Digestible Real Estate News
We’re keeping this recurring piece to do a bit more for those genuinely interested in New York real estate, not just food porn, and give my LinkedIn designation a little luster. Taking a note from the easy to absorb nuggets of information in MarketSnacks‘ newsletter (blanketed with this unshakable food theme), here are your RealEstateSnacks so I can make this newsletter tax deductible.
1. On every New Yorker’s wish list, a key to Gramercy Park sits high. Everyone knows you must own a property on the perimeter of the park in order to land a key but how did this law exactly come to be? This elite privilege has been alive since 1831, as access was granted to the Gramercy Park landowners of a fair share of property taxes, pooled across the 39 buildings surrounding their historic front yard. Fast forward to 2018, those same property owners are paying the same amount of taxes per square foot as neighbors who don’t have keys to the park. This was challenged once in 1901, however the judge ruled that “property owners’ assessed valuations were increased as a result of the zero valuation for the park.” No one knows if this can be overturned, but click here for the very cool history behind Gramercy Park.
2. When most people assess the hurdle of home-ownership in New York, they look at the purchase price and down payment as the biggest obstacles. Another little number to think about? Property taxes. In a new report it was found that since 2005, residential property tax revenue has increased by more than 98%, growing around 6.2% per year. Meanwhile, household incomes over the same period have only grown an average of 2% per year. As a result, low-income homeowners are disproportionately burdened by rising property taxes (13% of annual income), tax appeals are up by 35% over the previous decade, and the city is facing a lawsuit alleging discrimination against lower income households.
3. While nowhere in New York is immune to change, Governor’s Island, which was once a rotting ghost town, has undergone an incredible face-lift and has much more on the way. You could write an entire book about the history of Governor’s Island and apparently it is only getting longer, as the Mayor’s Office announced that the city is rezoning 33 acres on the island in an effort to create “up to 4.5 million square feet of commercial, academic, cultural and institutional development.” However with rising sea levels and an increase in catastrophic storms, with Governor’s Island being the first line of defense against storm surges, is this the best use of our city’s time and money? HAVE ANY OF THESE POLITICIANS TAKEN THE MTA RECENTLY.
4. While there are no spooky, dilapidated homes on prime New York real estate to stir up people’s imaginations, due to the sheer amount of history that’s occurred in our city over the past few hundreds years, you better bet this place is haunted. Check out this list from Curbed which includes: the most haunted house in NYC, 14 West 10th; Washington Square Park, which was used as a mass grave for over 20,000 people from 1791 to 1821 (it was capped in 1827 and has been a park since); and literally every theater in the city. Good luck sleeping.