Halstead Property

Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.


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The Devil is in the Details!

No detail has been left unattended at this breathtaking estate on 188 Long Neck Point Road in Darien, CT. The 17 room residence lies on 3.7 marvelous acres of land on Long Island Sound with 380 feet of shoreline for remarkable views of the Sound, Norton Bay and the Manhattan skyline. When the current owners bought this spectacular waterfront property, they dreamed of creating an authentic French Manor House, and almost completely renovated the original mansion while maintaining key features special to the original structure that was built in 1895 by the railroad tycoon responsible for opening up the Gold Coast areas in Connecticut and Long Island. Moving forward to the new owners who spared no time, nor expense in researching and importing the finest materials available to create this modern day masterpiece it successfully demonstrates the result of exquisite detail and craftsmanship.

A myriad of careful design elements can be found throughout the entire 17,000 square foot residence beginning outdoors with an expansive granite terrace complete with intricate grillwork on the wrought iron balcony and railings from Vermont, to the applied Venetian plaster walls that were custom designed in Munroe, CT. Additional noteworthy details can be found in the dramatic entry hall that boasts a grand double elliptical staircase comprised of rich marble and limestone imported from France that overlooks a living room with 20’ high plaster ceilings designed by legendary Balco Construction who also did the ceiling in Grand Central Station. For added convenience, all of the dramatic floor-to-ceiling French doors in the living room and library are equipped with electronic pull down screens.

The gorgeous walnut parquet floors in the living room and antique chestnut floors in the kitchen/family room reflect the beauty and warmth of a true French country home, while the half moon shaped infinity pool and grotto/pool house that overlook the Sound, stone pier and floating dock offer water views that can’t be found anywhere else.  

Click here to learn more about this legendary Connecticut residence.


Contact Halstead Property’s Janet Olmsted, Chris Merritt and Judi McCarty to inquire about this listing.  


In the 3rd installment of regular Halstead Blog series from Halstead Property’s Barak Dunayer, we bring you Webisode 3 “Pricing to Win – How Buyers Behave in This Market 

Barak shares tips on how sellers can make the most out of a sale and advises them on how to think like a buyer. He admits that how you price a home makes all the difference, and alternatively cautions that,

“Today’s buyer is motivated, but not careless. ”

Click here to watch the most recent Webisode 2 – “When is the best time to buy?”  and for the entire collection of videos from Barak’s Thoughts series, click here. 

Share your thoughts and connect with Barak on Twitter or over email, and visit his agent website to learn more and for all of your real estate needs. 


Thoughts and opinions presented in this video series are those of Barak Dunayer and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

Marilyn Monroe swam here…

As did Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor and a host of other famous people who frequented the weekend retreat of Jon Whitcomb – not in Hollywood as you may think, but Marilyn Monroe once combed the waters and lounged poolside at 8 Circle Road in Darien, CT

Jon, a well known 1950’s magazine illustrator and raconteur had a unique ability to create “exquisite girls and handsome men.” That, along with his personal charm and charisma earned him his sizable income, a monthly feature in Cosmoplitan and a place on the New York social scene’s A List.  While he kept a three room apartment in NYC, most of his time was spent in his Darien studio that was part of a large, rambling contemporary tucked away on 10 acres of lushly landscaped property.  His life in the country was informal and many friends would drift in and out to take advantage of the bucolic serenity of the place.  Two Swedish maids staffed the residence to make sure guests were well fed and looked after when he was busy working. When he was free he liked to lavishly entertain with cocktail and dinner parties that typically ended up with him at the piano, and playing well enough, he claimed, that nobody laughed.  

Today, the house has been completely remodeled with every amenity to meet today’s modern lifestyle and entertaining must haves, while it still sits on almost 2 acres of the same magical property that once enchanted Marilyn Monroe. Included with nearly 6,000 square feet of interior living space is a private gym and a spacious master suite with a romantic woodburning fireplace. The residence promises the same caliber of rest and relaxation with an open floor plan that allows the living room to flow seamlessly onto the large terrace and pool area where Hollywood’s resident glamour-girl once frolicked.


Click here to see more of this legendary Connecticut residence, and visit the agent websites of Halstead property’s Nancy Dauk and Gwen Alexis to learn more. 


By: Donald E. Sharpe, Lic. Real Estate Salesperson reporting on all things Financial District, Battery Park City and Seaport

As the old saying goes, “Everything that’s old is new again” and this has never been more evident than with the  continuing rebirth of the historic  Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway  in Lower Manhattan. Completed in 1913 and designed by architect Cass Gilbert,  it was actually the worlds tallest building at the time and remained so until 1930 when it was surpassed by 40 Wall Street.  And can you believe that even now it remains as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York?! 

What retailer Frank Woolworth originally conceived of as a 20 story building  ultimately became a 60 story structure, built in a neo-gothic style. It’s common nickname at the time was “The Cathedral of Commerce” due to the it’s resemblance of European Gothic cathedrals.   In the years since, the majority of the time the building was continuously owned by the Woolworth Company and it’s successors  until it was ultimately sold in 1998 for what now seems an unbelievably low $155 million. 

Subsequently a majority of the building continues to be owned by the Witkoff Group; however the top 30 floors were recently  sold off separately to Alchemy Properties and are currently in the process of a conversion to residential condominiums, amid much fanfare. The penthouse unit is touted as being anywhere between 5 and 9 stories (!!)  and is potentially being  listed for a record-breaking $110,000,000 by itself.  The plan is to have a total of 34 units, designed by Thierry Despont, and in a general price range of upwards of $3000 per square foot. 

Regardless of the speculative nature of the pricing, one thing is for sure:  the Woolworth Building is again the focus of worldwide attention and whatever happens can only prove  to further boost values in an already rapidly booming area of Manhattan: The Financial District. 

Click here for archives of The Halstead Blog Eye on FiDI blog series.

To learn more about exciting opportunities to own a home in this rapidly evolving area, contact me directly at DSharpe@Halstead.com  


Thoughts from EYE on FiDi are those of Donald E. Sharpe and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC


This grand 1893 historic home in Riverside, Connecticut has been recently restored for today’s lifestyle. Impeccably maintained grounds are enhanced by an elegant wrap-around porch that lends itself to summer entertaining and relaxing while many architectural details that could not be replicated today are found throughout the entire home. Original features include beautiful over-sized windows, 10-foot ceilings and a sun-drenched first floor with original paneling that opens up to the outside. The master suite has not one, but two fireplaces in addition to the unique fireplace in each room of the house while the lower level boasts an in home gym with a luxury steam shower to circle back to the modern era. 

Click here to see more of this classic Connecticut residence. 


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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


That pool looks so refreshing we can almost taste it. The sparkling blue waters await you at a newly completed Bridgehampton residence complete with a heated pool and adjacent pool house on 1.5 acres of land. A total of six bedrooms can be found inside 8,000 square feet of interior living space with lofty high ceilings and a screened in porch with a charming fireplace that is perfect for those cool summer nights.

To see more Eye Candy on this Hamptons property, click here


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

Barak’s Thoughts on When is the Best Time to Buy?

In the 2nd installment of regular Halstead Blog series from Halstead Property’s Barak Dunayer, we bring you Webisode 2 titled “When is the Best Time to Buy?”

Barak shares his thoughts on knowing when the right time to buy is, while pointing out that buying early on is a smarter move than waiting for the market to drop, and reminds home buyers that, 

“Your first home may not be your dream home, but buying it will help you get there closer and faster

Click here to watch Webisode 1 – “I Can Find Anything Myself”  and stay tuned for the next installment of the 8 week series.

Share your thoughts and connect with Barak on Twitter or over email, and visit his agent website to learn more, and for all of your real estate needs. 


Thoughts and opinions presented in this video series are those of Barak Dunayer and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

On Cleveland (and LeBron)

By: Jim Gricar, Halstead Property President originally from Cleveland. 

I was born in a suburb of Cleveland  in 1966, two years after the Browns won the 1964 Championship.   That’s the the last time a Cleveland franchise won a title.  As a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I, like many of my brethren, have never experienced the collective joy of my hometown winning a sports championship.  It’s been 50 years (Which doesn’t seem right because I’m only….Oh, yeah:  I’ll be 50 in a couple years…) 

But back to Cleveland.   A city with storied sports franchises, all of which excelled before the ‘modern era’, Cleveland is a sports town.   I remember every other Sunday, piling into the car with my Dad and brothers and sister to drive downtown to the old Muni Stadium, with its  horseshoe opening onto Lake Erie, for Browns season home games.  The Browns were the ‘Winningest Team in Football’ (the bumper sticker on my Dad’s fake-wood paneled station wagon said so itself!) but all before the invention of the super bowl.   We didn’t care though:  we’d sit there and freeze, season after season, waiting for a division title (Hell, a wildcard!)  Even years later, after my family had moved to Columbus, we’d make the two and a half hour drive back ‘home to Cleveland’ every other week.  Sadly, we never had to make post season travel plans…. 

Which brings up a point:  Although I was born in Cleveland, I left when I was 6.  So for all intents and purposes, I grew up in central, not northeast Ohio.  But  all my cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents stayed in Cleveland.  And so driving up for Browns home games meant not only seeing the game, but seeing the rest of my family too.   For me, being from Cleveland is the same as being of Cleveland: the place where being a sports fan taught me about hard work and disappointment but also resilience and pride.  Good and bad, Cleveland is a great city, worthy of celebration, not scorn:  Its history, its art and music and culture, its friendly/slightly gruff citizenry and even it’s down-on-its-luck reputation formed me then and inform me to this day.  When people ask me where I’m from, I always say Cleveland.  Proudly.  (And get ready if you venture into the whole ‘mistake by the lake’ stuff…) 

Fast forward to today, when the possibility of a franchise championship seems theoretically real with the return of LeBron.  Sure we were all furious with ‘The Decision’ four years ago.  For me, mostly, the way he handled it, not the decisions itself.   Who can blame a kid who grew up in hardscrabble Akron and went pro straight out of high school for wanting to spend a few years on a contender team in good weather?  Cleveland’s attributes are many;  the winter weather ain’t one of em’.   But all is forgiven, as it is in every sports town, when the bum returns home to be a hero.  Cleveland’s joy isn’t just that a championship now seems possible, but that someone like LeBron has chosen us.  We needed it.  

In his announcement that he’s returning to Cleveland, which in both form and substance were just the tonic the city needed after the departure circus of four years ago, LeBron said that his relationship with Northeast Ohio means more to him than just basketball, and he hadn’t realized that four years ago.  I know what he means:  it took me awhile to realize what a special place I’m not only from, but of.  Thank you LeBron, for the reminder.  Welcome Home. 

And now a trophy please!


Visit our website to learn more and connect with Halstead Property President, Jim Gricar.


The sparkling waters of Tokeneke Lagoon is a priceless view that we will never tire of on the shores of this majestic waterfront home in Darien, Connecticut. The 6,671 square foot, 5 bedroom residence is situated on almost 2 and a half acres of land, and you can see from above that you will find nothing but crystal clear reflections in the tranquil waterfront setting. Charming details form brick floor to antique wooden beams and cathedral ceilings make this a fairytale setting fit for the perfect ending. In addition to the serene and tranquil water views, outside boasts multiple patios and terraces perfect for entertaining, or relaxing in the warm summer sun.

Click here to discover more of this incredible Connecticut Property. 


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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


Uptown58 was designed to fit flawlessly into the neighborhood’s historic presence, this new condominium complements its surroundings while adding to the area’s flourishing growth. Located just blocks away from 125th Street, access to transportation and entertainment is quick and simple. The generous south facing space is filled with natural light from the multi-paned window while the wide plank hardwood oak flooring creates a desirable feel, and sleek glass backsplash and espresso/white cabinetry give the kitchen that modern feel you are looking for. A private balcony overlooks the buildings landscaped garden and is perfect for an evening with friends. 

Click here to learn more about this condominium.


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


By: James Errol Browne, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Harlem Office 

Summer in the city is a cornucopia of sensory delights. The smells –the aromas of hundreds of different global cuisines and hybrids available from restaurants and food trucks and outdoor grilling. The sights – the vibrant and colorful display of the styles and fashions worn by locals and visitors alike. 

And the sounds… New York City resonates with the sounds of music. Whether it’s deep beneath the sidewalks on subway platforms, or on the stages of nightclubs or Broadway stages, there’s something for everyone. And in the summer, so much of it is FREE. 

Here is a preview of what’s in store for summer 2014: 

Want to try out those new moves you’ve learned in Salsa class? Then head up to St. Mary’s Park in The Bronx for any or all of the three consecutive evenings of performances by Salsa masters Tony Vega on Tuesday July 8th, Jose Alberto on Wednesday July 9th and Domingo Quinones on Thursday July 10th. All performances start at 6 PM, and you can click here for additional information. 

The tradition of Big Band swinging Jazz is nurtured and kept alive by The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra and on Sunday July 20th, at 4pm, this stellar musical outfit performs as part of Queens Family Day in Queensbridge Park. 

Since 1986, Central Park SummerStage has been a much-anticipated part of the season. Their “rain or shine” schedule is among the most diverse in a city that prides itself on diversity. On Saturday, August 2nd, a man who personifies the word diversity all by himself, takes the stage. New Orleans native and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dr. John, stirs up his cauldron of Jazz, Blues, Creole Funk and Voodoo musical wizardry to cast a spell on ya’ll. The party starts at 3 PM sharp. Click here for more details. 

Sunday August 3rd at 7 PM brings the velvety dulcet tones of (relative) newcomer Gregory Porter to Summerstage. He is quickly becoming everyone’s new “favorite singer.” Join the club! 

Saxophonist Charlie Parker, or “Bird” as he used to be known, was one of the architects of modern jazz, or “bebop.”  For more than twenty years, a festival in his honor and bearing his name takes place on two stages in two different neighborhoods. This year on Saturday, August 23rd at 3 PM in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, lyrical trumpeter Wallace Roney a protégé of Miles Davis, will lead an Orchestra. In the East Village’s Tompkins Square Park, where a nearby street is named after Bird, on Sunday, August 24th the stellar pianist and composer Kenny Barron will put his artistry on display beginning at 3 PM. Don’t be late. 

There’s also free concerts in every genre ranging from opera, ballet, modern dance, to rock, blues, classical and more. The sounds of summer you can tune into is brought to us by NYC Parks and Recreation, and you can visit their website for more details on the complete 2014 calendar of events.

See you out there!

Connect with me over email or visit my agent website to learn more about New York City neighborhood events, and for all of your real estate needs. 


Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of James Errol Browne and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

Named By NY Post as One of The Power Women Driving The NYC Luxury Real Estate Industry

In yesterday’s New York Post, our CEO Diane M. Ramirez was highlighted as one of the Top Executives in New York City Real Estate. They sat down with Diane for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts from the piece.

Taken from the Alexa Section of the June 11th NY Post:

Year she launched the company: In 1984, with her business partner Clark Halstead. “We were very much marketing-minded,” she says, at a time when brokerages were still “very mom-and-pop.” She moved up to president in 1999. “Elizabeth Stribling already had Stribling, Barbara Corcoran was a great and colorful leader, Dottie and Howard Lorber bought Elliman, and then Pam Liebman took the reins for Corcoran,” she recalls. “There were a lot of great women out there in the early days.”

Known for: Working with her peers to bring polish and define best practices in what was a fairly rag-tag industry.

Breakthrough deal: Just as she stepped into management, she was closing a major deal: an East Side townhouse bought by Calvin Klein. “That was my last deal. It was on for $6.5 million and we got a bidding war going, and it sold at $500,000 over ask — a record at that time.”

Next big thing: Halstead just expanded in Hoboken and tripled in size in Harlem. “And we are the first major firm to open in Bed-Stuy. We’re very excited about that.”

Personal mantra: A quote from Andrew Jackson resonates with Ramirez: “Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”

State of the industry: “I may be tri-state, but New York is the sun: everything revolves around New York,” she says. “Everywhere I go, everyone wants to know how NYC is doing.”

Fun fact: Ramirez has a DIY streak. “I have bought and sold 30 apartments of my own,” she says. “I love to buy a wreck and renovate it.”


Joann P. Erb.  Halstead Property’s Greenwich Sales Director was featured in Quest Magazine for  a recent neighborhood profile titled The Grass is Greener that focuses on real estate in Connecticut, and the various factors that make being a homeowner in the beautiful New England state so desirable. Below is an excerpt from the article that appeared in the June 2014 print edition of Quest Magazine that reveals what Joann had to say in response to why The Grass is Greener for real estate in Greenwich

QUEST: Think of a town like Greenwich, a community with access to New York City but in a setting that is characterized by verdant country and proximity to the coast. The idea of popping into the hubbub of Manhattan for work and commuting back in under an hour for dinner is an attractive one – especially if you’re eating at Figaro, a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue.

QUEST: What areas and what sorts of properties do you concentrate on in Connecticut?

Joann: I am the director of sales for Greenwich so I cover the entire community, which also includes Riverside, Old Greenwich, and Cos Cob.  Halstead Property has offices in Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Rowayton, Westport, and Wilton. That being said, we cover all of Fairfield County and the surrounding communities as well.

QUEST: How does the market in Connecticut differ from others throughout the Northeast?

Joann: Honestly, that is a tough question – and a very broad one. Focusing on Fairfield County, it’s a very interesting market that has a lot of unique, historical, one-of-a-kind properties, along with a great mix of various styles of architecture and design.

QUEST: What areas and what sorts of properties are on the market in Connecticut?

Joann: Our high-end inventory in Greenwich is outpacing our lower end. That is certainly not something we are seeing in other local towns.

QUEST: What sorts of buyers are you working with? What sorts of sellers?

Joann: Our office primarily services the upper-end market in Greenwich and concentrates on Old Greenwich, Riverside, and Central Greenwich (south of the Merritt Parkway). The majority of our listings are all above $1 million with the average listing priced at $3.43 million. Buyers at these price points tend to ne from Greenwich or are coming from Manhattan and Westchester County for lower taxes and strong school systems. Sellers are looking to either downsize or are trying to leave the backcountry (north of the Merritt Parkway) for a more centralized or waterfront location. 


 To learn more from Joann you can connect with her over email, or visit her agent website.

Click here to meet all of our local Connecticut agents to learn more about  Greenwich and the surrounding towns in Fairfield County, and visit Halstead Property on Foursquare for hundreds of other neighborhood tips for the best shopping, dining and attractions in Connecticut from our neighborhood expert agents.


By: Kleopatra Phili, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Halstead Property Westside Office. 

In order for me to have met Lady Gaga, a lot of things had to happen at exactly the right time.  Thirty minutes prior, I had to wait at the curb when the light turned red; seconds earlier, I had to wait for the elevator to take me from the 39th floor to the lobby; and 3 years before, I had to buy a pied-a-terre to be near my son who was a student at NYU. 

My husband and I looked at a few of the older buildings closest to the university.  Then we expanded our search to include new construction, increased our budget, and narrowed down our criteria to new construction, a view, only a few apartments per floor.  This is how we found our match at Sky House, 11 E. 29th Street, between Fifth and Madison, in NoMad (North of Madison Square Park).  Park Avenue South looked like an opportunity and the neighborhood had great potential.  That was in 2008, before “Eataly”, One Madison, 10MSW, Gansevoort Park Ave, the upcoming 400 PAS, and before NoMad was recognized as the hot neighborhood it is today. 

After the closing, I had to move to London for three years due to my husband’s job, so I rented out the condo to the most wonderful tenant.  When I moved back from London, I visited my tenant to discuss painting the apartment. I was about to exit the lobby of the building when I saw Lady Gaga outside. I said to Lady Gaga:  “Do you think that since I’m Greek and you’re half-Greek, we could take a picture together?”  After a beat, the observant Lady Gaga replied:  “We’re both wearing Chanel.”  On her right wrist was a Chanel necklace that she’d fashioned into a bracelet.  As she posed for the picture, she adjusted the large double C logo, so that it looked like a giant ring. 

Bottom line is, timing is everything.  It was true when I met Lady Gaga, it was true when I bought pre-construction in 2008, and it’s still true if you wish to buy new construction today in Manhattan.  There are many neighborhoods with great potential, such as the area west of NoMad, as a specific example.  If you wish to buy new construction, at pre-construction prices, please contact me for a conversation.

To learn more about NoMad and for answers to all of your real estate needs, you can connect with me over email or visit my agent website


Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Kleo’s and do not reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC. 


By: Madeleine Dale, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, West Side Office.

The Clean Power Plan announced last week seeks to limit carbon emissions from power plants in the name of climate change and public health. Responsible for 1/3 of the domestic greenhouse gasses, power plants are the largest source of CO2 emissions in the U.S. Power plants burning fossil fuels also release mercury, sulfur-dioxide and nitrogen which linger hundreds of years in the atmosphere.  Coal burning plants are the worst offenders and the main target for the proposal to reduce pollution by 30%. 

Sensitive to backlash from coal producing states, the EPA message is don’t panic, the plan promises to maintain affordable, reliable energy “For 40 years, we have been able to both implement the Clean Air Act and keep the lights on. The EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will not change that.” Not so much a call to arms as a call to upgrade, Clean Power takes aim at 1,000 plants in an aging fleet – most coal burning fuel facilities have already been in use over 40 years. 

In reality, reliance on coal has already waned due to gains in energy efficiency and cleaner fuels like natural gas. An industry analyst quoted in theNYTimes last week notes, “Natural gas turns out to be better than coal in the marketplace.”  Another Times article, The Best of Both Worlds  took aim at arguments that regulations will drive up costs. Nine states which cut carbon emissions by 18% through a carbon cap and trade program saw economies grow by 9%. 

The hope that proposed regulations will open the door for alternative power sources like solar and wind to compete in the energy market may prove optimistic. Coal burning plants still account for 40% of the nation’s power. Reducing emissions is a small step made possible by the abundant supply of viable domestic fuel. A 30% emissions reduction equals the carbon released annually by 75% of the nation’s cars. As CO2 molecules in the atmosphere top 400 parts per billion, the regulations recognize the imperative of modifying energy policy to minimize the human footprint.

To connect with me you can contact me over email, or visit my agent website to learn more.


Thoughts of Eco Logic are those of Madeleine Dale and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

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