It was a big day in New York City last Friday, when the One World Trade Center Observatory officially opened to the public, welcoming New Yorkers and tourists alike to the top of the tallest building in North America. While the view from 1,250 feet up in the air seems like the apex of the world, the folks over at the Skyscraper Museum put together this fun infographic, which compares the highest publicly-accessible tourist spaces around the world, including observation decks, bars, restaurants, and other sky-high thrills. Turns out, the One World Trade Observatory ranks 9th for observation decks and 11th for all publicly-accessible spaces.
This year is full of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law, and in marking this milestone we tend to look at all of the historic buildings that have been perfectly preserved in their appearance and function. But what about those that retain their original character, yet have a new use? The folks over at CityRealty have taken a look at this group, focusing on city landmarks that have been converted from commercial spaces into condominiums. Zoning in on the five largest landmarks (by number of units), they found that owning a piece of history will cost you. In fact, the average unit price in these Manhattan landmarks was 45 percent higher than other condos; in Brooklyn, 26 percent.
The number of skyscrapers a city can count is often a marker of how much progress they’ve made; these tall towers point to innovation, technology, ambition and most importantly, they scream “We have money!”—which of course equates to power. For the better part of the 20th century, the United States has accounted for the majority of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, but with the emergence of new economies over the last few decades, there’s been a definitive shift.
Back in March, we learned that the owner of the $100 million apartment at One57 (the most expensive sale ever in the city) pays only $17,268 in annual property taxes– “or 0.017 percent of its sale price, as if it were worth only $6.5 million,” as we noted. “In contrast, the owner of a $1.02 million condo nearby at 224 East 52nd Street is paying $24,279, or 2.38 percent of its sale price.” Why does this happen? It’s in part due to the 421-a program, which offers tax breaks for the inclusion of affordable housing and “lowers the billable-assessed value of a property to incentivize real-estate development,” according to CityLab. It’s also thanks to the city’s haphazard system for assessing market values of condos and co-ops.
In response to this growing issue of inequality, Mayor de Blasio announced just last week that he hopes to end 421-a for condos, as well as implement an even stricter mansion tax. To make the issue a bit more black-and-white, CityLab has put together two charts that show just how disproportionate the actual value of the city’s ten most-expensive apartments is compared with their property taxes. As they note, “In NYC, billionaires pay 1/100th the average property-tax rate.”
An infographic about the world’s tallest buildings is not a new idea (in fact, we’ve featured a great one, as well an interactive version, here before). But the Economist’s idea of looking at the race to the top connected with the times and world events is a fresh take. The highly detailed chart shows the tallest building constructed every year beginning in 1885. Each bar represents its height, and the color shows on what continent it was built. The chart also highlights exceptionally noteworthy buildings and certain world events that contributed to the ebb and flow of skyscraper construction over time.
We often talk about specific neighborhoods’ immigration history–Little Germany in the East Village, El Barrio in East Harlem, or the capital of Jewish America on the Lower East Side. But when we look at the city as a whole, there’s been some pretty interesting immigration patterns over its nearly-400-year history. To visualize this timeline, the data gurus over at Metrocosm have put together an interactive infographic that shows the change in these immigration waves from 1626 to 2013 and how they relate to world events regarding these given countries.
Happy Earth Day, friends! As climate change weighs heavy on many of our minds, it’s relief to know that there are developers and architects working hard to create a healthier, more sustainable built environment. Eco-friendly residential design has been on the rise in NYC over the last decade, with buildings today boasting everything from solar panels to greywater treatment to vitamin C-infused showers. CityRealty took a look at some of the newest LEED-rated constructions and green renovations sprouting up across Manhattan and found that the city counts 94 major eco-friendly projects. Another interesting tidbit: Battery Park City and West Chelsea boast the highest concentration of green buildings. How does your neighborhood stack up?
- Leading with LEED: A Look at NYC’s Eco-Friendly Housing
- Green City: Eight of the Biggest Eco-Friendly Developments Happening Right Now in NYC
- Even More Fun Maps on 6sqft
On Monday we took a look at an infographic from CityRealty that shows how much more penthouse buyers pay compared to their neighbors directly below. Analyzing the top penthouse sales recorded in 2014, they found that “high-rise top floor buyers on average shell out 11 percent more per square foot for their pads than their counterparts just below. Looking at the average selling price, this rings in at a whopping 75 percent more.” Tell us your thoughts on the findings.
Images: 30 Park Place (L); One57 (R)
Today, the Daily News reports that increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour would add $10 billion annually to city paychecks and increase earnings for almost 1.5 million people, according to an analysis by City Comptroller Scott Stringer. Says the paper, “The typical family getting the boost would spend $1,100 to $1,800 more a year on housing, and up to $600 on groceries, $400 on entertainment, and $300 eating out, Stringer predicted.”
How would this increase in spending compare to a given family’s financial patterns before the minimum wage hike? The Washington Post has used newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to analyze where the poor and rich spend really spend their money. Looking at four categories (housing, transportation, food, and pensions/life insurance) and three classes (low, middle, and high), the results are mainly as to be expected. The rich spend more all around, but as a percentage of their total income, they spend less; the middle class spends the most on transportation; and basically all Americans have similar spending patterns when it comes to groceries. But the big difference between the upper and lower classes is saving. “For every dollar they spend at the grocery store, the poorest households save 12 cents, while the wealthy sock away $3.07 in pensions and life insurance.”
30 Park Place
So maybe you don’t get the coveted “PH” in your address, but you will save tens of millions of dollars by “slumming it” on the floor just below. The data gurus over at CityRealty analyzed the top penthouse sales recorded in 2014 and found that high-rise top floor buyers on average shell out 11 percent more per square foot for their pads than their counterparts just below. Looking at the average selling price, this rings in at a whopping 75 percent more.
Is the PH premium worth it? Let us know what you think in the comments.