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The Curbed Awards 2006 (Part I)

With another year of neighborhood insanity and real estate development glory somehow coming to a close, it's time for the Third Annual Curbed Awards. This year, the awards are presented in three parts: today, Real Estate; tomorrow, Storefronting and Neighborhoods. Ready?


Real Estate Celebrity of the Year
3) Adding fuel to the fire that this "Brooklyn" thing had legs, Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal settled in to the "last old lady house" in the Upper Slope.
2) Naomi Campbell took some time off from beating the help to make a big splash in '06. There was her uniquely designed Park Avenue condo that finally sold, as well as her purchase in the Cipriani Club at 55 Wall Street. Oh, and this.
1) Is there any doubt? If you didn't have at least one friend excitedly tell you about a Heath & Michelle sighting on Dean Street this year, then you just didn't live. And they still had time to fight the man.

The Barbara Corcoran Lifetime Achievement Award
Awarded annually to Barbara Corcoran, this year for leaving the real estate game behind?but reminding us all about everything it has given her. In case you missed it: "I went to my Citibank cash machine on Madison Avenue and 90th Street in my neighborhood two days after the sale. I went to get my $200 out that I get out every two weeks for my $200 pocket cash, and I always push the button, 'do you want a receipt?' 'Yes.' And when the receipt came out, my account balance was over $50 million and that was thrilling. I showed it to everybody else in the cash line. I couldn't contain myself. I said, 'Look at this, look at this.'"

New Development Most Likely to Get You Laid
3) Let's face it, the hardest part about sealing the deal is whether?during the long limo ride from Little West 12th Street to the Upper East Side?she'll still be in the mood 60 blocks later. Cue The Prime, the first luxury Meatpacking District development. Dude: swish!

2) Have you heard that Andre Balazs has a big talking pervy black beaver? It wants you to get drunk, it wants you in the jacuzzi, and it wants you to fuck whoever you want.
1) In a shocking upset, Willy Beav gets edged out by the the Urban Ass House. Er, we mean, the Urban Glass House.

The Michael Shvo Gross Overexposure Award
Andre Balazs. The aforementioned Beaver is just the tip. There's also the High Line-stradding Standard hotel, and the buffed 40 Mercer. In his spare time, Andre was peddling his own Soho apartment for a cool $10 mil. Balls, the man's got balls.

Most Outlandish Urban Plan

Awarded to: Calatrava's gondola to heaven Governors' Island (above)
Runner up (tie): Coney Island, Coney Island, Coney Island

The Maybe This Wasn't Such a Good Idea Award
4) With Peter Som-designed interiors and one of the best locations in the city, things were looking bright for 485 Fifth Avenue. But, ya know, Hyatts are nice too.
3) Previously the renowned Sutton Hotel, the classic hotel is being transformed into The Sutton East Condominium, a luxury condominium building, providing an exclusive opportunity for valued customers like you to purchase an exceptional home with both ambiance and charm in a great location. As a result of a meticulous renovation, some of the former units have been combined to create spacious one- and two- bedroom homes with rich mahogany flooring and wonderful European charm and grace. Each residence will feature modern kitch?eh, maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
2) When a white-glove hotel next to the Met goes condo, good things should happen. But at the Stanhope, the Hobbits never showed, the Gmailing riff raff were courted, and as we head into '07, we're thinking maybe this wasn't such a good idea.
1) We'd kick more dirt on the 55 Berry grave, but it's all being used to build that bigger building going up next door.

Real Estate Porn of the Year

3) Meier's On Prospect Park. Brownstones are so over.
2) Schrager double-dip: 50 Gramercy North penthouse and 40 Bond apt. 5A.
1) Visions of 11 Spring (above). Weep for what might have been.

The Holy Fucking Shit Award

The biggest shocker of the year has to be the biggest deal...ever? Not since the entirity of Manahattan was purchased for some white man's garbage have we seen action like the selling off of Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village, 110 buildings in all. The biggest surprise could be how smoothly and quickly the $5+ billion sale, from MetLife into the hands of Tishman Speyer & friends, was closed. For some perspective, the cash the MTA made from the sale is enough to repaint 200 stations and spare us from fare hikes. We all win! Right, thousands of rent-stabilized tenants?

The Daniel Libeskind Award
Awarded annually the architect most notably on the receiving end of the karma boomerang.
Awarded to: Robert Scarano. For morphing into the poster boy for controversial Brooklyn buildings, for being taken over the Department of Buildings knee and threatened with spanking for his creative use of mezzanines, among other things. From the Finger Building to the Tower of the Bowery to 133 Water Street, Scarano knows how to make a splash. We look forward to more great things from him in 2007.
Runner-up/Special Lifetime Achievement Award: Frank Gehry.

Advertecture Campaigns That Sung
3) Don't call it a phone. They're just trees?they'll grow back!
2) This Is Not a Condo. This is just a cry for help on W. 18th.
1) This is not a traffic light. Psyche! It totally is.

The Real Estate Development of the Year Chalice
Awarded to: The Robert A. M. Stern-designed 15 Central Park West, a development so all-encompassing that gaggles of socialites, one of the Google guys, and Best Buy all decided they'd like to call it home. Flatscreens for everyone! And let's face it: uptown is just so freaking back.
Runner up: The Mercer/Bond 40/40 duality. With a tip o' the fedora to the Curbed Photo Pool contributor who had the idea of merging them into one.

Brooklyn Development of the Year
3) 110 Livingston. It's not just a development. It's a phenomenon.
2) J Condo. Love it or hate it, the J certainly makes a statement as it towers above Dumbo. (What that statement is, we still have no idea.)
1) On Prospect Park. Richard Meier's glassy building on Grand Army Plaza is going to have a hell of a good view of the traffic mayhem down below.

Best Reason Your Apartment Isn't Selling

Uncomfortably awkard floral staging. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bob and Bonnie show!
Another possibility: Wrinkled old women.

Best New Real Estate Web Tech Toy
3) NYC Garages Google Map. Just $9.50! (For the first six minutes.)
2) Zillow. Yes, PropertyShark offers better data in most every category for the New York market, but in terms of pure interweb toy joy, nothing beats Zillowing your neighbors' (and ex-boyfriend's) homes.
1) StreetEasy and Trulia (tie). This was the year real estate listings metasearch engines firmly established themselves in the New York market, quietly scaring the shit out of the big brokerages in the process.

Most Awesomely Misleading Rendering of the Year

Awarded to: The above rendering of Williamsburg development North8, presented by the Toll Brothers. As one Curbed commenter put it, "Wow, I had no idea North 8th St. is now a rolling countryside. Williamsburg really has changed! Those MacClaren double-wides better have some off-road tires!"

TOMORROW: Parts II & III of the Curbed Awards 2006—Storefronting and Neighborhoods—including a reader vote to name the Neighborhood of the Year.