On the Market: Toynbee Tile Appears; Times Square Characters Defend Their Rights

Project 1080/flickr

Project 1080/flickr

Nearly 40 percent of all U.S. home purchases in the second quarter of 2014 were all-cash buys, Atlantic Cities reports, and investors aren’t just snapping up bargain foreclosures, but also high-end luxury properties. Either way, the upshot of all of this is that investors seem to be banking on growing income bifurcation and the middle class are losing out on bidding wars because they need mortgages to buy houses.

Should we be cheered or chastened that Ridgewood, where just about all housing heretofore was affordable, is now seeing development that has promised to incorporate affordable? Well, at least the new development going up at 176 Woodward will have approximately 50 percent affordable and a arts space that will lease for $10 a year, DNAInfo reports.

Governor’s Island is popular with tourists, but has had difficulties attracting commercial tenants, The Wall Street Journal reports, with many hesitant to move their businesses onto an island that has spotty ferry service in the off season and a largely seasonal visitor base. Which is problematic as attracting tenants is key to helping the park pay for itself, rather than continuing to eat up an enormous amount of city resources.

A small sliver of hope: the Subway Inn has been granted another week to live, after a judge issued a temporary restraining order pending an eviction hearing, according to DNAInfo.

A Toynbee tile—a mysterious, license plate-sized tile bearing a cryptic message—has been found at North Moore and Greenwich streets in Tribeca, Gothamist reports. No one knows what’s behind tiles, which have been appearing on busy streets in different world cities since the 1980s and are thought to be inserted into a freshly repaved street by someone using a mixture of linoleum, asphalt glue, tar paper.

Have you ever moved before? If not DNAInfo has you covered with their guide to moving. Continuing in the great tradition of internet advice you already knew, the website offers tips like “don’t do it alone” and “use the move as an opportunity to purge and organize.” Though we heartily disagree with the latter piece of advice and believe moving to be a highly inopportune time to purge one’s belongings, with said purging often necessitating a complicated decision before packing each item. Moving is much too fraught an undertaking to complicate it with endless decisions on the value and utility of every item one owns.

Crain’s profiles Harlem-based brokerage Bohemia Realty, a real estate concern helmed by actress, writer, producer Sarah Saltzberg that attracts other performers and assorted creatives looking for a job with a flexible schedule to help fund their dreams. An added bonus: many of the firm’s show business clients end up joining up as brokers.

Also in Harlem, the abandoned school at 521 W. 145th Street has finally cleared the final hurdle necessary for redevelopment, Crain’s reports, with Monadnock Development, Alembic Community Development and the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem closing all financing for the $48.6 million project that will transform the old school in a housing and a 10,000 square foot home for the non-profit. The project, though contentious, will have a very high percentage of its 78 units affordable, with 63 reserved for low-income, 7 for middle-income and only 8 for market rate.

Last of all, the Times Square costumed characters have formed an alliance, agitating for more respect and pledging to try to weed out bad actors among their ranks, The New York Times reports. The characters are concerned after police recently started handing out flyers telling tourists that tipping the characters is not required. Says one street vendor who supports the characters: “The city created a Disneyland here, and now they’re upset that it’s Disneyland.”