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For developments including new services, practices, and professionals to better serve our clients as well as our contributions to the legal and business communities, check out our News & Events section.

31 Jan 2018
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Two Towers in the South Bronx

A new development is on the horizon for the South Bronx. Treetop Development announced its plans for a $160 million project, which will include two mixed residential buildings located on Gerard Avenue.

Originally the development was going to be a 12-story residential building, but Treetop changed the plans to include one 11-story and one 14-story building on the site. The 11-story development at 414 Gerard Avenue will become a mixed residential building with approximately 134 units, consisting of 92,000 square feet and 4,271 square feet for commercial space. The second tower located across the street at 445 Gerard Avenue will include around 300 residential units[1] and include a 20,000 square foot “fresh food market.”[2]

Treetop explains that: “[their] philosophy is to identify emerging neighborhoods and create signature residential properties that cater to professional – and creative – class renters who face difficulties in finding high-quality, market-rate housing they can afford.”[3] Treetop is staying true to its philosophy as it commits to offer a combination of affordable and market-rate units.

Treetop states that the company “continuously seek[s] new and challenging projects that are redefining design standards and enhancing our communities, because, after all, change is good.”[4] What change will the new developments have in the South Bronx? The building is set to have a variety of luxury amenities including roof decks, fitness centers and a yoga room, a pet spa, and entertainment rooms. The development will also provide co-working spaces, which has the potential to attract a number of young entrepreneurs who are moving away from traditional offices. The new development should be completed within 18 to 24 months. For renderings of the new development click here.

What else is in store for the South Bronx? The New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development are planning a new project on the Harlem River with S9 Architects to develop 1,045 residential units of affordable housing. The complex will also include 60,000 square feet of commercial and amenity space for the community, such as an outside theater, public plaza, shops, and the Universal Hip-Hop Museum. This new development by the city is set to create around 915 jobs for the construction and 100 jobs for the commercial space.[5]


[1] Small, Eddie. (Jan. 16, 2018) “Treetop changes plans for two-building South Bronx project.” The Real Deal. Available at: https://therealdeal.com/2018/01/16/treetop-changes-plans-for-south-bronx-resi-complex/. Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018.

[2] Warerkar, Tanay. (Jan. 18, 2018) “Massive 400-unit Mott Haven rental will bring pet spa, co-working to South Bronx.” Curbed New York. Available at: https://ny.curbed.com/2018/1/18/16898724/south-bronx-mott-haven-rentals-renderings. Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018.

[3] Trettop Development. Profile. Available at: http://www.treetopdev.com/profile/#landing. Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018.

[4] Trettop Development. Profile. Available at: http://www.treetopdev.com/profile/#challenge. Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018.

[5] Beeche, Jordan. (Jan. 17, 2018) “New Renderings Revealed for 1,045-Unit Bronx Point Complex, South Bronx.” YIMBY New York. Available at: https://newyorkyimby.com/2018/01/new-rendering-revealed-for-1045-unit-bronx-point-complex-south-bronx.html. Accessed on Jan. 31, 2018.

29 Jan 2018
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CFTC – Err on the Side of Caution

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission aims to “foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets” by ensuring the derivatives markets is free from fraud and manipulation.[1] The CFTC notices the significant impact of cryptocurrencies on the market, especially in light of bitcoin’s popularity, however the Commission is wary of the lack of enforcement as it announced the third case of fraud within a week.

On January 24, 2018 the CFTC discovered that the cryptocurrency known as “My Big Coin” from My Big Coin Pay Inc., founded by Randall Carter and Mark Gillespie, fraudulently induced 28 people to invest a total of $6 million. What did Carter and Gillespie do with the funds from My Big Coin? Law360 reports they used the funds for “shopping sprees and [to] pay off earlier investors.”[2] The lack of regulation coupled with the public’s eagerness to purchase cryptocurrencies has created unprotected gaps in the market leaving investors vulnerable to fraud. Fraudulent market participants are capitalizing on the hype of bitcoin by creating their own “coins” and advertising false promises to potential consumers.  Carter and Gillespie assured investors that their cryptocurrency was “widely accepted as MasterCard, that it was back by gold and that there was a genuine market for it”.[3] Unfortunately for the 28 investors, these allegations were false. Chief James McDonald of the CFTC stated: “The CFTC is actively policing the virtual currency markets and will vigorously enforce the anti-fraud provisions of the Commodity Exchange Act”.[4]

What is in store for the future of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology regulation? The Securities and Exchange Commission and CFTC stated: “A key issue before market regulators is whether our historic approach to the regulation of currency transactions is appropriate for the cryptocurrency markets.”[5] Technological advancements create the potential for investors to drive the market. Regulations need to be set in place as currently market participants are increasingly vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. However, current policies were not created to regulate such technological practices such as cryptocurrency exchanges and blockchain technology. The law and regulations are living instruments – they are designed to be challenged and restructured in light of new obstacles. It is imperative that agencies implement new policies that truly reflect the needs of the market.

Tips for investors to avoid cryptocurrency fraud:

  • Consult the CFTC and SEC websites. Both Commissions provide a series of guidelines and notes on what to look out for.
  • Do your due diligence! Research the cryptocurrency and ensure it is being traded on a bona fide platform. Ask: Is the product and offering legal? Can I sell when I want to? Does the product comply with existing fintech regulations?
  • Speak to your financial advisor to understand the inherent risks.

[1] U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. “Mission and Responsibilities.” Available at: http://www.cftc.gov/About/MissionResponsibilities/index.htm. Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

[2] Newsham, Jack. (Jan. 24, 2018). “CFTC Announces 3rd Cryptocurrency Fraud Suit in 1 Week.” Law360. Available at: https://www.law360.com/securities/articles/1005164/cftc-announces-3rd-cryptocurrency-fraud-suit-in-1-week. Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

[3] Ib.

[4] Ib.

[5] SEC. (Jan. 25, 2018) “Statements by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo: Regulators are Looking at Cryptocurrency.” SEC. Available at: https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/statement-clayton-giancarlo-012518. Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

29 Jan 2018
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A Guide for Co-op and Condo Board Members

Acting as a board member for a co-op or condo can seem like a full time job. Shareholders select board members to make and implement day-to-day decisions for the building. As a board member your role is to protect the interests of all tenants, owners and shareholders.  This requires playing an active role, effective communication, and demonstrating good leadership. However, what resources are available to help board members effectively manage their buildings? Whether it is for guidance on the impact of new laws and regulations or whether  your building is a landmark, there are various agencies and departments for board members to utilize.

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) “promotes the safety of all people that build, work, and live in New York City by regulating the lawful use of over one million buildings and construction sites across the five boroughs. With a focus on safety, service, and integrity, the Department enforces the City’s Construction Codes, Zoning Resolution, and the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law.”[1] The DOB provides vital information from building permits and sustainability to hiring licensed professionals and enforcing the rights of landowners, tenants and businesses. The DOB’s website keeps an updated track of all legal and regulatory changes that may impact your co-op or condo.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) is “responsible for protecting New York City’s architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings and sites by granting them landmark or historic district status, and regulating them after designation.”[2] Why is this important for board members? Before a building undergoes any renovation, it is imperative to know whether the building or district has been marked as a landmark. The LPC provides guidelines for when buildings need to seek a permit before initiating interior or exterior alterations. Board members should note that LPC permits are not necessary for ordinary repairs or maintenance.[3]

New York’s 311 number has a housing and development sector for all five boroughs, which allows board members to reach the city 24/7 regarding any information or concerns. If the operators are unable to answer your question they will direct you to the specific office or agency you need. The City of New York’s website also provides helpful information on building management, maintenance, construction, ownership and taxes.[4] Another key resource for board members is the Attorney General, currently Eric Schneiderman. The AG’s office provides an abundance of guidelines and tip sheets for co-op and condo board members, shareholders and tenants. Tip sheets even include guides on how to handle problems with your condo and co-ops board of managers.[5]

Utilizing the different offices and agencies will help make sitting as a board member as seamless as possible. Quick resource guide:

  • New York City Department of Buildings – nyc.gov/dob.
  • Landmarks Preservation Commission – http://www.nyc.gov.lpc/ or (212) 669-7817.
  • Mayors Office and 311 – nyc.gov/mayor or 311.
  • Attorney General’s Office – http://www.ag.ny.gov/ or (212) 416-8122.  

[1] NYC Buildings. About Us. Available at: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/about/about.page. Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

[2] LPC. About Us. Available at: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/about/about-lpc.page, Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

[3] LPC. Applications. Available at: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/lpc/applications/applications.page. Accessed on Jan. 25, 2018.

[4] See http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/categories/housing-development.page.

[5] See https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/housing-issues.

24 Jan 2018
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Adding Amazon’s Headquarters to the New York Skyline

Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos, is quickly becoming one of the most innovative, equipped and powerful companies in the world. Amazon has not only conquered the e-commerce market, but is now expanding its presence with brick-and-mortar stores, including Amazon Go – a high tech grocery store that uses smartphone apps and AI technology to track your purchase without having to stand in line to check out.[1]

Amazon is now looking for the ideal location to develop its new headquarters and narrowed it down to 20 out of 238 cities as finalists. The cities include:

Atlanta   Austin   Boston   Chicago   Columbus, Ohio   Dallas

Denver   Indianapolis   Los Angeles   Miami   Montgomery County

Nashville   Newark   New York   Northern Virginia   Philadelphia

Pittsburg   Raleigh   Toronto   Washington

Why are cities eager to become the next location for Amazon’s headquarters? Amazon will “invest $5 billion in development and create up to 500,000 jobs”.[2] Local governments and businesses in each city have pitched their ideas and even sent gifts (which were returned) to Amazon. A source from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Matthew Gardner, explained to the New York Times that “[i]f you ask any mayor, they’ll say their first job is to bring good jobs to the city … [a]nd Amazon is promising to bring a lot of jobs.”[3]

So what attracts Amazon to New York? Amazon’s ideal city will have a diverse population greater than 1 million, easy access to airports, good transit, business oriented, and close to schools (in hopes of inspiring a future generation of employees). Although many of the cities proposed tax breaks as an incentive, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who pitched a $5 billion tax credit, New York did not. Instead Mayor Bill de Blasio focused on New York’s talented population, international standing and expansive transit system (albeit its current issues and delays). New York has the “largest tech talent pool, with 300,000 workers” which exceeds both San Francisco and San Jose.[4] The Mayor explained, “We win it based on the talent of our workers and the incredible diversity of industries in this town. Those are the strengths you can’t buy with tax breaks.”[5] The city proposed that the headquarters could be based in Lower Manhattan, the West Side, Long Island City, or the Brooklyn Tech Triangle. 8.5 million diverse people live throughout the boroughs and the city is home to 105 “institutions of higher learning”.[6] But will this be enough to outbid the other 19 cities? We will have to wait and see.

 


[1] Amazon Go. Frequently Asked Questions. Available at: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=16008589011. Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018.

[2] Thompson, Elaine. (Jan. 18, 2018) “Where Amazon May Build Its New Headquarters.” New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/technology/cities-amazon-headquarters.html. Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018.

[3] Bowles, Nellie. (Sept. 25, 2017) “For Cities Wooing Amazon’s New Headquarters, Nothing Is Too Strange.” New York Times.Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/technology/wooing-amazon-second-headquarters.html.  Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018.

[4] Bagli, Charles B. (Oct. 18, 2017) “In Amazon Bid, New York Brags About, Well, Everything.” Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/18/nyregion/in-amazon-bid-new-york-brags-about-well-everything.html  Accessed on Jan. 24, 2018.

[5] Ib.

[6] Op. Cit. n.2.

19 Jan 2018
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Financing Bitcoin?

Bitcoin continues to be the most popular cryptocurrency. Despite its fluctuating value, investors are still drawn to investing in the cryptocurrency and using it for financing purposes. Financing secured by bitcoin could help increase the cryptocurrency’s value. However, because cryptocurrency regulations are in the early stages, there are a variety of obstacles in the way.

Bitcoin uses blockchain technology, a decentralized digital ledger, which allows users to anonymously transfer payments on the internet without an intermediary, such as a financial institution. How are payments tracked? Since blockchain is not centralized, the users control the database using cryptographic keys. These keys essentially secure the users financial assets and the ledger will track every purchase or transfer bitcoin. There are two types of keys, public and private. Where the public key provides the blockchain users identity, the private key allows the user to send the cryptocurrency. The private key, however, should not be shared with anyone. This is what creates a security problem when securing bitcoin for financing.

Can bitcoin be used to secure financing? The issue is that the law has not developed at the same pace as the technology, so how can bitcoin be used as collateral for a loan and provide the lender security, such as in the event of bankruptcy? Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) provides provisions regulating security interests in property. Typically a commodity is used as collateral for a loan, however, cryptocurrencies do not fall neatly within its provisions because regulators cannot agree on what cryptocurrencies are. Cryptocurrencies have been defined as “virtual currenc[ies]”, “property” and even a “commodit[ies]”, but this does not provide clear guidelines.[1] Matthew Frankle and Nora Wong suggest that in order to perfect a security interest for cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, and satisfy Article 9 of the UCC, “the lender would need a security agreement with the borrower to establish the lien and to file a financing statement in the borrower’s jurisdiction.”[2]

However, although this may fulfill the requirements for the UCC, it falls short it other areas. The issue relates to the blockchain and the use of private keys. At the moment, although the technology is protected, it does not provide adequate security for the lender as a third party can be aware of the key and transaction and the lender lacks full control. “To alleviate the risk of destruction or theft of the collateral, no untrusted third party must know or have access to the private key.”[3] There have been instances where individuals have lost their private keys; this possibility creates a risk to the lender.[4] To secure bitcoin for financing the technology and regulators need to find a solution that alleviates a risk to lenders, protects their interest, and ensures there is actual delivery to the lender.


[1] Frankle, M. and Wong, N. (Jan. 18, 2018) “The Challenges of Bitcoin Financing.” Law360. Available at: https://www.law360.com/securities/articles/1002594/the-challenges-of-bitcoin-financing?nl_pk=90996a46-d723-4b60-bcd8-9866b2ae15a6&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=securities. Accessed on Jan. 19, 2018.

[2] Ib.

[3] Ib.

[4] Ib. See footnote 27.

19 Jan 2018
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Starbucks Paving a Way for Landlords’ Rights

Can multinational corporations end their commercial leases early? In July 2017 Starbucks announced that it would be closing its 379 Teavana stores due to poor performance, despite that their leases had not yet expired. Simon Property Group, the landlord for 77 of the Teavana locations in Simon malls, sought an injunction against Starbucks to prohibit the corporation from “shirking its contractual obligations at the expense of Simon’s shopping centers and the dozens of communities they serve and support.”[1] Simon argued that Starbuck’s acts could set a harmful precedent that could create a ripple effect of other stores ending their leases early.

Although Teavana stores were underperforming, Starbucks, unlike other small retailers who suffer from financial hardship, had the means to restructure or rebrand the Teavana stores to bring in more business and foot traffic. The decision of the Indiana judge in November who agreed with Simon, fortified the rights of landlords. “Lawyers say the suit is a rare instance of a mall landlord actually enforcing language that’s common in leases spelling out options for closing stores, and the fact that a judge ruled in favor of the landlord likely means more landlords will follow in Simon’s footsteps, should their tenants try to close shop prior to the end of a lease.”[2]

The companies agreed to settle this week, however how will this impact litigation and landlords in the future? Online shopping is creating greater competition to brick-and-mortar retailers. Unfortunately, this means that malls are seeing less foot traffic and more retailers are having to close their store fronts. Due to the current retail environment, landlords should ensure their leases protect their interests in case tenants are unable to fulfil the term of the lease. The judge shed light on how a court may rule in favor for the landlord, particularly when the tenant is a large multinational corporation that is not going out of business.

For future lease agreements, landlords and tenants should be conscientious and vigilant about what terms are included in the lease. The negotiation stage is very important as it gives both parties the opportunity to protect their interests and avoid future conflicts and litigation.


[1] Holden, R. (Jan. 17, 2018) “Starbucks Settles with Simon.” Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ronaldholden/2018/01/17/starbucks-settles-with-simon/#6274c1ae7152. Accessed on Jan. 19, 2018.

[2] McIntyre, A. (Jan. 19, 2018) “Simon-Starbucks Case May Give Landlords A Legal Roadmap.” Law360. Available at: https://www.law360.com/realestate/articles/1002744/simon-starbucks-case-may-give-landlords-a-legal-roadmap. Accessed on Jan. 19, 2018.

17 Jan 2018
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Noteworthy Luxury Developments in New York City

Luxury residential buildings are adding to the New York skyline as development and construction stay strong for 2018. The Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group predict that there will be roughly 4,000 to 5,000 new apartments in NYC for 2018.[1] These residential units will mostly be condos, rather than co-ops. Currently there is a higher demand for condos as buyers prefer their flexibility and ownership structure. Foreign buyers also have a better chance of purchasing condos as co-ops typically do not permit units being purchased as pieds-à-terre.[2]

520 West 28th Street

520 West 28th Street has received plenty of attention along the Chelsea High Line. Architect Zaha Hadid has designed the innovative and modern building to have plenty of natural light for every unit. “The building’s elegant hand-rubbed metal façade is driven by one continuous line, which loops its way skywards. These dynamic curves create a distinctive chevron pattern that embraces interlacing levels, maximizing privacy and security between residences.”[3] Amenities for this new luxury condo include a pool situated under a skylight, private IMAX theatre, fitness center, secured parking and private spa.

20 East End Avenue

The firm leading the project is Robert A.M. Stern Architects, infamous for its work in New York such as 15 Central Park West for Zeckendorf Development and 30 Park Place (Residences at the Four Seasons Hotel) for Silverstein Properties. This new development is in New York’s noteworthy developments list as Stern is known for “perfecting a craft and embracing lessons learned through rigorous research and study of the neighborhood’s connect and history … Stern creates buildings that fit seamlessly with their surroundings and give the impression they’ve been there forever.”[4] This Upper East Side condo will have 43 units ranging from 2 to 6 bedrooms, in addition to 2 private town homes. Amenities will include valet parking, 24 hour doorman, library, junior lounge, fitness center and spa, wine cellar and game room. The condo is near a variety of high end stores, schools, public transportation and multiple parks such as Carl Schurz Park.

70 Vestry in Tribeca

This new 14-story luxury residential building, also designed by Robert A.M. Stern and Daniel Romualdez, is Tribeca’s new waterfront gem. The building’s façade is made of limestone and the large windows provide excellent views onto the waterfront for its 46 condos. The luxury building will provide amenities such as a spa, lounge, and a children’s playroom. This building is in high demand and is “poised to hatter pricing records when closings begin next year, 70 Vestry has shown that high design, water views, and thoughtful amenities resonate with buyers at the highest price points.”[5]


[1] King, W.B. (Jan. 2018) “new Construction and Development.” The Cooperator. Available at: https://cooperator.com/article/new-construction-development/full#cut. Accessed on Jan. 17, 2018.

[2] See, Guzov, LLC (Aug, 18, 2017) “A Pied-a-Terre Tax?” Available at: http://guzovllc.com/pied-terre-tax/.

[3] 520 West 28th. “Architecture.” Available at: https://www.520w28.com/architecture. Accessed on Jan. 17, 2018.

[4] No. 20 East End Avenue. “Architect”. Available at: https://20eastend.com/architect. Accessed on Jan. 17, 2018.

[5] Op. Cit. n1.

12 Jan 2018
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Privacy Limitations in Co-ops and Condos

Are there limits on privacy for residents living in co-ops and condos? Yes. Living in a co-op or condo requires residents to make compromises for the interest of the building. In case of an emergency, repair or inspection, the board and building staff are permitted to access apartments. Where do co-op and condo boards get this authority? There will be provisions in the building’s governing documents typically requiring residents to permit access into their unit for the purpose of making necessary repairs or improvements required by law or for the purpose of inspection or of showing the unit to a prospective purchaser. New York law will require condo owners and co-op shareholders to comply with the by-laws of their building, and therefore permit board access into their apartments. Who is allowed in? This will also be provided in building’s governing documents, but generally the board, its agents and authorized workers.

As we have previously discussed, the board will require residents to provide a key for access to the front door, and for any doors providing access to water valves, plumbing fixtures and fire exits.[1] The board does not have authority to enter into a resident’s apartment without prior notice and consent or in case of an emergency. So how can co-op and condo boards avoid conflicts and tension when accessing apartments? They should have clearly written protocols that address when the board and other authorized personnel can enter apartments. When possible, boards should provide a written notice to residents explaining when a repair or inspection is to take place to allow residents to make proper arrangements (i.e. for supervision). When is notice not applicable? In cases of an emergency, governing documents will grant immediate access to authorized personnel. What constitutes an emergency? Gas leaks, fires, and substantial water leaks.

If a co-op shareholder or condo owner refuses access to the board and its agents for a repair or in an emergency, they could be liable for any damage, including damage in neighboring units. Boards should keep a record of any refusals of access for repairs or inspections in case the issue is brought to court. To avoid this avenue, the board and resident should communicate their concerns. If a resident wants to be present at the time of the repair or inspection, find dates that work for both parties. At the same time, the board cannot abuse its power. Residents need to report any unauthorized access to either the management or the board.


[1] Guzov, LLC. (Dec. 1, 2017) ”Precarious Co-op Rules.” Available at. http://guzovllc.com/precarious-co-op-rules/.

12 Jan 2018
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The Rise of Cryptocurrencies

In 2017 the value of Bitcoin surged by 1,200 percent, ending the year at a value over $19,000 per Bitcoin. Although the value has decreased to around $13,000 today, Bitcoin remains the strongest cryptocurrency. The combination of more companies implementing blockchain technology and the surge of cryptocurrency investors has created a competitive market. Bitcoin may be the most popular, but it is not the only digital currency at the table.

The New York Times compiled a list of the top cryptocurrencies that puts Ripple in second place. [1] Ripple (XRP), which started in 2012, saw a 35,000 percent growth in 2017. Ripple provides the platform to “send money globally” with blockchain technology.[2] Its members include American Express, Santander, MUFG Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFG, UBS and many more. Ripple is “the world’s only enterprise blockchain solution for global payments.”[3] Ripple’s coin XRP can be purchased by individuals with a variety of exchanges such as Kraken and CoinOne.[4]

NEM (XEM), a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform, grew by 29,000 percent in 2017. NEM’s coin XEM, which can be purchased with bitcoin or traditional currency, even provides an additional safety measure called multi signature accounts to secure your cryptocurrency.

Stellar (XLM) was created by Stellar and IBM in an effort to “[improve] the speed of global payments.”[5] Stellar creates an open access “hybrid blockchain” platform that provides all actors equal access to their global financial network. The company aptly describes its model as the “future of banking” as it successfully uses blockchain technology to facilitate secure cross-border transactions. Stellar provides lumens as a digital currency, which can be purchased through Stellar Decentralized Exchange, Kraken and more.[6]

Ethereum (ETH) is a blockchain platform primarily for smart contracts, which allows Ethereum users to even crowdfund new projects. Users can “create a contract that will hold a contributor’s money until any given date or goal is reached. Depending on the outcome, the funds will either be released to the project owners or safely returned back to the contributors.”[7] Whereas Bitcoin is used as a currency, smart contracts have a greater function as they are used as “currency, a presentation of an asset, a virtual share, a proof of membership or anything at all.”[8] Ethereum grew by 9,200 percent in 2017, and can be purchased on platforms such as Coinbase.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), also available on Coinbase, grew by 500 percent in 2017, but was only released on August 1, 2017. Bitcoin cash was created from Bitcoin as peer-to-peer electronic cash. Bitcoin cash allows investors to send money globally at a low cost within minutes using a secure system.[9]


[1] Reuters. (Jan. 3, 2018) “Bitcoin May Be King, but Ripple Dark Horse in Crypto Currency.” Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/01/03/business/03reuters-cryptocurrency-2017.html. Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018.

[2] Ripple. Overview. Available at: https://ripple.com/. Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018.

[3] Ripple. Home Page. Available at: https://ripple.com/. Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018.

[4] See https://ripple.com/xrp/buy-xrp/.

[5] Reuters. (Jan. 3, 2018) “Bitcoin May Be King, but Ripple Dark Horse in Crypto Currency.” Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/01/03/business/03reuters-cryptocurrency-2017.html. Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018.

[6] See https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/stellar/#markets.

[7] Ethereum. Home Page. Available at: https://www.ethereum.org/. Accessed on Jan. 12, 2018.

[8] Ib.

[9] See https://www.bitcoincash.org/.

10 Jan 2018
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Property Developments in 2018

What development projects are on the horizon for New York City? New buildings are going up all around the city. Despite the influx of residential and office buildings, developers are continuing to invest in future New York real estate.

The Real Deal put together a list of the top ten real estate projects coming to New York City for 2018.[1] In first place is the Richman Group’s East Harlem nineteen story building, located at 201 East 125th Street. The space will include 404 residential units (roughly 421,000 square feet), along with 61,000 square feet for commercial use and 491 square feet for the community.[2] Who are the architects for the biggest NYC real estate development of 2018? S9 Architects, who are also the architects for the New York Wheel on Staten Island[3] and Dock 72. Brooklyn (awarded for excellence in design),[4] which are both currently under construction.

Staying true to the trend of luxury properties, Uri Chaitchik of Casco Development’s twenty-story residential building landed fourth on the Real Deal’s list.[5] 540 West 21st Street, situated next to the High Line, is 172,000 square feet and will include 38 units, a swimming pool, space for art galleries and other commercial use. This new development not only has an ideal location with luxury amenities, but it will also become a prominent art attraction. The art dealer David Zwirner, known for his galleries in New York and London, is opening a new gallery in Casco’s new development, but in a “separate structure”.[6]

Last on the list is 531 Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village. Gemini Investments, based in Hong Kong, purchased the single story building at 531 Sixth Avenue and its four-story neighbor at 539. The new residential development can expand to about 60,000 square feet (space mostly accumulated by air rights).[7]

Another development to look out for this year is the landmark protected Domino Sugar Refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Developer Two Trees Management and Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) are designing a large office complex with public space on the ground floor that will include shops and eateries. The design plans have repeatedly changed due to the building’s original design. For instance the level of the windows did not line up with the floors of the office spaces. “The 19th century structure becomes a freestanding ruin, its unglassed windows resembling the stacked arches of an ancient Roman aqueduct.”[8] PAU’s remedy? A “rectangular glass building topped by a barrel vault, which sits within, but doesn’t touch the existing walls.”[9] Although this project may encounter future obstacles, the former refinery will finally be transformed into a functional landmark.


[1] Small, Eddie. (Jan. 8, 2018) “The Top 10 Biggest Real Estate Projects Coming to NYC.” The Real Deal. Available at: https://therealdeal.com/2018/01/08/the-top-10-biggest-real-estate-projects-coming-to-nyc-8/. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[2] Ib.

[3] S9 Architecture. (2018) “The New York Wheel.” Available at: http://s9architecture.com/the-new-york-wheel/. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[4] S9 Architecture. (2018) “Dock 72. Brooklyn.” Available at: http://s9architecture.com/work/#/dock-72/. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[5] Op. Cit. n1.

[6] Pogrebin, Robin. (Jan. 8, 2018) “A Mega-Dealer Expands: David Zwirner Plans a New Art Gallery.” New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/arts/design/david-zwirner-expands-in-chelsea.html. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[7] Putzier, Konrad. (June 3, 2016). “Hong Kong Company Pays $53M for Chelsea Development Site.” Available at: https://therealdeal.com/2016/06/03/hong-kong-company-pays-53m-for-chelsea-development-site/. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[8] Davidson, Justin. (Oct. 3, 2017) “New Plans for the Domino Sugar Complex, Revealed.” Available at: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/10/first-look-at-vishaan-chakrabartis-plan-for-domino-sugar.html?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=s3&utm_campaign=sharebutton-t. Accessed on Jan. 10, 2018.

[9] Ib.

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