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Rendering via Woods Bagot for Landmarks Preservation Commission Rendering via Woods Bagot for Landmarks Preservation Commission
For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York State, New York City reported zero confirmed or probably virus deaths on Sunday, July 12. The news comes months after the confirmed daily death count hit its peak on April 7. The city and state's attention to data, tough stance, and carefully measured reopening process are widely credited with bringing the numbers down, and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo also thanked New Yorkers for "stepping up to the plate and doing what they had to do," including self-quarantining and abiding by the state's mask policy.
While the numbers look good, the priority now is to keep them low and continuing to drop. Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman from Mayor de Blasio's office, told Crain's, "We can't let our guard down just yet, and will continue to do everything we can to fight the virus together." Governor Cuomo concurred hours later, when he cited complacency and the virus traveling to New York as factors that could jeopardize everything. To that end, he issued an emergency health order mandating that out-of-state travelers from states with COVID-19 surges must provide local authorities with contact information upon arriving in New York to enforce the quarantine. Those who fail to comply will receive a summons with a $2,000 fine.
The remarks came in one of Governor Cuomo's first briefings in weeks, at which time he also addressed the issue of when and how schools would reopen. Schools will be allowed to reopen if the region is in Phase 4 and the daily infection rate remains at 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average. If the numbers allow it, the school districts must make flexible plans and safeguards, make the most of available space, concentrate on areas where in-person learning works best, and use masks and PPE when students and staff cannot maintain social distancing. There will be a host of cohort learning, food service, after-school care, extracurricular activities, screening, tracing, cleaning, and closure guidelines. Moreover, schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9 percent using a 7-day average after August 1.

Details revealed on YourLIC, new waterfront project in Long Island City

Hot on the heels of the proposal for Innovation QNS, plans have emerged for YourLIC, a new, 28-acre mixed-use waterfront project. A consortium of TF Cornerstone, Plaxall, Simon Baron Development, and MAG Partners is at the helm of the 10 to 12-million-square-foot plan, which includes seven acres of public space and 1,400 affordable housing units. The Daily News anticipates that it will take more than a decade to complete.

Despite being in very early stages, the project has already attracted one detractor. Councilman Jimmy van Bramer stood against Long Island City's planned Amazon headquarters, and is opposed to YourLIC, calling for a "pandemic pause." It must be noted that the footprint promises 26,000 permanent jobs, and that mixed-use projects like this are instrumental in revitalizing local economies.

Landmarks to hear proposal for Blockhouse Bar, a new South Street Seaport restaurant

Rockefeller-Center-01 New outdoor dining venue proposed the Financial District waterfront in East River Park (Woods Bagot for NYC Parks)
On Tuesday, July 14, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (“Landmarks”) will hear a proposal for Blockhouse Bar, a new open-air restaurant with planters, railings, decking, lighting, and signage planned for 84 South Street. The plans for the new restaurant come at a time when indoor dining in New York City is indefinitely suspended, and its address in the South Street Seaport Historic District necessitates Landmarks hearing.
According to a presentation prepared by designer Woods Bagot and Howard Hughes Corporation, the firm behind the revitalization of the South Street Seaport, the materials were inspired by local historic designs. The project was conceived as part of the new East River Waterfront Esplanade, which will create new recreation opportunities and a continuous greenway beneath FDR Drive. The site is across the street from the Imagination Playground, and was designed to make the most of waterfront views.
The restaurant itself is expected to feature pizza, a raw bar, and beverages. It will be able to seat approximately 100 people at bar seating, banquettes, and cafe-style tables. Its waterfront location will make for a pleasing experience in warm weather, and a transparent shell awning system will enclose it in cooler months and allow for a year-round experience. The hearing is expected to commence at 11:30 a.m., and those who wish to testify are advised to be on Zoom by 10:30.

Luxury Astoria condo The Rowan reports 35% sold amidst city shutdown

21-21-31st-Street-01 Rendering of The Rowan via Redundant Pixel
While The Rowan launched sales in winter 2020, the building was only able to conduct traditional showings for a few weeks before New York City went on lockdown to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay. The team was undaunted, though, pivoting seamlessly to virtual tours and launching a series of incentives designed to put buyers' and brokers' minds at ease. The result is The Rowan reporting that the building is 35% sold in five months, with 10% of sales taking place during the lockdown.

Many units at The Rowan feature private outdoor space, and all apartments enjoy oversized windows, well-appointed kitchens, and luxurious baths. Amenities include a landscaped roof terrace and an inviting glass lobby that opens up to a sensory garden. Remaining availabilities range from $555K for a studio to $1.85 million for a three-bedroom, and all listings may be viewed here.

Quay Tower reports record-breaking Brooklyn sales

50-Bridge-Park-Drive-01 Quay Tower via RAL Companies and Oliver's Realty Group
Earlier this spring, a five-bedroom penthouse at the newly opened Quay Tower on the Brooklyn waterfront set a new Brooklyn record as the borough's most expensive single listing. Having closed for $20.3 million, it surpasses the record previously held by Matt Damon.

The ODA-designed tower makes a striking addition to the Brooklyn Bridge Park skyline. Residences offer private elevator entry, elegant interiors, well-appointed chef's kitchens, and luxurious master suites. But the most highly coveted feature of all may be the jaw-dropping views of New York Harbor, the East River, and the Lower Manhattan skyline. Its remaining listings range in size from two to five bedrooms, and range in price from $1.675 million to $6.6 million. See all available listings here.

Hero LIC announces non-profit donations for first five July contracts

Hero-LIC-01 Image via Nest Seekers
Throughout the pandemic and the city's efforts to contain it, Silverback Development has risen admirably to the challenges where its new Long Island City condominium, Hero LIC, was concerned. Virtual tours were quickly introduced, and the closing process was revamped to allow business to safely continue. More recently, the developers have announced that for the first five contracts signed in July 2020, they will make a $5,000 donation to the buyer's choice of BRC or LearningSpring School at closing.

Hero LIC took shape upon a beautifully preserved loft building, and the curving balconies in its new addition distinguish it in the Long Island City skyline. All apartments feature oversized windows, open layouts, contemporary kitchens, and sweeping Manhattan skyline views. Over 15,000 square feet of amenities include a Zen garden and a roof deck with grilling area, but the most coveted perk may be a 15-year 421A tax abatement. Current availabilities range from $600K for a studio to $1.325 million for a two-bedroom, and all listings may be viewed here.

New noise-cancelling technology in the works for apartments

Morninside Gardens apartments View from Morningside Gardens overlooking the elevated 1 train and Manhattanville (Corcoran)
At the height of the pandemic, poorly circulated air was blamed in part for the spread of the virus in high-density settings. City residents were encouraged to keep their windows open to let air recirculate. To drive the point home, one of the new health and safety guidelines implemented for safe face-to-face real estate showings was keeping a window open.
For residents on noisy streets, especially those trying to work and relax at home, the prospect of having a window open at all times is an unappealing one. However, The New York Times reported that scientists in Singapore are working on a new apparatus designed to reduce incoming sound. It has been described as “a pair of giant noise-cancelling headphones for your apartment,” and indeed the technology was taken from these. A microphone outside the window detects sound waves, and a computer controller transmits the frequency and emits sound waves that correspond to the incoming sound and neutralize it.
69-Adams-Street-01 Rendering of 69 Adams Street, with the Manhattan Bridge in the foreground, via Fischer Makooi Architects
The Singapore project is in early stages, and there are still some kinks to work out. The technology is best at neutralizing steady noises, as opposed to sporadic sounds like car horns and storefront shutters. The designers must create an aesthetically pleasing system that strikes a balance between enough speakers to neutralize the noise and the ability to see and get decent ventilation through windows. But many New Yorkers, especially those who live near elevated train tracks, would be delighted to have this technology in their homes. For example, a new DUMBO building in the works promises incredible views, but its proximity to the Manhattan Bridge’s car and subway traffic will mean quite a bit of noise, too.

New study shows missed housing payments at a new high

Missed-Housing-Payments-01 Data via Apartment List
As time passes, the economic fallout of the pandemic shows no sign of abating. Some jobs returned as the states reopened, but the rise in cases from other states has led to reopenings stalling or being rolled back. With all that in mind, a new study by Apartment Life shows that 32 percent of Americans were unable to make a full housing payment in July, and more than one in three renters did not pay on time. Additionally, 21 percent of renters say that they are “very concerned” or “extremely concerned” about facing eviction in the next six months, especially as moratoriums on evictions expire.

The study also finds that the economic fallout is both encouraging and discouraging moves. Some have no choice but to move to a more affordable area, and the newfound ability to work from home further motivates the decision. On the other hand, health risks are giving some people reason to believe that it is no longer safe to move.

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