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  • https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/nyregion/lever-house-closes-once-a-year-to-maintain-its-ownership-rights.html In a practice dating to 1953 and a custom that can be traced to Anglo-Saxon England, RFR Realty, the building’s owner, will close the garden courtyard, arcade and interior sidewalks at Lever House, on Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. New Yorkers have quickly acquainted themselves with the concept of privately owned public space at Zuccotti Park. But there is another significant hybrid: purely private space to which the public is customarily welcome, at the owners’ implicit discretion. These spaces include Lever House, Rockefeller Plaza and College Walk at Columbia University, which close for part of one day every year. Property markers, like a plaque set into the pavement at Lever House, are a frequent giveaway that one is about to set foot on someone else’s land. It reads, “Crossing and use subject to permission of the owner and at the risk of the user.” Owners close these properties annually to protect themselves against any possible claim of “adverse possession,” a concept with ancient roots. It holds — to put it simply — that if someone openly and notoriously uses another’s property for a long period without ever being challenged by the rightful owner, the property becomes that of the possessor. Think of a farmer using an out-of-the-way corner of a neighbor’s acreage to pasture sheep for a generation or two, without the neighbor ever objecting. Annual closings are how modern owners assert their dominion (as opposed, say, to killing someone’s sheep, or hauling him up before the folkmoot assembly). Lever House has been closing itself once a year since 1953, when it was the brand-new headquarters of Lever Brothers. On Sunday, temporary barricades are to be erected, bearing signs saying: “This area is closed to public use on behalf of and in the name of the owner.” Some time later, an employee who was present will sign an affidavit attesting to the closing. — James on Nosy Neighbor: Is Franklin Place Really a Private Street?

  • seriously, they should put a gate so only owners can park their cars there, they should privatize for real!! — concerned citizen on Nosy Neighbor: Is Franklin Place Really a Private Street?

  • Also, depending on what development is contemplated next door, the (2 story) building remains a "taxpayer" building with saleable air rights. — James on Seen & Heard: Confirmation of a New Starbucks

  • They are currently approved to "expand' the building site from 1 story to 2 stories, all for retail use. This means they are filing to "alter" the building rather than build a new building, presumably to avoid the delay of zoning and other government land use reviews. They are approved on the foundation, including by DOB and by MTA, of which the latter is needed given proximity to the subway. They are probably designing the foundation sufficient to carry 10 stories. They are clearly staging this project for some reason, with a retail phase and an upstairs residential phase, perhaps to keep their investment relatively low for now, or they expect a glut in the residential market in the time-frame it would take to build the apartments there, or they want the option to sell the site to a residential developer with retail tenants in place. The 10-story rendering shows the 2nd floor as apparently residential, so the developer will probably end up not using it as retail as now filed, but rather as the base of construction operations for their phase II - an eventual vertical expansion to 10 stories, without disturbing the retail tenants to be in place. The rendering shows a building which seems to conform roughly to the as-of-right zoning for a 10-story, 135 ft tall shown on the axonometric drawing shown on their zoning diagram filed with Dept of Buildings here (PDF): http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/BScanJobDocumentServlet?requestid=3&passjobnumber=121193519&passdocnumber=06&allbin=1001487&scancode=ES271543403 — James on Seen & Heard: Confirmation of a New Starbucks

  • I still do not understand what are they planning to build on 108 Chambers, whether the two story building they have filed the paperwork for or the 10 story building that is advertised in the developer webpage...do you know? — Carlo on Seen & Heard: Confirmation of a New Starbucks

  • ...and get those super loud harley davidson motorcycles off the road. — sean on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • Rusty( pictured at beginning of article) has loved pup Culture for 10 years! — madeline c lanciani on New Kid on the Block: Pupculture

  • Very enlightening. Thank you. — Josh on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • ...and enforcing "No Honking" laws. — Marcus on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • Maybe it's time to reconsider congestion pricing. — Marcus on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • But has anyone asked the very basic question - Why are state troopers needed to supplement the vastly superior NYPD in NYC? NOPE! SAD! — Jim Smithers on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • Crime and terrorism are rampant? I get it ... — TG on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • Agreed about that building. If there is a silver lining it's that the building will remain in the public realm, and thus, not likely be altered much. — David G. Imber on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • Call me crazy, but I love the cinnamon pic. Perhaps I just have a soft spot in my heart for Tribeca Treats because Rachel introduced me to TC! — C.J on Seen & Heard: Cinnamon Spill

  • James for mayor! Or at least traffic commissioner. — Hudson River on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • amen. the parking placard abuse is out of control. — safe as milk on Open Letter: Here’s Your Traffic Study

  • If they close the sidewalk without a walkway, forcing one to cross the street, there is supposed to be a sign at the corner saying as much. New York City Department of Transportation HIGHWAY RULES Title 34 Chapter 2 Rules of the City of New York Section 2-05 CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY (e) Temporarily closing sidewalk. A temporary partial sidewalk closing permit shall be required when more than three feet from the property line is obstructed by a fence. A temporary full sidewalk closing permit shall be required when a minimum clear sidewalk passage of five feet cannot be maintained for pedestrians. (f) Temporary pedestrian walkway in roadway. (1) The Commissioner may require permittees to construct temporary pedestrian walkways on the roadway when adequate pedestrian passage cannot be maintained on the sidewalk. (2) If a pedestrian walkway in the roadway is not required, warning signs advising pedestrians to use the opposite sidewalks shall be placed and maintained at each corner or as otherwise directed. — James on Seen & Heard: Another Bubble Tea Franchise

  • Troopers do not need permits. — PerryR on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • They had trays of food being brought out for the party. So the kitchen was working. — Samantha on Seen & Heard: The Closing of Bit’z Kids

  • i just hope they are respectful of the original lorimer rich design of 199 church street. i have always admired the entrance and window hardware on this 1955 period piece. — safe as milk on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • They are obviously here to thwart any rogue implementation of a 5-cent plastic bag fee by the Mayor. — James on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • How about asking the governor and mayor why 150 troopers are being stationed in Tribeca? I can't imagine it is some childish Christie-traffic-study-bullshit-esque reason. Or is it? — Jim Smithers on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • How about just a nice "welcome and thank you" to these frist responders that will be based in or neighborhood and protecting the city. — Jamal on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca

  • http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170206/TRANSPORTATION/170209944/locals-registering-their-cars-in-other-states-could-be-cheating-new-york-out-of-millions "There are an estimated 25% of NYC drivers with cars registered out of state The reported cost to the city in unpaid parking tickets by those drivers is $73 million [...] The state Department of Financial Services estimates that people who live in New York but register their car out of state cost insurers $19 million each year in underpriced premiums." — James on In the News: More on the Jewelry Store Death

  • Then again, it could be a good thing if the troopers pitch-in on the city's shortage of school crossing guards down here. While fighting terrorism. — jfrankp on Seen & Heard: State Troopers Are Moving to Tribeca