In This Week’s [em]Observer[/em]…

Hudson Square Grabs Viacom Lease
“Media behemoth Viacom has a lease out for as much as 250,000 square feet at 345 Hudson Street in the long-struggling commercial area of Soho’s Hudson Square.”
New York Sports Club Parent Leases in Penn Plaza
“Take that, Equinox! Town Sports, which controls omnipresent gym New York Sports Club, has found its new headquarters. Town Sports will move into a 28,000-square-foot home at 5 Penn Plaza.”
Go to Commercial Breaks by John Koblin.

Bank Branches Disappearing? What Corner You Live On?
“Not long ago, some retail brokers were predicting a sort of cataclysmic bubble-bursting for the city’s seemingly never-ending bank-branch boom. At least at street level, these forecasts of a recession in the recent retail-leasing dominance of banks appear quite premature.”
Go to Counter Espionage by Chris Shott.

Moses Envy: Caro, Columbia Battle Over The Ghost of Moses
“Sometime last fall, the biographer Robert Caro got a phone call from Roger Hertog, vice chairman of Alliance Capital Management and a rich and powerful New York City history buff. Columbia was planning a big exhibit on Robert Moses, New York’s master builder from the mid-20th century, and he wanted to know if Mr. Caro would give a lecture as part of it. It was the first time, Mr. Caro said, that he had heard from anyone connected to the massive three-part exhibit opening next week, ‘Robert Moses and the Modern City,’ which includes among its backers noted historian Kenneth T. Jackson.”
Go to story by Matthew Schuerman.

Johnson & Johnson Heiress Libet Sells Last Trump Condo for $18.5M
“After a five-year wait, heiress Libet Johnson has finally sold off the brassiest penthouse in the brassiest tower in town. According to city records, she parted with Penthouse 51-B at Trump International on Central Park West for $18.5 million.”
Andre to Wally: Comfort Can Be Dangerous!
“Wallace Shawn and Deborah Eisenberg, the exceedingly literary local power couple, have bought the duplex penthouse in a West 23rd Street brownstone near 10th Avenue. According to city records, they paid $2,158,530.”
Go to Manhattan Transfers by Max Abelson.

Sky-High Property Taxes Give Renters the Shaft
“Renters, beware! You are about to get shafted–thanks to property taxes. For many years now, rental landlords (and commercial-building owners) have been paying disproportionately more in property taxes; and they often pass these higher taxes on to tenants through higher rents.”
Go to The Lab by Tom Acitelli.