By Caitlin Abdo
Long Island City, a long awaited up-and-coming area, is finally coming up.
The Vista, in Court Square, hit the market in November and about 40 percent of the new condominiums have already been sold.
Eleven of these sales were completed during the soft opening, a demonstration of how relevant this neighborhood is becoming. As the building is still in the final stages of development, these sales have been based solely off the floor plans and hardhat tours. The expected move-in date is June 2013.
The Vista is said to have a mixture of contemporary and Eastern influence with "an earth conscious design to create an aesthetic that is functional, elegant and focused."
The building houses 48 single, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom homes, as well as amenities that include a rooftop terrace, fitness center with yoga room, doggie spa, entertainment room, wi-fi, storage options, and parking spaces in the building's garage.
One of the most unique features of The Vista is its feng shui certification, which has been a part of the project since its inception.
Feng (meaning wind) shui (meaning water) is an ancient art an science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It is a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for people inhabiting it.
"The feng shui design has been instrumental in developing a unique and valuable product," said Eric Bernaim, CEO and president of Modern Spaces, the marketing agent for the property.
It is more than an amenity, according to Benaim, who said it is worked into the development of the building - and buyers are responding.
All of the elements were reviewed by feng shui-certified consultant, Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Long Island.
Some of the feng shui features include no fourth floor, a nod to the bad luck associated with the number four, which represents death. (To be superstition-friendly, there is also no thirteenth floor).
There is no front door facing an interior door. All of the terraces are placed off the bedroom as opposed to the living room to ensure that there is no outward facing door opposite apartment entrances.
No kitchen faces a bathroom directly and the kitchen ventilation systems send the exhaust out of the building.
These feng shui features have been a major selling point, according to Jennifer Dorfmann, a broker with Modern Spaces who has been giving hardhat tours to potential buyers.
"Although it may not be their foremost concern, I can see relief on clients faces when I show them the feng shui aspects of the apartments," she said.
For some it is cultural, for others it is tradition, and for others it is simply a peaceful addition to an already beautiful home.
All of the apartments have high ceilings and plenty of windows, which allow for a bright, open feel. Although planned residential towers will block some of the views, many rooms will still offer peeks of the Manhattan skyline. All of the homes include hardwood oak flooring and high-end finishes. Also, stainless steel appliances, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and cook tops in marble topped kitchens with CaesarStone counters and fixtures.
Master and guest bathrooms include heated floors, marble and porcelain ceramic tiles, Kohler fixtures, and wenge wood double-sink vanities.
The majority of the homes also have balconies. Aside from the studios, all of the condos have walk-in closets.
With residential expansion of this neighborhood on the rise, it won't be long before the Court Square neighborhood meets the waterfront. Following this new residential trend, there are plans for several other residential buildings to join The Vista.
Modern Spaces has two other new Long Island City projects to follow, Five 27 and The Bindery.
"The area is really becoming neighborhood-y," said Dorfmann. "The storefronts on Jackson between 44th drive and 43rd Avenue [which is half a block away] are currently getting leased to restaurants, bars, cafes, and galleries."
Just minutes from the city, The Vista is at the center of a transportation hub with access to the E, M, 7 and G subways lines.
The homes range from 475 to 965 s/f and pricing starting with studios at $435,800, one-bedrooms at $540,800, two-bedrooms $700,800.