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Construction & Design, Headline »

[25 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Local Law 11 supporters remember innocent victim

By Holly Dutton
Nearly thirty-six years ago, Lori Gold received news that would change her life.
A Coney Island native, both Gold and her younger sister Grace attended Barnard College in Morningside Heights. On graduation day, 1979, Grace was walking down Broadway with friends when masonry fell from a building at West 115th, striking her and killing her.
Gold, a recent grad, was living in Washington, D.C. at the time, working for Procter & Gamble, and was preparing for a work trip with her boss in the morning when she got a phone call late on …

Headline, Opinion »

[18 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Urstadt hands mayor a dollar and a dream

By Konrad Putzier
Nine years after proposing that the city buy back Battery Park City, veteran city planners Charles Urstadt and Avrum Hyman have renewed their campaign for the deal.
On March 5, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio received a check for $1 with a memo that read: “To buy back BPCA”
The check was from Urstadt, and the acronym referred to the Battery Park City Authority, which manages the high-rise development built on landfill in the Hudson River. According to Urstadt, all it takes to buy back the site is a …

Deals & Dealmakers, Headline »

[11 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Dip in global sales good news for NYC

By Konrad Putzier
Global real estate investment fell for the first time in five years in 2014 – but paradoxically that could be good news for the New York market.
Worldwide spending on real estate declined by 6.3 percent to $1.21 trillion, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield issued yesterday (Tuesday).
The report noted that “this decline in activity can be solely attributed to a drop in Chinese land purchasing,” which had the side effect of catapulting the U.S. past China as the world’s largest real estate investment market.
However, Cushman & …

Brokers Weekly, Headline »

[5 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
On far west side, a test case for the value of architecture

By Konrad Putzier
Douglas Durst, the mild mannered and environmentally conscious anti-Trump of New York real estate, turned to the audience to see if anyone had questions. He was in Copenhagen and had just given a talk on green building, one of the Durst Organization’s specialties. But when a young man with Patrick Swayze looks spoke up, he wasn’t interested in sustainability.
“Why do you build all your buildings to look like buildings?”
The young man was Bjarke Ingels, and the question evidently left an impression on Durst. He ended up hiring the …

Finance & Accounting, Headline »

[3 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Crowdfunding breaks the billion

By Konrad Putzier
Real estate crowdfunding firms raised $1.014 billion worldwide in 2014, according to a report by research and consulting firm Massolution. Most of that money – $565 million – was raised in North America, more than doubling the 2013 total of $184 million.
The report highlights the impressive growth of real estate crowdfunding following its de-facto legalization in the U.S. in September 2013. In 2012, crowdfunding firms had raised a mere $19.1 million worldwide. U.S. crowdfunding platforms like Fundrise or Realty Mogul remain small players in real estate finance, but …

Construction & Design, Headline »

[24 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Planning leader looking to change history

By Konrad Putzier
Last summer, Purnima Kapur left Brooklyn behind and moved her office to the Department of City Planning’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan.
As the agency’s new executive director, she now oversees its 300 employees and operations across the entire city. But New York’s largest borough still has a special importance to her.
“I miss Brooklyn, it’s sort of where my planning heart lies,” she said, speaking ahead of her keynote appearance at Real Estate Weekly’s annual Women’s Forum today (Wednesday).
Kapur began her career in the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) Brooklyn …

Finance & Accounting, Headline »

[20 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
City investment in affordable housing off to slow start under de Blasio

The de Blasio administration has invested $400 million in affordable housing since the beginning of 2014, according to New York City’s commissioner of housing development and preservation, Vicki Been. The figure, disclosed by Been at a conference at Baruch College Thursday, indicates that the administration will have to dramatically increase its investment pace in order to create and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units by 2024.
But while public investment has been off to an expected slow start, the administration has had success attracting private investment.
“The city has put its money where …

Headline »

[18 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Developer hears opportunity knocking where others fail to look

Greystone Property Development’s strategy resembles that of a truffle pig: It makes a living by searching where others don’t even bother to look.

This helps explain why the firm just became the first developer to bring new condos to City Island in more than 15 years.

In Manhattan and Brooklyn, Greystone has applied the same strategy of keeping its nose to the ground and sniffing out off-market deals with potential for profit.

The firm recently bought two sites in Clinton Hill where it will develop rental buildings. It is also turning a landmarked former public bathhouse in Gowanus into condos and building a rental tower on an adjacent parcel.

“Our strategy has always been to look for under-performing assets — for properties that are not in the market and opportunities that are not obvious to the street,” Simpson said.

Construction & Design, Headline »

[11 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Fingers pointed in DOB bribery scandal

As the city’s Department of Buildings announced a massive bribery ring, one construction expert pointed the finger at City Hall.

“If everything was running smoothly at the DOB, there wouldn’t be a problem (of this size),” said Ray Mellon, a construction litigator and senior partner of Zetlin & De Chiara, “People want to get their jobs done.”

Following an investigation that launched in October of 2013, nearly 50 members of the city’s building and construction community, including municipal inspectors, were arrested yesterday (Tuesday) amidst claims they pocketed everything from Caribbean cruises to new SUVs to push paperwork through the system for harried developers

Construction & Design, Headline »

[11 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Williamsburg hotel being built in Poland

By Konrad Putzier
One of Williamsburg’s latest hotels is being built in Poland. You read that right. And a developer on the Bowery may soon follow its lead.
Polcom Modular, a Polish modular construction firm, is assembling the modular units for a 254-room pod hotel at 626 Driggs Avenue. Once assembled, the units will be shipped to New York and installed in July or August, according to developer Charles Blaichman. Construction is expected to finish by the first quarter of 2016.
People familiar with the matter told Real Estate Weekly that Polcom is …

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