Over the past few years, New York City’s homeless crisis has gotten worse. A recent study reported a 39 percent increase in homelessness over 2016, making last year the highest homeless population since the survey began in 2005. While the city scrambles to address the rising population, a roommate company and nonprofit housing organization recently teamed up to help lessen the burden of New Yorkers who find themselves unable to afford housing.
Despite operating on opposite ends of the housing market, roommate matching site SpareRoom partnered with Breaking Ground, the largest provider of supportive housing in NYC, this November. The partnership was suggested by the public after SpareRoom launched Live Rent Free, a contest where the company pays one roommate’s monthly rent and one person’s entire rent for a whole year. (It was inspired by founder Rupert Hunt’s New York roommate search, in which he found two roomies to share his West Village loft for $1 a month.) The resulting partnership–which is running in tandem with the Live Rent Free contest–matches the monthly prize amount dollar-for-dollar with an in-kind donation to Breaking Ground to fund their Transitional Housing program. So far, SpareRoom has donated $3,314.
With 6sqft, Matt Hutchinson, Director at SpareRoom, explained why the company felt motivated to address homelessness and its future plans to engage with Breaking Ground. Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground, also explains how the organization’s Transition Housing program works, and why the homelessness crisis is something all New Yorkers–regardless of what they pay in rent–should be aware of.
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Image © Wade Zimmerman courtesy of Agence Christian de Portzamparc (ACDP)
A full-floor, 6,240-square-foot penthouse at Midtown billionaires’ bunker One57 recently sold to an unidentified high bidder–one of five contenders–at a foreclosure auction for $36 million. That number is 29 percent lower than the original $50.9 million price shelled out by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Akanni Aluko for the newly-minted condo in 2014. The fire sale was the fourth resale in the 1,004-foot-tall Billionaire’s Row flagship trophy tower to trade at a loss, according to data from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc., reports Bloomberg. The latest example is the largest discount to date on one of the pricey properties, all of which sends a message to buyers with plans to cash in on the ultra-luxury units in short order. And there are currently 16 apartments at the building listed for sale, most of them by the developer.
New development visualized through 2020, via CityRealty
According to CityRealty’s 2017 Manhattan New Development Report, things are really going to heat up over the next few years. While new development sales dropped to $8.3 billion in 2017 from $9.4 billion in 2016 (attributed to a softening in the luxury market), there are a number of new big-time buildings that will commence closings and have the potential to drive total sales up to a whopping $11.9 billion by 2020. One key player is Extell Development’s One Manhattan Square on the Lower East Side. With 815 apartments, it will be the largest condo by unit count ever constructed in the city. And up on Billionaires’ Row, Extell’s Central Park Tower will have the city’s biggest sell-out ever at $4 billion, while Vornado’s 220 Central Park South is looking to set the record for highest price per square foot ever in NYC.
Photo of Trump Tower via Krystal T’s Flickr
Sales prices at the tony Midtown condo building at 721 Fifth Avenue have dropped sharply since Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, according to the Wall Street Journal. The median sale price and average price per square foot are down since 2015 and are now reaching the lows experienced during the last financial crisis. Brokers aren’t exactly sure whether the “Trump effect” has caused the slump–including issues specific to the tower such as heightened security, protests, and a general antipathy toward all things Trump–or it’s part of an overall softening of the luxury condo market.
Is it the Curse of Trump?
Photo via Public Domain Pictures
A recently-published study by economists at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan shows that 48 percent–almost half–of the total value of America’s urban land can be found within the borders of five of what Citylab’s Richard Florida calls “superstar metro areas:” New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. According to the study, the value of America’s urban land is a total of $25 trillion as of 2010—more than double the nation’s 2006 GDP. That’s an average of $511,000 per acre or $100,000 for the typical residential lot of a fifth of an acre. But in NYC, which makes up a whopping 10 percent of this total, an acre of land is worth more than $5 million.
The gap widens
Photo via Wikimedia
City Comptroller Scott Stringer unveiled a plan on Monday that would allow renters in New York City to count on-time, monthly payments toward their credit score. While homeowners who punctually pay a mortgage can boost their credit, renters currently cannot count on-time payments in the same way. Those without credit or bad credit often pay higher interest rates on loans and other monthly bills, like utilities or cell phone payments. As the New York Times reported, Stringer’s office looked at a sampling of tenants who pay less than $2,000 per month and found that 76 percent of them would improve their credit scores if rent payments were reported. Stringer told the Times that his plan “could create a powerful credit history that could lift you out of poverty.”
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Courtyard at Industry City, photo courtesy of Industry City
A 20,000 square foot Japanese food market will open in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn next year, adding to New York City’s growing infatuation with food halls. The market, called Japan Village, will set up shop in Industry City, a sprawling 16-building, 6.5 million-square-foot complex of creative office space. In addition to the food hall serving up authentic dining options, Japan Village will include an izakaya restaurant, a sake store and a specialty grocery store.
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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.
See the full list
Rendering of the Hunters Point South project, courtesy of NYCEDC
An eight-acre, 1.6 million-square-foot residential site next to Hunters Point South is for sale, a piece of land owned by a family for generations. According to the New York Post, the site could potentially bring in $480 million if targeted to market-rate condominiums since land in Long Island City sells for roughly $300 per square foot. The triangle-shaped plot of land found at 55-01 Second Street and bounded by 54th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, sits on Newtown Creek, an estuary that forms part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens. The site might make the perfect spot for Amazon’s second headquarters as the tech giant seeks 500,000 square feet for their HQ2 by 2019.
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Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble on Flickr
Amazon’s nationwide competition to find a home for its second headquarters draws to a close this week, with pitches from stakeholders due Thursday. While New York City meets most of the requirements the tech giant listed for its HQ2– a population of at least 1 million people, proximity to an international airport, mass transit access and talented workforce–business costs in the city would be sky-high. However, as Crain’s reported, even if Amazon does not set up shop in NYC, politicians and developers have been preparing for a comparably-sized company to move in for over a decade. The failure of the city to win the 2012 Olympics bid back in 2005 actually turned into a success, allowing apartments to rise in Brooklyn where sports stadiums never did.
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