Housing + Development

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Mary Help of Christians Is Getting Scaffed Up

mhc

Yesterday workers started erecting scaffolding at Mary Help of Christians Church on East 12th Street, in preparation for its demonic possession, er, demolition. Here’s what the 96-year-old building looks like right this second. Despite preservationists’ best efforts, she’ll soon get the black veil, just like the neighboring rectory — so take a last look, East Village.

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Eco-Friendly Affordable Housing? It’s Actually Happening in Bushwick

Rendering of Knickerbocker Commons.

Rendering of Knickerbocker Commons.

The last thing you’d expect from affordable housing is energy efficiency and forward-thinking design, but two new buildings in Brooklyn are aiming to reduce the cost (monetary and environmental) of things like heat and gas.

Knickerbocker Commons, in Bushwick, and a yet-to-be-named building on the Ridgewood border will employ an eco-friendly design that has become increasingly common in Europe but is relatively untried here.
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10 Things We Learned From This 21-Year-Old Williamsburg Time Capsule

magazine spread
Twenty-one years ago last month, New York ran a cover story titled “The New Bohemia,” about Williamsburg’s burgeoning artist community. Today, revisiting the eight-page spread – which we’ve embedded for you below – is like opening a time capsule from a moment when the neighborhood was on the precipice of change. “In the seventies, it was SoHo. In the eighties, the East Village. In the nineties, it will be Williamsburg,” said one interviewee. Here now are 10 things we learned about the Billyburg of 1992.
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Kids Store Is Leaving ‘No Fun’ Williamsburg for Greenpoint

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

(Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Turns out Academy Annex’s impending move to Greenpoint will bring with it an unexpected bundle of joy: a children’s store!

When Kate Schmitz, the owner of Flying Squirrel, learned that she and Academy owner Mike Davis had to clear out of the space they share on N. 6th St., she decided to follow her longtime friend north.

Schmitz first met Davis when she was 20 and her roommate played in a band with him. About ten years ago, when Davis decided to bring an outpost of his East Village record shop to Brooklyn, they put their heads together and realized that selling baby stuff and vinyl in tandem was a no-brainer.
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The 40-Year-Old Hipster Goes to a Rave

Tom Lombardi has returned to his stomping grounds of Williamsburg after several years away.

(Illustration: James Powers)

(Illustration: James Powers)

The wife and I ride the elevator thirty-something floors up the spine of a newly constructed condo that stands, along with its glassy companions, on the waterfront on Kent Avenue. My wife’s friends’ crib is magnificent, with floor-to-ceiling windows that expose various sides: South and East Williamsburg, Greenpoint and beyond. Little people – humans below, not midgets – can be seen sipping sunset cocktails on roof decks.
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Hostel Hostility! DOB Nixes Bunk Beds at Bowery Flophouse-Turned-Hotel

(Photo: Jillian Goodman, NYMag.com)

Looking for a cheap bed in downtown Manhattan? Not if the Department of Buildings has anything to say about it.

This morning, we observed a sign outside the Bowery House – 1920s flophouse turned chic, hostel-like hotel – indicating that the Department of Buildings had determined that “conditions in these premises are imminently perilous to life.”

Yikes! According to a DOB spokesperson, the partial vacate order was issued because four rooms within the hotel had been “illegally converted” into hostel rooms. So the scary sign might be overkill — though we know all too well the imminent perils of a snoring bunk-mate with body odor.
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Uh-Oh: ‘Thurstons’ Are Invading Downtown, and NOT Thurston Moores

(Photo: Joshua Kristal)

(Photo: Joshua Kristal)

While Williamsburg-Greenpoint copes with Murray Hill types pouring into Berry Hill, downtown Manhattan is dealing with its own infestation: “gaggles of Muffys and Thurstons wearing Lilly Pulitzer are invading neighborhoods below 14th Street,” The Times giddily reports. The trend may just “portend the end of Manhattan’s few remaining bastions of bohemia.” (Uh-oh: better tell the guy who’s “one of the East Village’s last standing bohemians.”)

Here now are the obligatory cringe-inducing quotes.
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Caught Between Two Worlds in Bushwick

(Photos: Joshua Kristal)

(Photos: Joshua Kristal)

Jazz is floating through my window and it’s coming from the taqueria across the street. At Mesa Azeteca, there’s live jazz on Thursdays and mariachis on Fridays. Welcome to Bushwick, 2013.

The restaurant sits on Wyckoff Avenue near Hart Street, which has become a clear dividing line between two different worlds. Keep Reading »

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Spend Your Life Savings to Grill on the Roof!

Photo via elliman.com

Photo via elliman.com

While house hunting today, we were delighted to discover that a $49,000 property had made its way onto luxury realtor Douglas Elliman’s website. $49,000? What a steal! Except the listing isn’t for an apartment — it’s for a “Cabana on the Roof” atop a complex on Attorney Street.
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The View From Atop Jupiter 21, the NoHo [Sic] Building That Killed Mars Bar

The Sundeck (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The Sundeck (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

The Sundeck

The Sundeck

Second-floor outdoor lounge.

Second-floor outdoor lounge.

Communal garden.

Communal garden.

The hallway.

The hallway.

photo-63

photo-63

The Jupiter 21 filter on Instagram.

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Oh hey, here’s the roofdeck of Jupiter 21, the luxury building, opening July 15, where a TD Bank will replace the former Mars Bar on the ground floor. There’s no pool up here, but a sales rep told us the deck will eventually feature “misting stations” and outdoors showers — because why would anyone want to sunbathe by the wet bar and be all gross when they get back to their $3,475 studio?
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Despite Hail Mary Toss, There’ll Be No Digging For Bodies at Doomed Church

Nice one, guys. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Nice one, guys. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Scaffolding has gone up in front of Mary Help of Christians Church and demolition work has commenced at the rectory next door, but hey… at least the contractor’s logo is in keeping with the spirit of the place?

The small group of ex-parishioners who still pray the rosary in front of the 96-year-old church on East 12th Street are really going to have to hope for a miracle now: Bedford + Bowery has discovered that a few days ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected calls for an archaeological study to be conducted, making it all the more likely that Doug Steiner, who bought the property for $41 million back in November, will demolish it and replace it with an 80/20 mix of market-rate and affordable housing.
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Stomach It: 5K New Units Means ‘Gigantic Sandwich Landing On Greenpoint’

Proposed Commercial Street Expansion (Photo: Natalie Rinn)

Proposed Commercial Street Expansion (Photo: Natalie Rinn)

“Yes, there is a gigantic sandwich landing on Greenpoint,” said Ward Dennis. “The question is how can we make it better?”

During a community workshop last night at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (an invitation to a water treatment plant? how could we say no!?), the co-chair of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth managed to make us super hungry while talking about two housing developments – known as Greenpoint Landing and 77 Commercial Street – that already have full approval to add over 5,000 apartment units and more than 170,000 square feet of public open space to Greenpoint’s northern shores. Construction begins next year.
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