This month’s market update covers a range of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens pricing as well as median sales prices across all NYC boroughs. The highest current price per square foot can be found in NoHo, where median prices are $2,750 per square foot, while the lowest prices can be found in Brownsville, where median prices are $293 per square foot.

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Farmers’ Markets Around Honolulu

Farmers Market Mahiku
Photo courtesy HawaiianScribe

More than any other state in the U.S., farmers’ markets in Hawai‛i are a smorgasbord of tropical produce and international cultures and foods. They are not your run-of-the-mill farm-to-table events. Honolulu farmers’ markets are teeming with exotic fruits and vegetables. Dragon fruit, passion fruit, papaya, apple bananas, mango, guava, lychee, and star fruit, to name a few. Scrumptious aromas of freshly cooked delicacies fill the air: lumpia and adobo from the Philippines; malasadas and pao doce from Portugal; sushi and tempura from Japan; laulau, poi, and poke from Hawai‛i; and locally-blended foods like huli-huli chicken and spam musubi. Buckets of tropical flowers like orchids, anthuriums, ginger, bird of paradise, and heliconia are everywhere. You can count on seeing bottles of Mānoa honey, Hawaiian vanilla, organic eggs, super sweet Kahuku corn, North Shore beef and coffee, aqua-cultured prawns, and the irresistible Waialua chocolate. You might even be treated to a cooking demonstration by local celebrity chefs or a hula performance by local hula hālau.

For visitors staying in Waikiki, some of the hotels and shopping hubs host farmers’ markets. Kings’ Village at 131 Kaiulani Street has a market open from 4-9 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The Waikiki Hyatt at 2424 Kalākaua Avenue hosts a market on Thursday evenings from 4-8 PM. But there’s nothing like getting out of Waikiki and going to where the local people host farmers’ markets. Here are a few of the farmers’ markets around Honolulu that you won’t want to miss:

KCC Farmers’ Market
Where: Parking Lot C, 4303 Diamond Head Rd, Honolulu 96816
Schedule: Saturday, 7:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Farmers Market flowers
Photo courtesy HawaiianScribe

At Kapiolani Community College in back of Diamond Head, this is the Grand-Daddy of Honolulu farmers’ markets and easily the biggest on the island. It’s even become a stop for tour buses. Parking can be hard to find if you don’t get here early, but TheBus and the Waikiki Trolley both have stops at the site. The KCC Farmers’ Market website even has a map of the  market layout so you can see which vendors are regularly there.

Pearlridge Farmers’ Market
Where: Pearlridge Uptown along Moanalua Road. Parking near Kaiser Permanente and Macy’s
Schedule: Saturday, 8 AM to 12 PM

Pearlridge Farmers Market
Photo courtesy Pearlridge Farmers’ Market

The Pearlridge Farmers’ Market is one of the best markets on the island, and is out towards the west end of O‛ahu. It features over 40 vendors and is always adding new sellers who offer locally-grown fruits and vegetables, oven-fresh breads and baked treats. Live Hawaiian entertainment is usually featured at this farmers’ market. A pop-up café that seats 70 allows shoppers to enjoy music throughout the morning. Along with produce, you will find local butter, cheeses, honey, salsas, as well as other artisan foods and plant and flower booths. There are even organic dog treats for your furry friend Don’t forget to try the WOW Waffles that usually sell out early. Since this market is at a mall, there is plenty of parking, and plenty of shopping after the farmers’ market!

Kailua Farmers’ Market – There are TWO!

This lovely little town by the sea hosts TWO farmers’ markets each week. Seems like they can’t get enough of fresh, locally-grown foods. Kailua is also a haven for tourists, since the beach here is one of the nicest in the state.

Thursday Market
Where: 609 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734
Schedule: Thursday, 5-7:30PM

Berrylicious Crepe Kailua
Berrylicious Crepe at Kailua Farmers’ Market

This market is like the old-fashioned community social. Every Thursday evening many locals come to buy dinner from one of the vendors. The live music is a treat and gives the market a street festival atmosphere. For the organic and vegan aficionados, this market is your chance to get the best items from local sources. Look for the Nalo Meli booth for raw honey and soaps made from it!

Sunday Market
Address: Kailua Elementary, 315 Kuulei Road, Kailua, HI 96734
Schedule: Sunday, 8:30AM – Noon

Kailua Town Farmers' Market
Photo courtesy Kailua Town Farmers’ Market

A delightful way to start a Sunday and your week, it’s best to start early to get the best produce along with organic eggs. You’ll see a lot of locals coming here to buy freshly-baked breads and pastries. This market is especially aware of the delicate island environment. Organizers have asked their food vendors to use only bio-compostable plates and utensils. Some of them will even wrap your purchases in palm fronds or ti leaves.

Historically Significant New Development Sites

The changing skyline is one of the most certain features of modern-day New York City, with new buildings breaking ground – or filing permits to break ground – on a daily basis. Where they rise once stood buildings that were important in their day; unfortunately not all of these important buildings can be salvaged, but developers tend to pay homage to the history of their development sites through the new building’s design and name. Here are six upcoming new development projects whose sites or buildings have historic significance.

Project: The Rennie (pictured above)
Address: 2351 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd
Developer: BRP Development Corporation and Abyssian Development Corporation
Architects: GF55 Partners
The Renaissance Ballroom and Casino (The Rennie) was one of Harlem’s most happening jazz spots during the 1920s. It eventually became a dilapidated and (per the developers) unsalvageable abandoned building that is currently being made into an eight story condo with 134 units. Homes will include studios to 3 bedrooms priced between $530,000 – $1,700,000, with 20% set aside for affordable housing between $300,000 and $370,000. The building will also feature a full time attended lobby, rooftop lounge, fitness room, children’s playroom, pet spa, parking, personal storage, and bicycle storage.

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Rendering courtesy of The Durst Organization

Project: Plaza Park Tower
Address: 29-37 41st Avenue, Long Island City
Developer: The Durst Organization
Architects: Handel Architects; Interiors by Selldorf Architects
This project will be Queens’ tallest residential tower, rising 710 feet on a plot of land purchased by The Durst Organization for $175M in 2016. The 980,000 SF mixed use building will have 958 homes (nearly 300 of which are earmarked for affordable housing), a half-acre public park, outdoor pool, a 20,000 SF retail gym, co-working area, resident library, demo kitchen, and kids’ playroom. The project includes the development of the landmarked Clock Tower building, formerly the home of Bank of Manhattan. The 50,000 SF Clock Tower building was built in 1927 and will be used as commercial and retail space. Although construction is already underway, expected completion dates and prices have not yet been published.

Project: 432 East 14th Street
Address: 432-438 East 14th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A
Developers: Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate Group
Pretty soon you’ll be able to rent a home where the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office used to stand. The 8 story building (which developers wanted to make 12 stories despite local zoning laws – until neighbors put a stop to their plan) will house 113 rental units, 23 of which will be affordable, as well as a fitness center, courtyard, and landscaped roof deck. Prices will start at $3,350 per month for a studio, nearly $1K over the current median rent for East Village studios. Trader Joe’s recently signed a lease to take over 23,000 SF of retail space in the building.

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Project: 108 Leonard
Address: 108 Leonard Street, Tribeca
Developers: Elad Group
Architects: SLCE; Interiors by Jeffrey Beers International
The landmarked McKim, Mead & White building at 108 Leonard Street – known as Tribeca’s clock tower building – was once a criminal court. Sales recently launched at the Elad Group-developed condo, offering 151 homes ranging from one to four bedrooms with prices starting around $1.5M. Building features include a 75-foot lap pool, steam room, sauna, billiards room, rooftop lounge, fitness center, and screening room.

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Image courtesy of ARO.com

Project: ARO
Address: 242 West 53rd Street, Midtown Manhattan
Developers: Algin Management
Architects: CetraRuddy
The Roseland Ballroom closed in April of 2014 and in its place is rising a true skyline changer, The ARO building. Rising 62 stories and comprised of over 500,000 square feet, ARO is slated to open this year and will offer 426 rental studios through three bedrooms, plus one four bedroom home. 40,000 square feet of amenities will include a basketball court, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pool, lounge, and sun deck. Studios are expected to start at $2,500 while some three bedrooms are expected to ask $17,000 per month.

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Image courtesy of 67Livingston.com

Project: 67 Livingston
Address: 67 Livingston Street, Brooklyn Heights
Developers: Silverback Development
Architects: HTO Architect; Interiors by CetraRuddy

67 Livingston Street was one of the last sales from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ portfolio of 30 Brooklyn buildings prior to their move to Warwick, New York. The address is now Brooklyn Heights’ tallest condo, with 22 apartments spread out over 29 stories. 21 of the homes are full floor apartments, and the 22nd is a duplex spanning two full floors. The homes range in size from 1,700 to 3,400 square feet and have direct elevator access as well as balconies, and double or triple exposures. Amenities include a landscaped roof deck, wine cellar, communal front and backyard gardens, children’s playroom, resident’s lounge with catering kitchen, and bicycle storage.

Please contact me if you would like additional information about any of these new development projects.

Honolulu Architecture

Honolulu, the city that has welcomed visitors to its sandy shores for centuries, has a unique architectural mix in its Downtown areas. Each building reflects a period in time important to the Hawaiian islands, and is a window into the evolution of this naturally beautiful coastal metropolis. The Honolulu office of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) offers architectural walking tours on Saturday mornings by advance reservation.  A rare treat for locals and visitors alike, the tours through the downtown area are led by an architect or architectural historian who will provide fascinating details and little-known facts about some of Honolulu’s most cherished structures. Visit the AIA website or call (808) 628-7243 for more information. Here are a few of my favorite Honolulu buildings:

‘Iolani Palace (pictured above)

Completed in 1882, ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. Erected for Hawai‛i’s last ruling monarchs, King David Kalākaua and his sister, Queen Lili‛uokalani, the palace is the only building in the world constructed in the American Florentine style. Built of brick with concrete facing, the palace has four corner towers, two center towers, and open-sided verandas or lanais on the first and second floors. The palace had rare amenities for the time such as indoor plumbing, an early telephone, and electric lighting before the U.S. White House in Washington D.C. was wired for electricity.

Kawaiaha‛o Church and Mission Houses

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Photo by Joel Bradshaw, 2007, Wikipedia

Kawaiaha‛o Church, sometimes referred to as the Westminster Abbey of Hawai‛i

honolulu-hawaiian mission houses
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Mission Houses Archives

The Mission Houses, built in the 1820’s, housed the first Christian missionaries on O‛ahu. Commissioned by Queen Ka‛ahumanu, Kawaiaha‛o Church was completed in 1842. Built in the Hawaiian Mission style, it combined New England architectural styles with Hawaiian building techniques and materials. Supplies were brought by ship from Boston, Massachusetts, and 14,000 indigenous coral blocks were gathered to build the church along with local timber and lime. The Mission Houses had been built 20 years earlier to house the American Protestant missionaries. Today, Kawaiaha‛o Church has an active worship schedule, and the Mission Houses are museums open to the public. They are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Aloha Tower

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Image courtesy of JGKlein for Wikipedia

Aloha Tower is a lighthouse at Pier 9 in Honolulu Harbor, and is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hawai‛i. It has been welcoming cruise ship passengers and vessels seeking safe harbor since September 1926. Built in the Hawaiian Gothic architectural style, the tower stands 10 stories and 184 feet tall. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II, Aloha Tower was painted in camouflage to be unseen at night. It’s beacon can be seen from 20 miles at sea, and the tower has a 12-foot diameter, 7-ton bronze clock on each of its four sides with the word “Aloha” above it.

Wo Fat Building

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Image courtesy of Joel Bradshaw for Wikimedia

The Wo Fat Building is a well-known landmark in Honolulu’s Chinatown Historic District. It was first built in 1882, but burned down twice in the Chinatown fires of 1886 and 1900. Now standing at the corner of Maunakea and North Hotel Streets, the brightly-painted building was constructed in 1938 in the Italianate style with Chinese temple motifs, pagoda style roof, and a windowed octagonal tower. It once housed the Wo Fat Restaurant, Hawai‛i’s longest operating restaurant until its closure in 2009. The building now houses a food market and other local enterprises.

First Hawaiian Center

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Image courtesy of Xpixupload for Wikimedia

The First Hawaiian Center houses the corporate headquarters of First Hawaiian Bank. Completed in 1996, it features 645,834 square feet and 27 stories of commercial space. It is the tallest building in the state of Hawai‛i. There are 24,000 square feet of waterways, park space and open plaza in downtown Honolulu’s financial district. The Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House, a gallery of Hawaiian artwork, fills three floors in the building. During the design process, Hawaiian architectural principles were used to assuage local residents’ concerns about the effect of skyscrapers on the island environment. The building was designed to incorporate natural light as far into the interior as possible.