As a Lower East Side Resident, and real estate broker, I have observed the shift in the architectural landscape. What once used to be the Matzo Factory, is now a new condominium development. Adorning the corners of the high foot traffic Clinton Street – an array of new boutique shops selling art, good food, and love in a cup of gourmet hot chocolate. It makes sense that developers hedged on the steady growth of the LES. A romantic landscape , with vibrant flavor and history, where a developer could build and make a profit, while not surpassing the average 2k a foot psqf, in surrounding neighborhoods. As a resident, and broker, I do feel that it is positive that our community continues to dynamically move forward, while still keeping aspects of the history that has made the LES what it is. Among the fancy new boutique shops, one can still find the little mom and pop spaces, art, music, galleries, Orchard Street. The architectural design does not take away from the skyline; featuring small walk-ups, and charming buildings. From a buyer’s standpoint, this would be the place to invest at the moment, while prices are relatively low, and the product new, in a wonderful location. GO LES!!!!
I love New York City, because it is a dramatic space with fluid and dynamic energy and an artistic underlying climate. Being a real estate broker, is challenging, but it is also exciting. Throughout the years, open source players and creative programmers have tried to find a way to democratize data in the real estate landscape. After acknowledging that New York City’s real estate data has mostly operated in closed, non cybernetic systems prior to listing aggregators – they realized that it would behoove them, to mostly create tools that brokers can use to facilitate a transaction, or create spaces where brokers and prospective buyers and leasees could try to find real time data to negotiate a transaction based on a macro, contextually relevant comparisons. With aggregators, they welcomed the real estate industry’s willingness to share data and create an overall market place for all. Thus, consumers became locally familiar with the marketplaces, and brokers were able to find direct customers/clients. That is, until every new aggregator, or provider of real estate data, decides, that they are more interested in the classical brokerage model for controlling data and turning profit. Thus, democratizing of information is great, but then, they want to be compensated for the service that they provide, and what better way than to use the content already provided by the real estate players who kept the information in closed systems and by default control the market. A conflict of interest is born, and regardless of how many new tools are used to democratize this particular data, the content providers will pull back because it affects their profits. Data sharing is shrinking because of the push and pull that technocratization of this particular type of information purports, and the landscape is not ready to lose power or control of extremely valuable data with fancy profits. New York City’s real estate landscape is interesting because it contains different types of properties, and for each, a unique process. Furthermore, there are laws dictating how each property can operate within the macro landscape. Brokers are needed; technology is useful – what will the future bring for this complex landscape? will owners accept that an agent would not want to list their property in a given space, because this will mean having to share the commission? Will that owner receive the highest bid? will that owner still be paying the same commission amount if the buyer comes directly to the listing agent vs having to co broke it with a buyer’s agent representing a customer? Do buyers even care who represents them, and rather go directly to the seller’s agent because this will guarantee them getting the property that they want? If a buyer’s agent doesn’t know a property, his/her job is to conduct due diligence, and by default the understanding is that the professional has experience and knowledge in reference to the process, pricing and market movement. Will owners even care or understand how this paradigm shift impacts the bottom line? will the brokerage system change? Only time will tell.
What makes a restaurant/artistic venue successful in a competitive environment? I do not know. What I do know, however, is that globalization and the continuous erosion of borders, gives an infusion to a contextual and rich multi-layered diaspora in New York City.
I believe that the Lower East will continue to see a dramatic shift in its socioeconomic and artistic position in the coming years. Recent real estate news announced commercial and residential plans for the area. Property owners of small buildings have seen a sharp increase in the resale returns of their assets in the past two years. Transformation is inevitable at a local and global level. Thus, we just have to artistically incorporate the history of each space – the old with the new. We have to test the boundaries by allowing and supporting the opening of venues that might push the limits of what is already in the neighborhood.
What does all of this have to do with Moscow 57? It is a new, and vibrant restaurant/entertainment venue that recently opened in the Lower East Side on Delancey Street. As a local resident, passionate about my neighborhood, I decided to visit the venue. I wondered how I would feel at Moscow 57 – what they had to offer me. Words do not suffice to describe not only the remarkable interior design, but also the people that make the venue. It encapsulates with it, part of the Lower East Side’s rich history and culture, while bringing with it a post-modern and magnificent energy to our neighborhood. Moscow 57 is a not only a host for art, music, and interpersonal expression, but it pours eclectic joy over my beloved Delancey Street. I was able to personally speak to the owners, Ellen Kaye and Seth Goldman – who had time for a little local like me. Peter and Jahad behind the bar, made my world go around, with the infused vodkas and beyond this world martinis; to top the whole enchilada (ok no enchiladas) but the mouth watering Baklava – was a heart felt and outstanding performance by Ms. Ellen Kaye hosting and preforming with the M57 Band that includes Ethan Fein and Benjamin Franklin Brown. This is what dreams are made of, and this is the type of venue that I want to stay forever open in the LES.
Visit Moscow 57 at 168 ½ Delancey Street, New York, NY www.moscow57.com
We are all busy it seems. New York City is a very fast-paced city. Recently, I have noticed, that people are constantly so distracted, they do not listen, they do not take time to respond properly. We are heading towards a speech style that is going to sound more like text. That is, short chopped up sentences that leaves us confused as to the intended meaning of the message. Imagine what would it be like if people paused in the first contact of interaction to say: “hello, how are you today?” pause, and then go on. It is something to think about…..
The Lower East Side continues to move forward in development. Within the next ten years, the area adjacent to the Williamsburg Bride – South, North and East will continue at a similar pace as the land lease on the West 30s of the Hudson. While new apartment buildings will be a mixture of affordable and market rate residencies, the air-rights of existing older walk-ups will be bought and built. One example is the corner retail space of Delancey and Clinton in the Lower East Side. Similarly so, the Seward Park area, will see an influx of new retailers, with concessions to match the residential additions.
Here is the link to the open bid to work on this amazing trajectory …
“http://www.nycedc.com/project/seward-park-mixed-use-development-project”>here is the link to the bid
I was watching a video by Danny Hillis, discussing what would happen if the Internet crashed. He talked about the origins of the infrastructures, and systems, and basically the fact that the Internet as a communications system can be attacked, disrupted – in essence crash. We have found ways to protect information on machines, and structures, but we are still in essence over dependent and vulnerable.
How this relates to real estate? Well, it can relate to anything, I have however noticed a tremendous continuation of dependence on everything on the web to do a transaction. From the databases with listings, to the exchange of documents, to electronic signatures, to the most basic dependence of looking for properties on various websites. I think it is helpful to have a back up system – perhaps not note cards stashed with addresses and prices, but something where if the Internet goes down, we can still manage