It's time to make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of New York City! Yep, it's time for the Tenth Annual Curbed Awards! Up now: the people of real estate!
Celebrity of the Year
Like so many things, it all started with a tweet. Funnyman Neil Patrick Harris announced his house hunt back in March, telling his Twitter followers that he was looking for a townhouse in Harlem, where he already lived in a condo. Curbed offered five suggestions, but NPH, fittingly, wound up setting a neighborhood record by purchasing the historic house at 2036 Fifth Avenue for $3.6 million. Way to go, Neil! Congratulations on furthering the gentrification of Harlem.
Celebrity Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award
Every year, the celebrity whose real estate trials, tribulations, and successes most entertain us over the course of the year gets a special award, and this year, there's only one man deserving. It's been more than two years since he pissed off his East Village neighbors by tearing down a historic house, but now his new cornice-less house is finally complete. He started moving in this spring, and by winter, the final deliveries (like wood for the roofdeck) were being made. Congratulations, David Schwimmer. Your neighbors hope the days of falling debris are solidly in the past.
Broker of the Year
Superbroker Dolly Lenz rocked the real estate world when she announced she was leaving her longtime professional home at Douglas Elliman. After totally $8 billion worth of sales with the brokerage, it was clearly time for Lenz to leave the nest, so she took her team and started her own firm called I. Dolly Lenz Real Estate. As expected, business for the newly independent woman is booming; she recently listed the $50M Trump Soho penthouse, and she's been on the news talking about how the Chinese love their diamonds (or something...).
The Golden Tainties
Awarded annually to the top apartments singed by scandal
3) There's no time like jail time to make some money on your real estate. While socialite Dina Wein Reis is spending a year behind bars for swindling Fortune 500 companies, she decided to rent out her Upper West Side townhouse for a whopping $75K per month. The ask has since been lower to $60K/month.
2) Chewed up chicken wings, bad IKEA furniture, and, oh right, tax fraud, are just a few of the things that have plagued Icelandic financier Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson over the years as he's lived in 50 Gramercy Park North. He was forced to sell his penthouse in the building back in 2011, and this year, he listed his 16th floor unit for $10.9M.
1) The gilded United Nations Plaza duplex owned by convicted fraudster Alberto Vilar is not exactly newit's been trying to find a buyer for yearsbut this year, half of the palatial pad saw a renovation and returned to market for $4.95M. It's hard to believe that the 25-room spread filled with gold leaf and black marble (pictured above) is actually a toned down version of what it used to be.
The "Fight For Your Right" To Real Estate Award
2013 was a big year for the Beastie Boys. The late Adam "MCA" Yauch had a Brooklyn Heights park named in his honor, Mike D. showed off his impeccably renovated and very un-hip hop Cobble Hill townhouse, and Adam Horovitz dropped $3 million on a Chelsea loft. And we'd be remiss not to mention the preservation battle that raged over Horovitz's former house at 186 Spring Street.
The Michael Shvo Gross Overexposure Award
Perhaps this award should be renamed the "Gary Barnett Gross Overexposure Award" because once again, Extell's leading man and his shiny blue skyscraper take the prize. One57 made headlines with a two-year-old buyer, ridiculous rules, yet more crane problems, and a CNN construction tour. Barnett had just a few other projects in the news as well, most notably, that other 57th Street tower.
Comebacks of the Year
1) Speaking of Michael Shvo, the man returned to the real estate world this year by announcing his plan for a new condo building at Tenth Avenue and West 24th Street. The site is currently home to a gas station, which Shvo ingeniously commissioned an artist to turn into a faux sheep pasture.
2) The once-banned architect Robert Scarano also returned this yearas a eco-loving developer and consultant. He graduated from a conservationist Pratt training course, and opened the super sustainable Bright N Green condo in Brighton Beach. Welcome back, friends!
Developer of the Year
Not only did Related Companies further its quest to take over the entirety of Midtown West with the ever-expanding Hudson Yards, but the developer also revealed its plans for Roosevelt Island's Cornell Tech campus and brought One Madison Park back from the dead. Plus Stephen Ross shared his life story with Forbes, and the first Hudson Yards tower started growing skyward.
· All Curbed Awards 2013 [Curbed]