Category Archives: NYC Development

Hudson Development on Track for LEED-GOLD


Lori Rafael, director of Real Estate for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Alison Novak and David Kramer of Hudson Companies, and Karen Auster, marketing consultant for the project and head of Auster Events.

David Kramer, of Hudson development, held an open house November 12 for members of the Brooklyn Chamber’s Real Estate Development Committee at the firm’s new green, luxury residential project in Brooklyn–third + bond.

Third + bond, which is expected to receive LEED-GOLD and Energy Star designations, will be completed in the Spring of 2010. Prices range from $311,500 for a studio to $1,381,000 for a three+ bedroom with three baths. The development is approved for FHA and SONYMA mortgages, and offers mortgages with as little as 3.5% down and interest rates as low as 4.75%. Corcoran is the exclusive sales and marketing agent. Continue reading


The Evolution of Economic Development in the Outer Boroughs

One day in the mid-1980s while I was walking down 42nd Street near 5th Avenue I saw that someone had painted “New York City is a Marxist, Leninist Hell” on a piece of plywood outside a construction site.

I laughed out loud. I had recently arrived here, one of the thousands of young professionals elbowing their way into New York City every year like waves of soldiers storming the Normandy beaches.

What I found in my adopted city was a healthy dose of free market love on the corporate level, but a peculiar bias against free markets among all social classes on the local level.

For example, a highly compensated executive I knew lived with his professional wife in a rent stabilized penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side around 72nd Street that featured two bedrooms, two baths, and a wraparound deck with breathtaking views of Manhattan; all for a whopping $800! With the money he saved on rent, he invested in a country house in Connecticut where he retreated on weekends and holidays.

After growing up in a state where land and private property are revered, and only people with low incomes qualify for subsidized housing, I found the City’s rent control laws mystifying and extremely unfair, particularly to newcomers and young people. 

With a salary of less than $30,000, my housing options were limited so I headed to the outer boroughs. For around $850, which included rent and electric heat, I landed a tiny apartment in the attic of a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Continue reading

Seeing is Believing: LEED Buildings Grow in Brooklyn

DSC00282Seeing is believing. Lori Raphael, director of Real Estate & Development for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, led Chamber members on a tour of three LEED certified buildings that received Building Brooklyn Awards this year–Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Galapagos Art Space, and the Perry Building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Stuart Leffler and Con Edison provided bus transportation for the October 7 tour.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
 The Brooklyn Children’s DSC00294Museum, built in 1977, was renovated and expanded by Rafael Vinoly Architects PC and Skanska USA Building. It is now New York City’s first LEED certified museum.

The museum, which doubled in size, features natural light pouring through energy efficient windows, solar panels, recycled materials, a heating and cooling system that uses less energy because it’s drawn from the water table underground, and bright yellow tiles on the exterior that will never require painting.  DSC00290The museum also added a roof deck (right) and dining area to better accommodate families, camp and school groups, and kids participating in the museum’s extensive  after school activities. 


 Galapagos Art Space
Galapagos Art Space

Galapagos Art Space

The Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street in DUMBO, (right) is the city’s first LEED certified arts space. Robert Elmes, director, said Galapagos doubled the space it had when it was located in Williamsburg, but the utility costs are comparable to what they were in the old building.

The 9,000 square foot building was originally a horse stable and is now used by Galapagos to promote emerging artists.

DSC00284 The steel is 100 percent recycled and tables and stools are placed around a 1,600 square foot lake of well water, which also warms the building. The space features a sustainable wood stage, low lighting, and radiant heating inside the walls.

Perry Building

DSC00314Richard Drucker, of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, hosted the group at the 89,000 square foot Perry Building, which will be home to SurroundArt.  The building features mounted wind turbines, solar panels (photos below) , recycled building materials, and skylights for natural light. It is the nation’s first multi-story, multi-tenanted, green industrial building.  Beginning in 2007, all new buildings constructed in the Navy Yard were required to be built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver or greater standards.
DSC00303Solar panels on the roof of the Perry Building.

Panel of Developers Analyze the Market

The downturn in the commercial real estate market today is similar to the recession of the early 1990s, but more severe because we’re also in the midst of a banking crisis, according to Robert Gladstone, principal of Madison Equities.

“If you can find the money, you can find the deals,” Gladstone said. “New York is inexpensive to get into, if you can control the costs.”

Gladstone was one of four panelists at the B’nai B’rith Real Estate Group’s May 6 luncheon at the Cornell Club. Other panelists speaking on the topic Survival of the Fittest: Developers Face the Economy were Jeff Bennett, principal of R&B Development; Tommy Craig, senior vice president, New York Region, Hines; and Steven J. Pozycki, founder, chairman, and CEO of SJP Properties. Stephen Siegel, chairman of Global Brokerage at CBRE, served as moderator.

Pozycki agreed that this cycle is different because it’s a finance driven problem and that there is an enormous amount of leverage that needs to be worked through the system.

“You need equity to be in this business,” Pozycki said. “We’ll see people taking advantage of the situation. New York is a bargain and people will make enormous amounts of money in the next two years.” Continue reading

Real Estate Pros Will Lead Industry Out of Crisis

The commercial real estate market today is mired with complex financial instruments, but it will take real estate pros who understand the industry to get us out of the current crisis, according to Frank Sullivan, principal of the real estate consulting firm Gallin Glick Sullivan O’Keefe. Sullivan spoke at the National Realty Club luncheon at the Williams Club on May 4.

“How a property is viewed by a real estate professional is different than the way an investment banker views it,” Sullivan said.

 Real estate professionals—owners, underwriters, leasing agents, building operators—understand the strengths and weaknesses of their buildings and tenants and how to make improvements, he said. Once again the assets on which securities are based will matter, not just the securities. Continue reading