Real Estate

NYU is in the Pencil Factory, The BQX isn’t in the Budget, and NYC blames Airbnb for Rising Rent — the Hook-up (5/11)

BQXRendering_Greenpointers_Cadkin
Not Today, BQX

Happy Friday, Greenpoint! Say hello to our newest neighbor: NYU School of Medicine. NYU has signed a 15-year lease for nearly 17,000sqft of space at 74 Kent Street, and will open a physical therapy and imaging center.

While we will be getting NYU, we won’t be getting BQX. Mayor de Blasio did not include the project in his budget for the next fiscal year, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation also declined allocate funds for the Gentrification Express.

Speaking of big budget items, the former Greenpoint Mechanics and Traders Bank at 144 Franklin Street is on the market for $6.5 Million.

If that sounds steep, the city hopes you’ll blame Airbnb. A study from the city Comptroller finds that airbnb listings have driven rents in Greenpoint up about $100/month. The Comptroller also blames the company for rent increases and homelessness across the city, a very steep charge to level against New Yorkers who share their homes on the platform because rent is so high in the first place.  Continue reading

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You Can Go to Hawaii Or Palm Springs Will Come To You — The Hook-up (5/4)

The Springs
Gettin Tropical at The Springs via The Springs

Welcome to Friday, Greenpoint! Now that the sun is out, the news is full of all things Paradise.

First up, what’s better than Summer Fridays? An all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. The Hawaii Tourism Board is now accepting applications for a week-long remote work-residency program exclusively for New Yorkers. 

If you can’t make it out to Hawaii, have no fear, there’s a new piece of paradise right here in Greenpoint. On Thursday, The Springs opened at 224 Franklin Street sporting Southern California vibes!  Continue reading

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Plans, Permits and Packages — The Hook-up (3/23)

A System Wide Meltdown Hit the G train hard! Via The Village Voice

The pace of change is swift here in the city, what with permits for new developments constantly being filed (like these for 85 and 87 Calyer Street), but this week, area residents are remembering the bygone gems of the early aughts, like Monkeytown, the performing arts paradise which began in a loft space at 222 Leonard street in 2003. (For those looking to relive the glory, Monkeytown may make an appearance in Mexico City later this year.)

Speaking of entertainment paradises — Newtown Creek! Really. The Newtown Creek Alliance’s long-term plan involves 85 projects along the waterway “that tie industry and recreation—without one compromising the other.”  Continue reading

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Church of the Ascension’s Parish Hall Gets an Unrecognizable Facelift

Rendering of 120 Java Street
Rendering of 120 Java Street via YIMBY

The Church of the Ascension (127 Kent Street) is one of Greenpoint’s oldest buildings, but its Parish Hall (120 Java Street) will soon find new life as residences. The Church sold the Parish Hall, and air rights for the building, in July 2015 for over 4 million dollars.

The Parish Hall at 120 Java in 2014 via YIMBY

The Parish Hall is not an original part of the church, but it still has significant history in the neighborhood, serving as a shelter during Hurricane Sandy, and as a headquarters in the Occupy Sandy relief effort. In the transition to apartments, the building on Java Street will triple in size and gain two stories, growing to accommodate 18 units. Each apartment will be approximately 1,300 sqft, and the building will offer “skyline views” from the roof.  Continue reading

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An Art Heist, An Environmental Vision and Another Hit and Run — The Hook-Up (3/16)

One of the paintings stolen from the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg
One of the paintings stolen from the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg via Brooklyn Paper

Happy Friday, Greenpoint, and welcome to the Da Vinci Code. There’s been an art heist on Bayard Street, and the NYPD has made an appeal for information from the public. The thief broke into the Crozier Fine Arts Warehouse in Williamsburg, and made off 6 Hudson River School landscape paintings worth a combined 1.7 million dollars.

Speaking of the River, this week, local community advocacy groups Riverkeeper,  Newtown Creek Alliance, Guardians of Flushing Bay and Perkins+Will teamed up to launch their Vision Plan for Newtown Creek and Flushing Waterways.

Newtown Creek Alliance is also part of a coalition of nearly 200 environmental groups that staged a rally this week to pressure Gov. Cuomo to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in New York State.  Continue reading

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Green Futures, and Greenpoint Residents, Alive and Well — The Hook-up (3/2)

A student demonstrates the PS 34's new STEM Lab to Councilmember Stephen Levin. Via Bklyner
A student demonstrates the PS 34’s new STEM Lab to Councilmember Stephen Levin. Via Bklyner

This morning, students, teachers and local politicians and community members gathered to celebrate P.S. 34’s brand new Green STEM Lab and Hydroponic Garden.

But it’s not just plant life that’s thriving in Greenpoint. A 46-year old Greenpoint resident was mistakenly declared dead by the Social Security Administration last fall, when in fact she is alive and well. She is in the midst of making the federal government aware of this fact. According to ABC news, the SSA will send out a letter informing her of her “resurrection” once they update their files.

And speaking of rising again: The New York State Department of Transportation has unveiled its plans for the next stage of construction of the New Kosciuszko Bridge. The DOT expects the final section of the span to be completed in 2019 or 2020.  Continue reading

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Pigeons and Protests: The Battle for Tenants Rights at 79 Lorimer Street

Councilman Stephen Levin Speaks at a protest outside of 79 Lorimer Street. Photo by Lucie Levine

At a press conference today in front of 79 Lorimer Street, a multiple-dwelling loft building in South Williamsburg, Councilman Stephen Levin Called the situation “truly Kafkaesque”: three and a half years ago, the building’s tenants were evicted from their homes and workspaces with 24-hours notice. Since that time, they have not been allowed back in the building, but their possessions remain trapped inside. Meanwhile, the property’s spiteful owners have knocked out windows, turning what were once  functioning homes and studio spaces into pigeon roosts. Today, everything the tenants own is covered in pigeon poop.  Continue reading

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Newtown Creek Flows all the way to Utah — The Hook-up (2/8)

Newtown Creek: The Art of Toxic Tides via Slug Magazine

The mighty waters of Newtown Creek will be in fine form this weekend, as lovebirds and sewage nerds turn out for Saturday’s tours of The Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, but this week, they’ve taken the spotlight as far away as Utah.

While Utah might have the Great Salt Lake, but artist Kelly Larsen found his muse in Greenpoint, affixing a 9-foot canvas to the wall of the creek to record the ebb and flow of toxic tides.  Continue reading

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Anti-Gentrification Panel Discussion in Long Island City Tonight (12/4)

Money, Power and Politics Poster

The Queens Anti-Gentrification Project and Progress Queens will be hosting an event tonight called “Money, Power and Politics: Queens Democrats Examined.” The Queens County Democratic Party is also known as “The Queens Machine.” According to a press release for the event, “activists will participate in a panel discussion on the upcoming New York City Council speaker’s race, the influence of money on elected officials, and the impact on local Queens communities of legislation and policy favorable to the real estate industry.” The panel’s special focus on issues surrounding real estate development might make it of interest to community members here in Greenpoint grappling with changing landscape of the East River Waterfront.

What: Money, Power and Politics: Queens Democrats Examined

When: Tonight (12/4) 6:30-8:30pm

Where: LaGuardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Ave., Room E242)

Who: Anyone interested in local politics or community advocacy

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Landmark Commission Approves Design for Domino Sugar Refinery

All architectural renderings courtesy of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism

The architectural firm Practice for Architecture and Urbanism has finally succeeded in winning approval for the redesign of the Domino Sugar refinery on Kent Avenue. An earlier redesign proposal was rejected because commissioners expressed the belief that the re-development was turning the building into a shell by removing its roof and interior and exposing it to the elements. Commissioner Michael Goldblum said, “You’re taking a building and unbuilding it, making it a ruin.” He also asked, “Is it appropriate?”

Designing a new use for the building was extremely challenging due to the building’s landmark status—it was officially landmarked a decade ago—which mandated that the industrial façade be preserved. The building, constructed in 1882, was for many years the largest sugar refinery on the planet. It was built with small windows and heavy brick walls meant to prevent fire, always a serious danger in sugar refining. (You can read more about working life in the sugar refinery in our previous post). Incorporating the thick brick walls and tiny windows into a viable modern design has proven to be a massive design challenge. Continue reading

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