BLEECKER STREET: The New “Champs-Elysees & Via Veneto”

Suzanne Belmont is a veteran agent with Benjamin James Real Estate and has watched the transformation of Bleecker Street over the years and here is her take on Bleecker Street; circa today!


Ralph Lauren

Bleecker Street has emerged as New York’s newest retail hot spot.  If it’s shopping you crave: look no further! An array of trendy and independent retailers has taken up residence on this Greenwich Village street west of Seventh Avenue.  Arguably New York’s most charming neighborhood, the area is also host to some of the best independent women’s clothing stores in the city, most of which are located in cozy townhouses. Formerly a stretch of offbeat boutiques, the narrow tree-lined street has evolved into a major shopping destination which in my opinion rivals Madison Avenue.  Along this five block stretch you’ll find five different Marc Jacobs boutiques, four Ralph Lauren stores, Tommy Hilfiger outpost, cutting-edge fashion at Intermix or Olive + Bette’s, and savvy shoes and accessories at Verve.  The Only Lulu Guinness and Cynthia Rowley boutiques in the United States are here, as well as the Coach Legend store.

On weekends Bleecker Street is flooded with tourists on foot from around the country and across the pond.  Delightful and charming restaurants, cafes and shops are scattered throughout the blocks with the best that the West Village offers; The Spotted Pig, Tartine, Extra Virgin, Chow Bar, Pastis, John’s Pizza, Murray’s Cheese, Matt Umanov Guitars, Biography Bookshop, Robert Marc and the yummy Magnolia Bakery famous for their mouth watering cupcakes.


Magnolia Bakery


95 The Gansvoort, aka 95 Christopher Street

The Gansvoort; aka 95 Christoper Street

This full service, luxury, Pre-war Doorman Building boats a beautiful marble lobby and is owned and operated by BLDG Management.  BLDG has an excellent reputation for maintaining its properties. The staff is highly responsive with a full-time doorman and a team that devotes its time to meticulously cleaning and updating the property. The building maintains its pre-war charm with the arched hallways, intricate moldings, and high ceilings, yet it is modernized with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.  There is a live-in super, laundry facilities and this is a pet friendly building so furry friends are welcomed.

To view available apartments in this building please contact Suzanne Belmont by
P:  212 645 4477 ext 221 
C: 917-885-7020
E: suzanne[at]benjaminjames[dot]com


So what do you think, we hit the bottom, and we’re coming back, If so, then I would like to introduce you to 75 Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan. This building is offering a very consumer friendly rent to own option that puts a lot of control into the buyers’ hands with very limited to no risk! Here’s how it works.

First you choose and lease a no fee apartment in this top of the line high rise condo conversion.  The deal works like any other hi-rise apartment in NYC and as a incentive you even get two months’ rent free whether or not you buy. At the time of lease signing you enter into a purchase price agreement for the sale of the unit which happens 14 months after  the lease start date! You are not bound to this price, and you don’t even have to close but the owner / building is bound, giving the advantage to the tenant / buyer.  If you agree to move forward and buy the unit, 100% of the rent you paid over the last year goes toward the purchase of the Condo, and you just lived rent free for a year, and lived very well!

This building has many 5 star Hotel amenities, because the first 18 floors of the building is a 5 star Hotel which is Part of Hyatt’s new luxury lifestyle brand named Andaz™. That tends to make me believe it’s not going to have a hard time holding its value. Your Potential “Risk”: the market doesn’t go up in the next year but let’s not forget that you live like a king in these outstanding units at a competitive rent. Your Potential “Reward”: the market comes back, and you have a locked in price from a year prior (when the residential market was reeling in the recession), and enter into a contract with a deep discount.

To Exercise this Option, give me a call @ 201-218-1198 or Email me, Neil Nerich.

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Lights, Cameras, West Village!

September 10, 2009

west-villageLike so many New Yorkers, one of my favorite neighborhoods is the West Village.
The West Village delights with a slower pace, charming pre-war architecture, tree-lined streets and gardens.  You can enjoy the quaint and cozy restaurants /cafes and Hollywood.
Hollywood? Say you? That’s right, Hollywood! This is just another reason to visit or live in the West Village.  On any given day, you are likely to find a TV, Cable, film production crew, actors, etc. on any number of the streets in the West Village.

Recently, I arranged to view several apartments with a client who intends on being a West Village resident. It seemed, we came upon as many film and production crews as apartments on our tour. On this fair day there were three to be exact, a cable TV production, a feature film production and a music video cable show in production, not to mention the sixty or so gorgeous models lined up in front of the Cynthia Rowley boutique.


I do so enjoy assisting clients interested in living in the West Village! Never a dull day in this part of Manhattan…Hollywood has arrived in the Village!

About Catherine:
Catherine Adams is a real estate salesperson with Benjamin James Real Estate; Chelsea, NYC.  She will gladly assist you whether you are interested in purchasing a home or renting an apartment in Manhattan.

Contact Catherine to arrange a viewing at 646-255-8224 or you can view her current listings at

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The Milan

The Milan

The Milan, a 15 story doorman building at 120 West 23rd Street, has come to the end of its leasing campaign.  The building’s plans for condominium conversion were well underway until financing regulations changed for FHA insured mortgages in the spring.  Although the building had negotiated enough contracts to convert to condominium, the lack of viable financing finally prevented the conversion to condo.  On July 5, Benjamin James announced the newly renovated would-be condo units were offered for rental, and the units have been 95% rented.  With just two units remaining for rent and construction on the major renovations nearly complete, the leasing campaign draws to a conclusion.

The apartments include a collection of Junior 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom / 2 Bathroom homes that have been gut renovated.  The new units, designed for condo sale, feature open layouts, floor to ceiling windows, SubZero kitchens and custom stone tile baths.  The Milan had been known in the rental community for its prominent late 1980’s design aesthetic.  The design changed with this major renovation, and kitchens were opened up, black lacquer cabinets replaced by solid core maple, parquet floors were replaced by oak strip, and marble baths with Jacuzzi tubs were replaced with sandstone tile and Kohler sinks and tubs.  The common hallways were also renovated on the first seven floors.

Junior 1 Bedrooms rented between $2600 and $2995 per month.  The 2 Bedrooms rented between $4200 and $4650 per month.  The currently remaining units were used as models during the sales and leasing campaign, and represent some of the best for light, view and outdoor space.  Currently, these Junior 1 Bedrooms are on the market for $2750 and $2950.

Inquiries may be directed to 877 645 2623

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Here is a building review of “21 Chelsea” by Benjamin James Agent Suzanne Belmont:



120 West 21st Street, affectionately known as “21 Chelsea”, is a handsome and luxurious fifteen story red brick doorman rental apartment building situated on a quiet tree lined street. It was the first “off the avenue” Chelsea high rise.  As you walk down 21st Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in NYC’s incomparable Chelsea, it is unmistakable with its modern glass canopied entrance. 

This A-l building was built in 2001 and features Studio, 1 Bedroom and 2 Bedroom apartments with a 24 hour doorman, porters and a friendly, hands-on, live-in super.  The sleek, modern lobby has beautiful inlaid granite floors. There is a separate room where your laundry, dry cleaning and packages are held.  A note is slipped into each mailbox to notify tenants of a delivery.   Bike room and card operated laundry facilities are also located off the lobby entrance.  There is a garage (Central Parking 212 633 6488) and a leasing office (212 645 4477) on the premises.

The Lobby

The Lobby

One of this Chelsea apartment building’s best features is the stunning landscaped roof deck, decorated with lounge chairs, tables and a variety of trees, gorgeous flowers and 360 degree sweeping views of the City.

Rooftop Garden and Deck

Rooftop Garden and Deck

21 Chelsea rental apartments are extremely spacious with extra wide living rooms and bedrooms.  With large casement windows, beautiful polished hardwood strip floors and wonderful closet space, many offer walk-in closets. 
The kitchens are of condominium quality with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances (full size refrigerator, dishwasher microwave) and generous cabinetry.

The large designer bathrooms feature white ceramic tile, chrome fixtures, white vanities and celebrity lighting.
Units are pre-wired for multiple phone lines, high speed cable, high speed internet access, as well as individually controlled heating and air conditioning.  Some units feature private terraces. A major plus is that the apartments are offered at below market rental rates which translate to at least 8-15% cheaper than any of the Sixth Avenue Chelsea luxury buildings.

Chelsea: The Neighborhood
120 West 21st Street offers easy access to subways on the 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, F, V and L lines.  Chelsea is known for its dining, shopping, bars, nightclubs, art galleries and upbeat creative atmosphere. The local clubbers, artists and the Chelsea residents shop this neighborhood’s exclusive designer boutiques and cool consignment stores. Here’s a short list of Chelsea’s Best: Gascogne, Victory Cafe, Intermezzo, Elmo, Cafteria, Merchants, Chipolte Mexican, Tono Sushi, Craft Steak, Del Posto, Comme des Gacons, Camouflage, Giraudon Shoes, Luigi Men’s Clothing, Loehmanns and Barneys Co-op, Equinox Health Club, New York Health & Racquet, Steel and Barton Gyms, Bed, Bath & Beyond, The Gap, Old Navy, TJ Max, Filenes Basement, Container Store, Duane Reade, Staples, Best Buy, Citibank, Chase Bank, TD Commerce Bank, Valley National Bank and Bank of America. CENTRAL TO UNION SQUARE: Great Restaurants, Bars, Cafes, Shopping and Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Staples, Duane Reade, Citibank, Chase Bank, TD Commerce Bank, AT&T, Verizon, Barnes & Noble, DSW, Filenes Basement, Anthropology, Gramercy Tavern, Angelo and Maxies, Blue Water Grill, Duke’s, Republic Noodle and Union Square Cafe.

Chelsea: The History
Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the Manhattan borough of New York City. It is located to the south of Hell’s Kitchen and the Garment District starting at 34th Street, and north of Greenwich Village, and the Meatpacking District that centers on West 14th Street. The neighborhood is part of Manhattan Community Board 4 and Manhattan Community Board 5. An area in the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Chelsea Historic District.

Chelsea is sometimes referred to, along with Hell’s Kitchen, as Manhattan West. A longstanding weekly newspaper is called the “Chelsea-Clinton News.” The weekly newspaper, “Chelsea Now”, also serves the neighborhood…

The History section was taken courtesy of WikiPedia and you can read more about Chelsea’s History, Data, Demographics and fun facts here:,_Manhattan

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The New PATH Train cars

The New PATH Train cars

A NYC real estate agent relies on the daily use of public transportation and NYC has the best subway system, IMHO.  Today, I had the opportunity to ride the newest cars from the New York / New Jersey PATH system and I have to say, great job!  They kept the amenities and features to a minimum which I agree with since the whole job of the PATH is to get you from point A to point B quickly.  The noticeable differences were in the things that we as a society seem to drown out with our mp3 players, pocket PCs and the occasional shut eye. These differences were the decreased decibels coming from outside or otherwise known as “cabin noise” and the surprisingly smoother ride.  In all honesty, there were a few moments where I thought the train was just moving at a snail like pace but then I glance out the window and we are moving at standard speed.  The cabin is brighter and more inviting with a choice of blue and white as ambient colors.  The digital display clearly shows where you are going and the loudspeaker announcements are loud and concise.  In short, I was impressed that they kept it simple and concentrated on what matters most: a smooth 15 minute ride!

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