Developers are increasingly using art as a way to turn their buildings into more than just stacks of expensive apartments. Many see adding sculptures or installations as ways to activate a place, making it an integral part of the urban experience. But while most are eager to jump on the biggest names in the business, there are others that prefer to look locally for talent, using art as an opportunity to invest in the community in which they are building. One such company is Two Trees Management, which believes that “developers and property-owners must play a fundamental role in cultivating livable streetscapes.” To that end, Two Trees sponsors local creatives to work with them on their buildings, and for one of their most transformative Brooklyn projects, 300 Ashland, they commissioned local artist, designer and product inventor, Adam Frank (who lives less than two miles from the building) to install a stunning, large-scale, mirrored artwork, called LUCID.
Ahead, CityRealty speaks to Frank about his dreamy, out-of-the-box creation, and Lisa Kim, Two Tree’s Cultural Affairs Director, about the company’s community-driven approach to art and real estate.
READ MORE HERE…
Developer and architect Daniel Kohs isn’t one of New York’s heavyweight developers. He’s not one to pursue glossy, big-ticket skyscrapers containing thousands of square feet of ubiquitous space. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that there’s a lot to be gained from “transformation.” Best yet, preserving the integrity and culture of existing structures, even if they’re humble in size and utility, can be just as profitable. The Danville House at 178 East 94th Street is a product of such transformation. The once-humble garage building has just finished its conversion into an eight-story mansion on a tree-lined side-street in the Upper East Side. Now on the market for $18 million, the single-family abode holds 9,500 square feet of living space finished in a magnificent prewar aesthetic.
Recently, CityRealty had a chance to sit down with Daniel Kohs to learn more about this one-of-a-kind home and the inspiration behind his tasteful addition to Carnegie Hill.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL ON CITYREALTY…
There are a number of towers on the rise poised to change the New York City skyline, but few are anticipated to have an impact as significant as One Vanderbilt. Developed by SL Green and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the glassy supertall will extend an incredible 1,401 feet into the clouds to become the city’s third tallest tower (following One World Trade Center and the in-progress Central Park Tower) while also bringing a staggering 1.7 million square feet of office space to Midtown Manhattan. But beyond its height and girth, this massive development is expected to elevate its surroundings a profound way. Indeed, the enshadowed “iconic but aging” district surrounding Grand Central, long-deprived of public space and life beyond weary commuters, will be turned into a verdant block dedicated to all New Yorkers.
6sqft’s interview with the architects this way
Renters can enjoy Brooklyn townhouse living in all its glory here at 306 State Street, a Boerum Hill property now asking $12,000 a month. The 25-foot landmark home spans three floors and holds five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and an upgraded chef’s kitchen. Better yet, a dramatic glass extension was added to the back of the home, making for a sunroom you don’t see in many historic New York townhouses.
Check it out
Jeff Simpson, the CEO of Greystone Development, is due to celebrate his ten year anniversary with the company this February. In his decade with the real estate firm, founded in 1992, he has overseen Greystone’s reemergence into the New York market by tapping into emerging neighborhoods around the city. Before he joined Greystone, Simpson worked with the Equity Office Properties team, helping reposition a number of their New York City office buildings, and oversaw over $100 million of redevelopment projects for Jones Lang LaSalle.
Simpson has more or less done it all when it comes to real estate, holding roles in investment, construction, engineering and management across all sectors of the market. At Greystone, he oversees the firm’s development team, managing new acquisitions as well as design, construction, sale and leasing. CityRealty spoke with Simpson on how the company has distinguished itself as a New York developer since it ramped up its investments in 2012, taking on projects in City Island, Brooklyn and Harlem. He also filled us in on new projects the company will debut next year—and the one development that’s most meaningful to him.
READ THE INTERVIEW AT CITYREALTY…
Skyscraper heights may be what make news headlines, but at the end of the day it’s the call of a stunning interior that gets a contract signed.
Developers of New York City’s most luxurious buildings understand this well, and it’s why the same bold-faced names in interior design are often associated with the most splendid of buildings. One firm that has firmly cemented its place on this esteemed shortlist is Pembrooke & Ives. Established in 1987 by Andrew Sheinman, Pembrooke & Ives has worked on everything from sprawling lodge interiors in Aspen to outfitting private jets for the world’s 1 percent. And here in NYC, the firm has been involved in designing the interiors for a number of much-talked about residential buildings, including The Chatsworth at 344 West 72nd Street, The Astor at 235 West 75th Street, 155 East 79th Street, and what some call the ultimate Manhattan address, 212 Fifth Avenue (In fact, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin recently toured a $16.6 million spread at the building). Ahead we catch up with founder Andrew Sheinman about the evolution of Pembrooke & Ives, what it’s like to work with game-changing developers like Thor and Madison Equities, what influences his firm’s work, and more.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW AT CITYREALTY…
After working for decades advocating for transit equity and environmental justice at various organizations, Ya-Ting Liu came on board as the Executive Director of Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector. It’s been almost a year since the non-profit advocacy group first released a proposal for a streetcar to run along the borough’s waterfront, and since that time the city has stepped in to back the estimated $2.5 billion project, even appointing a director and creating preliminary maps of the streetcar’s possible routes. As one of several transportation undertakings on the table, the BQX certainly has a big year ahead. 6sqft recently sat down with Ya-Ting To get the scoop on what’s to come, as well as some insider thoughts on the streetcar’s common misconceptions.
Read the full interview this way
In 1986, Kenneth Lewis began his career architecture firm SOM as a mere junior designer. Now fast forward to present day and Lewis can be found at the front-lines of the globally recognized company serving as a partner. Over his 30-year tenure with SOM, Lewis has been in involved in the realization of game-changing developments like the Time Warner Center, 7 and One World Trade Center, 250 West 55th Street, and the Manhattan West Development. Promoting SOM’s work in sustainable design has also been a longtime passion for Lewis who serves, too, as the principal of the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology, or CASE, a research collaboration between SOM and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. CASE focuses on the development of sustainable new technologies in material science, building systems, and construction.
In many ways, Lewis’ work goes beyond simply building; it speaks to the way people live and work and the elements that foster health and happiness. Ahead, CityRealty speaks to the architect about his career, and how he and his team at SOM approach designing in a storied but dynamic metropolis that often poses unique challenges.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH KENNETH LEWIS…
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…
Finished in 1927, 100 Barclay is one of New York City’s most pivotal structures. Designed by one of our country’s most esteemed architects, Ralph Walker, while he was an associate at McKenzie Voorhees & Gmelin, the tower began construction in 1923, during a time marked by a dramatic shift in architecture and the beginning of the Roaring Twenties. Originally known as the Barclay-Vesey Building, the 32-story building ascends to a height of nearly 500 feet, which made it one of globe’s tallest towers upon completion. The voluminous building was also built as the largest telephone company building in the world, encompassing more than 1.2 million square feet of office and telecommunication space. Its Hugh Ferris-inspired massing, and nature-influenced ornamentation stands as a monument to man’s prowess and the machine age, and is widely recognized by architects and historians to be the first Art Deco skyscraper, a prototypical example of the style in its finest form.
hear from the architects who have worked on this project
The Brooklyn Navy Yard has since its inception acted as a pole for the cutting edge and creative, from its time as the “The Can-Do Shipyard” where U.S. warships assembled, to present day as urban farmers, photographers and filmmakers carve out spaces for themselves on the campus’ more than 300 acres. But the latest most notable addition to the Navy Yard is most certainly New Lab. New Lab is the creation of Macro Sea (who many will remember brought dumpster pools to NYC a few years ago) and is a revolutionary hub that turns an 84,000-square-foot former shipping building into a thinkspace for nearly 300 engineers and entrepreneurs working in advanced hardware and robotics. Here, members whose work include everything from designing nano microscopes to using synthetic biology to engineer cities can take their ideas from concept to prototype to production under one roof. It’s what the founders are calling “a breakthrough ecosystem of shared resources.”
In this 6sqft feature, we speak to New Lab’s co-founder and Macro Sea Executive Director and founder David Belt. David is also the founder and Managing Partner of DBI, which is currently managing the realization of the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center, amongst other high-profile projects around the city. Ahead, he takes us through the new facility and gives us some intel on what inspired the design, the cutting edge companies that have taken up space, and what he ultimately hopes to achieve with New Lab.
Learn more about New Lab with David here
, Fri, September 30, 2016
If you’ve ever visited The Metropolitan Museum of Art and watched an artist working at a canvas or sculpting amongst the museum’s larger than life pieces, then you’ve seen the Copyist Program in action. Founded in 1872, two years after The Met first opened, the program has provided countless artists the opportunity to copy the great works that fill the museum’s numerous galleries.
The Copyist Program is overseen by The Met’s Department of Education, and Maya Valladares, an artist focusing on textiles, serves as the its Assistant Educator for Public Programs and Creative Practice. Her role requires her to create holistic experiences through the museum’s public programming, and through the Copyist Program, she works to enhance the experience of copying for the students and cohorts that come through the museum’s doors.
6sqft recently spoke with Maya, who shared details about the program’s rich history, what copying offers artists, and what it’s like to duplicate the works of a world-class museum.
Read the interview here
, Tue, September 27, 2016
The art of architectural illustration paints a window into the future and intends to portray a designer’s vision or work in its purest, most ideal light. As the art form has progressed from hand mediums to digital, Ernest Burden III and his studio Acme Digital have straddled the industry’s dramatic transformation using both computer and manual approaches to inform and improve what they produce. As a renderer with more than 30 years in the industry, Ernest’s roster of clients include some of the country’s biggest real estate heavyweights, such as the Trump Organization, Related Companies and Tishman-Speyer Properties; and renowned architectural clients like I.M. Pei, Robert A.M. Stern and Kohn Pedersen Fox. Recently, Ernest completed a collection of renderings and detailed vignettes for Toll Brothers‘ and Barry Rice Architects‘ 100 Barrow Street. In the series, he effortlessly juxtaposes the timeless intent of the new structure with the energy of the surrounding West Villlage. In fact, Ernest’s renderings played a considerable role in the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s vote to approve the project in 2014.
To learn more about Ernest’s unique style and his thoughts on the evolving business and craft of architectural rendering, 6sqft sat down with him for a chat.
read our interview with ernest here
, Fri, September 23, 2016
In a city with a museum in an elevator shaft and another all about transit history, it should come as no surprise that there’s a museum dedicated to math. Located across from Madison Square Park, the National Museum of Mathematics is an institution devoted to the numerous possibilities that numbers hold. Since opening in 2012, MoMath has been a place for visitors of all ages to gets hands on with the subject through interactive exhibits that explore conundrums like how it’s possible for a square-wheeled tricycle to pedal on a circular, curved surface. And as of last week, the museum offers the chance to drive remote-controlled cars on either a Möbius strip or a trefoil track in the newly opened Twisted Thruway.
6sqft recently visited the museum to speak with Executive Director and CEO Cindy Lawrence about the importance of making math interactive and most importantly, fun.
Read the interview ahead
, Fri, September 16, 2016
Catie and Jon Hamm by Andrew Walker courtesy of Shutterstock
Catie Lazarus might have one of the coolest jobs in New York, interviewing the likes of actor Jon Hamm, singer Patti LuPone, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power, and even a hand model. As the host of Employee of the Month, a live interview series at Joe’s Pub, Catie delves deep into her interviewees’ careers, adding in some of her own fun (she used to be a stand-up comic) alongside Lin Manuel Miranda’s Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip hop host band, and a sketch illustrator. 6sqft recently reversed roles, offering Catie the chance to be the interviewee and talk about her job.
Read the interview here
, Wed, September 14, 2016
Francis Greenburger is the definition of a Renaissance man. Beyond running the full-service real estate firm Time Equities, Inc., he also helms the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice, he serves as Chairman of the literary agency Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc., and he is also deeply involved with the OMI International Arts Center—and this is on top of the numerous non-profits he consults for. So where does one person find the time for so many activities? CityRealty has got the answer from the man himself. Ahead Mr. Greenburger discusses his day job, his extracurriculars, and above all, what it’s like to have a hand in the transformation of FiDi from a place of work to a destination for luxury living with his new tower 50 West.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH FRANCIS GREENBURGER HERE…
The closing of Streit’s Matzo Factory last year was difficult for many long-time Lower East Siders to stomach. The factory was a near century-old institution that represented a bygone era untouched by gentrification. Unsurprisingly as a result, the condos designed to rise on the storied site have come under the scrutiny since their debut. But those grievances reveal just one side of the story.
In two fascinating interviews ahead, Cogswell Realty developer Arthur Stern and Gluck+ architect Charlie Kaplan share with us how they approached the redevelopment of the historic building located at 150 Rivington, as well as their inspiration for the glassy new structure that will replace it. The pair also speak about their relationship with Streit family throughout the process, and why the Streit’s departure ultimately had little to do with cost or gentrification.
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVELOPER HERE…
READ THE INTERVIEW WITH THE ARCHITECT HERE…
If you’re walking on East 7th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A or in the West Village on 7th Avenue near Christopher Street and see a long line on the sidewalk coupled with smiling faces walking by with ice cream cones, you’ve found Big Gay Ice Cream. The two shops are places where ice cream is not scooped, but swirled, in offerings that have become famous not only for their imaginative ingredients, but their fabulous names. There’s the Bea Arthur, named after the “Golden Girls” actress and activist, comprised of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche and crushed ‘nilla wafter; the Cococone with chocolate ice cream and toasted curry coconut; and perhaps their most well-known, the Salty Pimp, made up of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, sea salt, and a chocolate dip.
One of the visionaries behind Big Gay is Douglas Quint, who, along with Bryan Petroff, founded the business in 2009. While it started out as a summer experiment when the two opened an ice cream truck, it quickly developed into something much bigger (a third location recently opened in Philadelphia and the duo published a cookbook last year). 6sqft recently spoke with Douglas to discuss all the magic that takes place at Big Gay, including how the flavors come to be, their three locations, and the best time to stop by for a cone.
The full interview ahead
Industry City is a six million-square-foot, 30-acre industrial complex on the Sunset Park waterfront. Its 16 buildings made up the former Bush Terminal, a manufacturing, warehousing and distribution center that opened in 1895. After falling into disrepair over the past few decades, in 2013, a new ownership team led by Belvedere Capital and Jamestown began their $1 billion undertaking to update the complex while cultivating a diverse tenant mix that fuses today’s burgeoning innovation economy with traditional manufacturing and artisanal craft.
Today, there are more than 4,500 people and 400 companies working in Industry City, and 6sqft recently paid a visit to four of them (a handbag designer, lighting designer, candle company, and chocolatier) to learn why the complex makes sense for their business and what unique opportunities it’s afforded them. We also spoke with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball about the unprecedented success of the complex and his visions for the future, as well as took a tour of the buildings and their wildly popular public amenity spaces such as the food hall, outdoor courtyards, and tenant lounge.
All this and more ahead
With increasing concerns about rising sea levels and the large quantity of greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere, Radley Horton‘s work is more important than ever. As a climate scientist at Columbia University, he’s working on the applied end of climate change by examining data to make projections about the possibility of extreme weather events. Based on the data and ensuing models, he then considers the impacts these potential events and the overall changing climate might have in a variety of contexts that range from airports to the migration of pests. Radley is on the forefront of understanding what might happen and how cities, countries, and other entities can prepare even in the face of uncertainty.
6sqft recently spoke with Radley about his work, areas of climate concern in New York, and what we all can do to combat a changing planet.
Read the full interview here