Brooklyn, Manhattan, Transportation, Urban Design

With public meetings about the impending L train shutdown beginning this week, much of the conversation is centered around alternate ways to shuttle people between downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. One solution is the East River Skyway, an aerial gondola system that would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, bringing commuters over the river in just 3.5 minutes. The proposal from Dan Levy, president and CEO of CityRealty*, first surfaced in 2014, then referencing the Brooklyn development boom that will bring tens of thousands of new residential units to the borough in the coming years. But now with a possible years-long shutdown of the L, along with skyrocketing subway ridership, the Skyway is drumming up support from investors.

Levy told 6sqft, “We’ve completed some preliminary engineering and design work around the cars and the stations and how they could meld with their respective locations — and more broadly the city skyline. Given their high visibility we want to be context sensitive.” He also revealed that, although the project would cost up to $134 million (per estimate from engineers), an unlimited monthly pass would cost only $25.

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Architecture, condos, Major Developments, Midtown West, New Developments, Rentals

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15 Hudson Yards, New York, NY, United States

On the heels of the news that Hudson Yards will add $18.9 billion to the city’s GDP and the reconfirmation that the developers will build an iconic $200 million sculpture at the center of the plan’s plaza, Related quietly launched a new Hudson Yards Living website, providing general information for prospective residents and a few new images of the $20 billion master plan.

More details and renderings this way



Police Commissioner William O’Brien smashing a pinball machine in 1949

It’s hard to believe, but between the 1940s and ’70s pinball was actually banned in NYC, as well as other major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, for its questionable ethics. While most of us consider the arcade game a wholesome activity, its first iteration was without the flippers and considered a form of gambling. From city raids to seedy backdoor operations, pinball prohibition lasted for more than 30 years, and efforts to get the beloved game legalized were equally dramatic.

Get the full scoop

Architecture, Major Developments, Midtown East

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432 Park Avenue, New York, NY, United States

While most of the news surrounding Rafael Viñoly’s iconic 432 Park Avenue has been about big ticket closings at the Billionaire’s Row blockbuster with a $3.1 billion projected sellout, developer Macklowe has revealed more about what the news-making skyscraper’s 130,000 square feet of retail and office space, divided over several floors, will look like. Adding an even more attention-getting element to the tower, a portion of the building’s retail space will be located in a two-story white glass cube at the corner of East 57th Street and Park Avenue.

Find out more

Featured Story

CityRealty, Features, Policy, stuff you should know

Stuff You Should Know: How Eminent Domain Works

By Penelope Bareau, Wed, May 4, 2016

The Atlantic Yards (now known as Pacific Park) in Brooklyn where eminent domain was used to take property. Image via Atlantic Yards Report

It has been called the most coercive public policy after the draft. It has also been said that without it, construction in major cities would come to a shuddering stop. What is this powerful, controversial tool? Can both statements be true?

Eminent domain is the policy by which a governmental agency can acquire or “take” property from an owner unwilling to sell in order to build something else there, and it has been around for centuries. Some say it derives from the medieval concept of the divine right of kings, empowered by God the Almighty to be sovereign over all. And by inference, that includes the land, which individual owners occupy and trade at the king’s sufferance. When he wants it back, it is his right to take it. So under eminent domain, all land theoretically belongs to the state, which can assume control at any time.

more on eminent domain here

Cool Listings, East Village, Historic Homes, Interiors

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114 East 10th Street, New York, NY, United States

Just because the East Village isn’t known for its townhouse stock doesn’t mean there aren’t wonderful, historic (and expensive) houses to move into there. Take this one, at 114 East 10th Street, which is part of the Renwick Triangle in the St. Marks Historic District. The triangle gets its name from architect James Renwick Jr., who designed it with rows of Anglo-Italianate single-family homes. This house was on the market two years back asking $7.5 million and it sold for $7.606 million. Now you can either buy or rent it, for $9.85 million or $50K a month.

See the historic interior details


Architecture, condos, Cool Listings, New Developments, Upper East Side

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389 East 89th Street, New York, NY, United States

At First Avenue and 89th Street on the Upper East Side, 31 floors of spacious, light-filled homes have been reintroduced to the market. In a building previously known as the Post Toscana, 199 rental apartments have been upgraded and enlarged into 156  one- to three-bedroom residences fashioned by acclaimed interior designer Paris Forino. Now dubbed 389 E 89, the tower is the latest in a flurry of top-shelf rental buildings re-branded as affordable condos with high-end finishes.

All the info ahead


Furniture, Green Design, Products

Kazam Design’s BrickBox is a simple yet innovative storage system that consists of wooden boxes designed to easily fit together without screws or assembly. The units can be stacked or arranged to not only provide ample and flexible shelving, but to create sideboards or room separators. Each “brick box” also doubles as a wooden box perfect for transporting your belongings when you move from one space to another.

More on this design here

Daily Link Fix

  • Marking her 100th birthday, legendary preservationist Jane Jacobs gets the Google Doodle treatment. [Gothamist]
  • And here’s all the NYC apartments she lived in. [Untapped]
  • Obama is considering making Christopher Park, located right across from the Stonewall Inn, a national monument to the gay rights movement. [NYT]
  • There’s now a dedicated bathroom for dogs at JFK Airport. It has a red fire hydrant and a patch of artificial turf. [Travel + Leisure]
  • The main wall of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub‘s passageway will be covered with a 280-foot-long LED billboard. [NYT]

WTC Transportation Hub passageway © Axel Taferner

Cool Listings, Historic Homes, Murray Hill

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21 East 37th Street, New York, NY, United States

Most of New York City’s grand and historic homes have been altered for modern-day use as apartments, libraries, hotels, diplomatic buildings and the like. And when it comes to those that have remained as opulent single- or multi-family homes, most have changed hands so many times that we don’t know much about their history. That is not the case for this massive 9,300-square-foot townhouse across the street from the Morgan Library.

The home was originally the residence of J.P. Morgan‘s attorney John Trevor, Sr. and is currently in use as a 10-unit apartment building–albeit a rather special one with some unique spaces like a private office and a gorgeous rear parlor with symphony-ready acoustics and 13-foot ceilings. Whoever purchases the home, on the market for $14 million, could create a vast five-story mansion (there’s already an elevator), or any number of alternate configurations–but they’ll still have great sound in that back parlor.

The neighborhood blows up, then the lawyers move in


CityLiving, real estate trends

Fairway Market, considered by many the quintessential New York City supermarket, filed for bankruptcy yesterday, citing competition from “natural, organic and prepared food rivals” and “online ordering and home delivery services,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Perhaps their biggest threats are Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which both seem to be in a very different boat. Yahoo! Finance looked at data of four million homes in the U.S. that are located in a zip code with either one of these stores, “finding that average property values in a ZIP code with Trader Joe’s appreciated by about 40 percent since they were purchased, while homes with a Whole Foods in the ZIP code appreciated by nearly 34 percent.”

The reasoning is quite simple — people will pay a premium for the convenience of being near their favorite stores. And proximity to a store like Whole Foods, often thought of as more high-end than other grocery stores, adds an air of prestige to a neighborhood. But the science behind it is a bit of a chicken or the egg situation — does a retailer directly affect home values, or are these companies able to identify locations where they’ll generate the most interest?

Find out this way

Architecture, condos, Midtown West, New Developments

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562 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, United States

Back in January, 6sqft reported that the busybodies at Extell Development filed permits to demolish a string of six tumble-turned walk-up buildings between 3 and 13 West 46th Street in Midtown. Now, as expected, the Gary Barnett-led firm has filed permits to demolish the Warren & Wetmore-designed corner building at 562 Fifth Avenue and a somewhat incongruous Tudor-style building at 564 Fifth Avenue.

While none of the condemned buildings are extraordinary in design, 562 Fifth Avenue is perhaps a more tasteful affair than much of the schlock going up these days. Designed by the same architects as Grand Central Terminal, the slivery 13-story commercial building was once known as the I. Miller Building and features intricately ornamented spandrel areas, a pedimented roofline, and an unoriginal albeit charming Fifth Avenue storefront.

More on Extell’s plans and the history of the soon-to-be-razed buildings


Cool Listings, Interiors, Tribeca

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153 Chambers Street, New York, NY, United States

If you couldn’t afford the penthouse unit at 153 Chambers Street in Tribeca the first time it hit the market, now it’s back with a nearly $1 million price chop. Last year, the impressive pad hit the market asking $7.25 million and now it’s down to $6.4 million. Most notable about this triplex space are the three different terraces, decked out with a hot tub, hidden outdoor shower, landscaping and impressive views of the Freedom Tower. With summer approaching, these are some of the most envy-inducing terraces we’ve ever seen…

Check them out


CityLiving, Transportation, Video

Here’s a video that drops a subway token on the dark ages of 1990, when the city’s underground transit system may have been a little “creepy,” but buses still took forever. While our ideas of what’s merely unruly (afterschool hordes) and what’s downright dangerous (the NYPD, eek!) may have been changed by the intervening years, it’s interesting to note the things that have stayed the same (capacity crowds on the Lexington Avenue line). Our host, a Fonzie-meets-Geraldo-esque Newsday columnist by the name of Ellis Henican, skims the surface of the many, many things that are going on below it in the city’s subway tunnels of the day, including ghost stations, locked restrooms and more.

Find out what’s changed, what hasn’t and what’s still creepy

Featured Story

Architecture, Carter Uncut, Features, New Jersey, real estate trends, Urban Design

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Jersey City, NJ, United States

Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. Here, Carter brings us his seventh installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the new New Jersey skyline.

The hulking, 781-foot-high Goldman Sachs tower at 30 Hudson Street in Jersey City is like the Rock of Gilbraltar to Lower Manhattan’s famed skyline: massive and impressive. To some, perhaps, it conjures a Monty Python catapult or a very steep cliff on which to mount the Guns of Navarone for an assault on Lower Manhattan. It dominates the Jersey City skyline, which is a bit Spartan, especially in comparison with Brooklyn’s. Most of the skyscrapers in Brooklyn, however, are not directly on the waterfront and the Goldman tower is very much “in your face” on the water. Furthermore, all of a relative sudden, Jersey City is about to explode with three taller towers, which I can only describe as delirious, dancing, shimmy-shimmy-shake buildings with drop-dead vistas of Manhattan and the Hudson.

read more from carter here



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