Elegran Edge
The Real Estate Blog

What is Elegran Edge? It’s the blog where we bring together the biggest and best stories from our neighborhood blogs and agent blogs. If it’s happening in Manhattan real estate, you can find it here.

Articles about "Manhattan Zoning"

  • SoHo Residents Try to Change Artist Residency Law By Andrea Garcia-Vargas | July 11, 2012

    Apartment residents of SoHo—particularly, the artists of SoHo—are teaming up to call attention to an artist-in-residence zoning law that has existed since 1971, but only in name. Enforcement measures, to say the least, have fallen short.

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  • Growth and Historicity: The Problem with Manhattan Zoning Laws By Daniel Muhlenberg | March 06, 2012

    As a place that is idealized as offering limitless possibilities, Manhattan's apartments and neighborhoods really do live up to that reputation. Renters and buyers of Manhattan apartments have the full spectrum of neighborhoods and lifestyles to choose from, and most Manhattan residents relish the opportunity to trade in one city for another just by moving a few blocks away. So it’s no wonder that Manhattan’s unparalleled popularity has led city planners to predict that the current population of 1.6 million will grow by 220,000 to 290,000 residents by 2030. Under these circumstances, the tension between embracing the future and preserving the past is growing rapidly. While our recent Q & A with a national planning expert covered much of this ground already, this particular conflict still deserves a closer look.

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  • Zone Green Takes Aim at NYC's Zoning Laws By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 20, 2011

    In 1961, very few people were concerned about the environment, to say the least. That was the year that New York City’s notoriously strict zoning laws were established, and, remarkably, they are still in place today. One of the unforeseen consequences of those laws is that they are now acting as inhibitors to building green-features on new buildings, or even to retrofitting older buildings to meet greener standards. In response to these impediments, the City Planning Commission, led by Chair Amanda Burden, proposed a series of rule changes to the city’s zoning laws, dubbed “Zone Green,” in order to make them more environmentally friendly, and in doing so they are hoping to establish the first comprehensive, citywide effort to make buildings energy efficient.

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  • Historic Districts Being Created at an Unprecendented Rate By Daniel Muhlenberg | December 01, 2011

    Historic Districts in New York City are popping up like wildflowers. Or weeds. Depends who you ask. One thing is certain: over the past 8 years 27 new historic districts have been created by the Landmarks Preservation Commission - a New York City government agency whose sole task is to create historic districts - and its chairman Robert Tierney. According to its website, the LPC’s mission is to, “safeguard the city’s historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage.” The LPC has certainly followed through: since its inception in the mid-1960s, it has landmarked over 29,000 buildings and sites across the city. Whether or not that’s a good thing is still up for debate.

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  • Jane Jacobs and New York City: Part 1 By Kimberly Milner | October 19, 2011

    After the financially wobbly St. Vincent's Hospital closed its doors last year, locals dissatisfied with the mixed-used condominiums that would rise in its stead recently held up picket signs at public land reviews, promoting a different standard for what a city should be. “What would Jane Jacobs do?” they asked. Jane Jacobs, herself a native of Greenwich Village, was propelled to fame when her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, permanently changed the face of modern urban planning. A woman in owlish glasses, Jane Jacobs’ calculus on the “great” cities arguably created the city that sprawls before us today; many urban planners have followed her axioms. But half a century after she herself picketed in the streets to prevent Robert Moses, a czar-like city planner, from razing Greenwich Village, how have Jane Jacobs' ideas about Manhattan real estate influenced the current scope of New York City?

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  • What Is Waterfront Zoning? By Phil Ryan | October 19, 2011

    At Elegran, we have discussed the implications of residential, commercial, manufacturing, and mixed-use zoning on luxury real estate and development numerous times. A successful combination of these districts has created many a treasured New York City neighborhood replete with restaurants, shops, condos, rentals, and the other amenities so desired in Manhattan living. Recently, however, the New York Department of City Planning has instituted a new directive known as waterfront zoning, an innovative concept that will, in some ways, radically alter the structure of New York City and vastly improve its livability.

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  • New Park in the West Village on the Way By Daniel Muhlenberg | October 11, 2011

    After serving the west side of Manhattan for over 160 years, St. Vincent’s Hospital permanently shuttered it’s doors last year. After the Rudin Family purchased the property in hopes of turning it into a luxury condo building, the complicated negotiations with the New York City government began. While they’re far from settled, a significant compromise has emerged: a small maintenance block off 7th Ave will become a public park. This is somewhat ironic considering that it is private property, but New York’s Universal Land Use Review Procedure requires the site to fulfill open air and public space requirements, and that gated plot of land does just that. It currently contains two separate buildings: a former material handling facility in the middle and a smaller building at the westernmost edge. The Rudin proposal will transform the plot by eliminating the facility in the middle of the park, thereby creating more than 15,000 feet of park space for the public.

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  • Are BIDs a Smart NYC Real Estate Gamble? By Phil Ryan | October 10, 2011

    As anyone who has ever set foot onto the island of Manhattan can attest, the number of neighborhoods is simply staggering. Even more complex is the intricacies with which they interact; while it’s easy to separate Midtown from the Upper West Side, a newcomer to New York City may not even notice the difference between SoHo and NoHo Although nearly every Manhattan neighborhood has its own identity, some subtler than others, the occasional boundary blurring can be confusing to say the least, sometimes hurting what New York Magazine refers to as the “microneighborhood” trend. In an effort to stem this problem, the New York City Economic Development Corporation has created several business improvement districts, or BIDs, aimed at improving the identities and focusing development within particular neighborhoods, especially in the context of revitalization or regeneration.

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  • Parking in NYC Just Got Trickier By admin | October 03, 2011

    Parking meters. We’ve all seen them throughout NYC, physical reminders that parking in Manhattan can be a difficult endeavor. But over the past few years, these money-eating sentries have been on the decline with the advent of the new electronic Muni-Meters that require drivers to pay upfront and display a receipt on their dashboards. This new phenomenon begs the question; could our previous methods of parking be changing? The answer is a resounding yes.

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  • West Chelsea: A Zoning Success By Phil Ryan | September 20, 2011

    In 2005, the New York City Department of Planning, correctly anticipating the demand that the then-decaying High Line would bring when renovated, as well as with the desire to regenerate a relatively unique section of Manhattan, undertook an intensive re-zoning of the area roughly bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues from 16th to 30th Streets. Despite such a small area, the influence of the High Line, which runs directly through West Chelsea, and the trendiness of the neighborhood have made the re-zoning a wild success; West Chelsea is one of the fastest-developing parts of Manhattan.

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