Housing + Development

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Chinatown Advocates Demand Community Board Action on Push to Limit Building Heights

I’m here to tell the CB, please take a stand to support us, to be on our side, not on extell’s side not on the developer’s side

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

You gotta give it to the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and their friends–they are persistent AF, despite long odds. In their eight-year quest to pass the Chinatown Working Group rezoning proposal, a plan that would create a new special district with more height restrictions and protections to fend off sky-high luxury towers, they’ve kept up a steady stream of rallies against new developments, marches in support of tenants, held town halls (trying to invite the mayor), and even hand-delivered a “gift” to Gracie Mansion.

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The Gentrification Art Show That Inspires ‘Intentional Awkwardness’

via Month2Month

via Month2Month

In New York dingy, overpriced studio apartments manage to command bidding wars, while longtime city-dwellers with sweet rent-regulated deals have come to expect landlord harassment. Meanwhile, archaic affordable-housing lotteries regularly have something like 56,000 people fighting over a handful of slots. We’ve all hear these stories (many times) before– but this city is so wildly unequal that it sometimes feels like we’re all living in separate bubbles, ones that are often completely different from the ones where our neighbors dwell.

But what if you could actually step into the shoes of (or slide into bed with) a New Yorker on the other side of the tracks, so to speak, for a few nights?

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Fat Radish Had their Building Sold, But Ain’t Growing Nowhere

via Eastern Consolidated

via Eastern Consolidated

This morning, real-estate brokerage firm Eastern Consolidated announced that the retail condo at 17 Orchard Street– otherwise known as homebase of The Fat Radish– was sold. The 2,500 square-foot space was snatched up for $2.5 million by Elijah Equities (a real-estate company that recently made headlines for leasing their 5th avenue storefront to a Chinese burger chain, Uncle Sam Fast Food).

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How an Apartment Guru Saved My Tiny Home from the Clutches of Clutter

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Some people can work wonders in small quarters. (Remember that beautifully organized, itty-bitty kitchen-shower apartment?) I am not one of those people. I’ve lived in a 350-square-foot Lower East Side apartment with my husband for four years, and during that time I’ve managed to keep it in an almost uninterrupted state of mess (except when guests come to stay).

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The Astor Place Cube Returns Next Month

The Design Pavilion being set up. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The Design Pavilion being set up. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

It was a year and a half ago that the Astor cube got boxed up and carted away, and the city hasn’t been the same since. I’m neither a psychologist nor a geologist, but I’m willing to bet that the removal of the Alamo took the very earth off of its axis, causing the mass imbalance of brain chemistry that led to the imminent nomination of Donald J. Trump.

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Facing Pressure From Pols, Dr. Jays Mogul Backtracks on Evicting Bowery Tenants

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez speaking (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez speaking (Photo by Kavitha Surana)

Landlords are on notice–yesterday Steve Croman was charged with 20 felony counts and using illegal tactics to push tenants out of his buildings. Today Public Advocate Letitia James and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez kept up the heat, using their clout to influence the outcome of a prominent tenant-landlord dispute in Chinatown. Standing outside the state supreme courthouse, the two railed against landlord Joseph Betesh (also owner of the Dr. Jays streetwear brand), accusing him of using “illegal practices” to evict 27 families at 83 and 85 Bowery.

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Landlord Steve Croman Charged With Criminal Fraud and Pushing Out Tenants

George Tzannes, a Croman tenant from the East Village last month (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

George Tzannes, a Croman tenant from the East Village last month (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

Just a month ago we followed faith leaders and tenants as they tried to meet their landlord, Steve Croman of 9300 Realty (and honoree on The Village Voice‘s New York City’s 10 worst landlords list twice–once in 1998 and again in 2014). They wanted to deliver letters from 32 different religious figures, decrying Croman’s alleged tenant harassment tactics, such as cutting gas and heat, dangerous construction, low buyouts, and threatening frivolous lawsuits.

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Owner of Bowery Bank Building to Pay $7 Million for Art Tax Evasion

Germania Bank (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Germania Bank (Photo by Scott Lynch)

Aby J. Rosen, owner of the gloriously graffitied Germania Bank building at 190 Bowery (soon to be outfitted as a high-end office building for fashion agencies and archives) is in the news today for something other than his disruptive real estate moves on landmarked buildings (in case you forgot, he also pissed off preservationists two years ago, when he displaced The Four Seasons restaurant and its Picasso curtain painting from the Seagram Building).

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Los Sures, a Time Capsule of Bygone Williamsburg, Gains Wider Distribution

via Metrograph

via Metrograph

Couldn’t get enough of Los Sures, the time capsule documentary of life in Puerto Rican Williamsburg back in 1984? You weren’t alone. The film, originally slated to run a week at Metrograph, the Lower East Side’s new arthouse film mecca, grossed $25,000 its first week and was extended for a second week. Playing mostly full houses, it eventually netted a holy-moly $60,000.

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Meet Fabrice Grinda, the Minimalist in the $6 Million LES Penthouse

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

(Photo by Kavitha Surana)

As he rang in 2015, Fabrice Grinda, a 41-year-old tech entrepreneur from France, took stock of his life. He’d been living out of suitcases for the past four years, globetrotting and swinging between upscale hotels and top-notch Airbnbs. He decided it was time to “partially re-materialize.” Not settle down with a white picket fence (horrors!) — nothing drastic — but simply find a simple New York landing pad he could call his own.

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New Supertall Joining Extell on the Waterfront Draws Resident Ire

Courtesy JDS/SHoP

Courtesy JDS/SHoP

The area known as Two Bridges, below the Lower East Side, melting into Chinatown and hemmed in by the waterfront, has long been defined by its mix of mid-rise low-income public housing and affordable housing buildings. Now, within a matter of years it will suddenly have at least two towering skyscrapers in its midst.

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