Features

Featured Story

Architecture, Cool Listings, Features, Landscape Architecture

Flowerbox Building, Living Wall, Vertical Garden, Landscape Architecture, NYC condo

Built in 2007, The Flowerbox condo building at 259 East Seventh Street, about mid-way between Avenues C and D, is considered by many to be one of the city’s most beautiful new developments–and definitely a neighborhood standout, featuring a vertical garden that waters itself.

The building boom that started with the 21st century and has continued apace since the end of the most recent economic downturn has given Downtown Manhattan an impressive collection of starchitect-designed creations, complete with Sky Garages, Boxwood Mazes and plenty of glass curtain walls. But the Flowerbox Building continues to charm with its design, quality and curb appeal.

Find out about the vertical

Featured Story

East Village, Features, History

Little Germany, St. Mark's Place

Before there were sports bars and college dorms, there were bratwurst and shooting clubs. In 1855, New York had the third largest German-speaking population in the world, outside of Vienna and Berlin, and the majority of these immigrants settled in what is today the heart of the East Village.

Known as “Little Germany” or Kleindeutschland (or Dutchtown by the Irish), the area comprised roughly 400 blocks, with Tompkins Square Park at the center. Avenue B was called German Broadway and was the main commercial artery of the neighborhood. Every building along the avenue followed a similar pattern–workshop in the basement, retail store on the first floor, and markets along the partly roofed sidewalk. Thousands of beer halls, oyster saloons, and grocery stores lined Avenue A, and the Bowery, the western terminus of Little Germany, was filled with theaters.

The bustling neighborhood began to lose its German residents in the late nineteenth century when Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe move in, and a horrific disaster in 1904 sealed the community’s fate.

Read our full history of Kleindeutschland

Featured Story

City Living, Features, real estate trends, Upper East Side

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side isn’t just for your grandparents anymore. Photo by Ed Yourdon cc

There’s been so much talk lately about how the Upper East Side is the next cool ‘hood–this guy even says it’s cooler than Brooklyn–and while that may be true (the neighborhood’s got a Meatball Shop; is there really any use denying it anymore?), we have our sights set slightly farther north.

The high 80’s and 90’s, clustered between Park and 1st Avenues, is a hot spot for young professionals who are looking for little more culture and a little less of the bro-tastic bar scene, as well as for just-starting-out families who want a community feel, but not the sky-high rents of Park Avenue and Museum Mile. A slew of new residential developments are popping up in the area, as are fun, independent restaurants and bars. And this piece of Manhattan offers almost just the same transportation convenience as the Upper East Side proper, but with lower rents and a calmer feel.

More on the new Upper East Side

Featured Story

Architecture, Brooklyn, Features, Manhattan, real estate trends

phillip lehman mansion

For Manhattan’s jet-set crowd, the 2010s are starting to look an awful lot like the 1900s.

New York’s upper crust are embracing a return to the Gilded Age, moving out of their fancy penthouses, co-ops and lofts and into opulent single-family mansions. From Aby Rosen’s quest to build the largest private mansion on Park Avenue to Jared Kushner’s conversion of three former Brooklyn Law School buildings into single-family townhouses—the most affluent buyers are now on the hunt for New York’s ultimate trophy prize.

More on makeshift mansions

Featured Story

Features, real estate trends, Transportation

nyc parking

Car-owing New Yorkers can probably recite year-round alternative-side parking laws on cue, but most will also tell you how they loathe circling their block for 20 minutes, tracking which days to stay put, the inconvenience of babysitting a spot before the switch, figuring out a cluster of parking signs or, worse yet, arguing with a paid-for parking squatter. It often drives one batty.

Yet, there is an option and that’s paying for a monthly but costly sliver of asphalt—hopefully an elevator ride away or at the very least, a quick walk a few doors down. However, the key word here is “paying” and if you live in New York, that slice of space could put you back a pretty penny, especially if you’re shoveling out dollars for one in a new development.

Unless you’ve been living under a real estate rock, there’s no doubt you’ve read about the $1 million dollar spaces at 42 Crosby Street’s garage in SoHo. Is this lofty price tag for parking a market first? Nope.

more on the price of parking here

Featured Story

Features, Goldilocks Blocks, Historic Homes, Neighborhoods

Goldilocks Blocks: Vanderbilt Avenue in Wallabout, Brooklyn

By Michelle Cohen, Mon, September 29, 2014

Wallabout, Fort Greene, historic homes, wood frame house, Vanderbilt Avenue

Between hyper-developed hotspots, main drags in up-and-comers, and those genuinely avoidable areas, there can often be found a city’s “just-right” zones. They aren’t commonly known, but these micro-neighborhoods often hide within them real estate gems coupled with perfectly offbeat vibes. Continuing our Goldilocks Blocks series, this week we turn to Brooklyn.

The culturally rich, architecturally stunning Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill need little introduction. The Brooklyn Navy Yard to the north is busily growing as a start-up business incubator and creative and commercial hub. An “in-between” zone—the sort of area that engenders a question mark and a furrowed brow when perusing neighborhood maps—lies just north of Myrtle Avenue and south of the Navy Yard.

Known as Wallabout, the area was named for Wallabout Bay to the north, much of which was filled in to create the Navy Yard in the 19th century. Unique among its neighbors, a block-long stretch of this border district feels more like a small-town side street than a growing urban crossroads.

Find out what makes this historic block so special, and why it’s likely to stay that way.

Featured Story

City Living, Features, real estate trends

The Top 15 Family-Friendly Buildings in NYC

By Elijah Quinton, Mon, September 29, 2014

family-friendly nyc buildings

Last week, we talked to five families currently raising children in New York City’s many diverse and multifaceted neighborhoods about why they pick city living over the suburbs, and most of our readers agreed that they prefer an urban upbringing to the more “traditional” suburban childhood.

But once you’ve decided to raise your children in the Big Apple, it can be tough deciding which neighborhood is best for your family. Many factors come into play: What are the best schools in the area? What amenities does the building offer? Are there playgrounds nearby? How secure is the building? And the list goes on. But to make the process a little easier, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best family-friendly buildings in New York City.

Check out our list here

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Landscape Architecture, New Yorker Spotlight, People, Staten Island, Urban Design

Eloise Hirsch, Freshkills Park

Similar to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s grand ideas for Central Park, there is a vision for the 2,200 acres of reclaimed land at the former Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island. Where trash once piled up for as far as the eye could see, the site is now a blossoming park full of wildlife and recreational activities.

The Park Administrator overseeing this incredible transformation is Eloise Hirsh. Eloise is a major force behind the largest landfill-to-park conversion in the world to date. In her role as Freshkills Park Administrator, she makes sure the park progresses towards its completion date in 2035, and regularly engages with New Yorkers to keep them informed and excited.

6sqft recently spoke with Eloise to learn more about Fresh Kills’ history, what it takes to reclaim land, and what New Yorkers can expect at the park today and in the years to come.

Read the full interview here

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History, Urban Design

ruin porn

In the internet hierarchy of “things the internets like”, we’d argue that ruin porn sits wedged somewhere between Buzzfeed quizzes and cats. Images of decaying architecture conjure up unsettling feelings of tragedy and loss, but somehow manage to grip us with its intangible beauty. Whatever the cause for this may be, the thrill and enjoyment we get from looking ruin porn is palpable.

The term ‘ruin porn’ is said to have been coined by blogger James Griffioen during a 2009 interview with Vice magazine in which he criticized photographers who scouted down-trodden Detroit for provocative photos. While ruin porn is the trend at hand, decades before its arrival there was something called ‘ruin value’.

learn more about ruin value

Featured Story

Celebrities, Features, Historic Homes, real estate trends, Upper East Side

Timeless Trophy: 740 Park Avenue

By Dana Schulz, Thu, September 25, 2014

740 park avenue

New York City may have an ever-revolving cast of hottest restaurants, hippest clubs, and even most desirable neighborhoods, but some real estate titans never go out of style in this metropolis. Known as the “Tower of Power,” 740 Park Avenue is one such mainstay.

The Upper East Side 19-story, Art Deco building was completed in 1930 to the designs of Rosario Candela, often considered the finest architect of luxury apartment interiors, as the last of the grand dames erected along Manhattan’s Gold Coast. It didn’t reach its peak until the real estate boom of the 1980s, but is today one of the most sought-after addresses with 31 apartments, mostly all duplexes, triplexes, and penthouses. The massively scaled residences feature grand living rooms, formal dining rooms, spiral staircases, high ceilings, expansive foyers, and an abundance of windows.

Plenty more on this timeless trophy residence and its long list of well known inhabitants

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