Playing poor: The Wall Street Journal reports that affluent homeowners are picking up gypsy caravans to use as guest houses, studios or party spaces. Restored antique caravans can sell for more than $100,000 and newly-constructed ones can cost $30,000 to $60,000, depending on the intricacy of the carving—it appears that not even gypsy housing is affordable these days. In a related news, the paper reports that they are also scooping up million dollar mobile homes.
The Post has scoped out subway passengers to determine where the sexiest ones can be found—now that’s service journalism!—and recommends checking out, among others, the 125th A/C/B/D train (hot party girls), the Broadway/Lafayette stop on the B/D/F/M lines (models) and the A train/shuttle in the Rockaways for those sporting the beachy/surfer look.
Just be careful not to pick up bedbugs in the midst of trying to pick up a hottie: the Daily News reports that a 4 train on the Lexington Avenue line have been taken out of service after a bedbug spotting, joining four N trains that were fumigated after critter spottings. We know bedbugs, like bad dreams, never really go away, but are they back back?
Saddest Subway? The Subway Inn, which has decided to rally and try to fight its eviction, DNAInfo reports. But the prognosis does not look good, as the dive bar was on a month-to-month lease and owners of the building have plans to knock it down and build luxury condos in its place.
Despite a very strong residential sales market, housing construction has lagged far below pre-Recession levels in New York City, The Wall Street Journal reports, with 17,995 permits for new housing issued in 2013, roughly half the 34,000 that were approved in 2008, before the market crashed. Meanwhile, other major cities, like San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. have mostly returned to their pre-recession levels. The lack of new construction is likely to pose greater difficulties to New Yorkers seeking affordable housing, as supply continues to drag behind demand. Still, as The Journal notes, it’s unclear if the city has made the changes necessary to really accommodate development: “Many critics of development say the city feels perpetually crowded because the public sector has failed to make sufficient investments in transportation, parks and schools.”
Speaking of lagging… C.J. Hughes in The New York Times claims that FiDi isn’t anymore: “Today, there are more lights in windows, children on swings and beer gardens in plazas to infuse the old curved, off-the-numbered-grid streets with new energy.” What is, we’d say, debatable at best, though the residential population has doubled since 2000.
Definitely not lagging: sales prices at 828 Fifth, where a floor-through condo sold for $31.8 million this week, making it the most expensive sale of the week, reports The New York Times. The unit, which belonged to Charles Bronfman, sold to a West Palm Beach-based LLC., naturally.
Artist James Turrell has listed his Gramercy Park pied-a-terre for $2.85 million, Curbed reports, and it comes with a skylight! But disappointingly, the rest of the lighting is totally normal and boring.
Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams wants the development rights from a juvenile court facility in Brownsville transferred to create a 130-unit affordable housing development elsewhere on the city-owned site, according to Crain’s. The de Blasio administration, meanwhile, has said it would be supportive of such a development, but has no plans to build or fund one there.