On the Market: Slightly Less Secrecy in Real Estate Sales; Cobble Hill Loses Bookshop

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The de Blasio administration has imposed new requirements on shell companies buying or selling real estate in New York City, according to The New York Times. All members of a shell company buying or selling property would have to be disclosed to the city, though not necessarily the beneficial member; last year more than half the transactions $5 million and above were to limited liability companies. The stated scope, however, was fairly small—catching tax scofflaws who may secretly be primary residents of the city. And while the identities may be subpoenaed by law enforcement officials, they would not be a matter of public record. “They’re just inviting another layer in order to conceal it,” said one lawyer. “It doesn’t solve the problem.”

To be honest, it’s shocking that the book- and paper-strewn Community Bookstore in Cobble Hill has lasted as long as it has—this isn’t Berkeley, after all! But The New York Times reports that the shop is indeed closing, though the bookstore’s eccentric, self-proclaimed hoarder proprietor John Scioli, a former cabbie, now numbers among the moneyed after selling the building, which he owns, for $5.5 million. There’s a much neater sister store in Park Slope run by Mr. Scioli’s ex-wife; the two opened the shops together and divided them when they split.

Nearly a third of low-income, limited-equity co-ops in the city are struggling to pay their tax bills, a sign of bad financail health, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The city has about 1,000 limited-income co-ops, which over the past five years have accounted for nearly half of all delinquent tax payments from the city’s more than 4,800 co-ops.”

Not low-income in the least is the Greenwich Village co-op of Julia Roberts, which the actress just listed for $4.5 million, according to the Post.

Uber is mad that Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t agree to a live-streamed debate about capping for-hire vehicles, Crain’s reports. The car service is, it would seem, either ignorant of the fact that sitting mayors do not generally debate entrepreneurs who oppose their policies as though they were political rivals vying for their seat or believes it is entitled to prvileges not afforded other companies. “I don’t debate with private corporations,” the Mayor said at a press conference. “Let’s be clear, Uber is a multibillion-dollar corporation, and they’re acting like one. They’re looking out for their corporate bottom line.

What does it say of the city’s maturity level that a second rice krispie treat-themed specialty bakery is opening in Manhattan, as DNAInfo reported? Surely one was enough? Granted, the first, on the Upper West Side, is for children and the second, on the Upper East Side, is intended to cater “to a more sophisticated audience, with a park-like seating area in the back and another section with walls made of real bark that can be converted into a party space.”

These days, $9 million can get you a very tastefully restored brownstone on the most achingly perfect brownstone streets of brownstone Brooklyn. But do you know what else it can get you? A shockingly shiny (the interiors are almost reflective), be-chandeliered mansion in Gravesend, Gothamist reports. Delusions of grandeur included!

Michael Stern and Largo Investments got a $74.5 million construction loan from the Spanish Santander Bank for a 14-unit luxury condo by the High Line on W. 24th, according to Crain’s

Finally (as in “the end,” not as in “at last”), a kung-fu themed vegan eatery is opening on Ralph eatery in Bed-Sty, DNAInfo reports.

On the Market: Slightly Less Secrecy in Real Estate Sales; Cobble Hill Loses Bookshop