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.


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.


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]


Brooklyn rental prices continue to climb, as the median rental price shot up 4.6 percent to $2,850 in August, compared to the same period last year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman. Manhattan prices rose as well, but at a much slower rate, leading to a price difference of just $300 in August — the second smallest price gap on record. Rentals in Manhattan increased 1.8 percent to $3,150 in August vs. the same period last year, while Brooklyn rents reached a five-year high. The number of new rentals surged in Brooklyn as well, with 554 new rentals in August alone, 166.3 percent higher than August of 2012. We’ve inlcuded Elliman’s graph of Brooklyn rental prices after the jump.

As Brooklyn Rents Soar, Price Gap With Manhattan Has Narrowed to a Near-Record Low [Daily News]
Summer of Queens: Renters Flee Manhattan and Brooklyn for Gentler Borough [TRD]


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. 


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