Real Estate News from July 2012

  • LEED Certification Proves its Worth By Yuan Feng | July 23, 2012

    An emphasis on sustainability and green technology has become a leading trend and concern in the modern era. In particular, sustainability in New York apartments is now a pressing issue for developers and buyers alike. However, this begs the question: does LEED certification actually brings about higher prices? LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a ranking system for sustainability which judges everything about the design and features of a building to the way in which it was constructed. Though expensive, LEED certification means that a building is conforming to the highest standard of eco-friendliness. After all, would homebuyers really pay more for green technology in their homes or apartments during hard economic times? As it turns out, a green certification label truly is worth more than just the sake of a title; LEED certification has actually been proven to add selling value to Manhattan apartments.  

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  • City Gov Gives the High Line Some Serious Money By Gabrielle Hughes | July 23, 2012

    Widely considered to be Manhattan’s most popular park, the High Line is set to extend its elevated Chelsea location to incorporate a brand new, third section. Friends of the High Line, a non-profit organization, is funding construction of the $90 million expansion, but the park has just received $5 million extra from City Council, an appropriation that is not going over well with many New Yorkers.

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  • UES Trash Station Is a Done Deal By Stephanie Spencer | July 23, 2012

    Oppositional apartment owners of the Upper East Side’s future 91st street Garbage Transfer Station received disheartening news when it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to begin construction, one of the final steps required to begin assembling the station. The Solid Waste Management Plan, which was designed by the Bloomberg administration as a way to make each borough take individual responsibility for their waste, has been heavily protested by Upper East Side residents since it was announced in 2006. They say that the facility will have devastating environmental effects on the neighborhood. Residents and officials argue that not only will the streets be riddled with garbage trucks transporting trash daily, but also that the East River dump site will be located near multiple housing projects, hospitals, and schools, therefore posing a threat to local health.

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  • Illegal Apartment Renting in Stuyvesant Town on the Rise By Andrea Garcia-Vargas | July 23, 2012

    Apartment residents of Stuyvesant Town have a new pet peeve. The neighborhood east of Gramercy Park and north of the East Village is seeing a surge in people illegally renting bedrooms as hote rooms for up to a couple hundred dollars a night.

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  • Window Washers Now in High Demand By Andrea Garcia-Vargas | July 23, 2012

    Glass buildings have surged in Manhattan over the past few years. And, consequently, so have window washers. The two trends go directly hand-in-hand. In the former age of brick and limestone, window washing was a no-brainer—a building’s superintendent could even take it on him or herself to spray a bit of Windex on the inside of windows and wipe it clean. Masonry, for example, can be washed as infrequently as once every 40 years. But now, with the increase in buildings that use reflective surfaces which need to be cleaned every two years, people who do window washing for a living are in high demand—the washing needs to be done on the outside for maximum reflectiveness, and if it’s a high-rise building in sore need of a spring cleaning, window washers are the only ones who can master the heights.

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  • Chelsea Market Debates Rage On By Yuan Feng | July 20, 2012

    Chelsea Market and its proposed expansions have become a battlefield commanding the attention of Chelsea apartment residents and, recently, of Manhattan as a whole. The current topic of debate comes from Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer, who has strongly urged for the expansion plans to be vetoed unless they are reduced significantly. Stringer in particular has argued that the expansion will overwhelm and overpower the surrounding neighborhood. As a very possible candidate for mayor, Stringer’s position raises an important debate of which should matter more: the development of economic opportunity or the desires of a neighborhood’s residents.

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  • Harlem's Victoria Theater Gets a Second Chance By Stephanie Spencer | July 20, 2012

    After years of neglect, state officials have finalized a project that will completely restore Harlem’s Victoria Theater, providing residents with affordable housing and additional jobs for the neighborhood. Gov. Cuomo’s Empire State Development Corp, who unanimously voted to approve the $143 million construction project on Wednesday, will turn the once abandoned theater into a haven for creative types and families, creating a non-profit art complex called the Theater of Harlem. Developers also plan on installing complexes that will be included in the glass encased, 26-story building such as the Apollo Theater Foundation and the Harlem Arts Alliance. In an attempt to restore a communal appeal to Victoria Theater, a 5,000 square ballroom will be installed in the hotel, allowing much of the original architecture such as the grand stairway, gilded chandeliers, and marquee to remain. The second tower will house brand new apartment condominiums that will be cost-friendly to New York City residents looking to live in Harlem.

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  • Back in Vogue: Manhattan’s White Brick Buildings By Aby Thomas | July 20, 2012

    White brick buildings have, in the past, been the target of much condescension in the urban conversation in New York City. A vestige of the fifties and sixties, these ivory towers were meant to be unblemished behemoths rising from the city, and for a time, they were. But rampant criticism of the design of some of these white brick buildings and their need for renovation soon gave the entire class of these constructions a slightly inferior status in Manhattan’s real estate market, which caused luxury apartment hunters to be wary of living in white brick buildings. But now, that’s all in the past.

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  • Greenwich Street Rises From the Ashes By Yuan Feng | July 19, 2012

    Greenwich Street is on its way back up to the top. This historic street spanning Downtown Manhattan will have closed-off parts between Liberty Street and Dey Street reopened by next year with the entirety of the street reopened by 2016. With such a critical location in front of the World Trade Center, developers are likewise trying to take advantage of the new prime property that is growing available. With these sweeping changes set to hit Greenwich Street, the area is expected to once again reclaim its mantle as the main thoroughfare between Lower Manhattan and Greenwich Village.

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  • Manhattan Still the Exception to the Rule By Stephanie Spencer | July 19, 2012

    New York City continues to prove itself as a leading force in American real estate as property prices gradually increase, a stark contrast when compared to the rest of the country. In a report released Wednesday by the Real Estate Board of New York, since 2011 Manhattan has had a 6% increase in the second quarter of this year. Neighborhoods such as Gramercy Park have been sweeping up homebuyers as its average condominium sales price increased up to 20% following 2011, as the Upper West Side has experienced a soaring 18% increase.

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