After a year of real estate inanity, PriceChopping, neighborhood hijinks, and general giddiness, it's time to look back in awe on what 2005 hath wrought. To wit: the Second Annual Curbed Awards, presented today and tomorrow in two parts. Today, real estate. Tomorrow, neighborhoods. Please take a seat as we begin...
I. REAL ESTATE
Real Estate Celebrity of the Year
3) Lenny Kravitz: For spreading hope and cheer to brokers with outlandishly priced listings and entertainers with middling talent.
2) Jonathan Safran Foer: For proving it's not about the books, it's about the parlor-floor library looking out onto the block-long backyard you put them in.
1) Anderson Cooper: For giving Manhattan PriceChopping such a pretty, pretty face.
Celebrity/Starchitect Synergy Award
Awarded to: Jay-Z, noted NYC real estate titan, whose Rolling Stone article (on stands now!) somehow leads to the formation of this paragraph, by far the single greatest density of awesomeness to cross our eyes in 2005: "On the table sits a two-foot-tall scale model of architect Frank Gehry's plan for the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, where the Nets will move from New Jersey in 2008, with little trees and shrubs planted around the wooden buildings and acrylic skyscrapers shaped in the forms that Gehry will create. Not long after they first met, Gehry sent Jay a stack of James Joyce novels, because listening to tapes of Joyce reading Finnegans Wake reminded Gehry of hip-hop. Jay says he reads only nonfiction." [via Archinect]
Real Estate Porn of the Year
Most Useless Luxury Amenities in a Year of Useless Luxury Amenities
3) Rooftop cabanas on Attorney Street or in DUMBO.
2) Zen-like reflection garden at Sundari Lofts & Tower
1) A friggin' 1,800-seat theater for Cirque du Soleil
The Barbara Corcoran Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded to: Barbara Corcoran
Runner-up: the horse she rode out on
Real Estate Broker Least Likely to Get You Laid
Bond New York's Joseph Hanley, for this broker babble gem: "WITH SOUTHERN VIEWS FROM THE EAST TO THE WEST.AND WHO KNOWS IF YOUR DINNER DATE GOES AS PLANNED. ENJOY THE SUNSET TOGETHER IN YOUR BIRTHDAY SUITS..CHEERS!!"
Real Estate Rumor of the Year (true)
Trader Joe's is finally coming to Manhattan!
Real Estate Rumor of the Year (false)
The A-train and C-train will be shut down for years, and property values will plummet!
The Daniel Libeskind Award
To the architect most notably on the receiving end of the karma boomerang.
Awarded to: Santiago Calatrava. For being the first of the starchitects to have actual real, live construction begin on a project: that soaring bird-like transit hub. (Despite said accomplishment, naysayers remain: "And, you know, why a subway station in New York should look like a bird—that's probably 'multiple coding,' but to me it's just dumb.") And yet, what of his Tower O' Penthouses, still waiting for a few more $30 million deposits to break ground? Oddsmakers giving 25:1 odds on a groundbreaking in 2006; further backlash awaits.
Runner-up/special Lifetime Achievement Award: Daniel Libeskind.
Best Real Estate Web Tech Toy
3) NateFind.com. Only a matter of time before PriceChopper became a search word in a listings search engine.
2) Microsoft Local Live and Google Earth. Who knew aerial stalking could be so user friendly?
1) Google Maps mashups. Not since peanut butter met chocolate has there been such a sweet, sweet union: interactive maps and RE data points. Good and good for you!
The Real Estate Development of the Year Chalice
Some days, when the sun hits the Charles Gwathmey's Sculpture for Living at just the right angle, we can see our faces — no, the faces of an entire city — reflected in those undulating panes of urban despair.
The Surface Hotel Award
To the most-botched restaurant, hotel, or retail store (non-)opening of the year.
3) Blue Moon Hotel. The Lower East Side's latest and greatest hotel just couldn't get the doors open. Sound familiar?
2) Pomeranc's 6 Columbus. Opening
summer 2005 fall 2005 winter 2006 spring 2006 summer 2006! Maybe!
1) Tower of Bowery. Its eerie greenness looms over the East Village long after construction on this hotel-ish thing ground to a halt. Long may it wave.
Most Outlandish Urban Plan
Coney Island Goes Vegas. Who needs those cheap last-minute airfares when you can have all the over-commercialized glitz just a short N train ride away?
Runner-up: Brooklyn Bridge Park. Seriously, what the fuck?
TOMORROW: Part II of the Curbed Awards 2005, Neighborhoods, including the naming of the coveted Neighborhood of the Year. Won't you join us?