Tuesday: Chain Stores and Slum Lords

  • When the big, bad chain store enters an urban environment (read: Wal-Mart to open in Brooklyn), opposition from residents is usually not enough to keep it away. Some design students imagine an alternative, where Wal-Mart’s site also serves as a public space, assembly hall or art center. (Land+Living)
  • Is this a record? A Queens landlord has some 7,000 housing code violations and owes about $425,000. (The Queens Courier)
  • As commuter flights become more common, carrying luggage should be anything but. Architect Peter Yeadon has designed sleek suitcases that follow your voice and utilize motion robotics for hands-free travelling. (Inhabitat)
  • The Housing and Urban Development Secretary announced that 16 universities will receive over $5 million to help rebuild communities along the Gulf Coast. Nine of the grants go to Historically Black Colleges and seven will assist other schools. (Inman News)
  • Moishe’s movers have thick eyebrows and no sleeves. Yowzah! (Apartment Therapy)
  • The New York Yankees are distributing propaganda sheets to South Bronx residents about their new stadium, which claim the construction will not cost taxpayers. But, we know all too well that that’s rarely true. (Metro)
  • If churches own the land in Harlem, by God, developers will find a way to get ‘em. (New York Post)
  • Christopher Gray paints a dramatic picture with words: “At the 24th floor, the bare facade bursts out with a band of rich neo-Classical ornament in white against a chalky blue background…The top floor — the 25th — is the bravura closing act.” (The New York Times)
  • Avalon Riverview North will break ground tomorrow. It is the first phase of the Queens West development in Long Island City. (The Real Deal)
  • The freaky “rogue economists” are looking for real-estate brokers that offer a “flat-fee service for clients wanting to list a house on MLS, or know a lot about such services.” Interested? (Freakonomics via The Walk-Through)
  • Community activism prevailed in Manhattan Beach last summer, when residents thwarted the construction of 40 McMansions. But now, the streets are lined with half-built McMansions. (New York Daily News)
  • Transit workers vs. NYC: most public transit workers drive to work, are male and married. (Gotham Gazette)
  • Brooklynites! Big Brother is watching. Stay away from the Dunkin’ Donuts. (A Brooklyn Life)
  • - Riva Froymovich