On the Market: Change Is Chain Stores and Rising Real Estate Prices

Julie Manzevora, flickr.

Julie Manzevora, flickr.

More than 53,000 people have applied for 89 units of subsidized artists’ housing in East Harlem, according to DNAinfo. The units have strict income requirements—a single person cannot earn more than $35,300 annually—and range from $494 to $1,022 a month. The winners will be determined using a lottery.

What happens when Harlem’s Striver’s Row is populated entirely by the established? The Wall Street Journal reports that last week a house in the West Harlem neighborhood sold for a record $2.89 million, leaving many worried about the future character of the neighborhood. Not such a surprise with new neighbors who view the upward price climb as unequivocally positive. As one told the paper, “the changes are progress, it is going to improve itself more and more.”

That claim is now being tested in Western Queens, where the borough president has come out against Astoria Cove, Crain’s reports, despite developers’ recent boasts that they would write mandatory inclusionary zoning language into their agreement with the city in exchange for building taller towers. The borough president argues that the 1,700-unit project lacks adequate transportation links and would have few units affordable to nearby Queens residents.

East Hampton, where the town is considered saddling chain stores who want to open there with strict regulations, is also not so fond of change. The New York Times reports that many locals are angry about stores like J.Crew and Theory having opened in the village and now want to make other chains go through an onerous approval process, but  opponents of the regulations argue that with the internet as a competitor, often the only pharmacies interested and able to open are chains.

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman comes out strongly against the Frick’s proposed addition: “The city should avoid another self-inflicted wound, and there are other options.” Ouch. Kimmelman makes a strong argument against the bigger-is-better ethos that has infected New York’s cultural institutions, though in the institutions’ defense, the city’s seemingly insatiable desire to push tourism numbers ever higher does seem to necessitate some kind of planning or paradigm change in the museum world.

Building a Tribeca homeless shelter’s 110 beds have been sitting empty since May as the shelter pleads with the Department of Buildings for a variance that would allow it to avoid building a second standpipe, according to DNAInfo. The building, without the second standpipe, is not up to fire code, according to the DOB, but the agency approved the plans several years ago.

It’s not only love locks being fastened to the Brooklyn Bridge: The Wall Street Journal reports that visitors are now tying all manner of common object to the famous span, and for all kinds of reasons, too. “Unlike locks, headphones and hairbands are always close at hand and are inexpensive enough that romantics feel they can afford to sacrifice them.” But does a freebie pair of headphones really say eternal love?