Photo courtesy of Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor’s iconic New York City flagship store will close its doors next year, after occupying the Fifth Avenue building for 104 years. In an attempt to keep afloat last year, Hudson’s Bay, owner of the department store, sold the 676,000-square-foot building for $850 million to WeWork, who planned to make the landmark its new global headquarters.
While Lord & Taylor was left with roughly 150,000 square feet of space at 424 Fifth Avenue, the company struggled to maintain profitability after the turnover of the building to WeWork. Including the iconic flagship, the company will also close as many as 10 Lord & Taylor stores total (h/t Bloomberg). In a first-quarter report, Hudson’s Bay said: “Exiting this iconic space reflects Lord & Taylor’s increasing focus on its digital opportunity and HBC’s commitment to improving profitability.”
Photo by Dan DeLuca/Flickr
In a city as pricy as New York, it’s no surprise the buildings here pay some of the heftiest property taxes in the country. And that’s overwhelmingly what Commercial Cafe has found in their Top 100 US Property Taxes in 2017 ranking, released this week to mark the end of tax season. New York, the report states, has an “overwhelming presence in the mix,” as 78 of the top 100 U.S. taxes belong to properties located across the state. In 2017, those buildings generated $2.2 billion in property tax revenue, accounting for 82 percent of the total contributed by all 100. (Buildings are mostly offices, alongside some mixed-use, retail, hotel, entertainment and residential properties.) While the top spot was claimed by an industrial property in Fort Salonga, New York — which pays a whopping $82 million of property taxes a year — the next 19 buildings are located here the city and include Stuyvesant Town, pictured above, and the Metlife Building.
Read more about New York’s top buildings
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Currently sleeping on a mattress with no box spring? Worse yet, a blow-up mattress? Is your night table a repurposed milk crate and are your bookshelves fashioned out of salvaged bricks and found lumber? Although all these features can be surprisingly charming when paired with the right accessories, there comes a time in one’s life when one wants or needs a bit more. But even if you opt to go full-on Ikea, the cost of furnishing a small one-bedroom from the ground up will likely cost well over $3,000 and that is only if you opt for a discount Bråthult over Vallentuna sofa.
For anyone faced with the challenge of furnishing an entire apartment—either for the first time or because you’re only in NYC for a limited amount of time—there is now a solution: “fast interiors.” Rather than buy, you can now rent your furniture for three months or for several years. While the rise of furniture rentals may sound unusual, in fact, it is an obvious extension of the sharing economy that has been growing, especially in highly populated urban areas, for the past decade. An underlying tenant of the sharing economy is that renting often makes more sense the owning. But does it? Ahead, we explore how and where to rent furniture and the relative short- and long-term benefits of renting over buying.
A guide to furniture rentals
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In the midst of an affordable housing crisis, rents in New York City continue to rise, a record number of New Yorkers make up the city’s homeless population and the amount of rent regulated apartments are in danger of vanishing completely. An investigation released Sunday by the New York Times found rent-stabilized apartments have been disappearing since city and state lawmakers first eradicated rent laws in 1993. Since then, the city has lost more than 152,000 regulated apartments as a result of landlords exploiting weak regulations and pushing out rent-regulated tenants, with little or no consequence from city and state agencies. And another 130,000 more apartments have been lost due to expiring tax breaks and co-op and condo conversions.
Find out more
Photo via CityRealty
If you are a single New Yorker earning $58,450 or less per year, you fall under the low income category, according to 2018 estimates released last month by the U.S. Department of Housing (HUD). These income limits are established by the government to help figure out if residents are eligible for subsidized and affordable housing. Even though the median family income in NYC and its surrounding area slightly increased this year to $70,300 from $66,200 in 2017, the high cost of living continues to place a significant burden on New Yorkers (h/t Curbed NY).
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Shelly Place, an agent with Triplemint, describes Boerum Hill as “the perfect blend of old and new. Geographically, it is smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn, convenient to downtown [Manhattan], and close enough without being in the middle of the hustle and bustle. You can go days or weeks without ever leaving Boerum Hill but, if you want, you have the rest Brooklyn right there.”
Known for tree-lined streets filled with historic brownstones, Boerum Hill is one of those unique neighborhoods that has successfully blended past and present in a way few communities have been able to. There are a ton of great restaurants and creative cocktail lounges and independent specialty stores alongside the big brands, like Apple, Whole Foods’ 365, and Lululemon, lining Smith Street and Atlantic Avenue. And with a slew of new contextual developments springing up, it’s time to turn your attention to the buzz on Boerum Hill.
Everything you need to know about Boerum Hill
Photo via Felix Castor/Flickr
As recently reported on 6sqft, the number of vacant homes in New York City continues to rise. The Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Survey found that the number of unoccupied apartments citywide has grown 35 percent since 2014. While a majority of the city’s 247,977 empty units are empty for a legitimate reason—for example, they are currently awaiting the arrival of a new occupant, being renovated, or are seasonally occupied—among the city’s currently vacant homes are a small percentage of homes known as “zombie homes.” Usually vacant and deteriorating, in some cases, these homes have been abandoned by owners who are behind on their mortgage payments and in other cases, the homes have already been taken over by a lender.
The issue has become so problematic that last April, the city —prompted by the passing of the New York State Zombie Property and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2016, or “Zombie Law”—decided it was time to tackle the zombie home problem head-on.
What’s going on?
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Update 5/8/18: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. will buy the Plaza Hotel for $600 million, besting a previous offer made less than a week ago, according to the New York Post. While it was reported White City Ventures and the Kamran Organization were in contract to buy the iconic building, the prince and Ashkenazy, as the minority owner, had the option to acquire the hotel if they matched the $600 million offer. The deal is expected to close this summer.
A deal to sell the historic, 111-year-old Plaza Hotel has finally been reached, after the New York City landmark sat on and off the market for years and changed hands numerous times. As the Real Deal reported, a group of investors including Shahal Kahan of White City Ventures and Kamran Hakim of the Hakim Organization, are in contract to buy a majority share of the hotel for $600 million. While reports in March said the group was considering paying for part of the purchase with cryptocurrency, the deal instead is being made up of equity from investors and a $415 million loan from a pair of British billionaires, David and Simon Reuben.
More details here
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A new PEW Research Center study has found that one-in-three adults are now “doubled up.” Some of these shared households are traditional multigenerational households—for example, a married couple with children who have chosen to live in a home belonging to one of their parents. By definition, however, shared households also include any households with at least one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student. As a result, among the one-and-three adults who are now doubled up are adults sharing households with other adults to whom they are not related, adults sharing with same-generation siblings, and most surprisingly, a growing cohort of elderly parents moving into their adult children’s homes.
What’s the deal?
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Not only do NYC’s temperatures start to heat up in spring, but so does the rental market, particularly with students and recent graduates searching for short-term housing options to come to live and work in the city. Seasonal housing providers, who provide leases of 30 days or more, are finding more demand than normal (h/t amNY). Large apartment buildings feeling the glut of inventory on the market are choosing to rent their units for shorter terms versus yearly leases working under the assumption that any occupancy is better than vacancy.