Policy, real estate trends

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , March 9, 2015

Remember the $100 million apartment at One57, the most expensive ever in New York City? Well, the (presumably) billionaire buyer pays just $17,268 in annual property taxes on the unit, or 0.017 percent of its sale price, as if it were worth only $6.5 million, according to the New York Post. In contrast, the owner of a $1.02 million condo nearby at 224 East 52nd Street is paying $24,279, or 2.38 percent of its sale price.

This is just one example of the fact that the owners of the city’s ten most expensive apartments pay effective rates that are unbelievably lower than those paid on cheaper properties. How is this possible? It’s in part due to the 421-a tax abatement, but more so due to the city’s convoluted method of assessing market value for condos and co-ops.

More on the tax inequality here

City Living, gentrification, Policy

  • By Diane Pham
  • , March 9, 2015

Image via nyc.go

“Small businesses in New York City have no rights. You’ve been here 50 years and provide an important service? Tough luck—your space now belongs to Dunkin’ Donuts. You own a beloved, fourth-generation, century-old business? Get out—your landlord’s putting in a combination Chuck E. Cheese and Juicy Couture.” – Jeremiah Moss in today’s Daily News.

With out of control rents, insane land prices, and properties trading hands for tens of millions–if not hundreds of millions–New York has become a playground (and a bank) for the ultra-rich. While most of us complain about the rising the cost of living with little action beyond a grumble, others are far more affected, namely the “mom and pop” shops forced out to make way for high-rent-paying tenants such as Duane Reade, Chase and Starbucks. But all is not lost. The issue of small business survival seems to be gaining some traction, particularly with a new campaign called #SaveNYC launched by Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York.

Read more

Featured Story

Compare and Contrast, Cool Listings, Features, Recent Sales

  • By Michelle Cohen
  • , March 9, 2015

66 Morton Street, $17M (left); 280 Park Place, $3.5M (right)

A classic bow-fronted Prospect Heights townhouse (above, right) offers many of the things we love about this star-studded $17 million West Village home (above, left)–for a lot less. The big-ticket Manhattan beauty set records and made movies. But for $3.5 million, a new-to-market gem in one of Brooklyn’s most coveted neighborhoods is just as charming, and even offers some perks the Manhattan home lacks.

Compare these four-story homes with very different prices

Real Estate Wire

  • Bjarke Ingels and Oliver Wainwright talk about the New York Dryline. [The Guardian]
  • Marc Jacobs exec Robert Duffy sells his West Village townhouse for $5.5 million. [NY Post]
  • A map of all the developments coming to Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene. [The Real Deal]
  • Modular housing developers may be getting a boost from the de Blasio administration with zoning changes. [Crain’s]
  • There’s a renaissance in store for the South Bronx waterfront as more and more developers look for more sites to buy in Mott Haven neighborhood to create as many as six 25-story mixed-use towers. “I think you will find this area becomes Williamsburg meets Dumbo,” they say. [WSJ]

Images: Mott Haven in S. Bronx (L); New York Dryline © BIG (R)

Cool Listings, Interiors, Nolita, Soho

$4M Soho Loft Features Rebellious Mirrored Windows

By Aisha Carter, Mon, March 9, 2015

  • By Aisha Carter
  • , March 9, 2015

There’s a new listing in the landmarked building at 53 Crosby Street in Soho, asking 3.995 million. If being on the market were a professional career, this quintessential loft would be the one others would go to for advice, because between rentals and sales listings, it’s been a regular since 2012. Nonetheless, it’s a nice bright pad with original oak floors, high ceilings, prewar details, and a flexible layout that even allows for some of your own creative input. And there’s one other daring detail that sets this place apart…

Take a look inside

City Living, Video

  • By Dana Schulz
  • , March 9, 2015

We’ve all been there–an out-of-town visitor asks us how far of a walk it is to dinner and we tell them, “Oh, just a few blocks,” but by the time they arrive they’re famished, their feet are blistered, and they want to scream at us for our skewed sense of distance. This is just one aspect of living in NYC that comedian Leslie Jones addressed in a hilarious rant on this week’s “SNL.” Others include the difference in length between avenues and blocks (“I’ve been on Fifth Avenue for ten hours!”), the east side versus the west side (“The last East/West thing I understood was Biggie and Tupac.”), and the grime of the subway (“Did rat feces dust just fly into my mouth?”).

Watch the hysterical video here

City Living, ideas from abroad, Technology, Transportation

What if NYC Offered Subway Riders Free E-Books?

By Diane Pham, Mon, March 9, 2015

  • By Diane Pham
  • , March 9, 2015

M Subway Library scan. Image via Fast Co. Exist

Here’s a cool idea we’d love to see implemented in Manhattan: A free e-library for folks who ride the subway. Earlier this year, Beijing subway operator Beijing MTR rolled out a new digital library that would allow its underground commuters to download a book, at no cost, by simply scanning a QR code inside a train car. As you may have guessed, the initiative is looking to get citizens to spend more time reading over mindlessly watching videos or playing games.

More on the new program


  • By Dana Schulz
  • , March 9, 2015

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and thereby the Landmarks Law, the city has launched a new educational website,, that will grow its content throughout the year. The site offers digital features, a schedule of free- and low-cost events at landmarked sites throughout the city, slide shows from the agency’s historic photo archives, various blog posts, and walking tours.

Read more

Daily Link Fix

  • Samsung’s new smart home for dogs has a hydrotherapy pool, treadmill, and built-in tablet. But it’ll cost you $30,000. [Treehugger]
  • Take a look at the 20 top ruin pornographers on the internet. [Architizer]
  • Thanks to GPS, NYC taxi drivers are no longer tested on their geography skills. See if you’re smarter than your iPhone technology with this New York geography quiz. [NYT]
  • The transit strap, the smash cup, and more. These products make commuting more bearable. [amNY]
  • This artist spent three years mapping every Brooklyn block—with garbage. [CityLab]

Images: Ruin porn by Eric Holubow (L); Taxi (R)

Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

  • By Stephanie Hoina
  • , March 9, 2015

Moving into your dream apartment just got a little easier. Not only does this $7,500/month Greenwich Village rental come fully furnished, but its beautiful kitchen is stocked with all your cooking and dining essentials, and the bedroom and bathrooms include fresh linens. All you need to do is pack up your picture frames and clothes and move in.

Featuring impossibly tall windows, hardwood herringbone floors, two intricately carved wood-burning marble fireplaces and 13-foot ceilings with absolutely stunning arched molding, this 1,500-square-foot parlor floor-through unit at 62 West 11th Street off of Fifth Avenue is a wonderful mix of both pre-war and contemporary details.

See more of why you can move right in


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For under $1M, these Jersey City condos add modern touches to a historic Victorian home

  • By Dana Schulz

All listing photos by Melissa Cacioppo

McGinley Square is perhaps one of Jersey City’s most interesting neighborhoods. It’s full of 19th-century row houses, Victorian homes, and Art Deco retail spaces, and it’s close to the PATH and Light Rail at Journal Square, as well as to the incredible 270-acre Lincoln Park. The real estate opportunities are great, too. Take, for example, this two-unit Victorian home at 41 Bentley Avenue. The three-bedroom homes, listed for $879,000 and $919,000, are full of architectural details like stained glass windows and cozy rooms in the turrets, but they also have been completely updated for modern living. The house also features an idyllic wrap-around porch and garage parking.

Take a full tour here

New condo 2505 Broadway adapts pre-war elegance for modern Upper West Side living

  • By Dana Schulz

All renderings by MOSO Studio

Long known as a family neighborhood rooted in its pre-war history, the Upper West Side has found a new life in recent years, attracting young professionals and a commercial boom that’s brought countless downtown restaurants uptown. And, of course, along with this transition comes a reimaging of the residential market. Take for example the 44-unit condo at 2505 Broadway. It was designed by Eran Chen and the architects at ODA in their signature modular style, but it retains the classic sophistication the neighborhood is known for. The residences are refined yet modern, and there is an array of forward-looking amenities such as a state-of-the-art gym with adjacent flexible space used as a sports court or movie theater, a pet spa, and an outdoor terrace overlooking the Hudson River.

Read more