All posts by Devin Gannon

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Design, Long Island City, Queens, real estate trends

newtown creek, amazon, long island city

Rendering of the Hunters Point South project, courtesy of NYCEDC

An eight-acre, 1.6 million-square-foot residential site next to Hunters Point South is for sale, a piece of land owned by a family for generations. According to the New York Post, the site could potentially bring in $480 million if targeted to market-rate condominiums since land in Long Island City sells for roughly $300 per square foot. The triangle-shaped plot of land found at 55-01 Second Street and bounded by 54th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, sits on Newtown Creek, an estuary that forms part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens. The site might make the perfect spot for Amazon’s second headquarters as the tech giant seeks 500,000 square feet for their HQ2 by 2019.

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Design, Policy

governors island

Photo of Governors Island via simplethrill on Flickr

Since Governors Island first opened in 2005, transforming the 172-acre piece of land in the New York Harbor into a public space has been slow. However, after a 40-acre park with a playground opened last year the ball has officially started rolling. According to Crain’s, the Trust for Governors Island recently released two requests for proposals aimed at making the waterfront location a destination for entertainment and cultural activities. The trust is offering licenses for up to three years during the island’s season, which runs from May 1 through October 31.

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Architecture, Design, Harlem, Starchitecture

Bjarke Ingels’ curvy East Harlem tower tops out

By Devin Gannon, Wed, October 18, 2017

Rendering of E126 courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group

The concrete, t-shaped residential tower designed by starchitect, Bjarke Ingels and his firm BIG, topped out over the weekend, adding diversity to Upper Manhattan’s usual upright architecture. The East Harlem project at 158 East 126th Street, known as E126, uniquely slopes inward as it rises upward, allowing more sunlight to hit the street. As CityRealty learned, the unusual configuration will provide residents incredible views of the East River and Central Park from a rooftop garden.

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Architecture, Design, Manhattan, Upper East Side

27 East 79th Street, Beaux-Arts, condos

27 East 79th Street, renderings courtesy of Adellco

The Upper East Side‘s 79th Street, stretching between Madison and Fifth Avenues, remains known for its architecturally beautiful 19th and early 20th-century homes. Now, as CityRealty learned, the stretch of street will soon gain its first condominium at 27 East 79th Street, also the block’s first new building in 40 years. The Parisian-inspired, 15-story building will have interiors designed by Cabinet Albert Pinto, whose trademark style mixes old-world luxury with modern design. The firm’s previous clients include the French President and royal families of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Albert Pinto’s team, run by Linda Pinto, will be working with local firm, HTO Architects.

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Policy, Technology, Transportation

self-driving cars, driverless, general motors

A self-driving vehicle, photo via GM

General Motors will bring a fleet of self-driving cars to a 5-square-mile section of lower Manhattan early next year, becoming the first company to deploy autonomous cars in New York City. As the Wall Street Journal learned, in partnership with driverless-car developer Cruise Automation, GM’s testing will include an engineer in the driver’s seat to monitor the performance and a second person in the passenger seat. In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state began accepting applications from companies interested in autonomous technologies in New York. GM and Cruise’s planned testing will become the first time Level 4 autonomous vehicles will be tested in NYC, getting a head start on making the Big Apple a hub for self-driving cars.

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New Jersey, Policy, real estate trends

Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr

Amazon’s nationwide competition to find a home for its second headquarters draws to a close this week, with pitches from stakeholders due Thursday. While New York City meets most of the requirements the tech giant listed for its HQ2– a population of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, mass transit access and talented workforce–business costs in the city would be sky-high. However, as Crain’s reported, even if Amazon does not set up shop in NYC, politicians and developers have been preparing for a comparably-sized company to move in for over a decade. The failure of the city to win the 2012 Olympics bid back in 2005 actually turned into a success, allowing apartments to rise in Brooklyn where sports stadiums never did.

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affordable housing, housing lotteries, Williamsburg

15 dunham place, williamsburg rental, affordable housing lottery

15 Dunham Place offers spectacular Williamsburg Bridge views, photo courtesy of C&C Apartment Management

Applications are being accepted for studio rental apartments at 15 Dunham Place in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. Located along the waterfront between Broadway and South 6th Street, the 11-story building features 160 units, half of which are income-restricted. Amenities include a 13,000-square-foot common room on the third floor, a game room, doorman and bike storage. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between $22,903 and $26,720 can apply for studios listed at $613 per month, and those earning between $27,800 and $33,400 can apply for studios at $755.83 per month.

Find out if you qualify

Midtown, Policy, Top Stories

666 Fifth Avenue, Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner

A previous rendering of 666 Fifth Avenue, courtesy of Kushner Companies/Zaha Hadid Architects

Instead of the 41-story Midtown tower becoming an 80-story office building with hotel rooms and luxury housing, 666 Fifth Avenue will now get a much more simple upgrade. According to Bloomberg, Vornado Realty Trust, the project’s partner alongside Kushner Companies, told brokers the property will remain an office building, with“mundane” renovations planned. As one of the most financially troubled developments for Kushner Cos., the Fifth Ave project has been losing money since its purchase was first coordinated by Jared Kushner, currently a senior advisor to President Donald Trump, in 2007.

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Featured Story

Features, History

hilltop park, new york yankees, the highlanders

The Highlanders play a game at Hilltop Park in 1912, photo via NYPL

Not unlike their unexpected ALCS journey this year, the most dominant team in American sports got off to quite a rocky start. Not only did the New York Highlanders, now known as the Yankees, have a losing record for many years, the team’s first home field was a mess: it was located near a swamp, the outfield had no grass, and the ballpark sat mostly unfinished. In just six weeks, 500 men hastily built the stadium on Broadway and 168th Street in Washington Heights, known as Hilltop Park, in time for the Highlander’s first home game on April 30, 1903. Due to the unsavory, rock-filled conditions, the last big league game at Hilltop Park was played in October of 1912. Following its closure, the Highlanders changed their name to the Yankees in 1913, moved to the Bronx, and went on to become one of the most successful sports teams in the world.

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Architecture, Downtown Brooklyn, New Developments

city point, brooklyn point, extell development

New rendering of City Point courtesy of Extell Development

Extell Development released a teaser website on Thursday ahead of its sales launch for Brooklyn Point, the group’s first tower in Brooklyn, and revealed more details about the luxury high-rise. Rising 68 stories and 720 feet high, the tower at 138 Willoughby Street will be the tallest building in the borough until 9 DeKalb Avenue rises, which will be roughly 1,000 feet tall. As the last phase of City Point, Brooklyn Point will join two other residential buildings, the Brodsky Organization’s 7 DeKalb and City Tower.

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