Caroline Pardo knows a thing or two about selling square feet. Up until April, for 10 years, the Two Trees director of commercial leasing was largely responsible for shaping Dumbo’s unique retail mix in accordance with Walentas family preferences that their buildings be filled with diverse, interesting retailers.
“We want to maintain the character of the neighborhood by having mom-and-pop stores … as opposed to having a bank on every other corner or having too many national chains in the neighborhood,” Ms. Pardo told The Observer back in 2009.
During the depths of the Great Recession, Angelo Biondo, owner of K-9 Powerhouse Kennel in Park Slope, was doing great business. Mr. Biondo rented out his guard dogs to developers who needed someone—or some animal—to watch over their stalled sites, but couldn’t afford a full-time human guard.
He told The Observer in 2009 that he charged $1,750 to $2,000 a month for the service—a steal compared to what a guard of the primate species would cost. “Brooklyn is the No. 1 area,” he said at the time, though neighbors near stalled sites guarded by Mr. Biondo’s dogs were not always so pleased—two dogs at a Robert Scarano site once escaped and bit a neighbor and his dog.
The market has since rebounded—there aren’t many stalled sites left to guard—but when the next crash inevitably arrives, Mr. Biondo won’t be around to rent out Great Danes and Rottweilers to unlucky builders.
Ah, the recession. It seems like only yesterday boffo new buildings were flying up all over town.
Curbed has a nice list of the 10 New York buildings that have fared the worst since the downturn, which includes all the usual suspect, like Robert Scarano and Karl Fischer, but there are also some big disappointments,
It’s become a cliché now: for the past few years, the Finger Building has been getting the finger from Williamsburg residents, the guy who sued (Scott Spector), HSBC, and even from its new owners, who have changed its name to the Albero (“the Tree” in Italian).
Though construction had stalled and the building had Read More
Tonight, David Yassky is holding a fundraiser on York Street with Robert Scarano, a well-known Brooklyn real estate developer who just gave up his right to self-certify architectural work after a series of complaints were filed with the city’s Department of Buildings.
“The city said that many of his buildings were larger than Read More
The New York Times reports today that Robert M. Scarano Jr.–whom has been an object of ridicule (rightfully so, IOHO) on Brownstoner lately for dubious zoning interpretations and near-constant injuries on job sites –has given up self-certification. His designs will now have to be certified by city examiners.
-Matthew Grace Read More