Michelin star chef David Bouley has been a fixture in Tribeca since 1987 when he opened his famed French restaurant Bouley at 161 Duane Street. He later opened Bouley Bakery, Danube, Brushstroke, and Botanical in the neighborhood and even bought an apartment in the same building as his namesake restaurant in 2007. The restaurant closed its doors this past summer, and now it looks like Bouley himself is also looking to exit the building, as he just listed his sprawling, rustic duplex for $5.5 million. The biggest selling point? The woodburning fireplace was built with 17th-century stone from the same quarry used to construct Chateau de Versailles.
Who needs walls in a large, lofty apartment when you can utilize great design instead? That was the thinking behind this Tribeca apartment renovation, spearheaded by the Brooklyn-based firm Office of Architecture. Walls were taken down to make space for walnut cabinetry, sliding doors, and industrial steel columns. The idea was to open up the living areas and bring in as much natural light as possible–and the resulting 3,000-square-foot apartment is quite stunning and livable.
Owner Jeff Friedman works on a neon snowflake for a holiday display that went up in Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue flagship store
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Tribeca showroom and studio of Let There Be Neon, an international supplier and creator of custom neon for signage and artistic applications.
Back in the early ’70s, neon had gone out of fashion, with cheaper fluorescent-lit and plastic signs taking over after World War II. But multimedia artist Rudi Stern was determined to revive the art and make it more accessible. He opened a showroom studio, Let There Be Neon, in 1972 on West Broadway and Prince Street in Soho, and soon attracted a client roster of artists including Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He even outfitted Studio 54! By 1990, he’d moved to a charming brick storefront at 38 White Street in Tribeca and sold the business to his long-time friend and employee Jeff Friedman.
Rudi Stern sadly passed away in 2006, but he would be happy to see the legacy that Friedman has maintained and how wildly successful the business is today. Not only does their client list still include a long list of contemporary artists, but they’re the go-to sign restorers and recreators for classic NYC mom-and-pop businesses such as Russ & Daughters and Trash & Vaudeville, and Old Town Bar, and do projects with national companies like WeWork, Soul Cycle, and Uniqlo. 6sqft recently paid Let There Be Neon a visit to see their incredible fabrication work and chat more with Jeff Friedman about the art of neon.
Google Street View of 153 Franklin Street; Taylor Swift via Wiki Commons
As 6sqft has reported, pop star Taylor Swift is no stranger to controversial real estate news: It was rumored in 2015 that she had Sir Ian McKellen booted from the penthouse loft at the celebrity studded 155 Franklin Street that she’d just bought for $19.95 million; and Orlando Bloom claims to have been driven from the same building after only five months in residence due to Ms. Swift’s legions of clamoring fans. According to the New York Post, the singer’s latest newsworthy buy is a Tribeca townhouse at nearby 153 Franklin Street, which she just acquired for $18 million. The home also happens to be the one French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn stayed in while under house arrest in 2011 for the sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel maid.
First glimpse of Jeremy Edmiston’s “Unhistoric Townhouse” at 187 Franklin Street. Photo courtesy of Tribeca Citizen.
The latest Tribeca distraction: the partial unveiling of the single-family townhouse at 187 Franklin Street, a funky flame-façaded new building that its architect, Jeremy Edmiston of System Architects, refers to as the Unhistoric Townhouse. Tribeca Citizen reports that workers at the building (which also resembles a Yankees logo) were lifting off some of the mesh that conceals the wavy wonder, perhaps to install one of its metal-mesh balconies. 6sqft previously covered the building, whose design of an undulating red façade complemented by those silvery, net-like balconies was first proposed in 2010.
The Flatiron District, photo via Pixbay
Taking the top spot from Tribeca for the first time in a long time, the Flatiron District now ranks as the most expensive neighborhood in New York City, according to data compiled by Property Shark. In its latest report looking at the residential market during the third quarter of 2017, the group lists the 50 priciest neighborhoods in the city, with the usual upscale ‘hoods like TriBeCa, Central Park South and Hudson Square rounding out the top tier (h/t Time Out NY). In another plot twist, Red Hook has become Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood this quarter–overthrowing DUMBO–with a median sale price of $1.92 million in Q3.
Not all luxury living in 21st century downtown Manhattan is a glass-clad cliche, and this sprawling, light-filled Tribeca penthouse is proof. On the highest floors of a five-story 1920s building at 142 Duane Street, this is a triplex to be reckoned with at 7,200 square feet plus two private outdoor terraces. Part of what makes this $16.95 million condop (a co-op with less stringent condo-like rules) so special is a showstopping contemporary gut renovation by architecture firm Triarch in 2005, with natural wood paneling inspired by modernist architects like Jean Michel Frank, Adolf Loos and Bruno Paul.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono never lived at this Tribeca townhouse—it’s well known they preferred the Upper West Side—but they certainly have a unique connection to it. Here’s the story, per the New York Times: in 1973, Lennon and Ono announced the birth of Nutopia, “a conceptual country” with no boundaries and “no laws other than cosmic.” Mr. Lennon, who was being threatened with deportation because of a 1968 marijuana conviction in England, was seeking diplomatic immunity and United Nations recognition as a Nutopian ambassador. The iconic couple gave 1 White Street as the embassy address.
This Tribeca apartment will remind you of the artist lofts that once proliferated New York, but will also serve a jolt back to reality when it comes to the city’s ever-growing real estate prices. The full-floor pad at 60 Thomas Street sold in 2004 for $1.255 million, in 2007 for $1.795 million, and is now on the market asking $2.995 million. A keyed elevator entrance opens up to details like tin ceilings, a steel fire door, and exposed brick. The massive space also manages to fit four bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a media room, office, and full-sized laundry room.
Brooklyn architecture firm Young Projects is known for transforming New York properties in inventive and visually stunning ways–just look at how they upended the traditional townhouse for this Williamsburg project. For their Hudson Street Residence project, the firm took the top three levels of a Tribeca building and created a gorgeous 13,000-square-foot penthouse apartment tied together by interior garden courts and topped with a striking roof garden. A continuous cast aluminum surface–which the firm specially designed for this project–gracefully weaves together each living space of the residence.