On the Market: Newark’s Development Surge; Subway Woes Increase Along With the Fares

Wendy/flickr.

Wendy/flickr.

If the death knell hadn’t already been rung enough times before, Crain’s reports that the Lower East Side block where Soho House is opening an outpost is attracting other investors willing to pay top-dollar for its low-rise buildings. The investors are betting “that the entire block will become more vibrant” following Soho house’s stellar neighborhood-boosting work in the Meatpacking District.

Meanwhile, the Upper West Side is so vibrant that it’s having trouble keeping its laundromats. Crain’s reports that more than 200 people signed a petition to keep Ansonia Dry Cleaners & Laundromat open, but unfortunately petitions don’t really hold all that much sway when it comes to landlords wanting to raise rents and proprietors wanting to turn a profit.

Down in the West Village, the Naftali group claims that a pair of wealthy penthouse dwellers have turned squatters, according to the New York Daily News, refusing to leave their $25,000 a month penthouse long after their lease expired. The building at 277 W. 10th St. is going condo, but the couple apparently won’t leave until their renovation is complete on their $4 million condo nearby.

Last week, police seized a trove of documents stored in the Hudson house of a Robert Durst confidant, The New York Times reports. The friend, Susan Giordano, expressed a strong, if rather vague belief in Mr. Durst’s innocence, though given his other friend and confidant Susan Berman’s mysterious murder, she can be forgiven for not wanting to get on his bad side: “He didn’t do this,” said Ms. Giordano, who first met Mr. Durst through mutual friends about 30 years ago. “I’m such a strong believer in him. There’s probably some explanation. I don’t know what it is. I’m still waiting to hear from him.”

The Times also looks at the issues raised by the Jinx, specifically, whether the entertainment value of the series took precedence over its journalistic and legal value, with the “confession” left to the final moments of the final installment, and where documentaries in general fall into the journalistic spectrum. But given that Robert Durst has been arrested and police departments across the country are re-investigating murders he may have been tied to because of the movie, we’re going to say the filmmakers get a pass for prizing the entertainment value.

Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization want to buy $56 million worth of unused air rights from the MTA for a site on 41st Avenue, according to Crain’s, which would allow them to build Queen’s tallest apartment tower in LIC, topping 70 stories. Without the extra air rights, the tower would be less than a quarter of the size.

In Newark, it’s been a long time since any building got done, but Politco Magazine writes about how a $150 million mixed-use development intended to incorporate housing for teachers, a hotel, retail and even an aeroponic farm is some of the first new development the city has seen in decades, despite being only about 20 minutes from New York by train. The new Courtyard Marriott, for example, is the first hotel built in the city’s downtown in 40 years. But can a largely residential development help save a city without the underlying jobs to transform its economy?

How late has your train been this past year? DNAInfo has a visual of all the lines‘ tardiness this past year (the 5 train was the latest), which were late an average of 20 percent of the time. This proof that subway service is getting worse coincides nicely, of course, with the new fare increases, which start today.

Subway users might also want to complain that there’s a plan to greatly reduce the number of station attendants at subways. Though mostly ignored and frequently useless, Gothamist points out that the low-key security they provide can make a big difference, citing the case of a subway worker who intervened when two men started fighting with a knife on a Sunday morning at his 28th Street 6 train station.

And Citylab looks at how New York’s long commute times may be keeping mothers out of the workforce: only 70 percent of women with children under 16 work outside the home in New York, less than the national average. Meanwhile, “a 2013 study found that every one-minute increase in a metro area’s daily commute time is associated with a 0.5 percent decline in the labor participation rate of the area’s high-school educated women with children under five.”

At least everyone likes the Subway Inn: the dive bar has re-opened at 1102 Second Avenue, after getting booting from its long-time home in December, DNAInfo reports. Many elements of the old bar, including the famous sign and a table Marilyn Monroe was said to have stuck gum under, made the move.

Last of all: Megan Fairchild, a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet, discusses the Dobbs Ferry home she shares with her dancer husband, basset hound and rescue puppy in The Times: “What dancers love to do when they come home is lie down,” she said. “We shove the ottoman up to the couch and the dogs join us.”

On the Market: Newark’s Development Surge; Subway Woes Increase Along With the Fares