Thursday: ‘Green’ Becomes the New Black, But What Will Happen To ‘Lofty’?

  • Brooklyn architects are competing furiously to erect Williamsburg’s first eco-friendly five-story building. (Whoever wins, we’re all victors when the buildings have names like Greenbuilt and The Solaire.) The reactionaries at The Post insist that “being green isn’t quite that sexy,” though condos like the 5,500-square-foot Devoe (at 233 Devoe St.) will be open within a year–complete with garden roofs and geothermal heating/cooling. Who would ever have believed that Brooklyn would be going green? (New York Post)
  • Philanthropic (or genius PR) move of the morning: Phoenix Realty Group has created a $250 million fund for affordable housing (“and commercial projects”) in mid-income neighborhoods. Better yet, that quarter million will magically sprout into a clean billion, thanks to development with “community-based” partners. The biggest of the fund’s projects will reach $100 million–our fingers are crossed for twin philanthropic townhouses. (Crain’s)
  • The Times treads lightly on the city’s precious real estate bubble, although the comfort-factor of an article about Manhattan real estate stability is always diminished when it begins, “Despite some signs of a weakening market…” Yet instead of paying mind to the frightening reports by Corcoran and its peers, the kind gray lady soothingly promises: “lofty real estate prices were little changed.” (The New York Times)
  • Or maybe the bubble is doing just fine? CNN reports that the average price of “existing family homes” in NYC (and Northern New Jersey) rose 11.2% last year (about 46 grand) to $458,500. This statistic is employed, of course, in a very helpful feature story on why buying a first home is difficult. (CNN/Money)
  • Freedom Tower Teamsters/crane operators/sandhogs strike update: an agreement seems to have been reached on wage increases, though arguments continue about the number of workers at each construction site. When that’s settled, all Ground Zero will need is a plan. (NY1)
  • The Post describes The Sunshine Group’s $12.1 million listing for the sixth floor of Richard Meier’s West Village condo, and sadly cannot resist laying down a “people in glass houses…” joke in the story’s opening line. Reactionaries. (New York Post)
  • - Max Abelson