After watching their townhouse sit on the market for a year without a sale, the owners of 80 Washington Place have decided to take a cue from the previous owner, composer and conductor John Philip Sousa: they’re marching on. They’ve selected a pair of new brokers—Town’s Robert Dvorin and Clayton Orrigo—and cut the ask by a million dollars.
Built in 1839, the 22.5-foot-wide Greenwich Village townhouse has only been owned by only three families over its 175-year life. Its most famous owner, John Philip Sousa, invented the sousaphone and penned marching ballads, including Marine standard “Semper Fidelis” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” and was also a committed technophobe. “These talking machines are going to ruin the artistic development of music in this country,” he testified to Congress in 1906, presaging the rise of Skrillex.
Loving the idea of bike share, hating the racks. [NYT] Meanwhile, Brooklynites stock up on aesthetically-appealing bikes. [Bk Paper] Want to start co-working in Brooklyn? [DNAinfo] Hedge funds are betting on Fannie and Freddie. [WSJ] Cipriani Wall Street gets newsstand moved down the street. [Post] Abingdon penthouse sells for $22 million. [TRD] A look back at Brooklyn’s automobile industry. [Brownstoner] Keep the pet out of the picture when you’re trying to sell a house. [WSJ] Locals agitate to have Fort Greene “dust bowl” astro-turfed over. [DNAinfo] One Hanson Place penthouse returns to the market for $3.6 million. [Curbed] POPS! A new plaza opens by the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. [Crain's] New York spends about $95,000 a year on body bags. [NYT] Larry Silverstein gets another shot at super-luxury hotel-condo in Lower Manhattan. [WSJ]
The Port Authority used to set records in good ways. The George Washington Bridge was a marvel of engineering in its day, the world’s longest bridge when it was built, and still the busiest. The Port Authority Bus Terminal, opened in 1950, is to this day the largest on earth by passenger volume.
But today, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey doesn’t brag about the records it sets. One World Trade Center, born the Freedom Tower and taken over by the Port in 2006, will be the most expensive office building in the world. The “Vehicle Security Center,” an underground tour bus garage and road network serving the World Trade Center complex, may very well be the most expensive parking garage in history.
And then there’s the PATH station to New Jersey, the most troubled project at one of the world’s most troubled construction sites. At $3.74 billion, plus another $200 million in contingencies, the “Transportation Hub” at the World Trade Center—not even the busiest station in the Financial District—will be far and away the most expensive train station built in modern history.
“So many of the civic successes heralded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg,” Ginia Bellafonte wrote in The New York Times back in 2012, “might have happened in Lithuania for all the effect they have had (or could have) on the lives of people in Brownsville,” which Ms. Bellafonte then goes on to helpfully identify as a neighborhood in northeastern Brooklyn.
We’re not sure if gentrification counts as a “civic success,” and we aren’t aware of any pasty-faced, heritage flannel-wearing hipsters wandering around Pitkin Avenue, the neighborhood’s main drag, yet. But if trends in nearby neighborhoods are any indication, it won’t be long before Brownsville—a byword for blight, home to the largest concentration of public housing towers in the city and to this day a place that some mail carriers fear to tread—is selling something artisanal besides stamp bags.
Poor smokers! Forced to shiver outside with chilly, chapped fingers all winter long, and then when the weather finally improves, New York announces that it will be expanding its state park smoking ban.
The ban on smoking in some areas of state parks had a rocky start (the state suspended it temporarily after smokers’ rights groups threatened to sue) and the legal challenge is, in fact, ongoing, But apparently, New York State is feeling very cocky, not only moving forward with the ban, but extending it to even more parks. Now smokers will only be able to suck fresh air into their damaged lungs when they visit one of the city’s parks. Or, the skin particle-laden air that passes for fresh in New York City.
Beyonce’s little sister has accidentally immortalized a former Brooklyn landmark.
The “Losing you” singer released a mini-video yesterday that shows her hanging out on the steps of the infamous pink house of Park Slope. The hot pink Pepto-Bismol building, a local landmark at 233 Garfield Place, was stripped of its hallmark color late last year when it was sold for $2.075 million to a couple who did not care for the shocking hue. The move was applauded by neighbors who were tired of the buzz around the home.
Two of New York’s preeminent hip-hop artists are making moves in the city’s casual restaurant scene this week.
Buffalo Boss, the organic and hormone-free wing shack that counts Jay-Z as an investor, signed a 10-year, 600-square-foot lease at, fittingly, 400 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn. And Questlove of The Roots and Late Night with Jimmy’s Fallon‘s house band, has partnered with blockbuster restaurateur Stephen Starr (Buddakan, Morimoto, and a slew of restaurants in his–and Questlove’s–native Philly) on Hybird, a drumstick, dumpling and cupcake purveyor that opens this Saturday at 75 Ninth Avenue in the Chelsea Market.
City seeks developers to rebuild Sandy-ravaged neighborhoods. [Crain's] They’re also looking for developers to restore Staten Island wetlands. [DNAinfo] Greenpoint architecture is super, super contextual these days. [NYT] Don’t you wish that your house had a trellis room? [WSJ] Jenny’s new block: J-Lo set to buy a $10 million mansion in the Hamptons. [Post] City hires consultants to revamp Midtown East’s (soon-to-be-rezoned?) streets. [Curbed] Soccer arena parkland is totally replaceable, says Bloomberg. [CapitalNY] East River floating pool just needs half-a-mil for a mock-up. [DNAinfo] Considering the tiny, beloved antique Carroll Street Bridge. [NYT] Check out what the Hudson Yards culture shed would look like inside. [WSJ] Citi Bikes are not racing bikes or fixies and that’s not a bad thing. [Streetsblog] Americans hate hipsters but still love PBR. [Post] Privately-funded public parks: still controversial. [Atlantic Cities] Gowanus Canal will become 34 percent less sewagey. Will still be super-fundy. [CapitalNY]
John E. Zuccotti may have a park of his own downtown, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street protests that centered around the privately-owned public space, but when he and his wife Susan decided to pick up an apartment in Manhattan, they chose a more classical park to look out onto: Central Park.
The real estate titan (you don’t get a park in Lower Manhattan named after you for nothing—he’s the chairman of Brookfield Properties American division and was a partner at Olympia & York, the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York and has served on the Planning Commission; for a brief period in the the ’70s, he was even an establishment favorite for mayor) picked up a two-bedroom on the sixth floor for nearly $2.6 million—a number that, on Fifth Avenue, suggests a striking degree of modesty.