The Time Warner Center
We’ve been talking a lot lately about foreign investors with their hands in the NYC real estate market, but a story in the Times took the investigating one step further by uncovering the secrecy of more than 200 shell companies at the Time Warner Center, documenting “a decade of ownership in this iconic Manhattan way station for global money transforming the city’s real estate market.” Though most of these were simply wealthy Americans, at least 16 were rich foreigners who “have been the subject of government inquiries around the world, either personally or as heads of companies,” ranging from environmental violations to financial fraud.
In 2014, around 50 percent of all $5 million+ sales were to shell companies, but at the Time Warner Center it was 80 percent. With this growing trend, however, the government hasn’t taken a closer look at the money being used to buy luxury real estate, allowing shell companies to make the movement of foreign funds largely untraceable.
Find out more about Mr. Low and this real estate trend
There’s a really chic loft available for rent in the Ice House in Nolita, right on the edge of Soho and the Lower East Side, and it’s asking $7,500 a month. This 1,033-square-foot space has the potential for two bedrooms, along with all the classic loft must-haves like reclaimed oak floors throughout, 10-foot beamed ceilings, and exposed brick walls. And the best part? It’s available fully furnished.
More pics inside
Recently it was reported that filmmaker, actor and Entourage star–and sometime boutique brewer and Brooklyn renovator Adrian Grenier had been spotted checking out a three-bedroom co-op in Chelsea, accompanied by his mom, Brown Harris Stevens broker Karesse Grenier. While Chelsea may be in their sights as well, city records show that the pair recently inked a deal on a huge, historic five-story townhouse in prime Clinton Hill at 112 Gates Avenue, not far from the house he brought back to life with a green reno in 2007.
More on the story this way
We’ve been a bit obsessed with the house at 102 Gates Avenue–a Brownstoner House of the Day not once but twice–since it hit the market as an estate sale back in 2013; lines stretched down the block and 350 people showed up on one Sunday to view the house, which was asking $1,295,000, a great price at a time when townhouse prices in the area were hitting their recent hot streak. The house, in estate condition but dripping with gorgeous original details, set off a bidding war and sold in a matter of weeks for $1,555,000, becoming a poster child of sorts for the frenzied brownstone Brooklyn townhouse market.
After a high-end renovation that spared no detail, the house, a two-unit stunner with a sweet garden apartment and a beautifully restored triplex plus landscaped yard and deck, re-emerged less than one year later at the head-turning asking price of $3.35 million.
More on this brownstone Brooklyn Cinderella tale this way
Chilean-born, New York-based artist, designer, and activist Sebastian Errazuriz isn’t happy simply designing nice things to please the eye. Through his work, the internationally acclaimed creator wants to provoke some thoughts and make exceptional pieces, tackling everything from political artworks to experimental furniture. Just take a look (but do you dare to touch?) at his Magistral Chest, a porcupine-like chest of drawers that can hide and protect your most valuable treasures inside its spiky shell.
Learn more about this spiky chest of drawers
The story behind cheese-aging facility Crown Finish Caves in Crown Heights tells of an enormous amount of risk and dedication to making something on a small scale; to doing one thing well. It also once again stirs the hive of buzz around today’s Brooklyn. Article after article raises the idea that Brooklyn’s moment as the new hot spot for excellence in food, culture and authentic, hand-crafted goods, is in some quarters regarded as trite and trendy hype with little substance to it.
For some, the underground cheese caves are just one more example: Cheese caves. How Brooklyn. Thirty feet below street level, in the lagering tunnels of a former brewery beneath the Monti Building in Crown Heights, Benton Brown and Susan Boyle spent several years renovating and creating “Brooklyn’s premier cheese-aging facility” complete with state-of-the-art humidity control and cooling systems. The couple created the 70-foot space with advice from the world’s top cheese experts; Crown Finish Caves opened in 2014. On an article in Cheese Notes, a commenter raves: “If I were a mouse, I would move to Crown Heights.”
More excellence and authenticity this way
Maybe it’s the throwing, or the sweeping, or just the way the athletes yell down the ice, but something about curling intrigues us every four years during the Winter Olympics. And now, thanks to the efforts of CurlNYC, New Yorkers can try their hand at the game.
Since 2013, CurlNYC has been on a mission to get the city hooked on the sport. The visionaries behind this start-up are Dean Roth, Dean Gemmell, a former U.S. Curling National Champion who competed at the 2012 World Championships, and Chad McMullan. Their eventual goal is to build the first ice facility in the five boroughs dedicated to the sport, and they’re well on their way. Upsilon Ventures hired the group to manage the curling program at LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Brooklyn‘s Prospect Park and the South Street Seaport. CurlNYC has a roster of curling instructors, like husband-and-wife duo Luke Hansen and Kendall Speten-Hansen, to introduce the sport through demonstrations at both locations and during league play at Lakeside.
We recently spoke with U.S. National Champion Dean Gemmell and curling instructors Kendall and Luke to find out why New York and curling are a winning combination.
Read the full interview here
If you’re a hand sanitizer-wielding New Yorker who often finds yourself ridiculed by friends for your hypochondriac germaphobe ways, good news, because you’ve got the last laugh—sort of. A team of researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College spent the past 17 months mapping the DNA found in the New York City subway system, and what they uncovered will certainly make your skin crawl. Not only were some bacteria samples associated with bubonic plague and anthrax, but they also found that nearly half of the DNA found on subway infrastructure—we’re talking turnstiles and ticket kiosks amongst other things—did not match any known organism.
Find out more here
- Facebook is expanding its offices. The social media giant will add 80,000 square feet—at $100 per square foot—at its 770 Broadway locale. [Crain’s]
- If you buy a condo at the Oosten in Williamsburg, you’ll get a free trip to Amsterdam. [Brick Underground]
- How many jobs are accessible from your neighborhood? [DNA Info]
- The East River Waterfront Esplanade could get a makeover by landscape architect firm Mathews Nielsen. [Curbed]
- Sunshine Insurance Group, a Chinese investor, has agreed to buy the Baccarat Hotel for more than $230 million. The sale sets a new price per room record of more than $2 million a room. [WSJ]
Images: 770 Broadway (L) ; The Oosten (R)