Property Grunt

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Roll Call

The Grunt had an absolute blast working with Curbed Senior Editor
Joey on a Curbed piece about Broker Douchebaggery. Joey, you are the man. Let's do it again.

This is a great article on noise in the East Village. between a bar owner, the residents who live above her and the community board.

There is the one quote from Ms. Millstone that I found amusing.

"I’ve tried to have an avant-garde element,” said Ms. Millstone, who holds a master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts. “I was nostalgic for a period I never actually experienced, the early ’80s, when there was a thriving art scene in the East Village.”

Ms. Millstone, if you really want to experience the 80's in the east village, throw in some crack heads, street crime and a ton of urban blight. In other words, move to Baltimore.

Also you made a critical error in opening up a bar in the East Village because this area has gone through a ton of gentrification.

Joyce Cohen introduces us to Richard E. Waits who is a nomad specializes in dancing, acting and bohemian. Joyce covers his hunt for a new place after having a insane roommate who is late with the rent.

Richard ended up using a broker and what I found interesting was the manager;s perspective of the fee.

The fee was $2,000, Mosaic’s minimum, even though it usually charges 15 percent of a year’s rent ($1,395 in this case). So few low-end rentals are available that typically “you’ve got to get creative in finding the apartment or making the deal happen with the landlord,” said Brian Dusseau, a manager at Mosaic Properties. Also, “if people can afford to pay our fee, we know they can afford to pay that rent every month,” he said.

I have experienced the flipside which is that the client has only enough money to pay for the 3 months of rent to hold onto an apartment.

Richard was ecstatic to the point that peopel thought he bought.

When he broke the happy news to his restaurant regulars, they thought he had bought an apartment. After all, “this is a hot section of town,” he said. “I was like, ‘No, I didn’t buy, I am renting.’ We are not dealing with the same reality.”

No truer words were spoken.


Below are a ton of press release that have been sent to me. The first is from the American Institute of Architects for the first Juried competition for sustainable and affordable housing.

The last two are from Kelly Kreth. The first one is about Century 21's new feature on their website called MyPlace. It has nothing to do with MySpace so place your uncensored photos elsewhere. The second one is Propertyshark's new golddigging feature which allows single women to find a sugar daddy.




NEW YORK, NY, January 17, 2007 – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, 2004 President of New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), today announced Phipps-Rose-Dattner-Grimshaw (PRDG) as the winning architect-developer team of New York City’s first juried design competition for affordable and sustainable housing. The competition, known as the New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project, emerged from a collaboration between the NHNY Steering Committee, HPD, AIANY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Enterprise Community Partners to encourage the integration of sustainability and design excellence with affordable housing. Located in the South Bronx, the competition site was a 60,000 square foot vacant lot that consists of City-owned property and a legally abandoned rail right-of-way. Currently valued at $4 million, the site will be sold by the City to PRDG for a nominal fee in exchange for the design and construction of a mixed-use development that includes affordable housing for New Yorkers of low-, middle-, and moderate-incomes. An exhibition of the winning team’s proposal will be on view March 22 – June 16, 2007 at the Center for Architecture. The exhibition will highlight how the project functions as a replicable model for sustainable affordable housing in New York City and other urban communities.

Comprised of The Phipps Houses, Dattner Architects, Jonathan Rose Companies and Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, the PRDG team presented a proposal, referred to as “Green Way” or “Via Verde”, that will consist of 202 residential units, in addition to retail and community spaces, and parking. The proposed development incorporates a range of residential spaces, varying from apartments in a tower to duplexes in a mid-rise to townhouses. The development is organized around a multi-functional garden that begins at street-level as a courtyard and plaza, and spirals upwards through a series of programmed, south-facing roof gardens that end in a sky terrace. The gardens will be used for fruit and vegetable cultivation, passive recreation and social gathering, and provide storm water control and enhanced insulation. Phipps Community Development Corporation (CDC) plans to expand its green market in East Tremont and community-supported agriculture collaboration with Just Food and will use Via Verde’s plaza for a neighborhood green market or organic food co-op.

The PRDG team said, "We are pleased and honored to have been selected by the New Housing New York jury to work with HPD to help develop a next generation of housing that is affordable and green. We are inspired by a great vision to create places that are environmentally and socially responsible, but to do it within the constraints of affordable housing budgets and important community input. One of the great pleasures of this competition was combining so much great thought from knowledgeable individuals, yet coming together as a team: we became a community so that we could design a community!"

As proposed, the Via Verde will consist of both rental and homeownership units affordable to households of four earning from $28,360 up to $92,170 or $19,840 up to $64,480 for a single household. Approximately half of the units are designated for low-income households and the other half for moderate- and middle-income households. The development will consist of 139 rental apartments with twenty-five percent of the units affordable to households of four earning up to $56,700 or up to $39,700 for a single household. All sixty-three of the homeownership units will be affordable to households of four earning up to $92,170 or up to $64,480 for a single household. The proposal assumes that the rental units will be funded through a combination of the Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) New Housing Opportunity Program and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and that the homeownership units will use HDC’s Affordable Co-op program and New Market Tax Credits. The Via Verde development is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan to build or preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation’s history.

“We believe this unprecedented competition will raise the level of design sustainability and serve as a beacon for affordable housing across the city. Given the incredible response the competition received, and the innovative proposals the jury reviewed, the competition presents a real opportunity to change the future of affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “We hope that PRDG’s proposal will serve as a prototype for future affordable housing developments built nationally and internationally.”

Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, IIDA, 2007 President of the AIA New York Chapter said

“New Housing New York is a remarkable collaboration between architects, government, and the private sector. It is exactly the kind of initiative that illustrates how we, as design professionals, can have a positive and concrete impact on the future of our city. Hopefully, the process we have developed through this project will impact planning and construction beyond its realization and help us rethink how we can design sustainable affordable housing throughout New York.”

By incorporating sustainable material choices, efficient mechanical systems and renewable strategies, Via Verde will aim to achieve gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides a standard of what constitutes a "green building". Mechanical systems will include enhanced ventilation to apartments and individual control of heating and cooling. Sun screens will shade the south and west facades and each unit will include high performance windows. These energy efficient features will reduce utility bills for tenants, increasing affordability, and help improve indoor air quality.

“The overall competition and the quality of work that went into these proposals provides a snapshot of the innovative building construction going on in New York State,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Peter R. Smith. “Through NYSERDA’s New York Energy $martSM Multifamily Building Performance Program, we are encouraging many more developers, architects and others in the building industry to design and construct their properties to the ENERGY STAR standards. NYSERDA continually works to illustrate that high-quality, healthy, and energy efficient housing can also be affordable."

The NHNY competition was first announced at the Center for Architecture in June 2006. In response, thirty-two architect-development teams submitted qualifications to the design jury, which consisted of prestigious architects, housing experts, and community officials, including Enrique Norton, FAIA, Principal, TEN Arquitectos, David Burney, FAIA, Commissioner New York City Department of Design and Construction, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., and Shaun Donovan, HPD Commissioner. This past September, the jury chose five finalists to submit full development proposals. Each of the finalists received NYSERDA funded stipends to create their proposals. In addition, Enterprise provided two grants totaling $30,000. Both grants went toward operational support, which included the launch the competition’s website, support of the judging process, an environmental report, and the preparation and installation of the exhibition at the Center for Architecture.

The five finalists chosen by the jury were as follows:

BRP Bluestone Rogers Marvel

Developers: BRP Development Corporation and The Bluestone Organization

Architects: Rogers Marvel

The Legacy Collaborative

Developers: The Dermot Company, Nos Quedamos and Melrose Associates

Architects: Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) and Kiss + Cathcart (K+C)

Phipps Rose Dattner Grimshaw

Developers: The Phipps Houses Group and The Jonathan Rose Companies

Architects: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw

seg Full Spectrum Hamlin Behnisch studioMDA

Developers: seg, Full Spectrum and Hamlin Ventures

Architects: Behnisch Architekten and studioMDA

WHEDCo Durst Cook+Fox

Developers: Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDCo) and Durst Sunset LLC

Architects: Cook+Fox Architects, LLP

When reviewing the five proposals and selecting the winning team, the judges considered specific design and development criteria including economic and long-term environmental sustainability, innovative design quality and replicable financing that leverages private and public subsidies.

“The impetus for the New Housing New York design competition came out of a desire to leverage the unique culture of innovation present in New York to address the issue of affordable housing in a concrete way. The continued commitment of many volunteers, guided by the conviction that architecture has both the ability and responsibility to look beyond the expected, has been crucial in bringing the NHNY Legacy Project to this stage,” said NHNY Steering Committee Co-Chair Tara Siegel. “The involvement of neighborhood residents in the South Bronx has helped define the goals for the project, and with their continued input, we believe that it will be something all New Yorkers can be proud of. We hope to see aspects of this project replicated both in New York and across the country as the quality and potential of affordable housing continues to be addressed in innovative ways.”

“We congratulate the winners and all of the participants in the New Housing New York Legacy Project, who have proven that affordable housing, innovative design and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said Jim Himes, Director of Enterprise’s New York office. “Enterprise is pleased to have supported this project as part of our commitment to making green affordable housing the norm, a commitment exemplified by our national Green Communities initiative to finance and build thousands of environmentally friendly homes for low-income families. We hope that this winning project will inspire others to expand the boundaries of what is possible in sustainable affordable housing as well.”

Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts Jeff Speck said "The National Endowment for the Arts is honored to be supporting this important project, and I am personally encouraged by the competition's focus on marrying high design to the practical demands of providing shelter to those who need it most."


Department of Housing Preservation and Development

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

AIA New York Chapter

The AIA New York Chapter, the oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, founded in New York City in 1857, is dedicated to three goals: public outreach – engaging and interacting with the public about architecture and the built environment; professional development – helping architects to be the best at what they do; and design excellence – improving the quality of design and advocating environmental conservation and sustainability. As part of the Institute’s celebration of its sesquicentennial projects around the country are being implemented to give back to the community. The New Housing New York Legacy project is one of these projects.

New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
NYSERDA is a public benefit authority created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature. NYSERDA administers the New York Energy $martSM program, which is designed to support certain public benefit programs during the transition to a more competitive electricity market. Some 2,700 projects in 40 programs are funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the State's investor-owned utilities. The New York Energy $martSM program provides energy efficiency services, including those directed at the low-income sector, research and development, and environmental protection activities.

Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For more than two decades, Enterprise has pioneered neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested $7 billion in equity, grants and loans and is currently investing in communities at a rate of $1 billion a year. Enterprise’s New York office is the city’s leading nonprofit provider of affordable housing for low-income people. Since 1987, Enterprise’s New York office has housed over 59,000 men, women, and children, developed more than 21,000 affordable homes, and committed almost $1.4 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city.

Visit to learn more about Enterprise’s efforts to build communities and opportunity, and to meet some of the half a million people we have helped.

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts -- both new and established -- bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit

For more information on the New Housing New York Legacy Project, please visit:


New Technology Puts an Unprecedented Level of Control in Hands of Consumers

( New York , New York , January 17, 2007) CENTURY 21 NY Metro, a full service residential rentals and sales brokerage has launched a new feature on their web site that puts an unprecedented level of control in the hands of buyers and sellers. Recognizing the consumers’ demand for greater transparency of information about properties, Century 21 New York Metro is giving its clients access to data and resources that were previously not even available to agents in many firms.

Now clients can have access to the same information their agents do. In most of the country access to information regarding inventory, the buying and selling process and marketing efforts is available to all parties. However, in NYC, access to this type of information is traditionally less forthcoming.

MYPLACE is a free service available exclusively at that offers buyers and renters the ability to closely track properties that they may be interested in. Sellers have a rich set of tools that give them detailed, up-to-the-minute feedback on how effectively their property is being marketed

Sellers/Owners can log in to an account set up by their agent from any computer to check on the status of their sale. This data gives unprecedented transparency to the seller/owner, including the ability to:

· Track property search activity.
· Track property views.
· Track email correspondence and open house attendees.
· Obtain profile of interested visitors.
· Use many other qualitative and quantitative analytical features.

For Buyers/ Renters can set-up multiple saved searches and:

o Receive email notifications of new matches to their search criteria.
Track changes to specific properties and receive email notification of price changes and other key criteria.
o Share saved results.
View up to 5 comparable apartments side-by-side.
o Contact an agent via email or Instant Message for more information.
o Sign up for agent and/or company mailings & newsletters.

“We view My Place as the next step in the evolution of providing the customer with access to the real-time information they are demanding and doing it in an agent-friendly way,” says Mike Simon, president, C21NYM. He adds, “Now both the Agent and their customer have access to the same information, which makes the communication and timeliness crucial to real estate transaction even more efficient. ANNOUNCES NATIONWIDE MAPS TO FIND WEALTHY SINGLES
Real Estate Data Provider Offers Neighborhood Maps to Target Areas of Rich, Single Men and Women

New York City, January 15, 2007 –, the premier real estate data site, announces ‘Singles’ maps that highlight pockets of rich, single men and women in major cities throughout the United States, including New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Seattle.

The ‘mash-up maps’ display neighborhoods that are color-coded based on the average income and availability of single men and women in an area. So for example, women looking for high percentages of single men with incomes over $100,000 might try the Upper West Side of Manhattan or the area between Pacific Palisades and Malibu in Los Angeles. To find wealthy single women, the Madison Park area of Seattle and Miami Beach look promising.

To view any of the singles maps, go to:

“While the rich singles maps are obviously helpful to identify a dating pool of successful and available singles by neighborhood, these maps collectively are also very useful to anyone looking to develop new real estate projects, open a store, hire employees, or do business in neighborhoods with substantial buying power,” said Matthew Haines, founder of

“Using, a single woman could quickly locate a neighborhood with an abundance of wealthy single men, one which also has low crime, good schools, and appreciating home prices, making her next move an informed decision rather than a random one” said Ryan Slack, chief executive officer, “The map was initially created as a ‘gift’ for our publicist, Kelly Kreth, a single woman living in Manhattan. Once she saw it she realized its huge potential to help other singles throughout the country and we rolled them out nationwide.”

“While the idea started out almost as a joke, when my client,, presented it to me, I realized its value for other singles. I actually did meet a man from an area highlighted on the map as having an abundance of rich, single men, and while the relationship did not work out, the map helped me find an area of my neighborhood that would have suitable men to date,” says Kelly Kreth, president, Kreth Communications, publicist to

For real estate professionals and investors, offers other maps with zoning, foreclosures, price per square foot, air rights, nearby toxic sites, construction permits filed, and more. The site also provides extensive reports for every property, including building details, ownership information, police reports, school district info, recent sales prices, photos, property values and comparable sales, as well as ‘for sale’ and foreclosure listings.

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With over 20 million properties in twelve major markets, enables real estate professionals and investors with data and tools on all aspects of property, including building details, ownership information, recent sales prices of real property and co-ops, property values and comparable sales, sophisticated maps, listings, foreclosures and pre-foreclosures, mailing lists, photos, and more, directly from the web. Founded in 2003 and based in New York City, strives to level the playing field by providing independent real estate firms, investors, and savvy consumers the information transparency essential to evaluate real estate and make informed decisions. For more information go to: