Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Climate Change Puts Statue of Liberty at ‘High Risk’ Of Future Damage

The Statue of Liberty is among 31 at-risk UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Thanks to the ever-present threat of climate change, NYC's beloved Lady Liberty might be endangered. A recent report by UNESCO, called "World Heritage and Tourism in a Changing Climate," details the impending damage to famous sites as a result of climate change. Among them are the Galapagos Islands, the city of Venice in Italy, Stonehenge, and the Statue of Liberty, to name a few.

As one of the 31 case studies, scientists illustrate just how vulnerable the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, and the adjacent Ellis Island actually are. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the islands, causing serious infrastructural damage and about $100 million worth of necessary repairs. According to the report, this is just a glimpse of the serious damage that would be caused by rising sea levels due to global warming. This news should come as no surprise nor should it be hard to believe, especially for those who witnessed the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Sandy firsthand.

The 108-page report further details "the intangible cost of future damage to this international symbol of freedom and democracy" noting that this type of damage cannot be monetarily measured. These things are mentioned to say that measures need to be taken to address global climate change and protect our world sites—sometimes, prevention is easier than repair.


NYC Subway Use Nears All-Time Peak As U.S. Public Transport Use Declines

New York Public Library's Iconic Fifth Avenue Fountains May Get Flashy Upgrade

LES Rental, Soon to Be Dwarfed by 80-Story Neighbors, Offers Units From $4,300

Coney Island’s Outdoor Street Art Museum Returns for the Summer

The public art project is back with some new paintings

The outdoor museum of street art that is Coney Art Walls has returned for another year, featuring both new and returning talent. Presented by Thor Equities, the public art wall at Greenwood Beach made its debut last Friday, just in time for the masses that flocked to Coney Island to enjoy Memorial Day weekend. This year’s display will feature 21 new works, some from returning artists as well as works from new artists and three walls being painted by local children and young adults.

Curated by Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities, and art-world impresario Jeffrey Deitch, the wall showcases works from a host of artists that include Buff Monster, Lady Pink, RETNA, Ron English, Crash, Daze, and Icy & Sot.

In addition to the art walls, food vendors including Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Mexican restaurant Calexico, and pizzeria Table 87 were featured at the opening event.

Located at 3050 Stillwell Avenue, the outdoor museum will be open daily through October 2016 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and all murals will be fully completed in June, in time for the annual Mermaid Parade on the 18th.


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DDG's Tribeca Condo Really Looks Like a Pile of Rocks

Gowanus Studio Where 'The Americans' Is Filmed Endangered By Canal Cleanup

Historian Laments the Impact of Gentrification on Harlem

Michael Henry Adams examines the changing face of Harlem in an NYT op-ed

Last week, the New York Times published a searing opinion piece by historian and author Michael Henry Adams, examining the impact of gentrification on Harlem, the neighborhood he grew up in. In the piece, Adams assails the policies of the de Blasio administration that have led to the creation of several pricey new condos like One Morningside Park and Circa Central Park, and the destruction of iconic cultural establishments in the neighborhood like The Renaissance Theater, and Childs Memorial Temple Church of God in Christ. Adams also decries those who try to unlink the process of gentrification from race and choose to focus on it solely as an income issue. Adams examines these links and reflects on the changing face of his neighborhood. Here are five powerful points from his opinion piece:

  • "It was painful to realize how even a kid could see in every new building, every historic renovation, every boutique clothing shop — indeed in every tree and every flower in every park improvement — not a life-enhancing benefit, but a harbinger of his own displacement."
  • "For so many privileged New Yorkers, like James [poet James Fenton], Whole Foods is just the corner store. But among the black and working-class residents of Harlem, who have withstood red-lining and neglect, it might as well be Fortnum and Mason. To us, our Harlem is being remade, upgraded and transformed, just for them, for wealthier white people."
  • "By 1930 hundreds of thousands of blacks (and not a few whites) lived in Harlem. And yet, even then, residents understood that the black hold on Harlem was tenuous. That same year the author James Weldon Johnson asked in "Black Manhattan," his classic account of Harlem’s early years, "The question inevitably arises: Will the Negroes of Harlem be able to hold it?"'
  • "Today the pace of change is bracing, as is the insolence of the newcomers. A local real-estate speculator who specializes in flipping buildings in the shrinking Little Senegal section of Harlem told me that new tenants complained, "We’re not paying that much money to have black people living in our building!"'
  • "He [Mayor Bill de Blasio] and the City Council have effectively swept aside contextual zoning limits, which curb development that might change the very essence of a neighborhood, in Harlem and Inwood, farther north. At best, his plan seems to be to develop at all speed and costs, optimistic that the tax revenues and good graces of the real estate barons allow for a few affordable apartments to be stuffed in later."
  • The End of Black Harlem [NYTimes]
  • New York Narratives: A Bronx Native on Why She's Disenchanted With NYC [Curbed]


Chelsea Apartments Subsidized By Midtown Supertalls Are Taking Shape

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'Maker Space' Suggested As An Alternative to Williamsburg Waterfront Park

Would reuse the Bayside Oil Depot site along Bushwick Inlet

As plans for a 28-acre park along the Williamsburg waterfront continue to languish, an alternative idea has emerged to transform the former industrial area along Bushwick Inlet. The New York Times spoke with the developers behind Maker Park — a plan to redevelop a plot along the inlet into a space for artists and greenhouses.

Maker Park would be located at the Bayside Oil Depot site, a triangular piece of land that sits between Kent Avenue, North 12th Street, and Bushwick Inlet. The city purchased the site in March this year for $53 million, but hasn't moved ahead with any work there yet.

The seven-acre property is comprised of 13 different structures, according to the developers behind Maker Park: a three-story brick building, six truck bays, an abandoned garage, and 10, 50-foot tall cylindrical fuel repositories. The Maker Park creators want to redevelop this space into an exhibition hall for artists (in the garage), use the fuel containers as viewing platforms and performance spaces, and create more green space, among other plans.

Bushwick Inlet Park was promised as part of the 2005 rezoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, which allowed for the construction of taller buildings in exchange for park space along the waterfront. The city however never followed through on this promise. Over the years, they've purchased a few parcels here and there, and even built a soccer field, but the park as a whole has not come to fruition.

A large part of this planned park hinges on the Citistorage site, which burnt down in a fire last year. The owner, Norman Brodsky, wants to sell it for around $250 million, and the city is now considering acquiring the property through eminent domain — though the city would still have to pay Brodsky a large chunk of money while talking that route.

The initial estimate for creation of the park was between $60 and $90 million, but already, the city has spent close to $200 million buying various parcels of land, and about $26 million on development.

The creators of Maker Park — Stacey Anderson, Karen Zabarsky, and Zachary Waldman, imagine this as an alternative with the plans for the waterfront park having stalled. Anderson is the director of public events and community engagement at the Municipal Arts Society, Zabarsky is a creative director at Kushner Companies, and Waldman works in advertising.

Longtime champions of Bushwick Inlet Park, such as the local advocacy group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park are completely against this idea. Members of the group told the Times that it would be an insult to reuse the industrial buildings, which were cause of tremendous pollution in the neighborhood, and that creating more park space is vital to the neighborhood.

A representative for Mayor Bill de Blasio told the Times that the Maker Park idea was likely unfeasible because of the level of the pollution on the site — the buildings would have to be razed, and the site remediated, if the property were to be used again.

The Maker Park creators plan to forge ahead regardless — they've filed a freedom of information request to get environmental data on the site, according to the Times, and they've also hired an environmental lawyer and a scientist as they continue to get input from the community about the project.


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Trader Joe's Reportedly Inks Deal For Second Upper West Side Store

The California chain may be opening a new outpost on Columbus Avenue

Even as smaller grocery stores disappear from New York's neighborhoods, Trader Joe's continues its seemingly unstoppable march across the city. Last year, the California brand announced it would open a new outpost at Brooklyn's City Point megaproject, and now new details have emerged on yet another forthcoming store, this time on the Upper West Side.

The Real Deal reports that a new store will open on Columbus Avenue and 93rd Street, in a 20,000-square-foot space at the base of a condo building. Though Trader Joe's has not confirmed the opening, sources told TRD that the chain will sign a lease in the next few weeks, and will share the ground-floor retail space with a Party City that's already in place. The condo itself has 280 units over 30 stories.

There's already one Trader Joe's in the neighborhood, at 72nd Street and Broadway, but considering the popularity of the shop—Yelp reviews inevitably mention the lines that wrap around the store, same as every single Trader Joe's in New York—another branch would certainly be a welcome addition to the area.


Brazilian Architect Isay Weinfeld Will Design the New Four Seasons Restaurant

Hudson Yards’s First Building, a Decade In the Making, Welcomes Tenants

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Instagram Roundup: Explore the Outdoors

Beautiful Multi-Family Windsor Terrace Home Asks $1.599M

This week's roundup includes beautiful homes in Brooklyn, Prospect, and Crown Heights

173 East 4th Street: This two-family home has three-bedrooms, one-and-a-half bathrooms, a sunroom, and lots of closet space. Asking price is $1.599 million.

436 Saint Marks Avenue: Located in Prospect Heights, this three-bedroom, four-bathroom home is saturated with beautiful wood floors and cabinets as well as exposed brick and stone. Other features include a wood-burning fireplace, high ceilings, and a private outdoor space. Asking price is $2.39 million.

321 Sterling Place: Just one look at this four-story brownstone is all it takes to know that there is something special about it. Built in 1899, this six-bedroom, three-bathroom landmark Prospect Heights home retains its original woodwork, an antique claw foot tub, and has a fireplace mantle in each of its rooms. It would need quite a bit of work to bring it into the 21st century, but there's a lot of potential here. Asking price is $4.195 million.

226 Pacific Street: This four-story, 4,700 square foot Boerum HIll townhouse has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms. It has been redesigned with brand new oak floors, open steel stairs, Pietra Cardosa stone kitchen counters and Calacatta marble worksurfaces, white marble bathrooms and a host of even more enviable amenities. Asking price is $5.65 million.

81 Pierrepont Street: This sprawling five-story Italianate brownstone is made up of five-bedrooms and eight-bathrooms. It is said to be "in need of a gut renovation" as it is currently comprised of multiple units, however, anyone willing to tackle the project can rest assured knowing that renderings for a modern renovation have been approved by the Department of Buildings and can even allow for an elevator. Asking price is $8 million.


Saturday, 28 May 2016

Roosevelt Island's Candy-Colored Pool is Back

The powers that be have decided to bring the colorfully fun pool installation back for a second year

For the second consecutive year, cotton candy colors have returned to the Manhattan Park Pool Club on Roosevelt Island. The Roosevelt Island Associates have once again commissioned a vibrant mural around the 8,000 square foot pool.

While last year’s rainbow-painted pool was painted by artist, HOT TEA, for design firm, K&Co and Pliskin Architecture, the artist behind this year’s work is Andrew Faris, a contemporary Wyoming-based artist who’s classified as a minimalist painter. His project, entitled Block Party, uses a series of colors that lap around the pool’s deck to create bright bursts of blue, green, pink, and yellow territories.

The installation opens today and the pool itself will open on Memorial Day. Day passes can be purchased for Manhattan Park pool by non-residents for $25 during weekdays and $35 on weekends. A seasonal membership will run you $450 per person or $650 per couple.


A Woman Finds Her Ideal UWS Home At a Modest Price

Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality.

The Hunter: Jamie Koff, owner of Fabric to Finish


Dream: $600,000 to $800,000

Reality: $699,000


Dream: Upper West Side

Reality: Manhattan Valley


Dream: Doorman, elevator, and great lighting

Reality: Part-time doorman, roof deck


For the majority of her time in New York, Jamie Koff has called the Upper West Side her home. As her one-bedroom West 83rd Street apartment’s rent rose to over $3,000 per month, she began exploring her options. Koff had plans of buying a place with her parents, but that dream never manifested as her parents both became ill and passed away.

Realizing she would have to do it on her own, Koff reached out to a friend at Halstead Property to help her find a spacious one- or two-bedroom co-op on the Upper West Side. She quickly found that the units in her preferred area that fit her price range of $600,000 to $800,000 were less than ideal conditions, having bedrooms that were too small along with "poor lighting and no views." She wanted a doorman and an elevator and ground-floor apartments were out of the question.

Koff looked at a one-bedroom unit on West 72nd Street in a 1925 building that was asking $749,000 with a monthly maintenance of $1,435 but it would require too much fixing up thus making the asking price too high. Next, Friedman led Koff further uptown to a one-bedroom co-op near West 95th Street, on West End Avenue, which had a view of the Riverside-West End Historic District. She offered $775,000 for the $785,000 apartment and they accepted but she was later turned down by the building’s co-op board presumably due to her fluctuating income.

Koff finally found the place for her. It was everything that she wanted and more. It came in the form of a one-bedroom, 750-square-foot apartment with a roof deck in Manhattan Valley. The asking price was $699,00 with a monthly maintenance fee that was less than $1,000. It needed some work, but that was okay since Koff found the asking price to be fairly low. After getting approval from the board, Koff paid the asking price and got to work on kitchen and bathroom modifications as well as a much needed paint job.


Sales Launch Recap: See What Hit the Market This Week

10 Underrated NYC Memorials To Visit Memorial Day Weekend

Check out these lesser-visited NYC memorials and monuments

New York City is home to more than 1,000 memorials that commemorate events and individuals who helped to shape history in this country and abroad. Here, we celebrate ten of those memorials that highlight fascinating accomplishments, historical events, or parts of New York City's history that are often overlooked. Are we neglecting one of your favorite unsung memorials? As always, leave it in the comments.


Friday, 27 May 2016

East Village Condo With Sliver of Outdoor Space Wants $900,000

NYC's Best Outdoor Movie Screenings This Summer

Where to see movies in the great outdoors in New York City

It may seem like New York City completely slows down in the summertime, but there are still plenty of great cultural events going on throughout the five boroughs. Take, for example, the plethora of outdoor movie screenings that happen throughout the city: You can find a place showing classic or newer flicks in the great outdoors just about every day of the week during the season. Here, we've curated a selection of the best screenings, and will keep adding new ones as they come up—if we've missed your favorite, let us know in the comments.


Late Author Oliver Sack's West Village Co-op Listed for $3.25M

The Horatio Street apartment features two bedrooms and two bathrooms

The West Village home of the late neurologist and author Oliver Sacks is now on the market for $3.25 million, the Observer reports. The two-bedroom, two bathroom apartment is located in a building on Horatio Street, which is also home to talk show host Andy Cohen and actress Sally Field.

Sacks died in October last year, and in the last few years of his life he had begun using the space on Horatio Street primarily as an office, according to the Observer. He purchased the apartment in 1995 and used it as an office and home for several years.Some of the great features in the West Village co-op include a wood burning fireplace, beamed ceilings and refinished hardwood floors.

Sacks will perhaps best be remembered for authoring the critically acclaimed book, Awakenings, which was subsequently made into an Academy Award-nominated film in 1990 starring Robin Williams (as Sacks) and Robert De Niro.


Finally, a Complete Look at Annabelle Selldorf's Bowlmor-Replacing Condo

In Photos: A Bronx Native Captures His Home Borough in the Tumultuous 1970s

A Guide to NYC's Governors Island This Memorial Day Weekend

Forthcoming Fort Greene Buildings Feared By Neighbors Get Redesigned

11 New York Beaches To Visit Memorial Day Weekend

Pack a picnic and your swimsuit and hit one of New York City's public beaches

Summer doesn't officially get underway until June, but it might as well already be here. And what better way to cool off and celebrate the summer than by visiting one of NYC's public beaches? If you're looking to beat the tourists and families making a beeline for Coney Island or the Rockaways check out some of the more off-the-beaten path beaches. And if going for a swim isn't your thing, don't fret—most beaches come with plenty of other outdoor activities. Put your laptop away for a bit and soak in the warm weather—and, as always, If we missed some great spots, let us know.


Another Retail and Office Building Slated For Houston Street Moves Forward

Will be located next to COOKFOX's gas station-replacing office building

A project to transform an MTA-owned parking lot in Soho into a mixed-use building is finally moving forward after developers closed on the sale of the lot for $25.8 million last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Madison Capital and Vornado Realty Trust are planning retail and offices for the building set to rise at 606 Broadway, which is located in the Soho Cast Iron Historic District. And seeing as it's in a historic district, the project spent the last few years getting approval from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission, and went through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) in order to move forward.

The lot is currently used by the MTA to park emergency response vehicles. As part of the deal, the developers purchased another lot at 6-8 East 20th Street for $13 million, where these emergency vehicles will be relocated, once construction on the mixed-use building gets underway.

The developers have also secured a $65 million construction loan for the project. Once complete (sometime in 2018) this $80 million building will include 11,500 square feet of retail on the first and second floors and close to 23,000 square feet of offices above that.

This project will rise next to the COOKFOX-designed office building at the corner of Lafayette and East Houston, the former site of a BP Gas station.


'Million Dollar Listing New York' Recap: Arguments and Andy Warhol

Brooklyn Heights Duplex Sells In One Day Because Everything Is Ridiculous

It also sold for nearly half a million more than its list price

Oh look! Just when we didn't need it, here comes more proof of just how bonkers the New York real estate market is. This time, that takes form in a Brooklyn Heights duplex that sold in a single day after its open house. Not only that, but the garden duplex at 18 Cranberry Street sold for nearly half a million over its asking price.

To be fair, the apartment is pretty lovely and appointed with just about everything someone living in Brooklyn Heights could want. The sellers took the apartment down to the studs in a 2014 renovation—they purchased it for $1.775 million in 2012—and appointed it with luxe amenities like a heated coat closet (who even knew this was a thing?) and a wine fridge.

The duplex has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, and was initially listed for $3.125 million.


Red Hook Locals Want a Ferry Dock Near the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

For the citywide ferry service, locals prefer Atlantic Basin

For residents of Red Hook, Atlantic Basin is a top contender for a docking station in the neighborhood when the citywide ferry service gets underway next year, DNAinfo reports. The choice became apparent at a public meeting held Tuesday, and it's also one of the choices the city's Economic Development Corporation is considering.

Citing an environmental report released earlier this month that air pollution would increase near the docking stations for the ferry, residents voiced a preference for the Atlantic Basin, located next to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, because it's a little bit away from the residential units in the neighborhood.

Other locations in the neighborhood that are under consideration include the pier at Valentino Park, an area near Fairway Market on Van Brunt Street, and the Erie Basin near Ikea.

Once the citywide ferry service gets underway, it will also include stops in Dumbo, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sunset Park, and Bay Ridge.


New Study Shows Which NYC Neighborhoods Have Become Unaffordable for Locals

Five neighborhoods in the Bronx ranked the highest

Neighborhoods in the Bronx ranked the highest among areas citywide that are becoming unaffordable for locals, DNAinfo reports, based on a study conducted by the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. In fact, the top five neighborhood citywide were in Bronx, and the University Heights/Fordham area was right at the top.

To measure affordability, ANHD looked at income, unemployment and the number of overcrowded households in the neighborhood, among several other factors. University Heights/Fordham saw more than 3,000 families apply for shelter between 2012 and 2015. Furthermore, more than 67 percent of the houses in the neighborhood are considered rent burdened — meaning residents pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The neighborhood also had the highest number of housing litigations, which is seen as a sign of having problems with landlords.

Fordham was followed by Highbridge/South Concourse, Kingsbridge Heights/Bedford, Belmont/East Tremont and Morrisania/Crotona.

Neighborhoods in Upper Manhattan like Morningside Heights and East Harlem saw the highest increase in price per square foot in residential sales, but didn't see an equivalent increase in income.


Thursday, 26 May 2016

Charming Townhouse on Private Washington Mews Asking $30,000/Month

Ranked: Lower Manhattan Neighborhoods With the Most 311 Complaints

Architects Propose Turning Area Under the BQE Into Public Space

Big Reveal: $349,000 For a Renovated Tudor City Studio

Sheldon Solow May Be Planning A Residential Tower on Billionaires Row

He could build as much as 213,000 square feet of residential space after his recent purchase.

Developer Sheldon Solow could build a tower with 213,000 square feet of residential space on Billionaires Row after his most recent purchase of an office and retail building at 16 West 57th Street, The Real Deal reports.

Solow purchased this building from real estate group JHSF for $128 million. Solow's firm also owns two properties on the left side of this building at 10, and 20 West 57th Street, and one to the south of the building at 19 West 56th Street. The air rights from all those buildings would allow for the creation of a residential building with the above-mentioned size.

This site at 16 West 57th Street has been at the center of several lawsuits and controversies however. Solow had tried to acquire the building in 2011, but lost the bid to Extell Development. Extell subsequently filed a lawsuit against Solow in 2013 for not allowing construction workers to access the site at 16 West 57th Street through the adjoining lots. Rumors were abound at the time that Extell had bought the property simply to stop Solow from building a tall luxury tower similar to Extell's One57.

Extell eventually moved on from that property and sold it to JHSF for $95 million in 2014. The latter wanted to bring a hotel-condo project to the site, but that never got off the ground, and instead JHSF was involved in a lawsuit over commission fees due to a brokerage firm.


Over Half of Beyer Blinder Belle's Flatiron Condos Are In Contract

40 NYC Parks Where You Can BBQ Memorial Day Weekend

Summer's here, which means it's barbecuing season

Few things scream "summer" quite like the smell of a cookout, and luckily for New Yorkers (or those of us who don't have access to a backyard, anyway), there are plenty of spaces within NYC parks where you can roll up and have a BBQ. Predictably, the bigger parks—Prospect, Brooklyn Bridge, Pelham Bay—tend to have more grills available for public use, and there's also the issue of permits with some of these BBQ spots. But if you're the sort of person who just has to have a burger that's been charred over coals in the great outdoors when summer hits, then consider this your indispensable guide for the next few months. And if we missed a spot, let us know.


Affordable Rentals In a New Crown Heights Building Start at $933

Eccentric Designer Betsey Johnson Lists Her Toned-Down UES Pad

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Uma Thurman's Lovely Gramercy Park Co-op Is in Contract After 2 Months

The five-bedroom apartment hit the market in April

Considering all of the things that this five-bedroom co-op at 1 Lexington Avenue has going for it—location; a coveted key to Gramercy Park; lovely pre-war details; and, oh yeah, the fact that it most recently belonged to Uma Thurman—it's no surprise that it sold quickly.

According to the New York Observer, the apartment is already in contract, less than two months after it hit the market for $6.25 million. The fact that Thurman gave a candid interview to the New York Times about her former home surely helped; she told the Times, "There was a gravitational pull to it that’s special even after I moved to a bigger space. It’s a very special building with special residents."

Thurman, meanwhile, has moved on to an even more exclusive address (yes, more exclusive than a building fronting Gramercy Park): She's moved to the $10 million abode she purchased in Midtown's tony River House complex in 2013.


Where to Rent in New York City Right Now

Looking for a new apartment in NYC? Look no further

The age-old question: where do I rent an apartment in New York City? Older options abound, but new buildings debut on the rental market just about every week. For this heatmap of where to rent right now, Curbed looked at the buzziest rentals of the past six months or so, mapping only those that have more than one unit available at this very second. (That said, the new buildings with no availability might well be popular for a reason and are worth keeping an eye on.) Did we miss any? Let us know.


New Renderings Reveal More of Brookfield’s Manhattan West Megaproject

Three Cents Worth: How Inflation Really Affects Manhattan Sales Prices

Passageway Connecting WTC Hub and Fulton Center Finally Opens

Canoeing Along the Restored Bronx River

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Selling Gramercy Hospital, Citing Costs

Another hospital bites the dust, sort of.

Mount Sinai Beth Israel will be closing its 825-bed facility in Gramercy to rebuild smaller nearby. The announcement, reported by the Times and Journal, isn't totally unexpected; the hospital, the city's largest private employer, has been operating at a significant loss for two years and was on course to rack up $2 billion in losses over the next ten years owing just to federal reimbursement structures.

Chatter of the hospital's fiscal woes came to the surface earlier this week when word leaked that the hospital would be selling a 24-story apartment building on East 17th Street and First Avenue that houses the hospital's medical residents.

Unlike the scores of downtown hospitals to shutter in recent years—St. Vincent's, razed for condos; Cabrini Medical Center, also condos—the hospital is not flatlining. According to the Times, a new, 70-bed facility on which construction will start next year will be built nearby. Once it's operating, the existing hospital will be sold with the proceeds working to offset its cost.

The new facility will also have an emergency department in a nearby building, and expanded outpatient facilities at three sites with operating and procedure rooms and physician practice locations.

"We have the macroeconomics of health care — which is that it is unaffordable for everyone," Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and chief executive of the Mount Sinai Health System, told the Times. Davis explained that with the cost of today's health care along with technical advances in the industry, maintaining large hospitals is no longer the most efficient model of delivering care.

"We are not diminishing, in any way, the services," Davis told the Journal, "We are not closing the doors."


Controversial UES Condo Hit With a Stop-Work Order After Investigation

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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Bronx Museum of Arts Will Get Big Revamp, Including New Gallery

The Bronx facility will get upgrades allowing for more space and new exhibitions

One of the Bronx's best cultural institutions is about to get an upgrade. The Bronx Museum of the Arts announced plans for an extensive overhaul of its Grand Concourse facility, with upgrades happening in an effort to advance the museum’s expanding role as a vital community resource, as well as to meet the demands caused by an influx in attendance.

Monica Ponce de Leon of the Department and Design Construction will design phase one of the project, which includes an overhaul of the Museum’s South Wing Atrium into what's being called a "Gallery Cube," allowing for more exhibition and public program space. The project is a public-private partnership and will be funded through the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. The projected cost is estimated to be about $25 million, with $6.9 million already being appropriated for phase one. The Museum is currently in the "silent phase," with hopes of securing private funds for the full project.

The Bronx Museum of Arts aims to make art accessible to everyone, offering daily free admission to all. Their permanent collection holds over 1,000 artworks that are curated to reflect the surrounding community and appeal to their diverse audience. Construction will begin some time this year and is expected to be completed in 2020. The Museum has plans to remain open while undergoing the redesign.


Shakespeare In the Park Returns For 2016 Summer Season

This year's performances include The Taming Of the Shrew and Troilus and Cressida

Although it hasn't felt like Spring until, well, today, one sure sign that summer is coming returned to NYC this week: Shakespeare In the Park. The annual performance series by The Public Theatre that runs from May through August in Central Park kicked off its Spring/Summer 2016 season on Tuesday with the first of two plays that will be performed over the next few months.

The first of the great Bard's works that will be put on this season is the screwball comedy The Taming of the Shrew, starring Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife) and Janet McTeer (A Doll's House). Directed by Phyllida Lloyd (Mama Mia!, The Iron Lady), the all-female adaptation will run through June 26.

After a brief mid-summer intermission, Shakespeare in the Park will pick back up again on July 19 with the tragedy Troilus and Cressida, directed by Tony-award winner Daniel Sullivan. The play will run through August 14.

The shows will take place in Central Park's open-air Delacorte Theater. Performances will take place six days of the week at 8 p.m., excluding Mondays and a few black-out dates.

The Delacorte Theater is most easily accessible by the park's entrances at 81st Street and Central Park West, and 79th Street and Fifth Avenue. As always, the performances are free to attend and seats will be doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. For the full schedule, head this way.


Pearl Paint's Former Canal Street HQ May Soon Be Home to Apartments

The iconic art supply store closed in 2014

Well, that didn't take too long. Longtime Canal Street institution Pearl Paint officially closed two years ago, and was listed for sale not long before that. Apparently it found a buyer in Trans World Equities, which recently filed plans with the Department of Buildings to convert the former art supply store into a new mixed-use building. (h/t 6sqft)

According to the plans on file, the developers want to combine the buildings at 308 and 310 Canal Street and plop a two-story addition on top; the first floor would hold retail, while the second through sixth floor would be devoted to apartments. Paul Castrucci is the architect of record; his firm is known for its work on passive house architecture, and is behind the forthcoming revamp of ABC No Rio, among other eco-friendly structures.

One thing that may stand in the way: the Landmarks Preservation Commission, given that the building is within the Tribeca East Historic District. The structure at 308 Canal was built around 1864, and 310 was constructed in 1879.


Pearl Paint's Former Canal Street HQ May Soon Be Home to Apartments

The iconic art supply store closed in 2014

Well, that didn't take too long. Longtime Canal Street institution Pearl Paint officially closed two years ago, and was listed for sale not long before that. Apparently it found a buyer in Trans World Equities, which recently filed plans with the Department of Buildings to convert the former art supply store into a new mixed-use building. (h/t 6sqft)

According to the plans on file, the developers want to combine the buildings at 308 and 310 Canal Street and plop a two-story addition on top; the first floor would hold retail, while the second through sixth floor would be devoted to apartments. Paul Castrucci is the architect of record; his firm is known for its work on passive house architecture, and is behind the forthcoming revamp of ABC No Rio, among other eco-friendly structures.

One thing that may stand in the way: the Landmarks Preservation Commission, given that the building is within the Tribeca East Historic District. The structure at 308 Canal was built around 1864, and 310 was constructed in 1879.


South Street Seaport’s Revamped Pier 17 Tops Out

Jessica Chastain's Noho Apartment Is Off the Market

The actress sold the apartment in just over a month

Academy Award-nominated actress Jessica Chastain got luck with her most recent foray into New York real estate. The actress's two-bedroom, two-bathroom Greenwich Village duplex has gone into contract after being listed for just a little more than a month, according to the New York Observer. Chastain originally listed the 1,284 square-foot co-op as a rental, asking $11,500 a month and later slashed the asking price down to $7,995/month furnished or $8,450/month unfurnished; while there's no word yet on the actual amount she netted, the last asking price for the apartment was $1.8 million.

The prewar apartment, located at 250 Mercer Street, is charmingly decorated with mellowing tones of purple and nude throughout and features ten-and-a-half foot ceilings, an open kitchen, spiral staircase, and a wood-burning fireplace.

As for Chastain, she has made the trip uptown and will be dwelling in her new nine-room co-op at 205 West 57th Street that she and her boyfriend purchased for $5.2 million.


Photographer Captures the 'New' New York in Striking Photo Series

W Train Will Return to Astoria With MTA Approval

New Look at the Conversion of Brooklyn's Domino Sugar Refinery

Two Trees is looking for a single tenant to takeover the 380,000 square foot space

New details have emerged on Two Trees Management's conversion of the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg into an office building. The conversion of the refinery is part of Two Trees' megaproject along the Williamsburg waterfront that will see the creation of 2,800 apartments. Jed Walentas, the CEO of Two Trees spoke with the New York Post about his plans for the conversion of the 380,000 square foot building.

The Post's coverage is accompanied by a new rendering and information that Walentas hopes for a single tenant to take over the office building when it is complete. In fact, Walentas is hoping to find the tenant before proceeding with the final design of the space. Instead he wants the tenant to work with architecture firm, Beyer Blinder Belle (known for their work with historic NYC buildings), to create a space according to their specifications.

The exterior of the refinery at 292-314 Kent Avenue is an individual landmark, and as a result Two Trees plans to maintain the red brick façade and instead create a glass and steel structure within. The renovated building will also include 15,000-square foot glass box floors at the top along with the iconic Domino Sugar sign, which is being kept in storage at the moment. If Walentas is unable to get a single tenant for the building, he will take the traditional route and market it as separate spaces.

The overall plan for 11-acre waterfront site includes 600,000 square feet of offices, six-acres of park space along the waterfront, the above-mentioned 2,800 apartments, 700 of which will be affordable, and 200,000 square feet of community and retail space. The first, 550-unit residential building is expected to be complete by the summer of 2017.


Gramercy Hospital Will Sell 24-Story Residential Building to Counter Losses

The 156-apartment building is home to the hospital's medical residents

Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital has decided to sell a 24-story building that's part of its Gramercy Campus, after posting losses for two consecutive years, Crain's reports. The hospital is looking to sell Gilman Hall, which could go for as much as $80 million. The building is made up of 156 apartments and houses the hospital's medical residents.

Those residents will now be moved to buildings in Stuyvesant Town, or apartments near Mount Sinai West. The losses posted by the hospital in recent years have prompted fears that it may be forced to downsize, which in turn will impact residents in the neighborhood who have already seen the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital and Cabrini Medical Center in recent years.

Listing Gilman Hill might be an indication of that or hint to the possibility that the hospital is moving its residents to serve one of its six other locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. A representative for Mount Sinai told Crain's only that "Mount Sinai is 100% committed to serving the community and offering the highest level of patient care," and that the hospital "will enhance existing services and develop new facilities in the Beth Israel community."

It's likely that an eventual sale of the building will lead to the creation of apartments as was seen after the sale of St. Vincent's Hospital, and the ongoing conversion of the Long Island College Hospital site in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.


Jennifer Lawrence Toured This Condo In 'Paparazzi-Proof' 443 Greenwich Street

How Much For a Tiny, Renovated Tudor City Studio?

Anne Hathaway's Former Fifth Avenue Pad Is On the Market for $33M

The Olympic Tower duplex spans 7,750 square feet and includes five bedrooms

A five-bedroom apartment in Midtown once home to Les Misérables star Anne Hathaway is now on the market for $33 million, the Wall Street Journal reports. The duplex apartment is located at the Olympic Tower on Fifth Avenue and overlooks St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Hathaway and her then boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri, rented the apartment in the mid-2000s for $37,000 per month according to the WSJ. Follieri was subsequently charged with money laundering and sent to jail in 2008, but the owners of the apartment, South African real estate developers Munro Bank and his wife, Avra, told the WSJ that Follieri always paid the rent on time.

The apartment is now being listed by the couple's son Alexander Bank, who works for Compass, and told the WSJ that in recent years the apartment has rented for as high as $70,000 per month, and is also currently being offered as a rental for $48,000 per month.

Some of the standout features in the unit include a media room with an eight-foot projector, a 12-seat dining room, high ceilings, and 360 degree views of Manhattan. The duplex apartment spans about 7,750 square feet. The Bank family purchased the apartment in 2000 for $5.325 million, and subsequently spent $7 million on renovating the place.

Olympic Tower was developed by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, whose family once owned this particular duplex as well, according to the brokerbabble. Another famous owner was the controversial Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, who was once considered one of the richest men in the world.


West Village Duplex Has the Coolest Spiral Staircase-Turned-Library

MTA’s $27B Capital Plan Finally Gets State Approval

Will allow the Second Avenue Subway to expand into East Harlem

A massive funding plan for the MTA is finally moving forward, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday. The Capital Plan Review Board has approved the $27 billion, five-year capital plan for the MTA, the New York Daily News reports, which among several upgrades will see the next phase of the Second Avenue Subway moving forward, as well as the addition of 1,450 more subway cars to the system.

"By investing in the most robust transportation plan in state history, we are reimagining the MTA and ensuring a safer, more reliable and more resilient public transportation network for tomorrow," Governor Cuomo said in a press release.

Of the total funds, the state will provide $8.3 billion, and the city will contribute $2.5 billion, but those funds will only be made available after the MTA has used its own resources, according to the Daily News.

Other improvements include the purchase of 2,340 new buses, bringing Metro North service to Penn Station, the creation of four, new Metro North stations in underserved areas of the Bronx, a new fare payment system to replace the MetroCard, and renovation work on 31 subway stations throughout the city.


See the Progress on the Former 5Pointz Site, Soon to Be Huge Towers

New Upper East Side Condos at Citizen360

Corner 2 Bed / 2 Bath, 1,418SF, $2.2M*
Two Full Floors of Spa-Like Windowed Amenities*
360 East 89th St, NY, NY 10128 · 212-360-0089*


Former Brooklyn Heights Hotel Is Latest Jehovah's Witnesses Property to Hit the Market

Currently used as a residential building by members of the organization

Just over a week after they put a four-story Dumbo property on the market, the Jehovah's Witnesses have listed a massive a Brooklyn Heights property for sale, The Real Deal reports. That property is a 314,000 square foot residential building at 21 Clark Street that is currently used by members of the organization.

The 16-story building was home to the Leverich Towers Hotel when it first opened in 1928, but the building was converted into a residence when the Witnesses acquired the property in 1975 — they subsequently took on a massive renovation effort in the mid-nineties.

This latest offering on part of the Witnesses joins at least half a dozen other properties the organization has listed in recent months. The most notable deal perhaps is the $700 million Jared Kushner and Aby Rosen have agreed to pay for the Witnesses' 773,000 square foot headquarters.

The building on Clark Street is located within the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, so any changes to the building's façade would have to go through the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Witnesses' massive selloff of properties is a lead up to their move to Warwick in upstate New York.


Iconic Designer Bill Blass's Former Sutton Place Penthouse Asks $6.75M

Rental Offers Extraordinary Views of Central Park and East River

3 BR, 3.5 BA, $15,950/mo., Ample Closets, Laundry Room*
Doorman, Pet Friendly, Garage, Outdoor Space, Gym*
40 East 94th Street - Stribling, 917.653.0997*


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Prospect Park, Flushing Meadows Among 8 City Parks Due For $40M Revamp

Part of a City Parks Department effort to make public parks more accessible

Eight public parks spread throughout the city are set to undergo renovations to the tune of $40 million, the New York Times reports. It's part of a new effort by the city's Parks Department to make these areas more accessible to the public and to make them better integrated with their surrounding neighborhoods.

Several of the parks set to undergo renovation were fitted with high fences when the city was still grappling with high crime rates — at some of the eight parks selected, those fences will now come down.

Additional improvements proposed so far include new benches, integrating sidewalks along the parks into the park space, sprucing up deserted patches, and creating dedicated walkways within the parks.

Here are the parks that have been selected:

  • Seward Park on the Lower East Side
  • Faber Pool and Park on Staten Island
  • Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem
  • Van Cortlandt Park
  • Hugh Grant Circle
  • Virginia Park (all of the above three in the Bronx)
  • Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens
  • Fort Greene Park
  • Prospect Park (both of the above in Brooklyn)

The parks were selected after an extensive public engagement process conducted by the Parks Department. Of the city's 1,700 parks, 690 were chosen for improvements. More details on these improvements are set to be unveiled later today, at which time Curbed we will update this post accordingly.


Webster Hall's New Neighbor May Be a Hotel Aimed at Millennials

A 300-room hotel may sprout up across from the established music venue

The Real Deal has their ear to the ground on East 11th Street between Third and Fourth avenues and it isn't the vibrations from Webster Hall they hear—the website reports that Lightstone Group is eyeing a partnership with Marriott's millennial hotel brand Moxy to bring a 300-key hotel across the street from the established music venue.

Sources tell TRD that Moxy is drafting plans for an 85,000-square-foot hotel that would replace the residential buildings at 112-120 East 11th Street on the south side of the street. Curbed has reached out for comment.

The Moxy hotel brand is in talks to bring a 36-story hotel with 343 rooms to 105 West 28th Street as well as a 16-story hotel with 618 rooms to 485 Seventh Avenue just south of Times Square, but should the East Village hotel move forward, it'll be the only of the three that'll come with complimentary sidewalk puke.


Brooklyn Naval Cemetery Gets Second Life as Public Park

L Train Riders Willing to Give Up Service For Shorter Shutdown

Riders Alliance surveyed several New Yorkers living along the L Train

More than 75 percent of the commuters along the L Train prefer a shorter, complete shutdown of service between Manhattan and Brooklyn for Sandy-related repairs, than a partial shutdown taking place over three years, Gothamist reports.

Transportation advocacy group, Riders Alliance, surveyed 350 New Yorkers, mostly those who live along the L Train, and 77 percent of the responders preferred an 18 month closure.

This is also the schedule the MTA expressed a preference for at the first public meeting organized on the impending shutdown, earlier this month. In the shorter plan, the Canarsie tunnel will be closed for repairs between January 2019 and July 2020. That means there will be service to Manhattan from Brooklyn or vice versa, nor will there be any service along the L stations in Manhattan. Service in Brooklyn will run on the current schedule.

The longer plan would take three years with a partial closure of tunnels, but that would mean fewer trains, and fewer passengers being able to make the commute, especially during rush hour.

Those who took part in Riders Alliance's survey also requested additional trains on the G and J lines, and for the creation of dedicated bus lane. In fact, attendees at the second public meeting of for the L Train shutdown even floated the idea of shutting down 14th Street to cars and creating a dedicated Select Bus Service route instead.

A third public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m. at the Beraca Baptist Church in Canarsie.


Almost Half of Manhattan's Buildings Could Not Be Built Today

Many historic buildings could never have been built with today's restrictions

New York City’s zoning code was put into effect in 1916 as a way to address overcrowding and mitigate shadows cast by skyscrapers. To mark its 100th anniversary, the New York Times celebrates the role that zoning has played on shaping the city of today.

Stephen Smith and Sandi of Quantierra, a real estate firm featured by the Times that incorporates data analysis into its method for finding investment opportunities, discovered in their analysis of 43,000 buildings in Manhattan that at least 17,000 of them do not conform to one or more parts of the current zoning code. This means that about 40 percent of the buildings in Manhattan don't live up to today's zoning standards.

For instance, buildings on the Upper East and West sides tend to be taller than what is now allowed. Buildings in Midtown and the East Village have too much square footage allotted to commercial use, and West Village and Chelsea buildings tend to be too densely populated. All this goes to say that many of the buildings that contribute to New York City’s architecturally diverse landscape could not be built today.

Here's a rundown of some of the buildings that woulddn't fly by today's zoning standards: 19 Jones Street, a former tenement built in 1910 (too wide and too many apartments); the 17-story 720 Park Avenue (this violates for not having enough apartments); and the cumbersome skyscraper at 120 Broadway, also known as the Equitable Building.

If these buildings were to be built today, many of them would be shorter and a lot less bulky. Chances are, many of them would be sporting a much slimmer design as well. Although current codes are much more restrictive, here's some good news for developers: the city has been reconsidering a new proposal that would allow for noncompliant buildings that have been demolished to be rebuilt to their original size.


Coming Soon to Staten Island's North Shore: a Public Art Initiative

A new effort spearheaded by the Design Trust for Public Space and Staten Island Arts

A consortium of public and private groups is looking to enhance Staten Island's North Shore, and is calling on local artists and designers to lead an effort to create better public spaces in the area. Spearheaded by the Design Trust for Public Space and Staten Island Arts, the group will award four fellowships in the fields of participatory art, urban design, policy, and graphic design for ideas and next steps related to this redevelopment, which the group is calling, Future Culture: Connecting Staten Island's Waterfront.

"With Future Culture, we're excited to forge new ground to connect the Staten Island arts community, North Shore waterfront developers, and key policy makers to envision new opportunities for public space," Susan Chin, the executive director of the design trust, said in a press release. "Capitalizing on the power of the arts to bring people together and drawing on local knowledge, we'll get them actively involved in the development of their neighborhood together."

The exact details for the revitalization effort are still scarce, but one of the ideas put forth includes a plan for artists to access public and private owned sites and storefronts in this neighborhood to display their art.

The project has received the support of city agencies like the Economic Development Corporation, and developers like BFC Partners, Ironstate, Triangle Equities, and New York Wheel.


How Bushwick and Ridgewood, Once Entwined, Became Distinct Neighborhoods

Beloved Manhattan Art Supply Store Will Close Thanks to Influx of Supertalls

The building it's in reportedly sold for $85 million

The massive development taking place on 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan, otherwise known as "Billionaires' Row," has claimed another victim — this time it's the decades old, Lee's Art Shop at 220 West 57th Street. The art supplies shop will likely be replaced by a single high-end retail tenant like the Ralph Lauren flagship store at East 72nd Street and Madison Avenue, the New York Times reports.

Upon the deaths of the original owners of the store — Gilbert Steinberg and his wife, Ruth, the business passed on to their sons, who in 2013 decided to sell the building for $65 million. That particular sale didn't move forward, but the following year, the family struck a deal with Thor Equities and General Growth Properties worth $85 million. That deal is likely to close next month, according to the Times.

In the meantime, many of the shelves in the store are now empty and items are being marked down by as much as 75 percent. The 120-year-old building that Lee's currently occupies was first home to a clubhouse for the American Society of Civil Engineers. That was followed by a restaurant. Steinberg, who leased a 500-square foot space across the street from this building began leasing the ground floor in the 1970s, and eventually purchased the entire building in the 1990s. In subsequent years, he spent millions on renovations and increased the size of the retail space as well.

But as skyscrapers like One57, and Central Park Tower (in the future) begin to dominate the 57th Street skyline, so too is the nature of retail on the street changing with Nordstrom set to anchor the lower levels in the latter building. The Steinbergs don't plan to open another location for Lee's once the current one shutters.


New York City Rent Comparison: What $2,500 Gets You in Manhattan

Which apartment would you choose?

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a column that explores what one can rent for a set dollar amount in various NYC neighborhoods. Is one man's studio another man's townhouse? Let's find out! Today we're looking at units in Manhattan renting for around $2,500/month.

↑ This studio is located in Sage House, a Gramercy co-op that was originally built in 1912. This particular apartment has a bit of an odd layout—there's a lofted space for a bed, for instance—but the location is unbeatable, and the building has amenities like private storage and a doorman.

↑ You'll find another, slightly more spacious bedroom loft in this Sutton Place one-bedroom, which also comes with features like a working fireplace and a kitchen that's separate from the common area.

↑ This Upper West Side one-bedroom is mostly unremarkable, with a layout that's pretty similar to that of many other NYC apartments. But it has a few nice features, including a laundry room in the building and built-in bookshelves, along with the benefit of being right on bustling West 72nd Street.

↑ Across town, there's a large studio being marketed as a one-bedroom on East 82nd Street—the "bedroom" has been created by adding an Ikea bookshelf as a room divider. That aside, it's a pretty nice place (though maybe best for one person or a couple), with a sizable kitchen and even a little balcony.

↑ The bedroom in this Lower East Side one-bedroom may be small, but it comes in a decently-sized apartment with a dishwasher, in-building laundry, and free Wi-Fi, apparently.

↑ And finally, in Washington Heights, $2,500 gets you a recently renovated two-bedroom with a big kitchen, in-unit washer-dryer, and plenty of space. The apartment is also close to transit and is sandwiched in between two nice parks.

<a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/9427070/" mce_href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/9427070/">Which Manhattan apartment would you choose for $2,500?</a>


Charles Street Building With Megamansion Aspirations Returns For $45M

Extell Spiffs Up Lower East Side Construction Site With Murals

Parker Posey Lists Her Fifth Avenue Co-op and Helps Sell It, Too

City Stands By Its Approval of The Brooklyn Heights Library Overhaul

The sale is currently being investigated by the Feds

A day after news emerged that the Brooklyn Heights redevelopment plan was under investigation by the feds, the de Blasio administration is defending itself against allegations made in a New York Post story that it had ties to the developer, Hudson Companies.

A spokesperson for the administration spoke with the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and stressed the fact that Hudson's bid was chosen because it provided the best overall benefit to the community.

"Hudson Companies was awarded the contract meritoriously as its bid provided the best overall package for the library and the community at large, including the most affordable housing," the spokesperson told the Daily Eagle.

Concerns about the sale revolve around the fact that Hudson Companies may have contributed to Mayor Bill de Blasio's political campaigns since 2007, and that the administration accepted Hudson's bid even though it was $6 million lower than a competitor's bid.

An unnamed source in the administration told the Brooklyn Eagle that Hudson's project was chosen because it offered more affordable units, and a quicker completion time.

As plans stand right now, Hudson will build a 36-story tower at the site of the existing library with a new, smaller public library at the base of the building, and apartments above that, 114 of which would be affordable.