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More Fun With Maps; Bid on the City Barks Back

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STATEN ISLAND?People are still having fun with the 1924 aerial map of NYC we obsessed over last week. A reader writes: "Been spending a lot of time on that 1924 map. Thought you guys would find this interesting as a before/after on Staten Island (yes, a Staten Island entry!). The island is called Shooter's Island and apparently it was a major ship building island w/ oil refinery on it. You should also take a look at the Polo Grounds Stadium at W 155th St / Harlem River Dr. Also Riker's Island and Randall's Island used to be much smaller and broken up into smaller islands." [CurbedWire Inbox]

FEUDVILLE?Earlier today broker-blogger Malcolm Carter set the Internet ablaze with his lukewarm review of the $1 auction event held yesterday by online condo clearinghouse Bid on the City. Raymond Villani, managing director of Bid on the City, has written a fairly epic response to Carter that found its way into our hands. Check it: "1. BOTC is 'gimmicky' not a problem, we tried a bidding event starting at $1 in a moribund market. Who else is trying something new? It was effective in bringing bidders to every property we had listed, often multiple bids from different bidders. No problem there."

2. Most of the properties have open houses, there was one property, Executive Plaza, where the tenant refused to allow open houses, but virtually all the properties have open houses. 3. Is it working? We are conducting an auction live, that you can watch, hear and bid in real time. We put up 11 properties yesterday and had bids on all of them. We have email, chat and phone lines to ensure every works smoothly . We had over 100 people who registered with their credit cards to bid on properties. Over 95% of the bids came online. The gap between what is bid and what is being asked is a common situation in today’s market.

4. In the last quarter price cuts on Manhattan condos were almost 20%. Is it any surprise bids are coming in less than asking prices? We are bringing buyers and sellers together to establish a price.

5. Is it a successful idea? If you are trying to sell your property?in 30 days after national and international marketing (and two open houses) you will have people bidding on your property. If you get the price you asked, you’ve sold your home, if you haven’t gotten your price, it has not cost the seller a dime.

6. Is it a successful idea? If you are looking to buy, you get all the comparables, the sales contract , the floor plans, you can attend the open houses, then you can place bids from where ever you are comfortable, at home, at the office, or at our bidding center. You can watch the other bids, and who is bidding. Simple, easy, efficient, transparent and no cost to participate, unless your hid is accepted.

7. The broker who complained about the clock, would he prefer his bid gets 'sniped' as it happens on eBay? Our goal, like any auction, is to get the highest bid for the seller. If adding a few minutes teases out another bid, that is good. Perhaps when time was added and the increments were increased a bid came in that topped his.

A revolutionary way to sell real estate in Manhattan using the most sophisticated technology is creating a new market that didn’t exist a year ago. The question isn’t will there be live online bidding for real estate in the future, the question is if there will be anything other than live online bidding in the future."

We'll see about that. After all, we're still waiting on those flying cars we were promised. [CurbedWire Inbox]