Compass Reinvents The Real Estate Sign

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The final prototype, in the shape of a magnifying glass, stands tall in a 10th-floor conference room at real estate startup Compass, emitting a gentle glow from the inner rim of its ringed frame. At first glance, the matte-black material and minimalist shape would appear destined for a patio, or inside a home. In fact, if it weren’t for the real estate agent contact information in the center of the glowing ring, it would be hard to call this a “for sale” sign. But that is exactly its purpose: to broadcast to buyers that a home is on the market, and, thanks to embedded technology, to give them access to a far richer set of information than a standard printed sign can contain.

In the presence of this final prototype, after months of development, Matt Spangler, Compass chief creative officer, can barely contain his excitement. In jeans and a denim shirt, he detaches the ring from its base, to show how they connect. “The whole thing is modular,” he says. “This piece right here—this slides out.” With the click of a button, he animates the LED lights, which cascade down the sides of the ring. Turning the sign around, he demonstrates how to detach the printed piece in the center, using subtle tabs. In the future, if cost allows, he envisions a fully digital version that agents can update in real time. Right now, Compass’s mobile development team is making plans for an augmented reality iteration.

“Say it was just a plot of land—you could see a house modeled on the land, you could change the color of the house with paint, you could see all the neighborhood data, you could see restaurants that are recommended,” Spangler says, painting the vision.

BRINGING NEW TECHNOLOGY TO A HIDEBOUND INDUSTRY

In other sectors, the merging of digital and physical worlds is well underway. We wear devices that monitor our steps and our sleep, we shop while in-store sensors track our movements, and we manage our homes using Silicon Valley-designed thermostats and security cameras. But when it comes to buying a home, technology is limited to online aggregators, like Zillow, that replicate the functionality of old-fashioned classified ads. Compass, which raised $450 million from the Softbank Vision Fund in December at a $2.2 billion valuation, has until now focused on becoming, in the words of CEO Robert Reffkin, “the largest owner of real estate data, globally, and the number-one real estate technology company in the world.” The company’s reimagined “for sale” sign speaks to a growing recognition that real estate’s most valuable data originates in the real world.

Of course, for many Americans today, the idea of buying a home is as fantastical as using AR to “paint” a home’s exterior. Prices have skyrocketed in many of the cities where Compass operates, while middle class wages have remained stagnant. But for Compass, those rising prices present an opportunity to own the cutthroat top of the market. The company has poached talent capable of annual sales in the eight digits from competitors including Corcoran Group and Douglas Elliman.

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Compass agents sell trophy properties and are willing to invest in trophy-worthy tools, or so the thinking goes. The startup expects that its 4,100 agents will snap up the first run of signs; each one will cost roughly $1,000 and ship October 1. (As long as agents charge the batteries, signs can, in theory, last for years.) During feedback sessions, Compass says, over 90% of agents expressed interest in buying one.

“The first thing I want to see is agents happy because sellers are saying, ‘That made my house stand out,'” says Compass COO Maëlle Gavet. Plus, she adds, the technology will make it easier for agents to manage their sign inventory. “‘I know where my signs are, I know if one of them needs to be recharged.’ In the future, ‘I don’t need to go to the sign to change the wording.'”

As an added incentive for agents to place an order, Compass has negotiated a deal with Waze that will showcase sign locations within the Waze app, encouraging prospective buyers to drive by or attend an open house.

“You could imagine a world in which you decide as a consumer that you’re looking for these types of properties, and a map starts creating a route, and it knows which ones have an open house,” Gavet says. “It’s a bit of a dream, but this is what I find really exciting—you start connecting the digital world and the physical world, and that makes the life of the consumer hopefully a little better.”

A NEW VISION FOR A NEW ERA OF HOUSING

The last time that the “for sale” sign went through a major transformation was decades ago, during the post-World War II suburban boom. My own grandfather, Bill Oakley, was on the vanguard of the new trends. Around 1970, he left the Chicago-based printing company where he worked to strike out on his own with a new kind of real estate signage. At the time, two types of “for sale” signs dominated: sandwich-board styles and rectangular styles affixed to a central metal post. Using newer, lighter materials, Oakley created an L-shaped frame, with a hinge affixed to the horizontal bar at top. The design allowed real estate agents to easily swap in different prints, as needed. His first client was the real estate arm of Better Homes and Gardens.

During Oakley Signs and Graphic’s early years, buying a home in the U.S. was both affordable and desirable. In 1983, the year I was born, roughly two-thirds of Americans owned a home, up from a low-point of 44% in 1940. But these days, buying a home is increasingly out of reachfor many Americans. Homeownership rates have been in decline since the Great Recession, when banks pulled back their mortgage lending. In high-demand markets like New York and San Francisco, average home prices top $1 million.

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Enter Compass, which assumes that “luxury” is the new normal in residential real estate. The startup has prioritized recruiting agents in wealthy enclaves like Aspen and the Hamptons, and in markets like Chicago has won listings such as a $50 million, 25,000-square-foot urban mansion (“grand in every way, but not overwhelming,” the description reads). For such properties, the company believes, a regular-old “for sale” sign just doesn’t strike the right note with wealthy clientele.

 

 

THE QUEST FOR SMART AND ICONIC SIGNAGE

Compass’s attempt to reinvent real estate signage kicked off last November at the offices of Aruliden, a branding and design firm hired by Spangler. Dozens of sketches line the walls of a conference room in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood, many showing variations on a circle attached to a narrow pole. As mood-board inspiration, the Aruliden team has printed out images of glowing round lights in minimalist living rooms. The goal, in a sense, is to create an exterior sign as elegant as a piece of modern furniture.

Johan Liden, Aruliden cofounder and chief creative officer, leads the presentation, which focuses on the team’s initial research and discovery. “This is a category that hasn’t changed in a long time,” Liden says. As a result, there’s an opportunity for Compass to create a sign that is both “smart” (i.e., tech-enabled) and “iconic.” He points to examples of branded hardware that bridge the physical and digital worlds—Lyft’s dashboard lights, for instance, or Disney’s Magic Band. “You should be able to remove the Compass logo and know that this is a Compass sign,” he says, as heads nod.

Several weeks later, Spangler has had a chance to ruminate on the design options and the sign’s ever-expanding function. “I want to challenge everyone to imagine a world in which the sign is a smart-home hub,” he says. “It’s sending information about air quality and noise pollution, it’s helping open doors for tours, it’s giving you the tour, and then it’s providing actual value to the agent, the buyer, and the seller.” The way that we live is changing, and Spangler wants Compass to be ready for a world in which home “ownership” is more flexible. “More homes are going to be Airbnb-style homes and rentals, mobility will be greater than ever. How can we be at that hub with the other technology players?”

He is conscious of the practical considerations. “To me the toughest challenge is how far can we push the technology today to get it done on a reasonable time frame, with a reasonable cost, to provide a real wow factor and real functionality. We want to get there. Can we get there today?”

GETTING THE LITTLE THINGS RIGHT

In February, that challenge comes into focus during a meeting at Compass headquarters attended by Aruliden and a newly hired team of hardware contractors from Intelligent Product Solutions (IPS). Questions begin to fly, as the contractors review the preliminary designs. Who can use the data? When and how? What about battery life?

“I don’t see a need of live-streaming this data anytime soon,” says Compass CTO Liming Zhao (Zhao left Compass in March to start his own company). But he wants to prioritize gathering data points—like foot traffic, noise, and light—that could improve Compass’s valuation tools, part of the startup’s suite of agent software. “Are there other reasons this home is more attractive?” With the right sensors, his team could bring new insight to one of real estate’s most important questions.

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Moving on, the group discusses motion sensors, and whether they make sense in dense, urban settings. They also consider adding red and green lights, to convey that a home is sold or still available. But members of the Aruliden team are skeptical about more complex signals and messaging. “How often do you buy a house?” one says. “A red or green light won’t mean anything to you.”

As the meeting draws to a close, the group agrees to reconvene when the hardware vendor can provide estimates on timing and cost.

By April, there is finally a prototype. It’s a slender pole topped with a circle, around five feet tall. In the center, there is sample text: “Townhouse for sale,” the sign reads, followed by a broker name, contact details, and “Compass.” At the base of the ring, there is now a QR code, which will prompt passersby to download the Compass app.

The meeting begins as Aruliden presents options for animating the LEDs. Should the sign turn on automatically at night? If so, how bright? During the day, what should happen when a person approaches and passes with a 10-foot radius? Six feet? Three feet?

One attendee raises the question of riders, the printed add-ons that agents often use to augment their standard signs. Liden, Aruliden’s CCO, would like to convince agents to embrace the sign’s minimalism. “Could the rider information live more in the phone?” he asks.

The Compass team is hesitant. “We need to test with agents.” Many agents, they believe, will be resistant.

IPS takes the stage, and immediately the idea of using sensors to trigger light animations becomes more complicated. The current plan calls for two sensors, but that will create “blind spots.” Adding a third sensor will affect battery life. “It’s the one thing we can’t turn off,” says one IPS engineer.

“There are obviously going to be scenarios where it will not engage,” Liden acknowledges. “But what is acceptable, as a percentage?” He and the team have envisioned a scenario in which an interested buyer walks by the sign, which activates the LED animation, which serves to draw attention to the QR code, which leads the buyer to information about the property. “This is key for the sign to do what we want it to do.” If the sensors don’t initiate that sequence, then the agent has lost a chance to connect.

In the end, the final prototype contains just two sensor boards, each with the capability to detect proximity and ambient light. In addition, there is a circuit board that contains a micro-controller, a Bluetooth Low Energy module, an accelerometer, and a temperature sensor. Through the Compass app, agents will be able to select from a variety of light animations and monitor battery life.

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“It’s a connected ecosystem of devices, with hardware and software and data,” Spangler says. “Which is really the power of Compass—the integration between all those things.”

THE NEXT STEPS

Now, the company will have to convince agents of that ecosystem’s value and sweet-talk municipalities with stringent rules governing signs. (Some towns in the Hamptons, for instance, tightly restrict the size and color of signs, as well as the use of light.) Spangler, Gavet, and Reffkin are also eyeing other opportunities to build for the physical world. “We’re having the same conversation around [real estate office] windows—we think we can do better,” Gavet says. “We want to be different, we want to look different.” The opportunity, she believes, lies in connecting physical places to digital marketing strategies. “Real estate is where e-commerce was 10 years ago.” But the window redesign is a project for another day.

70 Little West Street, Unit 10M


70 Little West Street, Unit 10M

BATTERY PARK CITY, MANHATTAN

3 Bed  |  2.5 Bath  |  Condo  |  Doorman | Roof Deck

Offered At $2,750,000


 

Currently tenant occupied till June 2019. Tenants are currently paying $11,575 per month and a CAP rate of 2.99%.

Combining Battery Park City's residential serenity with chic downtown accessibility, this loft-like three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom home is the perfect city retreat in a full-service, luxury condo building.

Wrapped in extra-tall windows to the south and east, every room of this 1,689-square-foot stunner is flooded with sunlight and glorious views of The Battery, New York Harbor and FiDi skyline. Flawless hardwood floors, 11-foot ceilings and soaring columns add to the sense of style and scale. The gracious entry, flanked by a coat closet and powder room, leads you to the breathtaking corner great room where spectacular living and dining areas are generously sized. The open kitchen is a vision in granite counters and top-of-the-line stainless-steel appliances. 

Spacious bedrooms are tucked down a private hallway for maximum privacy. The impeccable master suite offers two large California closets — one a walk-in — and a serene en suite marble bathroom with dual-sink vanity, soaking tub and separate shower. The two additional bedrooms share an equally well-appointed full-bathroom, and the in-unit washer-dryer makes laundry day a breeze. No detail was overlooked in this home's updates and features. A built-in fireplace provides a warm focal point, triple-glazed windows make bedrooms supremely comfortable, and automatic blinds run throughout this beautiful Battery Park City home.

The Visionaire is a stunning glass and terra cotta tower from the esteemed architects Pelli Clarke Pelli. Residents of the LEED-certified building enjoy a full suite of premier, white-glove amenities, including 24-hour doorman and concierge service, 24-hour valet parking garage and bike storage, an enormous fitness center, an indoor lap pool and sauna, a children’s playroom overlooking a 12-foot aquarium, a fully stocked residents’ lounge and one of the best roof decks in the entire city.

Located in the most tranquil section of Battery Park City, this world-class building is surrounded by the sprawling green space and recreation of The Battery just two blocks away. The upscale grocery, Battery Place Market, is just downstairs, and the fantastic shopping and dining of Westfield World Trade Center and Brookfield Place are moments away. Public transportation is excellent with 1, R/W, 4/5 and J/Z trains within easy reach.

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Fun Fact: 25% Of The World's Gold Is In A Vaults Under Wall Street

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Eighty feet below the streets of lower Manhattan, a Federal Reserve vault protected by armed guards contains about 6,200 tons of gold.

Or doesn’t.

The Fed tells visitors its basement vault holds the world’s biggest official gold stash and values it at $240 billion to $260 billion.

But “no one at all can be sure the gold is really there except Fed employees with access,” said Ronan Manly, a precious-metals analyst at gold dealer BullionStar in Singapore. If it is all there, he said, the central bank has “never in its history provided any proof.”

Mr. Manly is among gold aficionados who wonder if the bank is hiding something about what it’s hiding.

Other theorists suspect the gold beneath the New York Fed’s headquarters at 33 Liberty St. may be gold-plated fakes. Some conspiracy-minded investors think the Fed has been secretly leasing out the gold to manipulate prices.

“There has to have been a central bank spewing their gold into the market,” said John Embry, an investment strategist for Sprott Asset Management in Toronto until 2014 who once managed its gold fund.

“The gold price didn’t act right” during the time he was watching it and the likely explanation for the movement was Fed action, said Mr. Embry.

Fed officials have heard theories about their gold holdings for many years and don’t think much of them. After this article was published, a Fed spokeswoman said the Fed doesn’t own any of the gold housed at the New York Fed, which “does not use it in any way for any purposes including loaning or leasing it out.”

The Fed has been selective in giving details about the contents of the vault and in the past has said it can’t comment on individual customer accounts due to confidentiality agreements.

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a July interview: “When you deposit your funds in a bank, should that bank make your account balances available to whomever asks?”

Seeking a better glimpse inside the vault and at Fed procedures and records, The Wall Street Journal filed Freedom-of-Information requests with the New York Fed. Among the Journal’s findings, from a heavily redacted tour-guide manual provided by the Fed: Tour guides are informed that “visitors are excitable” and should be asked to “please keep their voices down.”

Three Fed staffers must be present when gold is moved or a compartment opened, even to change a lightbulb, and no attempts have been made to break in, documents state.

New York Fed President William Dudley told a March gathering in Queens, N.Y., that the fictional raid by drilling through from a subway tunnel in the 1995 movie “Die Hard With a Vengeance” was far-fetched.

The Fed gives some information about the vault on a website and offers tours. A guide on one tour gave some details: Inside is enough oxygen for a person to survive 72 hours, should someone get trapped; custodians wear magnesium shoe covers to help prevent injuries, should they drop 27-pound bars; the Fed charges $1.75 a bar to move gold but nothing to store it; most of the gold is owned by foreign governments.

Along with the foreign gold, the Fed’s Manhattan vault holds about 5% of America’s roughly $11 billion in gold reserves and coin, valued at the statutory rate of $42.22 per fine troy ounce, according to the U.S. Mint. The U.S. government keeps the rest in Denver, Fort Knox, Ky., and West Point, N.Y.

Elaborate theories build on what the Fed doesn’t say about goings-on in its vault’s 122 compartments.

It doesn’t report when bars enter or leave and doesn’t let in outsiders—other than auditors and account holders—to count the bars or review records.

Visitors on vault tours see only a display sample and can’t verify bars up close.

“All you see is the front row of gold bars,” said James Turk, co-founder of Goldmoney, a gold custodian. “There’s no way of knowing how deep the chamber is or how many rows there are.”

Mr. Turk, based in London, believes much of the gold has been “hypothecated,” or lent out to other parties, and then rehypothecated, or lent to multiple parties at once. In doing so, he says, “central banks actually own less gold than people believe.”

Some gold bugs—investors bullish on the yellow metal—think the Fed secretly lends it out to suppress prices, partly to protect the dollar’s value. In theory, the Fed can feed gold into the market through swaps with other countries.

James McShirley, who owns Sulphur Lumber in Sulphur Springs, Ind., and has traded gold, believes investment banks, probably as agents for the Fed, act to lower prices when gold futures gain 1%. “It’s totally logical that in addition to maintaining artificially low interest rates,” he said, “it would be imperative to keep gold suppressed as an inflationary barometer.”

Then there’s the purity question. Mr. Turk said there are “questions in gold circles as to what’s in an actual bar.” One theory, he said: They could be gold-plated tungsten, which would weigh almost the same.

“I think the gold they have there is real gold,” he said, “but until you do random sampling you don’t know for certain.”

In a 2012 audit of U.S. gold at the Fed’s vault, the U.S. Mint and the Treasury’s Office of Inspector General sent 367 samples to an independent lab for testing. All but three samples came back within 0.13% of the purity recorded by the government, within standard industry tolerance, according to the Mint and Treasury.

Since then, annual government audits of the Fed’s vault have inspected only the locks and joint seals on the compartments to check they haven’t been tampered with, a Mint spokesman said.

That isn’t enough, said Peter Boehringer, founder of the German Precious Metals Society. The problem, he said, is the “complete lack of a transparent, full, independent, external audit in the Fed´s vaults by a sworn-in auditor.”

New legislation, nicknamed the “Audit the Fed” bill, could allow the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed’s vault, said a spokesman for the bill’s Senate sponsor, Rand Paul (R., Ky.). GAO lawyers wouldn’t speculate on the bill’s reach. Mr. Paul’s spokesman said the Senator has arranged a personal visit to Fort Knox this fall.

Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, the senator’s father, has been outspoken about what he says is taxpayers’ need for more transparency about gold from the Fed. “Even if you could walk into that vault and see a lot of gold, you wouldn’t know…whether it’s been loaned out or sold,” he said. “They haven’t convinced me that we have total control of it.”

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Fun Fact: NYC Was The US Capital In 1789

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In January 1785, the Congress of Confederation convened in New York’s old City Hall on Wall Street, and for more than five years Gotham served as the seat of American power. After the ratification of the United States Constitution, delegates met briefly at Fraunces Tavern as the old City Hall was remodeled to become the first capitol building for the new national government. On the second-floor balcony of the newly renamed Federal Hall, Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States on April 30, 1789. A statue of Washington overlooking Wall Street now stands outside a reconstruction of Federal Hall.

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Price of Manhattan Apartments Drops For The Fourth Straight Quarter

According to this week’s market reports, the median price for a Manhattan apartment dropped for the fourth straight quarter and U.S. construction spending reached a record high in May.

Residential

The average sales price in Manhattan dropped 4.3 percent to $2.2 million in the four weeks leading up to June 1. The slight drop coincided with an increase in recorded sales. During the period, the number of sales stood at 923 transactions, up from 820 deals during the previous month. The most expensive sale for the period was for unit 85 at One57. The 6,200-square-foot home was sold for $53 million, or $8,649 per square foot. Read the report here.

The asking price for Manhattan homes dropped 3.4 percent on a year-over-year basis to $1,714. For the month of June, the housing market’s supply and demand figures remained soft. Supply, as measured through active listings, rose by 8.9 percent compared to the same time last year. Meanwhile, demand, as measured through closed sales, dropped 41.7 percent on a year-on-year basis. Read the report here.

The median apartment price in Manhattan fell for the fourth straight quarter, dropping 9 percent on a year-on-year basis to $1.1 million. The figure represents the lowest median price for the borough since the fourth quarter of 2016. The median price decline in the second quarter was partly due to a sluggish new development market, which registered 30 percent fewer closing compared to the same time last year. Overall, the borough registered a 12 percent drop on a year-over-year basis. Resale apartments also sold for the highest discounts in over five years.

Commercial

Construction spending in the US rose to a record high of $1.3 trillion in May. The increase, which amounts to a 4.5 percent hike compared to the same month last year, is due to grow in residential and public investment. Private residential spending outpace other segments with a 6.6 year-over-year increase, followed by 4.7 percent for public construction and 1.8 percent for private non-residential construction.

The Monthly Update - July 2018

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National Real Estate Market

Trends Finally Reflect Manhattan Trends

According to the WSJ, in four of the first five months of 2018, national resale home prices nationwide have been in decline. And sales of new homes only grew 6.8 percent in the second quarter. With resales making up the bulk of total sales, this equates to Q2 results that are essentially stuck in neutral.

Oh, really??!! This information seems like yesterday’s news if you’re a seller in the New York City market. The Manhattan sales market has seemingly been "stuck in neutral" for quite some time. And with many economists predicting (dare I say it?) a recession, it’s no wonder things are in neutral.

But let's take a step back. The economy is still very strong: The stock market is up and we're experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in decades. So why the hesitation? Why is the national market stuck in neutral?

In Manhattan, we have overbuilding to contend with and an overall buyer sentiment across all price points that a market correction is due. The market is about at the end of a 10-year cycle, so that is a good argument. Rentals have already corrected over the last two years, so many think sale prices are next. We spoke to a HUD representative, and she told us, "A correction is imminent."

What does this mean for you? If you're in market to buy, it's a good time to make deal. If you're selling, be realistic and be prepared to negotiate.


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  • Check out our HQ office. Read More
  • Our CEO Robert Reffkin has been named one of Glassdoor's Top CEOs. Read More
  • Compass Seattle is opened, Philadelphia & Ft. Lauderdale next month and 12 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Who’s Disrupting Brokerage? A Breakdown By The Numbers. Read More

Don't Miss Out On These Events

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Summerstage 

July 1 - 15, 2018

Celebrate summer by getting outdoors! Happening now through July 15th, enjoy fantastic music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so be sure to arrive early! Tickets can be purchased online

 

Broadway in Bryant Park

July 12 - August 16, 2018

From July 12 through August 16, bring the whole family to the Bryant Park lawn and watch popular on- and off-Broadway shows perform their biggest hits on Thursday afternoons for free! Find the schedule here

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Summer Restaurant Week

July 23 - August 17, 2018

Love a three-course meal but hate the price? From July 23-August 17, take advantage of lunch or dinner specials at 300 of the city's top restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. For more information, click here.



Don't Forget To Follow Us

@hoffmanteam      #TheHoffmanTeam

3 Subway Stations Will Close For 6 Months

NEW YORK, NY — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Friday when three Manhattan subway stops will shutter in July for six months of repairs.

The 57th Street station on the F line, the 28th Street stop on the 6 and the 23rd Street station on the F and M will receive structural repairs and upgrades during the sixth-month period and are expected to reopen in December, said MTA officials.

The MTA is staggering the closures with the 57th Street stop shuttering on July 9th, followed by 28th Street on July 16 and 23rd Street on July 23, said transit officials. PATH service at the 23rd Street station will be not be affected.

More than 70,000 straphanger use the three stations on a given week day with roughly 15,700 riders swiping into 57th Street, over 24,000 commuters hoping on the subway at 28th Street and approximately 31,000 customers using the 23rd Street station, according to MTA data. 

The improvements are part of a $124.9 million contract to update a total of five stations sorely in need of repairs. The 28th Street station is among the oldest in the subway system since opening on the day that service began in October 1904. The 23rd Street station began operating during World War II in December 1940 and the 57 Street station welcomed straphangers in July 1968, prior to the construction of the East River subway tunnel to Queens.

In addition to structural repairs, the new and improved stations will feature tech upgrades including digital signage with real-time information, countdown clocks, and brighter, more energy-efficient lighting.

Turnstile areas will be upgraded with glass barriers, security cameras, and new information centers featuring digital dashboards. Platforms will also receive a cosmetic and functional boost with new platform edge warning strips, accessible boarding areas, new seating, digital dashboards and countdown clocks.

2373 Broadway, Unit 1702/03


2373 Broadway, Unit 1702/03

UPPER WEST SIDE, MANHATTAN

4 Bed  |  5 Bath  |  CondOp  |  Doorman

Offered At $7,750,000


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This award-winning four-bedroom duplex sets a new standard for breathtaking design and indoor/outdoor luxury in a full-service Upper West Side condop building. 

Set high on the 17th and 18th floors, this sweeping home drinks in sunlight and epic views from floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the entire eastern exposure. Bold concrete pillars make a powerful statement, while sleek white walls and wide-plank oak flooring provide a subtle backdrop for distinctive designer touches.

The lower level is devoted to luxurious entertaining and relaxation with the entire floor flanked by an extra-long terrace and jaw-dropping open-sky views. The gracious flow leads from living room to the dining room and the epic Italian kitchen — winner of a 2018 NYC X Design Award — filled with Miele and Bosch appliances. A fully outfitted home office and guest room, plus a full bathroom, powder room and in-unit washer-dryer, add extraordinary convenience to this well-planned level.

Upstairs, a private bedroom wing ensures secluded rest. The opulent master suite boasts a huge walk-in closet and an lavish en suite marble bathroom featuring a large frameless glass shower, dual-sink vanity and oversized soaking tub with Manhattan skyline views. With great built-ins and views of their own, the two secondary bedrooms are equally extravagant, and each has direct access to a full bathroom and powder room on this level. Thoughtful touches abound in this well-designed home: A Control4 system operates sun/blackout shades and lighting, SONOS invisible speakers run throughout, and the terrace features an automatic awning.

The Boulevard is a phenomenal amenity-rich condop building offering 24-hour concierge and doorman service, party room with full kitchen, play room, bike room, onsite parking garage, two sundecks, a solarium, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with terrace and a 75-foot swimming pool plus courts for racquetball, squash and basketball. This condop building offers larger than usual maintenance tax deductibility and permits subletting from day one.

Perfectly situated between 86th and 87th streets, the great dining, gourmet markets and nightlife of the Upper West Side are within easy reach. Riverside Park is two blocks west and Central Park is just two-and-a-half blocks east, and transportation is truly effortless with the 1, B and C trains and the M86-SBS crosstown bus all nearby.

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Monthly Update - June 2018

The Importance of a Buyer’s

Agent in a Buyer’s Market

If you are ready to house hunt, I’m sure you know it can get pretty complicated out there. And when you’re working in a buyer’s market, having an agent working for you can be the difference between winning or losing a property and getting it for the right price! When the average New York City home currently spends 87 days on the market — much longer for luxury properties — it’s time to cut deals. But you’ll need a buyer’s agent to help educate you on the correct pricing for your purchase. Not only will you need to navigate the usual offer forms, financial sheets, pre-approval letters, and (possibly) best and finals, you’ll also need guidance from your buyer’s agent on getting your purchase for the right price!

The process can be stressful and surprisingly complex, which is why you’ll need to assemble a pro team to stand at your side throughout the journey. It can literally make the difference between losing out or winding up on top!

A buyer’s agent is just that — YOUR agent dedicated to representing YOUR interests during every step of the purchasing process — and that’s very important in a buyers market. Not only do they get you into properties fast, they also let you know when those homes are on the market before anyone else (including your competition). And, in a fierce market like ours, they are key to helping you find the home of your dreams.

Despite the fact that we are in what some have deemed a “buyer’s market” — where buyers hold a competitive edge over sellers — a buyer’s agent is still crucial to your home search. Here are the top 5 reason to use a buyer’s agent in a buyer’s market:

  1. It’s free! Sellers rely on the agents (seller’s and buyer’s agents) to bring the best buyers into their property, and to do that, they pay.

  2. Your buyer’s agent will find you the right property. Property search is a full-time job. Having your agent scour listings for the neighborhood, properties, and amenities that fit your needs — and setting up tours and appointments — will be your buyer’s agent’s No. 1 priority.

    • At Compass, we believe your time should be sent enjoying the perfect home, not searching for it. With so many listings out there and a multitude of ways to communicate, it’s not easy to stay on the same page. By creating a Compass.com account, we can use Collections together to: 1. Keep track of homes you like in one place. 2. Invite anyone - your friend, spouse, parents - to help with your search. 3. Share comments about the homes so all communication is organized. 4. Receive automated updates about the homes in real time

    • Learn More HERE

  3. Making the offer. After you find the perfect home, placing the offer is the most important and strategic step. Your agent will help you research past sales in the building and in the neighborhood in order to bring a competitive and educated offer to the seller’s agent. Having an expert negotiate the deal can save you a ton of money and help you avoid the many potential pitfalls along with way.

  4. Recommending the right professionals. Getting you to the right real estate attorney or inspector is part of your agent's duty to recognize your needs and protect your rights.

  5. Help overcome setbacks. There will be hiccups along the away, and your agent will be there to work through them. With their abundant experience, they’ll know what to look for to keep your deal on track and get you to the closing table!


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  • Check out our office. Read More
  • Compass Seattle is opened, Philadelphia & Ft. Lauderdale next month and 15 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Who’s Disrupting Brokerage? A Breakdown By The Numbers. Read More

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10 Things You Didn't Know About The Brooklyn Bridge

135 years ago today, throngs of New Yorkers came to the Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfronts to celebrate the opening of what was then known as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people total crossed what was then the only land passage between Brooklyn and Manhattan. The bridge–later dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name that stuck–went on to become one of the most iconic landmarks in New York. But there’s been plenty of history, and secrets, along the way. Lesser known facts about the bridge include everything from hidden wine cellars to a parade of 21 elephants crossing in 1884. So for the Brooklyn Bridge’s 135th anniversary, 6sqft rounded up its top 10 most intriguing secrets.

 


1. The idea for a Brooklyn/Manhattan bridge was as old as the century

Much like the Second Avenue Subway, the idea of a bridge connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn was considered years before construction actually happened. According to The Great Bridge, by David McCullough, the first serious proposal for a bridge was recorded in Brooklyn in 1800. The carpenter and landscaper Thomas Pope proposed a “Flying Pendant Lever Bridge” to cross the East River, and his idea was kept alive for 60 years as plans for the Brooklyn Bridge developed. But the cantilevered bridge, made completely out of wood, didn’t prove to be structurally sound.

Chain bridges, wire bridges, even a bridge 100 feet wide were all proposed to connect the two waterfronts. The main challenge, however, was the East River–actually a tidal straight–known as a turbulent waterway crammed with boats. The bridge needed to pass over the masts of ships, and could not have piers or a drawbridge.

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2. When construction actually did start, the bridge was considered “symbolic of a new age”

When plans for a bridge actually came together, in the 1860s, planners, engineers and architects knew this was not to be a run-of-the-mill bridge. From the offset it was considered, according to McCullough, “one of history’s great connecting works, symbolic of a new age.” They wanted their bridge to stand up against projects like the Suez Canal and the transcontinental railroad. It was planned as the largest suspension bridge in the world, lined with towers that would dwarf everything else in view. At the time, steel was considered “the metal of the future” and the bridge would be the first in the country to utilize it. And once open, it would serve as a “great avenue” between both cities. John Augustus Roebling, the bridge’s designer, claimed it “will not only be the greatest bridge in existence, but it will be the greatest engineering work of the continent, and of the age.”


3. The towers were crucial to the bridge’s success

Many of the bridge’s construction challenges, which held the project up for so many years, were solved by its identical 268-foot-tall towers. Architecturally, they were distinguished by twin Gothic arches, two in each tower, for the roadways to pass through. Rising more than 100 feet, the arches were meant to be reminiscent of a church’s great cathedral windows. They were constructed of limestone, granite and Rosendale cement.

These towers, heralded as the most massive things ever built on the entire North American continent, also served a crucial engineering role. They bore the weight of four enormous cables and held the cables and roadway of the bridge high enough so not to interfere with river traffic.

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4. The first woman to cross the bridge also supervised its construction

John Roebling, the initial designer of the bridge, never got to see it to fruition. While taking compass readings in preparation for its construction his foot got stuck and crushed between a ferry and the dock. Doctors amputated his toes but Roebling slipped into a coma and died of tetanus. Then his son, Washington Roebling, took over responsibilities but suffered two attacks of caisson disease–known at that time as the bends–during construction. (The bends, a common ailment for bridge workers, was the result of coming up too quickly in the compressed air chambers used to lay the foundations underwater.)

Washington Roebling, suffering from paralysis, deafness and partial blindness, turned the responsibilities over to his wife, Emily Warren Roebling. Emily took on the challenge and studied mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, strengths of materials and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent the next 11 years assisting her husband and supervising the bridge’s construction–many were under the impression she was the real designer. She was the first person to cross the bridge fully when it was completed, “her long skirt billowing in the wind as she showed [the crowd] details of the construction.” After that, she went on to help design the family mansion in New Jersey, studied law, organized relief for returning troops from the Spanish-American War, and even took tea with Queen Victoria.

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5. The bridge was built with numerous passageways and compartments in its anchorages, including wine cellars

New York City rented out the large vaults under the bridge’s Manhattan and Brooklyn anchorages in order to fund the bridge. Some space in each anchorage was dedicated to wine and champagne storage, and the alcohol was kept in stable temperatures throughout the year. The cellar on the Manhattan side was known as the “Blue Grotto” and was covered in beautiful frescoes depicting vineyards in Germany, Italy, Spain and France. They ended up closing in the 1930s, but a visit in 1978 uncovered this faded inscription: “Who loveth not wine, women and song, he remaineth a fool his whole life long.”

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6. There’s also a Cold War-era bomb shelter under the bridge’s main entrance

As 6sqft pointed out a few years back, there is a nuclear bunker inside one of the massive stone arches below the bridge’s main entrance on the Manhattan side. It is full of supplies, including medication like Dextran (used to treat shock), water drums, paper blankets and 352,000 calorie-packed crackers. The forgotten vault wasn’t discovered until 2006, when city workers performed a routine structural inspection and found cardboard boxes of supplies ink-stamped with two significant years in Cold War history: 1957, when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, and 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis.

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7. A fatal stampede caused New Yorkers to doubt the bridge’s strength

Only six days after the bridge opened, a woman tripped and descended down the wooden stairs on the Manhattan side of the bridge. As the story goes, her fall caused another woman to scream and those nearby rushed towards the scene. The commotion sparked a chain reaction of confusion. More people mobbed the narrow staircase, and a rumor that the bridge would collapse began in the crowd. With thousands of people on the promenade, a stampede caused the deaths of at least twelve people.

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8. But a parade of elephants quelled any doubts

When the Brooklyn Bridge was gearing up for its opening day, P.T. Barnum made a proposal to walk his troupe of elephants across it–but authorities turned him down. After the stampede, however, there remained doubts if the bridge was indeed stable. So in 1884, P. T. Barnum was asked to help squelch those lingering concerns, and he got the opportunity to promote his circus. His parade of bridge-crossing elephants included Jumbo, Barnum’s prized giant African elephant.

As the New York Times reported at the time, “At 9:30 o’clock 21 elephants, 7 camels, and 10 dromedaries issued from the ferry at the foot of Courtlandt-Street… The other elephants shuffled along, raising their trunks and snorting as every train went by. Old Jumbo brought up the rear.” The paper of record also noted that “To people who looked up from the river at the big arch of electric lights it seemed as if Noah’s Ark were emptying itself over on Long Island.”

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9. This bridge inspired the saying “I’ve got a bridge to sell you,” because people were actually trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge

Con artist George C. Parker is supposedly the man who came up with the idea of “selling” the Brooklyn Bridge to unsuspecting visitors after it opened. His scam actually worked, as it is said he sold the bridge twice a week for two years. Reports say he targeted gullible tourists and immigrants. (He didn’t just put a price tag on the bridge, he also “sold” off Grant’s Tomb, the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.) Parker’s success convinced other conmen to try their hand at selling the bridge, but none were as successful. The sensation, however, inspired the phrase “I’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

Parker did see consequences for his scamming: after being arrested for fraud a few times, he was sent to Sing Sing for life in 1928.

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10. Despite its strength, the bridge still moves

Even today, the Brooklyn Bridge rises about three inches if it’s extremely cold. It’s a result of the cables contracting and expanding in cold temperatures, which has happened ever since the bridge was complete.

But you’d be mistaken to think the cables don’t have super-human strength. Each cable is made of 19 separate strands, each of which has 278 separate wires. (There are over 14,000 miles of wire in the Brooklyn Bridge.) To install the cables, workers would splice wires together, then tie them to make the strands. A boat would come from Brooklyn and sail it across to the Manhattan side. Then, two winches on the outside of the towers would hold the strands in place as workers raised them to the top. This tedious process, often interrupted by weather, took two years to complete.

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42 East 12th Street, Unit PH7


42 East 12th Street, Unit PH7

GREENWICH VILLAGE, MANHATTAN

2 Bed  |  2 Bath  |  1,800sqft  |  Condo  |  Full-Floor Loft

Offered At $4,375,000


42 East 12th Street is a boutique condominium set within a stately pre-war brick building. Residents enjoy keyed elevator access, a lovely common roof deck and equal-share ownership of the building's ground-floor retail space. This is an incredible added benefit, as the rental income generated will soon offset the common charges almost fully, in just a few years.

Flawless designer details and bright living spaces will take your breath away in this immaculate two-bedroom, two-bathroom penthouse loft in the heart of Greenwich Village/Union Square.

With dramatic arched windows and two massive skylights, this airy 1,800-square-foot, full-floor home is awash in natural light throughout. Swaths of exposed brick and 7-inch wide plank oak flooring add richness and warmth, while ample designer touches appeal to refined, modern sensibilities. Arrive via private key-locked elevator and revel in the great room's 10-foot tall ceilings and substantial footprint for stylish entertaining. Fantastic art walls await your collection, custom iron columns by Steve Morris add historic reverence, and smart built-ins provide special nooks and storage spaces. With premier appliances and a massive reclaimed wood island with seating for eight, the breathtaking kitchen is the literal heart of the home and a luxe gathering place for all. Guests will be entranced by the copper-trimmed skylight and chic custom fixtures, and chefs will love the abundant Luxe/Alvic cabinets, white quartz countertops and bronze tiled backsplash surrounding state-of-the art appliances by Sub-Zero and Bosch. A large dining area provides additional table space, while a gorgeous full bathroom adds convenience.

The home's two spectacular bedrooms are tucked in the tranquil rear of the home. In the exquisite master suite, you'll find another majestic skylight, two oversized walk-in closets and a serene bathroom with radiant heat flooring, dual-sink vanity and frameless glass shower. No detail was overlooked in making this a home of exceeding comfort and convenience. Floors are soundproofed, and windows are double-paned with motorized shades. A massive storage and laundry room includes an in-unit Bosch washer-dryer. Smart home features include mood lighting, built-in Sonos sound system, and a Nest thermostat controlling the dual-zoned HVAC.

Set in prime Greenwich Village/Union Square, midblock between Broadway and University, this fine building is surrounded by great shopping, dining and entertainment at every turn. The famous Strand bookstore is on the next block, NYU is to the south, and gourmet food shopping is a breeze with both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods minutes away. Fitness centers and kids' activities are abundant, and for open space, take your pick from Washington Square Park to the south and Union Square and its phenomenal greenmarket to the north. Access to transportation is unbeatable with 4/5/6, N/Q/R/W, L, F/M and 1/2/3 lines all within reach.

The Spring Market Is Here! We Have 8 New Listings To Tell You About.

The spring market is here and going strong! Below are eight new listings we have listed this week. For more information contact us. 

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380 Rector Pl. #2M

2 BD  |  2 BA  |  $1,398,000

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1845 7th Ave. #1A

2 BD  |  2 BA  |  $1,395,000

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506 East 119th St. #2

3 BD  |  2 BA  |  $875,000

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280 Rector Pl #2J

1 BD  |  1 BA  |  $658,000

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201 East 21st St. #7K

1 BD  |  1 BA  |  $649,000

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300 Rector Pl. #8T

1 BD  |  1 BA  |  $628,000

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200 West 20th St. #611

Studio  |  1 BA  |  $539,000

Monthly Update - May 2018

It’s Easy, Right?

Then why do so many sellers get it wrong?

I’m talking about preparing a home for sale, of course. And here is a definitive how-to guide to getting your property ready to fetch top dollar.

Buyers are attracted to clean, renovated, furnished apartments — who knew?! And that’s it. Not that hard. Just three little things.

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Cleaning: This includes not only scrubbing from top to bottom but also a thorough decluttering. Arrange to have the windows washed, inside and out, to really let your place shine. Yes, you’ll have to make your bed and pick up your dirty clothes off the floor for the duration the home is on the market. You’ll also have to keep the place dust-free and vacuumed with no overpowering odors. Purchasing a home is said to be 80 percent emotional and 20 percent logical. As the seller, the more you draw on the emotions of your buyer by letting them envision your home as their home, the higher price they’ll pay. So, get the property cleaned. Easy to do. It’s cheap and the payday potential is huge!

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Renovating: This step can be time-consuming and wallet-draining, and often it can be challenging to recoup those dollars. The key is investing just enough money to make your home appealing without spending unnecessarily. Start with a paint job. This can be done relatively inexpensively and will give your home a surprisingly fresh new look. Pick colors with universal appeal — eggshell white is one of my favorites. Next, go through the home and pick smaller items to replace that will give the property an updated look and feel. Make sure all light fixtures are new and working properly. Kitchen cabinets and drawer handles are easy to replace and can take a kitchen from dated to contemporary in no time. An appliance update is a good idea, but don’t feel obligated to purchase top-of-the-line brands, such as Sub-Zero or Miele. There are plenty of other brands that are half the price and just as nice. In the bathroom, a new vanity or medicine cabinet, or even a new toilet seat, can give the space a fresh new look.

Furnishings: This aspect is often overlooked, but that beat-up old couch of yours might be comfy, but it’s not helping your sale at all. Buying inexpensive, modern furniture is the finishing touch to your property’s final preparation and look. There are also many furniture rental companies that will bring in contemporary, chic furniture just for the duration the home is on the market.

All of this is common sense, but might seem overwhelming. Bottomline: Take the advice of your real estate sales agent. He or she is there to help you sell at the highest and best sale price.


Wrap Up Spring Cleaning With Chic Bins & Baskets

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Spring is the season for cleaning out our closets, but organization doesn’t have to be clunky, or hidden, for that matter. Make your storage do double duty with these stylish recommendations from Vogue.


 
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  • Compass is now the #6 brokerage in the country. Read More
  • Compass has just opened in Seattle and 15 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Compass acquires Conlan Real Estate in Chicago and adds nearly 300 agents. Read More
  • Interested in learning more about Compass or possibly joining our national agent community? Click Here #agentsofcompass

201 East 21st Street, Unit 10A


201 East 21st Street, Unit 10A

GRAMERCY PARK, MANHATTAN

1 Bed  |  1 Bath  |  Co-op

Offered At $925,000


A thoughtful and thorough gut renovation has created a triple-mint, one-bedroom, one-bathroom showplace in one of Gramercy's premier co-op buildings.

Brand-new oak hardwood floors invite you inside this high-floor home to take in fantastic northern and western exposures in the huge great room. The extra-large dining area easily seats 10, and the living room offers a bright and airy venue for gracious entertaining or comfortable relaxation with custom built-in cabinetry and bookcase. Chefs will love the well-stocked open kitchen featuring plenty of cabinet space, granite countertop and stainless steel appliances. Head to the oversized bedroom to find more fine built-ins, including a convenient desk, and two roomy closets. Next door, the brand-new bathroom boasts floor-to-ceiling tile, a glass tub-shower and custom vanity, and a walk-in closet in the living room ensures you'll never suffer from lack of storage space in this beautifully planned Gramercy home.

Quaker Ridge is a revered postwar co-op known for its stellar financials and low maintenance. Residents enjoy full-time doorman service and live-in superintendent, modern laundry facilities, bike storage and a residents-only parking garage with direct access to the building. Quaker Ridge allows co-purchasing and pets, but does not permit guarantors or pieds-à-terre. There is an additional energy charge of $114 per month which fluctuates quarterly.

Set just minutes from Union Square, Flatiron and NoMad this home is at the heart of exciting Manhattan living with abundant shops, restaurants, services and outdoor space at every turn. Access to transportation is tremendous with 4/5/6, N/Q/R/W and L trains all nearby.

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Now Open In Seattle! #compasseverywhere

Hello, #Seattle! Compass has officially opened our doors in The Emerald City, and with experienced agents and dynamic properties, we're fueled up and ready to get to work. #compasseverywhere

 


Press:

Compass, a company that aims to use technology to simplify home buying and selling, is opening offices in the Seattle area.

Compass has 14 employees working out of a temporary office in Seattle, and the company is teaming up with Seattle-based brokerage Northwest Group Real Estate to offer its products to brokers. Some of its tools include real-time listing analysis capabilities and portfolio sharing solutions.

Compass competes in a crowded field of companies looking to simplify the home buying and selling processes, including Seattle heavyweights Zillow and Redfin. Compass says it has amassed a valuation in excess of $2.2 billion after raising a $550 million round late last year led by Softbank’s Vision Fund and Fidelity.

Ori Allon, Compass founder. (Compass Photo)

Compass is helmed by Founder and CEO Robert Reffkin, a former COO at Goldman Sachs. The other founder Ori Allon, spent time at Twitter and Google after selling startups to the tech giants.

New York-based Compass is in the midst of a national expansion with 60 offices in 14 cities. The company said it plans to enter at least five more U.S. markets this year and open 50 new offices in existing markets.

Compass plans to open permanent offices in Seattle and Bellevue totaling 30,000 square feet. It is hiring in the area, but not for tech workers. The company is seeking mostly marketers, designers and administrators to support agents.

201 East 21st Street, Unit 15D


201 East 21st Street, Unit 15D

GRAMERCY PARK, MANHATTAN

1 Bed  |  1 Bath  |  Co-op

Offered At $849,000


 

Enjoy great light and abundant serenity in this spacious, renovated high-floor one-bedroom, one-bathroom home in one of Gramercy's most revered co-ops.

Southern and western exposures welcome you home in this expansive and sunny abode. The great room stretches over 30 feet long, providing ample space for comfortable living and dining spaces, topped by 9-foot ceilings and paved in hardwood floors. In the updated kitchen, maple Shaker cabinetry and a glass tile backsplash surround top-notch stainless steel appliances. The extra-large bedroom includes a wall of roomy closets and can easily accommodate a king-size bed and additional furniture. Next door, the updated bathroom boasts handsome black-and-white basketweave tile flooring, a glass tub-shower and updated vanity.

Quaker Ridge is a well known postwar co-op known for its stellar financials and low maintenance. Residents enjoy full-time doorman service and live-in superintendent, modern laundry facilities, bike and private storage, and a residents-only parking garage with direct access to the building. Quaker Ridge allows co-purchasing and pets, but does not permit guarantors or pieds-à-terre. There is an additional energy charge of $118 per month which fluctuates quarterly.

Set in the heart of Gramercy — with immediate access to the Flatiron District, NoMad, Union Square and the East Village — fantastic shopping, dining and nightlife are all within easy reach. Gramercy Park, Union Square and Madison Square Park offer outdoor space, phenomenal greenmarkets and year-round events, and transportation is superb with 4/5/6, N/Q/R/W and L trains all nearby.

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350 Albany Street, Unit 3M


350 Albany Street, Unit 3M

BATTARY PARK CITY, MANHATTAN

1 Bed  |  1 Bath | Condo

Offered At $843,000

CC: $1,000  |  Taxes: $1,414 |  24/7 Doorman


Bright, open, airy, renovated, and luxurious!

 

This oversized one bedroom with balcony truly has it all. Walking into the apartment, you feel like you enter a house rather than another cookie cutter unit. Walk up several stairs and enter your massive flexible living area that can easily accommodate an office, nursery, living room, and dining room. If you want, convert some of the space to a second bedroom! Sun floods the living area with serene views of the Hudson River from the windows and your private balcony.

A large, impeccably renovated kitchen boasts Brazilian soap stone countertops, high end custom cabinets with ample storage space and top-tier appliances which include a Sub Zero Refrigerator with two freezer drawers, a Fisher Paykel Gas top with retractable elements, Bosch retractable vent, Bosch dishwasher, Miele Master Chef Over and a custom coffee machine. A modern spa-like bathroom has designer elements, plenty of space and a deep soaking tub. The king-sized bedroom features a wall of closets and an additional closet element that can stay with the apartment! Hudson Tower is a full-service condominium with a 24-hour doorman, live-in super, laundry on every floor, roof deck, gym, bike room, and luggage room.

Perfectly situated in Battery Park City, grocery stores (Gristedes, Battery Place Market, Whole Foods), restaurants (El Vez, Parm, PJ Clarkes, Treadwell, Hudson Eats, Inatteso), parks, the riverfront esplanade, entertainment (Battery Park Conservancy, Regal Cinemas), and shopping (the Westfield Mall, Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target). Getting around couldn't be easier – take advantage of the free Downtown connection, M20, M9, and all trains close by!

After 17 Years Cortlandt Street Station Will Reopen Since 9/11

Nearly 17 years after it was severely damaged in the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, and then temporarily shuttered, the Cortlandt Street station is set to open this October. Running on the 1-line, the new station, expected to serve thousands of workers and tourists visiting the site, will boast Ann Hamilton’s artwork, featuring words from the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Independence (h/t Daily News). Cortlandt Street station was meant to open in 2014, but funding disputes between the Port Authority and the MTA delayed its completion until this year.

Located directly under the World Trade Center site, the station was crushed by the collapse of Two World Trade Center. In order to restore service to Rector Street and South Ferry stations, workers demolished the rest of Cortlandt and built walls where the platforms stood. The line was able to reopen a year after 9/11, with trains bypassing the station.

In 2008, the Port Authority and the MTA reached an agreement about the station’s reconstructing, which said the MTA would pay the Port Authority to rebuild Cortlandt under the WTC Hub contract. Seven years later, the MTA took over the project and faced more delays, stemming from design changes and slow contractors. Since May 2015, workers have installed finishing touches, including new tiles and lighting.

The $182 million WTC station will bring more convenience to commuters and less time spent walking outside between stations. Jessica Lappin, the president of Downtown Alliance, told the Daily News, that the number of private-sector jobs in Lower Manhattan has returned to pre-9/11 days at 242,000 jobs.

“This is the right moment, where people want the connectivity and they want to be able to take the 1 train south of Chambers,” Lappin told the Daily News.

[Via NY Daily News]

516 West 47th Street, Unit N4A


516 West 47th Street, Unit N4A

HELL'S KITCHEN, MANHATTAN

2 Beds  |  2 Baths  

Offered At $1,100,000

Real Estate Taxes: $713/ mo.  |  CC: $994 / mo.  |  Condo   |  Doorman | Putting Green


 

Enjoy spacious and bright living spaces and top-notch amenities in this two-bedroom, two-bathroom home in a prized Hell's Kitchen/Midtown West condominium.

With an open-plan layout, this contemporary 895-square-foot residence maximizes space throughout. The main room provides plenty of space for living and dining, and the chic open kitchen is well-stocked with ample cabinet space, granite counters and a breakfast bar, plus stainless steel appliances, including a gas range, dishwasher and built-in microwave.

The spacious master suite includes a fully fitted walk-in closet and large en suite bathroom with radiant heat flooring, and the sunny second bedroom is positioned directly across from the home's second equally well-appointed bathroom. Bamboo floors, chic lighting, additional closet space, and central heat and air add to this lovely home's abundant comfort and convenience.

516 West 47th Street is a modern condominium building offering residents 24-hour doorman and concierge service, fitness center, laundry, storage, bike room, a well-appointed atrium lounge, and a stunning outdoor terrace overlooking a 6-hole putting green. Nestled in the perfect Hell's Kitchen/Midtown West neighborhood, this home is surrounded by fantastic venues for dining, nightlife, entertainment, shopping and open space. The Theater District unfolds right outside your door, amazing Hudson River Park stretches for miles along the waterfront, and dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants fill the nearby blocks. Access to transportation is phenomenal from this convenient neighborhood, with A/C/E, N/R/W and 1 trains all nearby.

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Double-Decker Buses Are Coming To NY

They’ll be blue instead of red, but just like London, NYC will soon have double-decker buses cruising down its streets. As part of New York City Transit head Andy Byford’s larger bus-improvement plan, the MTA will start testing its first two-story bus on Staten Island today, and if all goes well, they’ll roll out on express routes in Manhattan soon. And to go along with the new design is a mobile app that provides seat availability information on express buses.

In a press release, Byford said, “We’ve listened to our riders’ concerns and are working tirelessly to create a world-class bus system that New Yorkers deserve. We’re targeting challenges like traffic congestion and enforcement, undertaking bold initiatives like redesigning the entire route network, and pursuing advancements such as the latest computer-aided management, double-decker and electric buses, all-door boarding, and improved customer service with more real-time data.  Our customers will start to see changes this year and we will never stop improving this critical component of New York City’s transportation landscape.”

At the beginning of the year, the city’s first fleet of electric buses hit the road. The three-year pilot is testing 10 zero-emission vehicles, and assuming it’s successful, they’ll purchase another 60. And last month, the MTA released its new bus performance dashboard, a method of compiling and viewing data such as average bus speeds, wait times, on-time trips, etc.

Today’s comprehensive plan adds to this list of upgrades with:

  • Increased bus speeds
  • More off-peak trips
  • Additional bus lanes
  • A holistic review and redesign of the entire city’s bus route network
  • Speeding up boarding by using all doors and the upcoming electronic tap-to-pay readers
  • Adding more bus shelters equipped with real-time bus arrival info displays

The double-decker buses are currently being tested on an express route linking Staten Island to Manhattan.

When Byford took office in January, he made improved bus service one of this top priorities. As 6sqft previously reported, New York City’s bus system runs at the slowest pace in the nation, traveling at just 7.4 miles per hour, which has caused it to lose 100 million passengers since 2008.