Volume 79, Number 35 | February 3 - 9, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Bottoming out
Rental prices for all apartment types in the Village and Soho dropped in the year’s first month, hinting that the market hasn’t yet fully bottomed out.

According to a January rental market report from the Real Estate Group New York, the Village experienced a decrease of over 3 percent in the average rental price for doorman and non-doorman studios through two-bedrooms since the previous month, while Soho slid by 3.82 percent on average for the same unit types.

The Lower East Side weathered a 4.18 percent overall reduction, with only one unit type — non-doorman two-bedrooms — showing gains month over month.

Manhattan-wide, the largest drops occurred in the same three neighborhoods, with Village doorman two-bedrooms decreasing by an average of 7.29 percent ($413 per month), L.E.S. non-doorman studios slipping 8.34 percent ($152) and Soho non-doorman two-bedrooms falling by 6.12 percent.

Other notable reductions Downtown occurred with Tribeca doorman two-bedrooms (down 6.4 percent) and East Village doorman two-bedrooms (down 5.37 percent).

Fire sale
Village preservationists are hoping that the well-known buyer of a historic South Village firehouse will maintain as much of the century-old property’s original character as possible.

The building, formerly operated by the New York Fire Patrol, at 84 W. Third St., was reportedly snatched up by CNN uber-anchor Anderson Cooper for $4.3 million last September.

The four-story, Beaux Arts property — complete with indoor fire poles, spiral staircases and murals chronicling the Fire Patrol’s history — represents one of only three remaining firehouses for the now-defunct organization.

West Village/Chelsea architect Cary Tamarkin is handling the build-out, according to city records, and work has already begun at the site, with permits issued for “demolition of interior partitions and plumbing fixtures.”

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation recently got the New York State Historic Preservation Office to consider the property for inclusion in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which would afford the owner tax breaks and incentives for preserving as much of the building as possible.

The location, between Thompson and Sullivan Sts., is in an area G.V.S.H.P. has been pressing for designation as the South Village Historic District. In its evaluation, however, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has only begun surveying the properties west of Sixth Ave. for inclusion in the proposed district.

“Our hope is that the determination of eligibility for the State and National Registers of Historic Places will help encourage the new owner, whoever they may be, to preserve the building, as well as encourage L.P.C. to reconsider landmark designation and move ahead more quickly with historic district designation for this part of the South Village,” said G.V.S.H.P. Director Andrew Berman, refusing to speculate on the silver-haired newsman’s involvement with the project.

In 2006, the society requested a landmark designation for the property, but was turned down by the city.




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