Showing posts with label too many condos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label too many condos. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Easy as...123 Third Ave. rises

At the same time we notice that the new 18-story glassy condo is finally (and quickly) taking some shape on the southeast corner of 14th Street and Third Avenue...

(No Web address listed. But a phone number. Handy!)

...the Times comes along with a piece saying that basically all of 14th Street east of Third Avenue is pretty much doomed now. As the paper notes rather ominously.

Still, the stretch bordering the East Village, east of Third Avenue, existed as a relative time capsule. Discount clothing stores still dot blocks as they did when the area was a popular middle-class shopping district, side by side with 100-year-old brick tenements.

But stirrings of change are noticeable in the neighborhood, say brokers, business leaders and developers, many of whom are betting that renewal will continue its march along 14th Street.

A 19-story condominium rising at Third Avenue from the site of a former tanning salon may be a sign.

The article goes on to say how much the condos will cost, that a Capital One is going in the retail space on the ground level, etc. Doomed as doomed can be.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Stopping work at 123 Third Ave.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liberty heights: 19 new floors of residential for FiDi (why, oh why...)

Nothing seemed to be going on at the boarded up 67 Liberty St. between Broadway and Nassau Street in the Financial District for some time. Then, as a tipster noted this week, "they're adding floors rapidly."

Indeed, the former five-story office building is being converted to residences. Oh, not just the existing five floors -- developer Ron Shoshany is adding 14 stories to the structure. Work was approved for this spot in September 2004.

In any event, we just can't imagine how this is going to look... aside from really out of place. For starters, 65 Liberty Street next door is the former Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York. (Now home to the International Commercial Bank of China.) It's a A Beaux Arts landmark erected in 1901. A faux-op for next door then.

By the way, Joseph P. Day, real estate auctioneer and broker, bought 67 Liberty for his business in July 1919.

UPDATE: I found a rendering over at Newman Design.

As the copy there reads:

"Located in lower Manhattan, 67 Liberty Street Condos is a 19 story luxury residential rental building. The property was converted from a five-story commercial building into a 19 floor residence through creative application of zoning regulations. The design plan retained the skin on the first five stories, thus preserving the existing zoning, setbacks and utilizing the maximum FAR. As a result of the building’s narrow architecture, an interior scissor stair was designed."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Former Cedar Tavern is now "retail space available"

Well, plenty has been written about what's taking the space of the former Cedar Tavern location on University Place...six "floor-through loft-like residences," according to the listings. And it looks as if two units are left -- including the $3.4 million duplex penthouse!

And what about the groundfloor? I thought a tenant had already been lined up ...

For further reading:
Development Du Jour: 82 University Place (fka Cedar Tavern) (Curbed)

Pining for the Cedar (Flaming Pablum)

Meanwhile, Back on University Place (Flaming Pablum)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

An excellent body of work

Last August, I did a post on artist Dan Witz. He uses some of the uglier new buildings in Brooklyn and the LES as the backdrops for the photo-based, heavily re-painted stickers that he mounts on plastic and glues to the walls. Anyway! His work came to mind after reading about an upcoming exhibit of his work in Amsterdam April 9-20.

This is one of his newer works that I wasn't familiar with... from somewhere in Brooklyn.

You can find more on his Flickr page.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the Bowery: "It's old versus new -- and these days new would seem to have the upper hand"

The real estate section in the Post today takes a look at an up-and-coming part of town called the Bowery. Sounds interesting.

Street gangs, brothels, flophouses, Joey Ramone - at one time or another, the Bowery has played host to them all. Of the many Manhattan areas to have transformed over the last decade, the Bowery has to rank among the unlikeliest.

Transform it has, though. Homeless shelters like the century-plus-old Bowery Mission still dot the street, and lighting and restaurant supply stores still dominate the retail scene, but gentrification is most definitely on the march.


Yes, the Bowery is booming. Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Rob Gross has worked in the area for more than 20 years. He remembers selling real estate on the Bowery in the early '90s, returning on some occasions from showing apartments to find his car broken into.

"It was definitely off the grid a bit back then," he says.

Today, Gross is handling the new Bowery and Bleecker development - a three-unit building of floor-through condo lofts that includes an 1,862-square-foot penthouse with a private roof deck that's listed for $3.1 million. With Poliform kitchens, 50-inch plasma-screen TVs and prices starting at about $1,500 a square foot, the building is a world away from the formerly dodgy Bowery.


"The Bowery is one of the last areas in New York to experience a kind of seismic shift," says self-storage magnate and neighborhood developer Adam Gordon. "It's an interesting bridge neighborhood. It's at the crux of NoHo, SoHo, the East and the West Village. There are few places that have the access that this neighborhood does."

Gordon owns a plot of land just off the Bowery at 41 Bond St., which he plans to develop as an eight-unit luxury condo building once the financing environment improves. He also owns the Bouwerie Lane Theatre building at the corner of Bond and Bowery, part of which he's recently turned into three condos. One apartment is reserved for Gordon himself, and he plans to put the other units - a 5,200-square-foot triplex penthouse and a 2,500-square-foot full-floor apartment - on the market in March.

Also coming to the once-seedy street: a new five-unit residential building at 263 Bowery from developer Shaky Cohen, a 152-unit luxury rental building at 2 Cooper Square, a Lord Norman Foster-designed gallery building at 257 Bowery and restaurants from Keith McNally and Daniel Boulud.

It's the Cooper Square Hotel, however, that provides perhaps the best metaphor for today's Bowery. Because two residents of the apartment building next door at 27 Bowery refused to give up their units, the hotel was forced to build around them and incorporate their building into its design. And so at the northern end of the street, there sits an old brick tenement building that from the sidewalk looks as if it were being swallowed up by a sleek, glassy high-rise hotel.

It's old versus new - and these days new would seem to have the upper hand.

Or, as Gordon says when asked if he fears the loss of old, edgy Bowery he once knew, "I don't think it's fear. It's an inevitability."

Gordon adds: "I don't pine for the Bowery of 50 years ago. It was a hole."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One way of looking at it, I suppose

Great post on Runnin' Scared at the Voice about those million-dollar condos coming to First Street and First Avenue.

As Tony Ortega writes:

"[T]his morning, we received a cheerful note from developer Bruce Kaplan about his new condo building at First Street and First Avenue. He wondered if a Voice feature might be in the offing, seeing as how Kramer, in an episode of Seinfeld, once referred to "First and First" as the "nexus of the universe."

Yeah, that's clever, and a nice selling point, no doubt. But with Kaplan's one-bedroom condos going for about a million bucks each, we shot back a response: what sort of a feature was he looking for, with his building only adding to the difficulty the non-filthy-rich are having staying in the city?

Here is how Kaplan responded:

Perhaps you might take a longer view.
From, and as you probably know:

"between 1825 and 1840...shrewd speculators subdivided farms, leveled hills, rerouted Minetta Brook, and undertook landfill projects. Blocks of neat rowhouses built in the prevailing Federal style soon accommodated middle-class merchants and tradesmen. From 1820 a more affluent residential development emerged to the east near Broadway."

So without the actions of those shrewd speculators, there would not have been the canvas to paint on what would become the Village. Presumably the Minetta Brook Voice mourned that transformation.

As one of the Village's more famous residents wrote:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

If one looks back over time, there are several theorists (Ricardo, Mills, Alonso's Urban Land Theory) whose theories are that rising prices increases, not decreases supply. See also,

In any event, for what it's worth, what this shrewd speculator hopes to do with his million bucks is create affordable rental housing in the outer boroughs and preserve that diversity you value.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Demolition on East Fifth Street

Given the small parcels of open space on either side of 532 E. Fifth St., this four-story house was a rarity...which, of course, made it an endandgered species in this era of build-a-condo-on-every-piece-of-open-space development. It has been a four-unit apartment building. (As of last fall, a three-bedroom apartment was going for $3,500.)

Sure enough, the building is now being demolished. Don't know what's going in the space just yet, but the rumor among some locals is, of course, a condo.

Those locksmith guys will even leave a card on a building being demolished.

One of the condo-rumor spreaders frets that such change will usher in even further development (even in this economy) on this little stretch of the East Village.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Checking in on Hester and the Bowery

Been nearly one year since we first read about the new 61-unit glass box condo high-rise thingee coming to the corner of Hester and the Bowery. And one year later...things still seem to be in the razing stage.

Too late, unfortunately.

Friday, October 3, 2008

"In the East Village they’re destroying all the beautiful old buildings"

From an article on exploring Brooklyn Heights in the Times today:

Today Montague Street is home to Joe Coleman, an artist who moved there in 1994 after 20 years in the East Village. A painter known for his meticulously detailed portraits of serial killers and other nightmarish imagery, Mr. Coleman and his wife, Whitney Ward, live in an apartment that he calls the Odditorium. Wax figures of Charles Manson and the serial killer Richard Speck, John Dillinger’s death mask, a bullet from Jack Ruby’s pistol and a letter from the cannibal Albert Fish share the Ripleyesque space with some of Mr. Coleman’s paintings.
The East Village that I came to know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Mr. Coleman said. “I like it much better here. In the East Village they’re destroying all the beautiful old buildings. So escaping here seemed comforting.”

[Photo of the former Gaseteria on Avenue B and Houston Street via GammaBlog. Not that the Gaseteria was a beautiful old building...]

Monday, September 22, 2008

Questions and statements on the LES

At Clinton and Stanton on the LES.

In front of 32 Clinton, the four units ranging from $1.8 million to $2.5 million.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The 57-story condo coming to 56 Leonard

From the Daily News on 56 Leonard Street:

The Swiss architects of the iconic Bird's Nest stadium at the Beijing Olympics are bringing their innovative style to New York City with a translucent glass skyscraper designed to look like houses stacked in the sky.

Architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron's $650 million, 57-story condominium featuring dramatic, cantilevered terraces is slated to begin going up in mid-October in the trendy Tribeca district in lower Manhattan.

Curbed has been following the story.

Anyway, this building won't look out of place at all! A fine addition to our city of glass.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

But of course

The Real Deal reports (via Curbed):

Two thirds of a 15,000-square-foot East Village playground that was home to a popular flea market is under contract in a quiet, all-cash sale for $10.4 million to the Archdiocese of New York, court documents said.

The playground, divided into three ownership lots, is adjacent to the shuttered Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church on the east side of Avenue A between 11th and 12th streets. The Archdiocese owns the church located on a 13,000 square foot lot, city records show.

The Archdiocese did not respond to requests for comment, but real estate professionals speculated the church parcel and playground would be sold and developed into residential housing.

For further reading:
The Church Ladies (The New York Times)

[Photo: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Looking at Extra Place

I'm continuing to take in all parts of the Bowery. An appreciation of sorts. As Forgotten New York has noted, Extra Place has been a dead end on the north side of East 1st Street east of the Bowery since about 1800. Here's what it looked like in 1978.

[Top image via Forgotten New York]

Here's what it looked like the other day.

As it has been reported, the cul-de-sac is becoming "a slice of the Left Bank, a pedestrian mall lined with interesting boutiques and cafés."
Now watch this snappy video about Extra Place at 311 Bowery!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is the standard-of-living bubble ready to burst?

Over at Fortune, Geoff Colvin, senior editor at large, weighs in with the next big financial crisis: "We made it through the bursting of the Internet bubble and now the bursting of the real estate bubble. Next we may be approaching the end of the most worrisome bubble of all: the standard-of-living bubble."


"Since credit card debt has been growing much faster than the economy -- more than 8% in last year's third and fourth quarters and over 7% in May (the most recent month reported) -- people are apparently using it as a substitute for income. Thus, for the past year or so we have still maintained the standard-of-living illusion."

Bottom line?

"Sustainable increases in living standards have to be earned, not borrowed, and that means performing ever higher value work that can't be outsourced. We haven't been meeting that challenge very well; doing so will probably require much more and better education for millions of Americans, which takes time and money. The result may feel like deprivation, but I don't see it that way. Who knows -- we might even find that living within our means and saving a little money actually isn't so bad."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get me out of this Ugly New Building!

I managed to miss the news back in late May of artist Dan Witz adding his own touches to the luxury housing popping up everywhere from here to Brooklyn. In case you did too. He writes in a blog post: "Personally, I can't say I like the new modern architecture very much, it's sterile and so arrogantly disconnected with its surroundings sometimes it seems like giant alien space ships have landed in the night."

Still, the new buildings provide him with a backdrop for creating art. So! "These are photo-based, heavily re-painted stickers, mounted on plastic and glued to the walls of the Ugly New Buildings. I hit the Lower East Side and East Village in Manhattan, and Bushwick, Dumbo, Greenpoint and Williamsburg out here in Brooklyn."

I'm writing about this now because I just came across some of his work in the East Village and decided to do a little research. (These are his photos below; there are more on his Flickr page.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How condos are named

The Times has a dandy piece today on why every new condo name these days seems to have something to do with the sky.

. . .the floor-to-ceiling glass towers popping up in record numbers across New York City are starting to sound an awful lot alike.

Two new high-rises, one on the Upper East Side, the other in Brooklyn, a have the same name: Azure, a deep shade of blue. Seem familiar? It should. On the Lower East Side, another new building is called Blue.

Sky House, under construction on East 29th Street, is not to be confused with the Cielo (Italian for “sky”), on East 83rd Street. And then there are Star Tower, in Long Island City, and Solaria, in the Bronx.

It is an unintended consequence of the city’s historic building boom: a traffic jam of similar sounding names. To showcase the sweeping views from buildings with huge, wrap-around windows, real estate developers are flocking to a set of words that evoke the sky, clouds and stars.

Builders say there are only so many ways to describe a glass box, the undisputed architectural aesthetic of the moment. Similar names, they argue, are inevitable.


(And what, no My Blue Heaven as a name for a condo?)


Trends in New York building names are not new. Builders seized on the American West around 1900, producing the Wyoming, on West 55th Street, a block away from the Oregon, on West 54th, and across the park from the Idaho, on East 48th. And, of course, there is the Dakota, on West 72nd Street.

Soon after, a wave of Francophilia yielded the Bordeaux, the Cherbourg and the Paris. Native American motifs were enshrined in the Iroquois, the Seminole and the Waumbek.

Trees (Laurel), Greek mythology (Helena) and Spanish cities (Madrid) have all woven their way into the city’s skyline.

And mailing addresses are often used as building names, especially when the street is considered prestigious, like Park Avenue or Perry Street, in the West Village.

Occasionally, names flop. When developers converted the Stanhope Hotel, across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue, into luxury apartments two years ago, they called the project the Stanhope. Few takers emerged, and the name was discarded in favor of the street address, 995 Fifth Avenue.

What is striking about the latest wave is just how closely — or haphazardly — some of the names overlap.

The goal, after all, in a crowded real estate market like New York, is to stand out, not to blend in, said Mr. Wine, of Related. Most of the units in the new towers go for $1 million or more.

“You need to be distinctive,” he said, “and a good name can do that.”

Oh, lordy, there's more. But my head is going to explode.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

EV Grieve: South Florida edition

Just spent a few days at the usual place in South Florida. Wouldn't write about a short vacation except that what's going on there fits in with the theme of this site.

Been going to this part of Florida for several years now, an unassuming area north of the madness populated with mom-and-pop motels and resorts and beach clubs that were probably really grand in, say, 1973. I love the lively little pool- and ocean-side bars in these places, where many retired New Yorkers and other locals mingle with the tourists. There's often a glorious feeling of community spirit.

But. For how long? There is no escape. The high-rise condos and hotels have been making their way up the beach in recent years. Someone needs to start a blog about the (possible) end of days here.

Guess who came to build some of the condos? The locals seem to appreciate him. (I actually took this shot of the Trump billboard in May 2007.)

In March 2002, the Times had an article on the condo boom in the area:

''I had a guy who bought a unit here, get this, who worked at U.P.S. his entire life,'' said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, the city's largest landowner. ''If you saw the guy on the street, you wouldn't think he had a dime to his name. But he was a shareholder when U.P.S. went public and he is a millionaire. He bought a $400,000 unit with $80,000 down.''
Several years ago, envisioning just that sort of demand, Mr. Dezer's father, the New York developer Michael Dezer, started buying up all the property he could, including blocks of bargain-rate motels dotting the oceanfront, offering rooms for $39.95 per night with free cable television.
''Every owner, I was after him to sell to me,'' said Michael Dezer, who with his son has since bought 27 acres of prime oceanfront real estate here and replaced the old motels with 11 hotels and resorts.
The latest father-son project is a collaboration with Mr. Trump, the Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residence. It is a $600 million condominium and hotel development where units start at $350,000 for a studio and go up to $5 million for a penthouse with pool.

Meanwhile, I'll celebrate the people and the places that make this area what it is. (Yes, pretty cheesy. Still.)

The poolside bar entertainment at the Monaco Resort.

At the Thunderbird Beach Resort.

Finally. Overheard poolside. A young man from Kentucky bragging about a wealthy New Yorker he knows:

"...and he owns a house on six acres on the Lower Manhattan River in downtown New York."