It’s Springtime in New York again—that short slice of heaven squeezed between the long cold winter and the long hot summer—and the real estate market appears to be sprouting green shoots in celebration. For real this time. The kind of growth that the professionals seem to think can really last. That’s certainly the take that Diane Ramirez, president and co-founder of Halstead Property, shared in a recent interview. And she has some solid evidence to back that up, unmistakable trends she has spotted that indicate a kind of vigor in the market that is sustainable. The market, she posits, has become unfrozen, people are feeling less stuck, and rather than sitting tight with what they’ve got, they’re upsizing, downsizing, and just generally moving on with their lives. “That,” she insightfully says, “is what real estate is all about.”
In the Rezone
We’ve already declared it the craziest building in Harlem, so how exciting to come into a whole cache of renderings of the new Diller Scofidio + Renfor tower for the Columbia University Medical Center. They particularly reveal the unusual “Study Cascade” that is the core of the building’s design.
Back in 2007, in order to win his vote for Columbia’s contentious Manhattanville rezoning, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer got the city to agree to rezone the blocks north of the new 17-acre campus as well, a stanch against over development. Today, the borough president gets to vote on the rezoning he requested for West Harlem, and he is touting it as a triumph of community planning.
“This rezoning reflects the input of thousands of stakeholders in West Harlem and five years of work toward crafting a community-based planning consensus that could be a model for the rest of our City,” Mr. Stringer said in an email. “It is a promise kept to the residents of West Harlem—and a proud moment for all who are involved.”
Like many parts of the city, the zoning has not been updated since 1961. The Department of City Planning has created, through a multi-year consultation with the community, a contextual zoning package that will largely maintain the same density of development in the neighborhood while imposing new height limits and street wall requirements to ensure that sliver buildings and other uncharacteristic buildings cannot be built.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
This gives a whole new meaning to “in the heights.”
Columbia University Medical Center has just announced that Diller Scofidio + Renfro will be designing a new 14-story medical building on Haven Avenue between 171st and 172nd streets that will be home to high-tech class facilities for all four CUMC colleges as well as the biomedical program within Columbia University’s college of art and science.
The university tapped DS+R, along with Gensler, to create a new landmark for the medical center, one that will be visible from both the George Washington Bridge and Riverside Park.
The folks in upper Manhattan have been voicing their concerns lately: residents of West Harlem can’t stand dog doodoo and residents of Washington Heights and Inwood are protesting the lack of affordable housing options. A group of residents and community gathered over the weekend to speak out against Department of Housing and Preservation neglect, DNAInfo reports.
The residents called for more affordable housing in the neighborhoods, citing that only 139 of the 43,922 new units and 1,363 of the 85,299 preserved units under Bloomberg’s administration have been in either Washington Heights or Inwood.
While new development activity is still sluggish in most parts of the country—including throughout the five boroughs—at least one area of Manhattan is seeing several new deals that suggest a construction boom may be in the cards.
State Senate Watch
Just because they call it Washington Heights does not mean super-tall apartment buildings are welcome in the typically low-rise neighborhood.
A while back, Curbed got wind of an outrageous-looking plan for a complex of four towers ranging in size from 23 to 42 stories. Like our blogging pals, The Observer figured this was a Read More
Anna Lewis, an attorney with the Health Department who is battling for the state Senate seat that attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman is vacating, is making a major push to make the race about gay marriage.
Her campaign is just out with a release on the matter, and her latest mailer (designed by Michael Oliva) Read More
A Long Island-based firm called Gold River Capital has dropped $17.3 million on two Pinnacle apartment buildings in Washington Heights, according to city records.
That’s just slightly more than the $16 million Pinnacle paid for the rentals in 2004, when, during an epic buying spree backed by private equity, the firm bought thousands of low-income Read More
A Washington Heights church has divined the gospel of real estate, selling a portion of its land to a developer, who, in turn, will help build a new church three times the size of the old, dilapidated one.
Of course, the developer gets something out of this, too – in this case, the Read More