America’s Affordable Housing Shortage

Extremely low-income renters face a shortage of affordable housing in every single state and major metropolitan area in the United States, a deficiency of 3.9 million units, according to a report (h/t CityLab) by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Nationwide, only about 35 affordable housing units exist per 100 extremely low-income homes, labeled as ELI households, and in the New York metro area (as defined by New York-Newark-Jersey City) the results are just as grim with only 32 units available per 100 households at or above the ELI threshold.

According to the NLIHC, to be classified as extremely low income, a household sits at or below the poverty guideline or 30 percent of their area median income (AMI). Their findings show that 11.4 million Americans fall into this income level, a figure that accounts for 26 percent of all U.S. renter households and nearly 10 percent of all households.

Although the NLIHC’s New York metro figures are aggregates, their finding of a 638,500 ELI unit deficit does cause great concern, particularly in light of looming budget cuts to federal housing under the Trump administration. As 6sqft reported yesterday, NYCHA is expecting to see their budget slashed by at least $35 million, some even speculating that figure could balloon to as much as $150 million.

At the city level, it is widely known that the De Blasio administration has made affordable housing a core tenet of its policy-making. The mayor announced early on a goal to preserve or build 200,000 units over 10 years. In three years of the mayor’s term, a total of 62,506 apartments have been built or preserved, according to the latest available data. Unfortunately, more than half of the apartments went to middle-income New Yorkers, not homeless or low-income New Yorkers that would be characterized as ELI.

De Blasio Pushes Again For New 2.5% ‘Mansion Tax’ On Sales Over $2M


Mayor De Blasio will renew his call for a “mansion tax” before this state Legislature in Albany today, reports Politico. In support of rent subsidies for 25,000 low-income senior citizens, the mayor has detailed a proposal that will raise the property transfer tax to 2.5 percent for any sale above $2 million. “We are asking for some basic tax fairness from the wealthiest New Yorkers so low-income seniors can afford their rent and continue to call the greatest city in the world their home,” the mayor said in a statement.

As Politico is quick to point out, the proposal is expected to struggle for Legislative support in the state capital. In 2015, the Mayor asked a similar tax be rolled into negotiations of the 421-a tax abatement that expired early last year, where sales over $1.75 million would be taxed 1 percent, and sales over $5 million would see a 1.5 percent tax. The increased rates would have provided another $200 million a year in revenue to be directed towards affordable housing initiatives, but the idea was rejected by state lawmakers.

As it stands, home sales over $1 million are subject to a 1 percent tax. The city’s Office of Management and Budget estimates 4,500 homes will sell for $2 million or more in the upcoming fiscal year, which would mean another $336 million in revenue for the city if the proposal were to be adopted.

Regardless, flop or not, the call alone will do a lot to enliven De Blasio’s supporters.

“DOA,” said one real estate official to Politico. “But it works for the mayor in terms of running for re-election and is a red meat issue for much of his base.”

Indeed, the mayor is up for re-election this year, and similar to his first campaign, he’s taken on affordable housing and income equality as his mantles. De Blasio also counts seniors as one of his most reliable voting blocs, many of whom have organized to support his previous housing proposals.

[Via Politico]

Map Reveals How Manhattan’s Working Population Moves From Home To Work In 24 Hours

Odds are if you’re reading this post right now, you’re probably at work in Midtown.

Created by Joey Cherdarchuk, “Breathing City” is a hypnotic visualization that tracks Manhattan’s working and resident population as they move from their home to their office.

To build the map, Cherdarchuk pulled population, employment, land use and building footprint data from the U.S. Census Bureau and New York City Planning, and plotted it against a breakdown, hour by hour, of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics deems a “typical” workday for the average American (“Manhattan probably has a different profile than the US average, but close enough,” he admits).  

Per Cherdarchuk, the roughly 1.5 million people living in Manhattan and 2 million people working in Manhattan were assigned the schedule. And as you’ll see ahead, New York is truly the city that never sleeps. 


Live in Ryan McDonagh's Loft, Just Below Taylor Swift for $5.75M

Now’s your chance to get in at Tribeca‘s celebrity heavy condo, the Sugar Loaf Building at 155 Franklin Street. Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh has listed his $5.75 million three-bedroom apartment, which is situated right below Taylor Swift’s palatial, lofty pad. And at 155 Franklin, all things revolve around Taylor Swift: Sir Ian McKellen was staying in Peter Jackson’s apartment and got evicted when Jackson sold the unit to Swift; and Orlando Bloom sold his apartment soon after Swift moved in with rumors of paparazzi annoyance. But if you don’t mind the crowd of fans, this unit boasts 2,450 square feet as well as the same exposed brick and timber-beamed ceilings that decorate Swift’s nearby abode.

According to the Observer, McDonagh bought the third-floor apartment in 2014–the same year Swift moved in–and paid $5.2 million it. Swift paid a much higher price of $20 million to Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson for the top two floors of the building.

The loft is decorated with 11-foot ceilings, many south and east facing windows, exposed brick galore and timber-beamed ceilings.

A snazzy new kitchen was outfitted with Calacatta gold marble and custom white cabinetry, as well as a massive six-seat breakfast bar. Other upgrades include new floors and lighting.

The master bedroom has its own ensuite bathroom with a double vanity and separate soaking tub. A second bedroom was outfitted as a nursery–as the Observer points out, McDonagh and his wife had their first child last October.

Any buyer will have to wait until they spot Taylor Swift in the lobby–she is currently living in a West Village townhouse while she completes renovations to her upstairs apartment. The building, however, offers plenty of privacy, with a video intercom system to see visitors and grant access though your phone or tablet.

The History of the Rockefeller Tree

The official website of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree describes the holiday tree as a “world-wide symbol of Christmas,” a statement we really can’t argue with, especially since 125 million people visit the attraction each year. And as you’ve probably heard, Wednesday is the 83rd Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting, an annual celebration that attracts tens of thousands in person and hundreds of millions more on television. In anticipation of the big event, we decided to take a look back at how this tradition got started and how it has evolved over the years.

The two trees in 1936.

On Christmas Eve, 1931, during the height of the Clutch Plague, workers at the Rockefeller Center construction site decided to pool their money together to buy a Christmas tree, a 20-foot balsam fir that they decorated with handmade garland from their families. The men lined up at the tree to receive their paychecks. Two years later in 1933, Rockefeller Center decided to make the tree an annual tradition and held the first official lighting ceremony. In 1936, they put up two trees to mark the opening of the skating rink and also held an ice skating competition.

Three trees in 1942.

The tree during the 1950s.

During WWII, the tree’s décor switched to a more patriotic theme, with red, white, and blue globes and painted wooden stars. In 1942, no materials needed for the war could be used on the tree, and instead of one giant tree, there were three smaller ones, each decorated in one of the flag’s three colors. It was also the first year that the tree was replanted after the holidays. In 1944, the tree remained unlit due to war time black-out regulations. When the war ended in 1945, the year of darkness was soon forgotten, as six ultraviolet light projectors were employed to make it appear as though the tree’s 700 fluorescent globes were glowing in the dark. By the 1950s, it took twenty workers on scaffolding nine days to fully decorate the tree, and 1951 marked the first time that NBC televised the tree lighting with a special on The Kate Smith Show.

The famous wire angels, via wallyg via photopin cc.

Another famous holiday staple at Rockefeller Center is the triumphant collection of metal wire herald angels in the Channel Gardens. Sculptor Valerie Clarebout debuted the twelve figures in 1969. Influenced by the nature movement of the time, the tree was first recycled in 1971; it was turned into 30 three-bushel bags of mulch for the nature trails of upper Manhattan. Though the tree typically makes its journey on a truck bed, in 1998 it received the royal treatment and was flown in from Richfield, Ohio on the world’s largest transport plane. The following year saw the largest tree in history, a 100-foot beauty from Killingworth, Connecticut.

The Swarovski star.

Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree was once again adorned in patriotic red, white and blue. In 2004, a 550-pound Swarovski star graced the top of the tree for the first time. Designed by German artist Michael Hammers, it features 25,000 crystals and one million facets and is 9.5 feet wide. In a continued effort to go green, LED lights were introduced on the tree in 2007. They use 1,200 fewer kilowatts of electricity per day, enough to power a 2,000-square-foot home for a month.

Santa looks on as a crane raises the 1951 tree.

The tree makes its way through NYC.

In the past, many trees were donated to Rockefeller Center. Otherwise, David Murbach, Gardens Division Manager of Rockefeller Center at the time, would take to a helicopter to scout for a tree in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, or even Canada. Today, the tree is typically a Norway spruce and is scouted by Erik Pauzé, Head Gardener at Rockefeller Center. While the tree is being cut down, a crane supports it and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer for its journey to Rockefeller Center. It’s then supported by four guy-wires at its midpoint and a steel spike at its base. Workers install scaffolding around the tree to allow them to put up the 45,000 rainbow LED lights.

This year’s tree is a 78-footer (it was 85 feet last year), donated by a family in Gardiner, and it is the first time in five years the Rockefeller tree has come from New York state. The tree was the centerpiece of a man named Albert Asendorf’s childhood home and was already 20 feet tall when his family moved into the home in 1957.

2015 also marks the ninth year that the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity once it comes down after January 7th, which is the Christian feast of the Epiphany. It will be milled, treated and made into lumber that will then be used to build homes.

‘Late Night’ Host Seth Meyers Nabs a Greenwich Village Co-op for $7.5M

Funnyman Seth Meyers has just scored himself a sprawling duplex spread in Greenwich Village. According to city records released this afternoon, the comedian and his wife Alexi dropped $7.519M on the 3,200-square-foot co-op at 32 Washington Square West, a prewar construction that sits at the northwest corner of the beloved Washington Square Park. According to the listing, the apartment boasts five bedrooms, 4.5 baths, excellent light through its 26 windows, four exposures, two wood burning fireplaces, a chefs kitchen, a supersized living/dining room setup, and much much more. Incidentally, this apartment is no stranger to hosting A-list celebs. The home was previously owned by actress Mary Louise Parker—she sold the spacious pad for $7.75 million in 2013.

The home’s interior is highlighted by beamed ceilings, luxurious Venetian plaster walls and moldings, and richly stained oak floors. Oversized windows infuse the duplex’s 10 rooms with plenty of light.

An efficient, eat-in chefs kitchen has been outfitted with a Wolf range, Sub Zero appliances, and a large walk-in pantry.

A second sitting area with fireplace can be found on the top floor just off the master bedroom. Two more of the five bedrooms can also be found on this floor.

Meyers and his wife will also enjoy a kind of quiet that doesn’t come often (nor cheap) in NYC. The co-op occupies two floors of the demure 15-story building, in which there are only two apartments per floor. The building also offers a full-time doorman and elevator operator.

500 Square Inches - NYC’s Smallest Piece of Private Land

If you’ve ever walked by the busy intersection of 7th Avenue South and Christopher Street, you’ve likely seen people snapping photos of the iconic corner-facing Village Cigars, but what you probably didn’t realize is that many of these eager photographers were standing on top of New York City’s smallest piece of private land.

The Hess Triangle sits in the sidewalk at the southwest corner of thisGreenwich Village crossing, a small concrete slab with an imbedded mosaic that reads “Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated For Public Purposes.”

Seventh Avenue was laid out as part of the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811, but terminated at Eleventh Street. Starting in 1910, the avenue was extended southward to connect with Varick Street in order to accommodate the construction of the IRT Broadway-Seventh Avenue subway line and link the Village with Tribeca. Over 300 buildings were demolished under Eminent Domain.

One of the razed buildings, a five-story apartment building called the Voorhis, belonged to David Hess. He fought the city in hopes of saving his building, but by 1914 all that remained of his property was a small triangle of sidewalk. The city assumed Hess would donate the tiny tract to the public sidewalk, but they were wrong. He took the city to court and was allowed to retain ownership of his prized triangle.

Village Cigars courtesy of wallyg via photopin cc

On July 27, 1922, Hess had his infamous mosaic message installed in his 500 square inches of land. In 1938, he sold the triangle to Village Cigars for $1,000, and the store has left it intact, a permanent reminder of city history and the resiliency (and stubbornness!) of New Yorkers.

Rupert Murdoch Sells West Village Townhouse For $27.5M

Last August 6sqft reported that News Corp. head and Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch had put his West Village townhouse–the one he’d boughtjust five months prior for $25 million–on the market. Now, just five months after listing the 25-foot-wide, four-story brick home for $28.9M, the house has found a buyer, the New York Observer reports. Whomever is behind the entity known as West 11th Street, LLC has purchased the 6,500-square-foot Greek Revival manse for $27.5 million. The deal represents a $2.5M profit for Murdoch (and we all know how much he needs a few more million).

The grand historic townhouse at 278 West 11th Street has definitely been an easier sell, even for eight figures, than a $72 million triplex trophy pad at Flatiron skyscraper One Madison; the media mogul’s 6,850-square-foot penthouse in that high-profile building has remained unsold since Murdoch listed it in April of 2015 (even with Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen as neighbors). What–besides the ridiculous price difference and 350 square feet–makes a West Village townhouse so much easier to sell? In addition to location, the house–thoroughly renovated when Murdoch bought it–is gorgeous inside and out, starting with the three-level landscaped patio.

The home’s previous owner, who bought the property for $8.2 million in 2011, restored the former purple bed-and-breakfast to its original single-family mansion glory, restored the home’s façade, and modernized it by replacing south-facing walls with glass to let in more light and adding a roof deck, elevator, 1,200-bottle wine cellar, smart home technology and a gym.

In addition to the elevator, there’s a grand elliptical staircase for making the kind of entrances you can’t make in a lift.


The roof deck has Empire State Building and One World Trade Center views, limestone pavers and a Spanish cedar pergola.

The billionaire octogenarian recently wed former model (and Mick Jagger’s ex) Jerry Hall (his fourth wife), and even more recently saw Fox News embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal involving co-founder Roger Ailes, so having one less property to worry about might be a good thing.

New Self-Driving Bus in Amsterdam Makes the MTA’s Transit Plan Look Dated

While New York City is patting itself on the back for pushing through a subway design that offers eight more inches of door space and an open-gangway format, over in the Netherlands, folks are celebrating the Future Bus, a self-driving bus created by Mercedes-Benz. Per The Verge, the Future Bus has just completed a 20 kilometer (roughly 12.5 miles) drive that took it from Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport to the town of Haarlem (fun side note: Harlem the nabe takes its name from this municipality) along a route that included a number of tight bends, tunnels, and traffic lights.

See Day and Night Views From 432 Park Ave. at 1,400 Feet in the Air

Earlier today, 6sqft brought you flashy new renderings of the amenity spaces at432 Park Avenue. The reveal came with a link to the official building website, which has a section offering jaw-dropping photos that showcase the views from the 1,396-foot tower, the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere. As the site notes, they span from the Hudson River to the East River, from Westchester to Brooklyn, and from Central Park to the Atlantic Ocean.

Looking north

In addition to all five boroughs, 432 Park will offer views of New York state, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Looking west

As 6sqft previously reported, 432 Park can be seen from 47 miles away at sea level, “roughly the distance from the tower to Beacon, NY, Bridgeport, Connecticut, or Trenton, New Jersey.”

Looking south

Though technically One World Trade Center is taller than 432 Park at 1,776 feet, this includes its 408-foot-tall spire. Therefore, 432 Park’s roof is actually 29 feet higher, and its uppermost penthouse will look upon One WTC’s observation deck. And this penthouse will sit at 1,302 feet above street level, making it the highest apartment in the world.

Looking east

Thirteen major bridges can be seen from the top floors of the tower: George Washington Bridge, TriBoro (RFK) Bridge, Queensboro (Ed Koch) Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, Throggs Neck Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, Verrazano Bridge, Hell’s Gate Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, Pulaski Skyway, and Tappan Zee Bridge.

There’s also the fun video below, which gives a great idea of how light changes from day to night.

City Gives First Approval for the Lowline, Must Raise $10M Over the Next Year

The world’s first underground park just got one step closer to reality thanks to approvals from the NYC Economic Development Corporation. The Lowline, which will occupy a 40,000-square-foot abandoned trolley terminal below Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, received the thumbs up after an eight-monthbidding process during which no one else submitted a proposal.

City hall granted co-creators James Ramsey and Dan Barasch control of the space provided they can reach a $10 million fundraising goal over the next 12 months, complete a schematic design, and host five to 10 public design sessions and quarterly community engagement meetings.

The decision comes after the success of the Lowline Lab (it’s welcomed 70,000 visitors since opening), a miniature version of the subterranean park that tested its remote skylight system and horticulture, as well as conditional approvals from the local community board. It still needs to make its way through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP), and as NY Mag points out, it may not be so easy to convince the public that the $60 million project that will require as much as $4 million annually in maintenance is feasible.

Though the city has committed no funds to the project, deputy mayor for housing and economic development Alicia Glen made it clear that public support hasn’t been ruled out. She also very exuberantly expressed her interest: “When they first presented it to me, I thought, That is some crazy, smoking-dope stuff — let’s check it out! We’re very excited about taking interesting technology, and the way the tech ecosystem is converging around cities, to solve civic problems and objectives.”

James Ramsey celebrated the victory: “Every designer dreams of doing civic work that contributes to society and to the profession. Over the last 8 years, we just stuck to what we thought was a great idea that could make our city and our community better. We’re thrilled to move ahead on designing and building a space that people will enjoy for generations to come.”

The Lowline Lab will be open through March, 2017; it’s free and open to the public.

Matt Lauer Unloading Southampton Beach Cottage for $4M

On Monday, 6sqft reported that “Today” anchor Matt Lauer had scooped upRichard Gere‘s Hamptons estate for an impressive $36 million. He’s wasted no time trying to unload his other properties on the island, as the Post reveals today that his Southampton beach cottage has hit the market for $4 million. Located at 67 Scotts Landing Road, the charming waterfront home sits on .75 acres within a community “where houses are generally passed on to the next generation,” according to the listing. This exclusive neighborhood offers tennis courts and access to a bay beach with a pavilion that puts on events.

The cottage is much simpler than Lauer’s new digs; it has three bedrooms and spans just 1,800 square feet. There’s beamed cathedral ceilings and a fireplace in the living room, which has an opening to the country kitchen. Off the kitchen is the dining room that features a lovely bay window.

The enclosed porch has glass doors that lead outside to a deck and down to the yard and 85 feet of bulkhead waterfront.

There also a charming detached garage that’s adjacent to the stone pathway that leads to the front door.

As 6sqft previously noted, “Lauer, who’s notorious for taking a private helicopter back and forth from the city to the Hamptons, also owns a 40-acre farm in Water Mill (where he recently had some beef with his neighbors).”

This Week’s 5 Most Expensive Listings

Here’s our look at the five most expensive residential listings to hit StreetEasy in the past seven days, otherwise known as the crème de la crème of the Manhattan market this week.

30 Park Place #PH82

Address 30 Park Place #PH82
Price $30,000,000
Type/Size Condo: three bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms
This full-floor penthouse in the Robert A.M. Stern designed 30 Park Place is this week’s most expensive listing. Situated on the 82nd floor of the tower, this spread comes with 360 degree views, four private terraces, a library and two walk-in closets.

930 Fifth Avenue 18A–18C

Address 930 Fifth Avenue 18A–18C
Price $19,000,000
Type/Size Co-op
This listing isn’t just one apartment, it’s two. Snap up this combination opportunity and you’ll be the owner of 18A and 18C at 930 Fifth Avenue (where Woody Allen once owned a penthouse). Both units are available individually, but between them will total approximately 5,000 square feet with over 90 feet of frontage on Central Park.

432 Park Avenue #38A

Address 432 Park Avenue #38A
Price $18,350,000
Type/Size Condo: three bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms
This 4,082 square foot spread in New York’s biggest trash can has only been on the market for three days and already it’s in contract. The potential buyers must have been swayed by the library, the private elevator landing and the huge windows with Central Park views.

111 West 67th Street #22EFGH

Address 111 West 67th Street #22EFGH
Price $11,599,000
Type/Size Condo: five bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms
Located at The Park Millennium, this corner apartment spans 3,300 square feet. While it may not be the biggest apartment on this week’s list, with 20 closets it might just have the most storage space. It’s being sold by the anonymous 111 West 67th LLC.

60 Riverside Boulevard #PH4001

Address 60 Riverside Boulevard #PH4001
Price $9,999,000
Type/Size Condo: four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms
At $9.99 million, this Roman and Williams-designed penthouse is a little cheaper than the homes we usually highlight on this list – but not by much. It’s located on top floor of the Aldyn and has floor-to-ceiling windows and 12-foot-high ceilings. Meanwhile the building itself offers residents access to an athletic club and spa, a playground, a rock climbing wall and a bowling alley.

How NYC’s Supertalls Compare in Height and Girth to Global Towers

As the Skyscraper Museum so aptly writes, “Tall and BIG are not the same thing.”

Echoing 6sqft’s recent post on global supertalls, the infographic above illustrates how when the height of New York’s tallest towers are stacked up against the sky-high constructions abroad (and 1 WTC), our city’s skyscrapers truly are “runts on the world’s stage.” The image also reveals that not only do these towers lack significantly in height, but also in girth. This means what really makes the design of all of New York’s new skyscrapers so unique is not how tall they are, but rather, how slender they are.

“The pencil-thin periscopes — all 50 to 90+ stories — use a development and design strategy of slenderness to pile their city-regulated maximum square feet of floor area (FAR) as high in the sky to as possible to create luxury apartments defined by spectacular views,” says the Skyscraper Museum of this new typology.

“‘Slenderness’” is an engineering definition,” they add. “Structural engineers generally consider skyscrapers with a minimum 1:10 or 1:12 ratio (of the width of the building’s base to its height) to be ‘slender.’ Slenderness is a proportion based on the width of the base to the height of the building.”

In this slender lot, they point out 18 towers in specific that redefine the width versus height ratio, emphasizing again that extreme verticality is not at all representative of total gross floor area: One57111 West 57th Street432 Park Avenue520 Park Avenue, Central Park Tower, 220 Central Park South, 53W53100 East 53rd StreetSky House45 East 22nd StreetOne Madison35 Hudson Yards56 Leonard30 Park Place,111 Murray Street125 Greenwich Street50 West Street and 9 DeKalb Avenue.

Average Condo Sale in Manhattan Reaches $2.9M, Setting New Record

For the second quarter in a row, average condo sales prices in Manhattan are breaking records. The first three months of 2016 saw $4.59 billion in aggregate sales, breaking the previous record of $4.57 billion that was set last quarter, according to data from CityRealty. The average sales price topped out at $2.9 million, also significantly higher than last quarter’s $2.5 million. These figures aren’t surprising considering 24 percent of all condo sales during the beginning of this year were at or above $10 million, with new luxury developments like 432 Park AvenueThe Greenwich Lane, and 150 Charles Street accounting for the uptick.

In 1927, NYC Almost Got a 16-Mile Highway Along Building Rooftops

In the early 20th century, engineers and architects were certainly thinking outside the box when it came to city planning here in New York. There was the proposal to fill in the Hudson River for traffic and housing, the idea to create a giant conveyor belt to carry people between Grand Central and Times Square, and the plan tostack the city like a layered cake. Though these ideas sound whacky, they were born from the rise of the automobile and suburbinization. With many Americans moving out of urban centers, planners sought new ways to reimagine the modern city and entice car-loving prospects.

Another such idea is this 1927 one for a 16-mile elevated highway that would have traveled across building rooftops from the Battery all the way to Yonkers. Conceived by engineer John K. Hencken, it required all buildings to be uniform at 12 stories. Within them would have been standard uses — residences, offices, schools, theaters, restaurants — and elevators to take cars from the street to the skyway.

Sure it’s crazy and was never built, but at the time, Hencken’s proposal was “approved by a number of eminent engineers and city planners. They say it is entirely feasible from an engineering standpoint,” according to a Popular Science article in which it was featured. The article continued: “Our artist pictures here an ingenious new plan for solving NYC’s traffic problems by a remarkable system of roof-top boulevards running more than sixteen miles in a straight line through the heart of the city. Bridging of cross streets for free movement of traffic; moving platforms for speedy and convenient service; healthful elevated playgrounds for children; underground railway freight service—these are some of its outstanding features.”

March’s 10 Most-Read Stories

The City's First LinkNYC Wi-Fi Kiosks Unveiled - 6sqft


As Crain’s first reported, the first of the city’s upcoming 7,500 LinkNYC Wi-Fi kiosks have officially rolled out today. Two new “links” (as they’ll be called), have sprouted up along Third Avenue in the East Village, one at the corner of East 15th Street and the other at East 17th Street. Each kiosk measures 9.5 feet tall and will be equipped with a gigabit-speed Wi-Fi connection with a 150-foot range, charging stations, a touch-screen that provides maps and info about city services, and a speaker phone that will let users make domestic calls—and all for free! The kiosks are meant to replace NYC’s 6,000 now-defunct pay phones. linknyc tablet

The network of links will cost about $200 million to implement, but according to Crain’s, who attended today’s LinkNYC press unveiling, advertising generated by the kiosks are expected to bring in $500 million in revenue over the next 12 years. The designs themselves are the product of CityBridge, a technology consortium that teamed up with the city after winning a 12-year contract through the design competition Reinvent Payphones.

While the two kiosks debuting today won’t be fully functional just yet, they will give New Yorkers an idea of what’s to come. The gigabit-speed Wi-Fi connection is expected to kick in over the next two weeks, as eight other links planned for Third Avenue below 58th Street are installed. In February, the trial phase will bring a tablet component into the mix, this bit of tech giving users the ability to make phone calls and search the web. It’s expected by June that 500 more kiosks will be installed across the five boroughs. By 2024, the city will be covered with 7,500 links

Source: The City's First LinkNYC Wi-Fi Kiosks Unveiled Today! | 6sqft

New Renderings of One Vanderbilt, Midtown's Future Tallest Office Tower - 6sqft


The digital production studio Visualhouse has posted on their website our first motion video look at SL Green’s 63-story office tower known as One Vanderbilt. Hailed to forever change the face of Midtown East and reinvigorate the business district, the $1 billion-plus, 1.6-million-square-foot tower was unanimously approved by the City Council this past summer, thus granting SL Green the green light to begin construction of the supertower immediately.

Visualhouse’s newly released film and renderings provide us with a clearer picture of how the building’s full-block base will meet the street, and also remind us just how gargantuan the tower will be. According to the tower’s architects Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the tower will rise 1,501 feet to its spire, making it the third tallest building in the city upon completion. However, unlike the pencil-thin supertalls underway around Central Park, the project will throw up a substantial amount of bulk into the air.

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

The new nighttime depictions show the office floors will be topped by a sizable illuminated crown that is sure to join the Chrysler and Empire State Building as nighttime skyline fixtures.

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Midtown East skyline, KPF, rezoning, NYC skyscrapers, SL Green

Demolition of the pre-war buildings at the site is expected to last until the second quarter of 2016, and excavation/ foundation work is slated to end by 2017. TD Bank is already lined up to occupy 200,000 square feet of space in the building and will also provide a flagship retail branch at the base.

Source: New Renderings & Video of One Vanderbilt, Midtown's Future Tallest Office Tower | 6sqft

Mapping All 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi Trips Since 2009 - 6sqft


Mapping All 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi Trips Since 2009


That’s 183,333,333 trips a year; 15,277,777 a month; and roughly 510,000 a day. And it likely took software developer Todd W. Schneider a long time to put all of that data into this stunning map of taxi pickups and drop offs over the past six years. Green boro taxis are represented in their signature color and traditional yellow cabs in white, with brighter areas representing more taxi activity. As Gothamist first noted, “Yellow cab pickups are concentrated south of Central Park in Manhattan, while drop offs spread north and east into Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx; drop off and pickup activity snakes like a glowworm from Manhattan to the airports: along the Van Wyck Expressway to JFK, and by 278 and 495 to La Guardia.”

Using the TLC’s public data, Schneider also created charts and maps that show taxi travel compared with uber rides; weekend destinations of bridge-and-tunnelers; a late-night taxi index; how weather affects taxi trips; weekday drop-offs at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup; airport traffic; cash versus credit card payments; and the dramatic increase in North Williamsburg taxi activity.

Williamsburg taxi map, Todd W. Schneider

Above is a GIF showing the transformation of North Williamsburg taxi activity from 2011 (when the green cabs were introduced) to 2014, the area with the largest increase in taxi pickups. 72 percent of these pickups occurred late night, and we can see some of the specific spots where this is most prevalent, such as the Wythe Hotel, Output nightclub, and Verboten nightclub.

bridge and tunnel taxi trips, NYC taxi map

Murray Hill taxi trips, NYC taxi map

It’s also interesting to look at where those from neighboring locales go on the weekend. Though the first map above shows taxi pickups originating at Penn Station, most passengers are not going very far, ending up in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, and Midtown. Not surprisingly, Murray Hill is the number one drop off spot, often known as the heart of the bridge and tunnel crowd.

Goldman Sachs taxi dropoffs, NYC taxi map

Citigroup taxi dropoffs, NYC taxi map

“We’ve already covered the hipsters of Williamsburg and the B&Ts of Murray Hill, why not see what the taxi data can tell us about investment bankers, yet another of New York’s distinctive subcultures?” asks Schneider. As his graphs show, Goldman Sachs employees’ average drop off time is 7:59 a.m.; Citigroup is 7:51 a.m. Those taking taxis to these offices mostly get picked up in the West Village, Chelsea/Flatiron/Union Square, and Soho/Tribeca (in that order).

cash vs. credit for taxis, NYC taxi graph

“I’m certainly not the first person to use the public taxi data to make maps, but I hadn’t previously seen a map that includes the entire dataset of pickups and drop offs since 2009 for both yellow and green taxis,” says Todd W. Schneider. To see the rest of his maps and charts, visit the project page HERE >>

[Via Gothamist]

Source: Mapping All 1.1 Billion NYC Taxi Trips Since 2009 | 6sqft