The weekend's snowstorm downed a lot of trees in the New York metropolitan region, but created the most havoc at the epicenter of Manhattan, the plaza on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.
It did not knock down one tree but decapitated all ten trees in the semi-circle at the north end of the block that extends to 60th Street behind the gilded statue of General Tecumseh Sherman by Augustus St. Gaudens, probably the city's most visible public sculpture after the Statue of Liberty.
The 96th Street Station of the West Side IRT subway has a spanking new station that resembles a 22nd-century riverboat paddle-wheeler and its glass and grey-granite superstructure is throwing down its gloves to neighboring buildings to get with it.
Already, it's gotten one positive response at 208 West 96th Street where a narrow 8-story building with curved, perforated balconies has arisen from among a row of tenement structures weary from wear. The new 8-story rental building is a mix of the wavy balconies at 11 Kenmare Street in Soho and the Highline 519 building with its cloud-like balcony screens. All three are pleasant variations on small buildings with fire-escapes, the stable of the city's housing inventory. There are a few, attractive fire-escapes that are best used to guide wisteria up the outside of a building as one has yet to come across historical statistics on how many lives have been saved by them as opposed to how many streetscapes they have ruined with their spindly netting of attractive facades.
Sales have reportedly started at One57, the 90-story hotel and condominium apartment tower at 157 West 57th Street now under construction by Extell Development, according to an October 24, 2011 article at therealeal.com by Leigh Kamping-Carder.
The article indicated that the 1,000-foot-tall building is expected to be completed in two years and will become the city's tallest residential tower. "Extell plans to officially open a sales office at the end of this month, but foreign buyers, primarily from china - have already snapped up some of the units since the developer began shopping them privately last month, according to the source, who asked for anonymity because the information is confidential," the article said, adding that some prices hit $6,000 a square foot and that the smallest units on low floors are priced at about $3,400 per square foot.
The pretty, tree-lined Upper West Side Block on 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue has a new, cantilevered apartment building, two very handsome, mid-block, mid-rise apartment buildings, and several attractive, rusticated brownstones, one of which is sporting a new, large and dramatic skylight and another has recently opened a synagogue on its lower floors.
And more change is in store as William Friedland was reported this week to have recently cleared several lots south of the cantilevered apartment building, which is known as Linden 78, for a 20-story rental apartment building on the northeast corner of Broadway and 77th Street. The new planned building, which is called the Larstrand, will block most of the views to the south from the very many lot-line windows at Linden 78.
Great Blocks: 76th Street Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue
This short Upper West Side block between Broadway and Amsterdam avenues has been largely made over in recent years and now is home to two, new, big, interesting residential apartment buildings, and a large and modern Jewish Community Center.
One of the apartment buildings has a rounded corner on the southeast corner of Broadway and the other has a rectangular grid facade in two sections, one of which is on the southwest corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 77th Street. The former is known as the Laureate and the latter as the Harrison.
There are certain stores that became very "hot" destinations in real estate like the Whole Foods store in the basement of the Time Warner Center, or the Apple Store currently being renovated in the plaza of the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue.
New York City has very few "perfect blocks" so those with a lot of admirable architecture should be cherished.
29th Street between the west side of Sixth Avenue and the west side of Park Avenue is one such stretch.
It has two historically important churches, several impressive hotels and three imposing residential skyscrapers.
The newest building is the Gansevoort Park Hotel on the southeast corner of Park Avenue, a "sister" hotel to the extremely popular Gansevoort Hotel in the Meatpacking District. Designed by Stephen B. Jacobs, its energetic form and facades magnetize this area, which already abounds in interesting projects and is just a few blocks north of the lovely Madison Square Park and its Shake Shack and Flatiron Building.
The transformation of the far western stretches of 42nd Street into a phalanx of apartment towers is nearing completion, a radical change almost as spectacular as the renaissance of Times Square and a precursor to the eventual redevelopment of the rail yards to the west of Pennsylvania Station.
Earlier this week, Steve Cuozzo of The New York Post reported that Joseph Moinian, the head of the Moinian Group, has put his huge development site at 605 West 42nd Street on the market The site is "shovel-read, has Department of Buildings permits, is registered as an 80-20 project eligible for tax abatement, and has a foundation that's 65 percent complete."
At the top of the for-sale market for apartments in Manhattan, price is not an exact science.
During the current financial uncertainties, however, reports of very expensive sales have continued to amaze most observers. While overall averages have declined, some owners have apparently been able to reap substantial profits on their recent investment in a "grand" apartment.
The litany of "location, location, location" is not chanted very much anymore as Fifth Avenue has been challenged, dramatically, by upstarts on Central Park West and as the city has significantly "discovered" new and very popular and "chic" neighborhoods in midtown and NoLita, SoHo and TriBeCa.
In its Third Quarter 2011 report on Manhattan's luxury apartment for-sale market, the Halstead Company report found that in the "downtown" market, defined as south of 34th Street, "pre-war co-ops saw an increase over a year in average price per room from $234,026 to $244,230 and post-war coops increased at a lower pace from $217,683 to $220,990."
In its report, The Corcoran Group said that resale co-op pricing in the "downtown" market "improved markedly over both last year and last quarter," adding that "median price increased 11 percent from last year to $720,000 while average price per square foot increased 7 percent to $1,224 due to higher sales of two- and three-plus bedrooms."
All information furnished regarding property for sale, rental or financing is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy thereof and same is submitted subject to errors, omissions, change of price, rental or other conditions, prior sale, lease or financing or withdrawal without notice. All dimensions are approximate. For exact dimensions, you must hire your own architect or engineer and for no listing shall the number of bedrooms listed be considered a legal conclusion.
All closed sales data has been provided by the New York City Department of Finance via the Automated City Register Information System (ACRIS). No warranty or representation is made as to the accuracy of any data provided by ACRIS or any other sources.