Renderings of Google’s new HQ are here

Renderings of  Google

Renderings of Google’s new campus in in Mountain View, California.

Starchitect Bjarke Ingels and London-based Heatherwick Studio have been tapped to design the new headquarters for Google in Mountain View, California. And get ready…because renderings of the massive project are already out.

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“Google—along with a team of prominent architects—has spent more than a year rethinking every assumption about office buildings, tech campuses and how they relate to their neighborhoods,” The Silicon Valley Business Journal, which first reported the news, wrote. “The result? Four futuristic structures where basic building elements — floors, ceilings and walls — attach or detach from permanent steel frames, forming whole new workspaces of different sizes. With help from small cranes and robots (‘crabots’), interiors will transform in hours, rather than months.”

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The four structures will be scaled as entire city blocks and draped in glass canopies, according to the Architect’s Newspaper.

The campus would also reportedly “see wide swaths of land returned to nature, criss-crossed by walking trails and dotted by plazas, community gardens and oak groves.”

San Francisco-based CMG Landscape Architecture, which is currently working with Frank Gehry on the Facebook campus, is also on the project. [Architect’s Newspaper]Christopher Cameron

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Rupert Murdoch sells home to son for $30M

James Murdoch and his

James Murdoch and his Beverly Hills

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has sold his Beverly Hills mansion to his youngest son, James Murdoch, for $30 million.

The home was quietly listed for $35 million last year, receiving attention from the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, but was eventually pulled from the market, according to Curbed.

The house was designed by architect Wallace Neff and built in 1926 for Fred Niblo, an actor and director. Rupert Murdoch acquired the 8,651-square-foot, 11-bedroom, nine-bathroom home in 1986 from the late physician, philanthropist and businessman Jules Stein.

In 2013, James Murdoch took out a $24 million loan last month on his townhouse at 117 East 69th Street. [Curbed]Christopher Cameron

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Champagne scion opens new LES contemporary art gallery

154 Ludlow Street and Richard Taittinger

154 Ludlow Street and Richard

The art world is popping bottles on the Lower East Side thanks to a new gallery opened by Champagne scion Richard Taittinger.

Taittinger, who has worked as an art consultant, opened a 5,000-square-foot contemporary art gallery last week with a VIP reception, according to the New York Post.

The space, located at 154 Ludlow Street, is on the same block as the Ludlow Hotel, restaurant Dirty French and a planned Soho House expansion.

The new gallery features 20-foot ceilings, allowing for large-scale installations, and was designed by studioMDA, the firm behind Paul Kasmin Gallery and 303 Gallery. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

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From the archives: Revisiting the legacy of a master builder

William Zeckendorf in his signature hat

William Zeckendorf in his signature hat

As New York City ushers in an era of vast development projects — whether the Freedom Tower, Hudson Yards or massive plans for Manhattan’s East Side — a glance back at the life of developer William Zeckendorf Sr. is proof that there are no new ideas under the sun.

Zeckendorf, who was born in 1905 in Paris, Ill., to a hardware store manager, dominated the nation’s real estate industry from the 1940s through the early 1960s, along with his company, Webb & Knapp Inc. His legacy is felt coast to coast, from Century City in Los Angeles to Roosevelt Field on Long Island. Read the full article from the November 2007 issue after the jump.

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“Haunted” mansion hits the market on Staten Island

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2475 Richmond Road

A historic, and possibly haunted, mansion has hit the market on Staten Island.

The 10-bedroom home is supposedly haunted by the spirits of the former owner and his daughters, according to local legends. The owners are asking $2.31 million, the New York Post reported.

The 7,700-square-foot Italianate villa-style home, located at 2475 Richmond Road, was once owned by Gustav Mayer, a 19th-century inventor whose sugar-cookie recipe is the basis for Nabisco’s Nilla Wafers.

After his death in 1918, his two daughters remained in the home, living beyond their 100th birthdays and rarely venturing outside. In fact, the former owners, Paula and Emilie, didn’t leave their bedrooms for decades, using an elaborate pulley system to bring in groceries and mail, according to the Post.

The property is currently undergoing an extensive $570,000 restoration. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

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Former Town president Jeff Appel moves to Everbank

Jeffery Appel and the Everbank offices at 780 Third Avenue

Jeffery Appel and the Everbank offices at 780 Third Avenue

Jeffery Appel, who acted as the face of Town Residential during CEO Andrew Heiberger’s absence, has joined Everbank, a Jacksonville, Fla.,-based financial services firm.

Appel is the sales director of the Appel-DeSimone Group — a home lending firm — with partner Bonnie DeSimone, who also joined Everbank’s retail lending division. In the past, Appel has worked extensively with Ken Evans, who has also joined Everbank, and Mark Wenitzky, who has been senior vice president and retail lending division manager at Everbank since November 2014.

“New York is an extraordinarily dynamic real estate market,” Wenitzky said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to combine EverBank’s unique products and services with the peerless lending expertise of the Appel-DeSimone Group.”

The Appel-DeSimone Group has already moved into the EverBank office at 780 Third Avenue.

Appel made headlines last year after Town Residential CEO Andrew Heiberger ousted him from his position as president and COO. Heiberger dismissed Appel upon his return to the brokerage, following his own public ousting by Town co-owner and Thor Equities head Joseph Sitt.

During Heiberger’s absence Appel became the public face of the firm and oversaw all aspects of Town’s operations. – Christopher Cameron

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Nearby farms are the hottest new way to market a house

A farm

A farm

Trend alert! The hottest new marketing trend for suburban housing developers is farms. They’re called “agrihoods,” and although they’ve been around since the 1980s, they are now becoming more popular with large developers, who are banking on farm-fresh food to lure people to their communities.

“The mainstream development community has come to think of these as a pretty good way to build a low-cost amenity that people seem to like and that also adds authenticity,” resident Urban Land Institute fellow Ed McMahon told Bloomberg.

Because people love authenticity.

This is just another example of “the quaint economy.” Living by a farm, presumably, makes people feel like they are part of a community, rather than living in a soulless, cookie-cutter subdivision. Back in the 90s and early 2000s, this role was generally played by golf courses.

(Anecdotally, having grown up near one of those golf course subdivisions, they seem to have been mostly used as late-night roaming grounds for adolescents in the neighborhood.)

Brian Cullen, a developer, told Bloomberg that “companies that built communities around golf courses spent a lot more and found only a few residents played.” Farms, apparently, only cost about 20% as much as a golf course. And what’s happening in most of these places is the developer is hiring farmers to work the land set aside. The produce is then meant to be sold to individuals and restaurants in the surrounding community.

At the very least, this is bullish for modern farmers out there looking for work.

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