Wednesday: Brooklyn & Warehouses, Chinatown & Cars, Trump & Ralph Lauren?

BK in a box

  • The sleazy bustle of Chinatown may soon be transformed into the distinctly refined serenity of Little Italy. How? By banning cars–turning the double-parked delivery trucks on Mott and Bayard Street into “alfresco dining and sidewalk tea shops.” The chairman of the Chinatown Partnership says “it could happen soon”–and even taxi-happy Councilman John Liu is in on the action. Close your eyes and think of Nassau Street! (Newsday)
  • “Mood” is the official 2006 keyword of the real estate biz. And the official mood of American homebuilders, according to CNN, hasn’t been as bad since 1991. That means, of course, that the industry is “rolling over.” So what does the chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders have to say? That the real estate industry will only “worsen before it improves.” Sounds good. (Money/CNN)
  • Red Hook and Barbara “Good Morning America” Corcoran aren’t as perfectly matched as one might think. Her purchase on Van Brunt Street was once hyped in the Times, though today her building’s storefront is empty, even though its rent has been slashed from $2500 to 18. Get out of Brooklyn, Barbara, while you still can. (Curbed)
  • A 113,000-square-foot mass of concrete and steel in Williamsburg has been sold for $26 million. You might never have guessed, but the Hope Street building was once a warehouse, and it will one day be a six-story condo. Those hip Brooklynites love their warecondos. (Globe St.)
  • Donald Trump gets a very sensual ego massage via Steve Cuozo’s Post column, which gives the Trump Tower credit for valiantly setting up shop on Fifth Avenue. Flattery aside: the building has a very forlorn 37,000-square-foot hole where Asprey’s big shop had been. Who might head there? Madison Ave. jeweler Graff, the luxuriously Italian Loro Piana, or Mr. Ralph Lauren. (NY Post)
  • Max Abelson