Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Immediate Occupancy Condos in Hell’s Kitchen | Model Residences by DWR

One Bedroom | One Bath | Priced at $1.190M*
24-hr Doorman | Fitness Center & Spa | 2nd floor & Roof Terraces*
Children's Playroom | Pup Park*
301 West 53rd Street | | 212.757.0053


Penthouse Rentals in NoMad

Corner 2 Bedroom, 2.5 bath Penthouse Residence | $13,477*
Private Park | Rooftop Lounge | Fitness Center*
160 Madison Ave | 212-839-0160 | Net Rent Advertised*


Will the L train shutdown drive up real estate prices in Queens?

A new report says that it just might

Queens neighborhoods like Woodside, Sunnyside, Jackson Heights, and other areas along the 7 train will soon see a massive amount of residential growth as a result of the "L train effect," finds a new report conducted by Ariel Property Advisors.

The report concludes that more people will begin to migrate further east into Queens at an accelerated rate thanks to the MTA's impending 18-month shutdown of L train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan and the opening of Cornell Tech’s residential campus on Roosevelt Island, driving a new demand for reliable transportation into the city at an affordable price.

Long Island City has established itself as an in-demand neighborhood, where prices have increased drastically over the course of the last five years. As prices in the area, as well as in Astoria, continue to climb, more people will turn to areas further away from Manhattan, explained Ariel’s director of investment research Aryeh Orlofsky.

The added real estate pressure forecasted for Queens borrows from scenarios seen throughout the city, like with the rise Williamsburg when an influx of new renters and home purchasers drove up prices in the neighborhood before looking to Bushwick and East Williamsburg for lower prices, cites DNAinfo.

Housing prices in neighborhoods along the 7 line have already been rising over the past four years, and things will only get more expensive in the months ahead. In this year alone, the price per square foot of a multi-family home in Long Island City rose from $208 to $488 just over the past year. And that huge jump wasn't exclusive to Long Island City.

Over the past four years, prices in several Queens neighborhoods have risen considerably. In Sunnyside, the price per square foot rose from $168 to $427; in Woodside from $132 to $306; in Jackson Heights from $170 to $302; in Elmhurst from $204 to $258; in Corona from $222 to $351; and in Flushing from $190 to $203.

As prices rise along the 7 line, so too does ridership.

Despite the increasing prices, Queens will not see the amount of new developments that Brooklyn saw. "You’re not going to see big towers, but you will see a lot of upgrades to existing building stock," Orlofsky writes in the report.

So while parts of Queens may get more expensive thanks to the L train shutdown, those daring enough to buy or rent along the L line during its shutdown may nab one heck of a deal.


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Tracing the origins of an early labor union’s NYC history

Long Island City's rapid development captured in before and after photos

See the rentals, hotels, and offices that have transformed the neighborhood

Long Island City has seen so much rapid development in the last few years, that mini neighborhoods within the neighborhood like Hunters Point are experiencing development booms in their own right. There are dozens of projects that have recently opened, others that are nearing completion, and others still that are in various stages of construction. The apartment search website, RENTCafé is now looking at some of the development sites that were at the forefront of this development push in a series of before and after photos.

Linc LIC

Rockrose Development completed this 42-story rental tower in 2014. It brought 709 apartments to the neighborhood. Apartments here range in size from studios to three bedrooms, and amenities in the building include a two-level fitness center, a basketball court, a squash court, and a roof deck.

Two Gotham Center & 27 on 27th

On the right side in the picture below is the first phase of 1.5 million square foot Gotham Center project. Two Gotham Center, as the office building is known currently houses the city’s Health Department and was completed in 2011. On the left, is the 27-story rental tower developed by Heatherwood Communities. That building features a total of 142 apartments, and was also completed in 2011.

East Coast 4, 4545 Center Blvd, Primary/Intermediate School 78, Quik Park, 4540 Center Boulevard

At least three residential buildings can been in the image below—TF Cornerstone’s 4545 Center Boulevard, which is chock-a-block packed with amenities and has a staggering 820 apartments is one of them, and the same firm’s 4540 Center Boulevard with 345 rentals is another. Also pictured here are a school (PS78) and a 1,000-car parking garage.

4610 Center Boulevard

Located behind the recently landmarked PepsiCola sign, this 584-unit rental is another TF Cornerstone creation and was completed in 2014. All are part of development firm’s larger East Coast LIC project that includes five buildings and over 2,100 apartments.

The Pearson Court Square

Developed by L+M Development Partners, this 197-unit rental, was completed in 2014, and comes with some pretty swanky amenities like on-site rental cars, an outdoor basketball court. The building was designed by SLCE Architects and achieved LEED silver certification.


This 17-story building at 23-10 41st Avenue that was marketed towards middle-income families will perhaps best be remembered for the scandal surrounding its fenced off outdoor spaces for the low-income tenants in the building. That apart, the tower has a total of 117 apartments and was completed in 2014.

Hilton Garden Inn

This 183-room hotel was completed in April 2015 and became the 25th hotel to open in the neighborhood. As RentCafe points out, just seven years ago, only a single hotel served the neighborhood. Several others are currently under-construction in the area.

Holiday Inn Long Island & Nesva Hotel

Here are two more hotels. The one on the left is the 136-room Long Island City Holiday Inn. On the right is a boutique hotel known as Nesva Hotel.

In previous years, RentCafe has tracked similar development trajectories in before & after photos in Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, and in the Bronx. Moving away slightly from RentCafe’s focal point, there’s also a massive amount of development taking place on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City.


Bright East Village 1BR with spacious loft wants $875,000

The cute one-bedroom gets a ton of natural light, and has a charming little kitchen

Welcome back to The Six Digit Club, in which we take a look at a newish-to-market listing priced under $1 million, because nice things sometimes come in small packages. Send nominations to the tipline.

The listing for this one-bedroom co-op near Union Squareis not particularly heavy on the details, but then, based on the pictures, the 750 square-foot co-op doesn’t need much by way of introduction.

Besides a billion windows and delightfully high ceilings, the selling point here is a substantial loft space, accessible by a charming (but potentially dangerous, if you’re the clumsy sort) spiral staircase. The cheerful open kitchen doesn’t hurt, either, nor does easy access to pretty much every train line in Manhattan.

It’s asking $875,000, with a not-insubstantial $1,300 in monthly maintenance fees. The building, at 111 Fourth Avenue, comes with the standard battery of upscale perks, including two furnished roof decks, central air, which is all I have ever wanted, and laundry on each floor. There’s also a 24-hour concierge and a live-in super. While cats are welcome to revel in such luxuries, dogs, sadly, are not.


Mapping 15 of New York City's ugliest buildings

We asked Curbed readers to weigh in on the city's unloveliest buildings, and they had plenty of opinions

Back in June, we asked Curbed NY commenters to weigh in on the most unattractive buildings in New York City—and oh, did they deliver. Dozens of you were eager to share opinions on the city's ugliest buildings, with nominees ranging from modern supertalls to the quotidian architecture found in outer-borough neighborhoods.

But there were some clear winners (or, well, losers) whose architecture was derided time and time again—sorry, MSG, though it's not like anyone is surprised—and so we've rounded up 15 of the buildings that got the most unfavorable mentions from the Curbed commentariat. (Don't worry, we're also going to round up the most beautiful buildings in the city soon!)

If a structure that you find particularly objectionable didn't make it onto the list, let us know in the comments below—and remember, we're just the messengers here.


Staten Island's huge observation wheel makes progress in St. George

‘Doomocracy’ is the haunted house of your electoral nightmares

The political haunted house will happen at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park

Forget zombies, ax murderers, and malevolent ghosts. This Halloween, artist Pedro Reyes is bringing the country’s collective nightmares to life with "Doomocracy," a political haunted house opening October 7 and running all the way to November 6—yes, that would be two days before Election Day.

Staged in Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal, the project—commissioned by Creative Time, which the Observer notes has also worked with notables like Kara Walker and Duke Riley—promises to "hold a funhouse mirror to democracy," and oh, it is going to be terrifying.

As the project’s Kickstarter page explains, the "immersive installation" is a marriage of "two events haunting the American cultural imagination: Halloween and the nightmare that is the U.S. presidential election." Accordingly, "the horrors of our political landscape will be turned into a haunted house where visitors will navigate a maze of near apocalyptic torments, from climate change to pandemic gun violence and more.…" It will be just like a regular haunted house, except the unmitigated parade of horrors is all based in reality. Boo!

Tickets to the political "feargasm" are free, but the Observer points out that you can and should reserve them online well in advance—Creative Time’s most recent project had a waiting list of more that 40,000 hopefuls during its month-long run.

To truly show your support for the "camPAIN," the project’s Kickstarter is offering a whole bunch of rewards, from original artwork to event tickets to exclusive access to very special Halloween walk-through. So far, it’s only about a quarter of the way to its $80,000 goal.


Rezoning of key Bronx corridor may mean influx of apartments, taller buildings

See the 'luxury boutique' building bringing 62 rentals to Bryant Park

Charming East Village townhouse with preppy pedigree wants $40,000/month

Watch an abandoned Rockaway building become a colorful piece of public art

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Palatial Rockaway Park home steps from the beach wants $3.3M

The lovely home has a unique style that you might not expect to see in Rockaway Park

A house that looks more like something you would find in Beverly Hills rather than in Queens has hit the market for $3.3 million. The extravagant home at 180 Beach 147th Street in Rockaway Park boasts a semi-circular, planted entrance leading up to an entryway with four huge Corinthian columns—and that’s just the beginning.

Inside, the foyer is painted bubblegum pink (who knows why) and accented by arches on either side leading to other areas of the house. Pink seems to be a running theme throughout the first floor—there’s a huge living room outfitted with pink chairs while the dining room has pale pink walls the contrast the dark wood floors. The chef’s kitchen has high-end appliances and a nearby den has a gas fireplace and powder room.

Upstairs, there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The master bedroom’s ensuite bath comes with a Jacuzzi tub—of course—a stand-up shower, and bidet. The basement is finished and furnished with a wet bar, laundry room, and playroom. In addition to all of the aforementioned, there’s a fruit and vegetable-bearing garden, garage, and it’s all within close proximity to Jacob Riis Park.


Kim Kardashian and Kanye West land $24.5M pad for free courtesy of Airbnb

Free kayaking returns to Governors Island

10 Sullivan investor trades project stake for 3 of its townhouses

Tech investor Arthur Becker will get three of the four townhouses being built as part of the development project

Talk about an incentive. Tech investor Arthur Becker, who invested an undisclosed amount in Madison Equities and Property Markets Group’s 10 Sullivan Street, has assumed ownership the development's three adjacent townhouses, reports the Real Deal.

Becker acquired the 6,500-square-foot townhouses at 30, 40, and 50 Sullivan Street in exchange for his stake in the boat-shaped 16-story condo building that he backed. "I think they did a beautiful thing on a weird piece of property. That’s why I was excited to own them," he told the Real Deal.

Though the townhouses aren’t complete just yet, Becker already knows what he plans on doing with them (and no, he doesn’t plan on building a megamansion). He will live in one of the homes and plans to either sell or lease the remaining two. The homes should be complete within the next three months. He will own all but one of the four townhouses being built as part of the project; 20 Sullivan Street will be up for grabs eventually.

Data from Real Capital Analytics show that Becker invested around $15 million in preferred equity and a $5 million mortgage for the development project. According to the Real Deal, documents filed for the transfer of the three townhouses are contradictory, with one amount adding up to $22 million and another equaling $29.4 million—the difference could be due to his initial investment versus the current value of the property.


Limestone Park Slope townhouse with backyard pool seeks $26,000/month

The rental features nine bedrooms and five bathrooms

Just half a block away from Prospect Park, this five-story limestone townhouse in Park Slope was built in 1901 and comes with nine-bedrooms and five bathrooms. Located on Montgomery Place, the rental is asking $26,000 per month as a whole, but the owners are also willing to rent out different sections of the townhouse on their own.

As a whole, the house comes with a garden that has a built-in swimming pool, a skylit chef’s kitchen, and original mantles, moldings, and parquet floors. While the house recently underwent a modern renovation, it’s still managed to hang on to many of its period details as can be witnessed from the photographs.

The townhouse boasts other outdoor spaces including a roof deck, a terrace on the third floor, and a balcony on the parlor floor. Previously the townhouse was also being offered up as an owner’s triplex with rentals on the top floor and ground floor.


Vintage photos show 1970s Manhattan in all its gritty glory

Cornerspotted: The Corn Exchange Bank building in Red Hook

Affordable apartments in a luxe Upper West Side tower will rent from $833/month

The 116 affordable units at One West End Avenue are about to hit NYC’s housing lottery

The gleaming high rise at Elad and Silverstein’s One West End Avenue is edging toward completion, and predictably, its units are not going cheap: according to StreetEasy, apartments are starting at $1.52 million and going all the way up to $21 million.

But there is hope yet: starting tomorrow, aspiring Upper West Siders who meet specific income requirements can apply for one of the Pelli-Clarke-Pelli-designed project’s 116 "affordable" apartments. (h/t 6sqft) Technically, the affordable units are in their own separate building, an eight-story stone structure underneath the 41-story "floating glass tower" that houses the million dollar listings.

You won’t exactly be hobnobbing with the market-rate residents, though; as with its neighbor, the affordable units have their own separate address, 10 Freedom Place, which served by its own separate entrance. (On the bright side, it’s supposed to be a really, really nice separate entrance?) The below-market apartments will also have access to a host of (separate, obviously) amenities, including a fitness center, bike storage, a laundry room. In an unexpected twist, the rooftop courtyard will be shared by tenants of all income levels.

Affordable rental units range from $833/month for single-occupancy studios, earmarked for prospective tenants making between $29,898 and $38,100 annually, to $1,458/month two-bedrooms, which require a minimum annual income of $51,395 and $72,480 for a family of four. Applications are due by November 1; the full details are here.


Controversial developer Shaya Boymelgreen barred from developing condos for 2 years

He’s also been ordered to finish work on his incomplete NYC projects

Controversial developer Shaya Boymelgreen is finally being brought to task. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has entered into an agreement with the developer that now requires him to remedy construction issues at the six buildings he developed in New York City, and address the building violations at each of those properties as well, the New York Times reports.

Those properties include the 38-story condo at 20 Pine Street in the Financial District, and the 23-story condo at 85 Adams Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Residents at Boymelgreen’s properties had been complaining since 2007 about the shoddy work and had even filed lawsuits that year, according to the Times.

This latest settlement prevents the developer "from participating in the offer or sale of securities, including condos, for two years." If he doesn’t meet the requirements of the settlement, he will be permanently banned from selling apartments in the city, as will his associates.

"Today’s settlement should serve as a lesson to other developers who choose to ignore and break the rules," Schneiderman said in a statement. "We will not hesitate to take tough action against unscrupulous individuals who violate the rights of purchasers and tenants. I am pleased that this settlement will return restitution to those who have been harmed by these illegal practices."

Boymelgreen initially began working in asbestos abatement after he immigrated here in the 1960s from Israel. He began working in real estate in the early 2000s after partnering with billionaire Lev Leviev. Under their company Africa Israel Investments, they undertook several real estate projects including the ones mentioned above. Boymelgreen and Leviev had a falling out in 2007, and the financial crisis thereafter further plunged Boymelgreen into chaos. Earlier this year the Attorney General’s office reached a separate settlement with that company to fix problems at 20 Pine Street, 15 Broad Street, and 85 Adams Street.

At 15 Broad Street for instance, Boymelgreen and Africa Israel made $360 million in sales, but never completed construction on the project. Boymelgreen has apparently settled with the condo boards of 15 Broad Street and 20 Pine Street for undisclosed sums, according to the Times. A lawyer who represents 85 Adams and two other Boymelgreen properties told the Times that he hoped the troubles would be sorted through mediation.


Rezoning could bring 1,147 apartments to contentious Broadway Triangle site

Funky Tribeca pad gets a staid makeover, returns for $10.25M

The four-bedroom corner condo on the seventh floor of 408 Greenwich Street is back on the market, but oh, how things can change in a year.

Where last we left it, the apartment was dripping with ridiculous ornate finishes, from the translucent octopod chandeliers over the dining room ("vaguely frightening," observed the Observer) to the over-the-top fantasy children’s room (hot pink carpet, hot pink walls). For all its whimsy, though, place ended up selling for $9.25 million, a few figures short of its original $10.75 million asking price.

Since then, it appears the seventh-floor Tribeca home has had a bit of a makeover, trading in its old aesthetic — let us call it "fanciful madness" — for something hyper-contemporary, with geometric fixtures. (Goodbye, octopus chandeliers! Goodbye, incredible array of plush seating arrangements!)

But if the look has changed, the apartment’s many fundamental luxuries remain the same: now listed for $10.25 million, the place still has floor-to-ceiling windows with Hudson River views, wide-plank walnut flooring, and a wood-burning fireplace; it still has striking zebra wood cabinets and all-brand-name everything. And of course, it still boasts access by private lock-and-key elevator. The 100-bottle wine refrigerator hasn’t gone anywhere either.


New York City rent comparison: What $1,300 gets you

See what $1,300/month gets you in neighborhoods like West Harlem, Forest Hills, and Hamilton Heights

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, a weekly 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 apartments renting around $1,300.

↑ A charming studio with pre-war style offers little space but lots of character. The apartment, asking $1,350 in Hamilton Heights, has a decorative brick fireplace, pressed tin ceilings, and two large windows. While the kitchen is tiny, the bathroom appears to be a bit more spacious.

↑ In Forest Hills a large studio is going for $1,350 per month. The practical space is located within a co-op building and has three large closets, a small kitchen with a dishwasher, and a decent amount of natural light.

↑ A one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn’s Midwood neighborhood is renting for $1,250 per month. Photos are few but the space looks like it receives a lot of sunlight, and the kitchen doesn’t appear to be unreasonably small.

↑ A West Harlem studio on 140th Street, asking $1,350 per month, has been renovated and actually looks pretty spacious. Among its features are new hardwood floors, a small kitchen, and large windows that allow for a fair amount of sunlight.

↑ In the Mount Hope section of the Bronx, a sunny one-bedroom apartment features a cool sunken living room, dining area, and an okay-sized kitchen. Monthly rent price is $1,275.

↑ There aren’t many photos nor are the listing details very telling for this Northeast Flatbush one-bedroom apartment. From what we can see, the space has a good amount of sunlight and judging by the cans of paint in the middle of the floor, it’s undergone some work lately. Asking price is $1,350 per month, and gas is included.

<a href="" mce_href="">Which apartment would you choose for $1,300?</a>


Brooklyn’s rental glut is becoming a reality

Too many apartments are leading developers to offer more discounts

The slowdown in the high end luxury condo market maybe seeping into another real estate market as well—Brooklyn rentals. Much like the saturation of tall towers on 57th Street contributed to the slowdown in the luxury market, the glut of rental buildings, particularly in Downtown Brooklyn maybe a sign that the borough’s rental boom might be cooling off for now, the New York Times reports.

The 10-block stretch along Flatbush Avenue between the Barclays Center and Myrtle Avenue has 19 apartment buildings that are either under construction or have just been completed, and together they have an offering of 6,500 units, most of which are rentals.

The indication of the slowdown, according to the Times’s reporting, comes from the various developers behind these towers offering discounts and other incentives to tenants to sign leases. City Point’s 7 Dekalb Avenue, is offering two months free rent on a 14-month lease, and access to the building’s amenities free of cost for a year. Two Trees Management is also offering two months free at its 53-story tower at 300 Ashland Place. With those concessions, a one-bedroom at 7 Dekalb would cost $3,428 per month, and a one-bedroom at 300 Ashland would cost $3,375. Several other buildings in the neighborhood are offering similar discounts.

Real estate guru Jonathan Miller, the CEO of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, however thinks it has less to do with the number of units as much as it has to do with high-end units with most asking for over $3,500 per month, he told the Times.

A study he conducted on Brooklyn rents showed that median rents on entry-level apartments had soared 50 percent from 2009 to 2016 to $2,481, but on high-end units the median had come down four percent to $4,783.

A Wall Street Journal investigation from last fall had hinted at this same kind of "softening" of the market, and these series of discounts seem to be a pointer in that direction. While Downtown Brooklyn might be the focal point of the glut, Brooklyn overall is expected to gain over 6,000 apartments this year—that’s more new construction than anywhere else in the country.

However with the expiration of 421-a some developers expressed relief that there would be almost no new construction in 2018. That however does not solve the problem of affordable housing, and many housing advocates complain that there just isn’t enough. About a quarter of all the new units being built will be affordable—that’s over 1,600 apartments, but advocates contend that many will still be out of reach for low-income residents in the neighborhood. They’re also concerned that the neighborhood’s infrastructure won’t be able to cope with the influx of people moving in.


Midwood condos in a former rental building ask from $1M

The Venetian, purchased by Time Equities in 2014, is going from rentals to condos

Back in 2014, Time Equities bought a rental property on Avenue P in Midwood for $27 million, with the intent of turning the building’s 33 units into condos.

And now, two years later, the conversion process is close to being complete: A website for the project, dubbed the Venetian (no doubt a reference to the, um, ornate architecture), is now live, and a few units have hit the market, starting at (precisely) $1,013,240.

Those price points aren’t exactly low, but that’s not that unusual for Midwood, where the average price per square foot hovers around $500, and the median home price is just above $800,000, according to StreetEasy. And the apartments that are currently available are actually rather spacious, with walk-in closets, big kitchens, in-unit washer-dryers, and other nice touches.

Building amenities include exactly what you’d expect—a playroom, fitness center, 24-hour lobby and doorman, and private parking (though that’ll cost you extra).


Luxe Chelsea condo sneaks onto the market with $11M maisonette

How much would New Yorkers pay for a shorter commute?

According to a new analysis by FiveThirtyEight, the magic number is $56 per month—with some caveats

As the old saying goes, time is money—and for some New Yorkers who are desperate to shorten their commute, that comes at the price of about $56 a month. An analysis conducted by FiveThirtyEight found that city dwellers will pay that extra bit of cash for an apartment that’s just one minute closer to Midtown or Lower Manhattan by subway.

"Living in the world of New York real estate, you very quickly realize, is all about trade-offs," StreetEasy economist Krishna Rao told FiveThirtyEight. It helps that with closer proximity to mass transit comes with other convenient perks like more businesses, restaurants, nightlife, and other options.

FiveThirtyEight’s analysis, conducted using StreetEasy data, looked at more than 63,000 one-bedroom homes in StreetEasy’s data set. Their methodology:

StreetEasy linked each home to its nearest subway station, then calculated the time it would take to travel from that station by subway to either Midtown or Downtown Manhattan.3 We ran a regression to find the relationship between the rent of a one-bedroom home and the average of travel time from the station nearest to it to Midtown or Downtown.

Hence, the $56 figure.

Here are some other takeaways from FiveThirtyEight’s analysis:

  1. Their analysis suggests that the L train shutdown could affect rents in Williamsburg to the tune of "$200 to $450 off the rent of the typical Williamsburg one-bedroom." Whoa.
  2. In a similar vein, rents in the neighborhoods soon to be served by the Second Avenue Subway are already rising, even though the line isn’t due to open for a few more months (assuming the MTA gets its you-know-what together).
  3. Based on the average salary for New Yorkers—$29 per hour—FiveThirtyEight found that saving one minute "on 20 round-trip commutes each month works out to two-thirds of an hour saved from commuting time, or just under $20 a month on average."
  4. From the analysis: "Rents for homes an hour away from Midtown look pretty much the same as rents for those just half an hour away."

There are, of course, caveats: For instance, not everyone works in Midtown or Downtown and the study doesn’t take into account time one may spend traveling via other methods of transportation besides the subway (bike, bus, walking, or driving).

And while StreetEasy’s analysis found that New Yorkers would save only $33 per month, the FiveThirtyEight number is, obviously, higher—which they chalk up to StreetEasy "us[ing] a simpler method to get a similar result." SE looked at all homes, not just one-bedrooms; it also only accounted for commuting to Midtown, not Lower Manhattan. So, you know, take everything with a grain of salt.


Monday, 29 August 2016

Manhattan and Brooklyn home prices may finally be leveling off

While prices are still climbing, both boroughs are experiencing price increase growth at a much less rapid rate

After four years of rapid growth, the price increase of homes in Brooklyn and Manhattan may finally be slowing down. A StreetEasy market report shows that not only are prices increasing slower than usual but on average, homes took longer to sell over the past month, giving prospective buyers more room for bargaining (h/t DNAinfo).

Manhattan and Brooklyn each saw their smallest year-over-year price increases since 2012, with Manhattan’s median price for resale apartments increasing by only two percent, and Brooklyn’s up only 4.7 percent or $563,416. Additionally, the average number of days that property in Manhattan sat on the market jumped from 49 to 63 and in Brooklyn, it went from from 44 to 53.

"Prices are still going up and homes are still expensive across the board, but we’re seeing the market settle back into a more balanced pace," StreetEasy economist Krishna Rao told DNAInfo. With a less competitive market, Rao explains, sellers will have to level expectations while buyers gain the chance to negotiate lower prices.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the individual neighborhoods are experiencing the same slowdown. For instance, the area StreetEasy calls "East Brooklyn"—Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, Brownsville, East New York, and Crown Heights—saw a collective home price increase of around 10.7 percent, the borough’s only double-digit increase. In Upper Manhattan—Inwood, Washington Heights, and Harlem—prices were 5.9 percent higher than last year.

StreetEasy predicts that Manhattan and Brooklyn’s resale price growth will continually decrease over the next year. According to their forecast, Upper Manhattan will lead the borough’s growth with an increase of 4.1 percent. Brooklyn will possibly see a 3.9 percent increase with North Brooklyn leading the growth pack and East New York decreasing over the next 12 months.


Amtrak's future includes faster, more frequent trains from New York

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s flower field at Pier 6 is in full bloom

Unpretentious 19th-century Upper West Side townhouse seeks $6M

Over three generations, a family creates a vibrant Upper East Side home

Ariel Colangelo moved into her Lenox Hill studio in August 2010, soon after she had graduated college, and just as she was preparing to attend Law School. It made her the third generation of her family to have moved into the apartment, and each generation has left their own indelible mark on the co-op.

Ariel's father first came upon the apartment when he was a medical student at New York University in the 1970s. At the time the studio was still a rental, and suited his needs perfectly. In 1981, the building on East 63rd Street went co-op, and her father had a chance to purchase it. So he did, for a sum of somewhere near $50,000, Ariel told Curbed. He continued to live there as he began working at Lenox Hill Hospital, but once he met Ariel's mother (the couple lived in the studio briefly), and the couple got married, they moved to Westchester.

In subsequent years, Ariel's father sublet the studio, and in the late 80s, purchased the one-bedroom adjacent to the studio, and sublet that as well. In 1991, Ariel's grandmother decided she wanted to move Manhattan, so she sold her apartment in the Bronx, and decided to make the move to Lenox Hill. At first she lived in the one-bedroom, but then Ariel's father decided to sell (which Ariel still says was a very poor real estate move as the apartment may have sold at a slight loss), and her grandmother moved to the studio.

Almost two decades later, her grandmother decided to move to an assisted living facility in Westchester, and it was around the time that Ariel was wrapping up her undergraduate studies. But Ariel had a choice to make. She knew she was going to law school right after her undergrad, but she had to pick between Boston and New York. Her family played a major role in her eventual decision—her younger brother to be precise. The siblings have an eight year age difference, and Ariel decided that she didn't want to be away for such a long part of his formative years.

"That combined with the fact that I ultimately wanted to come back to New York—it makes sense to go to school where you want to end up," Ariel said.

So in August 2015, Ariel decided to call the Upper East Side studio her home. The home wasn't quite her home yet however, and so she set about completely renovating the place.

"Shithole does not even begin to describe it," Ariel said amused. "It was horrific, and looking back, I don't even know how I lived in it in that state." The apartment hadn't changed much since her father bought the place three decades earlier. Sure each generation had brought in their own furnishings and objects, but everything else had experienced wear and tear, and was in desperate need of change.

With the help of her parents, Ariel set about completely remodeling the place. Many of the interior walls were torn down (even though the layout was kept essentially the same), the molding was rebuilt, as was the floor—and through it all Ariel continued to live in the apartment. The only time she did not was the one week when the apartment was repainted just before she officially moved in.

It's been a laborious and time consuming endeavor, but one that Ariel is proud of because its given her time to imbue the space with her own personality. The apartment was renovated in parts. First was the main room, and once that was complete, Ariel decided to renovate the kitchen in early 2015. That space hadn't been touched since the building was constructed and the kitchen still had tin cabinets, a linoleum countertop, and refrigerator that resembled an icebox, Ariel said.

Renovating the kitchen turned out to be anything but easy. When the walls were opened for plumbing and electrical work, they found open asbestos in the wall, and subsequently had to spend weeks and thousands of dollars abating it. But that wasn't the end of the problem. Once all that was taken care of, once all the new cabinetry had been installed and the new appliances had been moved in, a pipe in the wall exploded and flooded the neighbor's kitchen. Over a year since that project was completed, Ariel and her family are still in insurance negotiations over the matter. That has stopped work on another part of the house—a planned window seat, which is why the wall along the window continues to be bare. Ariel planned to use the security deposit for the construction work to build out the window seat, but with those funds held up, the project is currently on hold.

That hasn't in any way deterred Ariel from making her apartment feel more like a home. Over the years, she has continued to fill up the space with tchotchkes she collected on her travels, and furniture that she loved. The dining table was her first new purchase, and one of her oldest pieces in the apartment is her dresser. She purchased that eight years ago, while she was still in college, and the Ikea dresser has survived two moves in the years since.

And while she may have made several new additions to the studio, there are still signs of her family members who have lived there in the past. The marble-topped coffee table for instance has been in the family since before she was born, and belonged to her grandmother, as did a cactus that she proudly reveals she has kept alive since she moved in.

Her parents left behind the nightstand, atop which sits a cork lamp that Ariel purchased from a flea market in Portugal. The walls are decorated with photographs and prints from her travels to Brazil, Peru, and her mom's trip to India. The Torah portion from her Bat Mitzvah sits framed atop the couch in the living room—it was created by an artist in Venice, Italy. Also from that country is a blue vase, that Ariel picked up from her grandparents' home town. The entire apartment is full of such objects that each have their own special value to Ariel.

My favorite part about the apartment is that it feels like a home. It just feels like I actually live here, and it is very personal, and there's a lot of history in it that makes it really special to me. There are so many other places that I would rather live neighborhood wise and streetwise but I would never trade this for anything. I would never want to live anywhere else because of how hard I've worked to make it my own, and it reflects who I am, and what's important to me.

Some of her only complaints are the fact that she doesn't have a dishwasher, and washer/dryer in-unit (though the building has a laundry facility. And there's the fact that she lives away from most of her friends in Brooklyn. She hated it in when she first moved in, and took her a little bit of time to get over that sense of isolation. But it was her apartment that really got her through in the end.

"Obviously living in NY everyone moves, and I have never moved," Ariel said. "It's been very much been a safe haven, and a stable force in a crazy place. I've switched jobs, and had a lot of tumult in the past six years, and it's what has kept me together, and so I very much treasure that about it."


Hint: this oddly shaped building still serves the same purpose

Can you guess where this building stands?

Welcome back to Cornerspotter, Curbed's game in which you try to identify the location of a particular building or streetscape in a historic photograph from the Museum of the City of New York. Impress us and your fellow Curbed readers with your uncanny insight into New York City and its past!

In New York City, things change at a rapid clip—but this building, particularly its use, isn’t one of them. The structure pictured here in 1942 is still being used for the same purpose. But as is expected in New York, everything around it has changed. The building to its right no longer stands, and the building to its left has been significantly altered since the time this photograph was taken. Here’s a real hint: the neighborhood this building stands in is undergoing its own major transformation, one that’s caught the eye of developers and tech companies. So, can you name the intersection where this building stands? Leave your guesses in the comments and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow.


11 New York Beaches To Visit Labor Day Weekend

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

Summer is on its way out, but the temperature isn't relenting. What better way to cool off and celebrate the end of summer than by visiting one of NYC's public beaches? While Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, lifeguards will be on duty at the city's beaches and Olympic-sized pools through September 11. If you're looking to beat the last of summer's tourists and families making a beeline for Coney Island or the Rockaways, check out some of NYC's 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 up the last of summer—and, as always, if we missed some great spots, let us know.


Meet a New Yorker who traveled to every single subway stop in less than 24 hours

Lawyer Matthew Ahn broke the Guinness World Record for successfully completing the so-called “Subway Challenge”

Would you ever try the Subway Challenge? The competition—undertaken by, we assume, only the most devoted straphangers—is an endurance test in which a participant attempts to travel to every single NYC subway stop over the course of a day.

There are actual rules and regulations to this challenge, particularly for those who want to attempt to beat the Guinness World Record for completing it in the shortest amount of time: They must log the time the subway doors open and close at each station, and they must have someone there to document that they did, in fact, stop at every station.

That record was previously held by Matthew Ahn, a 25-year-old lawyer who hit 468 subway stations in about 22 hours in 2015. But when the 34th St–Hudson Yards station opened last fall, his record was nullified—and so, of course, he decided to try and best his previous time. He successfully completed the challenge on a recent weekend, even besting his previous record, and the New York Times followed him on his journey.

Ahn began his journey at the Far Rockaway–Mott Ave station at 2:02 a.m., and finished it 21 hours, 28 minutes and 14 seconds later, at the Flushing–Main St station in Queens. He didn’t divulge his specific route or method, but did offer a tip for New Yorkers who may want to challenge his record down the line: start late at night (when the trains are empty), maximize the frequency of trains during rush hour, and avoid Manhattan during rush hour. "As all New Yorkers know, rush hour trains are crowded and just a terrible place to be," he explains in the video below.

And what happened when he finished? "I would like all the food, and then I would like to sleep," he said. Check out the video below.

Historic Chelsea townhouse, available for first time in 30 years, wants $9.9M

Trump Management's shady history of housing bias in NYC

The company has a long history of intolerant housing practices

"My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy," Donald Trump told The Washington Post last year. Now, with only 70 days until the country’s presidential election, the New York Times has decided to look into what Trump’s claim really means. What they found is a history of discrimination that excluded blacks and other minority populations from Trump-managed properties.

The legacy of discrimination started with the Donald’s father, Fred C. Trump, a prominent developer of middle-class housing in New York City and beyond. The Justice Department lobbed its first discrimination lawsuit at Trump Management in 1973—nearly a decade after the Civil Rights Act was signed—for discriminating against blacks. Both Fred and Donald, then 27 and the chairman of Trump Management, were named as defendants.

The Times elaborates on the outcome,

Rather than quietly trying to settle—as another New York developer had done a couple of years earlier—[Donald] turned the lawsuit into a protracted battle, complete with angry denials, character assassination, charges that the government was trying to force him to rent to ‘welfare recipients’ and a $100 million countersuit accusing the Justice Department of defamation.

Any of this sound familiar? How about now: when the suit wrapped up, the younger Trump called it a victory, claiming that the consent decree he signed was not an admission of guilt. The Times admits there’s no evidence that Donald Trump himself put in place any of the discriminatory practices (nor has any evidence of racial bias been uncovered toward prospective tenants of his luxury properties), but the real estate scion was complicit in their use within the company his father managed.

In the mid-1960s, civil rights groups began to take aim at Trump Management. A black woman named Maxine Brown who was denied an apartment in the Wilshire, a Trump-developed building in Jamaica Estates, filed a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Only after that was Brown offered an apartment in the Wilshire, where she said she was the only black tenant for a decade.

Complaints alleging discrimination and racial steering continued to be fielded against Trump Management. In 1973 the government lobbed another lawsuit at the company for violating the Fair Housing Act. Donald retained Roy Cohn, council to notorious demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy, and soon countersued the government. During the case, a former Trump superintendent testified that "multiple Trump Management employees had instructed him to attach a separate piece of paper with a big letter ‘C’ on it—for ‘colored’—to any application filed by a black apartment-seeker."

The Trumps then filed a contempt-of-court charge. Both the countersuit and contempt-of-court charge were dismissed by the judge. The Trumps eventually signed another consent decree, and again Trump declared victory. But a few years later the government accused Trump Management of violating the decree, citing "an underlying pattern of discrimination [that] continues to exist in the Trump Management organization."

The original consent decree expired before the Justice Department accumulated enough evidence to push forward, and by this time the population of New York City was shifting away from the white working class these discriminatory (unofficial) policies thrived under, making it harder to turn away non-white tenants.

Maxine Brown still lives in the Wilshire. Donald Trump still faces accusations of racial bias, and has expressed general apathy toward minorities.


MTA encourages NYC subway riders to get literary with free e-books

A collaboration with Penguin Random House makes lit accessible for subway riders

Your commute may not be getting any faster, but on Sunday, the MTA rolled out a new program that could make it more enjoyable. A collaboration between the transit authority and Penguin Random House, Subway Reads is a "web platform that can be reached from a subway platform," explains the New York Times. "The idea is for riders to download a short story or a chapter and read it on the train."

The selections are even organized by length of time it’d take to read a chapter, so you can coordinate your cultural consumption to the length of your commute. Got 10 minutes? Try Gary Shteyngart. Got 30? Give Jennifer Egan a go. (Optimistically, the read-time options top out at 30 minutes. Something to aspire to!)

For now, the Subway Reads is stocked with five novellas or short stories, says the Times—"e-shorts" in Penguin Random House parlance—including both contemporary offerings (Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Alexander McCall Smith) and literary classics (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe).

If you’re not a completist, there’s also a smorgasbord of excerpts to choose from: Michael Chabon, Nora Ephron, Colum McCann. Robert Caro, if you’re feeling ambitious and biographical. Unlike regular e-books, Subway Reads are all free.

Like all good things, though, the program won’t be around forever. Designed to promote Wi-Fi service in 175 underground stations, Subway Reads itself will run for just eight weeks—so get cracking.


As LaGuardia's traffic problems worsen, Port Authority looks for solutions

Napster founder nabs third Village townhouse for alleged megamansion

Sean Parker may have just added yet another house on West 10th Street to his collection of NYC homes

The latest "celebrity" to hop on the megamansion bandwagon is tech entrepreneur/Napster founder/Lord of the Rings wedding-haver Sean Parker, who’s been slowly snapping up Greenwich Village townhouses as they become available on one of the city’s loveliest blocks.

According to the New York Post, he’s added another piece to that puzzle: 36 West 10th Street, which joins his earlier purchases at 38 and 40 West 10th, perhaps paving the way for one enormous Frankenhome.

Per the Post, the townhouse at 36 West 10th wasn’t even publicly on the market when Parker supposedly snatched it up; it was to be listed by Compass for around $22 million, after selling to an anonymous buyer in 2014 for $14 million.

Apparently it’s in the midst of being renovated, which could be a boon if Parker is, indeed, going the megamansion route. But he’d need to get the okay from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for any planned changes, and given his track record with his neighbors—there was that whole snow-dumping thing back in 2014—there could be an uphill battle there.

Megamansions are all the rage among the überwealthy these days, and the Village in particular has seen a proliferation of the ridiculous properties. Sarah Jessica Parker is (again, allegedly) assembling a huge home from two townhouses on West 11th Street, and an anonymous buyer may be doing the same thing a few blocks east. On nearby Jane Street, billionaire Jon Stryker is allegedly piecing together a 12,000-square-foot megamansion from an old garage and a former Steinway showroom; however, the LPC recently denied that proposal.


Sunday, 28 August 2016

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A look at NYC’s oldest and youngest suspension bridges

Of the city’s many suspension bridges, we compare the veteran and baby of the bunch

New York City is full of suspension bridges. There’s the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan, Williamsburg, George Washington, Triborough, Verrazano-Narrows, Whitestone Bridge, and the Throgs Neck but which one was built first? And which one is the newest of the bunch?

This may or may not surprise you but New York City’s oldest suspension Bridge is also its most popular. The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by German engineer and famed suspension bridge designer of the time John Augustus Roebling to connect Brooklyn with lower Manhattan. After 24 years of construction, the bridge opened in 1883 and for a while, it was the longest suspension bridge of its time. Today, the approximately 1.1 mile long bridge is one of New York City’s most visited and recognized landmarks. So much so, that the Department of Transportation is even considering expanding the bridge’s pedestrian paths to alleviate congestion from all those visitors.

The youngin’ of the group would be the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, simply referred to as the Verrazano Bridge or the Verrazano by many New Yorkers. It was designed by Swiss-American engineer Othmar Ammann, and was the last major city project to be overseen by iconic master city planner Robert Moses. The double-decked bridge connects Brooklyn to Staten Island and spans about four-fifths of a mile long. Opening in two phases, the upper level first debuted in 1964 with the lower level opening five years later in 1969. It’s named after Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, though his name is incorrectly spelled on the bridge, causing upset to this day with people calling upon the MTA to fix the error (which they have no plans on doing, of course). Though there aren’t any pedestrian pathways on the Verrazano Bridge, the site is occasionally opened up to pedestrians during big events like the annual New York City Marathon.

The two bridges vary greatly in style, with the Brooklyn Bridge providing a more exciting style and structure. The Brooklyn Bridge’s stone anchorages are complete with Gothic-style archways while the pedestrian pathway is comprised of planked floors. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge has towering stone anchorages as well but much simpler-designed archways, though it’s 262 LED lights really make it sparkle in the night.


Unique Boerum Hill townhouse with rear carriage house wants $3.45M

Check out these homes in Crown Heights, Boerum Hill, Bed-Stuy, and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens

Welcome to the Brooklyn Townhouse Roundup, where we—you guessed it—take a look at the most notable Brooklyn townhouses on the market. Got tips? Send 'em here.

↑This unique multi-family townhouse has an added bonus for whoever is willing to pay the $3.45 million price tag. The three-family home comes with a rear three-story carriage house. So let’s break this down: the townhouse has around five bedrooms, and four bathrooms while the carriage house offers four bedrooms and two bathrooms of its own. And if all that glorious space isn’t enough, the abode has decorative mantles, several huge fireplaces, unique door entry ways, pressed walls and ceilings, and a private backyard.

↑A semi-detached Neo-Renaissance one-family home in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens comes with much of its stunning original details in place. The four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is asking $1.195 million and delivers stained glass windows, high ceilings, inlaid herringbone floors, and beautiful columns and mantles.

↑This modern three-family townhouse resides in Crown Heights and has been recently renovated. Brokerbabble says that it's been "re-done stylishly with a lot of Brooklyn flare," (whatever that means). There’s six bedrooms, three bathrooms, and two dens that can function as extra bedrooms or office space. The home, asking $1.495 million, isn’t decked out in amenities but does offer new stainless steel kitchen appliances, custom cabinetry, a fair amount of sunlight, and a backyard.

↑In Bed-Stuy, a practical and plain three-family brownstone, asking $1.695 million, offers the opportunity to collect rental income or to convert the home into a sprawling one-family unit. In all, there are six bedrooms, four bathrooms, three kitchens, and generous closet space on each floor. Features include high ceilings, hardwood floors, a semi-finished basement, laundry area, and sizable backyard.

↑Another Crown Heights townhouse finds itself on our radar yet this one has more of a Renaissance feel. The classic two-family home is complete with original details like French doors, wooden shutters, wood paneling, stained glass, arched doorways, wainscoting, a decorative fireplace, and a clawfoot bathtub. In addition to all those enviable details, the home, which wants $1.35 million, has three-and-a-half bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large L-shaped backyard.


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Photos: Serena Williams hangs in Manhattan, J. Lo poses with NYC street art

Sales launch recap: here's what hit the market this week in NYC

Five open houses to check out in West Village this Sunday

This weekend, we’re exploring what’s on the market in the West Village and checking out homes from $615,000 to $3.35 million

↑Touted as "affordable luxury," this Bank Street studio, asking just $615,000, offers 550 square feet with a moderately-sized living room that overlooks the building’s courtyard, a sleep alcove, large kitchen, and a super fancy bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate shower stall.

When: Sunday, August 28th (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

↑Barely making the cut for a six digit listing, a simple yet charming one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on Jane Street is going for $998,000. Brokerbabble regards it as a "tranquil West Village home" and judging from the photos, there actually is a certain quality of calmness about it. The sun-filled space has a large bedroom, fully equipped kitchen, and a slate-and-stone dressed bathroom. The common rooftop gives way to some pretty amazing views of the city.

When: Sunday, August 28th (12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

↑On a tree-lined block, a renovated co-op unit with one-bedroom, two-bathrooms, and a loft wants $1.695 million. The space is filled with original details such as exposed brick and extra-high ceilings (twelve feet high, to be exact). New elements to the home include bamboo floors, custom kitchen cabinets, a chef’s kitchen equipped with high-end appliances, and a large living room with its very own wet bar. Now the listing states that the loft can "easily be converted to a [second] bedroom," but as illustrated in the photo it looks incredibly cramped. Perhaps that space would be better suited with another purpose (or at least a smaller bed).

When: Sunday, August 28th (1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

↑For the hefty price of $3 million, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom loft spread across 2,100 square feet of space offer a bright and open living and dining room lined with windows and offering a wood-burning fireplace. The large kitchen is stacked with high-end appliances and custom cabinetry while the large bedrooms give way to plenty of closet space.

When: Sunday, August 28th (12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

↑And finally, a listing with some amazing outdoor space of its very own. Granted, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo doesn’t come cheap, with an asking price of $3.35 million, it does have tons of space across its two floors in addition to that expansive private terrace. The loft-like home is filled with natural light, the huge kitchen offers the best in appliances, the living room has a built-in surround sound system, and there’s a built-in Murphy bed on the upper level. That’s only a small highlight of the many great feature this apartment has to offer.

When: Sunday, August 28th (12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)


Downtown Brooklyn’s Trader Joe’s delays opening until 2017

Following the delay of Alamo Drafthouse, yet another business has delayed its City Point opening date

Another chain store that was scheduled to open in downtown Brooklyn’s City Point development has jumped on the push-back bandwagon. After learning that Alamo Drafthouse wouldn’t be debuting in August as anticipated, it’s now been revealed that Trader Joe’s, scheduled to open their second Brooklyn location at 445 Gold Street this fall, won’t be opening until 2017 (h/t Gothamist).

The packaged-product grocery brand quietly adjusted the opening date information on its website, not citing any reasons for the delay. The site doesn’t even give any hints as to when in 2017 we can expect to see the store open, so we’ll just have to stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Trader Joe’s leased a 13,700-square-foot space within the three-tower development. It will be accompanied by a 26,000-square-foot food hall that will join City Point in addition to a Target and Century 21 (who, coincidentally, both have also delayed their anticipated Summer 2016 openings).


Friday, 26 August 2016

Upper West Side townhouse where old meets new asks $12M

Retracing the historic locations of the Battle of Brooklyn

Commemorate the 240th anniversary of the battle by visiting these locations

August 27 marks the 240th anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn—rightfully known as the Battle of Long Island, being that Brooklyn was but a small town on the East River when British troops and Hessians descended on the land. Under the command of General George Washington, the Continental Army was dealt an embarrassing, gruesome defeat—British troops overwhelmed the American soldiers in both size and skill, and eventually Washington and whatever forces were left had to retreat under the cover of darkness (and fog) across the East River. But many reminders of the battle remain in modern-day Brooklyn; some are dedicated monuments, while others are tiny plaques in odd places. Green-Wood Cemetery will host an official commemoration on August 28, but in the meantime, this map will help you retrace where the battle was waged throughout the borough. Did we miss a crucial spot? Let us know in the comments.


Map: 10 secret subway tunnels in New York City

There are hidden tunnels everywhere in NYC, and these are just 10 of the most fascinating

Just like the rest of New York City, our 112 year-old subway system consists of many layers, each of which provides a glimpse into a sliver of the city’s history. However, even abandoned underground spaces don’t stay neglected for long. While some of NYC’s old tunnels and stations seem to have been neglected for good, many are reused—like the abandoned tunnel below Central Park that will become part of the Second Avenue Subway in December—and repurposed, as graffiti canvases, art galleries, party spaces, or even a VIP entrance to one of New York’s most luxurious hotels.

In honor of the resurrection of the Central Park tunnel, we’ve rounded up a sampling of the city’s most intriguing abandoned tunnels and stations.


Chelsea co-op with a romantic backyard hits the market for $1.395M

The one-bedroom duplex boasts a very private patio

This pretty one-bedroom apartment comes from 335 West 21st Street, a three-building co-op comprised of prewar buildings. Inside, it’s maintained a lot of that pre-war charm. The living room is decorated by an exposed brick wall, painted white, and a decorative fireplace. 10-foot ceilings and five-inch-wide plank floors don’t hurt, either.

The apartment’s a duplex, with a bathroom, kitchen and living/dining area on the upper floor, and the master bedroom and den on the lower floor. The real highlight is the private patio, located just off the den on the lower level. Surrounding by a tall wood fence and under a tree canopy, the lush space looks as romantic as can be. (You can’t go wrong with a little greenery and some tea lights.) The brick patio isn’t huge, but it certainly compensates with its looks.

The kitchen isn’t large, either, but benefits from a "space-saving European design," according to the listing, that includes lots of storage and a long stone countertop. The bathroom has been decked out with subway tile and a bi-fold glass shower door.

Besides the private patio—which the listing dreamily recommends for "al fresco dining or lazy mornings spent over coffee and croissants"—335 West 21st Street has its own furnished, landscaped roof deck that spans all three buildings. Other building amenities include a live-in super, central laundry and a bike storage room. And if the private patio and roof deck aren’t enough green space, you’re a block-and-a-half from the High Line. That’s a perk that you’re definitely paying for.


30+ developments transforming New Jersey's Hudson River waterfront

The Garden State is in the midst of a veritable building boom

With all the activity happening along the Manhattan side of the Hudson River—the World Trade Center, Hudson Yards, and the like—it can be easy to forget that there's a slew of construction projects happening on the other side of the water.

But there is, in fact, a veritable building boom in New Jersey right now, particularly the stretch along the waterfront between Fort Lee (to the north) and Bayonne (on the southern end). The developments going up run the gamut from small rental buildings to the state's soon-to-be-tallest skyscraper, and each will have a part in transforming the state in the next few years. Here, we've mapped more than 30 of those projects; if we've left any out, let us know in the comments.


Astoria residents with backyards get a ridiculous rent hike from Amtrak

One rent increased from $50 to $45,000 a year for land under the Hell Gate Bridge

Outlandish rent hikes aren’t reserved for New York apartments, mom and pop shops, ballet schools, or Donald Trump’s campaign headquarters: they can happen for backyards, too. DNAinfo reports that huge rent hikes have hit Astoria residents who live underneath the Hell Gate Bridge and rent their backyard spaces from Amtrak. According to DNAinfo, "Families have leased the land underneath the structures for decades for a nominal fee. In exchange, they were required to clean and maintain the spaces." Residents have used such spaces for gardens, decks, swimming pools and the like.

But those nominal fees are jumping—big time. Earlier this month, Amtrak sent notices to at least six property owners asking for rent increases from $25 to $25,560 a year, and $50 to $45,000. Residents were given 30 days to accept the new leases; if they don’t they’ll have to give up their backyards, many of which the families have maintained for years.

Some residents thought the new rent was either a typo or a scam, but Amtrak has confirmed the jump, which the company decided after it found some lease holders hadn’t seen a price increase in over 70 years. Some residents rent their space out for parking, which may be a big part of the issue. Amtrak singled out "lease holders who are using the property for commercial purposes" in a statement, saying that "Amtrak is requesting rates equivalent to the commercial fair market value."

Those who use their space as a private backyard are fighting against the rent hikes with local pols. Officials called the hikes "a money grab" considering that residents have spent years keeping the spaces clean, and also deal with rocks, crumbling paint and debris that falls from the rail line onto their properties. Amtrak told DNAinfo that it plans to work with each individual resident to determine the exact terms of their lease.


Greenwich Village pad with odd see-through bathroom is up for grabs again

It’s back with the same weird glass bathroom, and the same asking price

Remember that apartment in the Silk Building on East 4th Street with the glass-encased bathroom, leaving no room for privacy to, um, do what nature compels us to? Well it’s back, still sporting that exposed bathroom and still looking for someone to rent it, quirky WC and all, for $8,000 a month.

The 1,200-square-foot one-bedroom loft is indeed an "extremely rare space," as its listing claims. Aside from that one-of-a-kind bathroom, the duplex apartment has nice (but far less shocking) amenities, including 11-foot high ceilings, seven huge windows with nearly panoramic views, and a working fireplace. The open kitchen is kitted out with appliances that are standard to fancy apartments these days—Miele, and the like. And just in case you can’t get past that bare-all bathroom, there’s another john with normal walls on the upper level.


South Street Seaport will lose one of its historic ships

The ship will head to Germany, where it will receive a full restoration and a new home

Say goodbye to a South Street Seaport staple: After docking downtown for more than 40 years, the old sailing ship Peking will return to its home in Germany. This weekend, New Yorkers can visit the historical ship before it sails out of NYC for good.

The cash-strapped Seaport Museum negotiated a $30 million deal with the German government to return the Peking to Europe, where she will be restored and given a new home at the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim (Maritime Museum of Hamburg), reports the New York Post. In its place, New York City will get a different historic ship: Wavertree, which will receive a $13 million city-funded restoration before being returned to South Street Seaport, where it has ties dating back to around 1966.

The Peking was built in 1911 and served as a merchant ship between South America and Europe. It was used as a training ship during World War I and was briefly renamed the Arethusa. The Peking escaped a permanent trip to the scrapyard when a well-to-do navy lieutenant acquired her and brought the ship to the Seaport, where it’s resided ever since. Its last tour is slated for this Sunday at 4:15 p.m.


Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Ashland: Luxury Fort Greene Rentals

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West Village apartment with two rooftop pools asks $10,000/month

JDS's Lower East Side tower will be reviewed by City Planning

City Planning has now decided to review the application after another application for a nearby development was withdrawn

The Department of City Planning has decided to move forward with JDS Development Group’s application for its Lower East Side residential tower. DCP initially refused to review the application, citing lawsuits over the site, but apparently the department had a change of heart. The news, reported by Crain’s, comes on the heels of DCP rejecting a request from Lower East Siders to put the tower through the city’s land use review process.

Developers Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg recently withdrew an application for a nearby development, which is what impelled City Planning to review the application.

Spindler and Schoenberg are currently suing nonprofit groups Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund over an alleged agreement they had with the nonprofits to purchase the site at 235 Cherry Street. In the suit, the developers claim that the nonprofits reneged on the deal so they could capitalize on a more profitable one with JDS. Spindler and Schoenberg are also suing JDS over the same parcel of land.


Flatiron's Landmarked Serbian church may actually be saved

Church officials and city agencies are planning next steps to restore the landmark

The fate of the fire-ravaged Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in the Flatiron District has been up in the air for the past three months, but it finally seems like some good news has emerged for the 160-year-old church. Officials from the church have been meeting with city agencies over the past three months and are nearing an action plan to rebuild the landmark, Metro reports.

In the interim, the church is being fitted with some metal beams and having part of the overall structure reinforced, so that renovation work on the interiors can get underway later on with all the requisite approvals. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will have the final say on what a redesigned church could like, and Metro reports that that process could take anywhere between six months to a year.

"The shoring of the 25th Street wall has been required as well as waterproofing,'' Lidija Nikolic, a church executive board member told Metro. "Shoring and bracing was broadened to the entire building as opposed to previous specification to only do the east and west walls. This should be completed by the first week of September.''

The building was largely gutted by a four-alarm fire that broke out on May 1 this year. It was later determined that the fire was accidentally caused by Easter candles. One of the major artifacts that did survive the fire however was a painting of St. Sava that was in the church office. While everything else in that room was mostly lost, the painting remained, and several congregants continue to pray under the painting today.


Downtown Brooklyn’s Alamo Drafthouse delays its opening

The theater has announced that it won’t be opening in August after all

The signs are plastered all over the subway announcing its August opening, but now the Alamo Drafthouse has divulged that they will not, in fact, be opening this month (h/t Reddit). Well, at least it’s not the first piece of false advertising New York City’s ever seen.

Citing unforeseen complications, the theater chain has indefinitely delayed the opening of its first New York City outpost in Downtown Brooklyn’s City Point development. "Getting a business open in New York is...complicated," a letter on the theater chain’s website reads. It looks like a more thorough explanation of why the grand opening is being pushed back, and to when, will have to wait.

Any explanation provided why the theater isn’t opening on time is speculation at this point. The theater received a conditional approval letter for its liquor license in late 2015, but the antiquated website for New York state’s Liquor Authority doesn’t appear to show that the venue, known for its food and beverage options, has been granted its full liquor license. It’s unclear whether this is the hold up. A representative for Alamo Drafthouse was not immediately available for comment.