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Rumblings & Bumblings: 12th St. Rush; Bowery Opportunity; Ralph in Tribeca; 55 Stories on 57th?

Rumblings & Bumblings is our weekly game in which we ask for your help in answering questions about development goings on about town. If you've got an answer to one of the queries below, leave a note in the comments. If you've got another question, or a sweet, sweet digital photograph, drop a line to tips@curbed.com. Answers Thursday.

1) East Village: A neighborhood correspondent checks in with this report: "Flurry of activity on E12th. Taking my usual walk to the subway this morning not only did I pass the newish much commented upon development with the terrace to nowhere at 531 East 12th but a demo crew fast at work taking down the 3 or 4 story building at 525 East 12th. Then as I rambled up the block noticed pretty fresh plywood all around the retail space on the SW corner of 12th and A (used to be a funeral home) and then just a little bit further up 12th between A and 1st a demo crew taking down what was a one story building at what I think is 427 E12th. Knowledge anyone?"
2) Lower East Side: "What is going up on the west side of bowery right below Houston?" asks a reader. "There is a newly empty lot, and scaffolding. I think those two blocks of bowery are ripe for redevelopment....and why not? All of those restaurant supply stores are perpetually closed anyway...An avant guard museum, and a Whole Foods, what else could you want?"
3) Tribeca: Another reader writes, "Ralph's discount store on chambers street [between Broadway and Church], a rather large store with a large air space above the store, approximately one level is going out of business....they must be selling out to a real estate developer...the store has been there forever...any idea what will take its place?" (We'll get you started on this one. The Sun reported in the fall that developers are awaiting the go-ahead to build 63,000 sqft of condos, designed by BKSK Architects, who are already busy in the nabe, on that site.)

4) Midtown East: Finally, what is happening to our dear 57th St.? Our querier writes, "I've been living in east midtown for 14 years, and for about 10 of those years it was a low-key, untrendy neighborhood, and consequently very quiet, developmentwise. Now it's become an unholy swath of condo construction: in the past 3 years, SIX new condo towers have been thrown up within a 3-block radius of 57th and 2nd!! Residents of the neighborhood have watched their local movie theater (the Sutton, very sweet ancient-Greek-temple looking theater, featured heavily in The Devil's Advocate and other movies), the local appliance store, and a whole series of brownstones and little restaurants get demolished and buried under big fat towers.

"Now, we hear, the coup de grace for this neighborhood: a freaking 55-story condo tower to be built over the high school on the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 57th Street. The city has sold the air rights to a developer and supposedly the plans are being submitted to the City Council. Which will undoubtedly approve this monstrosity. Right across the street from my apartment. Does anyone know anything about the status or timing of this project? I need to know so I can move away quickly. Others may want to know so they can move in.

"Btw, I know east midtown hasn't been a cute or hot neighborhood in Manhattan like the others that are discussed on your site, but those of us who live here have appreciated its unpretentiousness and low-key nature. Too bad that seems to be changing . . ."
· Rumblings & Bumblings Archives [Curbed]