Seven months after Hurricane Sandy, New York City unveiled two proposals for how to rebuild the city and protect it from future storms. For architects, designers and builders, the effort amounts to a roadmap for how to prepare for a changing climate, as I reported in Architectural Record today. It’s an ambitious proposition (the longterm plan has a $20 billion price tag.) But Sandy, a 500-year storm, is unlikely to be the last of its kind.
Let’s face it: The suburban office park has lost its cool factor. But nearly 80 percent of the office space in New Jersey was built in the 1980s on large, sprawling corporate campuses. So now developers are scrambling to reposition their aging inventory for a new era. For this story in the New York Times, I looked at one diamond in the rough that got a $225 million makeover for Novo Nordisk.
When I set out to buy my first home, there was one item that quickly made its way to the top of my must-have list: green shag carpeting. Preferably faded green shag carpeting. Well, it didn’t have to be green. Blue or red or chartreuse would be fine too.
It’s not that I have a penchant for someone else’s wall-to-wall wonder. In fact, I don’t like shag at all. That’s precisely the point. No one likes horrible carpet, which is why I knew I could save thousands of dollars if I bought a house that needed a modest makeover. In this essay for LearnVest, a personal finance site, I wrote about how I found my shag carpet wonder.
For this personal essay I wrote for LearnVest, a personal finance website, I explored how oil is just an absurd way to heat a home. As a real estate reporter, I’ve spoken with enough green builders to know that switching from one polluting fuel to another is not the whole solution. You also have to make the house more efficient, which is not cheap.
Here’s a question: Is air the same as dirt? Should it be held to the same standards? Gods Love We Deliver, a charity that delivers food to the sick, doesn’t think so. The group is selling some of its air rights to a neighboring developer to help pay for its own expansion. But neighborhood residents, fearing looming developments, are not sold on the idea, as I reported for the New York Times
The view from the north shore of Staten Island is pretty remarkable — it’s the same one most people see when they take the Staten Island Ferry across to get a free glimpse of the harbor.) The city and developers are banking that, with enough investment, people will decide to stay longer than the time it takes to re-board the ferry, as I reported for the New York Times. In the next decade $1 billion of private investment will flood the north shore, bringing the area restaurants, shops and luxury housing. Is Staten Island the next Williamsburg?