Mayor de Blasio called for all 59 New York City community boards to propose ways to increase the number of affordable housing units within their district, and CB4, which covers Chelsea, Clinton, and Hell’s Kitchen, is the first to respond. The Manhattan District Board 4 Affordable Housing Plan was voted on internally by the board on July 23, but is expected to be officially presented to the city on August 8th. The 81-page plan, which could influence affordable housing policy throughout the city, focuses on six major themes that will outline how the west side neighborhoods tackle the addition of 11,000 units of affordable housing.
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There’s been lots of chatter on the street and in the media on the subject of “poor doors” in new developments for those who have qualified for affordable housing. And though this subject has created quite a bit of controversy, it’s actually not quite what it seems. Rather than being outraged that our city allows real estate developers to “discriminate” against those who could never consider paying for the privilege of residing in their latest and greatest luxury building, naysayers should think about reading up on exactly what affordable housing is and isn’t—“rich” home seekers having an edge over the so-called “poor.”
- The owner of a 3BR/4.5BA duplex with a terrace in the Walker Tower is looking to sell their $14.26M duplex for $25M. [Curbed]
- Architectural Record has released its annual list of the “Top 300 Architecture Firms” in the United States. Results are based on architectural revenue from 2013. [Architecture Record]
- Developers are having trouble filling out the affordable apartments at 66 Rockwell Place in Downtown Brooklyn. A spokesperson for the building says they can’t find residents who qualify, but Rob Solano, director of Churches United For Fair Housing, says locals are being disqualified for silly errors and subpar credit scores. [DNA Info]
- Piqued interest in Long Island City living is causing apartment square footage to shrink. [WSJ]
- Current and former mayors both claim 8,700 affordable apartments have received financing the first half of this year, but some real estate observers say the real numbers are coming up short. [Crain’s]
The Walker Tower unit (left); Top earning firm Gensler’s Shanghai towers (right)
We recently featured how Ryall Porter Sheridan renovated a 1970s house into a beautiful green retreat using Passive House standards. In a similar vein, the Manhattan-based architects have created a small artist’s shelter with comparable aesthetic, employing many of the same sustainable strategies throughout. Called ‘Orient Artist Studio’, this project on the north-fork of Long Island is clad in a beautifully aged timber envelope that protects its pristine white interiors.
Ever walk by an area with park benches, plantings, or public art, and think that something’s missing… oh yeah, there’s no people. Though positive in theory, some urban public spaces don’t engage their communities and aren’t efficiently designed. To address this issue, the Design Trust for Public Space held a competition, The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm, that requested project proposals to seed and develop projects that redefine New York City’s public space. Four winning ideas were selected, and their implementation will begin immediately through a design prototype, pilot intervention, public artwork, and research, planning, or public outreach stages.
The NYC parks system gives artists a public canvas for their sculpture and design work, and there are so many great artworks on display this summer. From abstract sculptures to innovative park design, here are just a few of the interesting sculptures and design exhibits you can see in New York City parks this last month of summer.
Daily Link Fix: Stay Active and Keep Your Phone Charged with Cycling Bike; Spray Can Cake Batter (Yes, Really), Mon, August 4, 2014
- Iron Man Suits Make A Debut In South Korean Shipyards: Super strength suits are no longer just for those Marvel films. New Scientist reports that engineers in South Korea have built an exoskeleton that shipyard workers can use to lift up to 66 pounds.
- Cycle While You Work: Because standing desks are boring and treadmill desks are an eyesore. FastCo.Design highlights WeWatt’s cycling desk that helps you stay fit, improves work ethic, and charges your smartphone!
- Yummy Cake…From A Spray Can: Solving the real problems of life, two Harvard students have created a sprayable, microwaveable cake batter for easy baking without the mess. One of the students revealed to the Washington Post that ultimately they want an “organic and kosher certified” product. We’re not exactly sure if you can get that from “food” in a can.
- No Longer Able To Keep Up With The Joneses: The hard truth is that poverty exists and is growing in the suburbs. Slate reports that high poverty started to become more concentrated in suburban neighborhoods since the early 2000s.
Images: Left – Cycling Desk from WeWatt’s Facebook page; right – Spray Cake courtesy of John McCallum and Brooke Nowakowski for the Washington Post
Philanthropists Joe and Carol Reich have sold their Central Park West condo, according to city records, and when we say this place is fit for a king, we’re not exaggerating. The couple’s $16 million former duplex actually resides in the Prasada, which is one of the most prominent buildings in the city and one of the three buildings that solidified Central Park West as a prestigious avenue. In fact, this Beaux-Arts beauty—designed by architectural duo Charles W. Romeyn and Henry R. Wynne—was one of the first high rises to attract wealthy New Yorkers back around the turn of the century when townhouse living was the norm. But what else would you expect from a place that was commissioned by the King of Spain? See? We told you we weren’t exaggerating.
Living in a pedestrian town has its perks. Everything is at your feet, and you don’t have to deal with grueling traffic if you don’t want to. But what about those days when you’re out in the elements and the weather is bad? Don’t you just wish you could hop in your car and go about your day? But then there’s parking… Oh wait, that’s not an issue for us because we’re living in the Selldorf Architects-designed Chelsea tower at 200 Eleventh Avenue, which means we have our own en suite sky garage. That’s right. You’re about to take a look inside the impressive 3,598-square-foot penthouse of this unprecedented building. You’re welcome.
Greenland Forest City Partners Selects COOKFOX and Thomas Balsley for Pacific Park Brooklyn (Formerly Atlantic Yards), Mon, August 4, 2014
Forest City Ratner Companies and Greenland USA, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Greenland Group, announced today that their new joint venture, Greenland Forest City Partners, has selected COOKFOX Architects to design two residential buildings at their Pacific Park Brooklyn project. They’ve also chosen Thomas Balsley Associates to design the site’s eight-acre public park, which will be called Pacific Park.
Formerly known as Atlantic Yards, Pacific Park Brooklyn will be a 22-acre site anchored by the Barclays Center and containing 8 million square feet of mixed-use development. The public park will be revealed in phases, with permanent and temporary installations. COOKFOX has begun the design for its two residential buildings– 550 Vanderbilt Avenue, set to feature 275 condominiums, and 535 Carlton Avenue, which will have approximately 300 affordable rentals. Construction is expected to begin on the latter this December, with 550 Vanderbilt not far behind. A third residential building will be designed by SHoP Architects, who were the minds behind the Barclays Center, at 30 Sixth Avenue with another 300 affordable rentals.