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Bill de Blasio Investigation

David Lichtenstein s $50K donation at request of de Blasio aide went to group backing Kaminsky campaign: report The fundraiser is the subject of multiple state and federal investigations

UPDATED, May 4, 4:15 p.m.: Another developer is caught up in the probe into Mayor Bill de Blasio s campaign fundraising.

David Lichtenstein, CEO of the Lightstone Group, was revealed as the新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 上海同城对对碰交友社区 man who donated $50,000 to the Nassau County Democratic Committee, which steered a total of $250,000 to the newly elected Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the New York Post reported. The contribution was reportedly made at the request of Ross Offinger, de Blasio s top fundraiser. Offinger is currently the subject of a criminal investigation into whet爱上海同城论坛 爱上海同城her the mayor and others skirted donation limitations in order to gain Democratic control of the state Senate.

Lichtenstein made the donation through an LLC, A J Contracting, to the Nassau County Democratic Committee, which ultimately donated $250,000 to Kaminsky s campaign. A spokesman for Lichtenstein said his contribution was made in compliance with finance rules.

Last month, Kami新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区nsky who has run on an ethics platform won the special election for state Senate majority leader Dean Skelos’ seat. His campaign spokesman, Evan Thies, said the Kaminsky campaign holds itself to the highest standards and we exp爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛ect other campaigns and political committees to as well.

As far as donors are concerned, Litchtenstein is in familiar company: The Long Island assemblyman took in donations from several real estate titans, including John Catsimatidis and Howard Lorber. Catsimatidis was questioned by investigators last week in relation to donations he made in 2014.

Last year, de Blasio appointed Lichtenstein to a seat on the New York City Economic Development Corp. The mayor also supported the developer s plans for a massive apartment complex along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. [NYP] — Kathryn Brenzel

This post was updated to include a statement from Kaminsky s campaign.

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HAP Investments

HAP scores $42M in funding for Chelsea rental-condo project Eran Polack’s firm is plannin上海同城对对碰交友社区 上海夜网论坛g a $387M development on West 28th Street

Rendering of 215 West 28th Street (inset: Eran Polack)

Plans for a mixed-use development in Chelsea are one step closer to reality, with HAP Investments securing $42 million in financing for its project at 215-227 West 28th Street.

The $42 million in fin爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛anci新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区ng came from Daiwa House Texas, a subsidiary of Daiwa House Group, according to documents filed with the city Friday. A spokesperson for the company was not immediately available for comment.

With the fin新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 上海同城对对碰交友社区ancing, HAP also closed on the $30 million purchase of the site at 227 West 28th Street. It already owns several other parcels on that block. HAP, which is headed up by爱上海龙凤419桑拿 上海龙凤论坛sh1f Eran Polack, spent more than $76 million to assemble the other parcels for the Chelsea development site.

The $387 million rental-condo project is slated to have two adjoining buildings. Along with both condo and rental apartments, there are plans to include 8,200 square feet of retail space. A number of designs for the project put forward, with the latest renderings from DXA Studio. HAP has only filed plans for one of the two buildings, which will measure just over 183,000 square feet.

As The Real Deal reported in June, HAP had been seeking $60 million from EB-5 investors. That program awards green cards to foreigners who invest $500,000, and has been popular with big name developers like Extell and Related in the past.

Tags: Chelsea, HAP Investment
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Broker Vacation Homes

In the dog days of summer, most New York City real estate moguls leave the city’s blistering heat behind. Many head for the East End of Long Island. Developer Billy Macklowe, for example, has a home in Sagaponack, top broker Mary Ann Tighe owns in Southampton and developer Joseph Moinian is known for throwing elaborate parties at his nine-bedroom waterfront compound on Dune Road in Quogue.

Others choose more exotic locations; Elizabeth Stribling heads to the French Riviera every summer.

This month, The Real Deal took a peek inside the vacation homes of well-known New York real estate personalities to see how they decompress when they’re away from the city.


Elizabeth Stribling
founder, Stribling Associates
Paris and Opio, France

lizabeth Stribling and her husband, Guy Robinson, at their home in Opio, France.

Elizabeth Stribling is a self-described Francophile, and when it comes to vacation homes, she’s put her money where her mouth is. Stribling owns not one, but two, homes in France, she told The Real Deal. Aside from a triplex maisonette on the Île de la Cité in Paris, one of two remaining natural islands in the Seine, she owns a four-bedroom home in Opio, a small village on the French Riviera.

Stribling bought the Opio home — which overlooks the bay of La Napoule and has a pool — in 1987, paying just $375,000 for the property. The home, she said, is now worth “a few million dollars.”
“I have been going to this area since 1974,” she said, describing how she used to take cooking classes at the nearby home of French cookbook author Simone Beck, who cowrote “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” with Julia Child. Stribling’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann Kivlan, was christened in a local village church in the hamlet of Plascassier.

The house also has an herb garden and olive trees on the property, which come in handy when Stribling — who has “a passion” for cooking — throws dinner parties.

When Kivlan was growing up, the family used to spend six weeks of the summer in Opio as well as winter vacations. Now, Stribling said she tries to spend at least a couple of weeks there in the summer.

And it’s not just Stribling who enjoys Opio: Every year, she invites her company’s management team there for a few days for annual reviews. The tradition halted for two years after the financial crisis hit in 2008, but has since recommenced.


Dottie Herman
president CEO, Prudential Douglas Elliman

When Dottie Herman purchased her Hamptons home in 1992, the country was in the midst of a recession. “No one was going anywhere near real estate,” she said. “I didn’t tell anyone I was buying it. People would have thought I was crazy.”

But Herman, a Long Island native who had visited the Hamptons with friends since childhood, had her heart set on a home there. After a year of house-hunting, she purchased a five-bedroom spec house half a mile from Southampton Village and a short bike ride from the ocean.

She fell in love with it immediately, she said. “I just walked into it a[……]

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Priciest Apartments Manhattan

The week in luxury: A map of NYC’新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区s priciest apartment sales An interactive look at where the biggest deals were struck, plus total overall sales and average prices for the week (click o上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛n numbers to see data)

Each week, The Real Deal and CityRealty look back at Manhattan’s priciest apartme上海贵族宝贝交流区 上海贵族宝贝论坛nt sales.

Tags: Manhattan Sales
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Real Estate Technology

How artificial intelligence is changing real estate investment AI startups raised $18.74 billion in venture funding between 2012 and 2017

Illustration by Daniel Nyari

Welcome to the world of AI.

Last March, the online asset manager AlphaFlow launched its first so-called automated investment fund for real estate loans.

Rather than爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 tapping employees to search for investment opportunities, the company uses a computer program to sift through listings services and find mortgages to purchase based on property characteristics, borrower history, recent market data and other criteria.

“We’re not ready to take our hands off [our work],” said Ray Sturm, co-founder of the California-based company, explaining that humans still make the ultimate investment decision.

But, he noted, machine-driven algorithms are doing increasingly more. And a growing cohort of AI-powered companies — including AlphaFlow, Ten-X and Opendoor — is starting to transform real estate investment and brokerage much like passive investment funds revolutionized the stock market in the 1980s.

In its most basic form, AI has been around for decades. But the technology has gone through a recent growth spurt, most notably with machines now more capable of “learning,” meaning they can perform tasks without being programmed to do so. And between 2012 and 2017 alone, AI startups raised 上海千花网 爱上海同城对对碰$18.74 billion in venture funding, according to research firm PitchBook.

Ten-X, which has raised $141.8 million in funding, per Crunchbase, and was acquired by private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners last year, created its own algorithm to match investors with properties, for instance. The system analyzes investment sales data to determine which properties certain investors tend to buy. It then picks buildings that match their criteria on its site and recommends them.

Ten-X’s Neelika Choudhury, vice president of product strategy and product marketing, said the algorithm creates better, faster and cheaper leads than humans could. But it requires regular maintenance to keep up with investor behavior.

“If we don’t cons上海夜网论坛 上海夜网tantly refine our training data, the model won’t work,” Choudhury said.

Meanwhile, California-based Opendoor, which was founded in 2014 and has raised a massive $320 million, buys single-family homes with the help of machine-learning algorithms that identify investment opportunities and determine the price (although sellers generally approach Opendoor first). It then puts those properties up for sale online.

Commercial and rental lease management firms are also turning to AI. Startups like Leverton and Counselytics sell software that sifts through lease contracts, extracts information and even makes decisions.

“It saves an immense amount of time,” said Zach Aarons, an executive at the real estate investment firm Millennium Partners and co-founder of the New York-based tech accelerator and advisory firm MetaProp NYC.

But even Aarons seems to think lease abstraction may not be ready for prime ti[……]

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Rapid Realty Lawsuit

Rapid Realty hit with racketeering lawsuit from franchisee lender Lolli calls claim “laughable,” looks forward to writi上海贵族宝贝交流区 上海贵族宝贝论坛ng about court victory in next book

Anthony Lolli (Credit: Michael Kraus)

Amid an ongoing revolt among franchise owners, Rapid Realty is facing a new set of charges that its business is a Ponzi scheme designed to enrich company founder Anthony Lolli and his partners at the expense of his franchisees. Lolli, for his part, said the claims were “laughable” and that he looked forward to writing about their dismissal in his next book.

Sky Financial Group, a Florida-based lender that Rapid Realty recommended to franchisees seeking capital for their startup brokerages, filed a civil racketeering lawsuit against the company in Brooklyn federal court, records show.

The lawsuit, filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, alleges Lolli and his partners mislead Sky about their business model, which the suit says was organ上海贵族宝贝 上海千花网龙凤论坛ized to develop Rapid’s “skeleton franchise operations.”

“As it turned out, Rapid had little to no existing capitalization and, therefore, was secretly using nearly half of the loan proceeds as Rapid’s operating capital,” the lawsuit claims.

Attorneys for Rapid Realty, however, said the lawsuit is factually inaccurate and are seeking to have it dismissed. And Lolli, who’s dismissed franchisees’ previous claims as a meritless attack on his company’s reputation, is sure he’ll be vindicated.

“In my opinion, this lawsuit is not only laughable – because it’s 10,000,000 percent based on false information – but I look forward to writing about the victorious motion to dismiss in my next book,” he wrote in an email to The Real Deal, alluding to his book, “The Heart of the Deal.”

“I’m swimming in so much proof and evidence against every single allegation they made, that I’m doing a backstroke in it,” he added.

Sky Financial, headed by Adam Green, claims that since November 2016, the company has lent $2.68 million to 25 Rapid Realty franchises in five states. All 25 of the borrowers have defaulted on their loans, Sky claims.

The lender says Rapid misrepresented details about its franchise agreements, failed to provide operational support to the startups and that the $50,000 franchise fee Rapid charges the franchisees left them “severely undercapitalized.”

The lawsuit supports allegations made by at least nine franchise owners, who earlier this year were working on a lawsuit that, among other things, claims Lolli pocketed the proceeds from their loans with Sky to fund what they described as his lavish lifestyle. Kendrick Harris, the attorney representing the franchisees, said they have accepted offers from Rapid Realty rescinding their franchise agreements, and are waiting for gui爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛dance from the Attorney General s office.

Sky’s lawsuit claims that Lolli and his partners – Rapid COO Carlos Angelucci and Raymond Ruiz – repeatedly told the lender that they had an established support system in p[……]

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Bjarke Ingels

The Danish designer manages to reject cookie-cutter architecture at HFZ’s XI towers — and does so without gimmicks

A rendering of the XI, which will have 236 condos and is scheduled for completion in 2019

Now it all seems so clear: We live in an age — or at least a season — of tilting and swaying buildings. Three such projects were either recently completed or are now racing toward completion.

The first of these is the American Copper Buildings at 626 First Avenue, twin residential skyscrapers designed by SHoP Architects. Then there are the excellent towers at 10 and 30 Hudson Yards, which were designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox and serve as headquarters to the fashion brand Coach.

And now another pair of buildings is entering the fray: 76 Eleventh Avenue, a mixed-used development dubbed the XI, which was designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

This massive project is being developed by HFZ Capital at a reported cost of $1.9 billion. It will occupy most of an irregular block between the Hudson River and the High Line, bounded by Tenth and Eleventh avenues, between West 17th and上海夜网 阿爱上海同城 18th streets.

The two towers — these swaying structures always seem to come in pairs — will rise to the immediate south of the IAC Building, designed by Frank Gehry.

The west building will rise 402 feet, while its shorter twin will stretch 302 feet. The project will include 236 condos spread between the two buildings — the larger tower will house 149 units and the smaller will include 87, with prices ranging from $2.8 million for one-bedrooms to $25 million for a half-floor penthouse. The project will also include a Six Senses Hotel and commercial space.

HFZ closed on a $1.25 billion construction loan for the project in 2017.

Like the American Copper Buildings, the two towers will be connected through a skybridge — though much lower down on the structure — dubbed the Bridge Lounge. That lounge will house a fitness center, a 75-foot long swimming pool, a screening room and a library. The building’s interiors are being designed by the New York-based Gabellini Sheppard and by the French firm Gilles Boissier.

The most striking aspect of the design — as anyone who’s seen a rendering of the project can tell you — is the t新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区wisted forms. Those contours are such a departure from the standard cookie-cutter design of most buildings that each window reportedly had to be individually created. Both buildings are pale, their punched windows separated from one another with what looks like limestone infill.

“The geometry of the two towers is a direct response to the context,” Ingels is quoted saying on the project’s website. “As they rise, the towers morph and re-orient to take advantage of the best views at the upper levels, 新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区while also allowing for un-obstructed Hudson River views towards the west and city views towards the south, east, and northeast.”

“The twisting geometry at the corners of the towers reduces the overall bulk of the buildings an[……]

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National Association of Realtors

The nation’s most powerful real estate trade association has poured millions into tech, but some say it may be too little, too late

(Illustration by Chris Koehler)

It was summer 2017 when Bob Goldberg ascended the stage at the Sheraton Grand Chicago. With Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” playing in the background, Goldberg was introduced as the new “boss” of real estate’s most powerful trade association.

The lifelong Springsteen fan — he’s seen the Boss in concert nearly 200 times — clutched a red electric guitar and seemed to signal the beginning of a new era at the 110-year-old National Association of Realtors as he pledged to “knock down the ivory tower façade of NAR.”

But doing so hasn’t been easy for the 23-year NAR veteran, who headed marketing and business development before succeeding longtime CEO Dale Stinton.

With 1.3 million members spread across 1,300 local associations, NAR is a lobbying powerhouse. But it’s facing something of an existential challenge: how to embrace the technology that is rapidly changing the brokerage business without rendering agents obsolete.

Its efforts to do so — through a wholly owned venture fund as well as a multimillion-dollar listings portal — have generated sharp criticism from its own members.

Rob Hahn, founder of real estate consulting firm 7DS Associates, said most of NAR’s members join not because they value its services, but because it gives them access to local multiple listing services.

“The vast majority of people that are ostensibly members are just buying MLS access,” he said. “That creates a lot of animosity among brokers.”

And for all the talk of shattering ivory towers, NAR recently secured city approval to sink $45 million into its Chicago headquarters at 430 North Michigan Avenue — where plans call for adding 18,000 square feet of office space and a 25-seat glass-encased boardroom. The group plans to finance most of the project through its existing budget, but will also use $6 million from a dues increase this past May.

Amid questions over what members are getting for their money, the association is still paying the price for one of its biggest blunders.

That misstep dates back to the 1990s, when NAR licensed the listings portal — which it controlled — to California-based Move Inc. for $9 million a year. In theory, could have gone head to head with Zillow if it had focused on consumers, insiders said. Instead, critics said, NAR handcuffed Realtor’s growth by limiting the kinds of searches and data available. Today, Zillow has more than 175 million average monthly users, compared to Realtor’s 63 million.

“The story is that NAR stifled Move, and that’s why Zillow won,” said the CEO of a data startup, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating NAR members. “With 1 million-plus Realtors and a great platform, should have beat Zillow.”

While there are those who believe the fight for digital listings is over, Goldberg isn’t one of them. In 2014,[……]

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