Thursday, March 31, 2016

Plans Filed for Four-family at Fourth & 16th

Another four-story, four-family residential building is in the works at 100 16th Street, just below Fourth Avenue. 100 16th (below, at left) was sold last November to JC Coin Realty, for $750, 000. JC Coin is active in the area, and flipped 645 Fifth to another developer last year (more on 643-5 Fifth here)
The new building will rise at a busy corner of 16th, with a Boaz Gilad project at 98 (outstanding safety violations), & a high-end four-unit condo building planned for 96 (full Stop Work Order since August '15, for damage to adjacent 94).

More on this strip of 16th here.

July, 2015

A sordid looking scene -  April, 2016 

Plans for New Mixed-Use Building at Fifth & 16th

Plans have been filed for a five-story, eight-unit residential & commercial  building at 578 Fifth Avenue (below, at right). The developer is Tin Min Fung (Eight & Eight Development) and the architect is Manhattan-based Chi F. Lau.  578 sold for $1,653,000 in 2014.

Life Styles

By the Sixth & 21st construction site. I like the nod to Robin Leach, but I'd say it's still the rich who have the lock on shamelessness.

Renovations Still Incomplete at Fourth & 9th

In February '15 the MTA expressed hopes that general construction at the Fourth Avenue station would be finished by mid-March of that year.  The R stairways were to be repaired by April '15, & retail spaces were to be ready for tenancy by 2016.  Much of the work has been completed, but questions remain.  We've raised them before, but as work here seems to have ground to a halt, or is even, perhaps, officially completed, we'll raise them again.

1.  The retail spaces have been advertised for rent with MC O'Brien for some months, but it's unclear if they're ready for occupancy.  Have any of them been leased?

2.  What about the state of the Coney Island bound F/G platform?  The archway windows on this side are still boarded up, making for a very narrow pedestrian space at this section of the platform.  Are there any plans to complete the work on this side?

3.  Were renovations to the passageways & western side of the station interior ever budgeted for?  I'm pretty content with them being just the way they are, but it seems a little odd that they've been left almost entirely untouched.

March, 2016

2013 - the interior looks much the same today

Culver Viaduct renovation plans were first announced in 2007. Nine years later we're wondering when the Fourth & 9th station will get the finishing touches.

Spring Arrives on 23rd Avenue

and farther along the avenue, the splendid Greek Orthodox Metropolis

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Age of?

We often think of this one, at Sixth & Prospect, as the Ziggurat, built over a decade ago in the Age of Fedders. There's still no sign of construction over at 205 12th Street, where the same developer has plans for a six-family four-story. What Age are we in now?  The Bertazzoni?

Now & then at 205 12th

Early Morning Seventh

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

1.  In all ways, the dominant and most characteristic inhabitant of this betwixt-and-between area was the rhubarb.  Leeds had a ram on its coat of arms indicating its historic reliance on wool for its clothing industries.  It might just as well have put a stick of rhubarb. Field after field marched round the outer limits of the town on the south like a rank, deep, defensive fence; and that had a certain rightness. Like urchins, it seemed to thrive on dirt and smoke.  This rhubarb was not that thin, small, pale pink forced stuff sold in supermarkets nowadays.  It had as much relation to that neat pie-filler as a great miner to an effete courtier.   (Richard Hoggart)

2.  I always thought that my life couldn't be written about.  I remember the day I began to change.  It's in the poem I wrote called 'Rhubarbarians'.  I used to go walking with my father near East Ardsley, where the rhubarb fields were; tusky, as we called it.  He told me that 98% of British rhubarb came from Leeds.  And my Dad said, 'Oh I was in a play once, I was;  I held a spear in Julius Caesar at school.'  He said they taught him, as they do in the theatre, to make indescribable crowd noises by saying 'rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb'.  So I always had that sense that saying 'rhubarb' was what my life was about, whereas the central literary life was elsewhere.   (Tony Harrison)

3.  I keep an unruly rhubarb patch in the back yard.  Baked in crumbles, or stewed with a dollop of cream or custard.

4.  An April 1st party for Rhuby Soho.

Ideas City

Looks like this container was once experiencing a cooler lifestyle at the Ideas City New Museum arts festival. Dressed up something like this:

Alas, now it's reduced to mundane, municipal purposes, storing some kind of hazardous waste on Fourth, partners with a Johnny on the Spot toilet.  Unless there's something more conceptual happening here?

Whatever's going on, the mystery car behind it is taking no chances.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Crunch Gets the Nod from CB6, "Existing Businesses" Long Gone

At the end of last week Park Slope Patch reported on the CB6 green light for a Crunch gym at Fifth Avenue & 15th Street.  Readers might remember that we wrote about the sale of the 555 Fifth building late last year, and noted the leasing of the building to Crunch.  According to the Patch reporter, an attorney for Crunch, Michael Nacmias, told the community board that "the fitness center would take up part of the building’s first floor, as well as its entire basement and second floor, but wouldn't displace most of the existing businesses in the property," and the reporter noted that "those businesses, including a grocery store, were closed Friday" (March 25th).

In fact, businesses at 555 Fifth lost their leases & were all gone by January of this year.  These included the corner deli, a nail salon, Aikido & Bikram studios & a large discount store. Sky Discount was the last to leave.  Sky managed to find a spot across the street, paying a higher rent for a smaller space, replacing another discount store that could not afford a rent hike.  The Aikido center moved to Sackett Street.  I don't know if the other businesses managed to find new premises.  If Mr. Nacmias really informed CB6 that the most of the existing businesses would remain, I'm surprised that no-one on the committee was aware that this information was quite incorrect.   I would have expected a firmer grasp of the retail situation on Fifth.  It seems quite likely that the retail spaces here will in fact be rented out to new, higher end businesses at higher end prices.

It's not surprising that the corner grocery store was closed last Friday.  The 555 deli space was cleared out in December, and its sign torn down by the end of that month.  An earlier business sign was revealed underneath.

New Fitness for Old: Crunch Jumps into the Mix
Choice on Fifth
Fruits & Vegetables
Amazing Variety
Space Assured for Displaced "existing businesses"up for Rent at 555 Fifth

Auto Fashion

And another kind of mural, at Auto Fashion (21st Street).  This one replaced earlier paintings on the side of the business, and the paint's still fresh.  Caught in a drop down rear view mirror, but never receding, the Twin Towers remain fixed in sight.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Around Welling Court

The MTA was up to its old weekend tricks yesterday, & I think I endured my longest trip to Astoria ever.  Good thing I wasn't on any kind of schedule.  The apartment I was visiting is a stone's throw from Welling Court & this was a good day to head on over there & look around again.  I love this part of old Astoria Village, though the buildings are cheek by jowl with construction activity & To Let & We've Moved signs.  The landscape trembles with impermanence.

It was Spring.  The air was clear. The trees were starting to blossom. The streets around the Court were ablaze with color.  Here's some of the art on display.

Sahadi's Easter