On the Market: More Angry Upper West Siders, More Rentals to Become Condos



The owners of 230 Park Avenue—Monday Properties, Invesco and South Korea’s National Pension Service—are planning to put it on the market for $1.5 billion, Crain’s reports. But the ornate office tower, once owned by Harry Helmsley, won’t even get to brag about being the most expensive office tower, with 1095 Sixth Avenue also hitting the market for some $2 billion.

WNYC points out that the legal dispute between Skanska and Forest City over the construction of the B2 modular tower is causing yet another delay at the very overdue project—and right after the developer and the de Blasio administration touted the project’s new schedule! But de Blasio, seems, for the moment, does not seem interested in taking an active role in moving things along, with deputy press secretary Wiley Norvell saying that they “hope the parties can resolve this matter quickly so workers can get back to work and this affordable housing project can move forward.”

Upper West Siders are chagrined that the revamped Sambuca restaurant, near Central Park West, will be remade to look like old New Orleans, with gas lights out front, because it is “gaudy” and not historically appropriate for the historic district, DNAInfo reports. And endless Duane Reades are?

At least property values at the Beresford haven’t been too hurt by the proposed cafe: The New York Times reports that “quaint yet elegant” apartment once owned by Broadway royalty Mary Rodgers and her husband Henry Guettel, is poised to hit the market for $14 million.

Far from the established world of the Upper West Side lies “the new frontier” of Brooklyn—the new Bushwick rental building Colony 1209, with a penchant for offensive language, as Gothamist points out. The promotional materials for the development refer to luxury tenants as “homesteaders” and promise to have “already surveyed the territory for you.” Which reminds us of Eula Biss’s excellent essay on the pioneer mentality of gentrification in her Chicago neighborhood. “The word pioneer betrays a disturbing willingness to repeat the worst mistake of the pioneers of the American West—the mistake of considering an inhabited place uninhabited. To imagine oneself as a pioneer in a place as densely populated as Chicago is either to deny the existence of your neighbors or to cast them as natives who must be displaced. Either way, it is a hostile fantasy.”

In the long-settled environs of the Upper East Side, Related has filed plans to convert its rental building at 200 East 94th Street into condos, The Daily News reports. The developer, who declined to comment, is clearly keen to cash in on the surging condo market, but will the move mean even less housing for New Yorkers (as condo buyers are less likely than renters to count New York as their primary residence)?

DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg is blaming Alta for the delay in closing the deal to sell a majority stake to REQX, a joint venture of Related and Equinox, Capital New York reports. “There’s a lot of different parties, and honestly I think Alta are not the easiest guys in the world to negotiate with. I don’t think that’s a secret,” Ms. Trottenberg said at a press conference, in response to a question about why it’s been taking so long to seal the deal that would help to stabilize the financially struggling program.

In other news, Bernie Madoff’s last surviving son Andrew has died of cancer, the AP reports, via Crain’s. Andrew Madoff maintained throughout the scandal that he and his brother Mark, who committed suicide two years after the anniversary of his father’s arrest, were duped along with the rest of the world by their fathers (the brothers worked at a legitimate trading side of the business). “One way to think of this is the scandal and everything that happened killed my brother very quickly,” Andrew Madoff told People magazine. “And it’s killing me slowly.”