Where might this Dickensian factory reside?

The destiny of the country is determined here

The weekend is here, let’s dispense with the heavy topics of real estate and affordable housing and script a nice puff piece.  Did you know that Long Island City is home to the largest fortune cookie factory in the United States? Continue reading


There is another way...

There is another way…

So what is one to do if they don’t win or qualify for the HPS Lottery and desire housing that’s affordable?  How about trying the neighborhood right next door to LIC?  In Sunnyside one will find apartments such as this: Continue reading



Nice and tranquil here, one last look at summer.

Nice and peaceful here, one last look at summer.

As the Vernon/Jackson subway platform gets more crowded with each passing day, the question arises “At what point will it be too much?” Continue reading



Just like the line for Lotto when there's a big payday coming

Just like the line for Lotto when there’s a big payday coming

“This is the best apartment deal in NYC” 

“We hired a top-notch design team, they designed the Barclays Center.”

“These are the same buildings we build for people right across the river, for which we receive ridiculous rents” 

Frank Monterisi, SVP of Related Companies and Head of HPS Phase I


I have a saying, “The lottery is for losers.” Think of it, in a typical lottery it goes like this, two million people each pay $1, for a total of $2,000,000, so that one of them wins $1,000,000.  In other words, you put down a dollar with the expected probability of getting back 50 cents.  Hmm, not sure how Warren Buffett would feel about those returns, but I personally find the whole concept despicable, and quite frankly, un-American.

Then there is the Hunters Point South Lottery. In this game of chance they are giving away between $128,000 and $1,275,000 in cash prizes to 925 people, and the cost to play is uhh -zero, …if you qualify.  Furthermore, the odds of winning are better than 20 to 1 if you live in the Community Board 2 district, as opposed to 2,000,000 to 1.

How did we arrive at the “prize” math?1  The first thing we did was take the average rents in LIC from Modern Spaces 2Q 2014 report (see link below).  Then we compared it to the midpoint rent range for each apartment type in HPS, as provided by Related Cos.  The discounts for Moderate Income apartments ranged from 29% – 39% as compared to those paying current market rates.  The discounts for Low Income apartments were an eye-popping 78% to 85%.

Those discounts are where most reporters stop, and readers sit or stand agape.  Not LICtalk, we recognize the importance of a very valuable option embedded in getting an HPS apartment: that of not having your rent go up dramatically.  

The power of compounding is the most powerful force in the universe according to Albert Einstein, and the monetary effect of it might only be eclipsed by the psychological one.  Whether it be in your favor or not.  Thus, we took the percentage discounts cited above, and applied them to the average LIC condo sale prices also found in the Modern Spaces report2, in order to realize what that option is worth.

That is how we arrived at the cash prize values, and based on the throngs that showed up for the affordable housing powwow last night in Hunters Point, I think many others have similarly calculated this bonanza.  Trying to squeeze the SRO crowd into the auditorium was like Continue reading

  1. for a detailed version of the math, were you so inclined, email me at [email protected], and I’d be happy to oblige []
  2. the one exception being 3-bdrm sales, where we used a figure of $1.5 million based on the very recent sale of a new 3-bdrm in a walk-up in Hunters Point, off the water, and w/ no view or amenities.  My guess is that were a 3-bdrm condo hypothetically be available at HPS, it would go for between 1.5 and 2.5 million depending on the view.  What do you think? []


We built this building specifically for a newly uncovered demographic.  Those who engage in...

“We built this building specifically for a new demographic. Those who engage in…”

I really, really, really wanted to write about the menage-a-trois that a 16-year old male in Louisiana had with his 20-something and 30-something female teachers, as all these years later I still find the female teacher/male HS student combo tantalizing and questionably illegal.  The fact that there were two female teachers in the same school willing to conspire and collaborate, I’d guesstimate is probably a five-standard deviation occurrence, …maybe ten.

Sadly, I am constrained by my mandate to focus on local news, whether it is real or not, and no matter how mundane.  Sometimes though, fate intervenes and I am handed a consolation prize.  In this case Continue reading


Future home of new Hunters Point Rec Center

Future home of new Hunters Point Rec Center, and current home of the Hard Hat Cafe

This is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago. 

A new recreation center is coming to Hunters Point, and will be lodged at the base of Hunters Point South (HPS) Phase 2. The 44,000-square-foot space will offer tons of amenities: two pools, including a lap pool and a rec pool with a large slide and water features, a large gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, and indoor sports clinics, a wellness center with cardiovascular and strength training equipment, large group Continue reading


Donut logjam

I brake for donuts!

This Sunday is the annual Societa Sant’Amato Di Nusco processional down and around Vernon Boulevard.1  While the members of the Societa give thanks to their patron saint back in southern Italy, my gratitude will be focused elsewhere, as this week the people of LIC have been truly blessed by the news that Continue reading

  1. it starts at 11:30am []


Camping out for new condo sales?  No, it's live music at Lot LIC.  If it were the 60's, everyone would be naked in this pic.

Camping out for new condo sales? No, it’s live music at Lot LIC. If it were the 60′s, everyone would be naked in this pic.

Okay folks, before we get to the aforementioned headline and other juicy local real estate news, a little follow-up on Continue reading


New school year, new agenda

New school year, new school attitude


If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer’s always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place. – Nora Roberts

Right out of the school gate, PS 78 has decided to take the route of several highly sought after public schools in Manhattan and put in the big ask.  This week, the parents of students attending the school, received a letter outlining the fundraising initiatives of the PTA, and in it they specifically requested Continue reading



After 37 years, Tony Manero came back over the Queensboro Bridge to disco

After 37 years, Tony Manero came back over the Queensboro Bridge to hit the disco

Friday night was a typically perfect early fall evening on the waterfront.  As luck would have it, the Silent Disco was held.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of the initiator and promoter, Jimmy Van Schrager, throngs of locals turned out and the event was a stellar success.  In fact, I could not help but think that the President of Lincoln Center, Jed Bernstein, who kicked off the party, would have sincerely liked to Continue reading

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