Sundays in August are apparently Real Estate days at the New York Times. Not that we're complaining, since today actually has two pretty good stories (and neither in the real Real Estate section!).


First up is a front page look at the slew of development that is about to commence on the far east side of Manhattan. The possible U.N. office tower over Robert Moses park has been heavily covered in the news (and is still up in the air), as has the proposed East River Science park that is being pushed for First Avenue between 28th and 29th streets, but the buildings set to rise over the ConEd plant over there is news to us. And what is set to go up there, you wonder? A residential tower designed by Richard Meier and a commercial tower designed by David Childs. Towers, we might add, that are planning to reach up around 68 floors. And this is not to mention three other residential towers east of first avenue that are even earlier in the planning stages. Not surprisingly there is some noise being made by community groups about the addition of some 4,000 apartments to the neighborhood.

Second is a look at Robert Shiller, the "Irrational Exuberance" guy from the dot-com bubble, who is now putting forth the claim that not only is the real estate bubble going to burst, but that prices should drop about 40 percent when it does. But that's not the fun part of the story. That would be the Dutch history lesson that comes out of the blue halfway through the article. Shiller has made his prediction as to future price drops based on historical research he culled by following housing prices in specific areas. One such area is the Herengracht in Amsterdam, and since Gotham is New Amsterdam we thought we'd share it with you:

"On the Herengracht, those returns have often been fantastic for 25 or 50 years at a time. Home prices soared in the first half of the 17th century, around the time of the tulip mania. But they came crashing down in the 1670's when the prime minister was killed, and partially eaten, by a mob of angry Dutch."

Graphic from the NY Times