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Curbed Reader Queries: Taxes, Broker Hell, and Old Ladies

We get a lot of questions emailed to us here at the ol' Curbed. The sad fact is, there's just so much we don't know. So rather than continue to let the questions rot in our inbox, we've decided to cue up a new Curbed feature. Here's the idea: you ask the question, we post the question, and Curbed readers who are smarter than us email Wacky fun, no?

1) "I wonder if you have heard from any other NYC homeowners about their tax assessments which were mailed by the city this week. In my case, though our tax assessment itself was virtually unchanged, our 'market value' more than tripled. Because of laws limiting the rate at which taxes can be increased from year to year, our taxes didn't go up by too much, but it opens the door for radically higher taxes in years to come. I wonder how widespread this is."
2) "I just heard Ike (on the corner of 2nd Ave. and 6th Street) is closing/has been sold! The place is always jammed...well, except for brunch. Any idea what's going on?"
3) "I know it's a little late to wonder, but weren't there long-time residents of the Gramercy Park Hotel? What happens to them? Are they living there through the construction or were they bought out? (My mom stayed at the Gramercy when she'd come to town and there were often old people shuffling through the lobby with grocery bags and mail?and two fab elderly sisters who would come from somewhere in the neighborhood to have a nightly sherry at the bar. Their life has gotten a lot less lively, I guess.) "
4) "Trapped in broker hell looking for a place. Stiffed for a great one and now looking at an apartment on Eldridge at Delancey. New building, good space, developer put in proper kitchen etc. And sorta cheap. The catch: there is an ominous looking building site right next door (Delancey, west of Eldridge) and nobody can tell us what is going up there. Four months and our view could be the back of someone's bathroom. Is there anyway we can find out what it is and how high it is going to be?"

Intel to; anonymity, as always, assured.