Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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NYU Buys Two Buildings at $1,000 a Foot

by Tim Hart

If you thought real estate prices were soaring in the greater Bozeman area, at least you can hang your hat on the fact that New York City will always set the standard for high prices. New York University paid $157 million dollars for two buildings in downtown Manhattan in an effort to expand for their growing university.

708 Broadway and 404 Lafayette St. share approximately 151,000 square feet between them, a respectable expansion. However, in comparison to the price they paid for the two buildings, the cost per square foot comes out to more than $1,000. The properties were vacant at the time of the sale. NYU wants to use the building as a new fitness center and NYU believes the purchase will be cost effective over time.

Unfortunately, the buildings sales history reflects poorly on the school. The price they paid was unheard of right after the crash. These same buildings sold for 39 million in 2005, before the crash even occurred. The sellers were real estate investors, who clearly made a killing on their 2005 purchase. Real estate values have sky rocketed in Manhattan mainly due to the recent demand by offices and retail stores for downtown Manhattan locations. NYU’s timing for their purchase seems questionable, especially because they are an institution that has a buffer from the harsh economic effects of a market crash compared to individuals.

I always enjoy seeing real estate prices and purchases in major cities because they remind me to always stay within reason and educate myself about a market prior to making a major purchase.


Builders in major cities have shifted their focus to taller, skinnier buildings, particularly when real estate is involved. In Manhattan, 4 sky scrapers are being built within blocks of eachother, all to add even more real estate potential to the burrow. New York City’s One57 building, the highest residential building in the city, reaches 1,005 feet.  The building just finished this year and already its reign as the tallest residential building may be coming to an quick end. Within the next few years, two more residential sky scrapers are expected to outpace the One 57. A third sky scraper, called the Nordstrom Tower, will reach 1,775 feet tall when it is completed, just one foot under the new One World Trade Center.

As cities continue to become more and more dense, cities have shifted their buildings to be skinny, and tall, in order to save room. A new sky scraper in New York, called the 111 West 57th building will only be 60 feet wide at its base. The demand for these homes seems to have come from rich, international buyers or domestic corporate tycoons.

Developers must pay a highly upfront, in the hopes of seeing a return on their investment. Generally, the higher the building, the more expensive the rooms, especially as the rooms reach higher and higher. In New York’s Central Park, higher condos can cost 1 or 2 % more per floor, and almost 20% more when the view down to the park is unobstructed. The shift in New York, towards skinny high-rise condos has started an ever-increasing trend towards the luxury, trophy homes or apartments in major urban areas.


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