845 Broadway is a property in southwest Bushwick, just east of Flushing Avenue, that has seen better days. The roof looks like Swiss cheese, the windows are boarded up, and the facade is wrapped in metal. But there’s something architecturally remarkable that still lurks behind all the years of neglect. The old pre-war facade still remains in salvageable condition. Just a bit of TLC could get this property looking like new, or at least something close to it.
RentCement traveled through Bushwick to document the intense real estate boom and its implications on gentrification. The trip today started at the Flushing Avenue station on the J line, where I visited several construction sites. My travels took me mostly along the southwestern border of Bushwick. The first site I visited wasn’t a residential building at all, but 815 Broadway, a commercial building that just completed renovations – and a bit of tagging.
Property lots merge frequently. Knowing this history means access to important information related to the subducted properties. ACRIS (Automated City Registration Information System) has no mechanism to flag merged lots. Documents registered with ACRIS might give you some indication of a lot merger, but finding a hint here or there is no substitute for knowing the detailed history. Thankfully the DoITT NYC Map and the DOF’s (Department of Finance) historical Tax Maps are here to help. Let’s use the following narrative to find the property records for three lots that merged into one.
The City of New York has a vast database of real property records and data available to the public. This quick start guide will help you access this information. Let’s say you want to know the real estate transaction history for a property. Maybe you have questions such as, how many times the deed transferred in the last 10 years? Is there a regulatory agreement filed that conveys rent stabilized status for my apartment unit? Are sundry agreements always miscellaneous?
New York’s annual Worst Landlord List, initiated by former Public Advocate (and now second term mayor, Bill de Blasio) was announced today by the current Public Advocate, Lititia “Tish” James. Jonathan Cohen/Silverstone Properties, with 188 units and 1,090 HPD violations, topped the annual Worst Landlord List, as Ms. James made the announcement flanked by several tenant advocacy groups such as Los Sures, CASA, Make the Road, and The Legal Aid Society.
I had the opportunity to spend an extra $2.75 transferring from the D to the J train this afternoon, and in the process got an idea for what’s happening on Delancey Street and Bowery. The Lower East Side is undergoing an extraordinary amount of construction, headlined by the controversial One Manhattan Square, and of course, Essex Crossing.
Being inside a 421a geographic exclusion zone and seeing new construction is like a bag of candy on Halloween. When I was walking down 44th Drive towards Jackson Avenue, I was more captivated by what was happening to my left (away from 27-19 44th) than the construction mess that was on my right. As luck would have it, 27-19 44th Drive is a legit 421-a building in a geographic exclusion area. You know what that means – rent stabilization AND affordable units! Take a look at the Department of Finance tax benefit stats:
Although the new Gotham Towers, as they are colloquially known, are not residential projects, their proximity to one of the fastest growing communities in the Big Apple merits an update. As of November 11, 2017, work is forging ahead with workers pouring cement for the second story flooring at 28-07 Jackson Avenue (aka Gotham Towers). The area was bustling with construction workers, local residents, and visitors alike. Across the street, work was forging ahead with Tishman Speyer’s an H&R Real Estate Investment Trust’s other massive project, 28-02/28-10 Jackson Avenue.
We came across another residential project where the original, more historic, facade is undergoing integration into a new structure. This project, located at 24-16 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City, seems to have gone under several iterations before settling on a plan of integration. For example, original DOB records indicated the full demolition of the original five story “Department of Commerce” structure. However, the most recent plans that were approved by DOB clearly show the new structure and 1925 structure co-existing.
The real estate boom pushes the New York City skyline ever higher, but its relentless pace has come at the cost of history. The Robert and Anne Dickey house could’ve been the next tragedy, but the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to save the structure in 2005 (thanks to zealous advocacy). Ephemeral New York covers the structure’s extensive history. The historic building will be integrated into the new construction.