All posts by Devin Gannon

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History, Midtown East

Airlines Terminal, art-deco buildings, nyc history

A vintage postcard of the Airlines Terminal Building, via drivingfordeco.com

For more than 30 years, the Art Deco-style Airlines Terminal Building served millions of travelers as a spot where flight tickets servicing New York could be purchased and where passengers could board shuttle buses to take them to the various airports. The building, located on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and 42nd Street, sat on the former site of the Hotel Belmont, which was built in 1906 and later demolished in 1930. Construction of the Airlines Terminal began in 1939 to create the chic, futuristic design, which included a steel frame and a crown flanked by two eagles.

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Policy, Technology

streetlight nyc, LED lights, nyc lights

In May 2015, New York City’s Department of Transportation began an initiative to replace roughly 250,000 old streetlights with new LED fixtures in all five boroughs. The city chose to switch over to energy-efficient lights to save money and time; the lights last 15 years and require less maintenance. Following hundreds of complaints from residents about the harshness of the lights, the city had to then replace these new lights with dimmer bulbs. Now, the American Medical Association (AMA) warns of the potential harmful human health and environmental effects of LED lights, including damage to one’s eyesight and disruption in sleep patterns. As CNN reports, the AMA has released guidelines for communities to follow when choosing LED streetlights.

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Architecture, Construction Update, Major Developments, Midtown East, Top Stories

With the installation of its first steel column, One Vanderbilt, soon to be New York City’s second-tallest skyscraper, officially began vertical construction on Friday. Banker Steel Company provided the 26,000 tons of domestically milled and fabricated structural steel for development, which included the first 20-ton column installed. According to the team, the construction of One Vanderbilt is three weeks ahead of schedule. SL Green Realty and AECOM Tishman say the supertall skyscraper will add to the modernization of East Midtown’s business district, as the office building will boast column-free floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 360-degree views.

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Policy, real estate trends

NYC affordable housing

Following two years of rent freezes, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board will take a final vote on Tuesday to determine whether or not rents will be increased by at least one percent. Earlier this year in April, the board voted to increase rents by one to three percent for one-year leases and four percent for two-year leases in a preliminary vote. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board released a study that showed landlord costs rose in the past year, a shift that landlords say warrants an increase in rents on new leases that take effect on or after Oct. 1.

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Featured Story

apartment living 101, Features

How to choose and install an air conditioner in NYC

By Devin Gannon, Thu, June 22, 2017

While a summer spent in the city can be an exciting time for New Yorkers (outdoor movies and concerts, rooftop bars, barbecues in the park and of course, ice cream trucks), it can also be quite miserable for those whose apartments don’t have central air conditioning. For renters, though, a window AC unit makes the most sense since it’s a much cheaper alternative to installing central air and can be taken to your next apartment. Although installing your own air conditioning unit can be intimidating, 6sqft has put together a comprehensive list of AC installation tips to help you chill out and enjoy the short and sweet summer months ahead.

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Policy

Rikers, Rikers Island, NYC

In April, Mayor de Blasio announced his support of closing the jail complex on Rikers Island after protests and calls from activists and public officials. In a proposal released Thursday, the mayor says closing Rikers will take at least ten years and will require a big decline in the number of inmates there, a drop in crime rates and significant funding. As the New York Times reported, according to the city’s 51-page report, in order to close Rikers within a decade, the population at the complex needs to drop to 5,000. Currently, the daily population is about 9,400, much lower than the average of 20,000 inmates the prison held during the 1990s.

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Architecture, City Living, real estate trends, Technology, Top Stories

crain's real estate conference, serving growing nyc population, housing crisis

As more and more people move to the Big Apple, the city is running out of room to house all of them. According to Mark Ginsberg of Curtis & Ginsberg Architects, even if the city were developed to the maximum capacity legally allowed, this would still only be enough room to house 9.5 million New Yorkers. Building up every square foot that has been zoned for development is impossible and the city’s population is projected to pass 9 million by 2040. At a real estate conference hosted by Crain’s last week architects from five different firms laid out their plan to serve the city’s swelling population and each focused on a specific borough.

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Policy, Transportation

This week, Governor Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a discounted fare for “enduring the inconvenience of a disrupted commute.” In response, the MTA said on Tuesday that the LIRR will offer fare discounts to commuters during Penn Station’s major repairs set to begin this July. The discount will average roughly 25 percent for those traveling to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point Avenue in Queens. Plus, according to Crain’s, commuters will receive free morning rush hour subway transfers from those two stations. Starting this week, discounted monthly tickets can be purchased at station vending machines.

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Design, Green Design

concept drawing, Plus Pool, Brooklyn design team, concept art, pool design, East River

A floating pool with its own river-cleaning filtration system is coming to New York City, but it has yet to find a home. The $20 million +POOL project was first announced in 2010 and originally was meant to open by this summer. However, as DNAInfo reported, the team is still working with the city to find a site for its plus-shaped swimming pool that will include four pools in one; a kiddie pool, sports pool, lap pool and a lounge pool. The pool is designed to filter the river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, allowing New Yorkers to take a dip in river water.

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real estate trends

RentCafe, Cities of Opportunity, rent burdened

Out of all of the world’s cities, New York City surprisingly does not have the most unaffordable rental market. In a report released by RENTCafe, Mexico City beats Manhattan as the worst urban area for renters, with 60 percent of their income being spent on housing. However, Manhattan continues to be extremely unaffordable, with residents putting 59 percent of their income toward rent. Affordability levels are not much better in the three other U.S. cities that made the list; Chicago, San Francisco and L.A. have rent-to-income ratios of 38, 41, and 47 percent respectively.

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Policy, Transportation

G train, NYC subway

Republican mayoral candidate, Paul Massey, unveiled a transit infrastructure plan Monday, that included an idea to create a G train loop that would travel to Manhattan to help commuters during the 15 month-L train shutdown next year. Although little details have been revealed, his plan would presumably travel through Midtown on the F train route, loop back into Queens on routes used by the M and R train and then reconnect with the G at the Court Square stop in Long Island City. While a notable idea, according to Crain’s the MTA looked over Massey’s plan and said its implementation would be impossible.

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Greenwich Village, History

Stonewall Inn, LGBTQ, historic monuments

Last June, President Obama formally recognized Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn and its surrounding area as a national historic monument, creating the first National Park Service unit dedicated to the gay rights movement. To expand the reach of this monument, Senator Chuck Schumer announced on Sunday a $1 million grant from Google to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center to begin a project preserving the oral histories and human experiences from early LGBTQ leaders present during the Stonewall Inn riots. According to the New York Times, the initiative will create an educational curriculum for students and a digital platform that’s expected to launch by the 50th anniversary of the protests in 2019.

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Architecture, Design, More Top Stories, Policy

The 172-acre Governors Island first opened as a publicly accessible outdoor space in 2005, but it’s still open just 120 days per year, with the city spending over 10 years trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this teeming-with-potential site. Just last year a new 40-acre park and playground opened, and the area is now ready for its next major revitalization. As Crain’s reports, the Trust for Governors Island will roll out a plan to create a 24/7 community with even more public parks, nonprofit tenants related to the site’s maritime history, restaurants, and five million square feet of new commercial, office, and education space.

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Policy, Red Hook

Red Hook, Brooklyn, Hurricane Sandy, storm protections

Flooding during Hurricane Sandy left many residents of Red Hook without basic services for weeks. While many had hoped the city’s $100 million initiative would help protect the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood from a 100-year flood event, a new feasibility study shows the plan would actually only protect it from a 10-year flood event. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city plans on scaling back the flood-protection system in Red Hook because of its high costs, and the study revealed a larger project could cost about $300 to $500 million more.

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Coney Island, History, Video

On this day in 1884, the country’s first roller coaster opened at Coney Island, sparking Americans’ obsession with amusement rides. Invented by LaMarcus Thompson, the ride, called the Switchback Railway, spanned 600 feet and traveled just six miles per hour. Unlike today’s coasters, the Switchback did not make a round trip loop, and passengers exited at the end of the track. The one-minute long ride cost only five cents.

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