- Inside activist Jimmy McMillan’s (a.k.a. the ‘Rent Is Too Damn High’ guy) St. Mark’s Place apartment. [NYP]
- BIG’s West 57th pyramid/tetrahedron gets its peak. [Field Condition]
- There’s a stunning Tudor in Westchester on the market for just $125,000. It just comes with one caveat: You have to move it. [NYT]
- Mayor de Blasio pledges to fight for rent reform. [Capital NY]
- Plus more details on de Blasio’s East New York re-zoning plan revealed. [Brownstoner]
- Condos at the converted Brooklyn Trust Company bank bulding will be priced at $3.35 million and up. [NYT]
- The French government has purchased a one-family townhome on the Upper East Side for $13.8 million. [CO]
- Harvard constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe is calling on Comptroller Scott Stringer to join the fight against One Vanderbilt. Tribe says the tower is likely to spur lawsuits that could cost taxpayers up to $1 billion. [Crain’s]
Images: Inside Jimmy McMillan’s apartment. © NY Post (L); BIG’s pyramid on W. 57th Street. © Field Condition (R)
Of the new city initiatives laid out by Bill de Blasio last week during his State of the City address, few were as ambitious as the mayor’s plan to build 11,250 affordable apartments on Sunnyside Yards. But, as it turns out, more than just the mayor are looking to turn the 200-acre property into their legacy project. Crain’s reports that since the plan was announced, Governor Cuomo has emerged with his own ideas, namely tunnels that would bring the Long Island Rail Road into the heart of Midtown. Former Bloomberg administration Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff has also chimed in with a plan of his own that encompasses a huge new money-spinning convention center. But it doesn’t stop there; the clashing of ideas is just one of the burdens that comes with building on this coveted site—meaning we probably won’t see any affordable housing here for more than several decades.
More on the complications here
- Last week, thanks to salt in melting snow, there were 570 manhole explosions, fires, and other incidents. [DNAinfo]
- Just in time for Valentine’s Day, take a culinary tour of 15 Harlem bakeries. [Untapped]
- The past and present of Park Slope’s Plaza Hotel. [Brownstoner]
- Check out this handmade rope screen at a new Chelsea restaurant. [Contemporist]
- You can get New York-style pizza… on a sailboat… in the Caribbean. [Dornob]
- A new research project examines the relationship between dress, emotion, and identity through a series of surveys and a photo study of eight style “outliers” in New York City. [Fast Co. Design]
Images: NYC manhole cover via Sidewalk City (L); Dress and Emotion (R)
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