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Artsy 250N10 Rental Building in Williamsburg in Now Fully Leased

12 Oct 2014, 2:09 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

250N10 model unit - 250 North 10th Street - Williamsburg

250N10 model unit – 250 North 10th Street – Williamsburg

LCOR, an investment management and development company  with offices in the Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York City metro areas, recently announced its newest rental property in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn is fully leased after less than half a year since the building was launched. According to the official statement announcing 250N10’s full occupancy, the leasing efforts registered a strong response from interested residents, with around 50 apartments being leased per month since the launch of the rental property.

250N10 courtyard - 250 North 10th Street - Williamsburg

250N10 courtyard – 250 North 10th Street – Williamsburg

Located at 250 North 10thStreet between Roebling and Union Avenues, 250N10 officially opened for renters in April this year through apartment leasing and real estate marketing firm The Marketing Directors. Work on the six-story rental building began in spring 2012, after LCOR secured a $50 million construction loan from German public bank Helaba. As previously reported by Crain’s New York Business, the 185,000-square-foot property was built on a vacant site that LCOR had acquired for at least $100 per buildable square foot from the Lax family, one of the big players in the diamond business.

250N10 was designed by SLCE Architects and includes 234 residences with 76 different layouts in a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units, with rents starting at $2,750 for a studio, $3,400 for a one-bedroom and $4,800 for a two-bedroom, according to Unique Homes. The list of amenities at 250N10 includes a café lounge that can also be used as a work zone and casual retreat with free WiFi and television, a landscaped courtyard, a fitness center with cardio and weight room, a residents lounge with pool table and flat screen TV, a furnished roof deck with a barbecue area, as well as a two-story lobby and 24-hour concierge services.

250N10 mural - 250 North 10th Street - Williamsburg

250N10 mural – 250 North 10th Street – Williamsburg

Recently LCOR teamed up with two world famous artists to jazz up the rental building. Thierry Guetta, the street artist known as Mr. Brainwash, was tapped to create an exterior mural that would honor this neighborhood’s rich history, while Chilean artist Sebastian Vargas designed 12 individual canvases that are displayed on the interior walls of the building.

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Images via 250N10 and Graff Tours



Microsoft’s First Flagship Store Will Open at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City

7 Oct 2014, 12:36 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

It’s been a busy end of September for Microsoft. Three years after launching the rather unsuccessful Windows 8, the software giant simply skipped a potential Windows 9 and offered a sneak peek into its newest operating system.

Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, AZ

Microsoft Store in Scottsdale, AZ

Dubbed Windows 10 and announced in Seattle at a business event, the operating system and its family of products will be officially released next year as “the first step of a whole new generation of Windows,” according to Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Operating Systems. As Microsoft fans worldwide are gearing up in anticipation, the tech company has unveiled another surprise.

As announced on the official Microsoft blog, a new retail store will open in New York City, on one of the world’s most expensive shopping streets. This will be Microsoft’s “first flagship store”—which implies that other flagship stores could be launched in other locations in the future—and will serve as a centerpiece for the company’s retail experience.

Located at 677 Fifth Avenue near 53rd Street and just five blocks away from Apple’s iconic glass cube, the new Microsoft store took five years to become reality: “This is a goal we’ve had since day one – we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Retail Stores David Porter. Apart from selling Microsoft hardware, software and accessories and offering technical support to its customers, the new flagship store will also serve as an “experiential space” aiming to engage even more with customers and business partners alike.

Microsoft opened its first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona, in October 2009 and now has over 100 physical stores across the country. In February 2013 the tech company announced it would open five new stores in Massachusetts, Hawaii, Oregon, Illinois and Michigan, all of them having one thing in common: they were within walking distance of Apple’s existing stores in those locations.

According to Real Estate Weekly, a Fendi shop used to occupy Microsoft’s future retail facility on the upper segment of Fifth Avenue, which boasts some of the highest rents in the city with an average asking price going as high as $2,750 per square foot. The luxury fashion retailer relocated last year to Madison Avenue, the source said. Microsoft leased 8,700 square feet of space in a transaction brokered by CBRE’s Richard Hoos. The landlord, 677 Fifth Avenue Corp., was represented by Andrew Kahn, Jesse Hutcher and Jonathan Scibilia of Cushman & Wakefield.

While the exact opening date for the Fifth Avenue flagship store is still unknown, Microsoft announced that it plans to open ten more locations in time for this holiday season.

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Image via Pinterest

655 Morris Will Bring 176 Units of Affordable, Energy-Efficient Housing in the Bronx

29 Sep 2014, 3:37 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Work has started on a new residential building on the corner of Morris Avenue and 153rdStreet in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx.

655 Morris Avenue - Bronx, NYC

655 Morris Avenue – Bronx, NYC

Roughly three months after the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) approved $372.56 million in bonds and $88.7 million in subordinate financing to fund more than 2,200 units of affordable housing in 16 developments in the Bronx, city officials and representatives of developer Omni New York, LLC, celebrated the official ground breaking of 655 Morris Avenue.

Omni New York, LLC—which was founded by former Red Sox star Mo Vaughn—will build the 15-story housing structure at a total development cost of $63.8 million, with $31.3 million coming from tax exempt bonds, $11.44 million in subordinate debt, and $21.19 in tax credit equity.

According to an official statement announcing the new residential building, 655 Morris Avenue will serve the formerly homeless population and will include 175 low- and moderate-income units of affordable housing and one unit set aside for the building supervisor, as well as nearly 10,000 square feet of onsite commercial space and around 8,500 square feet of space that will house a community center.

The new rental building will be energy efficient and will incorporate cost-effective design elements and construction materials that will make it affordable and healthy for the residents and the community. 655 Morris’ most sustainable amenity will be a cogeneration system that will use a natural gas-fueled engine to generate electricity for the entire building. In return, the waste heat by-product will be captured and reused for the building’s boilers and water heaters. Additionally, the list of sustainable amenities at 655 Morris Avenue will include energy-efficient appliances, low-flow water fixtures, as well as a green roof and bicycle storage spaces.

“It is important that the housing we build is not only affordable but also sustainable and energy-efficient,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been in an official statement. “The Housing New York plan emphasizes the importance of making a healthy living environment affordable to New Yorkers regardless of income, and this new development at 655 Morris Avenue will serve this goal.”

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Rendering via NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s Facebook Page



Rendering via

Commuters Rejoice: Proposed Sky Gondola to Alleviate Traffic, Reduce Travel Times Between Manhattan and Brooklyn

22 Sep 2014, 6:20 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

An online real estate company wants to jazz up New York City’s soaring transportation system by proposing an innovative solution: an urban gondola that would run between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and possibly even Queens.

East River Skyway - proposed gondola project

East River Skyway – proposed gondola project

Dubbed East River Skyway, the high-speed gondola was proposed at the recent Massey Knakal Brooklyn Real Estate Summit by Daniel Levy, a Williamsburg resident and president of CityRealty, and was inspired by similar transportation projects that are already in use in Singapore, England, Brazil, Germany, and even Romania—where, in 2004, a partnership between private investors and Constanța city authorities inaugurated a €3.5 million (or $4.51 million) gondola system that runs above Mamaia, an upscale beach resort on the Romanian Black Sea shore.

According to Crain’s New York Business, the proposed gondola would cost $75 million to $125 million to complete, including the cost of the stations, and would be built in stages, with the first phase running from Lower Manhattan to Williamsburg.

Expected to carry around 5,000 commuters and tourists per hour in each direction, the high-speed gondola would cross the East River in less than four minutes and reduce traveling time from Brooklyn to Manhattan to under 30 minutes while offering 360-degree views of New York City’s skyline.

“Given the exciting growth in Brooklyn and Queens, it is essential to adapt New York City’s transportation system to serve residents in these booming areas,” said Daniel Levy, president of East River Skyway and CityRealty, in a press statement. “Cities around the globe are recognizing the viability and efficiency of urban gondolas to overcome serious transportation challenges. An aerial transportation system would be a relatively inexpensive and quickly deployable solution here in New York.”

With new developments expected to grow with approximately 5,700 residential units and around 600,000 square feet of space in Brooklyn alone, congestion is worse than ever in this part of the city, and so is air pollution. Apart from connecting the rapidly growing areas along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfronts, the East River Skyway would be safer, faster, more reliable, greener—as it would have zero emissions—and cheaper to build than any traditional transportation line.

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Rendering via East River Skyway

SL Green Unveils $210 Million Renovation Plan for Grand Central Station

12 Sep 2014, 9:18 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The developer behind the giant office tower that will rise just west of the Grand Central subway station in Midtown Manhattan plans to invest around $210 million in extensive renovations and improvements at the iconic transportation terminal that’s been around for more than 140 years.

Grand Central Terminal and One Vanderbilt - Midtown Manhattan

Grand Central Terminal and One Vanderbilt – Midtown Manhattan

Crain’s New York Business reports that, in order to build the 65-story One Vanderbilt tower just west of Grand Central Terminal, SL Green Realty reached a deal with the de Blasio administration and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to redevelop the transit hub and the surrounding area in exchange for permission to build the 1.6 million-square-foot structure.

The renovation project—which must reach completion before tenants start moving into the office building—was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and includes three new staircases that will be added to the subway platforms, two new street-level entrances (including one on 42nd Street with access to the Times Square Shuttle platform), an upgraded mezzanine area under the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and a 4,000-square-foot waiting area for commuters who use the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) or Metro-North.

Grand Central Terminal - waiting area

Grand Central Terminal – waiting area

Additionally, the terminal will be extended to the west, making room for additional riders, in an effort to serve the station at peak hours—according to Crain’s. This is the second busiest station in the MTA system, with an average of nearly 155,000 riders per day. A pedestrian plaza will be created on a section of Vanderbilt Avenue that will be closed between 42nd Street and 43rd Street.

According to Crain’s, the new waiting area will be the centerpiece of the Grand Central renovation process. It will be built at the base of One Vanderbilt and will have a direct entrance into the subway station, which will be connected to the subway station via a below-grade concourse. The waiting area will feature a “living wall” with green plants and a large board that will display LIRR and Metro-North timetable information.

SL Green hopes to receive all approvals by the end of spring 2015 and start renovations at the terminal shortly after that, The Wall Street Journal reports. Both terminal improvements and construction at One Vanderbilt are expected to take at least five years to complete.


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Renderings by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates




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