Archive for 'Real Estate/Renting'

The St. John’s Terminal/Pier 40 Project: How an Assemblymember Should Lead

By Arthur Z. Schwartz Can a Bernie Sanders-supporting progressive activist lawyer also champion a billion dollar development project? The answer is yes. As WestView readers know, I am running for the Assembly seat that includes the West Village, Soho, and Tribeca. And I have made it clear that I am a supporter of the St. […]

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A Hospital or Condos?

Stop the Press! Just hours after I wrote the plea below to build a hospital first then condos on the St. John’s Terminal site, I got a call from Barbara Chacour that the Times had run a piece by Joyce Wadler—a West Village resident and a veteran Times writer—who discovered the hard way that the […]

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The Contempt of the One Percent

By George Capsis It is hard to believe but for six years there has been a forty-foot-long construction fence covering two buildings under renovation on the North side of West 4th Street between 10th and Charles Street. The building belongs to the daughter of billionaire George Soros whose main dwelling of, we assume, considerable size […]

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Building on Vacant NYCHA Land

By Brian J. Pape, AIA, LEED-AP Nathan Rich of the Peterson Rich Office of Architects also contributed to this article. Mayor de Blasio issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for three NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) vacant land sites last year for the private development of affordable housing. It is called “Next Generation NYCHA” and it […]

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Max and I Have Lost Our City

By George Capsis Max Frankel, like me, is very angry at these 1000-foot asparagus towers with $100 million apartments that are springing up along 57th Street with Central Park as a green lawn before them. Indeed, with land at $1500 per square foot, they are popping up all over the place—and they are Avatar strange. […]

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Affordable Housing Becomes a Museum Exhibit

By George Capsis   To replace the semblance of a human presence after 55 years of marriage, I keep WNYC on all day—and my ears pricked up during lunch when I heard the familiar nasal voice of Leonard Lopate saying “with skyrocketing rents placing affordable housing outside the reach of thousands if not millions of […]

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Hundreds Turn Out To Oppose Gansevoort Plan at Landmarks

By Andrew Berman   On November 10, an overflow crowd of hundreds filled the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a public hearing on a developer’s proposal for the massive transformation of the south side of Gansevoort Street. The proposal would involve demolishing a one and two story building, replacing the former with a 122 ft. tall […]

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The Man Who Owns Gansevoort Street

By George Capsis   When Molly Bender—the sister and heir to Bill Gottlieb’s extensive collection of shabby but valuable buildings in and around the West Village—died, her daughter upon discovering she was not in the will sued her brother Neil Bender claiming he was not fit to manage the Gottfried holdings “by reason of substance […]

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We’re Preserving What?

By Alec Pruchnicki   The Present Situation When the proposal for new buildings on Gansevoort Street to replace several old two-story structures was made public, the community opposition was vocal, unanimous… and wrong. Although Andrew Berman, the Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (of which I am a member and usually […]

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A Prescription For Fraud

As a Times editorial reports, at a Community Board meeting in Harlem, city retained consultants tried to sell the plan to get profit motivated developers to build higher denser apartment buildings and have those who can pay exploding market rate apartments share with those who less and less can afford even “affordable” rents. But the […]

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Revealing a Housing Legacy Hidden in Plain Sight

By Thomas Mellins   When, in early 2014, I started to curate an exhibition for the Museum of the City of New York on affordable housing, the subject was already a “hot” topic. It was widely acknowledged by government officials, developers, and the public alike, that attaining decent, affordable housing in a city identified worldwide […]

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The Good Death

By George Capsis   Euthanasia is a Greek word from “eu” meaning “good” and “thanatos,” which is “death”, and in ancient Greece there was an acceptance that if a child was born deformed or crippled that it was best to put it to death. We Americans don’t believe in euthanasia, so we have a growing […]

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Decisions by Default

By George Capsis On Wednesday October 20, The New York Times ran an article outlining a plan to save the corroding, 15-acre Pier 40 by accepting $100 million from two real estate investment firms for the Pier’s air rights, allowing them to build 1,586 apartments, a hotel, and retail stores in five buildings facing Pier […]

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We Need to Make the Pier 40 Deal Our Deal

By Arthur Z. Schwartz On October 22, we all opened The New York Times and found out what only a select few knew up to that point. Two possible scenarios are on the table for the St John’s building, the massive, hulking structure sitting across the street from Pier 40 (which, if you don’t know, […]

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Landmarking Memories

By George Capsis “Come, they are going to have a meeting at PS 3 on the redevelopment of Gansevoort Street” offered Nelly Godfrey and sweetened the plea with fried calamari at her restaurant, Lima’s Taste, right around the corner on Christopher and Barrow. I don’t go to meetings like this anymore but rely on the […]

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Briefly Noted: Developments Related To My Arrest

On October 15, the District Attorney appeared with me and my lawyer, James Roth, in Supreme Court, a date set for the grand larceny charges against me to go to a grand jury. A supervisory attorney made an appearance and made a motion to the Judge that the charges be reduced to Petit Larceny (which […]

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Development Plan Would Obliterate, Not ‘Change’ Landmarked Gansevoort Street

By Andrew Berman  More than 100 people attended an October 15 Community Board public hearing on an application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for some pretty dramatic changes to the south side of Gansevoort Street in the Gansevoort Market Historic District. Located on the block between Washington and Greenwich Streets, the proposal seeks to demolish […]

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No to Gansevoort Market Development

By Arthur Z. Schwartz Hundreds of Northwest Village residents came out to PS3on October 15 to express opposition to a proposal to build condos on Gansevoort Street, between Greenwich Street and Washington Street. The condo, disguised to look like Meat Market buildings with awnings, will be one more step in the direction of eliminating the […]

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West Village Needs a Hospital

CONDOS TO SHADOW VILLAGE: In a deal struck by the City, two real estate investment firms will build five buildings facing Pier 40 starting at West Houston Street ranging in height from 240 to 430 feet containing 1,586 apartments. In a deal pushed by Councilman Corey Johnson, 476 units will be permanently affordable. The architects […]

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The Greatest Tragedy in City Development

By George Capsis Wikipedia recounts the facts that add up to the greatest tragedy in city development. “What is now Hudson River Park emerged from the failed 1970s and 1980s redevelopment of the dilapidated West Side Higway known as the Westway, which would have upgraded it to Interstate Highway standards as part of an extended […]

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Deal Allows 70% Increase At $1,363 a Foot, $100 Million Purchase Price a Token

  By Andrew Berman It’s extremely concerning that the troubling and problematic process of selling air rights from the Hudson River Park to massively increase development inland is moving ahead, while alternatives for funding the park endorsed by community groups, and long-standing neighborhood requests for expanded landmark and zoning protections, are still being ignored by […]

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Is Croman Reading WestView?

Dear Editor: Please don’t worry—however, a few days after the newspaper hit the stands, Croman’s (landlord) “management” came by early in the morning on the 20th and stole our planters again! Suffice to say, we were upset, but it gives us more cannon fodder. We’ve submitted police report(s). You should be proud to know that […]

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City Finds It Cheaper to Keep Tenants in Rent Stabilized Apartments

On Monday, September 28th Mayor De Blasio announced he was allocating $12.3 million to hire lawyers to fight off landlord evictions and avoid an increase in homelessness. A landlord association quickly responded that the money should be used to pay back rent, which they feel is the principal cause for eviction. City assigned lawyers may […]

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Intro. 775—A Solution Without a Problem

By Caroline Benveniste Much has been written about Intro. 775, a bill proposed by City Council Landmarks Chair Peter Koo and Land Use Chair David Greenfield which ostensibly streamlines the landmarking process. For those who have not been following, the salient points of the bill are that once a landmarks application has been calendared, the […]

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YEARS OF HARASSMENT EVOKE COLLECTIVE PROTEST

Nelida Godfrey, owner of Taste of Lima, lives and runs her restaurant in a building owned by Steven Croman—who has a reputation as one of New York’s worst landlords and is under investigation by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. For the past five years, Godfrey has endured threats, false complaints and frivolous lawsuits from Croman, […]

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Living in a Croman Building

They start by trying to intimidate you as soon as they buy the building. They come to your door and tell you none of your leases are valid, that they have taken over the building and that all the leases were invalid if they were issued before they bought it out of foreclosure. They get […]

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Former Attorneys Take Croman to Court: The Game of Tactics

Greed Bites the Hand That Steals for It Intro by George Capsis The hand-cuffed arrest and subsequent arraignment in Criminal Court of activist attorney Arthur and the false anonymous call to the health department that raw sewerage was contaminating the kitchen of Nelly’s restaurant, Lima’s Taste are just two of many actions taken by two […]

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A Boomer Roughing it on the Gulf Coast

By Barbara Riddle   Where to live out the last third of a full life? Still craving museums, foreign flicks, yoga classes and organic, local blueberries and kale? Check. Prefer to walk everywhere? Check Prefer not to navigate black ice and gray slush? Check. Liberal, left-of-center Democrat? Check. Financially challenged? Check. Creaky bones? Check. So, […]

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They Want You Out by any Means Necessary!

    Dear George:   Rent regulated tenants (mostly seniors) suffer anxiety every time the rent laws are set to expire. These tenants should be able to enjoy their apartment instead of having to worry it will be deregulated out from under them. At this time of their life, they’re on fixed incomes that don’t […]

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House Sales

58 Barrow Street has hit the market. The address cannot be found on a map but sits on a quiet, private courtyard in the West Village known as Pamela Court. There is a doorway on Pamela Court that was the back entrance to the historic Village bar Chumley’s. The door was said to be a […]

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Croman Takes A Left to the Jaw

  By Arthur Schwartz   Taste of Lima owner, Nelida Godfrey, is waging a two front battle with Monster Landlord Steve Croman, who owns the building she lives in (on Bedford Street) and the building where her restaurant is located (on the corner of Bedford and Christopher). On June 15, Judge Peter Wendt issued a […]

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