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It Happened One Weekend: Grand Conversion in Chinatown

1) Noted gallery owner and starchitect friend Max Protetch is overseeing the conversion of the Grand Machinery Exchange building at 209 Hester Street into 14 apartments. Unlike some futuristic projects going on nearby, Protetch and his team are seeking to preserve the building's original qualities while creating great interior spaces. Units will feature brick walls, exposed cast-iron columns and new wood floors supported by 6-inch-thick yellow pine beams. Protetch would buy a place there himself, but only “if I can afford it.” [Posting/Fred A. Bernstein]

2) Residents of 740 Park Avenue, Manhattan's most famous Coop, are upset with union demonstrators who are using a coffin filled with rats to protest 740 resident Kent Swig's use of non-union labor at his real estate properties. Fellow 740 resident Ronald Lauder is especially worried about the building's children, noting the coffin "freaks them out." [Page Six/NY Post]

3) A pair of doctors find a piece of New Mexico in Long Island City, buying a 1,300-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath unit with an office and parking space in the Gantry for $745,000. [Joyce Cohen/The Hunt]

4) Children who turn to their parents to help buy their first New York City apartment quickly learn it's not as easy as borrowing gas money. The loans often come with stipulations from both the parents (no live in boyfriends, no vintage furniture) and the buildings, especially coops who are leery of the arrangements. Children also feel somewhat embarrassed that they can't afford to buy a place on their own but many overcome it, like Natasha Agrawal, who realizes “It’s extraordinary that they bought me an apartment." [Buying With Help From Mom and Dad/Christine Haughney]

5) The Dance Studio of Park Slope is being forced to vacate its studio space at 7th Ave and Union Ave after learning that the building was being converted to office space. The parents of the students, some of whom were once students themselves, have frantically been searching the area for a replacement space, but none has been found as of yet. [Park Slope Report/Jake Mooney]