Category Archives: Real Estate

Fall Party Watch, Guaranteed Rager Edition:

I’d like to invite you personally to join [redact] members for an evening of real estate industry networking. These events are typically a good mix of people from across the industry, including developers, lenders, investors, attorneys, and architects. Whether your looking to find new clients or new opportunities, this event is a great way to kick off your efforts this fall.

Venue: Marquee, 289 Tenth Avenue, Manhattan

RentFreeNYC Apartment Contest

2004_05_aptcontest.jpgNeed a place to hang your hat in Manhattan, but lack the necessary means (like, you know, income?) to make it happen? Two residents of an East Village apartment are conducting a 350-word essay contest on the subject “Why I want to live in New York City.” The prize: six months of rent-free living in their East 6th Street walkup. Now, some may doubt the veracity of the contest—notably the fact that the winner also receives $5,000 to “defray the costs of living in New York for six months” (hey, everyone knows it’s going to cost at least six times that)—but I believe such fears to be unfounded. Even the most cursory glance of the apartment photo gallery reveals this to be a real-deal East Village apartment. (Brooding hipster guy… hipster chick with guitar… malnourished black lab… patina of one too many nights spent licking the couch pillows.) If you’re still unsure, check out the description of the apartment’s “hallway,” surely one of the most honest real estate ads ever penned: “This hall separates the bath and kitchen from the living and bed rooms. Most Manhattan apartments are not fortunate enough to have such an addition. The hallway not only creates the illusion of more room it also contains a closet which is another luxury not afforded most City spaces.”

· Rent Free NYC [rentfreenyc]
· My 1br Apartment: Up for Grabs [Gothamist Forum]
UPDATE: Ooops, did we forget to mention the $69 entry fee per application? You’d almost think we were complicit in this thing. Anyhula, Gawker does the math on the potential haul for your new landlords: $207,069
UPDATE II: Uh, well, so much for that.

Avenue B HellDorm Update: History Shrieks

Reacting to the Li’l U.N. slated for Avenue B, blogger Morland poses the Tompkins Square Riddle:

Q: What’s better than conspicuous consumption of incongruent high-rise real-estate?
A: Conspicuous consumption of incongruent high-rise real-estate at the expense of venerable neighborhood community centers!

He’s talking about Christadora House, the 17-story building at 143 Avenue B—the tall beige thing looming in the back right of the below photo—built as a “sky-scraper settlement house” in 1928.


Came the flush days of 1986 and some bright developer had the idea to turn them into luxe condos. Protests to stop the development ended… uh… well… predictably:

Before its redevelopment, the building had been orphaned and had fallen into the City’s hands, which earmarked it for use as a neighborhood community center. When the financing and organization to put it to this use fell through, the building was sold to private developers who promptly and contrarily converted it into luxury condominiums in 1986.

Previously expected to serve the public but now inhabited exclusively by wealthy private residents, the building quickly became a target for expressions of outrage towards the burgeoning gentrification the East Village was experiencing. After tensions boiled over in the Tompkins Square Park riot of 1988, the Christadora House’s windows were broken frequently and its walls were often graffitied. Tenants were assaulted outside the building as they came and went and extra security was eventually required. “Class Struggle Erupts Along Avenue B,” ran an August 10, 1988 New York Times headline that detailed the state of affairs in the neighborhood.

That’s from a long essay on East Village gentrification in March magazine from a few years back. Regarding Christadora, it sagely concludes, “Christadora House, less than 20 years since its facelift, affects a conservative and stately presence on the Park; it is hardly imaginable as a flashpoint of urban tension as recent as 1992.”

Further reading: discussion of Christadora at GothamCenter; history about the block at the always engaging New York Songlines; and photos of a huge 1BR apartment in Christadora (now, alas, rented) with some sassy outdoor space just right for a screw-the-poor-folks fête.
· A Genealogy of Gentrification [March Magazine]
· Dorm-at [Man. Myth. Morland.]
· Christadora House Discussion [ via Morland]
· 9th Street [New York Songlines]
· 143 Avenue B [Custom Brokers]

Monolithic Slab Slated for Ave. B

Proving once again that midtown shouldn’t have all the fun—and by “fun,” we mean “soul-ruining architecture”—plans are afoot to build a towering 23-story dormitory on Avenue B adjacent to Tompkins Square Park. Good news: it’s going to be a dormitory! Even better news: to make room for the superstructure—aptly described as “somewhat resembling a smaller United Nations Secretariat building in shape”—they’ll only have to demolish the historic school building that long held the cultural center CHARAS/El Bohio. Worried about the loss of cultural diversity? Not to fear—the new dorm will have a plaza with—yes!—”trees and active recreational uses for the students, such as basketball, handball and rollerblading.” Besides, CHARAS was evicted two years ago after the building was sold to the current developer. (CHARAS supporters famously released thousands of crickets at the city-run auction for the site, but the chirping did not halt the proceedings.)

Naturally, the development has East Villagers, including our old friend Anna Sawaryn, up in arms. Protest marches are in the works. Oh, this will be fun. Brace yourselves.
· Towering Dorm is Proposed on former CHARAS Site [The Villager]

Dallas, Here We Come

As a timely follow-up to our California Scrapbook, Times reporter Motoko Rich reports today on the sizzling market for one bedroom apartments in Manhattan:

For around $470,000, recent listings show, you could buy a four-bedroom, four-bathroom traditional house in Dallas with granite kitchen countertops and vaulted living room ceilings. In Columbus, Ohio, you could buy a sprawling four-bedroom house with two fireplaces, a whirlpool and a ravine outside your front door.

Or you could buy a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

2004_01_345grand.jpgWell, slam us with a 2×4! (Granted, the ravine is a nice touch.) Doing a little poking around this morning on the real estate websites of uberbrokers Corcoran and Douglas Elliman, we’re chagrined to note that Ms. Rich may have a point. We’re particularly fond of this featured view from a $650,000 one bedroom at 345 Grand Street. “For the discerning lover of air ducts and rogue restaurant odors comes this oh-so-now update on tenement chic…” Jesus, we’re plunging in now before prices double tonight.
· One Bedroom, Many Bids [NYTimes]