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

Cool Listings, Features

New York vs. London, NYC real estate, London real estate, NYC real estate comparisons

While we’re all still in the patriotic mood after the July 4th festivities, we thought it appropriate to put together a friendly little challenge between New York City and her cross-pond ally and sometimes rival, (what are the kids calling it these days, a frenemy?). In the left corner is NYC, global hub of finance and media, weighing in with a population of 8,405,837. And in the right corner we have London, the world’s most-visited city, population 8,416,535.

According to British real estate website Zoopla, the average price of a Central London home over the past year is £1.1 million or $2 million in U.S. dollars, topping the $1.6 million average selling price of residences in the core of Manhattan.

See how the cities battle it out in our three-round real-estate showdown

Interiors, Recent Sales, West Village 

Asymptote Architecture, Laura Kirar, 166 Perry Street, contemporary interior design

166 Perry Street, the futuristic, Asymptote-designed condo with a vertical undulating façade, has become notorious for its failed flipping attempts. But the curse might be lifted at the eight-story West Village residence thanks to the recent $2.5 million sale of apartment 1B, a 2BR/2.5BA duplex that has been outfitted with modern touches and funky details. The 2,526-square-foot unit initially sold in 2010, a year after the building’s completion, for $1.756 million. When the pad went on the market this time around in January 2013, it was listed for $3.995 million. Though today’s owner had to lower the asking price, she still made a profit of nearly $1 million.

Check out the colorful digs here

Architecture, Starchitecture

Steven Holl Architects, Pratt Institute Higgins Hall Insertion, Pratt Institute architecture

Last night in Santiago, Chile, 36 “Outstanding Projects” in international architecture and design were announced by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP). The honorees were chosen by a panel of 70 ambassadors from a longer list of 226. The 36 inaugural finalists are considered the best works in the Americas from 2000-2013, and four of these projects are right here in New York City.

Find out what our hometown architecture winners are

Architecture, Construction Update, Midtown West, New Developments

Extell, Nordstrom Tower, 225 West 57th Street, Tallest buildings in NYC, Tallest buildings in the world

The endless race to the top in the NYC skyscraper world continues with Extell‘s Nordstrom Tower, which will rise 1,479 feet, with a spire that reaches a height of 1,775 feet–just one foot shorter than One World Trade. Assuming it’s financed, the sky-high tower at 225 West 57th Street will be the tallest residential building in the world, surpassing Mumbai’s World One Tower by 29 feet, and will reclaim the “tallest roof” category for Manhattan from Chicago’s Willis Tower, which has a roof height of 1,451 feet.

More on the newest soaring addition to the NYC skyline

Architecture, Chelsea, Design, Interiors

Architecture in Formation, steel interior design, modern NYC apartments, Chelsea interior design

Words that come to mind when we think of steel are heavy, imposing, and grey. In this Chelsea duplex penthouse, however, the material is widely used, but the space feels light, airy, and crisp. The “structural redressing” of the 1,500-square-foot apartment was completed by Architecture in Formation with the goal of creating “a stunning, sexy, one-of-a-kind home; and consummately New York.”

To design the space, the firm used off-site, state-of-the-art digital design and fabrication methods to create its three main components: the back-lit, CNC-cut Corian screen; an origami folded-plate steel and Corian staircase; and the bedroom mirror/TV/light-wall.

Get up close and personal with these three architectural marvels, as well as the rest of the stunning home

Design, Green Design

Kite Bricks, Smart Bricks, lego construction, concrete construction methods, Ronnie Zohar

Kite Bricks‘ “Smart Bricks” (also known as S-Bricks) are Lego-shaped, high-strength concrete bricks that can be used to construct the floors, walls, and ceilings of buildings quickly, inexpensively, and energy efficiently. Just like the childhood toy, the patent-pending product is available in different forms that snap together with rows of knobs on the top that slide into indentations on the bottom of another brick. And like a modular home, they can be delivered in a package with traditional doors and windows.

Learn more about smart bricks here

Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper West Side 

NYC real estate, Upper West Side real estate, 129 West 80th Street

We’ll admit it–even though New York City is our home, we sometimes long for the comforts of the suburbs. That’s why we were so excited to find this floor-through apartment in a turn-of-the-century Upper West Side townhouse. Apartment 4 at 129 West 80th Street, which is listed at $1.695 million, is a 1BR/1.5BA co-op. Not only has it been renovated to exude a nostalgic, French country feel, but its spectacular roof deck gives you all the charms of backyard living without having to battle summer traffic to the Jersey Shore or Hamptons. And you can’t get those skyline views in suburbia!

See what else this little slice of heaven has to offer

Chelsea, Interiors, Recent Sales

Patrick Naggar, 138 West 17th Street, NYC real estate, Chelsea real estate, NYC interior design

We’re guessing this penthouse loft at 138 West 17th Street is going to get very organized when new owner Mark Tarchetti, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., moves in. He may not need to bring in too many plastic bins, though, as internationally acclaimed architect/designer Patrick Naggar executed a stunning combination of high function and low maintenance in this 3BR/3BA, 3,200-square-foot Chelsea apartment.

Naggar incorporated exotic materials and top-notch artisanry to create a sleek, modern home that feels luxurious and comfortable. Natural light and 360-degree unobstructed views abound thanks to 20 huge windows and five skylights.

Think the penthouse was worth the $7 million price tag? Check out more details right this way

Interiors, Recent Sales, West Village 

651 Washington Street, NYC rowhouse, west village rowhouse, rowhouse attic bedroom

Attics get a bad name as the cobweb-laden crawl space to store holiday decorations, the makeshift bedroom for the angry teenager in the house, or the unknown room that no one even dares enter. But behind the dormer windows of 651 Washington Street is a modern, spacious attic space that has been transformed to fit two sunny bedrooms, one of the many factors that likely led to its recent $6 million sale.

Other selling points of the five-story, 2,800-square-foot home include four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a full-floor finished basement outfitted with a home gym, a private outdoor garden, and two separate dining rooms. The lucky buyer is Charles Modica, Co-Founder and Chancellor of St. George’s University located in Grenada, West Indies.

See what else Mr. Modica will get to enjoy in his new residence

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, People

Siim and Rudi Hanja

It’s hard not to become a jaded New Yorker when it comes to real estate. We’ve been duped by phony listing pictures, stood up at a random addresses by our brokers, and probably watched a little too much of the soap opera-like Million Dollar Listing. But it’s not all Photoshopped specs and inter-agency drama — something I quickly learned during my interview with Siim and Rudi Hanja, a father/son broker team at Brown Harris Stevens who are passionate about their careers, connection to downtown, and their relationship with each other.

Siim Hanja has been a SoHo and Tribeca resident for the past 40 years. He’s considered an expert on the downtown residential market, and much of his client base includes people involved with the arts. He raised his daughter and son Rudi in SoHo, a neighborhood he is still proud to call home. Rudi was first introduced to real estate when he was around ten years old, filing papers at a small, boutique brokerage that Siim owned. After graduating from Boston University, Rudi took a summer job with the sales and marketing team at 120 Greenwich Street, where he worked with the exclusive broker and closed the final 30% of sales in the condo building. He then went on to work at another major real estate firm in the city until he and Siim decided to begin working together at Brown Harris Stevens.

Find out what team Hanja has to say

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