Thursday: Wal-Mart on Fifth Avenue, Dubai in Times Square, A 'Diamond in the Bronx'

Alessi by Asymptote

  • Al-Maktoum, the ruling family of Dubai, has plunked down $285 million for the Times Square W Hotel. In less than twelve months, the family has spent a clean $3 billion on five New York properties. (Crain’s)
  • Who knew Wal-Mart had a two-floor office on Fifth and 31st Street? (It’s hard to notice, because there’s no sign.) Meanwhile Kohl’s is getting in on the Manhattan action, “a symbol of excess that is squarely at odds with its frugal corporate culture.” Why the NYC purchase? Because Vera Wang said so. (New York Times)
  • Our favorite rental-agent columnist heads out to Williamsburg, where his clients “are mostly happy white people with oversized heads and an affinity for hanging out with butterflies.” (NY Press)
  • The Post eloquently points out, “The Bronx that famously burned during the 1970s is on fire again, this time with some of the best real-estate prices in the city.” So what’s the fuss? For starters, a gargantuan complex with Target, Home Depot and Best Buy is coming in 2009. (NY Post)
  • What happens when you and your wife design a Soho flagship for Alessi with $14,000 espresso machines and “epoxy flooring” and Barrisol stretch ceiling and “vacuum-formed wall fixtures”? The name of your hip architecture firm gets hoisted into the hip Soho store’s logo. (See above). (Metropolis)
  • Max Abelson