But Is It Art?

Graffiti may be ephemeral, but still worth a buck, according to a lengthy decision issued by the U.S. District Court  in Cohen vs. G & M Realty last week. The case involved the 5Pointz warehouse and whether the graffiti painted on the building was significant enough to be protected by the federal Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990.  After dancing around whether the art was ART, the Court said the property owner’s destruction of the work for long planned housing development was unfortunate, but could probably be compensated by money. In determining damages, it noted, courts would have to consider that the artists always knew the building was scheduled for redevelopment and that the art was well documented for posterity. A big plus for the owner, the decision hinted strongly, might be making even more space available for wall artists on the new building.

Looking for vacant sites without any nasty art in the way of development? Crain’s has compiled a database of 7000 vacant privately owned residential lots in response to Mayor-elect de Blasio’s desire to raise taxes on vacant space to encourage development.

Once you buy a lot, you might want to see how the new modular construction technique is working for Forest City Ratner in Brooklyn. The first modules will be trucked to their site near the Barclays Center and stacked up next week.

Or, perhaps you would like to acquire something already built? CoStar this week launched CoStar Multifamily, attempting to create a residential database to rival its long established commercial one.  The records reportedly include asking rents, effective rents, occupancy rates, floor plans and more on 300,000 apartment communities across the country.

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