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One57 Really Good At Secrets; Rent-Stabilization Numbers

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1) This week's hunter, Dr. Mason, got a deal on a 1,000-square-foot place in Gramercy Park Towers back in 2009 when he and his partner managed to negotiate the price down to $640,000. Then they broke up and he decided that he didn't like the building anyway. He began searching for a more open apartment in an un-doormanned building in Chelsea or Greenwich Village, and found what he was looking for in one half of a combo unit. He negotiated the price down from $1,249,000 to $1,150,000 (he appears to be an adept negotiator) but there were issues involved with un-combining the units and he was forced to wait to close on it. In the meantime, he looked at other apartments and didn't like any of them. Finally, the unit became ready and he closed, prompting his agent to commended his "laser focus." Patience is a virtue. So is negotiating. [The Hunt/'Don’t Wall Me In']

2) The current best-kept-secret in New York real estate is who is buying in One57. The Extell Development Company is keeping that information under lock and key, the polar opposite of the marketing strategy employed by 15 Central Park West only a few years ago (15 CPW relished the opportunity to leak the names of high profile buyers such as Denzel Washington, Sting, and Lloyd Blankfein.) Some are speculating that Extell's reluctance to disclose the identities of the people who will be calling New York's tallest residential building home has something to do with a high percentage of foreign buyers, although Extell president Gary Barnett claims that half of the units sold have been to Americans. So far, the only information that has been disclosed has been to refute various rumors—we know that the buyer of the penthouse is "not a Russian and not a Middle Easterner"—so perhaps more details could be gleaned through a makeshift game of twenty questions. ("Hey, Gary, we heard the buyer is from the Western Hemisphere and that his name starts with a letter in the first half of the alphabet.") [Big Deal/'The Shifting Meanings of ‘Confidential’']

3) Some numbers/statistics from the article on rent-stabilized apartments: As of last year, rent-stablized apartment were $1,245 a month cheaper, on average. The raising of the rent ceiling and income limit affected 250,000 New York City apartments. The median income of rent-stabilized tenants in the Manhattan core is $57,780, but the median income of people moving into rent-stabilized apartments in recent years is closer to $100,000. Applicants for rent-stabilized units are expected to have an income over 45 to 50 times the monthly rent over the past three years, as well as a credit score over 700. Good luck finding one. [Rent-Stabilized Apartments, Ever More Elusive]