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CurbedWire: Developing on Delancey, Burg's Rental Paradise

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LES?Strange things are afoot at 95 Delancey Street, home to the offices of "notorious" "slumlord" Baruch Singer. A tipster writes: "Over the last few months, the storefronts at 95 Delancey have been closing without any sign of new occupants. This is a two-story building with nearly a half block of frontage along Delancey. Given the recent rules allowing tall buildings along the Delancey/Allen/Essex corridors while restricting them on the smaller side streets and the fact that 95 Delancey is home to the offices of notorious landlord Baruch Singer makes me all the more suspicious--I smell imminent building demolition and replacement with a new high rise." There's a recentish permit for replacing the "existing roof top units" with "no change to use, egress or occupancy." Still, be afraid. The LES rezoning should make these Delancey sites (like this one here) pretty valuable. [CurbedWire Inbox]

WILLIAMSBURG?Maybe it's just us, but we're kind of obsessed with the press release sent out by brokerage Aptsandlofts.com about the community that has popped up in quirky Williamsburg rental 44 Berry Street. A former Rental Development Du Jour, we might add! It paints the picture of a happy little village where people with fake-sounding names who all work in creative fields sip wine on rooftops. It's pure PR shpiel, so we're giving you the opportunity to avert your eyes before proceeding.

The developers of 44 Berry Street in Williamsburg, Jamie Wiseman and Jacob Sacks of Cayuga Capital Management, began with an old tonic water factory. The marketers, aptsandlofts.com, found and revived a World War II slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On” for use in a new and different era – the spring of 2009. The marketing campaign was tremendously successful with an average of one unit rented per day, and the tenants at 44 Berry feel that they have found more than just apartments – they have found homes. “We sit on the roof with a glass of wine, with a view of the city, and hang out with our neighbors,” says Brian Cronk, 40 years old. Cronk and his wife Nikki, both in advertising, had been in the market to buy a condo; in fact, they had put money down on a building that didn’t go through. Fortunately they got their money back, and started thinking about leaving the West Village in Manhattan. Cronk, like most of the renters, was seduced by the fact that the renovation had left a lot of the building’s architecture and personality intact: “We didn’t really want a new building; we wanted something with more character. We really liked the high ceilings, the open space, and the big windows.

“We had been living in a 5th-floor walk-up on the Upper East Side for the past four years and were ready for the next step,” said Veronica Sanjines. “Some of the buildings
we saw were frat-house-y, but here the people all seem like us.” Sanjines and her husband both work at Sony, for different record companies. “Shortly after we moved in
we noticed one of the neighbors across the hall was doing a photo shoot for an album
cover; which is exactly the work we do. We might hire her.”

Jennifer L’Italien, who rented an apartment with her husband, says “It’s a good spirit here.” L’Italien, editor of a home furnishings blog, thehaystackneedleonline.com, was impressed with every aspect of the renovation, the apartment layouts, and the final design of the interior. “We had been looking for a while,” she explains, “and we were
immediately smitten. We were there at the first open house, and signed on the spot. It
was exactly what we had been looking for.”

L’Italien and her husband, Daniel L’Italien, are particularly happy that Wiseman, one of the owners, lives in the building. “Jamie has a great eye for style, and everything is done very well. The furniture on the roof is wood and very high quality; the lobby looks like a boutique hotel. Even the mailboxes are well designed.”

95 Delancey Street

95 Delancey Street, New York, NY