Bayonne, located on the southern peninsula of New Jersey’s Gold Coast, is ripe for a construction boom. That being said, it has been awaiting this boom for over 18 years – since the light rail system was installed. As Newport and Jersey City’s markets are on fire, Bayonne hopes that development momentum is headed their way. But with its Hudson River location, city views, access to Manhattan via light rail and the PATH (it is about 30 minutes to take the light rail to the PATH to the World Trade Center), Bayonne has taken its future into its own hands and massively revised its master plan for the first time since 2000.
Bayonne considers its proximity to New York City and lower prices its greatest assets. The average home sales are around $400,000 versus $800,000 in Jersey City. The new master plan aims to transform Bayonne into a walkable, bikeable, mixed-use community with densely settled areas (which they call “transit villages”) around the light rail stations. The town’s 22nd Street Light Rail stop connects residents to the rest of the Gold Coast and PATH trains running to Manhattan. Bayonne City Planner Suzanne Mack is quoted as saying, “Our assets are our charm and home life…We’ve moved from being an industrial giant, an oil tank farm basically, into more of a bedroom community with a lot of community resources.”
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Photo via Wikimedia
The landlords of New York City’s most iconic skyscraper are looking to fill 50,000 square feet of retail space by 2020, even as brick-and-mortar businesses in Manhattan have struggled to stay open. According to Bloomberg, owners of the Empire State Building are marketing the tower’s ground-floor, concourse and second-floor real estate, as the building undergoes a retail renovation for the first time since opening in 1931. Plus, the tower’s observatory entrance will be moved from Fifth Avenue to 34th Street.
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Rendering of Newport’s new Park and Shore development
The mention of Newport conjures up images of yacht-filled harbors, gorgeous mansions, and beautiful beaches. But there is another Newport much closer to downtown Manhattan than Rhode Island and, amazingly, it also has yacht-filled harbors, beautiful residences, a beach, and unparalleled waterfront views.
A 600-acre, master-planned community that began almost 35 years ago by the LeFrak family, Newport, Jersey City is now hitting its stride. With sleek architecture, 15,000 residents, 20,000 professionals, a growing mix of retail and commercial options, and a location minutes from midtown and downtown Manhattan, Newport offers some appealing alternatives to those priced out of New York City or others looking for a slightly quieter option. The area boasts its diversity, but with a single family in charge of development and a skyline that looks more like Manhattan than Jersey City, is Newport just Manhattan-lite or does it truly have diversity with offerings for everyone?
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Red Hook waterfront; photo courtesy of Sunghwan Yoon’s Flickr
Like many waterfront communities in New York City, Red Hook is posed for a major redevelopment, with officials itching to bring new housing, commercial space and even mass transit to the industry-heavy Brooklyn neighborhood. In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address this month, he said the neighborhood is “full of untapped potential” and called on the Port Authority to “accelerate consideration of relocating its Red Hook maritime activities to free up this waterfront for more productive community use.” While almost all of the area is zoned for manufacturing purposes, there’s been a significant reduction of industrial space in Red Hook, concerning its long-time residents as retail space has started displacing manufacturing, according to Crain’s.
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505 West 19th Street via Thomas Juul Hansen
Scandinavian design is on the rise in luxury residences. At first, that might seem like an oxymoron since Scandinavian design was founded on the principles of utility, affordability, and simplicity – and high-end residents are not. But luxe and Scandinavian design have found much common ground.
From its early 20th century roots, based on Germany’s Bauhaus school and developed in the Nordic region, to the mass-produced appeal of Ikea, the trend has certainly remained at the forefront of the design world. And perhaps now it’s seeing its biggest moment, serving as a major selling point for hot new NYC condo projects such as Carroll Gardens’ 145 President and being reimagined by of-the-moment firms like Morris Adjmi and Denmark’s own Thomas Juul-Hansen.
Photo of Fairway on the Red Hook waterfront, via CityRealty
The story of Red Hook is ripe for a movie-rights bidding war. In the past, there were mobsters and maritime ports, hurricanes and housing developments. Now there are politicians and developers fighting to rebuild and locals fighting back. In the end, what will happen to Red Hook is unknown but none of the massive proposals will happen in the near future. It is a small community in a big city that is tackling the issue many neighborhoods have dealt with in the past – how to grow.
After the massive Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort, there is a very solid and passionate local population and a growing cluster of cool restaurants, retailers, and artists attracted to the area. That coupled with the recent political attention by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio and the developers drooling over the possibilities of the 130 acres of land ripe for redevelopment (that’s six times the size of the $25 billion Hudson Yards development) make Red Hook very newsworthy.
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We’ve been hearing so much about neighborhoods like Bushwick, Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Long Island City ushering in a new era of creative industry. But the city’s next creative office hub is blossoming in the South Bronx neighborhoods of Mott Haven, Port Morris, and Hunts Point. CityRealty offers an update on newest addition to the area, to arrive by mid-2018: Union Crossing at 825 East 141st Street will bring more than 275,000 square feet of office and studio space with retail on the ground floor.
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Hudson Square is undergoing another transformation. The neighborhood was once known as the Printing District because of the printing companies attracted to the large concrete and steel factory buildings located close to their Wall Street clients. In the 1970s and ‘80s, technology and design companies replaced the printing industry, attracted by the architecture, location, transportation options, and affordable rents. But the area is once again evolving. This time it’s experiencing a boom of what developers and realtors call “affordable luxury” condominiums (in the $1 – $2 million range) due to the largest privately-initiated rezoning efforts in the history of New York City. Not only is the neighborhood growing in height and residences but a large fund has been set aside to increase the neighborhood’s commercial mix, greenery, and traffic flow.
Dunkin’ Donuts, photo courtesy of Robert S on Flickr
New Yorkers really do run on Dunkin’. According to a report from the Center for an Urban Future, beloved national coffee and donut chain, Dunkin’ Donuts, has the most stores of any chain in New York City, with 612 stores total, a net increase of 16 stores in 2016 and 271 stores since 2008. In their tenth annual ranking, CUF’s report found that the number of national retailers in the city increased by 1.8 percent from last year, with food retailers and restaurants showing the strongest growth. New to the list and ranking second is cell-phone store MetroPCS, which now has 445 stores citywide, adding a whopping 119 locations in the past year. Following Dunkin’, Subway is the most popular fast-food chain in each of the boroughs, with a total 317 stores.
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Trump International via Wiki Commons; Donald Trump via Gage Skidmore/Flickr
As we close in on Donald Trump‘s first full year as President, it’s interesting to look at his business endeavors have fared, and here in NYC, it looks as though the Donald’s real estate empire is starting to crumble. According to CityRealty’s Year-End Manhattan Market Report, both average sales price and average price per square foot at the 11 Trump-branded condos fell below the Manhattan condo average for the first time ever. Not surprisingly, the Trump International Hotel & Tower on Central Park West was the worst-performing, with average prices falling 27 percent. One of the company’s most visible buildings, the condo was often the site of protests against the Trump administration throughout the year.
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