Top Stories, Weekly Highlights

Architecture, Gowanus, New Developments

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225 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY, United States

Another eye- and volume-popping mega-project by ODA Architects may be coming to Brooklyn, and this week’s chosen neighborhood is Gowanus. A recently posted video by ODA delves into the thought process of Eran Chen’s burgeoning firm and provides some shots of their recent work, including the provocative rendering shown here. We recognized the location only by the “Stop & Frisk Hands Off the Kids” text scrawled across the defunct Brooklyn Rapid Transit Powerhouse building (the “Bat Cave“) and pinpointed the project for the full-block parcel at 175-225 Third Street purchased by Kushner Companies and LIVWRK last year.

Update via LIVWRK/Kushner’s reps: “The developers are not working with ODA on this project and these designs do not represent our vision for this site or the Gowanus. We are committed to putting forth an outstanding plan that respects the context of the neighborhood and responds to the voices of local stakeholders.” As it turns out, ODA is one of many firms that pitched, and the design was ultimately turned down because it was out of touch with the direction of the neighborhood. Though it won’t come to fruition, it does give some scale of what’s to come—which will indeed be transformative for the area.

More information here

Featured Story

Events, Features, New Yorker Spotlight, People

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143 Franklin Street, New York, NY, United States

Native New Yorker Gil Shapiro founded Urban Archaeology in the early 1970s, when the salvaging movement was just catching on. With a collector’s–and creator’s–eye and an entrepreneurial spirit, he began re-imagining architectural remnants as treasured additions to the home environment. This month the company has been preparing for an auction taking place on March 27th and 28th, handled by Guernsey’s auction house, when nearly 1,000 of their long-treasured pieces of history will be sold to prepare for a move to a new location.

First opened in Soho in 1978, the store’s early customers–including Andy Warhol and other denizens of what was undisputedly the epicenter of the art world–adored the unique and time-treasured aspects of Shapiro’s restored architectural salvage pieces, yet they would always find ways they wished they could customize their favorite items. Finding that he excelled at bringing a fresh perspective to pieces of historical and architectural importance, he started reproducing individual pieces as well as creating new lines of bath fixtures and lighting, many of which originated in places like the Plaza Hotel, New York’s Yale Club and the St. Regis Hotel.

Read our interview with Gil here


Social Media

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By Alyssa Alimurung, Fri, March 27, 2015

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Fort Greene, Interiors

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Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY, United States

We know New Yorkers love to spoil their kids, but this incredible renovation of a Fort Greene townhouse by Leone Design Studio takes things to a whole new level. As stunning and sophisticated a space as you’d expect when walking into a historic Brooklyn townhouse, this home also boasts tons of details dedicated to its pint-sized residents.

Have a peek inside here


Real Estate Wire

  • Have a look inside construction at BIG’s pyramid at 625 West 57th Street. [Field Condition]
  • A 269,000-square-foot tower designed by Foster + Partners will rise at 426-432 East 58th Street. The developer, Bauhouse, plans to raze four properties in Sutton Place to create the 95-unit building. [6sqft inbox]
  • Manhattan condo inventory hit an historic low in February. [NYDN]
  • The rise of passive house building in the city. [NYT]
  • Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alvaro Siza will design a NYC condo tower. [Curbed]
  • A Chinese buyer has scooped up a $30 million condo at One57. [TRD]
  • Hudson Companies plans to bring 520 apartments to Prospect Lefferts Gardens. [CO]

Images: Norman Foster via e-Architect (L); Construction on BIG’s project. © Field Condition  (R)

Brooklyn Heights, Cool Listings, Interiors

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99 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, NY, United States

No matter what your spiritual beliefs, we think it’s safe to argue that throughout history churches have represented some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, and the historic Presbyterian Church at 99 Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights is no exception. Within its rich, mid-nineteenth-century stone exterior you will find this thoughtfully converted two-bedroom duplex loft, blessed with double-height ceilings, original wide-plank hardwood floors, exposed beams, and a series of stunning stained glass windows that will make living here feel like your own little piece of heaven.

Check out the gorgeous windows


History, Social Media, Technology

We’ve taken a look at a couple of fascinating websites that let users tour their city’s history through historic photos or overlaid maps from 1600 to present day, but a new app is trying to reach a similar goal on your mobile phone in real time. Pivot is an augmented reality app that alerts users when they’re near a “pivot point,” at which time they can raise their phones and see pictures and videos of what that exact location looked like in the past. The app’s creators hope this will become a historical preservation platform.

Read more

Architecture, condos, New Developments, Nolita, Starchitecture

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152 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY, United States

Over the summer we got a couple of teaser renderings for Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando‘s forthcoming Nolita condo at 152 Elizabeth Street. But now the Times has released the entire batch of starchitecture porn, including a full building shot and interior details.

Ando’s first-ever standalone building in New York is a seven-story condominium with just seven units, and its design is completely representative of his signature style. Described as a “glass jewel box” by the Times, it’s made of in-situ concrete, galvanized steel and glass, combining to create a simplistic, modern esthetic that blends with the area’s industrial character. The Japanese self-taught starchitect wanted to create “a space which no one has created before with a very common material which anyone is familiar with and has access to. Concrete can be made anywhere on earth.”

Pricing info and renderings this way


Daily Link Fix

  • Two people now reported missing; 25 injured after yesterday’s 2nd Avenue explosion. [EV Grieve]
  • We know where Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived on “Friends,” but what about Ross when he took over Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment? [Off the Grid]
  • Battery Park‘s $16 million SeaGlass carousel, which boasts 30 hydraulic fiberglass fish, will open this Memorial Day. [Downtown Express]
  • Get a first look inside Le District, the huge French food market at Brookfield Place. [Tribeca Citizen]
  • Comparing pictures taken in the 1940s and ’50s by legendary photographer Weegee with the same locations today. [Daily Mail]
  • Immigrants are moving to Queens and the Bronx more than almost anywhere else in the country. [BI]

Images: Ross Gellar on “Friends” (L); SeaGlass Carousel rendering (R)

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

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953 5th Ave, NY, United States

There’s a beautiful four-bedroom duplex available at 953 Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, asking $12 million. The Robert Couturier-designed apartment seamlessly incorporates classic and contemporary styles while offering great views of the park. And it all starts with a private elevator entrance and a foyer with beautiful wood floor details.

More pics inside


CityLiving, infographic, real estate trends

NYC Will Get Richer and Denser, New Report Reveals

By Dana Schulz, Fri, March 27, 2015

Bethesda Fountain Bethesda Fountain – Central Park via photopin (license)

Think New York City is crowded now? You ain’t seen nothing yet. According to census data and a new report by the Brookings Institute on job proximity, the city is on track for a population boom of professionals raking in big bucks. The city has by far the highest job density in the country, even when the national trend is for both people and jobs to move to the suburbs. Similarly, NYC tops the list of increase in population of college grads between 2007 and 2012 by a landslide. And as The Atlantic observes, this combination is creating a feedback loop that will make our already rich and crowded city even richer and more crowded. “The densest cities tend to be the most educated cities, which are also the richest cities, and often the biggest cities. They’re gobbling up a disproportionate share of college grads. And, as a result, they are becoming richer, denser, and more educated.”

More details ahead

Featured Story

Features, History, Hotels, Midtown

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6 Times Square, Broadway, New York, NY, United States

The Knickerbocker in 1912 via MCNY (L); The Knickerbocker today © NeoScape

When John Jacob Astor IV built the Knickerbocker Hotel in 1906, he launched a generation of luxury Times Square hotels. The Beaux Arts masterpiece attracted the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, John D. Rockefeller, and Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. It was the birthplace of the martini and the site where the sale of Babe Ruth from the Red Sox to the Yankees took place. But after just 15 years, the hotel’s success declined just as fast as it emerged and it was repurposed as an office space, later becoming the Newsweek Building.

Today, though, the landmark is reclaiming its title of ultimate luxury hotel under its original moniker. After a two-year, $240 million modern renovation, the Knickerbocker offers 330 guest rooms, a rooftop bar and lounge with the ultimate view of the Times Square ball drop, and a foodie destination restaurant from chef Charlie Palmer.

Uncover the history and future of the Knickerbocker


Priciest listings, Recent Sales, Upper East Side

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834 5th Ave, NY, United States

The real estate world was abuzz last fall when the news hit that Jets owner Woody Johnson had sold his Upper East Side apartment to billionaire Leonard Blavatnik for $80 million, setting the record for most expensive co-op sale ever. The official city documents have hit, though, and the sale price came in lower than expected at $77.5 million. But this is still over the $75 million asking price and doesn’t change the transaction’s record-breaking status, as it still surpasses the previous co-op sale record, set when Israel “Izzy” Englander bought a duplex at 740 Park Avenue for $71.3 million.

It’s not known if Blavatnik, the 32nd richest man in the world, will actually live in the duplex at 834 Fifth Avenue or if it will be merely another shiny object in his trophy case of New York City real estate. He also paid $31.25 million for 2 East 63rd Street, the city’s widest mansion; $27 million for a unit at 998 Fifth Avenue; and $51 million for Edgar Bronfman’s townhouse at 15 East 64th Street. His latest acquisition has five bedrooms, three maids’ rooms, and an open layout perfect for entertaining.



Cool Listings, Interiors, Soho

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55 Greene Street, New York, NY, United States

If this incredible Soho loft looks familiar, it’s likely because it’s been used as a location on “Sex and the City,” “Ugly Betty,” and the Will Smith movie “Hitch,” to name a few. It’s also been featured in numerous architectural books and commercials. We’re not surprised as to why location scouts and interior design publications flock to the sprawling, full-floor residence at 55 Greene Street, as it has all the quintessential and historic loft details one would hope for, like 15-foot pressed-tin ceilings, classic Corinthian cast-iron columns and wrap-around 10-foot-high windows. The famous three-bedroom pad is now listed as an $18,000/month rental.

Take a look around


Real Estate Wire

  • The MTA has agreed to sell air rights to the developer of Long Island City’s tallest tower. The agency received $56 million for the deal. [DNA Info]
  • On Greenpoint’s boom. [NYP]
  • Palatial co-op at the Sherry Netherlander closes for $67.5 million, far less than its $85 million ask. [Acris]
  • The city approved permits for 20,000 units last year. [TRD]
  • The apartment where Mark Madoff, son of Bernie Madoff, ended his life in is now on the market for $9 million. [NYDN]

Mark Madoff’s loft (L); Rendering of LIC’s tallest tower (R)

Architecture, Construction Update, Flatiron

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155 West 18th Street, New York, NY, United States

155W 18th Street under construction © 6sqft

Flying under the radar, an 11-story, 30-unit condominium at 155 West 18th Street has topped off and is applying a dignified bluestone facade to its concrete structural frame. Developed by Eldad Blaustein’s Izaki Group and designed by ODA Architects, 155W 18th joins a list of recent and upcoming downtown residential buildings sensitive to the rhythms and proportions of their neighbors, while still introducing fresh forms and rich materials to excite our senses and enhance our surroundings.

With young design firms such as ODA, SHoP, and DDG leading the way, a cool and confident downtown vernacular has emerged, trading cookie-cutter layouts, flat glass skins, and pastiche styling for spacious light-filled floor plans and exteriors composed of sumptuous materials that provide a kind of weight and timelessness to the structures.

More details on 155 West 18th Street’s progress


Daily Link Fix

  • Bad behavior by out-of-control passengers has caused the number of subway delays to skyrocket. [NYP]
  • Next time your second cousin comes to town, use this handy route of navigating through the city’s top tourist attractions. [Animal]
  • Before the days of free WiFi, writers socialized and worked at local taverns. Here’s a list of the city’s most famous literary haunts. [Eater]
  • Why we’re living farther from work than we did a decade ago. [CityLab]
  • New York’s bravest firehouse cats are taking over Instagram. [DNAinfo]

Images: Poor subway behavior (L); White Horse Tavern via Wiki Commons (R)

affordable housing, Major Developments, Policy

The revitalization of East New York is at the center of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, but like his ambitious Sunnyside Yards project, his ideas for the fallen areas of Brooklyn are apparently also filled with holes. According to a piece published by the Wall Street Journal yesterday, de Blasio’s plan to re-zone 15 neighborhoods to allow for taller and denser housing won’t do much good for affordable housing. The main reason? The rents are too low. In fact, housing experts believe that his plan is more likely to hurt the character of Brooklyn’s most tony areas, including Park Slope, Fort Greene, and Crown Heights, amongst many others.

More on their findings here

Celebrities, Chelsea, Recent Sales

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300 West 23rd Street, New York, NY, United States

In a very fashion-friendly transaction, stylist and journalist Joe Zee–creative director of Elle for seven years and currently the editor-in-chief and executive creative officer of Yahoo Fashion and host of a fashion-based television show called “All on the Line”–has sold his Chelsea apartment at 300 West 23rd Street to clothing designer Narciso Rodriguez for $2 million, according to city records. The one-bedroom penthouse is located in one of the neighborhood’s finest pre-war apartment buildings. It boasts oversized windows, a spacious terrace and a solarium-like kitchen. Rodriguez garnered international attention when Michelle Obama wore one of his dresses on election night 2008, so perhaps the First Lady will make an appearance at his new abode for a fitting.


Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

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1 East 62nd Street, New York, NY, United States

Here’s a chance to own a different kind of piece of history. This one-bedroom condo at The Spencer was the subject of a contentious five-year legal battle between the owner, the condo board, and the estate of Joan Rivers, and was actually referred to as the shabbiest apartment in the entire building. Now owner Elizabeth Hazan has listed the unit, asking $6 million, a far cry from the $28 million Rivers’ estate is requesting for her former penthouse.

Take a look inside, here


Architecture, Interiors, Quirky Homes

Living small is the new living large—at least that’s what trend pieces would point to. While realistically most of us would rather stretch out in a four-bedroom, if we had to squeeze into a micro home, we definitely wouldn’t mind shacking up in a Tiny Heirloom. Easily more elegant and better-styled than most NYC apartments (including our own!), this miniature abode is the glamorous incarnation of your typical tiny home and comes with all the bells an whistles you could possibly imagine, including free electricity provided by the sun or wind!

More photos of the 128 square foot home

Art, Video

Roz Chast in her home. Image courtesy of the New Yorker

Some born-and-bred NYC residents will tell you that you’re not a true New Yorker until you have a subscription to The New Yorker. As much as we all want to be thought of as part of the city’s intellectual elite, it can often be challenging to read the hefty magazine from cover to cover (though you can now watch the publication on Amazon), but one thing we never skip are the witty cartoons, especially those from legendary staff cartoonist Roz Chast.

Known for her “colorful, wry, and slightly deranged” cartoons, Chast’s work has graced the pages of The New Yorker for 36 years, leading to the publication of more than 1,270 cartoons in the magazine and over a dozen books. A new video from the magazine takes readers inside her Ridgefield, Connecticut home and studio, where she’s lived with husband and humor writer Bill Franzen since 1990. Chast describes her residence as “a kind of notebook” where she creates her weekly batch of cartoons.

Watch the video here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Tribeca

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110 Franklin Street, New York, NY, United States

From the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to our very own Washington Square Arch, the curved symmetrical formations known simply as arches have a way of lending a certain cachet to even the most mundane structures. And though there is nothing remotely mundane about this sprawling Tribeca loft at 108-110 Franklin Street, its six fully revealed foot-and-a-half-thick brick archways elevate the home’s natural beauty to a new level. Six gorgeous arches this way


CityLiving, Transportation

Photo via 2010-03-12 via photopin (license)

Here’s a way to bring some relief to those seemingly never-ending subway delays: strike up a conversation with the stranger next to you. Research conducted by behavioral scientists Nicholas Epley and Juliana Schroeder reveals that engaging in chitchat with your fellow straphangers can actually improve your well-being.

learn more about their study

Real Estate Wire

  • Ben Shaoul is asking $80 million for his rental building Bloom 62. [EV Grieve]
  • Have a look inside the sales office of 45 East 22nd Street—a.k.a. our 2014 Building of the Year winner, a.k.a the Flatiron’s future tallest tower. [Curbed]
  • Robert Durst’s arrest is said to have brought a “tremendous sense of relief” to his family. [NYT]
  • The MTA may have bigger budget problems than their reported $15 billion gap. [Capital NY]
  • Four Greenpoint buildings along Manhattan Avenue have hit the market for $20 million. [Crain's]
  • Opinion: Why we need a reform of the Buildings Department to protect tenants from harassment by landlords. [The Lo-Down]

Images: Bloom 62 (L); Inside 45 East 22nd Street’s model unit. Photo via Curbed (R)


What Would You Do for a 212 Area Code?

By Dana Schulz, Wed, March 25, 2015

Last month we posed the question, “Is 212 Fifth Avenue the ultimate Manhattan address?” Developers of a new condo at the location are hoping that the prestige of Fifth Avenue coupled with the synonymy of 212 with Manhattan (it served as the borough’s sole area code for 45 years) will make their new residence the New York-iest address in town. But the 212 fanfare goes far deeper than a real estate marketing tactic.

Just as “Seinfeld”‘s Elaine stole her dead neighbor’s 212 phone number after hers got changed to a 646 area code, real New Yorkers are going to great lengths to secure a phone number beginning with those three coveted digits. Today, the New York Times delves into the hype surrounding the 212 area code, looking at those who buy the phone numbers from “brokers” who sell them for upwards of $1,000, as well as the mathematics behind the area code system.

What’s with all the 212 hype?

Art, Design, Events

NYCxDESIGN’s 2015 Event Lineup Announced!

By Dana Schulz, Wed, March 25, 2015

Last year’s WantedDesign event in Chelsea, via Ikonphoto+Nudesignstudio

NYCxDESIGN is an annual celebration that brings together the design, commerce, culture, education, and entertainment communities for a full lineup of programs including exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches and open studios. Now in its third year, the city-wide festival will take place this year from Friday, May 8th to Tuesday, May 19th. The events calendar will be continually updated, but it’s already full of can’t-miss programming.

Check out some of the highlights here

Daily Link Fix

  • You can own the original lease for Andy Warhol’s first NYC studio. [Curbed]
  • Read an interview with graphic designer Massimo Vignelli, who in 1972 created a subway map that sparked controversy for its geometric simplicity and geographical inaccuracy. [Fast Co. Design]
  • Marvel comics debuts special New York-centric covers. [NYDN]
  • In the event of a zombie apocalypse, lower Manhattan will be the hardest hit. Here’s a nation-wide map of the spread of a fictional zombie epidemic. [WSJ]
  • Today is the 104th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. [Bowery Boogie]

Images: Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 subway map (L); From “The Walking Dead” (R)

CityLiving, gentrification, Polls

Our article last week on Hoboken being named the hipster capital of America certainly got people talking. Some felt that Hoboken is the frat capital of the country, while others were simply shocked that Brooklyn, the land of artisanal mayonnaise and lumbersexuality, didn’t even make the list of most hipster cities. The New Jersey city was given its title by “data-driven” blog FindtheBest, who drew their ultimate conclusions based on how many yoga studios and cafes there were per 10,000 inhabitants. So does the fact that Brooklyn also has rock climbing gyms and food trucks disqualify it completely? Tell us what you think.


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