All posts by Michelle Cohen

Michelle is a New York-based writer and content strategist who has worked extensively with lifestyle brands like Seventeen, Country Living, Harper’s Bazaar and iVillage. In addition to being a copywriter for a digital media agency she writes about culture, New York City neighborhoods, real estate, style, design and technology among other topics. She has lived in a number of major US cities on both coasts and in between and loves all things relating to urbanism and culture.

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Cool Listings, Interiors, Upper East Side

$1.4M mod duplex is part of a rare Upper East Side enclave

By Michelle Cohen, Today, November 21, 2017

In a city that seems to be growing more homogenous each day, this listing is one of the exceptions. Tucked away in plain sight on an Upper East Side street that ends in a cul-de-sac overlooking the East River, this floor-through duplex at 527 East 72nd Street is a rare oasis. Bookended by two petite public parks, the co-op complex consists of four wood-clad 1894 townhouses painted black and white. Within, the two-bedroom apartment is just as dreamy and beautifully renovated with clean, modern finishes that continue the feeling of having escaped the bustle of Manhattan. Asking $1.395 million, the home spans two levels and has a laundry room, a separate office, two baths and a powder room–and there’s plenty of living space left over.

Get a closer look

Architecture, Midtown West, More Top Stories, Transportation, Urban Design

Drawing of the original Penn Station, re-created. Credit: Jeff Stikeman for Rebuild Penn Station

In August 6sqft reported that major work was underway in the $1.6 billion transformation of Penn Station’s James A. Farley Building into a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-foot “world-class 21st century transportation hub” called Moynihan Train Hall. That hasn’t stopped the flow of suggestions for how to best make use of New Yorkers’ un-favorite transport hub, which have included Practice for Architecture and Urbanism founder Vishaan Chakrabarti’s proposal to repurpose, then move the old building to create a neighborhood gathering spot and a plan by Columbia University’s DeathLab  to turn the the station into a landscaped cemetery. Among those voices-with-a-vision is Rebuild Penn Station, a group of architects and preservationists whose intent is to recreate the original McKim, Mead and White-designed Penn Station, and a new ad campaign aims to get commuters on board (h/t Curbed).

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Cool Listings, West Village 

This one-bedroom co-op at 352 West 12th Street has exactly the kind of West Village charm–inside and out–that makes the neighborhood one of the city’s most sought-after–and makes even its tiniest spaces among the most fought-over. Asking $825,000–in keeping with the neighborhood’s complete lack of perspective in the area of real estate value–what’s essentially an alcove studio with a privacy-enhancing wall has been blessed with interior design and finishes that make every square foot a joy to behold. It may not “astound with surprises,” as the listing offers, but it’s a surprisingly chic little flat, two flights up, with a lovely common garden shared the trio of 19th-century townhouses that comprise the co-op.

Take a look, this way

adaptive reuse, Architecture, Midtown West, New Developments

5 Manhattan West. Photo: Laurian Ghinitoiu via REX Architecture

Brookfield Office Properties offered a look at the second building in the nearly-six-million-square-foot, six-building Manhattan West project to be completed. The 16-story office building known as 5 Manhattan West, where Amazon signed a lease for a 360,000-square-foot space, is approaching completion on Tenth Avenue between West 31st and 33rd Streets across from Hudson Yards. Archpaper shares images of the building’s sparkling new look and interiors, the result of some fancy architectural footwork by REX. The 1969 Brutalist office building was nearly everyone’s example of ugly since a 1980s renovation left it clad in brown metal and beige paint. The rechristened building’s new facade wraps it in sleek, form-fitting pleated glass that does more than just look pretty.

More images of the 21st century transformation, this way

affordable housing, Design, Technology, Urban Design

framlab, homed, 3d-printed housing, homeless, modular housing, tiny homes

Image: Framlab

The growing population of homeless New Yorkers is sending creative agency Framlab up a wall–literally. The Oslo- and New York City-based agency has proposed a way to provide shelter for the city’s homeless in an arrangement of 3D-printed micro-neighborhoods comprised of hexagonal modules designed to attach to a scaffold structure, creating a second layer of properties, basically, alongside a building’s empty wall (h/t designboom). In the project, called “Homed,” the modular pods can be clustered together, creating a “cellular mosaic” with their fronts facing the street.

Way better than giant ads

Midtown West, real estate trends

ONE57 tower new york christian de portzamparc

Image © Wade Zimmerman courtesy of Agence Christian de Portzamparc (ACDP)

A full-floor, 6,240-square-foot penthouse at Midtown billionaires’ bunker One57 recently sold to an unidentified high bidder–one of five contenders–at a foreclosure auction for $36 million. That number is 29 percent lower than the original $50.9 million price shelled out by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Akanni Aluko for the newly-minted condo in 2014. The fire sale was the fourth resale in the 1,004-foot-tall Billionaire’s Row flagship trophy tower to trade at a loss, according to data from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc., reports Bloomberg. The latest example is the largest discount to date on one of the pricey properties, all of which sends a message to buyers with plans to cash in on the ultra-luxury units in short order. And there are currently 16 apartments at the building listed for sale, most of them by the developer.

Read on

Architecture, Midtown, More Top Stories

stephen a. scwartzman builing, new york public library, nypl, stacks, beyer blinder belle, mecanoo

New 40th Street entrance. Credit: Mecanoo with Beyer Blinder Belle

At a Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday evening, The New York Public Library revealed the $317 million master plan that will guide the renovation of the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The plan was developed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and the NYC-based Beyer Blinder Belle. The historic Midtown Beaux-Arts building is home to one of the nation’s leading research libraries as well as historic spaces like the landmarked Rose Main Reading Room, the Maps, Periodicals, and Genealogy reading rooms, and Astor Hall.

This way for more renderings and what’s to come

affordable housing, Bronx, housing lotteries

Rendering of 233 Landing Road via Edelman Sultan Knox Wood / Architects

Applications are now being accepted for 24 new affordable rentals at 233 Landing Road in the University Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. The newly-minted elevator building will offer residents a computer lab, a live-in super, bicycle storage, a community room and an on-site laundry room. Qualifying New Yorkers earning 50 and 60 percent of the area median income may apply for units ranging from a $714/month one-bedroom to a $1,058/month two-bedroom.

Find out more, this way

affordable housing, Policy

bill de blasio, housing new york 2.0, affordable housing

Image: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Calling it “Housing New York 2.0,” Mayor Bill de Blasio has just released a new road map to his goal of building and preserving 300,000 affordable New York City homes–100,000 more than his previous pledge. The plan accelerates and expands the production of new housing, fights tenant displacement, creates more housing for seniors and working families and provides new home ownership tools. Among the more technologically advanced strategies outlined are plans to use innovative smaller homes on vacant lots that are too small for traditional housing and the expansion of modular buildings and micro-units.

Mitchell-Lama, vacant lots, modular building and micro-units, this way

adaptive reuse, Crown Heights, Policy

BEDFORD UNION ARMORY, KINGSBRIDGE ARMORY, MAYOR DE BLASIO, NYC ARMORIES, PARK AVENUE ARMORY, Laurie Cumbo, Affordable housing, adaptive reuse, historic buildings

Rendering of the Bedford Courts development planned for the Bedford-Union Armory; image: BFC Partners/Bedford Courts

Amid growing opposition, the proposed Crown Heights Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project began its evaluation by the City Council at a hearing Tuesday on land use applications filed by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), amNewYork reports. The massive armory, once housing for the National Guard, became city property in 2013. The EDC plans to sell the property to developer BFC Partners for the creation of 56 condos, of which 20 percent would be income restricted. The remaining market rate condos would help pay for the rest of the project, which would be leased by BFC Partners and would include 330 rentals (165 affordable), office space and a recreation center. Critics say the city is setting a dangerous precedent by leasing public land for private use, especially when market-rate condos are included. The de Blasio administration has championed the recreation center and housing, but the plan has has come under fire by neighborhood advocacy groups and has had an uphill battle in achieving the City Council approval it needs.

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