After a bodega got a bad Yelp review because of its in-house feline, a petition is asking the city to legalize bodega cats. [Metro]
And other New Yorkers are suing the state over a law that makes it a crime to photograph ballots in a polling booths (hence take selfies). [DNAinfo]
The city announced a new $1.5 million “dusk and darkness” campaign to protect commuters as daylight saving time ends. [NYT]
MoMA acquired the original set of 176 emoji from 1999 for its permanent collection. [NYT]
City Councilman Corey Johnson requested that no more air rights be transferred within his neighborhood from Pier 40, the site of the massive St. John’s Terminal project, which could cost the pier $140 million. [Crain’s]
The city’s 421-a program, which expired in January, provides tax breaks of up to 25 years to new residential buildings that reserve at least 20 percent of units as affordable. Proponents of the program feel it offers a much-needed incentive to build low- and moderate-income housing, but those not in favor think it gives unfair tax breaks to the wealthiest developers. The latter camp may be gaining steam, as a new report from ProPublica, outlined in Gothamist, says that nearly two thirds of the 6,400 rental buildings where landlords received tax reductions through 421-a didn’t have required rent stabilization paperwork on file, meaning they could raise rents as much as they chose. ProPublica compiled this data in both an interactive map and searchable database.
ProPublica estimates that these landlords have collectively saved $300 million annually in property taxes, some of whom have been reaping the benefits for more than 20 years while awaiting official approval from the Department of Housing, Preservation and Development and the Department of Finance. The city agencies, who have historically blamed each other for the issue, both play a part. Last year, HPD charged developers $27 million in fees to process 421-a applications, but only paid out $560,000 to nine employees to do so. These applications often sit in limbo for years (there are more than 2,200 from 2000 through 2010 still pending), but the Department of Finance will still sign off on them, meaning landlords receive the tax benefits without actually registering as rent stabilized and thereby being required to adhere to the city’s rent increase caps.
Both HPD and the Department of Finance say they’re working to identify property owners skirting the law and sending them notifications to comply or lose their benefits. And de Blasio has put forth reforms that would “require owners to meet all 421-a eligibility criteria before benefits are issued and set aside more units for low-income renters.” This has yet to win approval from the state, where the Governor has been working to revive 421-a with wage subsidies.
To see if your landlord is illegally receiving 421-a tax breaks, search the database here >>
View the map from ProPublica in its interactive form here >> The city’s 421-a program, which expired in January, provides ...
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for Art Nerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers!
This week, come join me as I present comic abstraction artist Ellanah Sadkin before heading to enjoy Eric Helvie’s film noir surrealist paintings in Chelsea. Untapped Cities wants to share Eldridge Street’s secrets with you, and Emilio Perez wants to bring you inside one of his paintings across the Times Square screens. Halloween is also upon us, and Last Rites does it right with a massive macabre show and after party. And if you want to keep the party going after, you can join nightlife legend Susanne Bartsch for her annual ball at MoMA PS1—or succumb to artist collective CHERYL on Monday at Le Poisson Rouge. Finally, get glamorous at the National Arts Club for the Accessible Art Fair, which is making its New York debut after a successful run in Brussels.
Toonology, a Solo Exhibition by Ellanah Sadkin, curated by Lori Zimmer ↑
The Pivot Gallery, 530 West 25th Street, Suite 407
Thursday, October 27, 6:00-9:00pm
Newcomer artist Ellanah Sadkin cut her teeth under the mentorship of art stars KAWS and Ben Eine, perfecting her craft in self-imposed solitude in Woodstock for three years. Now, she’s ready to present the toil of her hard work in a exhibition of comic-inspired abstract paintings, presented by me!
Eric Helvie- NOOL ↑
Massey Lyuben Gallery, 531 W. 25th Street, Ground Floor Gallery 5
Thursday, October 27, 6:00-8:00pm
Eric Helvie’s modern surrealism combines photorealistic painting with a largely black and white palette to create an eerie and alluring body of work that feels very film noir.
13th Hour (9th Annual) ↑
Last Rites Gallery, 325 West 38th Street
Saturday, October 29, 7:00-10:00pm
Just in time for Halloween, the massive group show focuses on artists using surrealism to take on the macabre. The exhibition reception is followed by Last Rites’ legendary Halloween party, which is complete with music, open bar and oddities!
5th Annual MoMA PS1 Halloween Ball with Susanne Bartsch ↑
MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City
Saturday, October 29, 8:00pm-12:00am
It’s time to party with New York Nightlife legend Susanne Bartsch in a museum! This year’s theme, The White House of Horror, features live performances, DJs, dancing and the most artistic costumes in town.
The Secrets of Eldridge Street Walking Tour ↑
12 Eldridge Street
Sunday, October 30, 3:00pm
This weekend join Untapped Cities for one of their fantastic city tours. This Sunday’s jaunt takes guests to the site of a former prison, a synagogue turned-artist studio, a Chinese Hispanic grocery, the clothing supplier of notorious gangster Monk Eastman, and inside the beautiful Eldridge Street Synagogue.
ChERYL: CROW ↑
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street
Monday, October 31, 9:00pm
My favorite art collective, CHERYL, reunites for an immersive and inclusive evening of all things Halloween. Work on a costume and get inspired—think John Poppers, Big Bird’s moment of angst, bus terminal transformations, Lamps Armstrong, blood transfusions, Woodstock ‘94/’99, and boring hair.
The Accessible Art Fair New York ↑
The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South
Tuesday November 1 through November 25
Brussels’ artist-led fair is taking over the gorgeous National Arts Club in Gramercy Park for a month of fantastic art, parties and programming. We’d do anything to get inside the members-only mansion, and as a bonus, a portion of the affordable tickets also benefit Materials for the Arts.
Emilio Perez- Dream Season, #MidnightMoment ↑
Times Square, various screens
Evernight in November, 11:57pm-Midnight
November’s #Midnightmoment from Times Square Arts takes viewers inside the colorful, abstract paintings of Emilio Perez. The journey into his paintings will take over many of the ad screens in Times Square each night, giving passersby an arty Innerspace experience!
In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your ...
Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design
The Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (later renamed Bridges Juvenile Center) was built in 1957 in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, quickly gaining a reputation for its poor conditions–the Daily News once described it as “vermin-infested” and said it “held about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning.” It was closed in 2011, at which time urban revitalization consultant Majora Carter began her quest to have the site transformed into a mixed-use housing complex. The city eventually stepped in, and today officials announced plans for the Peninsula, an affordable housing development that will rise on the five-acre site and offer 740 apartments, 52,000 square feet of open and recreational space, 49,000 square feet of light industrial space, 48,000 square feet for community facilities like health care providers, 21,000 square feet of retail, and 15,000 square feet of artist space, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Current Google Street View of Spofford
As 6sqft previously reported, Majora Carter “got the ball rolling on the development of Hunts Point Riverside Park and served as Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx for seven years. She now operates the Majora Carter Group, a consulting company that works on sustainable developments.” They had previously worked with architects at Perkins Eastman on an idea for the Spofford site, but the mayoral transition left the proposal in flux. Then, the New York City Economic Development Corporation oversaw a selection process for the project and chose the Peninsula LLC, a proposal from Gilbane Development Co., the Hudson Cos. and Mutual Housing Association of New York.
Not only will apartments be reserved for low-income New Yorkers, but those with moderate income levels, as well. Food production will play a big role in the development; so far, a bakery, supermarket, and bank are planned. As for the artists’ space, the nearby Point Community Development Corporation is in talks to manage the space and hopefully bring back a dance company that moved from the neighborhood due to rising rents.
Maria Torres-Springer, president and chief executive of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, said, “In many ways, it was not just a symbol of how juvenile justice from a policy point of view was performed throughout the decades, but also the historic, negative stigma and perception of the area that was embodied in that building. Finally we are going to create a new space that is a positive space that hopefully supports the community and also gets people from outside to look at Hunts Point differently.” The EDC estimates that the project will cost $300 million and be completed by 2024.
Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design The Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (later renamed Bridges Juvenile Center) was built ...
Despite MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast’s seemingly unwavering optimism that the Second Avenue Subway will open on time, it’s still not clear if the line’s stations will be ready for their December ribbon cutting. According to the Times, following a Wednesday MTA board presentation outlining some of the outstanding issues (and the agency’s commitment to smoothing them out over the next eight weeks), Kent Haggas, an independent engineer for the project, offered up a very somber outlook. As he told the paper, two of the three stations set to open December 31st have fallen behind, and that the system’s “rigorous testing schedule was not being met.” More alarmingly, he added that progress to date would need to be almost tripled on a weekly basis if the MTA is to meet its deadline.
As 6sqft previously reported, as of September 2016, about 300 tests were still outstanding, including those required for the fire alarm system, elevators and escalators (of which not all have even been installed). Moreover, many of these tests are not expected to be completed until the end of November or early December.
Kent Haggas relayed that tests are currently being completed at a rate of 14 per week, and the agency would need to ramp this up to a rate of 40 per week to keep their December opening date realistic. However, Anil Parikh, the program executive for the Second Avenue project, said they’ve developed a plan to wrap testing by mid-December.
As far as silver linings go, the MTA has been seen running test trains on the line over the past couple weeks; One passerby caught the first day of testing on film earlier this October. The paper also writes that the 96th Street station appears to be on schedule.
The project team will provide their next set of updates to the board on November 14th.
Despite MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast’s seemingly unwavering optimism that the Second Avenue Subway will open on time, it’s still not ...
When 6sqft first got a look at Bjarke Ingels’ curved East Harlem rental, it sported a red corten steel facade reminiscent of the surrounding brick buildings, but a new set of renderings shows a blackened stainless steel exterior that the Danish starchitect told Curbed is “inspired by an elephant’s skin” and will capture and reflect sunlight. Now dubbed Gotham East 126th Residential, the 11-story structure from Blumenfeld Development Group broke ground yesterday, beginning its journey to offer 233 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, 46 of which will be affordable.
The building will rise at 146 East 126th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, its T-shaped body cantilevering over 125th Street’s Gotham Plaza retail center, which is another project of Blumenfeld (as is East River Plaza). It will offer retail space on the first and second floors along 126th Street.
Inside, the common spaces feature “bursts of [Caribbean] color and patterns” inspired by Ingels’ recent trips to Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. In the lobby will be a rotating art project commissioned by local artists. The apartments will be more subdued and customizable as the architect explained to Curbed that “the thing about color is that it’s incredibly personal.”
Amenities will include a fitness center, game room, lounge, and roof garden with seating that looks similar to the slatted benches on the High Line.
A preliminary completion date is set for 2018; see future listings for 146 East 126th Street on CityRealty.
When 6sqft first got a look at Bjarke Ingels’ curved East Harlem rental, it sported a red corten steel facade reminiscent ...
These days, New Yorkers are going to great lengths to get Trump’s name off their buildings, and even his company itself has personally shed his moniker from their hotel brand amid declining bookings. But back in the ’80s and ’90s, the Donald would freely slap his name on just about anything he wanted. That is until 1996, when the Giuliani administration (sense the irony here?) denied his request to brand the giant globe outside the Trump International Hotel & Tower. The Times recently got its hands on a 20-year-old City Planning Department memorandum that outlines how the agency deemed any lettering on the sculpture illegal.
The entrance to the tower is not lacking branding, via booking.com
The condo was completed in 1997, converting a drab office tower to a glassy beacon at the intersection of Columbus Circle. The year prior, the huge silver globe in front of the building was being planned, and Trump wanted the 30-foot-wide piece–modeled on the 1964-65 World’s Fair Unisphere in his childhood borogh of Queens–to be adorned with three-foot-high letters reading “Trump International.”
But if you look at the globe today, all you’ll see is “the world’s land masses silhouetted on a spherical framework of latitudinal and longitudinal struts… encircled by three orbital rings,” along with a small plaque on the base reading “Brandell Miami” for sculptor and designer Kim Brandell. He previously made a smaller version of the unisphere for the short-lived Trump World’s Fair casino in Atlantic City, and this version prominently wore Trump’s name.
But when it came to the NYC version, Richard Barth, then director of City Planning’s Manhattan office, and Douglas Woodward, an urban designer who was working on the redevelopment of Colubus Circle, wrote to the Department that “there is no question that the globe with lettering is a sign and is not a permitted obstruction.” The Trump Organization argued that a branded globe still classified as an ornamental fountain or statuary and therefore was legally permitted to obstruct views at a public plaza, but when Jerold S. Kayden, founder and president of Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space, had to make a determination, he simply stated, “Slapping one’s name on a work of art doesn’t make the name part of the artwork.”
These days, New Yorkers are going to great lengths to get Trump’s name off their buildings, and even his company ...
After nearly a year and a half of yo-yo-ing back and forth between stop work orders and lawsuits, the Barry Diller-funded Pier 55 park can finally move ahead freely. The New York Law Journal reports that yesterday the state Court of Appeals denied the City Club of New York’s appeal of September’s ruling in favor of Pier 55 and the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) that said construction could continue on the 2.75-acre offshore park, dismissing the opponents’ claims that the park failed to go through adequate environmental impact evaluations and violated the public trust doctrine by planning to host private events.
upholds a lower court’s decision that HRPT and Pier55 Inc. did in fact do a proper environmental review, and moreover, that HRPT was not required to put out an RFP to solicit other ideas for the site from other developers—another major point of contention. The court also decided that the park reserves the right to use the space for non-public events like ticketed concerts, although it is noted that “the lease requires that 51 percent of the performances be free or low-cost.”
Though this was likely the last straw for the City Club, there are still two pending legal challenges against the club, one by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation disputing an environmental permit and one by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that says the project violates the Clean Water Act.
After nearly a year and a half of yo-yo-ing back and forth between stop work orders and lawsuits, the Barry Diller-funded ...
Families looking to buy apartments in the Big Apple often have a standard list of demands: safe area, family-friendly neighborhood, and space to accommodate their children. But perhaps most important is the desire to be close to a top school. Though not a new idea, this trend appears to be growing among international buyers who are actively seeking homes close to international private schools, hoping to preserve their native language and culture within their children’s upbringing. One area where new apartment buildings are benefitting from this trend is the Upper East Side, specifically in Lenox Hill, which is host to Lycée Francais de New York and La Scuola d’Italia. And downtown in Nomad, the Ecole Internationale de New York and the United Nations International School are having a similar effect.
Families looking to buy apartments in the Big Apple often have a standard list of demands: safe area, family-friendly neighborhood, ...
It’s no secret that we’re huge fans off all things map related, and that’s especially true when it comes to wall decor and t-shirt design. Alex Szabo-Haslam, a designer from Sheffield, England, recently launched a campaign for “Citee,” an exclusive collection that includes exactly these items. In phase one of this project, Alex printed highly detailed maps of 80 cities onto t-shirts, and now he’s using Kickstarter to fund round two where he’ll expand his line to include another 150 locations.
Alex uses open street map data to create his highly detailed designs, and each graphic is printed onto an American Apparel t-shirt using dye-sublimation. With this special printing process, Alex is able to print flush on the total surface of the tee, including the seams and sleeves. And unlike a lot of screen-printed clothing, Alex’s t-shirts won’t crack or peel over time.
To get your own tee or framable print, check out Alex’s Kickstarter campaign. So far he’s raised over $9,800, surpassing his $1,216goal, and he’s still got another two weeks to go!
Soho’s beloved Pearl River Mart closed its doors in February after nearly 50 years in business, but it will reopen ...
Fifth Avenue is known around the world as the high-end shopping address, but rising rents are leading to an increase in vacant space along the retail corridor. According to data from Cushman & Wakefield reported by Crain’s, the availability rate spiked to 15.9 percent in the third quarter of this year, up 10 percent from the same time last year. On the stretch that has the world’s highest rents, from 49th to 60th streets, retail space is listed at an average of $3,213 per square foot, up from $2,075 in 2011. To put this in perspective, current rents in Times Square are $2,104 per square foot after tripling over the past four years.
This rise in empty storefronts is actually occurring across Manhattan. According to Richard Hodos, a vice chairman at brokerage CBRE Group, “Property trades are being based on achieving ever-higher rents, and nobody ever really looks at what retailers can afford to pay. In some cases, rents need to come down 30% or more for rents to be at levels where retailers are able to make sense of them again.”
6sqft previously explored this trend with Justin Levinson’s Vacant New York map, which noted how the issue is twofold. First, small businesses can’t afford skyrocketing rents (if a small Lower East Side storefront costs about $8,000 a month, a Fifth Avenue address is definitely out of the question), and second, even when huge chains can afford these rents, the negotiation process is often so slow that potential tenants back out.
But there still may be hope for Fifth Avenue. Patrick Smith, a vice chairman of retail brokerage at Jones Lang LaSalle, thinks these empty stofrefronts “will eventually be absorbed,” but the way the space is used will change to focus on the experience as well as the actual merchandise, pointing to how Lululemon offers yoga classes in its stores.