Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.
The leaky $4 billion boondoggle
The World Trade Center’s $4 billion boondoggle has been plagued by leaks from the get-go. Leaky roofs, however, are not something that can be wished away, which seems to be how the Port Authority is dealing with the problem. Despite continuing claims from the interstate agency that Santiago Calatrava’s impressive Oculus is no longer leaking, it appears to be doing just that.
“There are leaks on this side and that side, those two balconies, by the elevators, and then the back also. It’s a mess,” a maintenance worker told the New York Post. “We soak it up and drain it. It’s a lot of work. It’s nonstop.”
The $4 billion train station gained social media attention in the beginning of May when a torrential downpour permeated the building and caused puddles throughout the Oculus before rush hour. The Port Authority has, in the past, tried to blame the leaks on neighboring construction sites, but straight up denied they were still occurring in a statement issued on Friday.
A maintenance worker in the building blamed the leaks on shoddy construction that “was a rush job that left many loose ends.” (Not to mention that the world’s most expensive train station opened 11 years after construction kicked off and almost a year after it was initially expected to.)
At least the it has good company in Penn Station.
Luxury sales on ice
People are still buying luxury New York City properties, but not at the rapid clip they once were. Donna Olshan has been tracking the sale of Manhattan’s luxury properties—that is, residences that sell for $4 million or more—since 1980; her weekly newsletter served as a direct line into the gangbusters climate of Manhattan’s real estate market in its last peak.
But this week’s report found that while folks are still plunking down huge sums to buy in the city, they’re doing it way less frequently. At that, the average time a property costing $4 million or more sat on the market before it sold soared to 504 days in May, The Real Deal notes.
In late May of 2014, the year real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller notes as the peak of Manhattan’s luxury market, similar properties sat on the market for just 132 days. The ruthless march of luxury real estate developers will have you believe that everything’s the same—hello Central Park Tower—but the times, they are a-changing.
Bowery mural wall update
The Bowery mural wall is ready for its next incarnation. Korean-American artist David Choe has begun work on his piece, covering the former mural of Spanish design duo PichiAvo called “Urbanmythology.” Choe started work on his piece over the holiday weekend and will continue through the end of the week, Bowery Boogie reports.
So far the work looks like something off a Cy Twombly canvas, with colorful incoherent scribbles. Choe gained the moniker of “Facebook muralist” after Sean Parker tapped the artist in 2005 to create mural’s inside the company’s first Silicon Valley office. For payment Parker offered up a few thousand dollars cash or company stock, and Choe smartly chose the latter. The artist’s stock is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Bowery Boogie claims.