Frank Gehry, the popstar behind Tiffany jewelry and Bruce Ratner skyscrapers, gets his $4.6 million contract for the WTC arts center extended for yet another year. Sadly Mr. Gehry will face the annoyance of dealing with the Port Authority, whose executive director promises: “If there’s an obstacle, that’s not the obstacle.” (AP, via New York Daily News)Heiress Anna Anisimova pays a slick $600,000 for her Hamptons summer rental, smashing her record-breaking $550,000 tab from 2004. (Congratulations, Anna.) Lucky for us all it’s an “open house” – you can already find 50 guests at the tiki bar, the sunken tennis court, or at one of 8 plasma TVs. (New York Post)A house in Red Hook may (or may not) have sold for a million. Curbed blames Fairway, we blame Time Out. (Curbed)Guess who insists that Manhattan real estate is looking perfectly rosy? The Real Estate Board of New York, of course. Despite the Board’s comforting new numbers — like the 22% jump (to $838,000) for the median condo sale — some cold-hearted analysts insist the market is “flat.” (Crain’s)Stock traders are the luckiest: The state’s Job Creation and Retention Program forks nearly a million dollars over to Wall Street’s LaBranche & Co., so that they’ll stay put at 33 Whitehall Street. If only poor Anna could get the same deal in the Hamptons. (The New York Times)A very big, very old, and very valuable hole in the ground (fortunately situated at 42nd and Eighth) may be changing hands. The hole’s owner, Howard Milstein, has apparently been “looking forward to coming out of the ground.” Meanwhile his retail leasing agent Robert Futterman wonders: “what’s in Howard’s mind when he wakes up in the morning?” (New York Post)
– Max Abelson
What we’re reading today: big money for the Hamptons, for condos, and for Gehry.