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900-foot residential tower OKed for 5 World Trade Center site



900-foot residential tower OKed for 5 World Trade Center site

A developer has been tapped to build a 900-foot residential tower on one of the last undeveloped former World Trade Center sites, Port Authority officials said Thursday.

Developers Silverstein and Brookfield will now enter into negotiations with the Port and the state’s Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which also endorsed the plan Thursday, to hammer out details for the 1.56 million-square-foot tower at 5 World Trade Center.

The proposed tower at 130-140 Liberty St. would replace the former Deutsche Bank building, which was damaged in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and demolished after a fire in 2007.

Five World Trade is slated for 995 market-rate apartments and another 330 reserved as affordable housing, officials said.

Affordable housing units will be reserved for families making 50 percent of the area’s median income — the equivalent of $52,000 per year for a family of three, Port officials said.

“The Port Authority’s dedication to rebuilding the World Trade Center has helped restore Lower Manhattan and brought life back to the campus following the September 11th attacks,” Port Chairman Kevin O’Toole said in a statement.

“Today’s board action to choose the development team for 5 WTC is the realization of a nearly two-decade long commitment to that work.”

Officials now have six months to negotiate a 99-year lease with the developers, who will finance the project. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and last five years, the Port said.

Silverstein Properties previously built the skyscrapers at World Trade Center sites three and four, and is also working on the tower at Two World Trade.

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Inside the hoarder homes of NYC’s luxury apartment buildings




Inside the hoarder homes of NYC's luxury apartment buildings

New York City’s most prestigious apartment buildings sometimes hold dirty little secrets. Literally.

Take what happened at a pad in a tony Emery Roth-designed Park Avenue building last summer. The pad was so full of belongings — about 10,000 books, 300 framed photos, plus old computers and filing cabinets — that the owner tripped on the accumulated mess and died right there among the junk.

Afterward, Raul Toscano’s team was called to clean up — quietly, so as to maintain appearances.

“The person [may have] a good name and they don’t want it thrown out there,” said Toscano, 45, who owns the Queens-based Hoarding Cleaning Specialists and regularly works in high-end buildings around the city. “And a lot of times, [the buildings] don’t want the neighbors freaking out. [It’s bad if] you pay top dollar for a nice apartment, and you’re living next to someone, and you can smell the person’s apartment and you’re wondering where the roaches are coming from.”

Recently, Toscano was hired to help a 90-year-old resident who had books, papers, boxes, clothing and jewelry piled high in her three-bedroom apartment at a luxury Central Park West address.

“It was just clutter everywhere,” said Toscano, whose company is an offshoot of Clutter Free Junk Removal Service and Cleanup Pros.

All told, there was some 18 tons of junk in the pricey apartment.

Toscano said his company deals with situations like this “once, sometimes twice a week.”

The tricky part is that luxury-building management often insists “we’ve got to be discreet,” he added, in an effort not to alarm  neighbors.

That means keeping logos on uniforms hidden and obscuring just what it is they’re disposing of.

“We have bins, so people can’t ­really see what’s coming out, and they’re covered,” said Toscano. “What we try to do is prep everything and get it out [quickly].”

Sometimes that’s nearly impossible. Like the job a year-and-a-half ago at a Central Park South building that stands in the shadows of Billionaires’ Row. Toscano’s team had to rip out the floors of a unit because the tenant’s mess — including multiple piles of paper standing several feet high — also had a bedbug infestation. In one high-end building, there was a woman whose hoarding situation included a husky left dead in its cage for eight months; at another, a man preferred to defecate in the bathtub.

“We see it all,” said Toscano.

A 2019 cleanup on the Upper West Side meant throwing out bottles full of urine and oodles of sex toys. That assignment ran around $18,000. Toscano, who charges by the job, said his priciest tab was $40,000 for a house in New Jersey;  his team removed about 16 tons of trash and repainted the whole place.

Hoarding disorders, which affect between 2 and 6 percent of American adults, know no economic boundaries.

“Oftentimes when you have luxury hoarding . . . people might convince themselves it’s not hoarding,” said Dena Rabinowitz, Ph.D.,  clinical director of Cognitive Behavioral Psychology of NY. “‘If I’m hoarding 500 Prada bags, well, doesn’t that feel like a collection?’”

For Toscano, the one thing that stands out among classes is that, once a high-end unit’s massive mess is being cleaned out, he “can see the beauty of the apartment.”

Typically, Toscano added, his company receives calls from concerned relatives.  The jobs are rarely complete throwaways, though, and the team saves items as instructed.
Toscano started the company, which is one of  a few  doing this locally, in 2013 after helping clean up houses hit by Hurricane Sandy.

“They were just very straightforward [and] did the job,” said one city resident who called the service to help out a friend on the Upper East Side in the fall. “They just go in and they have a whole routine, like six of them, and they take each room, tear it apart and clean it.”

For Toscano, it’s bigger than just a  cleaning job. “I love helping people,” he said, adding that he asks customers to leave while cleaning. “When they come back they’re like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is my home.’ ”

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NYC woman’s insane ‘Monica Geller’ apartment is $1,300 a month




NYC woman's insane 'Monica Geller' apartment is $1,300 a month

The internet is going wild for this modern-day Monica Geller, who rents a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side in New York City for only $1,300 a month — a crazy deal in a city where three-bedrooms are typically more than twice that price.

How did this TikTok user get that deal, might you ask? Viewers of the hit ’90s show “Friends” had the same question about the young Monica Geller affording such a nice apartment. Played by Courteney Cox, Monica inherited her rent-controlled apartment from her grandmother, the show revealed.

The Twittersphere quickly made the comparison between Geller and Kolp. But the fictional TV character and real-life Harlem special education teacher Hattie Kolp are only two of about 1 million New Yorkers with a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment, according to New York City’s 2020 housing supply report. 

“It’s just a unique space, and you don’t see apartments like this anymore,” Kolp, 29, told The Post. “I just love all the historical details and the moldings, the fireplaces, the creaky floors.”

Kolp didn’t expect this level of fame. “On Instagram, people follow you for a reason, whereas on TikTok you just pop up on someone’s home page,” she explained.

Kolp grew up in this 1890s-constructed apartment with her parents, which is how she lucked into the deal. Rent stabilization is complicated, but it typically happens to units built before 1974 in buildings with six or more apartments. Eligibility depends on when the tenant moved in and what rent they paid at that time. 

Under rent stabilization, landlords can only increase rent a certain percent — most recently set at 1.5% a year (2.5% for a two-year lease), according to Jealous? Not all rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments are handed down by generation. Here’s the whole public list of stabilized apartments in New York City.

Kolp is both appreciative and committed. Since 2018, she has spent nights, weekends and “whenever I get a free moment” do-it-yourself renovating and restoring the apartment to its original pre-WWI architectural style with a modern flair.

Kolp’s eclectic art style complements the wall molding and hardwood floors of the apartment.

“It’s been like my therapy,” she said. “It has just allowed me to discover my passion for interior design and old homes.”

When her parents moved out in 2018, Kolp knocked down walls to uncover pocket doors, and she painted the whole apartment white to start with a blank slate. Then, she slowly started adding blues and greens.  

“My biggest thing was that I started to realize the potential and uniqueness [of this apartment], so I really wanted to restore it and get it back to its intended condition,” said Kolp.

In the TikTok video that made her famous overnight, Kolp starts by showing off her blue-gray door with a peephole, which opens to an entryway with a spindly modern chandelier. She turns down a white hallway with stunning wall panel molding — most of which is original to the apartment, she said.

Kolp’s two fireplaces are shown in this photo.

Area rugs partially cover hardwood floors, and candle sconces from her grandparents’ log cabin in Kentucky grace the hallways, along with gold-framed art. 

“Some of it [the art] came from my mom, stuff she left me. Most of it — I get a lot of inexpensive things from online print shops as digital downloads, and then I also go thrifting and use Etsy and eBay,” she said. In some rooms, art collections have “vintage antique vibes” and others have a modern and minimal look, she said.

The apartment has its original fireplaces, which are no longer operational. She covered the tiles with contact paper since the original tiles were discolored and cracked. She filled one with candles and the other with fairy lights, and she showed off the white wood mantels.

Kolp’s bedroom, with a tasseled chandelier, is featured in this photo.

Kolp’s blue bedroom has an original fireplace and a tasseled Justina Blakenley chandelier. The apartment has a butler’s pantry with a historic dumbwaiter (no, it doesn’t still work), and she has painted the original cabinetry green. 

Meanwhile, Kolp transformed her childhood bedroom into a library with a green velvet couch and industrial white shelving.

“I wanted the shelves to blend in a little so the molding could have a moment,” she said.

Kolp made another tour video earlier this week, featuring her library, which used to be her childhood bedroom.

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Celeb chef Eric Ripert selling his NYC spread for $3.5M




Celeb chef Eric Ripert selling his NYC spread for $3.5M

Three-star Michelin chef Eric Ripert and his wife Sandra are dishing their Upper East Side home for $3.49 million — and it comes with a true chef’s kitchen that is formidable!

“Eric designed the open kitchen, and it features an island where everyone gathers and watches while he cooks, especially on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Sandra, a broker at Douglas Elliman, tells Gimme.

The three-bedroom, 2½-bathroom unit is plated across 2,311 square feet on the 25th floor of 515 E. 72nd St. It features a wrap corner balcony and East River views.

The third bedroom has been converted into a meditation room, filled with Buddhas, candles, lucky bamboo and a picture of the Dalai Lama.

“It’s very meaningful for Eric,” Sandra said. “We have one in the Hamptons as well.”

There’s also a light-filled open living/dining room where the couple has held glam dinner parties over the years, and lots of custom storage.

The Riperts bought the residence for $2.85 million in 2010, according to records.

“It was a great place to raise our son, who went to the French Lycée,” Sandra said. “He’s now off to college, and we’re looking for a change.”

The Riperts will stay in the city — and within walking distance of Eric’s famed Midtown restaurant, Le Bernardin — which is slated to reopen on March 17.

“Eric likes to walk to work. It’s his only exercise,” Sandra quipped.

Building amenities include an Olympic-size pool and a basketball court, along with a “yoga sanctuary and outdoor lounge,” a gym, spa and a rock-climbing wall.

The listing brokers are Douglas Elliman’s Patricia Vance and Sandra Ripert. 

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