Brick-and-Mortar Amazon Store? Company Signs 17-Year Lease On NYC Space

The entrance to 7 W. 34th Street, where Amazon just signed a 17-year lease. (Sage Lazzaro/ New York Observer)

It looks like Amazon is definitely moving into 7 W. 34th St., but it’s still unclear whether they’ll be opening that rumored brick-and-mortar store.

Rumors surfaced back in October that Amazon was opening a physical retail store in NYC. The store, according to a detailed Wall Street Journal report, would be located at 7 W. 34th St., and open in time for the holiday season — perfect for buying your BFF that Fire Phone they definitely never wanted.

At the time, an Amazon spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether the rumors were true or false, simply telling Betabeat, “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.” Read More

Jesus died for our selfies

NYC Apartment Listing Promises Rooftop Is ‘Perfect For Selfies’

Imagine all the smizing you could do up here! (Screengrab: StreetEasy)

Renting an apartment to today’s youths poses a unique challenge. It must be close to the subway. It must be bright, and not located in a basement dungeon. Most importantly, it must be great for taking selfies.

At least, that was the thought process behind a recent listing on StreetEasy for an East Village apartment at 269 10th St. After describing the “5 to 10 minute walk from 6 & L trains, Union Square, NYU” and the “Modern kitchen, queen-sized bedroom with large closet & skylight,” the listing says: Read More

Airbnb and Me

Airbnb Users Less Likely to Stay With Black Landlords, Study Says

Whoever the landlord is, PLEASE LET US LIVE HERE. (Airbnb)

Uh oh—we knew Airbnb was kinda sketchy, legally, but we also just learned that its landlords might face a bunch of racial discrimination from its renters.

Unlike with other online marketplaces, like eBay or Amazon, Airbnb’s design incorporates large profile pictures of its sellers. That design feature led Harvard Business School Professors Benjamin Edelman and Michael Luca to conduct a study called “Digital Discrimination: The Case of,” wherein they evaluated how the race, gender, age and appearance of a landlord affected the prices of comparable listings in New York City. Read More

The Rich Are Different

Tech Professionals Are So Chill, They Don’t Even Need Mansions ‘Right Away’


It’s always a great week to be a rich tech person, but the last 10 days in particular have especially been swell for rich tech people who are also into faux-simplistic real estate.

The tricked-out trailer rolls on with a story on highlighting the Hill House, a modernist abode being featured on an upcoming San Francisco house tour. The Hill House clocks in at a meager 2,200 square feet, you see, which means it’s the perfect structure to prove how “well-heeled techies are looking for status in the simplicity of a home rather than its size,” says. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Real Estate Tech 2013, Ed Tech Summit, Hardwired, Wearable Tech Expo, CommonBond Summer Social, Decoded Fashion, NY Gaming, NY Video)


This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at]

Holy kryptonite, Batman! Superman vs. Batman, the movie, is really happening. Snyder and Cavill are in, but the big question is, who’ll play the Dark Knight? Also, my money is on a Justice League film by 2017.

Don’t miss this week: Wednesday is Decoded Fashion’s Anniversary Startup Showcase with Firstmark’s Lawrence Lenihan (and I’m giving away five free passes). Thursday is the New York TimesOpen Source Science Fair. Also on Thursday is the Art Directors Club Presents: Startup, with folks from Charity:Water, Piccolo, BKRY, Flixmaster and Barnum (and I’m giving awaythree free passes). Friday is BUZZtheBar Happy Hour (mention GarysGuide and get in free). Read More

Wired City

Introducing Wired City, a New Channel Where Commercial Real Estate and Broadband Come Together

wiredcity logo copy

New York City is inching ever closer to rival Silicon Valley as the epicenter of the tech world—and commercial real estate has to match its pace. With more tech start-ups moving to New York, and requiring high-speed Internet to do their jobs—or at least watch cat videos with minimal buffering—the presence of a broadband Internet connection can transform a pedestrian property into a hot commodity.

That’s why fellow Observer Media property The Commercial Observer has launched Wired City, a savvy new channel that explores the intersection of infrastructure, real estate, and broadband Internet. If you enjoy Betabeat’s coverage of New York’s quest for world domination, we think Wired City will be right up your alley. Read More

Facebook Faceoff

Facebook Adds a Second New York Office In the Mysterious ‘Midtown South’ Area

770 Broadway. (Photo:

Sounds like the rumors might be true: Crain’s reports that Facebook is expanding its New York presence to 770 Broadway, home to Aol/Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine and J. Crew.

While Facebook hasn’t confirmed, Crain’s says the social networking site is taking 160,000 square feet across two floors in the “Midtown South” (but really, the Village?) building. Read More

Office Space

San Francisco Landlords are Legit Busting Up Buildings in Order to Appeal to Startups

(Photo: Brownstoner)

“This building would be great, but it just has too much…ceiling,” is a thing that some startup office seekers are apparently uttering in the trendier neighborhoods of San Francisco. The Wall Street Journal reports that landlords are straight up wrecking buildings to make them look “edgier,” “funky” and “fun.”

That means lots of exposed ceiling pipes, open floor plans and a kitchen stocked with organic juices and plastered with signs about the upcoming company-wide 5k. Also: a room for people to cry in, when your investors just don’t get it. Read More

Real Estate Envy

Tech Companies Condescend to Move to Midtown

Wave goodbye, folks. (Photo:

With all the froth and flutter about New York City startups, it’s easy to forget they’re not special creatures, free from the tyrannical pressures of the real estate market. Today comes a reminder courtesy of The New York Times, which reports that many tech companies companies, rather than waste precious rocket fuel (i.e., capital), are electing to move north–to Midtown.

Oh, dear. Read More