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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Real estate is lucrative

Inspiration: 110-Building Site in N.Y. Sold to Speyer for $5.4 Billion
Image: Stuyvesant Town apartment complex

MetLife just sold 110 buildings on First Avenue between 14th and 23rd Sts to Jerry Speyer, chairman of Tishman Speyer. Speyer's company already owns the Rockefeller Center, Chrysler Building, the MetLife building (ha), and dozens of other high profile commercial properties around the world. $5 billion of property is to Speyer what a Toyota probably is to most people. Of course, this is bad news for the residents of the rent-stabilized apartments that make up 75% of the 11,232 units involved in the deal. Manhattan is so expensive that you have to make over $175,000 two years in a row just to be expected to pay the market rate for a modest apartment.

Speyer's deal stipulates that at least 1600 units will be deregulated within the next 2 years, continuing a trend of deregulation the MetLife had already started. A previous NY Times write-up noted that an average 1-bdr apartment at the Stuyvesant Town complex (pictured above) is $1096 with rent control, while the market rate is $2406-3833 -- a price I find especially alarming since these buildings are hideous. If you told me they were in the projects, I'd believe you -- though I guess the market rate for the projects would be $2000 too. Eventually, I'm sure the whole area will be bulldozed and luxury condominiums will be built. The teachers and policemen who used to live there will just have to move to Brooklyn -- no, New Jersey, since Brooklyn is so 'hip' now.

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