived in the development across from LIC High School had all of 6 inches of topsoil.

Moved out when the grass died and the soil started to ooze red gunk after heavy rains.


Offline mirki2

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2006, 10:54:22 PM »
http://www.therealdeal.net/issues/SEPTEMBER_2006/1157064204.php
September 2006
Astoria, a renters' haven, readies for buying wave
Condo projects spotlight new appeal of Queens area near Manhattan
By Gabby Warshawer



"With three senior centers, Astoria is still considered the capital of senior citizens," said Demkiw. "We have Starbucks and cafes, but not many high-end retailers."


Unrelated to anything else, there are actually more than three senior centers in Astoria proper.
Hanac Lindsay, RAICES, BFFY Dellamonica, BFFY Steinway, JASA Cresent

and you have a senior center as part of the Ravenswood projects, you have the Queensview NORC, you have Jacob Riis, and also Sunnyside Community Senior Center just across the way in Sunnyside

seek peace and pursue it.

Offline maura

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2006, 09:00:43 PM »
Anyone want to take on Curbed? Go ahead.

Why? The original author of the note seems to like Astoria a lot (see her response lower in the comment thread). She's just distressed about the ugly-ass architecture that is, sadly, mutliplying rapidly around these parts. And I'm sure that these tail-of-the-boom condo developments won't be much better, aesthetically, than the building that's being referred to; if anything, their lousy timing will probably make them be more "unique" (read: "stick out in some horrible way even more").
astorian since 2002, for the most part

Offline mcdirk

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2006, 09:09:38 PM »
Mirki2 - do you think Astoria has more senior centers than other areas? I'd never thought that - I thought that was an interesting remark in the article.  I know when I worked in Lower Manhattan, they had about 15 senior centers in an area as geographically compact as Astoria, so I find it hard to see Astoria as being the "senior capital".
I like the nice mention of Hellgate Social.

Offline mirki2

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2006, 12:45:18 AM »
Mirki2 - do you think Astoria has more senior centers than other areas? I'd never thought that - I thought that was an interesting remark in the article.  I know when I worked in Lower Manhattan, they had about 15 senior centers in an area as geographically compact as Astoria, so I find it hard to see Astoria as being the "senior capital".
I like the nice mention of Hellgate Social.

NYC in general has one of the highest concentrations of elderly in the country and half of NY States older adult population (age 60 and older) reside in the greater NYC area (including Westchester and Long Island)...

I know Lower Manhattan has a high concentration of immigrant elderly alongside long-time residents, which accounts for the high number of senior centers there. As for Astoria, it has less senior centers than Jamaica or Flushing but more than other areas of queens (at least it seemed that way when I looked on the DFTA website)... either way, I do believe it's one of the neighborhoods with a high concentration of frail elderly, i.e. 85 and older and still residing in the community homebound or not.

seek peace and pursue it.

Offline Gleason

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2006, 01:12:16 AM »
http://www.queenswest.com/neighborhood/discussion/00010775

Went to view Hallet's Cove yesterday and in my opinion the finishes and appliances were very low end. The lowest end stainless steel appliances and the lowest end toilets, sinks, and tubs you could find. The kitchens were also small with a little dishwasher. How could they expect you to pay in some instances over $700 a square foot for apartments with bathrooms in the great room. They were not planned too well. The one bedrooms were passable but the two bedrooms left alot to be desired. I was told it was 65% sold but I don't know what the people who bought were looking at. Also, the location is distant from public transportation. The Q103 doesn't run at night or on Sunday.
If the building were located in Hunter's Point I would consider it an option but for what they are offering and for where it is It is a very poor second choice to Hunter's Point.

Offline daisy

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2006, 09:10:19 AM »
Interesting how a lot of these new condos install electric heaters.  I would never buy into something with that.  Hallet's Cove has that (it's near Costco).  Everything seems to be so cheaply built and small these days.  Frustrating when you see the price tag and the long walk to the train, just what is supposed to make the place desirable?

Offline Jtrane

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2006, 09:43:36 AM »
Frustrating when you see the price tag and the long walk to the train, just what is supposed to make the place desirable?

It's something to own.  I think it's as simple as that.
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Offline Gleason

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2006, 09:56:55 AM »
My guess is that most of the people buying these units have no intention of living in them but intend to sublease them. So who cares about the appointments: they are barracks.

These new projects contributed to the brown out. They require very expensive connections (at no cost to the developer) to the electric grid that is absorbing Con Ed's resources that used to go into maintaining the grid. This might explain why all the new development seemed immune to the brown out. Check out the chat room in Queens West during the brown out crisis: it hardly made a ripple in their postings.

Now here are the two kickers.

1. Most of the postings that talk about these large projects note they are being built far away from good transportation. Anyone looking at the 'Greenway' (that has poor links to Astoria proper) as the leading edge for "East River Boulevard?" A developer 'bene' paid of course, by our taxes.

2. If 'affordable housing' is so important, should we not seek to overturn all the downzoning that is going on in the other 90% of Queens. Shouldn't all neighborhoods 'share the wealth?'

[BTW, check out yesterday's Times: pg72 Magazine: "Bloomberg hopes to reconnect downtown to both the Hudson and East Rivers by encircling the neighborhood with a necklace of public parkland."]

« Last Edit: September 11, 2006, 10:02:51 AM by Gleason »

Offline daisy

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2006, 11:14:25 AM »
It's something to own.  I think it's as simple as that.

I suppose you are right.   Guess a lot is more important to me when making the decision to buy a place, than just so I can own something.  I want to actually enjoy living there too.

Offline Jtrane

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2006, 11:20:51 AM »
I suppose you are right.   Guess a lot is more important to me when making the decision to buy a place, than just so I can own something.  I want to actually enjoy living there too.

We all can dream, can't we?  But with prices going up like this, and rent eating up so much of our income, it just seems like an impossibility to own, at least for me.  Then you have maintenance costs, which is like paying rent.  So you have a mortgage, PLUS maintenance costs.  Ugh.
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Offline anzubird

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2006, 11:22:20 AM »
I suppose you are right.   Guess a lot is more important to me when making the decision to buy a place, than just so I can own something.  I want to actually enjoy living there too.

That's the best attitude you can have, I think. Watching the prices go up and down is a lot less painful when you are happy in your space :)

Offline daisy

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2006, 11:32:08 AM »
I hit post before I meant to, and didn't realize it was already posted.  Here's the rest of my post...

I suppose you are right.   Not everyone cares about the same things.  Guess a lot is more important to me when making the decision to buy a place, than just so I can own something.  I want to actually enjoy living there too.  What makes me enjoy living somewhere is not the same for everyone.  And some people just buy to rent it out.  I'm looking for good construction, proximity to transit, non-electric heat, and decent size bedrooms.  Perhaps a 2 bedroom condo (not coop) that goes for less than half a million?  Or better yet, less than $300 thousand?  Often this seems too much to ask for.  It's the market, the way things work, and money does talk.  Everyone else just has to deal or move away I guess   :-P Perhaps if I married a developer, he would build something to my specifications.  And maybe one day I'll hit the lotto  :mrgreen:

Offline daisy

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Re: condos on the way
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2006, 11:35:33 AM »
We all can dream, can't we?  But with prices going up like this, and rent eating up so much of our income, it just seems like an impossibility to own, at least for me.  Then you have maintenance costs, which is like paying rent.  So you have a mortgage, PLUS maintenance costs.  Ugh.
''


Yes, I am a dreamer....  I'd probably be happier in a house.  No maintenance costs there.


 

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