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In Market

Justin Timberlake Sells $29M Penthouse; COVID’s Effect on Floor Plans

Jan 13, 2022 | By: Zoe Rosenberg

In a First, Real-World Home Offered Alongside Metaverse Counterpart

Virtual real estate continues to gain steam, and a new announcement from ONE Sotheby’s International Realty just might be a foreshadowing of what’s to come. The brokerage firm, along with Voxel Architects and Gabe Sierra—general contractor, NFT collector, and founder of the Meta Residence—are teaming up to offer a “MetaReal” mansion that includes both a real-world home and a virtual version in The Sandbox metaverse, Forbes reports. The real-world home is scheduled to be completed in Miami at the end of 2022, and will include seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms over 11,000 square feet. The virtual property, which will be sold as an NFT, will mirror the real property. The residences will be available via auction in 2022 with a reserve price that has yet to be announced.

“The metaverse counterpart of the home will serve as an extension of the real-world home, allowing the buyer to host in-home meetings, events, and parties with guests from around the world,” Sierra told Forbes. “By mimicking the real-world environment of the buyer, we are creating an experience that blends the lines between metaverse and reality. Imagine fighting off a dragon, traversing over a mountain range, and finally arriving at your metaverse property, where you are greeted by your friends who are visiting to check out your new Bored Ape NFT. After interacting in your virtual living room, you exit the metaverse, and you are now sitting inside that same real-world house. That is the experience we are creating.”

Justin Timberlake Offloads 443 Greenwich Street Penthouse for $29 Million

On the heels of Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton’s $49.5 million sale at the celebrity-filled building, Justin Timberlake has offloaded his penthouse at Tribeca’s 443 Greenwich Street for $29 million, the Wall Street Journal has learned. Timberlake purchased the residence, a four-bedroom duplex with a sizable rooftop terrace, for $20.2 million in 2017. 

The buyer of the penthouse, whose identity is shielded by an LLC, is tied to several high-profile real estate transactions over the past year. Records scouted by the Journal show that the buyer also sold a penthouse at SoHo’s 421 Broome Street for $49 million in November, and, late last year, a related entity purchased two residences at new West Village condominium 17 Jane for roughly $33 million.

Has COVID Ousted the Open Floor Plan From Favor?

Through interviews with real estate professionals, Mansion Global explores whether COVID-19 and the way we’ve used our homes over the past two years have expedited the end of the open floor plan. The short answer: Not quite, but it has definitely changed what buyers are seeking when shopping for new homes. 

“What we’ve seen coming out of COVID is that clearly some division of space and rooms is required,” said Angela Kessel, an agent with Houlihan Lawrence in Westchester, N.Y. “However, the open-concept kitchen, great room, and family room is here to stay. People still want the open family room to entertain in, and to be able to watch the kids while they’re in the kitchen.”

Another feature that gained popularity during the pandemic that we’re likely to see more of? Pocket doors. The addition allows rooms to be connected at most times, but creates an easy enclosure when needed. Alexa Lambert, an agent based in New York with Compass, mentions the feature in a description of the new condominium development at 555 West End Avenue: “If you look at the floor plans, they’re like open kitchens but with pocket doors that can close—it’s the best of both worlds. People are looking for bigger, sunny spaces so that they don’t feel claustrophobic, and they’re also looking for little nooks and private areas. They want both.”

Extell Sells Record 200 Residences Across Two Buildings in 2021

To round out a tremendously active year in New York real estate, Extell Development has announced that it sold over 200 residences at the Lower East Side’s One Manhattan Square and Downtown Brooklyn’s Brooklyn Point in 2021, in sales totaling over $400 million. According to a press release from the company, Extell is the only developer in New York to sell over 100 residences in two separate buildings in a calendar year. Available condominiums at One Manhattan Square start at $1.21 million for a one-bedroom, and have the benefit of a 20-year tax abatement. One-bedrooms at Brooklyn Point begin at $1.065 million, and come with a 25-year tax abatement.

Toronto Home Sales Surpass a Staggering 121,000 in 2021

2021 was a frenzied year for Toronto real estate, and the numbers prove it. Bloomberg reports, by way of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, that home sales were up 28% in the Greater Toronto Area in 2021, with more than 121,000 homes changing hands, making it the most active year on record. The frenetic market, combined with a lack of new supply and low interest rates, led to a stock of just 3,200 homes for sale going into the new year. Vancouver is experiencing a similar pattern with just 5,236 residences on the market, the lowest going back decades.