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The exodus: A rise in remote working could crater expensive housing markets

Why pay an arm and a leg to live near your Silicon Valley office if you don’t need to anymore? That’s what some highly-paid tech workers are asking themselves. The coronavirus pandemic has forced remote working on scores of companies and some have decided to embrace it. Some of their employees are taking it as an opportunity to escape the super high rents and home prices in the Bay Area, according to Bloomberg. Dylan Hecklau,

Who made de Blasio’s real estate reopening council — and who didn’t

It’s rarely a good sign when a press release is issued late on a Friday afternoon, as was the case this week when Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his construction and real estate advisory council. That’s when the fewest people (and journalists) are paying attention to the news, which makes it a good time to air dirty laundry or just put out information not viewed as having PR value. But perhaps the panel names were

‘He was larger than life’: Brooklyn mourns death of Grand Prospect Hall owner Michael Halkias

The owner of the iconic Park Slope events venue Grand Prospect Hall, Michael Halkias, died from COVID-19 on Wednesday. He was 82. Halkias’ death sent shockwaves throughout Brooklyn, where community leaders and friends remember him as a passionate, generous figure.  “He was a Brooklyn character for sure in the best sort of way,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “He was larger than life.” Halkias and his wife Alice bought Grand Prospect Hall in 1984 and turned the extravagant Prospect Avenue building into an opulent catering hall. The space became a New York icon because of its long-running, popular commercials, where Alice Halkias declares in a Greek accent, “We make your dreams come true!” …

Health authorities shut Flatlands funeral homes for improperly storing bodies in U-Haul trucks

State health authorities have shut down a Flatlands funeral home on Friday morning after they “appallingly” stored dozens of bodies in several U-Haul trucks earlier in the week.  “Following an investigation by the State Department of Health, I issued an immediate suspension order to the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home in Brooklyn – whose actions were appalling, disrespectful to the families of the deceased, and completely unacceptable,” said state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.  Officers from the 63rd Police Precinct responded to a 911 call on April 29 at Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home at 2057A Utica Ave, …

Stanley Chera, titan of NYC retail, dies of coronavirus

Stanley I. Chera, who parlayed his father’s Brooklyn department store business into one of New York real estate’s biggest retail empires, reaped huge rewards from the city’s emergence as a global shopping destination and used his wealth and connections to play kingmaker for Donald Trump, has died from complications of the coronavirus, making him the most high-profile industry casualty of the global pandemic. Chera’s death on April 11 was confirmed to The Real Deal by

Opinion: Releasing inmates during a time of crisis is a terrible idea

When all five of the city’s district attorneys, who are all fellow Democrats, say that the mayor’s initiative of releasing inmates from Rikers Island is dangerous, we should listen to them. This week, the top prosecutors in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx united to strongly condemn Mayor de Blasio on this matter. They said, “We want to make clear that the categories of those proposed for release have, in some instances, included individuals who pose a high risk to public safety.” They concluded with this zinger: “We should not have to make release decisions that we know will put communities at risk.” As the quintessential example of …

Brooklyn landlord voluntarily waives April rents at all 18 properties

Mario Salerno isn’t the only good landlord in the city of New York, but he’s quickly becoming one of the most well-known. Salerno waived rents for all 80 tenants in all 18 of his apartment buildings — no questions asked — to ease the financial pressure felt by many in the age of coronavirus, according to the New York Times. Residents found signs from Salerno posted near their buildings’ front doors informing them that he

Travel the world from home with these foreign films and shows

Transport yourself to a more beautiful place than your living room with one of these foreign films or shows. Image: ‘The Durells in Corfu,’ PBS There’s nothing like a global pandemic to realize how interconnected we are, and how similar our trajectories are even across continents and oceans. There’s also nothing like a quarantine to make you long for the ability to travel to any place but your home. Obviously the first foreign film you should watch while we shelter at home is Parasite, if you haven’t already seen it. The fact that this South Korean thriller won the Oscar for Best…

Brooklyn Bridge Park During PAUSE

Brooklyn Bridge Park President Eric Landau has issued the following guidance for use of the park while New York is on PAUSE:The health and safety of our staff, visitors, and community is our top priority. While the Park is open, please note that it is open for passive use and solitary recreation only. We encourage people to walk their dog, go for a run, or just spend a few minutes outside. While in the Park, please be sure to practice good social distancing, keeping at least 6 feet apart from others.In the interest of everyone’s wellbeing, areas of the Park where social distancing is not practical (e.g., Pier…

“Bouncy Bridge” Replacement Appears Near Completion

Today was a pleasant day, and your correspondent decided to take some needed “solitary exercise.” Properly masked and gloved, and carefully maintaining social distance, I walked the length of the Promenade, continued down Columbia Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park, then back up and home. On the way, I saw that the “non-bouncy” replacement of the pedestrian bridge connecting Squibb Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, which had been naked pylons the last time I saw it, now …

Keep calm with this coronavirus cheat sheet

Some of us are obsessed with reading every detail about the coronavirus, or Covid-19 as it is now known, and there are others who want to read nothing. Regardless of where you are on this spectrum, it’s important to be prepared but not panicked. Here is everything you need to know right now—from who to call if you don’t have a doctor to local products to use in your quest for cleanliness. The risk to New Yorkers is still low Are you living in low-level panic? The NYC Health Department page is your new best friend. It clearly states that “The risk to New Yorkers of contracting this novel coronavirus is still low.&#…