Murder at Deutsche Bank?
• The deaths of two firefighters in the Deutsche Bank blaze this weekend may be classified as homicides — and it could be negligent contractors, who disabled a critical standpipe, and chain-smoking Eastern European immigrants, who started the fire, who are accused of murdering them. [NYP]
• Juror Bloomberg is back at his day job — and he’s brokered a deal with Albany that will require more developers in more neighborhoods to include low-income housing in their projects. Spitzer’s likely to sign. [NYT]
Ratner, Lopez Do Business the Old-Fashioned Way
Major decisions and policy changes often seem to come out of nowhere in Albany, thrown together in the late-night rush to beat the close of a legislative session. But when it comes to Bruce Ratner and Atlantic Yards, the foundation for such maneuvers has been quietly in the works for years. And last night, the savvy stroking paid off for him yet again. It’ll cost you, though.
Location, Location, Location
Next month, Christie’s will auction a 1951 prefab aluminum house designed modernist icon Jean Prouve, but, for now, it’s on display on the Long Island City waterfront. The auction house estimates the Maison Tropicale, as it’s called, one of only three constructed, will sell for $4 to $6 million; the winner bidder will receive simply a kit, a collection of metal parts. (“Like an Ikea piece, but bigger,” as the Times described it this week.) Which is a shame: $6 million for these views is a steal.
Related: From Africa to Queens Waterfront, a Modernist Gem for Sale to the Highest Bidder [NYT]
Bloomberg Goes for Mexican
• The mayor is visiting Tepoztlán, Mexico — the site of the slightly kooky, yet reportedly very effective, cash-for-good-behavior program that he’s hoping to implement here. Hey, if it’s good for Tepoztlán …NYT]
• NYU Student Council president Meredith Dolgin, 21, is in hot water for (a) tampering with elections, (b) using school funds for a personal trip, and (c) getting her own grandmother a paid speaking engagement at the university. [NYP]
• We may get to read more by former journalist Peter Braunstein. His journal has been deemed admissible at his trial, and it reportedly contains detailed plans for the costumed kidnapping and assault that made him infamous. [NYDN]
• It’s not all luxury condos for Brooklyn: A blockwide affordable-housing complex will be built in Fort Greene, the city says. More than 300 apartments of the 434 total units will be subsidized. [amNY]
• And, here’s an idea how to save Little Italy: high-end Italian boutiques! A neighborhood activist, working with the Medici Foundation, wants Armani, Fendi, et al, to give Mulberry a “Little Milan” tinge. Too bad they’re all five blocks away, on West Broadway. [MetroNY]
Bubble Island The housing bubble has become a geographical concept — and we’re literally living in it. According to the first-quarter figures for 2007, as the national real-estate market chokes on unsold inventory, Manhattan prices continue to climb. An average apartment on the island fetched 6 percent more this year than in the last quarter of 2006, say Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property (the ultra-upbeat Corcoran reports a 12 percent jump).
But wait, there’s more. Not only the prices, but also the number of sales rose. It appears that Manhattanites, or newcomers determined to live in Manhattan, tend to treat sky-high property prices as a kind of dare: the higher they go, the more we buy. Why such ostentatious, and growing, disconnect from the rest of the country? We’ve got Wall Street, that’s why. The upward trend is especially evident in the upper reaches of the market, where bonus-happy financiers are seen shelling out more than ever (and 20 percent more than last year) for four-plus-bedrooms.
Market Strong for Apartments in Manhattan [NYT]