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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Catching my breath in the New York Times

The New York Times headroombreathing roomI was thrilled to find myself quoted in today's New York Times Real Estate cover story by Jake Mooney, on a subject that I've been contemplating a bit since representing and selling my recent exclusive at 171 Duane Street on Duane Park in Tribeca; which is a tiny vestige of an old Dutch farm, and the city's second oldest park. The Times was interested in finding out more about living on these tiny public spaces and New York’s Tiny Squares Offer Breathing Room, or simply "Breathing Room" in the print edition is the result. My quotes seemed to help set the tone of the article:

Peter Comitini, a vice president of the Corcoran Group, said the appeal of places like Duane Park in TriBeCa, where he recently sold a three-bedroom co-op unit, was largely visual.

“It creates a little more room to breathe between you and the next closest building,” Mr. Comitini said, “and I think that has value right there.”

Besides interesting locations — squares tend to be in places where the urban grid breaks down, like Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side near Broadway and Lower Manhattan — Mr. Comitini said units near squares had built-in advantages.

“They offer greater light and views, and those are things that are at a premium in the city,” he said. “The stuff that doesn’t sell is the stuff that faces a dark shaftway in the back, and this is the polar opposite of that.”

In the course of the interview I spoke to them about the value and sense of ownership that locals take in these smaller, neighborhood parks. Duane Park's land was bought from Trinity Church for $5 in 1797, an investment that is beloved by the neighborhood to this very day. I like my colleague Lee Zimmerman's quote on people's relationship to these spaces, that becomes an eloquent final word on the story, “It’s not Central Park; it’s not Prospect Park; it’s not Battery Park,” he said. “You kind of lose yourself in those kinds of parks. In the smaller parks, you find yourself.”

read the full story on The New York Times: Breathing Room

read more about the history of Duane Park in Tribeca: Friends of Duane Park