All posts by Michelle Colman

Michelle writes children’s books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle’s first children’s book, “Urban Babies Wear Black.” Michelle has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics. Whenever possible, Michelle and her family love exploring cities all over the world together. Follow her on twitter @urbanbabies

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Featured Story

Features, real estate trends, Red Hook, Transportation

Photo of Fairway on the Red Hook waterfront, via CityRealty

The story of Red Hook is ripe for a movie-rights bidding war. In the past, there were mobsters and maritime ports, hurricanes and housing developments. Now there are politicians and developers fighting to rebuild and locals fighting back. In the end, what will happen to Red Hook is unknown but none of the massive proposals will happen in the near future. It is a small community in a big city that is tackling the issue many neighborhoods have dealt with in the past – how to grow.

After the massive Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort, there is a very solid and passionate local population and a growing cluster of cool restaurants, retailers, and artists attracted to the area. That coupled with the recent political attention by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio and the developers drooling over the possibilities of the 130 acres of land ripe for redevelopment (that’s six times the size of the $25 billion Hudson Yards development) make Red Hook very newsworthy.

Transportation, development, and more

Featured Story

Features, Hudson Square, New Developments, real estate trends

Hudson Square is undergoing another transformation. The neighborhood was once known as the Printing District because of the printing companies attracted to the large concrete and steel factory buildings located close to their Wall Street clients. In the 1970s and ‘80s, technology and design companies replaced the printing industry, attracted by the architecture, location, transportation options, and affordable rents. But the area is once again evolving. This time it’s experiencing a boom of what developers and realtors call “affordable luxury” condominiums (in the $1 – $2 million range) due to the largest privately-initiated rezoning efforts in the history of New York City. Not only is the neighborhood growing in height and residences but a large fund has been set aside to increase the neighborhood’s commercial mix, greenery, and traffic flow.

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City Living, holidays

Photo courtesy of Steven Pisano on Flickr

Not sure how much to tip your doorman this holiday season? Triplemint has released its very own, first-of-its-kind “Holiday Doorman Tip-O-Meter” to dynamically calculate exactly how much tip you should give. With six quick questions (ranging from your building size to how generous a tipper you are), the Tip-O-Meter immediately generates a minimum-maximum tip range suggestion.

The program’s algorithm is based on data collected from surveys conducted on over 100 NYC doormen in major neighborhoods in Manhattan. NYC doormen were asked: How much do you recommend you give residents this year (based on apartment size Studio, 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom, 3-Bedroom +)? Do you expect More/Same/Less than last year? And what is the size of your building?

Tips on tipping this way

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, People

In architect Morris Adjmi’s new book, “A Grid and a Conversation,” he describes his ongoing conversation between context and design. On any project, Adjmi balances three dichotomies: standing out while fitting in, respecting history while not being frozen in time, and creating “ambient” architecture while gaining popularity. 6sqft sat down with Adjmi to find out more about his work philosophy, art exhibits, love of Shaker design, and awesome opening night parties with custom-made drinks.

Hear from Morris Adjmi himself

Featured Story

condos, Features, New Developments, Nolita, Starchitecture

Before 152 Elizabeth Street, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando had never designed a building in New York City. The ultra-high-end, seven-unit, seven-story Nolita condominium is currently on the rise at the corner of Elizabeth and Kenmare Streets. Every detail of this Ando building reflects the famed architect’s philosophy that, “a living space should be a sanctuary. It has to be a place where you can reflect on your life.” Ando’s signature use of concrete and glass creates a strong yet minimalist beauty that finds balance at a location on the convergence of numerous neighborhoods. As architecture critic Carter Horsley puts it, “152 Elizabeth is not a dramatic masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest architects but a very refined and subtle ‘enclosure’ with wonderful detailing, a delightful surprise in this brand new, gee-whiz world of starchitects.”

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Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interiors, Interviews

The Brooklyn Home Company (THBCo) is a family-run cooperative of artists and builders that develop unique residential spaces in booming Brooklyn. Best described as white and wood but never cookie cutter, their work is always light and airy, and blend modern style with historic elements. It’s this signature style that’s made THBCo a favorite amongst both renovators and Pinterest enthusiasts alike.

But what inspires their designs and how do they decide where to develop projects? Ahead, 6sqft speaks to THBCo’s co-founder and Head of Operations, Bill Caleo, about the business. Find out how this family-run establishment firmly roots itself in working with local makers, how they’ve grown their business model to include sustainability, and why they always add a custom piece of art to all their homes.

our interview with bill here

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends

New York City is known for its cutthroat housing market but less attention is given to the even more brutal world parking in NYC. As development increases, fewer parking spots exist. Not only do developments fill neighborhoods with more people and, therefore, more demand for parking, it often reduces parking by developing surface lots that had previously been used for parking. It’s the classic problem of increasing demand and decreasing supply. But while plenty of apps have been developed to bring relief through on-demand valet or the crowd-sourcing of vacant street parking, other companies see a more substantial solution that not only adds parking but adds value. Enter The Parking Club—and its six-figure parking spaces.

HOW ONE COMPANY SEES BIG DOLLARS IN PARKING, AT CITYREALTY…

Featured Story

City Living, Features, Policy, Urban Design

mao of nyc pops

The Atlantic and the New York Times recently exposed the privately owned public spaces (known as “POPS”) in the Trump Tower as being far from “public.” As both journalists demonstrated, most of the Trump Tower public spaces were either cordoned off or non-existent, most notably, the case of the missing bench. A long bench was supposed to be available to the public in the main lobby but was removed as Donald Trump explained, “due to tremendous difficulties with respect to the bench—drug addicts, vagrants, et cetera have come to the atrium in large numbers. Additionally, all sorts of ‘horrors’ had been taking place that effectively ruined the beautiful ambience of the space which everyone loves so much.” In exchange for providing the POPS, the Trump Tower was able to add roughly 20 extra floors for the 66-story building by including a public atrium, restrooms, two upper-level public gardens and the now replaced bench. So what exactly are POPS, how are they monitored and is there a way to make them more successful?

READ MORE AT CITYREALTY…

Featured Story

Architecture, Chelsea, Features, hudson yards, New Developments

Google Earth rendering created by CityRealty

It is not often that a single block stands out in a city like New York. But a huge transformation is occurring at the junction of 29th Street. West 29th Street, in between 10th and 11th avenues, is the transition point between three neighborhoods: West Chelsea, Hudson Yards and the Far West Side. The massive changes on West 29th Street are due to the West Chelsea zoning regulations developed in 2005. Foreseeing the seismic Hudson Yards development, Mayor Bloomberg changed the zoning status to allow for more flexible residential and commercial development to ease the transition from West Chelsea to Hudson Yards and the High Line (the zoning area is bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from West 30th Street south to West 16th Street). Ahead is a closer look at the more than handful of new developments transforming this block.

MORE AT CITYREALTY…

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, People

Some architects just consider the building they are working on. But Eran Chen, the founder and executive director of ODA, Office for Design and Architecture, takes a broader view. Not only does he focus on the specific architecture for each building project but he considers the spaces the building creates, the way the architecture can affect people on emotional levels, and the vitality of the city, all as equally important. Chen’s work evokes cities of the past when amenities were provided by the built environment, not the buildings themselves. He designs with an innovative and sleek modernity while seeking to recreate cities that function as a whole versus disassociated parts.

Ahead CityRealty interviews Eran Chan about how his philosophy fits into his New York City designs.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE…

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