Sh-h-h-h – don’t tell anyone about this story, lest they get any ideas of creating a real estate blog, here in Boston.

New York’s

Real Estate Know-It-All
By Jesse Hempel, Business Week

Lockhart Steele’s Curbed.com blog is a magnet for anyone looking

for the lowdown on the industry’s Gotham gossip

Brokers might tell you

about the two-bedroom co-op boasting panoramic city views from Lower Manhattan’s 275 Water St. But

for the inside scoop on the developer who may be floating plans to erect an eight-story building

next door, potentially obstructing that view — and wreaking havoc on your property value — turn

to Lockhart Steele. His Web log, Curbed.com, dishes the dirt the brokers don’t. “In our

special little city,” writes Steele in a post on the property, “today’s vistas are often

tomorrow’s brick walls.”

Steele, 31, has made a fledgling

business out of an obsessive hobby: collecting New York real estate gossip. His blog details

Gotham’s neighborhood secrets — from where the city’s largest rats are (reportedly in

Brooklyn’s Fort Greene section) to the future of the Apple Bank building on the Upper West Side

(it may be going co-op). The tidbits he gathers often rankle realtors. Jonathan Phillips, for

example, who represents 275 Water St. for Halstead, says brokers don’t misrepresent properties,

and he’s quick to point out that Steele never contacted him for comment.

But

disregard for traditional media mores is in keeping with bloggers’ craft. Steele never claimed to

adhere to the standards of old-world journalism. Rather, he bills himself as a scavenger. He culls

through 150 other blogs and dozens of readers’ tips daily to update his blog, posting photos,

rants, and queries. The onus is on readers to shape the conversation by sending him tips, notes,

and responses.

Complete Article: New York’s Real Estate Know-It-All

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