Last week, we featured properties in New York City that were sold for only one dollar. This week, we’re looking at the flip side: some of the most expensive real estate deals that have taken place in New York City. This goes beyond the $100+ million dollar apartment listings you’re familiar with – these deals give you a sense of not only the size of transactions here in the city but the scale of the urban development that emerge from them.
All of these deals were over $1 billion, and included both single buildings and large complexes. We’ve come a long way from the “Million Dollar Corner,” on 34th Street and Broadway, which in 1911 was the most ever paid for a plot of land. In 2015 dollars, that sale for the 1,200 square foot corner would have been equivalent to $25.7 million.
Downtown Manhattan is not only filled with history, but it is also filled with numerous permanent art installations – many of which are part of the history we so lovingly preserve. Beginning at Bowling Green in The Battery, view artifacts of the oldest man-made structure still in place in Manhattan, look down into a cistern from the 18th-century, and view remnants of a tavern from the 1800s. Ponder artists’ portrayals symbolizing hope, optimism and whimsy. Many survived the attacks of September 11, proudly showing their dents and holes.
Ever wonder what that castle-like building on Park Avenue on the Upper East Side is? Once one of the grandest of the armories in New York City, the Park Avenue Armory has a storied history and comes with a wonderful story of adaptive reuse. Like many institutional buildings in New York City, time and circumstances led the armory to fall into disrepair, and by the year 2000 it was named one of the 100 most endangered historic sites in the world by World Monuments Fund.
Luckily, it has since been revitalized through the efforts of the non-profit group Park Avenue Armory, and today opens its doors to a full calendar of exhibits and performances. In addition to its public facade, there is much unknown about the Armory. Here are ten facts you may not know about the Park Avenue Armory.
Essex Crossing Rendering by Taconic Investment Partners
New York City is famous for breaking real estate records, for most expensive of course. In a city known for $100+ million apartments, deals into the billions, and parking spaces that go for $1 million, it can be easy to forget that there’s also a tradition of selling property for $1 dollar. This token transaction amount is often used a development incentive and potential buyers need to show they have plans and the funds to execute. The $1 deals happen at several levels –between federal and city/state, between federal and private citizens, between city and private developers, between city and non-profit organizations. New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development sold 700 buildings for $1 between 2002 and 2006 alone, though the pace has decreased considerably since then as the city’s own stock of ownership has declined.
Many of these locations may truly surprise you, as they have since become embedded into the urban fabric seamlessly.
The castle-like Park Slope Armory encompasses an entire city block in Brooklyn, bounded by 7th and 8th Avenue, and 14th and 15th Streets. Like many of the city’s armories, the armory has been reused from its original purpose as the headquarters for the 14th Regiment of the New York State militia, and now houses sports facilities run by the YMCA and the Park Slope Armory Women’s Shelter. But amidst the bustling activity within the building today, the Park Slope Armory reveals many fascinating secrets.
Happy April Fools Day! In honor of celebrating this crazy holiday, we’ve put together a list (a real list, no hoaxes here!) of some of the best pranks and hoaxes in New York City over the years. While some are legitimate, others are just actual fake or historically inaccurate infrastructures and objects. So, for a good laugh on this April Fools Day here are 10 of the city’s pranks, hoaxes, and the like. We certainly had a good time putting this together! (more…)