When completed — supposedly in 2020 — 2 World Trade Center will be among the most interesting-looking additions to the Manhattan skyline that we’ve seen in years. It isn’t another of the pin-straight pillars currently in vogue.

From the virtual vantage of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the stair-stepping wedge-shaped building nearly entirely obscures its fraternal twin tower, 1 World Trade, and its stacked rectangular forms appear to flirt with the idea of toppling.

Interestingly, this precarious perspective will be the regular view of the building’s architect, Bjarke Ingels. The Danish designer purchased the $4,000,000 penthouse at Toll Brothers’ 205 Water Street in Dumbo last month.

Last night, Ingels and Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman unveiled a swooping, Times-made visualization of the building at the Cities For Tomorrow conference, an event continuing today.


The lack of affordable housing in a city where rents are skyrocketing is a full-blown crisis that threatens to tear at the city’s social fabric, a panel of four local experts agreed Monday, at a discussion hosted by the Museum of the City of New York.

“We need to preserve the diversity and vitality that makes New York what it is, and I’m worried that escalating housing costs are threatening that very vitality and diversity,” said panelist Ingrid Gould Ellen, director of the Urban Planning Program at NYU Wagner.

The panel, held as part of the museum’s current exhibition on the history of the city’s Landmarks Law, was called “Preserving the Fabric of Our Neighborhoods” – though moderator Simeon Bankoff, executive director of preservation advocacy group Historic Districts Council, suggested at the outset that an alternative title could be “Surviving Our Own Success.”

Several decades ago, the conversation would have been about a fleeing populace and vacant buildings, he noted. Michelle de la Uz, executive director of Brooklyn nonprofit community organization Fifth Avenue Committee, recalled that she “started in Park Slope when there were many abandoned buildings and vacant lots. Obviously now the neighborhood is a very different place.”

The panel broke down the current picture: spiking rents, a burgeoning population that’s expected to grow further, an influx of global capital that’s helping drive prices up and, in the midst of those trends, a declining number of rent-stabilized housing units.

It makes for a “double whammy,” noted Ellen, who said 200,000 rent-stabilized units were lost between 2002 and 2011. (more…)


For decades, homeowners have been selling apartments in Manhattan and buying townhouses in Brooklyn. As the price gap between the two boroughs narrows and Brooklyn becomes a “primary destination,” according to a story in The New York Times, that dynamic is changing.

Now owners of apartments in Brooklyn’s most expensive areas, such as Dumbo and Boerum Hill, are selling and buying apartments in Manhattan’s bargain neighborhoods — which now include the Upper East Side. (more…)

Many thousands of people come from far away places like Asia and Europe to visit Smorgasburg on the Brooklyn waterfront every season but there are still plenty of folks in Manhattan who haven’t made the subway or ferry trip across the river so we’re finally taking the show on the road tonight for one night only. From 5 to 9 pm tonight we’ll have 30 food vendors along with an assortment of craft beers and wines at SummerStage in Central Park. As an extra draw, Mile End will be preparing a special Shabbos dinner and Mister Saturday Night will be DJ’ing the family-friendly night away. SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield @ 72nd Street. Entry is free but food and drink is not.


As the difference in price between Manhattan and Brooklyn narrows — $210 at last count — more renters are eschewing Brooklyn in favor of Manhattan, according to a story in The New York Daily News. The attitude seems to be “if I’m going to pay through the nose, I may as well be in Manhattan.”

The renters profiled found better deals on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side than they did in Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Williamsburg and Park Slope. One couple is paying $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom garden apartment in a brownstone building in the West 70s. The same apartment in Brooklyn would be about $500 more, according to a broker quoted in the story.

In 2012, the Wall Street Journal had a very similar story about an ad exec who traded Williamsburg for the Lower East Side. But the most expensive real estate in Manhattan is still more than in Brooklyn, according to the News.

Soaring Brooklyn Rents Have Tenants Searching for Affordable Apartments — in Manhattan [NY Daily News]

Brownstoner Manhattan Real Estate Listings1

We are pleased to announce the addition of Manhattan sale and rental listings to the Brownstoner Marketplace. Manhattan adds more than 13,500 listings to the 22,000 Brooklyn, Queens, and Upstate listings already in the Marketplace.

Brownstoner Manhattan currently has roughly 4,200 sale and 9,300 rental listings. Most of the leading brokerages are already represented, including Elliman, Corcoran, Halstead, Brown Harris Stevens, Sotheby’s, Town, Keller Williams, Nest Seekers, Core, Bond, Stribling and many more.  (more…)

Tonight around 11:30 pm, the R train will stop running between Brooklyn and Manhattan for as long as 14 months. The MTA is shutting down the Montague Tube, the underwater tunnel that connects the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, to repair Sandy-related damage. (The cost of repairs is a massive $309 million.) WNYC posted a helpful “survival guide” yesterday and the MTA broke down the closures as well. On weekdays, the R train will run from Whitehall Street-South Ferry in Manhattan to Forest Avenue-71st Avenue in Queens, and from Court Street in Brooklyn to Bay Ridge-95th Street. The MTA implemented a ferry service from Sunset Park into Lower Manhattan and is increasing service on the X27 bus by around 25 percent. The R train will run between the boroughs on weekends, although Court Street and Jay Street will get skipped. Yikes. What are R train riders out there planning to do?

Your R Train Tunnel Outage Survival Guide [WNYC]
Photo by anniebelis

Nice news for Sunset Park residents who make the commute into Manhattan every day: Starting Monday, August 5, the existing Rockaway Ferry Service will make a stop at 58th Street, next to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The city is providing the expanded transit options for Brooklyn commuters who are affected by disruptions to the R train service. The ferries will depart from Beach 108th Street in the Rockaways, stop in Sunset Park, then continue to Pier 11 in lower Manhattan and 34th Street in midtown. The trip from Sunset Park to lower Manhattan should take 15 minutes. Ferries will run about once every hour and a ride will cost $2. The Economic Development Corporation plans to evaluate ridership in a few weeks and then decide whether or not to continue the service. If the temporary service is a success, local pols and residents plan to make a larger pitch for permanent service at 58th Street.

Expansion of Ferry Service to Sunset Park During Outage of R Train [NYCgov.tumblr]
Photo via Google Maps

Good news for those trying to get from Manhattan to the notoriously out-of-the-way neighborhood of Red Hook: The City announced that, starting Memorial Day weekend, a ferry will run from Pier 11 in Manhattan to Van Brunt Street and Ikea. Called the Red Hook Ferry, it will run weekends from 10 am to 9 pm through the summer. It will also be free, with free transfers available to the northbound East River Ferry. Each landing will be served every 25 minutes, an improvement from previous service which ran every 40 minutes. The Van Brunt stop is currently an unused ferry landing owned by the O’Connell Organization. Bloomberg said the main goal of the summer transportation is to bring foot traffic to the small businesses of Red Hook, many of which are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy.
Photo via the O’Connell Organization

Earlier today the Department of Transportation and Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan announced some major improvements for the access ramps to and from the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR Drive. The first ramp, which connects the exit from the bridge’s Manhattan-bound lanes with the FDR Drive, has been expanded from one to two lanes to ease traffic backups. And the second ramp, connecting the southbound FDR Drive with the approach to bridge’s Brooklyn-bound lanes, has been expanded from one to two lanes in an attempt to ease congestion and keep cars from aggressively cutting in. The DOT also announced that they are nearly finished with work on a third ramp on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, which connects the Brooklyn-bound lanes to Cadman Plaza West and Old Fulton Street. This ramp will also be expanded into two travel lanes to expand vehicle capacity and increase safety for the surrounding streets. This is all part of the major Brooklyn Bridge rehab project, which includes repainting the bridge. The whole shebang, which started up in 2010, will cost a total of $508 million and hopefully finish next year. Click through to see more images of the ramp improvements happening. (more…)