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Curbed Cuts: MTA ditches canned announcements, Sheepshead Bay condos sell fast, and more

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Four stories to know today

1 Brooklyn Bay.
Courtesy of Muss Development

Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.

Mayoral hopeful has a plan to fix the subways

Real estate millionaire Paul Massey, who’s seeking a nomination on the Republican ticket for this November’s gubernatorial election, has made some recommendations about how to fix the subway—kind of. No plan to amend the city’s ailing signals here—remember, the MTA is the purview of Governor Andrew Cuomo—but Massey has come up with a scheme to provide more frequent service for subway riders, the Daily News first reported.

That includes rerouting the G past its terminus at Court Square and through Manhattan on the F tracks. It would loop around the city, down through the West 4th stop, and follow the F track to Jay Street. Similar recommendations in the past have been shot down by the MTA, who says it would cause more train traffic, and some technical specs of the system may prohibit the plan from becoming a reality.

That didn’t stop Massey from grandstanding, though. “The mayor's plan appears to be to complain about the MTA,” Massey said in a statement. “My plan is to deal with the problem before it becomes a crisis.”

Live delay announcements are coming to the subway

As if the city’s subway operators didn’t already have it tough enough, the poor souls now have to make live announcements about delays and service disruptions to disgruntled passengers. (It’s a bad situation for operators and riders, no doubt.) The MTA’s switch from vague prerecorded messages to real-life updates comes after a June 5 incident where a packed F train without air conditioning or electricity stalled in the tunnel between West 4th Street and Broadway-Lafayette for nearly an hour.

"We are moving to improve communication with our passengers both on a regular basis and the case of an incident," Wynton Habersham, the acting MTA’s VP of subways told the MTA board on Monday, DNAinfo reports. "In doing so, we are eliminating many of the repeat recorded announcements and are making greater use of live announcements from the train crew themselves."

Black nuns list their Harlem Motherhouse

The Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, one of three orders of mostly black nuns in the United States, has listed its West 124th Street Motherhouse among declining congregation membership. The property between Malcolm X Boulevard and Park Avenue has been home to FHM since 1944, when it acquired the property from Christian Brothers.

“The sale of the Motherhouse will allow us to relocate to a smaller facility that is more suited to our current congregation size and planned expansion initiatives,” Sister Gertrude Lilly Ihenacho told the Amsterdam News. FHM now includes 24 sisters who do outreach in Africa, teaching Catholic catechism and farming skills. The Motherhouse in Harlem also includes a daycare whose reach they hope to expand in the move.

The Motherhouse was built as a school in 1909 and covers 18,216 square feet. The Post notes that—no surprise here—the property is “expected to lure developers keen to convert it to apartments.” The property includes an additional 12,000 buildable square feet.

1 Brooklyn Bay.
Renderings courtesy Muss Development

Pricey Sheepshead Bay condo 40% sold in a month

When Sheepshead Bay’s 30-story condo tower 1 Brooklyn Bay was first announced in 2014, it was met with mixed reactions from the community. It turns out the building’s doing something right: Just one month after launching sales from $525,000, 40 percent of the 56 condos have found buyers.

The building itself includes 180 rentals on the lower floors, part of a collaboration with AvalonBay, with the top 11 floors dedicated to condos. The condos that are still available range from $965,000 to $3.7 million, including four-bedroom duplex penthouses.

1 Brooklyn Bay sits on 2.5 acres near the Sheepshead Bay B/Q stop and includes amenities like an outdoor swimming pool, bocce court, barbecue pits, and a dog run. Parking is available at an additional fee.