On the Market: Work Resumes on Pacific Park’s Stalled B2 Tower; Bookstores Bite Dust

1134 Fifth

It may be a while yet before New Yorkers can get their fixes at the forthcoming casinos upstate. But there is, of course, no shortage of alternative options for those fond of spinning wheels, flashing screens, free booze and indoor smoking. And now that Carl Icahn has agreed to lend the bankrupt Trump Taj Mahal $20 million to keep it afloat until the summer, that’s one more possibility still on the table. The Post reports.

In more local revivalist news, workers are back on site at the modular unit factory in Brooklyn to finish fabricating materials for Atlantic Yards’, er, Pacific Park’s stalled B2 tower, which at present stands just 10 of its planned 32 stories, NY1 reports. Roughly 25 workers have returned to the job, receiving $8,000 and a retroactive benefits package each from Forest City Ratner; the company plans to rehire all 125 workers that were furloughed in the wake of FC’s brouhaha with Skanska. “Employees will also be under a new company name, the FC Modular,” NY1 noted. “The S for Skanska was dropped.”

And for some tower dwellers, the pastoral niceties of suburbia can be downright uncomfortable, at least at first. In the Times, Style editor Stuart Emmrich recounts a tale of culture shock from the burbs, wherein the author is made skittish by a solicitous barista, perplexed by artisanal scarecrows and finally, a little bit charmed. The piece is charming, too.

Less charming? The dreaded Manhattanization of Brooklyn. Brownstoner has a write-up on the latest report from Massey Knakal, which confirms with not inconsiderable glee that, “Sustained transformation in submarkets like Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, and Williamsburg has paved the way for other neighborhoods in outer submarkets to follow. As gentrification spills over to adjoining neighborhoods, it generates an increasing influx of young, well-educated and wealthy residents who are able and willing to pay elevated rents.”

And to some extent, the same goes for Miami, where in the last 18 months, prices along the beachfront have gone up 11.5 percent, according to the New York Times. Buyers and developers both, increasingly, are New York-based, including some usual suspects like the Property Markets Group and the JDS Development Group, of Walker Tower fame, and Lloyd Blankfein, of Lloyd Blankfein fame. Richard Meier has even gone so far as to buy one his own apartments, a first for the Pritzker Prize winner.

But it’s a good thing we don’t drive at quite the same rate as Miami residents. If we did, Vox estimates, the city would need to add 48 bridges, each carrying eight lanes of traffic. Yikes.

The buyer behind the $36.4 million purchase of the townhouse at 1143 Fifth Avenue that was for decades used as housing for French embassy staffers is almost certainly not among those New Yorkers who do drive. Though we’ll bet that the mystery shopper has at least a chauffeur or two. While certainly nothing to sneeze at, the deal pales in comparison to the 740 Park co-op that the French embassy sold off earlier this year to the tune of $70 million.

Finally, to end on a sour note, another independent bookseller will soon shutter for good due to rent hikes. The Complete Traveller book shop, and Antiquarian Books Too, at 35th and Madison, will take its last bow after 36 years in business on the last of the month, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York reports.

On the Market: Work Resumes on Pacific Park’s Stalled B2 Tower; Bookstores Bite Dust