BARNES New York & Westchester, proud sponsor of FASNY Drive-in Movie Night

BARNES New York & Westchester had the incredible opportunity to sponsor the FASNY (French-American School of New York) drive-in movie night, that took place with great success on April 23rd, 2021. This great evening was the opportunity for FASNY to celebrate its 40th Birthday, enthusiastically following the famous Yellow Brick Road to Oz in the perfect location with yummy snacks and a lot of fun.

In an effort to reinforce its presence in the Upper New York state area, as well as supporting the French community in the Northern part of the state, BARNES New York will expand with a new agency opening very soon in the Westchester region. BARNES is at your disposal to support you in all your real estate projects, in New York City itself or throughout the metropolitan area. Do not hesitate to contact us.

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ABOUT FASNY

The French-American School of New York (FASNY) is an international, independent, coeducational day school providing a global education to approximately 800 students in nursery through grade 12. FASNY is the only school in the New York metropolitan area accredited to offer both the International Baccalaureate and the French baccalaureate. FASNY is located in Westchester County, NY, with campus in Larchmont and Mamaroneck.

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Hudson Heights

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today this article is exceptionally written in the first person because I personally invite you to follow me to my neighborhood: Hudson Heights. I am Rachel Brunet and I am the director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York. I’m telling you about this little-known neighborhood, maybe because it’s hidden away, up there in Manhattan …

A family-friendly neighborhood

I moved to Hudson Heights in January 2019. A neighborhood that I had absolutely no knowledge of and which, over time, has completely conquered me. Basically, it was the rent prices that drove me to move north to Manhattan. Admittedly, an apartment of over 100 square meters and three bedrooms for less than $ 3,000 does not leave room for too long a reflection. Especially when the express metro is almost right downstairs of your building.

Station 175. “It’s far away,” some friends told me, “it all depends on where you are going,” I retorted. I quickly realized that in less than 40 minutes, I was still connecting my daily destinations. So, no, it’s not too far away. And frankly, in 2020 it was far from nothing …

Hudson Heights is a neighborhood that stretches from George Washington Bridge – itself located at 178th Street – to Fort Tryon. And from the Hudson River to Broadway. A small, secluded haven in Washington Heights, between the Hudson River and Fort Tryon. From street to street, English gives way to Spanish, the official language of this Hispanic neighborhood of Washington Heights. But in Hudson Heights, everything changes. As elsewhere in the city, this district is a joyous melting pot of communities. There are Americans, and many communities from Eastern Europe. There is also a strong community of the Jewish faith. In the course of my urban wanderings, I often come across an image that sends me back to France. Most of the buildings here were built in the 1930s, and some are Art Deco inspired. It reminds me of Boulogne-Billancourt, just at the entrance to the Bois. On Pinehurst Avenue, across from Bennett Park, Hudson View Garden. A residential complex. Inside, small alleys, well-tended grass, a pond with large fish, a flower garden. Absolute serenity. Architecture brings me back to Trouville-sur-Mer. Half-timbering is everywhere.

181st Street is the street for restaurants. Japanese, Italian, Thai, American, there is something for everyone and the prices are very affordable. There is really something for everyone too since there is even Café Bark, a cafe for our four-legged friends … New York will always be New York. On the 181, I have my little habits, between the Thai restaurant Tung Thong 181 and the Japanese restaurant Sushi Yu, my heart is still swinging. Not to mention Le Chéile and its superb pink terrace reminiscent of the Canal Saint Martin. Eight streets to the north, another spot for restaurants and shops. Here again, I’m used to it. Fresco’s Pizza, the best in New York according to my son or Kismat, the Indian restaurant in the neighborhood. But also, my little Ozzie’s supermarket. And hold on tight, I’m constantly discovering French products that are much cheaper than elsewhere in Manhattan. Jams, pains au chocolat, baguettes, brie, this shiny supermarket is my Ali Baba cave.

A little further up 187th Street, an exceptional wine shop, Vines on Pine, with a large selection of wines from all countries. The owner’s joke: tell me “have a good one, kid!”

Manhattan’s highest point

When I think of my neighborhood, I think “up” or “down”. And it’s not for nothing. In Bennet Park, nestled between 183rd and 185th Streets, is a treasure, little known to New Yorkers: Manhattan’s tallest natural point. 265 feet above sea level, the level of the Statue of Liberty torch. Suffice to say that it goes up and that it goes down. What a surprise the first time I found myself at the bottom of the long staircase to 181st Street. For a few seconds, I couldn’t tell if I was in New York or Montmartre.

Bennett Park is the meeting place for parents and children from this very family-friendly neighborhood, but also for older people who come to catch a ray of sunshine in the spring or a little cooler in the summer. It is not uncommon to see a group of musicians there, residents of the neighborhood. Their voices mingle with the cries of the children, each day a little more numerous. A little happier. For the record, this park is built on the site of the old Fort Washington where the Continental Army routed the British troops in 1776.

My pleasure in this area: take Cabrini Boulevard and go up to Fort Tryon. I walk along Birds of Cabrini Woods Nature Sanctuary. The wood is located at the southwest corner of Fort Tryon. A natural sanctuary, it is a favorite spot for bird watching and stunning views of the Hudson and Palisades across the river.

Cabrini boulevard ends at the entrance to Fort Tryon, a veritable urban forest that is home to The Cloisters, but not only! Coyotes, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, snakes, bees, butterflies, and thousands of squirrels share this vast 27 hectare land, in addition to 81 species of birds, including hummingbirds and hawks. At the entrance to Fort Tryon, Heather Garden – many times voted the city’s finest garden – a pathway overgrown with flowers and shrubs, 60 meters above the Hudson. In summer, I often see hummingbirds there … My little piece of paradise …

In a few weeks, I’ll be leaving this neighborhood, life taking me further down in Manhattan, but still near a park. I won’t tell you which one …

Experts Discuss – Hudson Heights

Rental market:

As of January 2021, the average rent for an apartment in Hudson Heights is $1,600 for one bedroom, $2,500 for two bedrooms and $2,995 for a three bedroom apartment.

Sales market:

In December 2020, across Hudson Heights, the median asking price of sellers for available properties was $590,000, up about 3% year-on-year to $672/square foot. The median recorded final sale price is $780,000. This difference is mainly explained by the low number of transactions as a result of the Covid period, which significantly slowed the market in 2020 and therefore reduced the reference sample.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

New BARNES Magazine International Edition Spring-Summer 2021

We are pleased to announce the release of BARNES MAGAZINE #29, fresh off the press. This International, Spring-Summer edition features Alain-Dominique Perrin, President of the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art. He welcomes us in his home in Verbier, a beautiful chalet overlooking the Swiss Alps valley, and recounts his extraordinary career, strongly marked and defined by the creativity in the world of luxury, a passion for Art and a sensitivity for great wines and heritage symbolized by the acquisition and renovation of the Château de Lagrézette, near Cahors.

Of course, this new edition will also allow you to be completely up to date with the latest news in the fields of design, discovering unique Architect Furniture, architecture, art, wine, eco-yachts, and events, whether you are interested in high French cuisine or golfing, as well as a sample of Real Estate properties from the trendiest locations.

BARNES continues its global adventure by expanding and presenting properties from new offices on Lake Como, in the Principality of Monaco and in Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

Ask your free copy and enjoy your reading!

New edition of the BARNES magazine with the main guest featured on the cover page, and various pictures in the background representing Art and real estate.

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«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Turtle Bay

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore Turtle Bay — a district located in Midtown East, with Lidia Del Pozo, Senior Business Development Officer, VP at Bank of the West BNP Paribas Wealth Management. She tells us about the neighborhood she has lived in for over a year with her family.

Lidia Del Pozo in her apartment in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

Lepetitjournal.com New York : You live in Turtle Bay. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

The reason I decided to live here is not for the neighborhood itself, but especially for its location in Manhattan. Before moving to New York with my husband and daughter, we took just five days to decide on the neighborhood and apartment we would live in. The Turtle Bay neighborhood stood out for us because of its central location in the city. We thought that it would be the best way to be close to all the city’s points of interest. The other reason, which confirmed our choice, was the proximity of my workplace. Indeed, I work for BNP Paribas Wealth Management which is also located in Midtown, and therefore a few blocks away from home.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

I would say that this neighborhood doesn’t have just one identity. I would be unable to say if this is a residential area only or an office district or an embassy district. Turtle Bay is a bit of everything at the same time: there is simultaneously a neighborhood life, with its small local shops, its small bars and restaurants, nurseries, playgrounds, but also an office district, therefore very lively Monday to Friday, with a lot of people in the streets very early in the morning and during lunch breaks. And in this mixed landscape sits the headquarters of the United Nations and a few embassies that revolve around this majestic building, the most beautiful in the city, in my opinion. Obviously, when General Assemblies take place, the district takes on a new face. The district is then under very strict protection and becomes a little locked down and paralyzed. These few days are not very pleasant but not unlivable either. The organization is quite impressive!

And it’s exciting! That’s what makes this district extremely lively and international.

A street in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

You live near the United Nations Headquarters, where French is one of the official working languages. Do we hear Molière’s language a lot in the streets of Turtle Bay?

Yes, indeed, French is a language that’s heard very regularly on the sidewalks, between two colleagues who go to their office at the United Nations, who we can easily identify in the street because they very often wear their access badge to the building around their neck; or the families I meet when I go to the playground with my daughter, for example. There are a lot of francophones in Turtle Bay. To give a fairly representative example, at the nursery my daughter attends, in her class, out of 10 students, 4 come from French-speaking families! Being able to speak French is of course very practical, especially at first, and always a good way to create new relationships very quickly, although it makes me practice my English less.

Your favorite places in Turtle Bay?

One of my favorite places in my neighborhood is probably the Grand Central Market, which is located on the grounds of Grand Central Station itself. It is a single alley where we find a succession of small stands who offer fresh and good quality products. Despite the fact that it is indoor, the atmosphere is close to that of a traditional market and the merchants are very nice. What I love most about this neighborhood is the fact that it is right on the East River. I am lucky to have a nice river view from my apartment and to be able to witness some really beautiful sunrises. Simple walks along the river are very pleasant and a bit of a change of scenery from the urban, city life.

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

I am not an expert in the real estate market, however what I can say intuitively when it comes to renting, yes it is a neighborhood that I recommend, because it is good to live and as I already have mentioned, it is ideally located in Manhattan to discover the city. Among the other reasons, the proximity to the river, the security and safety brought by the presence of the United Nations headquarters and finally, the very cosmopolitan aspect of the neighborhood. Regarding the purchase of a property, I would evoke the same motivations with the addition of the fact that it is a neighborhood quite popular with expats working at the United Nations, therefore with a certain demand on the market.

If you had to describe Turtle Bay in three words? 

If I had to describe Turtle Bay in three words, I would say that it is lively district, a very cosmopolitan district and therefore conducive to meetings and a multi-faceted district where personal and professional lives mingle.

acheter-appartement-luxe-vue-manhattan
Aerial view of Manhattan skyline at sunset, New York City

Experts Discuss – Turtle Bay

Rental market:

In March 2021, the median rent for an apartment in Turtle Bay was $ 2,200 for a studio (-40% over one year), $ 3,200 for one bedroom (flat), $ 4,000 for two bedrooms (-20%) and $ 6,200 for three bedrooms (+ 24%).

Sales market:

At the end of Q4 2020, across Turtle Bay as a whole, the median asking asking price of sellers stood at $ 950k (when the Manhattan average is $ 1M) showing a significant increase in the order of 20% over one year with $ 1,207 / square foot and around sixty transactions over the quarter.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the Upper East Side

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore the Upper East Side, with JC Agid, founder of 37EAST, a media and development consulting agency in the United States, Mexico and France.

Rachel Brunet for Le Petit Journal New York: You live in the Upper East Side. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

JC Agid : by chance, of course, on a September day years ago. During my first stay in New York, last-minute trip decided in less than 48 hours, with one week to fill between the end of my studies and my job in Bry-sur-Marne. I was waiting on the sidewalk of a street on the Upper East Side, not far from Central Park, for the arrival of a family that a Parisian friend had introduced to me by phone to put me up for two or three nights. I returned two years later to New York and with the exception of one year spent on 113th Street in the Columbia University neighborhood and another at the top of a soulless tower at the intersection of Central Park North and West, I ended up always living in the Upper East Side.

But I moved to different floors, different horizons too. After having lived for a long time in an apartment in one of those little townhouses that line the peaceful streets to the west of the Upper East, a paradise for mice and either boiling hot or icy showers, I settled on the top floor of a huge apartment building near the East River. In front of me, an ambitious view, gigantic even, with the Carlyle, the treetops of Central Park, Columbus Circle, Times Square and New Jersey in constant spectacle.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

The atmosphere ? That of a district without tourists, of a tidy, almost monotonous city. We live in Yorkville, but we don’t visit it. There are little shops here and there, faces that we meet every day, stories that we share. But we are far from the charm of the neighborhoods of Carnegie Hill or Morningside Heights. There is in Yorkville a strange and family quietness and calm brought by the surrounding schools.

You live near the French High school (Lycée Français). Do we hear Molière’s language a lot in the UES?

Like everywhere in New York, you hear all kinds of languages, and sometimes English. Many French families live near the LFNY (French High school of New York) and the high school students a very particular sound bring to this district. This is not a neighborhood where you can show off, on the contrary, you would almost tend to hide there.

Your favorite places, your good places to go or maybe even your habits?

Photo of a warm croissant sitting on a black and white magazine with a creamy coffee, at a coffee shop table.

Les Frenchies, on 75th Street, between York Ave and FDR, the door next to LFNY, for croissants, is the best in town along with another bakery on 78th Street. But in addition to croissants and pains au chocolat, quiches and coffee éclairs, I meet the boss Michèle Saint Laurent and her partner, Aksana Ivaniuk there. All my friends spend some time there with their children at all hours of the day. More than a bakery with its terrace, Les Frenchies has become the small French grocery store in the neighborhood. There is always a smiling, family and happy atmosphere. Les Frenchies are the heart of my discreet village. This has no price. The best address in the neighborhood.

There was another cafe too, with a more American feel, but this one, Beanocchio’s, was an economic victim of Covid19 and closed permanently. I liked its provincial atmosphere.

On 76th Street, almost at the corner of 1st Avenue, Jones Wood Foundry for a long drink at the bar and remake the world with friends.

A little further, Mission Ceviche on Second Avenue and 72nd Street, arguably one of the best restaurants in the area. Right next door, La Esquina and its tacos whose ambiance projects me into the streets of Coyoacan in Mexico City, the village of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Picture of inside a traditional bookstore with walls covered with colorful used books, and a table in front full of books as well.

I also love this tiny — and it’s already a big word — Saturday morning market on 82nd Street between York and 1st Avenue, as long as you are particularly patient in these times of social distancing. A few meters away, on York Avenue, I often stop at the butcher Ottomanelli, thanks to whom I was able to cook veal paupiettes during a full lockdown; a little further up York, I sometimes go to Dorian’s for the pleasures of the sea and holey wallets, and across the street, above all, is the Logos Bookstore, an old-fashioned bookstore — of the resistance itself — where the smell of books and wood dominate, the perfect place to hang out or search for a gift that the owner will wrap for you, a rarity in New York.

Around 3rd Avenue and 76th Street, another butcher faces Sables, the ideal address if you like smoked salmon and bagel brunches. For Sushi fans, Sushi of Gary on 78th between York and First Avenue is renowned for being one of the best in town. Finally, Sotheby’s on 72nd and York Avenue gives a little importance and vanity to these remote streets of the city.

Is this a neighborhood that you would recommend for those who want to buy or rent a place?

It’s up to everyone to make a decision, depending on the New York they are looking for… As far as I’m concerned, my exclusive atmosphere is this exceptional view, at dawn when the sun is reflected on the windows of Manhattan, at the end of the day of course, and at night , when the city seeks sleep in vain.

Each block has its own style and just above 79th is East End Avenue, a bourgeois destination for celebrities seeking discretion.

The Q train, the recent subway line on Second Avenue, brings this neighborhood, sometimes considered the start of a suburb, closer to the rest of Manhattan. Union Square is less than 30 minutes and Carnegie Hall 20 minutes.
 

If you had to describe the Upper East Side in three words?

Chic and unassuming on the Central Park side. Discreet and ambitious along the East River.

View of the Upper East Side from above, with part of Central park showing on the left, and the NYC northern skyline.

Experts Discuss – the Upper East Side

Rental market:

In January 2021, the median rent for an apartment on the Upper East Side was $ 1,900 for a studio (-16% over one year), $ 2,404 for one bedroom (-11%), $ 3,300 for two bedrooms (-2% ) and $ 6,000 for three bedrooms (-4%).

Sales market:

In December 2020, across the Upper East Side, the median asking price of sellers stood at $ 1.4M, down around 2% year-on-year to $ 1,300 / square foot. On the other hand, the recorded sale price is $ 1.1M given the negotiations related to the Covid-19 pandemic in this uncertain context. Note that condos held up more with a median asking price of $ 1.7M for an actual sale price of $ 1.622,000.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

25 Park Row at 34B takes over RENTCafé blog

Take a look at the article about our latest luxury rental listing, unit 34B at 25 Park Row, by RENTCafé blog, introducing you to this magnificent brand new, never lived-in, grand 2 (Convertible 3)-Bedroom and 3.5-Bathroom residence.

Take a seat and get lost in the majestic views from this brand new, never lived-in, grand 2(Convertible 3)-Bedroom 3.5-Bathroom residence at 25 Park Row, the luxury condominium building with the best views of the historic City Hall, Woolworth Building, Manhattan skyline, and the Hudson River, on the border of FiDi and Tribeca in the New Downtown.

Residents may enjoy a 24/7 attended lobby with concierge, and access to a massive Park Row Club, overlooking City Hall Park, including a reading room with fireplace, a private dining area, a 65’ swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa treatment room, yoga and meditation studios, a playroom and a great lawn with outdoor dining terrace.

Read the article:

Meet the Member: Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner, BARNES New York – the French American Chamber of Commerce

Meet the Member: Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner, BARNES New York

Interview by the French American Chamber of Commerce

Yann Rousseau, Managing partner at BARNES New York, had the privilege to be interviewed by the French American Chamber of commerce this week. Learn more about the man leading the BARNES agency in the Big Apple.

Originally from France, Yann grew up in Paris but now considers Bordeaux and Arcachon his home. He completed three masters degrees in environmental engineering, environmental economics, and wine and spirits management. He has lived in over a dozen cities across six countries and three continents (France, Seychelles, United Kingdom, Italy, Burkina Faso, United States).

After working for several years in the development and humanitarian arena (United Nations, French Government, Seychelles Government, private sector…), Yann decided to move to the U.S. and embrace a new career. Originally settling down in Miami, he started his career as a Real Estate consultant in 2013.

Yann has since been assisting clients from modest rentals to luxurious homes, new developments and profitable acquisitions for both cash-flow purposes and capital gain. For him, it is about supporting each and every client, regardless of his budget and intentions, to accomplish his Real Estate projects in full serenity and confidence. He believes in long-term relationships gradually moving from tenant, to owner, and investor.

FACC-NY: As an Engineer with a background in Economics and in the public and private sector spanning over 6 countries over 3 continents, what guided your decision to work in the realty industry with Barnes New York? 

It actually started out of luck when I moved to the US (Miami) to follow my wife, who is originally from South Florida. Her mother has a modest real estate portfolio and since I didn’t have a major career plan then, she asked me to take care of it while I was figuring things out. I enjoyed discovering a new industry and starting a new career in the US. I joined a boutique brokerage in Miami, and then quickly joined BARNES’ office. After a couple of years there, BARNES gave me the opportunity to revive the NY operation. So we moved north in late 2018 and I reopened BARNES NY alongside my partner Christophe Bourreau. Two years after, we recruited 12 agents and doubled the best year of business ever recorded for the office. And we are about to open a new agency, in Larchmont, covering the Westchester area.   

FACC-NY: How do you assess the present state of real estate in the Post-COVID period?

It is hard to define precisely because the situation remains fluid. Everyone has heard about an exodus from Manhattan, but when we look at Q3 and Q4 of 2020, the numbers are actually even better than what they were at the same time in 2019. There is of course a non-negligible “catching-up” effect, where the last two quarters tend to compensate for a very slow beginning of 2020. In a nutshell, real estate transactions still need to be made and most of it had just been pushed back to the end of the year. Now in 2021, we can witness a strong recovery on the resale side, though the market remains tense on the rental front. It is definitely a tenants’ market, and it somehow remains a buyers’ market though to fewer proportions compared with 2020. We assume a general 8% decrease in price (resale) across Manhattan, with some neighborhoods resisting better than others. New developments are suffering much more and we can easily attain 2-digit discounts. Rental-wise, Landlords have to leave on the table at least 2-months of free rent to find tenants.

FACC-NY: How hopeful is BARNES New York for economic recovery in NYC? 

Given the level of sufferance that is being seen all over the City, one has to remain modest. Although the industry representatives are striving for us to be categorized as essential workers, we are merely here to keep on assisting our clients in the safest way possible. People still have to move and find a place to live. In parallel, we keep on communicating highly about NYC and about the relevance of such a real estate investment, at a time where the news pretends that everyone is fleeing the City. New York will always be New York, and this shall remain one of the safest investments one can make in a such a volatile world.

FACC-NY: Are you generally seeing a lot of price reductions in the NYC realty scene due to the pandemic?

Indeed, as indicated prior, about 8% overall in Manhattan for resale and about 2-months of free rent for rentals. This is an average and certain property types, for instance, townhouses or high-luxury units, are suffering less and seem to be weathering the storm just fine. Also, the most sought-after neighborhoods (SoHo, Tribeca, prime UES…) did not take that much of a hit, if any, as opposed to those areas that heavily rely on the market forces. The “best” example being the Financial District and around major Universities (NYU / Columbia), where the lack of attendance definitely impacted the local market. On top of that, new developments are the most heavily impacted by the pandemic, because their deadlines (either regulatory or financial) press them to move their inventory at almost all cost. Discounts for this asset class can easily range over 20% which is absolutely unprecedented; margins of negotiations for new buildings tended to be close to zero in the past.  

FACC-NY: How do you go about choosing listings in the new normal? What are the features that make a place particularly appealing to buyers nowadays? 

As one can expect, anything that offers some sense of space, air, breathing, or green, stands a stronger advantage today. In the past, people didn’t seem to care too much for an obstructed view and were instead fine with a low floor on a dark street as long as the location was great and the amenities plenty. Now, buyers and tenants realize that they might have to spend much more time in their apartment, and during the day, so they need to be able to feel less claustrophobic. Townhouses are a must in that regard. And of course, “flex” arrangements are now a must. Units with additional spaces (dens, nooks, loggias…) that can be used for home offices are more attractive than ever. 

FACC-NY: What kinds of price ranges are you seeing the most movement in right now?

Everyone is looking for a deal but people still have to move and find a roof. Basically, we haven’t seen a large shift in the price points because, as much as the entry-price properties will always be sought after, the people that can acquire multi-million-dollar property are scattered all over the world. And they are the ones with a particular eye on the market now to see what opportunities are. On the other hand, we have slowly started seeing some price points that we hadn’t seen for quite some time in the City, such as condo units under $500k, or coops under $400k. The entry point is getting lower for sure and sells at a discount.

FACC-NY: What led you to join the FACC-NY community?

We are originally a French company, with strong roots in France where the bulk of the BARNES business takes place. It is only natural for us to be an active member of the French community wherever we have an office, and the Chamber of Commerce is often an excellent relay to that end. Besides, we are often the entry point for companies and individuals relocating to the City from France (or from French companies), so it makes absolute sense for us to be members of the Chamber. We service all interested parties but our core clientele remains closely tied to France.

Read the article on the FACC website

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the Lower East Side

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “ New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore the Lower East Side, the “LES”, with Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, co-founder of the Chelsea Film Festival, the 8th edition of which will take place from October 15 to 18, 2020.

Yesterday a neighborhood still seen as the dedicated place for immigrants, the poor, tramps and junkies. Today, a chic district, where we party, though perhaps a little less in this era of Covid pandemic. Time and history have shaped the face of the Lower East Side. In New York’s history, the Lower East Side is the “Gateway of America”. It is through this district that the immigrants would arrived the promised land. These narrow streets have seen every wave of migrants fleeing their countries. Moreover, the Tenement Museum, the district’s recognizable symbol, is a real dive into the lives of these families who put their last hope into heading to a new, unknown world. In this constantly evolving district, cultures overlap and mingle. The neighborhood’s heart beats between Allen in the West and Essex in the East, East Houston in the North and Canal in the South.

Le Petit Journal New York : You live in the Lower East Side neighborhood. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

Ingrid Jean-Baptiste : When I arrived in New York in 2010, I moved to Chelsea, which I really like. For the past few years, I have lived in the Lower East Side, which has a very special history. It is in this district that thousands of people immigrated to when they arrived from Europe at the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th century: Ireland, Germany, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Romania Hungary … There is a real “neighborhood life”, like you can find in Paris or in other European cities, which is appreciable. I was quickly won over by the architecture and ” human-sized” buildings (laughs).

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

The LES, as it is called here, is very pleasant on weekdays, as there is very little traffic. There are many art galleries, unusual restaurants. It is still one of the only neighborhoods in Manhattan which has remained authentic, with very few large retailers, which is becoming increasingly rare in New York. What makes it alive is the intermingling of cultures, which is much more present in South Manhattan than in the rest of the city.

What the community like on the Lower East Side?

The population of LES is made up of different Chinese, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Jewish, Italian origins, due to the many waves of immigration, which makes the area very nice. The district has become, over the years, very trendy, with its art galleries, small shops, restaurants and bars.

Your favorite places, and good places to go?

Mel Bakery, Essex Market, Ludlow House, Whipped Urban Dessert Lab, Bario Chino, Caffe Vita, Petisco Vegano

Is this a neighborhood that you would recommend for those who want to buy or rent a place?

Yes, definitely both options.

If you had to describe the Lower East Side in 3 words?

Authentic, Vibrant, Artistic.

EXPERTS DISCUSS – Lower East Side

RENTAL MARKET:

In August 2020, in buildings with a doorman, the studio found an average buyer at $ 2,900 per month, the 1 bedroom apartments at $ 3,800, the 2 bedrooms at $ 5,450. Without doorman, the rents are then respectively $ 2,350 (studio), $ 2,500 (1 bedroom) and $ 3,100 (2 bedroom).

SALES MARKET:

In the second quarter of 2020, the effects of Covid-19 were felt strongly in this neighborhood, since the number of transactions fell by more than 65% to around thirty. The indicators should therefore be taken with great caution. The latter still indicate a median price of $ 1,728 / sqft (-11% over one year), a median transaction price of $ 1M (-20%), slightly above the median price for the entire Manhattan ( $ 989k, or -25%).

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Harlem

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore Harlem, historic district in North Manhattan, with Sophie Thuault-Restituito, Chief of Staff at the Herbert and Florence Irving Institute for Cancer Dynamics at Columbia University. Originally from Tropez, living in New York since 2004, she has lived in West Harlem for 8 years with her husband and their two children.

You live in the Harlem district. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

I was seduced by several things. First of all, diversity. There is a mix of African-Americans, French-speaking Africans and Europeans and everyone lives together. It is also very family-oriented and very community-based. We often meet someone we know on the way home from school. It’s also very quiet and green, close to Morningside Park or Central Park. There are also several other parks in Harlem like Saint Nicolas Park, Jackie Robinson Park or Marcus Garvey Park. The traffic is less dense than in midtown and you can easily cycle around. The “commute” is easy with several metro and bus lines.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere?

It is a very lively area. People from different cultures and social backgrounds come together. The district is full of small restaurants, cafes, supermarkets. There are also several generations there: young African-American women going out to bars in groups, families having barbecues or picnics in Morningside Park, teenagers who meet in the park.


What makes this neighborhood live, what drives it?

People who go to restaurants, cafes and bars, but also children who go to playgrounds in the park or people who jog or walk their dogs.

You are a mom. How is life with children in Harlem?

It’s very easy because there are a lot of things nearby and the neighborhood is safe enough for the children to be independent quickly. My children go to Morningside Park or Central Park alone to meet their friends and also go to school on their own. One of my children goes to a bilingual school on the Upper West Side and makes the trips with one of her friends on the subway. There are a lot of families who make the same trip, so they meet up with the other children and walk together. My oldest daughter is attending high school in East Harlem. She also makes the trips with friends by bus. There are also several nurseries in the neighborhood.

My two children are both taking taekwondo lessons at West Side Taekwondo, which is a block away from our place, where they meet, once again, the neighborhood children. My daughter plays for a soccer club, West Side Soccer League, and she goes to practice mostly alone on the Upper West Side.

We often get around on foot, scooter or bicycle. Public transport is also very convenient. We have several metro and bus lines. And personally, I love the proximity to my job and my 10 minute walk, since I work at Columbia’s Morningside Campus.

Is it a family-friendly neighborhood?

It is a very family-friendly and community neighborhood. This is what I love about it! Everyone helps each other. We sympathize with new families in the park. We meet other families from the bilingual school for a picnic or a playdate in the park.

Can you show us this neighborhood with your own words?

Brownstones or low rise buildings, small local shops, restaurants and cafes, cultural and economic diversity, parks full of children.

Do you find a little European side to this district through the inhabitants, the shops, the schools?

Yes, many families in the neighborhood go to the bilingual school at PS 84, or Lafayette Academy, on the Upper West Side. Or even at NYFACS. There are also several Italian restaurants and a very good Café Caféine which has croissants and pain au chocolat worthy of those found in France. There are a lot of small local businesses …

Your favorite places in Harlem?

There are so many ! Several restaurants such as Lido and Vinateria, two Italian restaurants; Row House, rather American; Maison Harlem, where you can eat couscous! Sylvana, Middle Eastern cuisine, which also hosts concerts in the evening. Melba, for soul cuisine; Harlem Burger, Cantina Taqueria for its tacos and margaritas; Café Caffeine with a very good cappuccino and its famous croissants and pains au chocolat; Levain Bakery, with its famous cookies; Les Ambassades, Franco-African pastry; Bagel O for its bagels made right before our very eyes; the Winery, on 116th Street which has a selection of wines at very good prices; the delis, Amrita, on 110th Street and Central Park West, a very cozy little brasserie, very good and not expensive; the bike rental company next door; the hardware store on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. There are also some very nice restaurants further down in Central Harlem like Harlem Shake, Barawine, Sottocasa … And all the new places that keep opening!

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

Yes ! We have been living there for 8 years and the pandemic has not dislodged us! We stay !

If you had to describe Harlem in 3 words?

Diversity, community and park.

EXPERTS DISCUSS – Harlem

RENTAL MARKET:

It is often cheaper to rent an apartment in Harlem than further south in Manhattan. On average, it takes $ 2,900 (or $ 2,300 without a doorman), down around 5% over one year. In buildings with a doorman, the studio is rented on average at $ 2,450 per month, the 1 bedroom at $ 2,950 ($ 4,000 average Manhattan), the 2 bedroom at $ 3,950 (compared to $ 5,800 on average in Manhattan).

SALES MARKET:

In Q2 2020, the median selling price was $ 685,000, down 25% from last year, due to Covid. There were a total of 66 transactions, a drop of more than 50% from the second quarter of last year. The median price per square foot was $ 828, which still remains close to that of 2019. At the end of June 2020, as a reminder, the median selling price in Manhattan was $ 989,000.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

Real Estate Opportunities in New York City post-pandemic

While the Covid-19 pandemic does not seem to be slowing down, or resuming as a second wave depending on the location, there are many lessons to be learned, almost six months after the start of the first containment measures.

From a global perspective, real estate has reasserted itself as a safe haven at a time when economic activity is contracting and stock markets are fluctuating nervously, both as a source and consequence of notorious instability.

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As far as New York real estate is concerned, it is interesting to note, once again, the very strong resilience of this market, which has so far had only limited impact. Although historically there has been virtually no room for negotiation, in 2019 and early 2020 we saw the first signs of a “buyer’s market“, i.e. that it was (finally) possible to negotiate a little bit on asking prices, at a rate of a few percent depending on the neighborhood and the property. Since the second quarter, this trend has increased somewhat as demand has contracted in the wake of containment measures and restrictions on international travel. The fact that at the same time the inventory has also been reduced by around 30% (some people have taken advantage of the situation to withdraw their goods from the market in anticipation of better days) has tempered the increase in this margin for negotiation; we are now seeing price reductions of around 5% to 10% in the former.

On the other hand, it is a sector that is particularly affected by the effects of the pandemic, and especially by travel restrictions (especially international travel). These are new programs that are mostly targeted by buyers who do not live in New York, and/or rental investors. Moreover, these new programs have much more impactful scheduling and financing constraints than an individual owner, and they must “sell off their inventory” as quickly as possible in order to honor the commitments made to the various stakeholders, including financing and regulations.

It is on the strength of this observation and the recent negotiations conducted by BARNES New York with various developers, which revealed unprecedented commercial discounts, that we now recommend that wise investors take a close look at this real estate sector. Although this varies by project, inventory and neighborhood, we are relatively confident that we will achieve negotiation targets that go even beyond 15%. In some places, our clients have even been fortunate enough to exceed 25% cumulative discount (price and closing fee concessions). While the New York real estate market has historically, and on many occasions, demonstrated its strong resilience and ability to absorb various economic shocks, the exceptional discounts currently granted (until the health and economic situation in the world normalizes) should translate into as many gains in value in the short to medium term.

Do not hesitate to contact us now so that we can present you with the most relevant options today; as well as to pre-register for the next webinar we will be holding on this topic in the coming weeks.

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Last but not least, which mainly concerns residents more than investors (although), the containment measures and the risks incurred in high-density areas have favoured a significant growth of the residential real estate market in the inner suburbs. Any property located less than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, in a lower density area, with a stock of single-family homes and a satisfactory school offer, has seen its appreciation increase considerably since the beginning of the year. It is still uncertain at this stage what the long-term effect of such an exodus will be: is it for secondary use (weekends, holidays) or for permanent settlement? In any case, “suburbia” has a bright future ahead of it, and this could be more sustainable than the pandemic. With this in mind, BARNES New York is preparing to open an agency in Westchester, as close as possible to the French-speaking communities of Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Although we are already working on this project through our network of agents active in the area, we will be making a new panel of resources and an office available to you by the end of the year.

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