1) Who in their right mind would sell the absolutely bonkers penthouse at 99 Jane Street, a 4,500-square-foot slice of river-facing, Far West Village paradise? Well, when the money market company founded by your father tanks, you don't have much of a choice, do you? But, naturally, the sellers "had been talking about selling" the place "long before the financial upheavals." Anyhoo, asking $16.5 million (or $29K/month to rent), and the broker says Jennifer Lopez and Kate Hudson have looked! Once again, not a fire sale. [Big Deal/The Penthouse View]
2) Writing about Williamsburg is akin to messing with the wires on a nuclear bomb, but Jeff Vandam's portrayal of the 'hood's north side as an area struggling to balance an out-of-control building boom with the gritty charm that attracted the first wave of gentrifiers feels right, even if we're not ready to accept "Northside" as a nabe name on its own quite yet. The story will likely tweak more LICers than Brooklynites. Says one Northside Piers resident: "I just think Long Island City is a great investment for someone who has some time to wait. Long Island City needs another eight years, I'd say. Williamsburg is there." ['Living In: Northside Williamsburg']
3) Is there an Economakis-like battle brewing on the Upper West Side? A 9-unit brownstone at 123 West 85th Street—with four rent-stabilized tenants remaining—recently sold for $2.2 million to a couple that intends to restore the building to a single-family townhouse and use it as a second home. We know the law states landlords can oust stabies if they intend to inhabit the apartments themselves, but does it still apply if it's a second home? If they make generous buyout offers we'll never have to call our lawyer to find out. [Big Deal/'A Bargain Brownstone']
4) It's the holiday season, and co-op boards are in a generous mood. They are loosening their stingy demands to help widen the pool of potential buyers in these dark days. Oops, just kidding: "Brokers, lawyers, property managers and co-op board members agree that if anything, co-op boards are going in the opposite direction — more carefully scrutinizing potential buyers and establishing tougher financial requirements." ['Co-op Boards Get Tough and Tougher']
5) Back when the luxury market was propping up the rest of Manhattan real estate, Stribling's Kirk Henckels boldly claimed: "$50 million is the new $30 million." Well, now that sales of high-end homes have come to a standstill, does Henckels have a catchy new slogan prepared? Yep: "The trophy buyers are not in the market right now. They are looking, but not buying." Eh, needs work. [Big Deal/'High End Sales Becalmed']
6) After last week's epic Hunt column, a story on two porn stars buying in Palazzo Chupi would feel like a non-event. Which is probably why we can't get excited about this fun gay couple buying a $372K studio in Harlem, even if it turns out their place is falling apart and they say things like, "I always thought real estate was about 'location, location, location,' but I'm finding it's closer to 'foundation, renovation, insulation.'" [The Hunt/'Lessons Learned']For more stories from Curbed, go to curbed.com.