Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Union Square About to Get Another Facelift

The home of Tammany Hall is set to get a massive face lift in the near future, promising to truly elevate the look of 17th and Union Square East. Currently home to the New York Film Academy and various retail tenants, the building was once the famed hotbed of political corruption. A New York City Landmark, the current controversy has been over the proposed turtle shell glass dome, meant as a tribute to Native American Chief Tamanend, who was of the turtle clan and the namesake of Tammany Hall. Originally rejected by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as too modern, BSKS Architects presented a modified version which was approved a few weeks ago. 

The new design will feature a reconfigured fourth through sixth floors, which would include the dome and would be for a single tenant. The design would allow a person on each of the upper floors to see down to the floors below. The proposal also would remove the theater, restore the facades, replace signage, create new entrances on 17th Street, and remove plaques from the eastern end of the 17th Street side of the building to replace them with windows. Judging by the renderings, the new design would in many ways restore much of the facade to be more in line with the original presentation of the building. 

The building, located at 44-48 Union Square East and 100-102 East 17th Street, was completed in 1929 by architect Charles B. Meyers. It replaced the old Tammany Hall building, which was on 14th Street and was completed in 1868. Elise Quasebarth of the preservation firm Higgins Quasebarth & Partners said the building has a "rich political and cultural history." It was sold in 1943 to a union, which owned it until 1984. A few have stepped forward to petition for it to house a museum about political corruption, but it is likely this will not gain the needed support. 

Design Comparisons

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Manhattan Condos Expected to Ease Inventory Shortage this Spring

While the weather did not let up, February brought a sunny disposition to Manhattan sales which increased 19% year over year as well as inventory, up 4% year over year. While this is great news for both buyers and sellers, it is mainly due to a dramatic increase increase in Condo sales (up 31%), most of which were deals over $2M. For buyers, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, as price per square foot was down for both Condo and Co-op sales in the city, and a large number of new buildings poised to launch this spring should give some relief to the inventory crunch. Likewise if you have been thinking of selling now may be the time to make a move, prior to these new offerings in the marketplace.

Corcoran's Monthly Market Snapshot: Manhattan

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flowers or Towers On North Williamsburg Waterfront?

Hundreds of Brooklynites flooded City Hall recently to protest the city's slow action on buying land for Bushwick Inlet Park on the waterfront in North Williamsburg. In 2005, seeking to increase development in the area, Michael Bloomberg's administration approved plans to create a 28-acre park along the waterfront. But even though city officials designed, planned, and even built part of the park, (the first completed phase of the park sits at just over 9 acres) they never actually bought up the additional land needed to finish the job. While $19 Million was allocated in 2006 to buy the missing portion, the site's owner, realizing its New Brooklyn value told the New York Times he would now sell the lot for more like $120 million. When asked, the parks department confirmed there is still no funding allocated to buy a major portion of the land and "no schedule" for its acquisition. Full Article

Friday, March 20, 2015

Architectural Digest Home Show in NYC this Weekend

Been searching for that perfect fixture or flooring, but just can't seem to find it? Take advantage of Architectural Digest's annual Home Design Show this weekend at Piers 92&94. Open to the public all day Fri, Sat and Sun, for a $30 advanced purchase ticket, you also receive a year's subscription to the magazine! The show will have a variety of lectures and classes, as well as several distinct areas: MADE, celebrating one of a kind independent design; Furniture and Furnishings: where the finest home furniture brands, designers, and dealers present their latest innovations for the home; ReFRESH, the largest collection of luxury and premium kitchen, bath, and building products in North America, and the SHOPS for instant gratification. Tickets & Show Details