The Dakota in New York City

A slanted mansard roof dotted with dormer windows. Gothic-inspired gables and Victorian balustrades that meet reliefs and figures etched in peach sandstone and brick. These are just some of the features framing the striking Dakota Building. Few Manhattan luxury apartment buildings are as renowned. Located at 1 west 72nd Street, at the intersection of 72nd Street and Central Park West, The Dakota boasts breathtaking structural design in German Renaissance style. Its interiors follow the French style. Large rooms connected by multiple halls make ideal spaces for catered parties. Tall ceilings and expansive windows make these units peaceful retreats for their owners. Most floor plans for apartments in The Dakota span between three and ten rooms. No two units in the Dakota are exactly alike.

CNBC has called the Dakota “New York’s Most Exclusive Building. Famous residents of The Dakota include actor Lauren Becall, author Harlan Coben, anchor Connie Chung and actor Judy Garland. The Dakota has been the setting for the book Time and Again and the film Rosemary’s Baby. The Dakota is probably best known for being the site of the assassination of Beatle John Lennon by a crazed stalker in 1980. Lennon had lived with his wife Yoko Ono in The Dakota from 1973 to 1980, and Ono still lives there today. Yes, The Dakota is home to accomplished notables and celebrities, but residents nonetheless feel the white-gloved doorman and full service building exudes a sense of warmth. One owner, who put his one-of-a-kind 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment on the market for $29.6 million, was quoted in the New York Times as saying “They’re your neighbors, so you say hello… It’s really a very friendly and relaxed building.” Dakota is an 87- unit luxury cooperative apartment that also offers residents a private courtyard and numerous building community events throughout the year. Recent sales at the Dakota include a 3 bedroom 3 bath for $5.65 million and one bedroom one bath for $2 million. The Dakota building is currently priced at $2725/sq. foot (November 2012).

The Dakota’s immaculately kept appearance may make it hard for some to believe it was built in the late 1800s. The Dakota’s construction, from 1880 to 1884, was the brainchild of Edward Clark, Singer Sewing Machine Company’s founder. The same architectural firm behind the Plaza Hotel, Henry Jane Hardenbergh, designed The Dakota Building. Since its completion, The Dakota building struck a sense of wonder in the hearts and minds of all who saw it. It was the first truly luxury apartment building in the Upper West Side, built at a time when the Upper West Side was still a mostly empty plain. It even had a horse carriage garage, complete with elevators! The success of the Dakota cemented it as a trendsetter for future luxury apartment buildings in Manhattan. Originally a 93-unit building, over the years some apartments have been combined so that The Dakota now houses 87 units. The Dakota was named a NYC Historic Landmark in 1969. Seven years later, in 1976, The Dakota was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The Dakota continues to be in-demand, and when units enter the market, they are purchased fairly quickly.

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What Are the Different Types of Condos?

When we are talking about condominiums in Singapore, there are basically 3 types – mass market, mid-market and the high-end condominiums. Whether to choose which type of condo really depends what you are looking for and what is the purpose of this investment.

Mass Market

Typically the mass market condos are located at the suburbs, such as Bishan, Jurong, Yishun, Pasir Ris and Chua Chu Kang. These condos are usually priced starting from $600 psf and have basic condominium facilities such as swimming pools, Jacuzzi, gymnasium, BBQ areas, car park, and 24-hours security. This type of condos is good for people who wanted to enjoy condo facilities and it is a lower entry to condos in Singapore.

Mid-Market

Mid-market condos are situated near the fringes of the prime districts. Some of these areas are Novena, Newton and Bukit Timah. Their prices are also slightly higher (about $800psf) and they often have additional facilities such as tennis courts, squash courts, sauna, fitness corner, function room, and basement carpark. These condos are suitable for buyers who want to have good locations as well as having this condo as an investment in mind.

High-End Market

Needless to say, high-end condos are at prime-districts such as Districts 9 to 11 – places such as Orchard Road and Sentosa Cove. The prices for these condos are definitely high. They can range from $1000psf to even $3000psf, depending on its exclusiveness and facilities. Some of these condos even include a sky gym, concierge service, private lifts, and even a marina to dock your yacht. High-end condos are definitely for the elites and the rich. For those who are interested in investing, these high-end condos may be a good choice too.

The Pros of Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Service

Cleaning a large surface area or commercial space can be a big task to take on yourself or for your employees. Commercial cleaning and janitorial services can help to relieve this load off your shoulders. Focus on doing what you do best at your job and hire an external janitorial service to look after the cleaning. A janitorial service company uses a vast variety of industrial strength cleaning methods, chemicals and equipment to clean thoroughly and systematically. The commercial cleaning services industry typically cleans local places including stores, high-rises, condominiums and offices. Some other premises that also use commercial cleaning services may include showrooms, warehouses, factories, medical facilities, airports and government facilities.

What will janitorial services clean? They will clean from top to bottom, leaving it spotless and untarnished. The range of services offered by a commercial cleaning company will include the cleaning of floors, carpets, tiles, partition walls, internal walls ceilings, lighting furniture, windows and dining areas. In spaces such as an office building, janitorial services will be responsible for cleaning washrooms, kitchens and cleaning of telephones or electronic devices. In the washrooms, they will provide and replenish products such as paper towels, toilet rolls, liquid soap and bin liners for the garbage.

If you are a business owner, cleaning is necessary because the building must look presentable, however this task can be tedious and time consuming. As the owner, one has the option and choice to hire a commercial cleaning service to do the professional cleaning and look after the janitorial services of your building. By hiring a professional, you may save money in the long run as well as time, which is a commodity you cannot get back. When it comes to the cleanliness of your building, you can trust professional cleaners to meet your specialty cleaning needs.

Not only will the building or space be spotless, but it will also be sanitary and disinfected. This is important because of the high traffic of employees and clients you have visiting your establishment. Keeping your institution clean may not be a priority in the present moment, but it will make a world of difference to your customers and visitors. It will make a lasting impression to customers and will represent the look and appearance of your business.

Once one hires janitorial services, the cleaning will be left to a team of professionals that excel at scrubbing, dusting, polishing, scouring and washing. Specialized cleaning needs can be handled by professionals that are knowledgeable in this occupation and who have the necessary equipment to finish the job. Attempting to wax the floors or steam clean the carpets in your workplace can result in time wasted and potentially ruining the interior or worse, injuring yourself. Janitorial services and commercial cleaning for your workplace, business or showroom will be money well spent. It will also give you peace of mind that the area is clean, dust-free and disinfected. With winter coming to an end, commercial cleaning services may be needed in your retail or office space to clean windows, vacuum carpets and clean tile or wood floors.

Difference Between Renting An Apartment And A Condo in Bangkok

Many people ask, “what’s the difference between an apartment and a condo in Bangkok?” Well, condos are individually owned units whilst an apartment is a block of rental units owned by a company, family or individual.

There are, of course pros and cons to renting an apartment over renting a condo and hopefully this article will shed some light on the apartment versus condo rental issue, and help you with your final decision.

Rental prices

When it comes to price, you’ll be glad to know that there is no difference whether it’s an apartment or condo you choose to rent in Bangkok. The rental rate is usually determined by the location, age and grade of building, size of unit, number of bedrooms, facilities, décor and furnishing.

Utility bills.

Now, this is where the main disadvantage lies in renting an apartment over a condo. Apartments tend to have a minimum charge for water (usually around 1000 baht per month) and a surcharge on electricity (around 5 – 6 baht a unit compared to the 3.75 baht charged by the MEA). All this can amount a hefty difference in utility bills at the end of every month.

I live in a 3 storey townhouse with a family of 6 and my water bill has never exceeded 500 bht a month, ever. We do a lot of washing and drinking too!

Building management fees

These fees apply more to condominiums rather than apartments which have already factored this cost into the rent. This is what you call the community fee that goes to maintaining the buildings, facilities, security etc. For condos, this cost around 25-40 baht per square metre depending on the building and its location. The more exclusive your condo. The more your fees are going to be! Most of the time, this fee has already been included in the asking rent by the landlord. However, if you managed to push the rent down significantly and got you a laughing good deal i.e. a nicely furnished 95 sqm 2 bedroom in the CBD for 25,000 baht/month, then it’s likely that your landlord will be expecting you to pay this management fee instead! That’s fair enough don’t you think?

Others

At the end of the day, whether you are renting an apartment or a condo, who you rent it from is extremely important. With condo owners, it is sometimes easier to negotiate on the rent since these individuals can be more flexible, compared to an apartment which charges standard rates that are usually non-negotiable. However, finding a suitable condo for rent is a little trickier on your own since you’ll have to know which building and what unit is available for rent. You’ll also need the owner’s contact too! That is where property rental agencies like Bangkok Finder can help you.

The other thing is maintenance. It’s definitely a lot more convenient if you are living in an apartment since there is usually an in house maintenance guy hired by the building at hand. However, I know of many condo owners who take very good care of their property and have their own handyman who usually responds within a day or two. The cost can be foot by the landlord or the tenant depending on the initial agreement. Usually, structural repairs, electrical wiring and plumbing costs are borne by the landlord, and minor repairs are the charge of the tenant. However, the cheaper your rent, chances are the more you’ll have to account for in maintenance cost during your lease tenure.

Apart from that, apartments and condos offer 24 hour security and feel safer for most, compared to living in a house. There is also NO chance of flooding inside your home, which is a major concern for most people looking to rent or buy in Thailand and the other bonus is, NO MOSQUITOS! That truly is bliss.

Well, that’s about it really! Ready to start your search? Here are apartments for rent in Bangkok and condos for rent in Bangkok.