New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

New York Observer On the Market: House Hunting Along the L Train; Details of the LICH Deal by Kim Velsey

On the Market: House Hunting Along the L Train; Details of the LICH Deal

Want to live along the L train? Brick Underground provides a comprehensive overview of what you can expect to find, in terms of prices and rental inventory, within a five-block radius of each stop. As you might expect, things generally get cheaper the further you get from Manhattan, though Lorimer, not Bedford, is the most expensive stop. Also, those counting on going all the way out to save a few bucks will find vastly diminished inventory to chose from.

Stay off the grass! More and more developers are creating projects with off-limits gardens, even for residents, according to The New York Times. Courtyards and air shafts make for particularly popular no-touch green spaces and banning cigarette-smoking, barbecuing and chit-chatting residents also keeps the spaces serene, developers say. Though it’s something of a shame to have a beautiful green space you can look at but never touch.

A closed book: the Rose Reading room in the main branch of the New York Public Library will be shut for inspection during the next six months after a foot-long rosette fell from the ceiling in late May, The Wall Street Journal reports. The elaborate ceiling of the reading room is plaster supported by steel trusses, and though it had a restoration roughly a decade ago, this is, apparently, to be expected.

Also not doing so well: Second Avenue businesses. Those that have not already closed are just barely limping along with subway construction on its umpteenth year and Councilman Ben Kallos thinks that the city should provide grants to keep the survivors alive, according to DNAinfo. “Small businesses located within 150 feet of municipal construction sites would be eligible to apply for grants if they could show a 10 percent reduction in taxable income compared to the year before construction began.”

From 2013 to 2015, developers are poised to add 9 million square feet of office space to the city, Crain’s reports. It’s the most built in a three-year period since 1990 and raises the question of why, precisely, we need to focus on the Midtown East rezoning.

Not so in demand: church space. Former houses of worship are being converted to condos in hot neighborhoods around the city; DNAinfo makes a survey of all the Brooklyn church condo conversions. On the plus side, such redevelopment often preserves ailing, historic structures, though not the community services that they offered.

So who is Fortis, the developer who is poised to finally close the deal on Long Island College Hospital after having their proposal initially jettisoned in December? The Wall Street Journal sheds some light on Fortis, headed by Louis Kestenbaum, an Orthodox macher who has, up to this point, steered almost entirely clear of anything resembling a controversial project. LICH, however, is about as controversial as it gets, as illustrated by the mayor’s uneasy embrace of a plan that he once panned and which his liberal allies are still rejecting, according to Capital NY.

Last of all, Iris Weinshall, former transportation commissioner and wife of Chuck Schumer, has been named the chairwoman of the Prospect Park Alliance, according to Capital NY. Ms. Weinshall currently works at CUNY and lives on Prospect Park West, a perch from which she became an avid observer and vehement opponent of the Prospect Park West bike lane.

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