Posts Tagged With: new york post

Ruler of the Roost

The 800-square-foot patio of Marcus Samuelsson’s condo includes “a whole kitchen,” with a grill, a stove and more. (Photo courtesy of the NY Post)

New York Post

There are numerous reasons why chef Marcus Samuelsson, owner of Harlem hot spot Red Rooster, loves his apartment. For one thing, it’s smack in the heart of Harlem, where he’s wanted to live ever since he was a boy growing up in Sweden. For another, it boasts a copper Blue Star stove, which he calls the “best of the best.” And for still another, he has plenty of room to create recipes.

But the main reason he loves his home is because it’s where he first met his wife, Gate Haile (he calls her Maya).

SNEAKER PEEK: Samuelsson’s apartment has colorful flourishes including a closet where he stores his shoes. (MICHAEL SOFRONSKI)

It was 2005; Samuelsson was one of the first buyers in the new condo building. His choice: a duplex with 1,100 square feet on each floor, 14-foot ceilings and an 800-square-foot patio. He paid, he says, around $1 million. He gave the apartment two important additions. The first was the Blue Star stove.

The 800-square-foot patio of Marcus Samuelsson’s condo includes “a whole kitchen,” with a grill, a stove and more.

“It’s really for chefs,” he says. “It has the highest BTUs of any stove. I test recipes in my kitchen. The idea of a dish starts here, and then I execute it at the restaurant.”

The other addition was another stove — on the patio.

HARLEM HOTTIES: Samuelsson and his wife, Gate Haile, have room to spread out and numerous quirky pieces in their 2,200-square-foot condo. Samuelsson, who decorated the apartment himself, creates recipes — and art — in his home. (MICHAEL SOFRONSKI)

“It’s a whole kitchen out there,” Samuelsson says. “It’s a grill, a stovetop and a salamander [another grill with very high heat].”

Both those kitchens and all that 2,200 square feet of space were originally for just Samuelsson himself. At that point, he hadn’t even met Haile. He filled the apartment with antiques and quirky pieces he’d accumulated over the years.

“Not long after I moved in and finished the apartment, I decided to have a housewarming party,” he says. “That was when I met Maya. Someone brought her. She’s a model, about 6 feet tall and stunning. But the main thing that attracted me is that she’s a very sweet girl.”

One thing led to another, and the couple (who were both born in Ethiopia and returned there for their 2009 wedding) soon moved in together.

“I brought all the furniture myself,” Samuelsson says. “All that was left for Maya to bring in was televisions and computers. And if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t even have a television set.”

TVs aside, there’s no question that the apartment fulfilled many of Samuelsson’s longtime dreams.

“I think this building has one foot in the past and one foot in the future,” he says. “It looks old from the outside, but it’s very modern on the inside.

“I always wanted loft space. I work very thematically. Before I create a recipe, I
write down the concept of what I’m making. Then I paint those ideas — I make a collage.”

He points to a painting he did of some 1940s musicians.
“Those people didn’t have much money, they ate fried chicken feet and had a good time,” he says.

Read more from the New York Post.

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Seeing a High Rise in Prices

New York Post
February 3, 2011

Manhattan apartments ‘sale’ away

In another sign that the city’s battered real-estate market is on the way back, prices of apartments and townhouses all around Manhattan are shooting up.

The median price of a co-op or condo in the borough is now $880,000 — 3.5 percent more than it was in 2009, according to an encouraging new report from the realty firm Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Manhattan hasn’t yet turned from a buyers’ into a sellers’ market, but it’s at least stable, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, which conducted the research for the report.

Apartments are selling faster and fewer markdowns have to be offered to entice wary buyers, according to the report.

The average time an apartment spent on the market decreased from 179 days in 2009 to 119 in 2010.

Meanwhile, the average discount on a pad for sale dropped to 7.1 percent, from 10.2 percent the prior year.

People are buying and selling more apartments as well.

The number of apartment sales jumped 35.4 percent — from 7,430 in 2009 to 10,060 units in 2010.

“We’re seeing a reasonably normal pace of activity, far better than the dark days of 2009, but below the peak,” said Miller.

The median price for an apartment in prerecession 2008 was $955,000.

The city’s most expensive residences — townhouses — are also attracting well-heeled buyers more quickly.

And more than half of the ones sold in 2010 are occupied by single families, according to Douglas Elliman’s Townhouse Market report, which tracks that gold-plated market.

A Fifth Avenue townhouse across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art was bought by Mexican mogul Carlos Slim for $44 million.

The median price of a townhouse skyrocketed 13.2 percent in 2010 — jumping from $3.4 million to $3.85 million.

And that was 114.5 percent more than a townhouse cost at the beginning of the decade.

Like apartments, more townhouses are selling, and they’re on the market for less time.

Some 197 townhouses were sold in 2010, compared to 149 in 2009.

And they were purchased after 117 days on the market. In 2009, the figure was 142 days.

As far as apartments go, the average price per square foot was $1,203 last year, an 8.3 percent increase from $1,111 in 2009.

The areas where condos and co-ops showed the biggest increases in price per square foot in 2010 were Midtown East, Chelsea and SoHo/TriBeCa.

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