A controversial new luxury building is trying to attract foreigners to the Lower East Side — but not the type of immigrants the neighborhood is used to. We’re talking about the well-heeled jet set. Yes, that’s literally a Gucci bag in one of the renderings for Extell Development’s skyscraper at 252 South Street.
The company has quietly released a brochure, meant to appeal to foreign investors, that outlines the outlandish amenities inside of what opponents say amounts to an 80-story gated community.
“Where are you, de Blasio?” That was the question of the afternoon when rain-soaked protesters braved the weather at City Hall to protest rezoning that they claim has led to racism and displacement within their community. According to the organizers of the rally, The Coalition to Protect Chinatown & The Lower East Side, Mayor Bill de Blasio told them earlier in the day Wednesday that a representative from his office would come out to address them, but no one showed up. It could have been the rain that kept the nameless flack away, but try telling that to 75 wet, angry people struggling to keep their umbrellas from turning inside out. The next stop, they say, will be Gracie Mansion.
Colony 1209, a rather, um, insensitively named luxury development in Bushwick featuring a doorman, ping pong tables, a “speakeasy,” and a gym, has caused quite a stir since it opened up its 127 units inviting “bohemians” to become “settlers” in “Brooklyn’s vibrant new frontier.” Last summer, Bushwick Dailydubbed Colony 1209 the neighborhood’s “most controversial new building,” which judging by the apartment’s website copy, is something the developers might just have been aiming for. But in a neighborhood where there’s an acute and visible housing crisis happening (see: tenant harassment, demographic shifts, skyrocketing rent, etc.) it was a matter of time before people got really angry.
Sure, the latest Williamsburg townhouse to go on the market is a whopping $4.1 million, but it’s right around the corner from awesome institutions like Death by Audio, 285 Kent, IndieScreen, and Glasslands. More →
Tom Lombardi has returned to his stomping grounds of Williamsburg after several years away.
(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. More →
A new study tells us what we might’ve guessed from the recent proliferation of ping pong-tabled “event spaces”: gentrification is on the rise in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
Or so concludes a report studying Asian neighborhoods in Boston, New York and Philadelphia in order to analyze displacement occurring as a result of higher rents (and no, we’re not just talking about ). More →