New Project: MySociety Travel Time Maps
Interactive maps of travel time and housing prices in London MySociety, an NGO which builds websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives, came to Stamen with a remit to explore two fascinating datasets: median prices of homes throughout London, and the time it takes to travel from one place to another throughout the city. Travel times from the Department of Transport Both of these datasets are fairly well understood, if not widely available for public consumption in graphic format. We thought that we could add the most value to people's experience of this material if we did two things: provided an exploratory (as opposed to search-based) way to navigate, and also combined the information into a set of interactive pieces that let you explore the various parameters on your own. For example, you may have decided you want to spend £200k on a house, and live within 1/2 hour of your work, and it's simple enough to search for that information. But what if the results that come back aren't quite to your liking, and you can't find a neighborhood that meets those parameters? Normally, you'd have to go back to the beginning, twiddle your search terms one way or the other, and start again. Travel times from the Olympic Stadium By introducing a set of sliders which control travel time as well as median house price displays, we can let you explore the data on your own terms. If you're willing to pay a bit more to live a little closer to work, for example, you can quickly adjust the sliders to reflect those choices, without having to go back to the beginning and start searching all over again. We think this way of interacting with information—exploring as opposed to searching—has alot to recommend it as more and more data moves onto our screens and into our lives.
By ANNE BARNARD
To entice buyers to spend $1 million for one-bedroom apartments on the less glossy eastern edge of the Upper East Side, the builders of a shimmering glass tower going up at 91st Street and First Avenue advertise customized stone countertops, a private fitness center, "expansive sunrise and sunset views" - and the Second Avenue subway.
Now that construction crews have started work on the Second Avenue line after decades of delays, bullish real estate brokers and nervous neighborhood tenants alike expect New York's first new subway in 50 years to join the market forces that are driving Park Avenue-style prices farther east and replacing quirky Hungarian shops with high-end chain stores.
Ending commuters' long walk west to the Lexington Avenue subway will bring new cachet to addresses on Second Avenue and eastward - or at least that's what developers and real estate brokers are betting. Among them are the builders at 91st and First, who point to the subway's expected opening in 2014 and boldly declare that their tower, christened the Azure, stands at "the heart of the Upper East Side."
Call your project "smart" - even when it isn't - and get millions in public funds.
By David Zahniser
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Santa Monica real estate developer Dan Palmer faced a daunting task three years ago when he announced plans to build 5,800 homes in the Newhall Pass, a mountainous stretch that connects the northeast edge of the San Fernando Valley with the Santa Clarita Valley. After all, the project was certain to draw the ire of homeowner groups, open-space advocates and the city of Santa Clarita.
City Hall's plan for the future expects you to give up the yard, the car - and learn to love density
By DAVID ZAHNISER
Wednesday, May 30, 2007 - 3:00 pm
Huge development projects are planned for Santa Monica Boulevard, in a district of Los Angeles known as Century City. The Related Companies recently demolished the St. Regis Hotel to build a 42-story condominium tower. Westfield, the shopping-mall giant, is planning a 42-story skyscraper that combines shopping with condos. And JMB Realty, based in Chicago, recently received the go-ahead to build two 47-story condo towers and a 12-story loft on nearby Constellation Boulevard.
The elites who control L.A. real estate have two words to describe the changes in store for Century City: smart growth. When planners talk about smart growth in Century City, they mean high-density housing in a job center. When lobbyists talk about smart growth in Century City, they mean luxury condos surrounded by walkable streets. Even Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss, who does not hide his boredom with certain planning issues, rhapsodized in January that Century City will one day behave like a village, not an intimidating cluster of skyscrapers. In other words, smart growth.
Finance takes into consideration the sales of similar recently sold properties when valuing New York City properties for tax purposes. As such, to make this process more transparent, the agency makes available a detailed listing of all property sales completed in the five boroughs within the past year, as well as historical data dating back to 2003. This information is a matter of public record.
The files linked to below are indexed by borough and neighborhood to facilitate easy lookups of properties, and are provided in two formats: PDF (smaller, more universally accessible files that require the Adobe Reader) and XLS (Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets for power users interested in creating their own sorts and reports). These listings include all properties sold in the last calendar year including cooperative apartments.
NATIONAL PERSPECTIVES; No Parking: Condos Leave Out Cars
By LINDA BAKER
Published: November 12, 2006
ANNEMIEKE CLARK and her boyfriend, Daniel Pasley, do not spend a lot of time driving. Ms. Clark, a 29-year-old nursing student at Oregon Health and Science University, takes the bus to school. Her boyfriend is a ''crazy bike rider,'' she said.
So when they decided to buy their first home last winter, they chose a one-bedroom unit in the Civic, one of the first new developments in Portland to market condominiums without parking spaces.
Ms. Clark said they bought the $175,000 condo, which will be ready next summer, because ''it was absolutely the cheapest one selling.'' Mr. Pasley also hoped a unit without parking would inspire Ms. Clark to sell her 1992 Subaru.
''So, part of it was idealism -- that we would get rid of the car,'' Ms. Clark said.
Although condominiums without parking are common in Manhattan and the downtowns of a few other East Coast cities, they are the exception to the rule in most of the country. In fact, almost all local governments require developers to provide a minimum number of parking spaces for each unit -- and to fold the cost of the space into the housing price.
Anger Drives Property Rights Measures - New York Times
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Supporters of the ballot efforts in the West — often called “Kelo-plus” — say they want to stop so-called regulatory takings, the idea that government effectively takes private property when zoning laws limit how it can be used.
Opponents say the regulatory-takings initiatives are essentially a ruse, that they are trying to exploit anger over the Kelo decision and eminent domain to roll back zoning regulations that are critical to controlling growth, protecting the environment and preserving property values.
The more far-reaching proposals in the West — in Idaho, Arizona, California and Washington State — are citizens’ initiatives supported by signature petitions, and they are often supported financially and logistically by national libertarian groups.
September 23, 2006
Complexes’ Seller Pushes Profits, as Critics Fear Higher Rents
By JANNY SCOTT
Wondering how long it might take a new owner of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village to remove most of the apartments from rent regulation? The seller has a prediction: By 2018, the percentage of stabilized apartments in the complexes could plummet to less than 30 percent from more than 70 percent today.
MetLife’s brokerage company, which prepared the document, has some tips, too, for potential buyers hoping to appeal to what it calls “the discerning tastes of Manhattan’s market-rate apartment community.” It suggests turning the complexes into gated communities, adding “health club amenities,” selling units, importing doormen and installing “an elite private school.”
The 117-page offering memorandum may paint an overly rosy picture of a new owner’s possible profits in hopes of enticing bidders for what could be a $5 billion sale, but it also suggests strongly that the community’s days as an unpretentious middle-class bastion in increasingly upscale Manhattan may well be numbered.
With “aggressive investigation of potential stabilization violations,” the memo suggests, a new owner could deregulate 1,000 units in both complexes in 2008 alone, “approximately double the current rate.” By investing in major capital improvements, a new owner could speed up rent deregulation and win additional rent increases, even in the rent-stabilized apartments.
Luxury Condos Arrive in Chinatown
By VIVIAN S. TOY
AT one corner of Mott and Hester Streets, sidewalk bins at a Chinese grocery overflow with dried shrimp, and a bakery sells sweets filled with red bean paste, while across the street, lunch menus at the Original Vincent’s Restaurant promote the day’s linguine specials.
But there is a new sign at this intersection, which many people now consider to be the heart of Chinatown. It reads: “Hester Gardens, Luxury Condominiums.”
Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006
BUILDING OUR CITY
The new downtowners
Market called ripe for condos
By JEFF WILKINSON
The building boom in downtown Columbia is nothing less than a wholesale remaking of the city center — creating a new urban core of homes with river views, Viking kitchens and short walks to work, the restaurant or the art museum.
About 4,000 units have been built or announced recently, and that doesn’t include 3,000 more expected to spring up around USC’s Innovista research district.
So who’s going to buy them?
Probably your neighbors.
Out-of-towners and investors will be a big part of the mix. But experts said most of the units will be snapped up by local baby boomers tired of the daily commute, the big yard and the big house in the suburbs.
PARK SLOPE TENANTS RENOVATING THEIR 23 BUILDINGS - New York Times
By MICHAEL R. BENSON
Published: September 29, 1985
Work has begun on 23 Brooklyn brownstones purchased last year by their residents from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development after more than five years of complex negotiations with Federal and local housing officials.....