Real Estate News from August 2012

  • Manhattan Condominiums Now Double as Wedding Venues By Aby Thomas | August 31, 2012

    It is a universally acknowledged truth that weddings, besides being one of the most important moments in a person’s life, are also one of the most stressful. There is worry associated with almost everything related to a wedding, be it the guest list, the color of the flowers used and, perhaps most importantly, the location of the actual ceremony. Some want a no-frills version at City Hall, while some others want a lavish spectacle at an exotic location. Although home weddings are another popular option, not many Manhattan apartment residents would think of hosting a wedding in the city. But, as it turns out, some New Yorkers are doing just that—the amenity spaces in their luxury condominium buildings translate into great wedding locations for them to use.

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  • Gateway Plaza Scraps Proposed Annual Pet Fee By Aby Thomas | August 30, 2012

    While we haven’t had any reports of it yet, we are pretty certain that there were celebratory woofs and meows at the Gateway Plaza on 375 South End Avenue after the owners of the complex decided not to go ahead with a plan to charge pet owners in the building with an annual $250 “pet fee.” The proposed plan, which had very strict policies like only one pet per apartment and the restriction of certain breeds, had canine-lover and feline-lover residents growling and hissing when it appeared in their renewal leases earlier this month. These Manhattan apartment residents, who loved their furry critters, quickly banded together to voice their disapproval in a letter to the owners.

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  • 2012 Shapes Up Well for Manhattan Real Estate By Aby Thomas | August 30, 2012

    2012 has been a year of several amazing achievements. Queen Elizabeth II marked the diamond jubilee of her reign over the United Kingdom. Michael Phelps thrilled and wowed us At the London Olympics by becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals to his credit. Christopher Nolan’s last installment of the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, lived up to all its hype, grossing over $941 million worldwide. And now, here’s something that could be added to the list: 2012 has been the hottest market for Manhattan real estate ever since the economic downturn hit it in 2008.

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  • Chill Out in A Backyard, Right Here in Manhattan By Aby Thomas | August 29, 2012

    Musical superstars Jay-Z and Alicia Keys famously called New York City a “concrete jungle” in their 2009 hit song, “Empire State of Mind.” The moniker is certainly apt for Manhattan, with its stunning buildings and huge towers that seem to occupy every possible free space in the borough. For those New Yorkers who are originally from other towns in America, the lack of open spaces can be a little disconcerting. After all, who in New York City wouldn’t like to enjoy the pleasure of a backyard, where one could relax and chill out?

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  • T is for Train, And Now, Taxi As Well By Aby Thomas | August 24, 2012

    When almost everything else in New York City is getting a makeover of sorts, why should the city’s ubiquitous yellow cab not get in on the action? Be it the white collar residents of the Financial District or the trendy arty types that seem to swarm the Chelsea neighborhood, everyone in New York has gotten into one of these stunningly yellow painted vehicles at least once in their lives. While the fuel-efficient taxis of today are a far cry from the yellow sedans of the nineties, the New York City taxicab is undergoing one more transformation—and this time, it’s the cab’s logo that is changing.

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  • Activists Hope to Save 186 Spring Street From Demolition By Aby Thomas | August 23, 2012

    Built in 1824, the 19th century brick townhouse at 186 Spring Street has had a long and colorful history. Besides being a vestige of the architecture of the 1800s, the row house was once the home of several prolific gay rights activists in the 1970s. Revered names in gay activism circles like James Owles, Bruce Voeller and Arnie Kantrowitz lived in this building and conducted much of their work following the Stonewall riots from this Soho residence. More recently, and perhaps less prominently, the house was also home to Adam Horowitz of the Beastie Boys.

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  • Software Glitches Delay Citi Bike Program, Once Again By Gabrielle Hughes | August 22, 2012

    Put your kickstand back down because bike shares in Manhattan are facing yet another delay. Although it was recently reported that the Citi Bike program would finally be launched in August, New Yorkers are now going to have to wait until next spring.

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  • Work Halted On Second Avenue Subway After Tuesday’s Explosion By Aby Thomas | August 22, 2012

    The corner of 72nd Street and Second Avenue on Tuesday afternoon was a picture of mayhem and confusion when a planned underground explosion went awry and saw smoke and debris erupting at least eight stories into the air, shattering windows and rattling both passersby and residents of the Upper East Side. The chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Joseph J. Lhota, has called the Tuesday explosion at the Second Avenue Subway construction site “unacceptable,” halting all work at the site until a full investigation is made into the incident, so that it never happens again in the future.

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  • Tavern On the Green Gets New Owner; Opens Fall 2013 By Aby Thomas | August 21, 2012

    There were a lot of tears when Tavern on the Green, the restaurant located within Central Park, shut shop in 2009 after its owners filed for bankruptcy. Tavern was one of New York City’s most cherished landmarks, with the restaurant having being referenced in movies, music, theater and television. As a result, it was no surprise to see a considerable crowd hoping to take over the reins of the restaurant when the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation hosted a site visit in February. New Yorkers waited with bated breath to find out who would be bringing back a restaurant that has provided dining in the city’s most famous park for 75 years.

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  • Wanted: A Home For The “Sphere” By Aby Thomas | August 17, 2012

    When it comes to New York City parks, Battery Park in the Downtown Manhattan neighborhood doesn’t seem to have the same high profile status enjoyed by other Manhattan parks like Central Park and Bryant Park. However, it is this 25-acre park that has been the home for “The Sphere for Plaza Fountain” for the past ten years, a vestige of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, the Sphere’s former home. But although Battery Park was never intended to be the final resting place of the “Sphere,” it seems the city and its administration have still not decided where this awesome, albeit disfigured, creation of German sculptor Fritz Koenig must be placed.

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