Not only did journalist and author Michael Gross write the book on co-ops?the only one that matters, that is?but he also lives in one. Which probably means he's not the most objective critic when it comes to the co-ops vs. condos catfight, but c'mon, impartial judges are for courtrooms and figure skating, and we're talking about the bloodsport of New York City real estate here! The more biased the better! In his latest Crain's column, Gross can't help but raise a glass to the problems plaguing Manhattan condos, from depressing sales figures to the menace that is Tyra Banks. And he's not afraid to kick condos when they're down, either:
Nowadays, condo buyers tend to be foreigners, absentee owners, empty nesters and corporate types with an instant-gratification streak who want to put down as little as possible for flashy, turnkey residences that they also can get out of as fast as possible. Co-op owners tend to be more “vested in New York,” as Stribling's Kirk Henckels puts it—more social and financially stable, and more interested in the location and architectural quality (the steak, not the starchitect sizzle) that characterize Manhattan's best buildings, most of which are pre-World War II vintage co-ops around Central Park. Co-op buyers need “a different level of commitment,” said John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens. You can buy fashion. Style is something you earn.
Oh snap! The monocles have come off and it's time for a tussle! So who will write the pro-condo counterpoint? We bet Mr. Dakota Discrimination could be convinced.
· Condos vs. co-ops: crass warfare [Crain's]