All posts by Dana Schulz

Dana is a writer and preservationist with a passion for all things New York.  After graduating from New York University with a BA in Urban Design & Architecture Studies, she worked at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, where she planned the organization's public programs and wrote for their blog Off the Grid.  Currently, she writes for CIRCA, an online historic house marketplace, and leads walking tours about the cultural history of city neighborhoods. Follow her on Twitter @danaschulzNYC.

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Featured Story

apartment living 101, City Living, Features, More Top Stories

6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we’ve put together a list of tips for hiring movers and making sure the big day runs smoothly.

With universities about to let out and warmer weather leading us out of hibernation, moving season in NYC is upon us. And if you’re not one of the brave souls who plans to enlist family and friends to help with the dreaded schlep, you don’t want to blindly hire the first man with a van you come across. From big corporations to small family-run operations, movers in NYC run the gamut in terms of services, pricing, and proximity, but regardless of which route you take, there are several things to consider before deciding. Ahead, 6sqft has rounded up 12 tips for hiring movers, including performing background checks, making sure you’ve accurately counted your boxes (no one wants to be that person), and negotiating the estimate.

All the tips ahead

Cool Listings, Getting Away, Places to Stay, Upstate

ESCAPE Homes, who build “travel-ready” tiny RVs, have put their latest offering in the Hudson Valley up on Airbnb for $145/night. Known as “The Glass House,” the super-compact, 180-square-foot getaway shares the rectangular footprint and oversized windows of Philip Johnson’s masterpiece, but other than that, this rental is one-of-a-kind. Solar powered and off-grid, it sits on 30 acres of rolling hills just 90 minutes from Manhattan and can fit a queen-size bed, fully functional kitchen, dining area, and full bath with a tub/shower in its itsy footprint.

Read more

Weekly Highlights

Weekly highlights: Top picks from the 6sqft staff

By Dana Schulz, Sat, April 22, 2017

 

This Week’s Features

 

Follow 6sqft on Twitter and like us on Facebook. You can also get the top stories mailed to you—sign up here.

Images: Lester Holt’s apartment at 225 Fifth Avenue via TOWN (L); “Mr. Perkins Pierce Arrow” 1946 copyright the Todd Webb Archive (R)

 

Brooklyn, History

A row of Quonset huts in Canarsie, via Brooklyn Public Library

When veterans returned to NYC from WWII, they were met with a Depression-era housing shortage that resulted from a nearly 15-year lack of new development. To immediately address the issue, “master builder” Robert Moses (who by this time was reigning over the city’s public housing projects) proposed erecting Quonset huts on vacant land in Brooklyn and Queens. These curved, corrugated steel “shacks” were used in the Pacific as barracks and offices, as they were lightweight and quick and easy to assemble. As the Brownstone Detectives tell us, after much debate, the city agreed to use more than 500 Federal surplus huts as temporary public housing on land along the Belt Parkway in the South Brooklyn neighborhoods of Canarsie and Jamaica Bay, as well as in Jackson Heights, Middle Village, and Corona in Queens.

Get the whole history

Uncategorized

NYC tourists, tourism

After Donald Trump put in place his strict and controversial travel restrictions, foreign travelers unsurprisingly became wary or coming to the U.S., notably student and youth groups and those from Mexico. In New York City, international visitors make up just 20 percent of tourists, but they account for more than 50 percent of spending, dropping an average of $2,000 each during their stays, which also include more stays in the outer boroughs. However, NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency, expects the number of foreign tourists to drop by 300,000 fewer than 2016, when 12.7 million international visitors came to NYC, the first drop in seven years. According to the Daily News, this will result in $120 million less in tax revenue for the city and state and $600 million less spending in the city.

More details ahead

Landscape Architecture, New Developments, Top Stories, Williamsburg

With building construction well under way at the Domino Sugar Factory site, Two Trees Management has now released details about the 11-acre park that will anchor the three-million-square-foot Williamsburg mega-development. To be known as Domino Park and designed by James Corner Field Operations, the quarter-mile open space will boast a new waterfront esplanade, six acres of parkland, a plethora of preserved artifacts, and easier waterfront access. In addition to sharing several new renderings, Two Trees also announced that the park will open in the summer of 2018.

All the details and renderings ahead

affordable housing, Greenpoint, housing lotteries

The waitlist is open for $2,611/month two-bedroom apartments at Greenpoint‘s super-trendy rental Eleven33, which goes out of its way to check all the boxes in terms of “Brooklyn living” — from a cyber café with an espresso bar to a landscaped rooftop terrace to a fitness center complete with CrossFit equipment. The affordable housing lottery is open to middle-income households of two, three, and four people earning between $106,080 and $158,550 annually.

Find out if you qualify here

Midtown East

Boston Properties, who owns the former General Motors Building at 767 Fifth Avenue that has the Apple flagship located on its lower level, was issued a permit by the Department of Buildings to remove the iconic glass cube outside the store’s entrance. The Post reports that it’ll cost a staggering $2 million to take the structure down while Apple expands the Midtown location from 32,000 to 77,000 square feet.

Read more

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Williamsburg

East Williamsburg, Slate Property, Ainslie Street, Industrial loft,Factory Lofts, Brooklyn construction, Brooklyn development, brooklyn rentals, williamsburg rentals

This rental building at 66 Ainslie Street may look like your quintessential warehouse conversion, but it was actually built from the ground up last year, designed by Aufgang Architects to blend in with East Williamsburg‘s trendy industrial vibe. Of its 50 apartments, 10 are reserved for those earning 60 percent of the area median income. These units include two $833/month studios and eight $895/month one-bedrooms and, as of tomorrow, are up for grabs through the city’s affordable housing lottery.

Find out if you qualify

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Upper East Side

The price is right, but the location may not be the most desirable for this new affordable housing building, as it’s situated directly alongside the off-ramp to the Queensboro Bridge. Traffic views aside (we’re hoping they installed sound-proof windows), these 20 apartments at 321 East 60th Street include $1,254/month one-bedrooms and $1,511/month two-bedrooms for those earning 80 percent of the area median income.

More on the project here

affordable housing, housing lotteries, Lower East Side

Essex Crossing, Dattner Architects

At the beginning of last month, the first affordable housing lottery opened for Essex Crossing at Beyer Blinder Belle‘s huge mixed-use building 145 Clinton Street, where 104 below-market rate units were up for grabs. As of today, the second lottery is open, this time at Dattner Architects175 Delancey Street, a 14-story, 100-unit building at the megadevelopment’s site 6 that will also offer ground-floor retail, medical offices for NYU Langone, and a senior center and job training facility from the Grand Street Settlement. These 99 one-bedroom apartments are set aside for one- and two-person households that have at least one resident who is 55 years of age or older. They’re also earmarked for those earning 0, 30, 40, 60, and 90 percent of the area median income and range from $396/month to $1,254/month.

Find out if you qualify

Featured Story

Features, photography, The urban lens

Sam Golanski, NYC corner buildings, Narrow and Corner Buildings

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Sam Golanski highlights New York’s unique narrow and corner buildings. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

6sqft recently featured Sam Golanki’s photography series “Park Avenue Doormen,” where he gave the men who safeguard the Upper East Side’s ritzy buildings a chance to step out from behind the velvet ropes and in front of the camera. He’s now taken a similar approach–albeit this time with buildings, not people–in his collection “Narrow and Corner Buildings.” Choosing to forego iconic structures like the Flatiron Building, Sam instead focuses on small structures off the beaten path that may otherwise be overlooked. “I realized the corner is the center of each block, a place for small businesses, barbershops, and coffee shops,” he said, explaining that he didn’t pre-plan the series, but rather was drawn to these unique structures while strolling the city.

Get a look at all the photos

Daily Link Fix

bagels, nyc bagels, brooklyn bagels, toasted bagels, untoasted bagels
  • Green City Force is a program that builds farms on NYCHA land to teach residents ages 18 to 24 about healthy food. [NYDN]
  • New York bagels are bigger, more pliable, and salty, whereas Montreal bagels are sweeter, smaller, and crispier, with a chewy interior. So who reigns supreme? [AV Club]
  • Until April 16th, Stuy Town is offering a move-in bonus of up to $3,600 for all new leases. [CityRealty]
  • Donald Trump Jr. won’t run for NY governor in 2018, though “someday” he might. [The Hill]
  • Just in time for spring cleaning, here’s a round-up of decluttering apps. [NYT]
  • These eerie photos show the abandoned interior of the James A. Farley Post Office. [Untapped]

Daily Link Fix

  • Upper East Side establishments that suffered during the Second Avenue Subway construction are now seeing an uptick in business. [am NY]
  • Take an interactive walking tour of 42nd Street’s history. [NY Mag]
  • Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image is raising $40,000 on Kickstarter to open a permanent Jim Henson exhibit. [DNAinfo]
  • Six landlords own one-third of the Garment District, and most of their tenants are not in fashion. [Crain’s]
  • The “Charging Bull” sculptor says the newly adjacent “Fearless Girl” statue violates his rights; he’s demanding the city release documents showing what procedures were followed. [NYP]
  • A “Friends” musical is coming to NYC. [Independent]

Images: Melanie Hunt via Instagram (L); Via Museum of the Moving Image (R)

 

Daily Link Fix

3 Sutton Place, 428 East 58th Street, NYC condo buildings, Norman Foster, Foster + Partners
  • The Union Square Greenmarket will offer Saturday beer and spirit tastings from licensed state breweries and distilleries. [Gothamist]
  • Attend an adult sleepover at the Bronx Zoo next month. [UpOut]
  • Zoning proposal capping the height of Sutton Place towers at 25 stories is officially submitted to the city, a day after Gamma Real Estate made headway in its plans to build an 850-foot tower there. [DNAinfo]
  • Is Las Vegas the most “American city?” [Fast Co. Design]
  • Take an internal tour behind Times Square’s giant advertisement signs. [Untapped]

 

Architecture

Evolo has announced the winners of its 2017 Skyscraper Competition, and though projects specific to NYC didn’t take the top spots this year, several of the honorable mentions looked at new ways to build high-rise projects in New York. This one, the Human Castell Skyscraper, comes from a New Zealand-based team who wanted to address the question “where does art end and architecture begin?” Inspired by the castells of ancient Catalonia, the designers eliminated exterior walls for the Midtown tower to open its insides out towards the city, tapping into the history of architecture using sculptural expression to speak of its inhabitants’ “myths and tales.”

More on the proposal ahead

Daily Link Fix

coney island cyclone
  • Vornado’s Steven Roth wants to sell his stake in Kushner Companies’ embattled 666 Fifth Avenue. [NYP]
  • Coney Island’s Luna Park, which includes the Cyclone, is officially open for the season! [amNY]
  • Though wigs are increasingly popular, the artisans who make them in New York are vanishing. [NYT]
  • Shake Shack will open its first Staten Island outpost at the new Empire Outlets development. [Eater]
  • Watch the trailer for BIG TIME, the new Bjarke Ingels’ documentary. [ArchDaily]

 

affordable housing, Bushwick, housing lotteries

It’s been two years since Cayuga Capital‘s “horizontal addition” to the former St. Mark’s Lutheran School and Evangelical Church in Bushwick topped out, and now the 20 affordable apartments at the site are up for grabs through the city’s housing lottery. The new, seven-story structure, along with the preserved 1890 Victorian Gothic church, and four-story former school building in between, will offer 99 rentals in total and have been dubbed The Saint Marks. The below-market rate units range from an $822/month studio to $1,071/month two-bedrooms, available to individuals earning 60 percent of the area median income.

Find out if you qualify

Daily Link Fix

  • Slow turn boxes, aka curb extensions, are part of a new pilot program at intersections where turning drivers are known to injure pedestrians. [Planetizen]
  • Research finds that it’s more efficient if everyone stands on an escalator instead of some people walking on it. [NYT]
  • Postal workers in Brooklyn and Flushing, Queens are among the most attacked by dogs in the U.S., with 27 and 22 attacks respectively. [NBC New York]
  • The Wildenstein mansion, which earlier this week became Manhattan’s most expensive townhouse when it sold for $79.5 million, will be turned into corporate offices. [Commercial Observer]
  • A new East Village bar is donating all profits to anti-Trump causes like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. [Eater]

 

Featured Story

Features, History, photography, The urban lens, Top Stories, Transportation

Sid Kaplan, New York Transit Museum, NYC train history, Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El, elevated trains NYC

6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. This week’s installment comes courtesy of a new exhibit at the Transit Museum, “Deconstruction of the Third Avenue El: Photographs by Sid Kaplan.” Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

After the city consolidated its underground subway lines in 1942 (they were previously owned by private companies), fewer New Yorkers were riding the elevated lines. This decreased ridership, along with the fact that the Els ate up valuable street-level real estate and created dangerous dark spaces, led to the city taking down the Second Avenue Elevated line in 1942. In 1955, the Third Avenue Elevated came down as well, catching the eye of a then 17-year-old Sid Kaplan, whose photos of the dismantling are currently on display at the Transit Museum’s Grand Central Gallery Annex. The museum tells us, “From his perch on the roof of an apartment building, or leaning out the window of an office, his images capture a unique perspective of the removal of a hulking steel structure, the hard-working people who dismantled it, and the ever-changing landscape of New York City.”

More on the El history, Sid’s work, and all the amazing photos

Policy

In February Mayor de Blasio announced that he plans to open 90 new homeless shelters, but during this same month, only 38 percent of families seeking shelter through the Department of Homeless Services were approved, reports the Daily News. This is a 50 percent drop from the same time last year, which comes after the agency’s Commissioner, Steven Banks, received approval from the state in November to require families seeking shelter to present “clear, convincing and credible evidence” that they absolutely have nowhere else to go.

Find out more

Uncategorized

  • On Saturday, April 22, the city will open up the 30 blocks of Broadway from Union Square to Times Square. [Streetsblog]
  • The world’s most valuable coin, worth over $10 million, is held at the New-York Historical Society. [Untapped]
  • How the poppy came to symbolize WWI. [Smithsonian Mag]
  • Following up on his hypnotizing map of a day’s subway activity, Will Geary visualized all NYC cab and bus rides in one day. [Gothamist]

Images: Via Car Free NYC (L); Via Will Geary (R)

 

Chelsea, Interiors, Starchitecture

Just a few days after the first anniversary of Zaha Hadid‘s death, developer Related Companies has revealed the first look inside the apartments at 520 West 28th Street–the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s first (and possibly only) NYC project. The first is a 4,500-square-foot, $15 million four-bedroom designed by Jennifer Post, combining her signature elegant, minimal aesthetic with Hadid’s futuristic, architectural vision. The other is a 1,700-square-foot, $4.9 million unit from West Chin who employs his signature modern style in a way that complements the building’s signature curves and organic indoor and outdoor architecture. Both spaces will serve as the building’s sales gallery before the anticipated June 2017 move-in.

See all the renderings here

Daily Link Fix

NYC Taxi
  • The American Copper Buildings welcome their first residents. [CityRealty]
  • A taxi medallion sold for $241,000 last week, less than one-fifth of what the tags were going for just four years ago. [NYP]
  • Powamekka Cafe is popping up on the LES this weekend. It’ll be inspired by Tupac Shakur’s own restaurant vision, offer his favorite foods, and display plenty of memorabilia. [Eater]
  • A 220-year-old home on Roosevelt Island, its oldest landmark, is up for auction for a renovation. [DNAinfo]
  • How Trump’s budget cuts could affect NYC community gardens. [WNYC]

 

Featured Story

Bed Stuy, Features, Green Design, Interviews, People, Studio Visits

In our series 6sqft Studio Visits, we take you behind the scenes of the city’s up-and-coming and top designers, artists, and entrepreneurs to give you a peek into the minds, and spaces, of NYC’s creative force. In this installment we take a tour of the Bed-Stuy urban farm Square Roots. Want to see your studio featured here, or want to nominate a friend? Get in touch!

In a Bed-Stuy parking lot, across from the Marcy Houses (you’ll know this as Jay-Z’s childhood home) and behind the hulking Pfizer Building, is an urban farming accelerator that’s collectively producing the equivalent of a 20-acre farm. An assuming eye may see merely a collection of 10 shipping containers, but inside each of these is a hydroponic, climate-controlled farm growing GMO-free, spray-free, greens–“real food,” as Square Roots calls it. The incubator opened just this past November, a response by co-founders Kimbal Musk (Yes, Elon‘s brother) and Tobias Peggs against the industrial food system as a way to bring local food to urban settings. Each vertical farm is run by its own entrepreneur who runs his or her own sustainable business, selling directly to consumers. 6sqft recently visited Square Roots, went inside entrepreneur Paul Philpott‘s farm, and chatted with Tobias about the evolution of the company, its larger goals, and how food culture is changing.

Take a tour of Square Roots and get the full story from Tobias

City Living, Policy

To date, close to 700 LinkNYC Wifi kiosks have been installed throughout the five boroughs. Among their features are an app that lets users make free calls anywhere in the U.S., as well as a dedicated red 911 button for emergencies. Coupled with the fact that most New Yorkers have cell phones on them, it seems that the city’s 14,813 red alarm boxes serve basically no purpose anymore. In fact, as Crain’s tells us, last year, the boxes were used only 11,440 times to call the FDNY, which is an average of less than once per box. And, of these calls, only 13 percent were for actual emergencies and just 1.5 percent for fires. But yet, the city spends a whopping $6.8 million annually paying electricians to repair the call boxes and others to paint over graffiti.

What’s the deal?

Daily Link Fix

  • It was inevitable–Industry City is getting an avocado bar that’ll serve toasts, salads, bowls and smoothies. [Gothamist]
  • New Yorkers share their love of athleisure. [Business Insider]
  • Meet the 21-year-old NYU student running for City Council. [NYP]
  • Corcoran teamed up with helicopter company BLADE to fly prospective renters out to the Hamptons to look at properties. [Curbed Hamptons]
  • The first Citywide Ferry has arrived in NYC, with three more not far behind. [DNAinfo]

Images: Via Avocaderia (L); Via BLADE (R)

 

Daily Link Fix

NYC tourists, tourism
  • The number of red-tailed hawks in Manhattan has increased to 15 from just three in 2006. [WSJ]
  • More than one million people moved out of the New York area to other parts of the country since 2010, more than any other major metropolitan area. [NYP]
  • What if we returned Riker’s Island to its natural state? [Untapped]
  • The Upper East Side’s Le Cirque was considered NYC’s glitziest restaurant for 40 years. What happened? [Bloomberg]
  • Thanks to a community organizing effort, bike-share ridership in Bed-Stuy is outpacing the rest of the city. [Streetsblog]

real estate trends, Sunset Park

There’s been much talk in the past couple months about the city’s push to drive the fashion industry from its long-time home in the Garment District to new, lower-cost space in Sunset Park. The new, $136 million, 200,000-square-foot “Made in NYC Campus” has become synonymous with the shift, but the adjacent Industry City mega-development has been at the forefront since even beforeBelvedere Capital and Jamestown Properties took over in 2013. With tenants such as the Gap, Bauble Bar, and Rag & Bone, they’ve now announced that internationally known jewelry company Alexis Bittar will lease an additional 10,000 square feet (they already have 17,000), and a source tells us that women’s apparel label Clara Sunwoo is leasing 14,000 square feet of space, moving completely from the Garment District. This brings Industry City’s total space leased to fashion companies to 350,000 square feet, more than 200,000 of which is manufacturing space.

Read more

Policy, Top Stories

Despite the fact that Donald Trump received only 18 percent of presidential votes citywide, he’s getting a surprising show of NYC support when it comes to his $20 billion border wall. Crain’s reports that 11 New York-based firms, including contractors, architects, and “little-known small businesses,” have expressed interest in the project, seemingly undeterred by legislation proposed last month that would bar the city from signing contracts with companies involved in the wall. Though some of these applicants support Trump’s true intentions, others have taken a more creative approach, using the submission process as a way to support immigration and co-existence.

Hear from four of the applicants about their proposals and stances

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