New Art Installation at BARNES New York & Westchester

BARNES New York & Westchester continues its collaboration and partnership with G&O ART with a tandem installation of works by José van GOOL from the PASSION & MOVEMENT series on view through the month of January.

These paintings inhabit a movement unique to van Gool, one she summons up through her dramatic charge of color.  

A solitary personage or a group are always the presumed focus of the composition. The women’s gowns break down into fields of color, maddening reds and oranges, so that what the viewer beheld at first seems to have sparked into an uncertain environment, more abstract and unknown, but more passionate as well. Van Gool’s mastery of color drives these emotional works, as the dancers she creates in effect lose themselves, consumed by the hot, dry matter of the world, like fallen, brittle leaves about to burst into flame.

José van Gool explores the relationship between color and movement, with slightly blurred faces that take the shape of everyday, anonymous women. Red, yellow, and orange hues bring warmth and a glowing luminosity, creating the illusion of an open flame lighting up the room.


G&O ART is a representative and promotional agency for international contemporary artists, a unique art source-expert catering to Private and Corporate Collectors, International Institutions and Foundations, Hospitality and Luxury industries, Galleries, Art Dealers and Museums. Basing its success on close working relationship with all clients, G&O ART provides a wide range of visual arts of nationally and internationally recognized as well as emerging artists.


Art in the background with the BARNES round logo on the window overlaying.

Dynamic player in the art market since 2000, at the instigation of its founder Heidi Barnes, BARNES Art advisory supports young talent in contemporary creation through a programme of exhibitions and Art installations at prestigious venues where the brand is established and through partnerships with major artistic events (FIAC, PARIS PHOTO, etc.).

More about BARNES Art Advisory

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Rightmove’s most-viewed international property listings of 2021

Rightmove, or rightmove.co.uk, is the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website, allowing users to discover more than 1 million property in the UK and abroad on their large property marketplace.

Rightmove has shared which international homes attracted the most interest online, and along properties in highly coveted California, France and Portugal, BARNES New York’s property made it to the fourth position, with its incredible castle in the sky at 515 Park Avenue. Located just a few steps from Central Park, this extraordinary mansion combines over 2,000 sq. ft. of spectacular terraces overlooking Park Avenue with 6,000 sq. ft. of magnificent interiors in this enormous mint-condition duplex, including 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and a separate studio, in a premier full-service condominium building.

New York is not dead – Real estate market still strong

Read the article here

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we behave and had a deep economical and social impact on societies all over the world. It is thus not surprising that the real estate market was impacted, especially in a megalopolis like New York City, where the housing prices can lead people to live close to each other in cramped apartments. It was also a natural reaction to want to move away from the city, to a suburb or even farther where one could rent a spacious house and enjoy fresher air and greenery.

However, New York will always be New York, and despite a decrease in rent and sales prices during year 2020, prices are now back to a pre-pandemic level, and people are ready to move back to the bustling and lively Big Apple. New York real estate market is still strong and resilient, and there are still great opportunities, especially in new developments.

BARNES accompanies you in all your real estate endeavors in New York and abroad thanks to its international and global network, and its 100 offices in the most coveted destinations and world capitals, and with three expansiosn planned: in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Hamptons and New Jersey.

Why should you invest in a New York City home?

By Annie Newman

New York is one of the most attractive cities in the world to live in and attracts global attention since the beginning of its history. It is not only an exciting place to live in but it is also a world capital in many ways. It is the location of major financial institutions, world renowned cultural districts, the seat of the United Nations and has more population per square feet than most cities across the country. The real estate in New York City is priced at a high value due to its coveted status as one of the greatest metropolitan areas in the world. New York City consists of the following 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. They all offer unique homes, condos, lofts and apartments that only increase in value over time and can satisfy a wide array of lifestyle needs.

The New York City real estate market

New York apartments are quite in demand and regardless of price, often have many people eyeing the same homes for sale at the same time. One charming neighborhood in Manhattan named Chelsea, recently attracted hundreds of people to a two bedroom open house event where the line to enter had almost a 30 minute wait. Not many cities on earth can boast such a phenomenon. New York City apartments for sale are often difficult to choose from as there are so many neighborhoods and boroughs that offer exclusive living spaces. It is important to do the right research before investing in a luxury condo in New York or any type of home as each area has its own character. Many older residences offer high ceilings, large lobbies, decorative features, hardwood floors and historic charm. The newer constructions are built smaller and are usually found in high rises but do include more modern advantages than prewar constructions. Some New York homes for sale are more expensive but are built in quieter areas that have more of a suburban feel. The New York penthouses for sale offer incredible views of the Manhattan skyline that are truly breathtaking and worth the investment. One can spend days visiting the arts and cultural centers and museums around the city and the fast paced lifestyle of New York is inviting for all those who are looking for a fulfilling experience.

Neighborhoods in New York City

The Upper East Side in New York is known for its trendy and upscale homes, restaurants and shops. Part of Central Park and many museums surround the area that can be filled with tourists all year round. Purchasing or renting an Upper East Side apartment is a source of pride for many residents.

Chelsea is a Manhattan neighborhood that is quite central and has more townhouses and low-rise buildings that make the area more home-like than the skyscrapers of other districts. A lot of former factories have been transformed into art galleries, condos, and trendy upscale living spaces. It is mainly residential and doesn’t reflect the more bustling neighborhoods that are in the financial districts. It has a lot of history and restored homes. SoHo in New York is another fancy neighborhood that includes many designer stores, high end shopping and elegant homes. It has a lively nightlife and attracts all types of artists and vendors.

The SoHo apartments in New York are well located and offer both historical styles of architecture as well as top of the line modern constructions. TriBeCa is a very expensive neighborhood of Manhattan that has a suburban look with cobblestone streets and multimillion dollar residences. It has a family friendly atmosphere and the TriBeCa apartments are usually high priced due to its special character as a quiet area in the big city. There are many lofts for sale that were formerly built as industrial buildings and have spacious accommodations. In a city that has over 8 million inhabitants, every square foot is precious real estate. Some families who are looking for a peaceful neighborhood in New York without having to commute to further suburbs in other boroughs can choose TriBeCa as a primary residence.

The Upper West Side of Manhattan is famous and its name is probably more recognized that many other New York districts. The area includes Central Park, one of the only preserved green spaces in the city, as well as many museums and is a desired zip code to live in. It has many affluent residents and notable structures and is also more convenient for families or people looking for a more quiet living space.

The Upper West Side of New York offers apartments that are luxurious, beautifully restored and have cozy living spaces. The streets are quieter and one does not have to be concerned with the loud distractions of the more densely populated areas. The East Village of New York is more known for its busy nightlife, bars, music venues and restaurants. It does include mansions and prestigious homes as well as row housing. It is a center for culture and the East Village apartments are well located for those who want more of a fast paced lifestyle. It is easy to access all the cultural venues that are so close by.

The West Village of New York is quite special in the sense that the city imposed the maintenance of the historic facades of many buildings and therefore the area has kept a lot of its historic charm. There are many theaters that display modern cultural trends and movements. In general, New York City itself is a mix of old and new, modern and historic, busy yet livable and exciting as can be for all those who call it home.

BARNES New York is at your disposal to help you choose the right New York City home for your needs and aspirations. We have a team of knowledgeable experts who can guide you through the process of purchasing your dream residence in the City that never sleeps. 

Selling your home when you get a divorce: what is the process?

By Myriam Benhamou

One of the difficult consequences of a divorce is that you often have to sell the family home. Of course, homes are often sold, and for a variety of reasons – for example, the need or desire to buy bigger or smaller, or to change neighborhoods or cities – and while these events can certainly be a cause of anxiety and trepidation, it can generally be assumed that sellers will experience this event relatively well and that most will even look forward to moving to their next home. But when the motivation is a divorce, the situation is likely to be quite different, and unless the divorce is amicable, there is a good chance that the sale will prove much more difficult.

To better understand the situation, we must first talk about the importance of the family home before we can discuss the challenges inherent to its sale and how to meet these challenges and finally highlight the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce.

The importance of the family home

To start, the home is an asset that is likely to have different meanings for the parties involved and it becomes even more complicated when there are children still living at home.

  • First there is the emotional aspect – the home holds memories and for many, memories of a happier time when the spouses had dreams and made plans together for the future. It was a witness to the baby’s first steps, birthday parties or family festive dinners. And while happy memories may gradually have turned into bad memories (sometimes even nightmares), having to leave the home may still be difficult to accept, and that is often because of what the family home traditionally represents.
  • Indeed, the family home is generally synonymous with stability, security (especially for children) and for some, even social status. 
    • It makes it possible to delineate the family perimeter and give support to family members.
    • It contributes to the sense of belonging and the notion of identity.
    • It is a sanctuary that protects our privacy and houses everything that is important to us and to which we are attached (whether people, personal belongings or souvenirs).
    • Finally, it preserves the family and social bond and is therefore the place where children are expected to flourish. 

Consequences can be catastrophic for the spouse who is forced to leave the home; consequences often amplified in the context of “gray divorce” where couples separate late, after several decades spent together. “Gray divorces” are difficult for both parties, but unfortunately, often even more so for women than men, and can seriously damage both spouses’ finances. It is indeed more difficult to rebuild financially for obvious reasons related to age and the fact that there is not as much time left to find work or continue working. Similarly, one of the spouses may not have had the same career progress or earning potential. As a result, one or both spouses’ life journey will often be completely disrupted.

So, what are the challenges?

Challenges

They are numerous and are present at every stage of the transaction.

  • Motivation.  The spouses’ motivations and expectations for the sale can be completely different. For instance, one spouse may want to sell as soon as possible (and therefore not necessarily at the highest price) in order to be able to start his or her life over with the person he or she has already met. But for the other spouse, the higher the selling price of the family home, the better that spouse’s chances to find a decent apartment
  • Exclusive sales agreement. If both spouses are on title, both spouses must sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent – which means that the agent will represent both parties, in a situation that can be very conflictual.  
  • Lack of cooperation. Representing a couple can be difficult in the best of cases, but at least the spouses have a common goal: to sell the home for the best possible price; and it is therefore reasonable to anticipate being able to find a common agreement.  Here, however, the objectives are different, the motivations are different and above all the sale will have consequences that can be radically different for each party. There is, therefore, a good chance that the parties will make decisions separately and will be contentious on just about anything and everything.
  • Selling price. Before they can sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent, the parties must agree on the sale price. Several scenarios can arise: a party is very emotionally attached to the home and thinks that it is worth much more than in reality; or a party may want to get as much money as possible because he or she needs it post-divorce as his or her financial future may depend on how much money is derived from the sale; or the parties have simply come to detest each other and do not want to cooperate. This can lead to fierce fights between spouses with very little room left for a reasonable outcome.  
  • Sales dynamics. The parties must also agree on details such as the preparation of the home for the sale (e.g., decluttering and storing, which requires some cooperation and which costs money); acceptable times for visits by potential buyers; or how much to spend on advertising or marketing.
  • Offer. Both parties must accept an offer and be willing to negotiate it.
  • Closing of the transaction. Finally, the spouses must accept and sign the necessary documents for the closing of the sale, which again, requires some cooperation.

How to meet these challenges and what are the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce?

What is the best way to address these challenges – and why is it important to hire a real estate agent who specializes in divorces? As has been demonstrated, a sale resulting from a divorce cannot be treated as a regular transaction because it is not a regular transaction.

  1. Why a real estate agent specializing in divorce is an asset

In order to be able to receive a certification as a “Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist”, an agent has to receive prior training that allows him or her to recognize the applicable challenges and deal with them before they become unmanageable. This specialist is better equipped than a more traditional agent to assist a couple who is divorcing because he or she has a better understanding of the ramifications of a divorce (whether financial, legal, or psychological) and its impact on the sale of the home. The agent can therefore provide a divorcing couple the necessary support throughout the process. 

2. How can these challenges be met?

It is important to work with a real estate agent who will know to:

  • Remain neutral. The agent must first remember that the agent represents both parties and that they may be very unlikely to cooperate with each other – but nevertheless, the agent must remain neutral and impartial, and must take a diplomatic approach to each decision (including knowing when it is advisable to give the parties the space they need to reach a consensus). This is not always easy because, in some cases, one of the spouses has already left the marital home which means that by necessity (for example, organizing visits) the agent tends to be more in contact with one of the spouses than the other, and sometimes that spouse gradually becomes more comfortable and can indulge in some confidences that can impact the neutrality of the representation.
  • Communicate. The agent must explain very clearly how he or she intends to communicate with both parties (keeping in mind that both must be kept always informed and in the same manner).
  • Rely on facts. Deciding on the value of the home can be difficult because the parties often have very different ideas about the value of the home in question. The agent must propose a selling price that clearly relies on the reality of the market. He or she will therefore have to prepare a detailed, fact-based valuation where the agent will indeed have to demonstrate in detail the previous comparable sales to make it clear that the proposed price is in line with the market. It is also a way to remove the emotional aspect from the equation.
  • Stay flexible. The agent must know how to remain flexible (and patient!). Some spouses, in fact, become true masters in the art of delaying the sale.

Myriam Benhamou is a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker and a Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist and is at your service, always looking forward to fulfilling your housing needs and protecting your best interest. Contact BARNES New York below to tell us more about your needs.

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Why you should consider cryptocurrencies for your next real estate transaction

Until recently, Blockchain technology was simply associated with bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, disrupting the traditional financial world and questioning the way we have always treated money transactions and payments. It has also launched a frenzy race for many other major industries, who started to realize the full potential of this new technology and how they should start applying it in their everyday business routine. Cryptocurrencies have allowed for easier payments and facilitated money exchanges, and blockchain have created a new form of digital ownership never seen before. For example, non-fungible tokens, also called NFTs, now allow a user to own and trade many different forms of digital art with a certified and verified proof of ownership. Blockchain could also be used in many other applications across society, like secure sharing of medical data, voting mechanism, and much more.

It would thus be the logical next step that the real estate industry starts utilizing this new technology to process transactions and create real estate processing platforms. But first, what is blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and how are they related?

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies: what are they?

Blockchain allows block of information and transaction data that once created, are being validated by a chain of other blocks, making it resistant to modification or data alterations. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and in a quite inexpensive manner. It is considered decentralized, using peer-to-peer network to store data, and thus eliminating the risks that come with data being held centrally in one place.

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, use this blockchain technology to record transactions. Individual coin ownership are secured in “blocks”, ensuring control over the creation of additional coins, and a full verification of the transaction records and transfer of coin ownership. Since bitcoin’s successful release, many other cryptocurrencies called “altcoins” have been created, which could theoretically be used in everyday life for daily transactions. Unlike fiat money, cryptocurrency is not regulated by central authorities or backed by any governments, making it a versatile payment solution.

How can cryptocurrency and real estate work together?

Since cryptocurrency can function just like any other form of payments, there is no reason one couldn’t pay in crypto for a real estate transaction. The process may seem complicated at first, but in the end, it simply offers an additional way to pay or receive money and brings more flexibility into the deal. Even more, by tokenizing real estate property and making it digital, assets can then be traded on an exchange and all transactions can be done online.

Cryptocurrencies introduce new platforms and marketplaces to list properties and new ways to connect buyers and sellers. It reduces the intermediaries and automates many steps traditionally fulfilled by lawyers and banks, with a huge improvement on the overall cost and speeding up the time needed for each transaction. Since information is stored in the blockchain, it is accessible to all peers on the network, making data transparent and permanent. Those advantages can be positively used by the real estate industry for a smoother, sped up process.

Recently, properties have been sold using crypto, like these two luxury properties on the island of Madeira in Portugal that were sold in Cardano, a new altcoin, totaling $4.7 million. Two luxury condos are also up for sale in one of Florida’s most exclusive oceanfront, for a total price of $31 million, with developers accepting payment in bitcoin.

BARNES New York is moving forward with cryptocurrency

BARNES has been assisting its clients in New York state for more than 10 years, and strives to bring you the best level of service to make your real estate transactions easier and less time consuming. By accepting cryptocurrency payments, BARNES is positioning itself as one of the first initiators in the industry to do so and is looking forward to adopt more innovation in the near future. Please feel free to contact us for your real estate needs.

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«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring the West Village with Pauline Lévêque

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 take a walk in the West Village, in the company of illustrator Pauline Lévêque. With her husband, writer Marc Levy, and their two children, she has lived in this West Manhattan neighborhood for twelve years. The artist, who is exhibiting on November 11, 12 and 13 in Brooklyn, shows us her neighborhood, with its inspirations and habits. And without a doubt, its daily joys…

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

Pauline Lévêque: Before settling in the Village, my husband and I lived in London. There is an English side to it, green and calm in this neighborhood, but here the sky is blue almost every day. The streets are charming, the brownstones superb, and you don’t really feel the New York frenzy. It’s a little haven of peace in the heart of Manhattan.

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

It really is village life. We know our neighbors, the UPS delivery man, the traders, the elderly in the neighborhood, the watercolorist who draws the street corners, the cellist who has been playing the same tunes for twelve years, the cigarette seller, the dog walker … And we find a bunch of dogs! Almost as many as children! It is very joyful and cordial to walk through the streets of the Village. But depending on the festivities, as with the Halloween parade, it’s not uncommon to come across extravagant, happy, or scary personalities. The shops on Bleecker Street have suffered greatly from the pandemic, but like the rest of the city, we are feeling a new lease of life and we are discovering new brands. The restaurants are all installed on the sidewalks and in the streets, which gives a European “bistro” side.

You are a mom. How is life with children and a family at TriBeCA? Are there many families?

Yes a lot. My children both go to a school in the neighborhood and the majority of their friends live there. We go to school on foot or by scooter, we meet up with friends on the way. It’s easy for last minute playdates and playground laps, too. We feel very safe in the Village. It is a very “kids-friendly” neighborhood. As proof, the ice cream parlor’s truck makes its daily rounds almost all year round!

You are an artist. Can you make us discover this district with your words? Is this a neighborhood that inspires you?

Very much. The outlook of the tree-lined streets, the alleys of townhouses, the view from the banks of the Hudson river… The area does not have too many tall buildings compared to the rest of the city, so I can see the sky with every walk, watch the roofs of small buildings with their water towers, have fun with graffiti, and see the Freedom Tower enthroned at the end of 7th Avenue.

Can you describe where you live, what attracted you, what do you like about your home?

The village is unlike any other parts of Manhattan. Unlike the rest of the city, the streets are not numbered, but have names. Before living here, I always got lost in this neighborhood, and had a soft spot for the corner of Perry Street and W4th. I am fortunate to live close to this corner that made me dream. And I still don’t get tired of it.

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

Absolutely! I think the vast majority of people in the West Village are Americans, but the area really does have a European feel to it. By the way, Diptyque, Sandro, Maje, Bash can be found on Bleecker Street. The schools are on a human scale.

Your favorite places in the West Village?

Along the Hudson River, the children’s clothing store “Pink Chicken” on Bleecker Street, the restaurants “Mary’s fish camp”, “La Sevilla”, “Buvette”, “Bobo”, “Nami Nori”, “En Japanese »… Gay street, Morton and Bedford Street, St Luke’s place… Smalls jazz club on W10th. Etc., etc!

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

Sure, for both. West village is an expensive area, but if you can afford it, it’s the nicest area for me to live.

If you had to describe the West Village in three words?

Charming. Calm. Village!

EXPERTS DISCUSS – West Village

Rental Market in West Village: During Q3 2021, the median rent for an apartment in West Village was $3,000 for a studio, $4,000 for a 1 bedroom, and $5,500 for a 2 bedroom.

Sales Market in West Village: In the third quarter of 2021, across the West Village, the median asking price of sellers is $2,100 / sqft.

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

How can New York real estate agents be helpful in guiding you through the real estate market?

By: Annie Newman

New York City is one of the largest and most populated cities in the United States and consists of a thriving and growing real estate market. Some people who are looking to buy or rent properties in and around the city choose to inquire about its available listings online or through visiting the different areas. Others prefer to use a real estate agent to guide them in the process of investing in this great city.

What are the roles and responsibilities of the real estate agents in New York?

Anyone who has explored the New York real estate market is aware that the prices of properties in the Big Apple are higher than many cities across the nation due to the popularity and economic power of the city. Due to the large territory that New York covers, one can find a tremendous variety of properties in Manhattan and the surrounding suburbs and boroughs who are quite large and diverse in lifestyle, architecture and landscapes. Even if a buyer is certain about the type of building or property that they are searching for, navigating the market without an agent can be quite challenging as there is truly a sea of choice. Also, due to the higher than average prices found across the city, buyers want to ensure that their investment is worthwhile and done properly.

Real estate agents are key to helping potential clients in searching for their dream house or investment in this glamorous and world renowned metropolis. They can guide you to investigate which areas match your ideal social, cultural or business setting and can present you with listings that are not always available online or well described on search sites. They can narrow down the possibilities for you and give you details about the residences and properties that would not necessarily be accessible or explained in the brief online descriptions. They are experts regarding the history of the different locations, prices, quality of the buildings, local construction laws, and true value of the properties. They can help you make the appropriate comparisons.

Many real estate agents can also connect you to the right mortgage specialists, home improvement or construction businesses. They can also be available to communicate with potential sellers and other real estate agents or property managers on your behalf and save you a lot of time by inquiring about your questions and concerns with those other parties directly. They can certainly be a great asset in planning and organizing your search for the perfect real estate investment in New York. Due to the high demand for housing and commercial properties in the City, some agents may offer better service than others. Some real estate brokers are very busy and some are more interested in those willing to invest greater funds for more major transactions, but with the right patience, buyers can do their research to find the best real estate agents in the city for their needs and goals. Some brokers around the city are more motivated than others by commissions but the top real estate agents are those who truly care about their client’s needs. People who are looking to buy or rent don’t want to be pressured into signing a contract on any property that is pushed specifically by an agent, they want to find the home that matches their needs and budget and want to have all the true information about the quality and pricing of their investment. That is why it is important to search for the right real estate broker that will represent you and have your full interest in mind. When you find the appropriate real estate agent for you, they can help you with gathering the proper documentations for your investment, answer your questions, put you in touch with lenders, home inspectors, lawyers and all the parties involved from the beginning of your search to the finalization of your transaction. Sometimes, the process can take a longer time and can require more attention or communications, and this is why it is crucial to choose the brokers with the best organizational and collaborative skills to be there for you along the different steps to complete your acquisitions.

BARNES New York and its influence in the luxury real estate market

BARNES New York is proud to excel in its service in the New York luxury real estate market and has a great team of experts available for consultations regarding all your real estate goals. We offer some of the most sought after properties in and around the City, from high end apartments and condos to luxury homes, townhouses and penthouses. Our team is familiar with the real estate market in this wondrous city and has access to an international network of experts in local and foreign investments and property management. Our exclusive properties, whether available to buy or rent, are presented to you with the highest degree of professionalism and we take pleasure in your satisfaction and long term success. For more than a decade, BARNES New York has helped its international and local clientele in their real estate acquisitions in the City. From our real estate agents and brokers to our managing partners, real estate consultants, and business associates, we are all committed to give you the best experience in planning, buying or renting the right property for you. We look forward to working with you on all your real estate goals and projects.

Chelsea, one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world

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

It stretches from 14th Street to 34th Street and 6th Avenue to the Hudson River. The Chelsea district has just entered the Timeout ranking of “49 coolest districts in the world”. This district of the West Side of Manhattan is known for its many restaurants, its famous sites, including the High Line, but also its art galleries. Between the inauguration of The Little Island this year and the opening of the exhibition ‘Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure’, next spring, immersed in the Chelsea district, one of the most “gay-friendly” in Manhattan, but a neighborhood that also has a bit of a French touch of some sort…

Chelsea among the coolest neighborhoods in the world

The ranking “the 49 coolest neighborhoods in the world” of the famous Timeout magazine is just out and awarded to 49 neighborhoods spread over the four corners of the planet under the title of “coolest neighborhood in the world”. The Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan comes in 6th place.

From “speak easy” to flea markets, restaurants, gay bars to green buildings, the Chelsea district caters to all tastes. Chelsea is a happy marriage of industrial style and contemporary construction, with one watchword: strolling. Trendy restaurants, cafes, small shops and openness to water and nature, if Chelsea made its entry into the Timout ranking, there’s a good reason.

Chelsea is one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York to have retained its original name. In 1750, an English entrepreneur named Thomas Clarke bought a “ten square block” piece of land near the Hudson River and named the estate “Chelsea” after a soldier’s house near London. Over the years, developers have built the heart of Chelsea between 14th and 23rd Streets West of Eighth Avenue and have designed the neighborhood with the boundaries we know today. Among the monuments, both literally and figuratively, of the Chelsea district, the famous Chelsea Hotel, Madison Square Garden, the High Line, Chelsea Market, The Little Island… But not only! Chelsea is a neighborhood that has its secrets.

Chelsea’s secrets

The top of brick buildings and water tower on a Chelsea rooftop.

The Grand Lodge of New York is the largest and oldest independent organization of Freemasons in New York. Founded on December 15, 1782, the Grand Lodge has jurisdiction over approximately 60,000 Freemasons. The historic 23rd Street and 6th Avenue structure has hosted various blood drives and charity events, as well as New York’s Masonic Security Identification Program.

Another of Chelsea’s secret, the atomic bomb … Although much of the research on the project took place at Columbia University, Chelsea also played a small but important role in the development of the atomic bomb. On West 20th Street, three buildings once made up the Baker and Williams warehouses, which housed thousands of tonnes of uranium. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the federal government cleaned buildings of residual uranium, disposing of over a dozen barrels of radioactive waste.

Another, sweeter secret… The building that now houses Chelsea Market was once the headquarters of the National Biscuit Company, or Nabisco. The factory officially opened in 1890 when eight bakeries came together to create a “super bakery” and continued to expand until 1958 when the company left Manhattan. In 1912, Nabisco invented his undoubtedly most famous product in Chelsea: the Oreo cookie. Chief food scientist Sam Porcello created the recipe, which has remained largely unchanged over a century later. The company also produced classic products such as Saltines, Vanilla Wafers, Fig Newtons, and Barnum’s Animal Crackers. Many remains of the original Nabisco factory are still there. Entering Chelsea Market from 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets, the Nabisco plaque dating from 1898 still triumphs.

A bit of France in Chelsea

View of downtown Manhattan from a garden in Chelsea, with a terrace in the foreground and people watching at the skyline.

While many may think The High Line‘s concept of turning old train tracks into a park was started in Chelsea, The High Line was actually inspired by the Parisian project, La Coulée Verte, located in the 12th arrondissement of the French capital, built in 1993 from a disused railway line. The project, both architectural and green, follows the old Vincennes railway line and crosses an elevated viaduct to reach the Bastille. The High Line, the American counterpart of the Coulée Verte, was to have retail space underneath, but plans were scrapped after the spaces under the park were privatized.

With nearly 40,000 French people officially settled in New York, Chelsea is also a neighborhood taken over by expatriates. On 29th Street, between 7th and 8th Avenue, the O’Cabanon restaurant has taken up residence since 2015 with its adjoining shop where you can find a wide range of French products: cookies, preserves, syrups, cheese, cold meats, chocolate, cosmetics and even books in French.

Further south, within the Chelsea Market itself, the Norman pastry chef Jérémie Rousselet officiates at Tiny Feast. On a very French note, ham / gruyère baguette sandwiches, charcuterie boards and donuts are on the menu. “I have a lot of good memories with donuts: they remind me of summer and the holidays, their delicious smell, and when I was a child, in France, going to bakeries after school to have a donut” explains the French chef on the Tiny Feast website.

On 7th Avenue, between 19 and 20e rue, Le Singe Vert, a bistro with romantic decoration that serves cold meats, snails, onion soup, endive salad with duck confit, steak tartare or even a tab wine merchant.

It was also in Chelsea that the 2013 Chelsea Film Festival was born – sponsored by French nationals Ingrid Jean-Baptiste and Sonia Jean-Baptiste and whose 9th edition has just ended. This festival dedicated to the 7th art, highlights and awards international independent or emerging filmmakers. This year, among the 141 films presented, 11 were produced by French directors.

Chelsea, this neighborhood where it is good to stroll, work and live, however, remains an expensive neighborhood in New York. “As of September 2021, in Chelsea, the median selling price was $1,289,000, and reported on the surface the median price was $1,491 / sqft. For rentals, the average rental price in September was $3,675 for a studio, $5,150 for a one bedroom and $7,450 for a two bedrooms ”explains Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner at BARNES New York.

Expensive, but cool, so is Chelsea…

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

What should you know about luxury real estate in New York?

By Annie Newman

New York City is one of the most unique places in the world. The bustling economy, the award winning theatres, the big city lights and skyline, the top rated fashion industry and the luxury real estate market are all part of the exciting glamor of the Big Apple. Every big city in the world can include luxury real estate but New York takes it to a whole new level. It boasts apartments and condos that are so elevated within the skyscrapers, that some of them can feel like one is living in the clouds. The high value pricing for New York residences is above the national average, and for good reason, since owning or renting a luxury home there is considered quite prestigious.

Why is the cost of living in New York higher than average?

Buyers can own a home in cities across the United States for reasonable prices but a few American cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and New York can dazzle its residents and tourists with a magic touch as these cities offer a lifestyle that cannot be found just anywhere. It’s not every day in smaller towns that one can experience the lively financial, social and cultural way of life that a big metropolis like New York has to offer. It is no wonder that luxury apartments in NYC are in high demand and their incredible views of Manhattan are even priceless. In New York, there is such a variety of neighborhoods and lifestyle options that choosing a place to call one’s home can be a fascinating journey. One has to choose the right neighborhood, the right location and the type of housing that is appropriate. Luxury apartments in NYC are surrounded by charm, history, and a sense of liveliness that is rare to find in most towns nationwide. For example, a New York penthouse can be so much more alluring for buyers that a penthouse in other cities, because they usually offer views that are breathtaking of the big city and are usually found in very high towers that offer far reaching views. Many celebrities or business owners who own homes in other American cities often choose to purchase a second home in New York as it is a source of pride to own a piece of real estate in one of the most attractive places in the world. Those who live there year round feel a great sense of fulfillment to be able to enjoy on a daily basis the bustling life that New York has to offer.

Luxury real estate outside of Manhattan

For those who want to be close to Manhattan but prefer a more serene and suburban lifestyle, there are many boroughs outside of New York City that offer exclusive luxury homes and townhouses for sale across a wide area surrounding the big city. The New York real estate prices vary depending on the areas but usually the condos for sale outside of Manhattan are less expensive than in the City itself. Yet, bigger houses in the suburbs can actually be more expensive than apartments in Manhattan because they are quite large and have more land. New York is a very populated city and therefore choosing a home outside the region can offer more of a spacious and comfortable lifestyle.

Types of luxury real estate in New York

New York is a city that has a long history and therefore many buildings and homes were built quite a long time ago. The people who invest in those types of constructions can be surprised to see them listed as luxury properties because of the date in which they were built, but a lot of them have been completely renovated and revived. They are considered luxurious due to the location in NYC as well as the fact that they are built with more space than newer condos or apartments in the City. The other type of luxury residences in New York are the brand new constructions, or new developments, often found in high rises that offer spectacular views and modern amenities. They are well located and are prestigious to live in. They usually have a 24 hour doorman and maybe even a gym or pool. Yet, they are often built much smaller since developers or sponsors want to maximize the expensive land they purchased in New York. Every square foot of space in a city like New York is very precious and often has many people bidding for the same properties. It is one of the reasons why Manhattan is known as a ‘concrete jungle.’ Whenever new land becomes available for building, investors prefer to build high rise buildings instead of parks or green areas to increase revenue. Renting or owning a luxury home in New York is not to be taken for granted as it is a very special opportunity.

Expensive neighborhoods in New York

Hudson Yards, TriBeCa, SoHo, Upper East Side, Central Park, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, Park Slope, Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens, to mention a few, are some of the most expensive neighborhoods in New York City. Some of these are in Brooklyn, while others are in Manhattan. Manhattan is the most expensive of all as it is the heart of New York City and State for economic, cultural and social development. Other boroughs can also be expensive due to their proximity to New York City but can be more affordable than Manhattan itself. They can also include larger properties. Whether you are looking to buy or rent in the New York area, you will be spoiled with a wide variety of luxury properties to choose from in and around the big city.

BARNES New York is the quintessence of luxury real estate in the City and offers its services related to sales, rentals and property management for your real estate projects. Its international clientele and worldwide reputation brings you the most exclusive properties and our team of experts is at your disposal to accompany you in reaching your investment goals in New York.

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