«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.

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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

Buy an apartment in New York without paying any charges or property taxes for 10 years? It’s possible !

Moving to New York is a life project that can be as exciting as it can be scary at times. Being accompanied by a real estate expert is a real guarantee of success. This is the reason why BARNES is always very attentive to the opportunities that the New York market may offer to its clientele of investors or looking for the right deal. Thanks to its network, BARNES can help you invest in an apartment in New York without charge or monthly tax for several years … even up to 10 years!

It is important to know that in New York, every owner of a condo must pay the condo fees (or “common charges”) each month.

These fees are often paid monthly to the building and correspond to the running costs of the latter, which will often provide its residents with a gym, a doorman, a swimming pool, maintenance of common areas, etc. The more services there are, the more the cost increases.

Thus, in Manhattan, these charges are on average $ 1.30 / sq ft or $ 14 / m2. In other words, for a 90 m2 apartment, it takes $ 15,600 / year.

In addition to these building charges, there is also the real estate tax (“Real Estate Tax”) which may vary from one building to another but which will be on average close to $ 1.20 / sqft ($ 13 / m2) . Or $ 14,400 for a 90 m² apartment.

These monthly charges and taxes, commonly called “Carrying cost” can therefore represent around $ 30,000 per year, or even $ 150,000 over 5 years, which is not negligible… Fortunately, these costs can be reduced considerably, or even to be entirely dispensed with!

Regarding property tax, it should be noted that some buildings benefit from tax reduction programs, thanks to the “421-A”, attributed by the city of New York to buildings that meet a certain number of criteria.

This allowance usually lasts 10 years, but can in some cases last 15 or 25 years, especially when the city wants to encourage developers to build in certain areas or certain types of buildings. The mechanism is progressive with total exemption in the first years (up to 12 years after delivery of the building) then a graduated increase in the Real Estate Tax until the program expires.

Note that 421-A benefits the building as a whole, and not a developer or owner, which is a valuable resale aid.

For example, if you buy an apartment in a tax-rebated building in the first year and sell it in the seventh year, your buyer will in turn benefit from the remaining three years of reduced taxes since the allowance remains with the property, and not with its owner.

BARNES can also advise you on certain buildings that combine the benefit of 421-A and exemption from condominium fees, which has the consequence of having a “carrying cost” of … $ 0!

Indeed, some condominiums in NYC offer the payment of your charges by the developer, as long as certain conditions are met. Thus, we can exempt from paying the charges of a 1 Bedroom for 5 years, or 10 years for a 3 Bedroom! And at the same time, benefit from all the many quality services of the building.

In this context, BARNES New York can allow its clients to take advantage of these opportunities and optimize their investment. Thanks among other things to a perfect knowledge of the New York real estate market, to the advice of our experts allowing the best negotiations as well as to the privileged commercial relations maintained with the most reputable developers.

The icing on the cake: the buyer’s broker’s commission is paid by the seller, even if the interests of the buyer have been defended in the negotiation!

Read the article on French District

An integrated international network for tailor-made solutions

An interview with Christophe Bourreau, director of Barnes New York.

A leader in international luxury real estate, BARNES has been supporting its clients in Florida since 2002. I joined BARNES in 2008 with the aim of promoting the American market in France. In June 2009, I became Director of BARNES office in Miami, a leading company in the international luxury real estate industry. BARNES has been in the Big Apple since 2009, New York being a priority market for our customers. I became director of BARNES NY in 2011. Since then, we have been advising buyers and sellers in their real estate projects, mainly in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

You and your company

Which services, which products, which activity?

BARNES assists you in all of your projects by offering all the services essential to the achievement of a perfect acquisition, from legal arrangement to final decoration, including financing, international formalities, domiciliation, insurance, rental management, etc.

What is the spirit, the culture of your company? What characterizes it?

Since its creation in 1995, BARNES has reinvented luxury real estate and offers an integrated international network in order to offer tailor-made solutions to its customers. From transaction to rental management, BARNES now deploys its expertise through more than 10 businesses.

BARNES brings together more than 800 employees, all experts and committed, in more than 15 countries and 85 offices. The promise of BARNES lies in the possession of fine real estate among the greatest international capitals and resorts.

A true family business, BARNES transmits to its employees its essential values of excellence, respect and its French know-how.

Why did you decide to settle in New York?

New York has always been a priority market considered by our customers, whether for a pied-à-terre or an investment. New York was simply the logical next step in the development of our BARNES office.

What advice would you give to those looking to move to New York?

Moving to New York is as exciting a life project as it can be difficult … My advice would be to always be accompanied by experts in every area related to an expatriation project: accountant, lawyer, real estate agent …

New York and you…

What do you like about New York?

New York is a land of opportunity. It is a constantly changing city where anything is possible when you have ambition and when you make the necessary efforts to achieve that ambition.

It is also the capital of the world where all types of cultures and profiles are present and contribute to making New York a city of incomparable richness.

What is your favorite neighborhood in or around NY City?

I really like Williamsburg, which has been able to redesign and completely rethink itself over the past 15 years.

The United States and you?

What do you like most about America?

What I like most about America is this culture of entrepreneurship and accepting others.

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