FOUND: OOO August
Day-trip beaches, upstate dining, Litchfield for $2M, Woolworth penthouse, The Noortwyck, MORE
REAL ESTATE • Pricing Predicaments
‘I’m shocked they got $30 million for it’
A sure sign of true trophy properties is the way their asking prices look like they’re plucked from the sky: Where did they come up with that number?
The question particularly bears asking as regards the seven-story penthouse (aka "The Pinnacle") atop the Woolworth Building. Built as an office tower in 1913, the building was far ahead of the office-to-residential conversion game when developer Alchemy Group bought the top 30 floors a decade ago and began to turn them residential. The penthouse hit the market in 2014 priced at $110 million, a record ask for the time.
The space — seven stories of open, undeveloped verticality — didn’t find a buyer initially, or anytime during its first nine years on market. Along the way, the price got cut, checking in at $59 million in 2019. It finally traded last week for $30 million, a price Alchemy’s president told the WSJ (with admirable honesty) was, “on the surface, not a good number.”
Why the massive spread between listing and close? “They were delusional. It’s just seven levels of tiny floor plates,” an insider told FOUND. In other words: the buyer first must develop the space (perhaps along the lines of the rendering above), then live inside the equivalent of a seven-story walkup. Added our source, “I’m shocked they got $30 million for it.”
→ Woolworth Tower Residences (Tribeca), 2 Park Place. Developer: Alchemy Group. Sales: Sotheby’s International Realty.
NYC REAL ESTATE LINKS: Cooper Union building coming back into view in East Village • 1 Park Row closes in on final floors near Wall Street • New renderings revealed for Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront development • Brooklyn real estate investment sales saw Q2 uptick.
GETAWAYS • The Nines
Beaches, NYC and surrounds
Rockaway Beach (Queens), getaway at The Rockaway Hotel and Spa
Orchard Beach (The Bronx), hit the beach then Lobster House on City Island
Atlantic Beach (Hempstead, NY), for unironically vintage Sun & Surf Beach Club and other private beach clubs
Lido Beach (Hempstead, NY), Jordan Lobster Farms takeout under the cement mushrooms
Gunnison Beach (Sandy Hook, NJ), via Seastreak ferry, clothing optional
Deal Beach (Deal, NJ; above), less crowded option 10 minutes from Asbury Park
Spring Lake Beach (Spring Lake, NJ), relaxed vibe and long non-commercial boardwalk
Tod’s Point (Greenwich, CT), former private estate with NYC skyline views
Calf Pasture Beach (Norwalk, CT), kayak rentals and lunch at Ripka’s
Hit reply or email email@example.com with additions and subtractions.
GETAWAYS • Upstate & Litchfield Restaurant Report
Shared plates up north
The Westerly Canteen sits inside a gleaming 1971 Airstream parked in the back of Ten Mile Distillery in Wassaic, NY. Order at the window, grab a cocktail from the bar inside, and find a table on the patio or, better yet, in the apple orchard.
In time, your order will materialize, on metal plates. When it does, you might pause for a moment to take it in — the orchard, the sun setting over the mountains, this beautiful airstream's beautiful food. And then to the scallops, gently fried on a roll and also layered in a ceviche. God bless the scallops. And the lamb. And the tomato bread.
The Canteen is the work of Molly Levine and Alex Kaindl, who spent years in restaurants and on farms before launching their roving kitchen, which is parked at Ten Mile until November. The menu changes weekly. If it rains, the distillery bar is a handsome landing spot.
Also on this weekend north of the city: an A+ roast chicken at Stissing House, the acclaimed Pine Plains restaurant from King (Soho) chef and owner Clare de Boer. Recent menu updates have elicited grumbles in some corners of Hudson Valley ($95 ribeye!). But at prime time on a Friday night in the country, the place was hopping, conversations pausing only for shared plates from across the table.
And finally, across the border to Litchfield County staple, Community Table, where the rolls with honey butter and a dessert of berries and meringue were also conversation stoppers, but the Saturday night scene lacked the energetic plate-sharing of our other stops. Connecticut manners, no doubt. –Josh Albertson
→ Westerly Canteen (Wassaic, NY), 78 Sinpatch Rd., email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations
→ Stissing House (Pine Plains, NY), 7801 South Main St., Resy
→ Community Table (Washington, CT), 223 Litchfield Turnpike (Rt. 202), Resy
FOUND Pro, weekend north: Let’s also share a lunchtime burger at Swyft in Kent and the next morning’s pastries from Vitsky Bakery at Ten Mile Table in Wassaic and/or (preferably and) Peggy’s in Amenia.
GETAWAYS • Litchfield Real Estate Report
Lazy summer days in Litchfield County
With the back half of summer upon us and dreams of next summer’s getaways just coming into view, today we continue our multi-part tour of NYC second-home markets with Litchfield County.
Maybe a little place on a lake or on some acreage in the hills? As with our other getaway markets, they’re mostly accounted for in Litchfield County. Only 13 properties traded above $2 million during the first half of ’23, down from 25 last year. Zooming out, total inventory in the county is down 20% from 2022 and 70% from 2019. But these three around $2 million all came on in the last 10 days. Renovate or renovated, dealers choice.
→ 63 W Shore Rd., New Preston Marble Dale, CT, 2BR, 2BA, 2069 SF, 1+ acres with “potential” on Lake Waramaug. Asking: $2.0M. Days on market: 3. Listing broker: Klemm Real Estate.
→ 167 Church Hill Rd., Washington, CT (above), 4BR, 3.5BA, 3968 SF, 25+ acres with pool, pond, and new kitchen. Asking: $2.095M. Days on market: 6. Listing broker: William Pitt Sotheby’s.
→ 56 Mount Tom Passway, Morris, CT, 4BR, 3BA, 2649 SF, 2 acres on Mt. Tom Pond with 2022 reno. Asking: $2.25M. Days on market: 9. Listing broker: Klemm Real Estate.
GETAWAYS LINKS: Midtown’s Four Seasons hotel will reopen in fall 2024 • American Airlines rebuilding its New York strategy • Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson getting private airline terminal • John T. Edge checks in on Pêche in Nola • Beloved Stockholm hotel Ett Hem adds stylish apartments.
CULTURE & LEISURE • Friday Routine
Summer reds on August nights
CEDRIC NICAISE, co-owner, The Noortwyck
Neighborhood you live in: East Village/Union Square
It’s Friday afternoon, how are you rolling into the weekend?
I start Friday with a workout, usually a 60-minute Peloton ride in the morning. At the restaurant, we have our manager meetings, where we go over the upcoming week, including Monday’s “Summer Reds” wine dinner. Then it's Friday night in the West Village, a busy night for us. At the end of the night, I like to unwind with a cocktail, sometimes at home, otherwise, Joseph Leonard is a favorite, or Swan Room.
Any restaurant plans?
My wife and I usually go to a restaurant either Saturday or Sunday night. Estela and I Sodi are two of our favorites. Claud is a new favorite. It's so good. If we’re feeling fancy, Torrisi is great. The other weekend night we often have people over. For years, we would roast a chicken on Sunday nights and it was kind of an open-door policy for all our friends to come over.
Any weekend getaways?
We have some friends in the Hamptons and spend a few weekends a year out there. It's an amazing place to be if you have a place to hang and not worry too much about going out. Like a true New Yorker, we try to get to Miami a couple times a year. It's a super bougie thing to say, but it's so convenient — under 5 hours door to door to the hotel is hard to beat.
What was your last great vacation?
We have a great trip coming up: Comporta in Portugal and Annecy in France. It's my wife's 40th birthday, so we are pulling out all the stops.
CULTURE & LEISURE • Ticket Sampler
One of us
Hip Hop 50 Live, Run-DMC et al, Yankee Stadium, Fri @ 6p, Legends Suite, $355 per
Joan Osborne, The Stephen Talkhouse (Amagansett), Sat @ 7p, GA, $113 per, Sat @ 8p, tier 1, $94 per
Goo Goo Dolls, PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ), Sat @ 7p, orchestra, $152 per
CULTURE LINKS: After 11 years on the Lower East Side, JTT gallery is shuttering today • Mostly Mozart’s repertoire broadens with its audience • How to pass the vibe check at techno club Basement • Auction house Phillips launching new artists-direct platform Dropshop • The reason why Basquiat is everywhere.
LOST & FOUND • Behind the Paywall
Dispatches from the frontline, from FOUND subscribers for FOUND subscribers:
A handful of favorite NYC restaurants from new subscribers: Island (Carnegie Hill) • Café Altro Paradiso (Soho) • Samurai Papa (Bed-Stuy) • R40 (Long Island City) • Ci Siamo (Hell’s Pantry).
And a cascade of service recommendations (cobblers, tailors, massages, kennels!) from special correspondents in the field: