Saturday, December 27, 2008

Downturn Ends Building Boom in New York

The New York Times reports that the economic slowdown marks the end of the building boom in New York. For people who like light, air, and appreciate lack of congestion--this may be a little bright spot in this otherwise gloomy atmosphere.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bond Street Reborn


Bond Street Reborn

March 6, 2008 ‌| 6:30 PM
NYPL Donnell Library Auditorium
20 West 53rd St. between 5th and 6th
Free for Skyscraper Museum members
$5 Students and Seniors; $10 Regular Admission
1.5 AIA CEU credit available
To register, visit

Seemingly overnight, a quiet strip of Bond Street between Lafayette and the Bowery has become one of the most interesting blocks of new architecture in New York. Three high-style residential developments, 25, 40, and 48 Bond Street offer diverging essays in homage to the cast-iron commercial storefronts and nineteenth-century row houses. At the edge of the Noho historic district, these innovative projects press the boundaries of contextualism and play with the mix of old and new.

A distinguished panel of the architects and developers behind these cutting-edge buildings will present their projects and give an insider’s account of the transformation of Bond Street. Tony Goldman, one of the first developers of Soho and Miami Beach, will introduce his new project, 25 Bond, and George Schieferdecker and Stephen F Byrns of BKSK Architects will discuss their design for the residence. Farther east, developers Romy Goldman, Donald Capoccia and their architect Deborah Berke will discuss 48 Bond’s modern interpretation of the vernacular loft.

Justin Davidson, critic for New York Magazine, will moderate the panel’s discussion of development, design, historical influences and the rebirth of a block and a neighborhood.

Bond Street Reborn is the second event in The Skyscraper Museum’s Winter/Spring lecture series, Re:NY│Recycle, Retrofit, Reinvent the City. Recognizing the need for a great majority of New York’s buildings to be modernized, but not replaced, the Museum will examine “greening” the city by spotlighting a range of innovative projects that feature landmark preservation, adaptive re-use, reinvented industrial sites, and sustainable development. Each of the five programs will feature a spectrum of professionals, including architects, engineers, community advocates, academics, and developers. The series will connect leading innovators in sustainable strategies to a diverse audience of community members, educators, and policy makers.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Video of Cooper Union Hotel Protest on 5th Street

Meg Williams has posted this video on YouTube, showing the community protest against the new Cooper Union Hotel and the bars it brings with it.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Sidewalk Carvings at 25 Bond Street

If you've wondered about the "clink, clink, clink" sound coming from Bond Street each day from 10 AM to 4:30 PM, here's the answer. It's an interesting article about artist Kenichi Hiratsuka and developer Tony Goldman and the art sidewalk in front of 25 Bond.

The Rush to "Funky Bowery"

For anyone who hasn't taken a trip down the Bowery lately, this article in the New York Times will be enough to send you exploring. This isn't the same area some of us remember as a good place to find pallets for our woodstoves! Follow the link:

REAL ESTATE / COMMERCIAL November 28, 2007 Some Big Bets That the Funky Bowery Can Be Luxe By J. ALEX TARQUINIO Developers are scrambling to turn the once-downtrodden Bowery into the latest trendy corridor for luxury goods and entertainment.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Teardown Begins on 30 Great Jones Street

For those watching the teardown that's begun on 30 Great Jones Street, we have confirmed the rumor that the plan is for an as-of-right hotel. Meanwhile, the neighbors are already suffering. We hear that there are plans on file at the DOB. If anyone has details on those plans, please send them to

Friday, November 09, 2007

John Varvatos Announces CBGB Takeover

A retail space that "preserves" the spirit of CBGB's? Hmmm. -- BB

Though chain establishments have been replacing our city's most revered institutions for a while now (see also: Chase/2nd Ave Deli, Michael Kors/Jerry's), the news that designer John Varvatos would be opening a boutique in the space that had housed rock club CBGB's hit rather hard, especially since it broke not long after founder Hilly Kristal passed away. When we first spoke with Varvatos' PR team, they were tight lipped about the Bowery rumor, but today, they've issued an official statement about the soon-to-open store (hat tip to Jeremiah of Vanishing New York for passing it along). The release doesn't contain anything too revelatory—Varvatos wanted to "keep the spirit of CBGB’s alive", he's been a music fan for many years—but it's worth a read, especially since Alice Cooper weighs in at the end. We've included the thing in full after the jump.

John Varvatos Enterprises is excited to announce the opening of its latest boutique at 315 Bowery in New York City, the space that formerly housed the seminal underground music club CBGB’s. Varvatos, known for infusing his personal passion for rock & roll into his acclaimed menswear collections, is aiming for a spring 2008 opening.

The opportunity to take over the defunct club arose when Varvatos was viewing the adjacent space at 313 Bowery for an entirely separate purpose. Overwhelmed by a desire to see the shuttered venue where he had attended countless shows over the years, Varvatos asked the lease-holder if he could take a look. Once inside, the designer was inspired to do what he could to help keep the spirit of CBGB’s alive in its original East Village location. “The space had been empty for the better part of a year as we searched for the right tenant. John Varvatos is ideal because he has a real reverence for the history of the space and every intention of honoring its legacy,” said Elliott Azrak of Azrak Capital Group. Azrak’s Rebel Rebel Realty took over the lease in 2006 after the exit of long-time tenant Hilly Kristal.

John Varvatos - the man and the brand- has ties to the world of music that run deep. An avid fan of such bands as Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Replacements, and The New York Dolls since his teen years growing up in Detroit, Varvatos now features legendary rockers in his advertising campaigns. The ads, photographed by Grammy-nominated music documentarian Danny Clinch, have showcased Slash, Ryan Adams, Alice Cooper, and CBGB-alum Iggy Pop, wearing Varvatos’ signature designs. With a nod to The Ramones, Varvatos also collaborates with Converse on a line of sneakers and clothing. In addition, Varvatos has played host to an array of legendary rockers including The New York Dolls who performed at the launch of the Converse by John Varvatos clothing collection, Jesse Malin at The Highline to benefit Free Arts NYC, and most recently, Perry Farrell at a benefit for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, a charity of which John is also a board member. Frequent CBGB performer and East Village local, Jesse Malin, commented, “After getting to know John over the years and seeing him host wonderful live music performances, I can't think of anyone better to keep the spirit and soul of rock music alive on the Bowery in the old CBGB's location.”

Varvatos is thrilled about the new location that comprises 3,300 square feet in the original club space. “This store is going to be totally unique, different from our other boutiques,” said the designer. “We’re going to make it a great way to look back at this remarkable history but also forward to what’s happening in music today.” Among the many ideas being considered for the new store are a special merchandise mix geared to a rock & roll customer, a stage permanently integrated into the store design, an in-store performance series featuring up and coming musical artists, and a new John Varvatos collection designed specifically for 315 Bowery, from which a portion of the proceeds would benefit an artist development fund. “I think it’s great … now all the old CBGB punks will become the best dressed CBGB punks in the world,” declared Alice Cooper.

CBGB OMFUG (Country, Blue Grass and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers) was founded in 1973 and quickly forsook its namesake musical styles to become a forum for rock and punk bands including Blondie, Talking Heads, Television, Patti Smith Group, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, The Ramones, and Green Day. The club closed in October 2006. The final show on its stage was performed by Patti Smith.

Launched in 2000, John Varvatos’ lifestyle collection is comprised of John Varvatos Collection, John Varvatos USA, Converse by John Varvatos - clothes for guys and girls, John Varvatos Eyewear, and John Varvatos SKIN and Fragrance. Varvatos has been recognized three times by the CFDA with an American Fashion Award for New Menswear Designer (June 2000) and Menswear Designer of the Year (June 2001 and June 2005). The collection is distributed internationally and in five freestanding John Varvatos boutiques in the U.S.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

NoHo Hotel Crunch.....

What's bigger, more transient, more traffic and noise producing than an NYU classroom building? A 24-7 "Entertainment Hotel."

Sorry folks, we missed the part about the Landmark application for 408 Lafayette St. including a hotel. But, not to worry, according to Curbed the plan has been withdrawn at Landmarks. Or, maybe just hold the worrying until January. According to our count that's three potential/probable as-of-right hotels within the 12 blocks of NoHo and two more across the street on the Bowery. At a conservative three liquor licenses each, that's nine more bar/lounge/club venues.

Noho HotelWatch: Bond Off for Now, Crunch Crunched?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Coming to a Bedroom Window Near You.....

To update our Entertainment Hotels conversations (8-12 Bond St., for one), you should not miss Dan Levin's latest entry at New York Magazines Intelligencer......Dubai on the Bowery, Belly up to the bars. Published Oct 28, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

NoHo Then and Now...

Michael Gross of the New York Observer wrote a truly terrific piece last week:

On Bond Street in the 70’s
No Ian Schrager condos then, but a lot of coke—and Basquiat’s wall poetry, Talking Heads in your $200 loft and Picassos for sublease

Perhaps you have some stories to share as well. Do share them