New York Post

Golden Bricks 2017

Awards for greatest real estate ‘feets’

- LOIS WEISS Lois@Betweenthe­Bricks.com

TROPHY

sales slowed in 2017 as owners hung onto their bricks and bitcoin. While leasing continued its shift to open plans with more folks in less space as they redeployed south and west, retail and trophy apartment pricing slid down toward earth and everyone had an app for this and that as a way to do more with fewer folks.

WHACK-A-MOLE: The City Council passed laws that deemed offering a tenant money to leave too many times “harassment,” slashed the size of storefront­s on the Upper West Side (then complained there were no stores), required a special permit to build a storage facility, created a task force to account for discrimina­tory machine learning, raised the rent that would be subject to the Commercial Rent Tax but then overlaid an income requiremen­t, and is now being criticized for electing a white person its next speaker. CITY BUZZKILL: Reelecting Mayor de Blasio who wants the right to build and take and tax whatever he wants, but can’t move the homeless off the street. Is that why sky-high condo pricing is on the skids or is it the feds going after cash buyers? NIMBY BRICK: East Side residents who had an entire area rezoned to prevent a long-planned tower from blocking their views. GREATER GOOD:

Durst and the City Club for dropping their lawsuit against Barry Diller’s island-like pier park. VIRTUAL REALITY: To George Comfort & Sons for using virtual reality locally to show off what a built-out office floor will look like. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGEN­CE: What we all need to buy.

TEACHERS TECH: As Cornell-Technion is unveiled on Roosevelt Island.

STEPCHILD: Hudson Yards’ amazing Vessel centerpiec­e topped out its 2,500 steps.

LIGHT SHOW: Empire State Building’s ongoing thematic lights and music that sometimes includes creatures crawling on its façade. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE: Amazon’s HQ2 search compelled 238 lo-

cales in North America and at least one Caribbean island to do cartwheels to clinch it, plus plenty of places pitched by New York.

IT BOROUGH: Staten Island’s New York Wheel may be off its rails but an Amazon distributi­on deal and open land with connection­s to Brooklyn and New Jersey make an affordable borough with thousands of upcoming jobs.

AMAZON ALLEY: 34th Street’s prime tenant has now leased at 7 W. 34th, 2 Herald, and 5 Manhattan West. Can a miracle on 34th Street occur with a slice of Macy’s, the Farley Building, 3 Hudson Blvd. or even HQ2?

SWOOP: Durst Organizati­on for completing BIG’s Via 57 West and adding a new sail to the skyline.

SWOOSH: Nike for signing one of the most expensive leases ever at 650 Fifth Ave., while spending the year clawing back its cool kid title from Under Armour. GRAFFITI RIGHTS: 5Pointz developer Jerry Wolkoff gets shafted as jury rules for artists.

RETAIL HOOPLA: Unibail-Rodamco is buying Westfield for $15.7 billion, but Brookfield’s bid for GDC now needs a boost. WHAT APOCALYPSE? Retail lease prices become more reasonable even as consumers continue their love affair with stores and their mobile devices. JOINS THE BIG BOYS: Newmark Knight Frank rings bell and goes public. LOWLINE: When they go high, we go low. WAR OF THE ROSES: Macklowe vs. Macklowe. MIDTOWN EAST: The future is bright, but you gotta have air. FLOATING ON AIR: TF Cornerston­e’s purchase of Grand Central’s air rights that can be used all over Midtown East. SPIRALING EREC

TION: A winner if Pfizer’s relocation is finally inked. But will Tishman Speyer loop in a scheme to lock up the drugmaker’s current Midtown East headquarte­rs? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: HNA’s $2.21 billion purchase of 245 Park Ave., which was the largest sale of the year. AFFORDABLE NY: A complicate­d menu of bad choices that needs tweaking. GET THE LEAD OUT: Of NYCHA’s apartments after systematic­ally botching inspection­s and lying to the feds.

BRIDGE BECOMES TROUBLED WATERS:

Gov. Cuomo for getting one span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge finished but then naming it after his dad in the dead of night, a move that has area residents fuming. PRESIDENT TRUMP: For keeping real estate in the tax plan and in the White House and leaving Fifth Avenue off his visit list. BRUNO MARS 24 KARAT GOLDEN BRICK: To Ben Shaoul, whose bronze-washed black bricks on the façade of 196 Orchard St. actually contain real gold.

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