A judge on Monday approved the city’s plan to open a homeless shelter near Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row neighborhood. Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Alexander Tisch dismissed the lawsuit from the West 58th Street Coalition, a group of residents who claimed the shelter would have “an enormous impact on our densely populated, narrow, high-pedestrian-traffic street.” The ruling comes more than a year after Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced plans to open a shelter for 140 single men at the converted Park Savoy hotel, located next to One57, a supertall with a penthouse that sold for $100 million in 2015.
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Grand Central got a questionable makeover yesterday when one half of the retro Departures board was switched to digital displays. The controversial upgrade has been in the works since March and is part of Metro-North’s Way Ahead initiative which will replace the station’s gate boards, digital track indicators, departure monitors and platform displays with a new, modern system that promises brighter, easier-to-read, and more accurate displays that can help curb congestion in the busy terminal.
75 Rockefeller Plaza via Google Street View
Ten floors of an office tower in Rockefeller Center will be converted into short-term rentals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. RXR Realty, which has leased the tower at 75 Rockefeller Plaza since 2012, has partnered with Airbnb to transform a portion of the 87-year-old building into roughly 200 units of high-end lodging. In a press release, RXR CEO Scott Rechler described the new venture as a “travel experience that immerses guests in a dynamic, thriving community in the heart of Rockefeller Center that’s vastly different than anything else in the market today.”
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Our series “My sqft” checks out the homes of New Yorkers across all the boroughs. Our latest interior adventure brings us to Blair Russell’s Midtown apartment. Want to see your home featured here? Get in touch!
Florida native Blair Russell spends half of every month in Miami. And for the other two weeks, Miami comes with him to his New York City apartment. The curator-creative has decked out his Midtown abode, located in a 1910 building formerly home to an upscale children’s apparel store, with fluorescent colors, graffiti art, and international finds, all while mixing in a mid-century modern flair. Blair first bought his home on 35th and 5th one month after September 11, at a time when living next to the Empire State Building wasn’t exactly a selling point. “It used to be called the dirty 30’s when I moved here in 2002,” Blair told us.
A self-described third-generation artist, Blair made a career in Florida by helping developers outfit South Beach properties with art. Later, with housing experience under his belt, he began converting abandoned buildings into affordable housing for local artists. Now with real estate further in his rearview mirror, Blair is focusing on traveling and curating art for clients. “Everything I’ve done, I do it for one to 10 percent of the population. If more than 10 percent like it, it’s probably not going to happen with me,” he said. Ahead, see Blair’s eclectic apartment, from his orange-painted orgy centerpiece done by a Warhol protégé to a door he took from the last peep show on 42nd Street.
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Rendering courtesy of Gensler
Just one month after closing on 5 East 51st Street, a six-floor rental across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, developer Harry Macklowe has filed demolition permits with the city, as CityRealty reported. This move brings Macklowe one step closer to realizing his vision for Tower Fifth, a 1,556-foot office tower that, if approved, will become the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, surpassing Macklowe’s own 432 Park Avenue and coming in just short of One World Trade Center. (Tower Fifth’s roofline would actually be 216 feet above One World Trade Center’s but since its mast brings the building’s official height to 1,776 feet it would retain the title of the city’s tallest building.)
Photo by Allan Warren
A hotel near Bryant Park wants to up your “Game of Thrones” viewing party game. The Refinery Hotel, located on West 38th Street, has created “Lannister’s Lair,” a suite designed for the biggest GOT fans. Starting at $569 per night, the room comes equipped with fur throws, “Dragon egg” candles, and a themed room service menu that would make even George R.R. Martin proud.
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Photo: Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Macy’s
On Sunday, March 24th, Macy’s Herald Square launched its 45th annual Flower Show. This year’s theme for the two-week long floral festival is “Journey To Paradisios,” celebrating the arrival of spring by transporting visitors into a multi-dimensional world of space and adventure on the mythical planet Paradisios, traveling through eccentrically landscaped gardens and spectacular floral designs made up of more than 5,000 types of plants, trees, and flowers. The theme tells the cosmic tale of Space Flight Director Lucy Ryder and her discovery of the planet Paradisios–a pristine exoplanet, untouched by human technology and filled with resplendent plant life, as Ryder and R.H. Macy IV–pilot-turned-cosmonaut and the great-great-great grandson of Macy’s founder–set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
More resplendent plant life, this way
Via Creative Commons
Update 3/14/19: A few days after Aby Rosen bought the Chrysler Building for the bargain price of $150 million, the real estate mogul told Bloomberg this week that he would consider converting the tower into a hotel.
Real estate mogul Aby Rosen has picked up another New York City landmark. Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC, which controls the Seagram Building and Lever House, bought the Chrysler Building for $151 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The sale represents a major loss for majority owner Abu Dhabi Investment Council, who paid $800 million in 2008 for a 90 percent stake in the 77-story Art Deco tower.
Grand Central’s Main Concourse Clock, via Wikimedia Commons
For more than a century, millions of New Yorkers have been meeting “under the clock,” that great rendezvous point – and focal point – of Grand Central Terminal. The clock, which has presided over Grand Central’s Main Concourse since the Terminal opened in 1913, has stood out amidst the swirl of commuters and the flow of time, witnessing reunions of friends and lovers, beginning countless adventures, and playing a priceless role in the life of the city. Or, nearly-priceless. It turns out that appraisers from Sotheby’s and Christie’s have valued the four-sided brass masterpiece at between $10 and 20 million!
Rendering of the Marshall Rose Plaza by Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the New York Public Library’s plan to add a new public entrance and plaza to its Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in Midtown. The changes fall under the library’s larger master renovation plan, a $317 million project first unveiled in 2017. The LPC approved the changes to the exterior of the building–subject to the city’s landmark rules–after design modifications suggested at a presentation in February were made by the library, Curbed NY reported.
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