Whew, 2007 was a wild one, wasn't it? To honor the insanity that crept into all matters neighborhoodish and real estatey, we present the Fourth Annual Curbed Awards. This year, the awards will be presented in small batches through Monday. Today, we tackle the year in real estate and development.
The Maybe This Wasn't Such a Good Idea Award
3) If you build it, they will come. But what if you build it on the Williamsburg Bridge over the ashes of a chicken slaughterhouse? Then ... they may not. Ladies and gentlemen, the LES' finest: the River Ridge!
2) Over at 300 West 18th Street, Elliman tried to go with an unconventional metatecture advertising approach. "This is not a condo," we were told. Very true. But it turned out to be quite the canvas.
1) Enough has been said about the transformation of Andre Balazs' William Beaver House from raunchy party palace to boring edutainment, so we won't pile on. Plus, after a bit of revisionist history, we're left wondering if the Big Black Beaver was ever really sexy at all.
The "Luxury Development" Award
"Good God – I was driving up Third Ave this morning and couldn’t believe what a refugee camp 110 Third looks like. The combinations of temporary blinds, newspaper, toilet paper, flannel shirts and KFC bags trying to cover the windows was simply shocking! Sure it’s a condominium but c’mon already." And so, the One Ten Third World sensation was born. Times stardom and more critiques followed, and there were other issues, too. By far the East Village debut of the year.
The PriceChopper Axe of Declining Returns
There may have been bigger price cuts in 2007 than the $3 million trimmed off the penthouse duplex at 374 West 11th Street in the West Village, but this spot carries a celebrity pedigree that draws a lot of attention: Gisele Bundchen slept there. And soaked there. And swayed there. The new price tag is $7.9 million and the two-bedroom is still lingering on the market, so who knows, we may see a repeat champion in '08.
The Not Afraid to Court Controversy Award
3) Two Trees' Dock Street development plans picked up a lot of steam toward the end of '07, and it should have a very loud '08, what, with all that Brooklyn Bridge blocking and puppy slaughtering and whatnot. Not even the plan for a new middle school in the building could deflect the rage of view-loving Dumboites.
2) Architect Robert Scarano nearly caused a riot after debuting the designs for 360 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, and outrage over the Heavy Metal Building spiraled so out of control that the developer had to throw himself to the lions. In the wake of 360 Smith Street, some even want a moratorium on all neighborhood development.
HONORABLE MENTION: Awarded to the Sheffield57 marching band.