Real Estate News from March 2012

  • Tracing Cocktail Origins Back to New York City By Gabrielle Hughes | March 30, 2012

    Going out for drinks is a fundamental component of Manhattan social life, but many bar patrons cast aside the history of what they’re sipping on while they are out on the town. The origins of numerous cocktails can be traced to back to the city itself, and many bar staples were created within the various neighborhoods of New York.

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  • LPC Grants City Landmark Status to Four Downtown Buildings By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 30, 2012

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to assign city landmark status to four federalist-style buildings in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday, continuing their campaign to preserve Manhattan’s historical buildings that harken back to distant eras, in this case the time period that followed the Revolutionary War. 310 Spring Street in Manhattan's Greenwich Village and 32, 34, and 36 Dominick Street on the southern edge of the West Village were all given landmark status, which ensures their existence and severely restricts owners from altering their exteriors of these pre-war luxury apartment buildings.

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  • Secret Midtown Passageway About to Go Public By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 28, 2012

    Residents of Midtown West apartments in Manhattan have long known about it, as have commuters who work in the area. Outside of these two groups, not many Manhattan residents are familiar with the so-called “6th-and-a-half Avenue,” but that might change soon. This privately owned stretch of public spaces runs from 51st Street to 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, and on Monday Community Board 5's transportation committee voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting plans to connect the series of plazas by means of new crosswalks.

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  • Yorkville Bank Building Acknowledged as Potential Neighborhood Landmark By Gabrielle Hughes | March 28, 2012

    Although the intersection of 85th Street and Third Avenue is currently home to a Gap and an Equinox, 1511Third Avenue is now being recognized as a historic site by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The former banking center of Yorkville was recently nominated by a past LPC executive director, as many of the Manhattan neighborhood's frequenters have been questioning why the building has not already been landmarked.

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  • New Construction and Manhattan's School Shortage By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 28, 2012

    It’s no secret that many parents and couples looking to have children have elected to stay in Manhattan rather than migrate out to the suburbs in recent years. While this is certainly good for the Manhattan apartment sales market and the New York City economy, the combination of this trend and many new apartments buildings designed for families has created an unintended consequence. Actually, it’s less unintended than unaccounted for: if New York City had adhered to its own formula regarding how many school seats should be built based on new housing units built, new schools would be popping up all over Manhattan’s fastest growing neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the city has been asleep at the wheel and failed to live up to their own standards. The implications for parents looking to purchase multi-bedroom luxury apartments in Manhattan are dire, especially if their children are elementary or middle school age.

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  • Poetry in Motion Will Once Again Grace New York's Subways By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 28, 2012

    Good news for New Yorkers who enjoy a good piece of literature: the Poetry in Motion series has been re-launched by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It’s been four years since the MTA discontinued the popular program that featured excerpts from some of America’s best-known poets (and some relatively obscure ones) on thousands of subway cars. Unlink the past edition of the program that ran for 15 years, the newest version will integrate artwork drawn from the transit system’s public-art installations into the advertisements. We at Elegran always enjoy these artistic touches on Manhattan's subways, especially because it's details like this that only help to increase interest in Manhattan luxury apartments.

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  • Former P.S. 64 May Finally Be Put Back to Use By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 28, 2012

    It may seem odd, but one of the most valuable pieces of property in Manhattan's East Village has been sitting empty for over 10 years. Ever since owner Gregg Singer ended the 22-year occupation of the former P.S. 64 by the CHARAS/El Barrio Community Center by evicting them in 2002, the building has sat vacant and unused. The story of how a decommissioned school building on East 10th Street in one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods has stood empty for a decade is a long one, but this saga may finally be coming to an end. A listing for 350 East 10th Street appeared last week on Massey Knakal, so the H-shaped building with over 152,000 square feet of rentable space adjacent to Tompkins Square Park is now one step closer to finally reopening.

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  • New York City Emerging as the Next Tech Mecca By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 27, 2012

    It may be too early to declare that New York City is the next Silicon Valley, but the evidence that we’re headed in that direction is hard to deny. Various neighborhoods across Manhattan have proven to be fertile breeding grounds for new tech start-ups like Foursquare Labs and Gilt Groupe, plus Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all opened offices here. Over the past 5 years, high-tech employment has risen by 30% to 90,000 jobs, and New York City recently surpassed Boston in tech venture capital raised. These developments are impeccably timed as well; both the Manhattan real esate sales market and the NYC economy as a whole are looking to non-traditional sources of activity to replace, or at least supplement, the declining activity of the financial sector.

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  • Community Board 11 Approves Bike Lanes for East Harlem By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 26, 2012

    After months of heated negotiations that almost derailed plans for bike lanes on 1st and 2nd Avenue in East Harlem, Community Board 11 finally approved the lanes by a vote of 21 – 14 last week. Residents of apartments in East Harlem will soon be able to enjoy these protected bike lanes in the near future – new construction is due to start this Spring. The reason that the vote was as close as it was (2 members also abstained) can be attributed to concerns about job creation, not opposition to the project itself; the Department of Transportation couldn’t promise the board that bike lane installation would provide jobs to local residents. Nonetheless, this decision will be a boon to the burgeoning condo market in East Harlem, a residential apartment market which is among the most affordable in Manhattan.

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  • New York Philharmonic Resumes Free Central Park Concerts By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 26, 2012

    Don’t call it a comeback. After taking last summer off due to scheduling conflicts, the New York Philharmonic are coming back to Central Park. Orchestra officials announced on Wednesday that the 47th season of the popular concert series of bringing live music to public parks in New York City will hit Central Park on July 12th of this year. They added that since it began in 1965, more than 14 million listeners have attended the series. This year’s edition will give residents of Manhattan apartments a great chance to hear some of the best musicians in the world for free, especially those who live in apartments on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side.

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