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18
Jun
2019

StreetEasy

Charting StreetEasy’s path forward? It’s complicated Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff says experimentation with business model to come

StreetEasy may be ubiquitous in New York City, but monetizing the brand is proving “a littl爱上海同城 爱上海e more complicated,” according to Spencer Rascoff, CEO of StreetEasy parent Zillow Group.

Speaking during Zillow s first-quarter earnings call Tuesday, Rascoff said that StreetEasy continues to gobble up market share, through initiatives such as Zillow s acquisition of rental platform Naked Apartments for $13 million in February.

But StreetEasy’s diverse revenue streams, including subscriptions, display ads, and agent-advertising campaigns, mean t上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝he Seattle-based Zillow is finding it tricky to chart a clear course forward. Rascoff acknowledged that in order for StreetEasy to achieve its full revenue potential, Zillow has “more business model experimentation to do” before it embarks on a “full build-out of a sales team” in New York.

Company-wide, Zillow pulled in revenue of $186 million during the first quarter of 2016, up 25 percent year-over-year, executives on the call said Tuesday. In March, its consumer-facing sites – which include Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and others – attracted a record 166 million unique users, up 22 percent year-over-year.

But the company was far from profitable, reporting a $47.6 million loss in the first quarter, which it attributed to litigation with News Corp. and the National Association of Realtors.

Zillow does not break out performance by brand, so numbers for StreetEasy weren t provided. But since its acquisition in 2013 for $50 million, the Manhattan-based listings site has experimented with new revenue platforms, including the controversial building experts  and neighborhood experts programs.

The efforts appear to be paying off: Earlier this year, Rascoff disclosed that StreetEasy’s revenue more than doubled since Zillow’s acquisition. (A back-of-the napkin calculation indicates revenue in 2015 of at least $11.2 million, based on an earlier disclosure that StreetEasy s revenue in 2012, the last time that annual revenue was disclosed, was $5.6 million.)

Nationwide, Zillow claims it has 63 percent market share of online real estate searches. On Tuesday, Rascoff said the company would focus on growing its national audience of users (read: sel上海夜网论坛 上海夜网lers, buyers and renters). In New York, that effort was reflected in StreetEasy’s wry February ad campaign in public spaces, called “Find Your Formula,” which breaks down the compromises New Yorkers make when it comes to real estat上海千花网论坛 上海千花网e decisions.

Enlisting more top agents to advertise on its sites is also a key goal, Rascoff said. Its Premier Agent advertising program, for agents who spent more than $5,000 a month on ads, generated $134.5 million in revenue during the quarter, up 25 percent year-over-year. The number爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 of agents participating in the program increased 74 percent year-over-year, and collectively increased their spendin[……]

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18
Jun
2019

Gemini Real Estate Advisors

Here’s what the $10M上海贵族宝贝 上海千花网龙凤论坛-$20M investment sales market looked like last week Gemini sells Midtown hotel; Criterion nabs Astoria 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 上海同城对对碰交友社区office building

From left: 442 West 3阿爱上海同城 阿拉爱上海同城6th Street, Shibber Khan and 28-18 Steinway Street

1.) Gemini Real Estate Advisors sold the Quality Inn Midtown West at 442 West 36th Street for $18.5 million. The sale appears to be a loss for Gemini, w上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛hich paid $18.8 million to acquire the hotel eight years ago. Jin Sup An, the owner of the East Houston Hotel on the Lower East Side and GEM Hotel near Hudson Yards, is the buyer.

2.) Shibber Khan’s Criterion Group snapped up an office-and-retail building in Astoria for $12.5 million from the Malachite Group. The building at 28-18 Steinway Street has 12 commercial units totaling 24,600 square feet. It’s home to several medical offices and law firms, and is sandwiched between a pair of low-rise commercial buildings along Steinway. Malachite paid $7.5 million for the four-story building a decade ago. Criterion is also looking to sell a a 253,000-square-foot development site in Long Island City, as The Real Deal repor上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛ted in August.

(Source: ACRIS data for closed sales between Nov. 7-13, and Reonomy data)

Tags: Investment Sales
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18
Jun
2019

Solly Assa Lawsuit

Alleged illegal hotel operator sued by former partner Salim Assa is accused of running hotels out of residential buildings

Solly Assa and the MAve Hotel

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for hotel developer Salim Solly Assa. Assa is already facing contempt charges from the city for turning apartment houses into tourist lodging. And now, he is being accused by a former business partner of improperly “seizing” the property.

Last year, the city sued Assa for allegedly running an illegal hotel out of rental buildings at West 55th and West 46th streets. Then in October, a city inspector found that a British businessman was renting a room at the West 55th building for a one-week stint.

Now, Manhattan investor Abraham Lavi contributed $1.1 million in 2013 to the purchase of Two West 46th Street apartment buildings with Assa, according to the New York Post. But Lavi contends in legal papers that Assa “duped” him into believing they were buying the property together and then “secretly” brought another partner into the deal.

Lavi is now attempting to stop what he believes was Assa’s pending sale of the property via上海千花社区 上海千花网交友 court order.

Assa’s lawyer, Stephen Meister, told the Post that Lavi breached his original ag上海千花网交友 上海千花网论坛reement, failed to pay his full investment, and “then Lavi disappeared, without explanation, for nearly two years.” [NYP] Christopher Cameron

Tags: assa properties, solly assa
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18
Jun
2019

Zillow Prize

Zillow offers $1M prize to improve Zestimate algorithm Some brokers criticize the tool for inaccuracy

Spencer Rascoff and Zillows Zestimate feature

Zillow is offering a $1 million prize to a person or team that comes up with the best way to improve its Zestimates algorithm.

Zestimates, which is featured on Zillow’s property listing site, calculates an esti上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛mated home value independent of the asking price. The tool is wildly popular, but it is also controversial among brokers because its estimates are often far off the mark.

The company says it improved the tool’s median error rate from 14 percent when it first launched in 2006 to around 5 percent today, but that still means half of all estimat爱上海同城对对碰 爱上海同城论坛es are more than 5 percent too high or too low. And the margin of error can be greater in cer上海夜网论坛 上海夜网tain locations. In early 2005, for example, the median error rate was 8 percent nationally but 11.1 percent in Manhattan.

Redfin, a real estate brokerage, has since launched a similar tool that it claims is more accurate than Zestimates, which Seattle-based Zillow disputes.

Stanford University economist Susan Athey told the New York Times that even a 5 percent error rate is low considering the complexity of the real estate market. “If individuals do not understand the market value of their property, they may pass over offers, making both buyers and sellers worse off,” she said. [NYT] Konrad Putzier 

Tags: Tech, zillow
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18
Jun
2019

Houston Hurricane Recovery

The government flooded one of Houston s wealthiest neighborhoods in Harvey. Now come the l爱上海龙凤419桑拿 上海龙凤论坛sh1fawsuits A 9,500 community was flooded for more than a week by the Army Corps of Engineers

Members of the South Carolina s He爱上海同城论坛 爱上海同城licopter Aquatic Rescue Team perform rescue operations in Port Arthur, Texas, August 31, 2017. (Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez)

Not all flooding in Houston was caused by Hurricane Harvey. During the storm, the Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to release water from the filling dams to prevent failure, and, so, for more than a week the Corps released water into Energy Corridor, a wealth community of about 9,500 people, and its surrounding bayous, according to Bloomberg.

Now, residents whose homes many of which have never previously flooded and would have likely 上海龙凤论坛sh1f 上海龙凤论坛withstood Harvey without significant water damage have been condemned are suing the Corps for compensation. One resident, Kyle Haines, is also planning to sue for the wrongful death of his husband, Robert, who drowned in their home as the releases were occurring.

“I’m 100 percent certain Robert died because of the dam releases,” he told Bloomberg. “It was because of their irresponsibility that they didn’t force people to get out before they released the water.”

Attorney Tony Buzbee, who is representing many of the residents of in the community, says the evidence for his clients cases is strong.

“We know when the decisions were made, we know who made them, and we know that when they made them they knew which subdivisions would flood,” he told Bloomberg.

If Buzbee s clients, and others who are pursuing legal action, are successful in suing the government, the case has the potential to change governments approach to handling extreme weather; it s possible, for example, that some governments may choose to save上海同城对对碰交友社区 上海夜网论坛 their money for lawsuit payouts rather than constructing infrastructure that could mitigate a disast阿爱上海同城 阿拉爱上海同城er.

[Bloomberg] E.K. Hudson

Tags: army corps of engineers, Housing Market, Politics
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17
Jun
2019

Los Angeles Development

Renderings: LA developer harnesses starchitects for controversial complex The Sunset Boulevard campus was originally designed by William Pereira

(Courtesy Palisades)

Los Angeles developer Palisades is adding some star power to a renovation project that s garnered local pushb新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 上海同城对对碰交友社区ack, reports Architect s Newspaper.

The derelict site of the project, currently known as the Metropolitan Water District campus, is on S上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛unset Boulevard and, originally designed by California architect William Pereira, prompted a campaign for landmarking, according to Curbed.

Palisades plan is to use a上海千花网龙凤论坛 上海千花社区 portion of the site to create a 778-unit pair of towers that will host retail and public space, as well as a boutique hotel the complex is called 1111 Sunset Boulevard. The re-imagining will be led by a star-studded group of architects including Kengo Kuma and Associates, Natoma Architects, SOM and James Corner of Field Operations.

Here s a look at the 5.5-acre project s new renderings:

(Court新上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝交流区esy Palisades)

(Courtesy Palisades)

(Courtesy Palisades)

[Architect s Newspaper]  Erin Hudson

Tags: Architecture and Design, Development, los angeles, Residential Real Estate
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17
Jun
2019

HNA Group

Chen Feng and New York Hilton Midtown (Credit: Getty Images and Hilton)

HNA Group’s selling spree continues. The Chinese conglomerate officially put most of its stake in Hilt上海同城对对碰交友社区 上海夜网论坛on spinoff Park Hotels Resorts up for sale on Tuesday and stands to make $1.24 billion.

The Chinese conglomerate is looking to sell 34.5 million shares at $25.75 each, or about $888 million in total, Park Ho上海贵族宝贝 上海千花网龙凤论坛tels said in a statement. The secondary offer上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛ing is expected to close March 9. Meanwhile, Park Hotels is buying back another 14 million shares from HNA at $24.85 each, or around $348 million.

HNA previously owned 53.7 million shares in the hotel company after buying a 25 percent stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings and its爱上海同城手机版 新爱上海同城对对碰论坛 spinoffs last year.

The Chinese company is struggling under a $90 billion爱上海同城对对碰 爱上海同城论坛 mountain of debt and is looking to save itself by selling assets. It recently sold its office tower 1180 Sixth Avenue for $305 million and is trying to get rid of 245 Park Avenue, which it bought for $2.21 billion in May, as well.

The Real Deal broke down HNA’s sudden fall from grace in its March issue.  Konrad Putzier

Tags: Commercial Real Estate, hilton, HNA Group
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14
Jun
2019

Luxury Hotels

Why investors are betting big on real estate in outer space A 12-day stay at a newly-announced luxury space hotel costs $9.5 million.

(Credit from back: Pixabay, Hashoo Foundation USA)

Real estate in outer space is next frontier at least according to investors who上海千花网龙凤论坛 上海千花社区 ve poured nearly $8 billion into space startups since 2015.

For a taste of what these firm do, consider Houston-based startup Orion Span that s touting space travel for an all-time low of ab上海贵族宝贝论坛 上海贵族宝贝out $791,666 per night where guests take a 1爱上海龙凤419桑拿 上海龙凤论坛sh1f2-day trip, which works out to a $9.5 million in total, to make-believe they re real astronauts, according to Bloomberg. And Orion is not an outlier; many firms are starting to take advantage of the relatively lower cost of blasting off.

“Almost every week there’s another rocket launch company that’s starting up with a new way to get to orbit cheaper, faster, better,” Orion founder and CEO Frank Bunger told Bloomberg.

Those lower costs enabled Bunger s team to propose their luxury hotel, Aurora Station, a 35-by-24-foot vehicle that will orbit Earth at a distance of about 200 miles. There s room for four guests per trip and two crew members, but, be warned: luxury in space is not the same as it is on Earth.

“We’re not selling a hey-let’s-go-to-the-beach equivalent in space,” Bunger said to Bloomberg. “We’re selling the experience of being an astronaut.”

Other firms are manufacturing units that can be leased out for storage space, among myriad other ventures. But, according to President Barack Obama s former space policy adviser Phil L上海同城对对碰交友社区 上海夜网论坛arson, though the commercialization of LEO (low Earth orbit) is an exciting prospect, and investors are already willing to put their money where their mouths are, the上海夜网论坛 上海夜网 question of demand is still uncertain. [Bloomberg] Erin Hudson

Tags: Commercial Real Estate, hospitality, Hotel Market
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14
Jun
2019

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen now under investigation for tax fraud: report Federal officials looking into taxi medallions

Michael Cohen (Credit: Getty Images)

As other probes into potential wrongdoing by Michael Cohen continue, federal authorities are now looking into whe上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛t爱上海同城论坛 爱上海同城her President Trump s former attorney committed tax fraud.

Prosecutors are looking into whether Cohen underreported income from his taxi med上海千花网 爱上海同城对对碰allion business in federal tax returns, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prosecutors are also examining his relationship with Sterling Na上海贵族宝贝 上海千花网龙凤论坛tional Bank, which provided Cohen with financing for his taxi businesses.

The news comes just a few months after Cohen s longtime business partner Evgeny “Gene” Freidman pleaded guilty to tax fraud, cutting a deal with prosecutors that requires him to cooperate with any ongoing investigations. Freidman previously managed Cohen s 30-plus medallions in New York.

The prospect of fraud convictions could put extra pressure on Cohen to cooperate with authorities in other probes. The Federal Bureau of Inv上海千花网 爱上海同城对对碰estigation and the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office are investigating Cohen s role in hiding negative information about the president, including claims that he had sexual encounters with former Playboy model Karen McDougal and Stephanie Clifford, a former adult-film star. Trump has denied such claims.

Authorities are also looking into potential campaign-finance violations, bank fraud and other issues related to Cohen s business interests.

Cohen recently bought a $6.7 million luxury condominium at Witkoff Group, Fisher Brothers and New Valley’s 111 Murray Street skyscraper in Tribeca. Developers, Steve Witkoff and Howard Lorber, provided financing for the deal. Last year, Cohen sold a home at Trump World Tower for $3.3 million. [WSJ] — Kathryn Brenzel 

Tags: michael cohen, Politics
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14
Jun
2019

Department of Buildings

DOB commissioner to step down at the end of month Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello will take over

Rick Chandler (Credit: Emily Assiran)

Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler is stepping down at the end of this month.

Chandler, 58, will retire February 1, he confirmed to The Real De上海千花网龙凤论坛 上海千花社区al on Friday. First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fariello will take ove上海同城对对碰交友社区 上海夜网论坛r as acting commissioner until the mayor appoints Chandler s replacement. Chandler said he s long planned to retire between the ages of 55 and 60. He doesn t have immediate plans but is leaving the door open to future opportunities.

Thomas Fariello

It s been an agonizing decision for me, he told TRD. I m pulling the trigger on my life plan.

After 31 years of public service I might add, and my body shows it, he added.

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Chandler DOB commissioner in 2014. Chandler previously served as DOB borough commissioner in Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He later worked for the city’s Department of Homeless Services and at Hunter College.

As commissioner, Chandler headed an agency tasked with assuring 1.1 million buildings and more than 45,000 active construction sites abided by the city s building codes. While in office, he oversaw the agency s modernization efforts, which included digitizing construction filings and inspection records.

He s also seen historic levels of construction, as well as an uptick in construction-related deaths. The agency is now charged with assuring compliance with a new law that requires additional safety training for construction workers.

I think we ve done a very good job of focusing on safety with the realization that there s more to do爱上海 爱上海WIFI, he said.

John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called Chandler a tough negotiator who also worked to make sure the DOB wasn t a  bureaucratic dead-end. Banks, who was on de Blasio s transition team when he first became mayor, said it will likely be a challenge to find a replacement for上海龙凤论坛 新上海贵族宝贝论坛 Chandler.

It was very difficult to find a commissioner who met what the mayor s needs were, he said.

Chandler s exit follows other high-profile departures from the de Blasio administration. In December, Deputy 阿拉爱上海同城 爱上海龙凤419桑拿Mayor Alicia Glen confirmed that she will be leaving sometime in 2019. A few weeks prior, Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito was ousted, and in November 2017, Anthony Shorris, de Blasio s first deputy mayor, announced he would leave. Chandler said these exits weren t related to his decision to leave.

While I’m sad to see Rick go, I thank him for his decades of service to the city and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the mayor said in a statement.

Tags: Commercial Real Estate, department of buildings, Residential Real Estate
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