Felicity Leaving the Village? Keri Russell Unloads Duplex
Two years after buying a duplex apartment atop an ancient townhouse at 49 West Ninth Street, newlywed thespian Keri Russell has sold the Village place for $1.5 million.
Ms. Russell once starred in the weepy college-kid soap opera Felicity, which was enough to earn the top-flight two-bedroom, two-terrace apartment. The place was “private, charming and romantic,” according to the sweet-talking Halstead listing, though maybe she and her new husband wanted more than 1,150 square feet. (Felicity, ironically enough, was set in the Village.)
Plus, the listing says an apartment renovation is required. Was 31-year-old Ms. Russell untidy? She probably didn’t do much work since 2005, when the co-op had been marketed as needing a little T.L.C.
“I went in wearing my most modest shirt,” Ms. Russell said about her co-op board interview, “and tried to be the most prim-and-proper version of myself that I could be.” Now the prim Ms. Russell is gone: Every time a TV star sells her penthouse, the West Village dies a little.
Her buyer, according to city records, is Thomas A. Sachs. (This transaction came in after the deadline for Manhattan Transfers.)
City’s First Juice Bar Shakes Off Rats, Reopens
After racking up one of the city’s worst health-inspection scores so far this rat-crazed year, the original Papaya King outpost at the corner of Third Avenue and 86th Street is once again grilling its trademarked “Tastier Than Filet Mignon” franks.
The Health Department shuttered the “World’s First Juice Bar” on March 20, after the TV program Inside Edition aired footage of rodents at the Upper East Side sausage factory.
Citing the 75-year-old venue for “conditions conducive to vermin,” among a host of other health-code violations, inspectors slapped management with a horrendously high score of 111—just 84 points shy of the passing mark.
That’s 19 points worse than the infamously rat-infested KFC-Taco Bell in Greenwich Village, which remains shuttered, but still 49 points behind Manhattan’s most recent high-scorer, midtown’s Café La Fonduta—which, like Papaya King, has since reopened.
In a letter posted at the cash register, Papaya King president and C.E.O. Dan Horan apologized for what he called “an insolated incident,” which required “five days of scrubbing, cleaning and polishing this notably old, but historically significant space” in order to pass re-inspection.
Now More Parking, Fewer Fans At Future Yankee Stadium
The deal to build a set of garages for the new Yankee Stadium has been put off for another month or two as the city and the private developer negotiate over the lease, according to a spokeswoman for the city’s Industrial Development Agency.
The need, or desirability, of the $281 million worth of new and renovated parking facilities is a matter of debate, however: They would add almost 3,000 more parking spaces near Yankee Stadium, even though the new ballpark is going to seat 6,000 fewer patrons than the current one.
At an April 5 hearing, a few watchdog groups and community organizations asserted that the more parking spaces you build, the more people will drive. They argued that instead of using public funds to encourage driving, the money should be put toward a proposed Metro North station at the future stadium that reportedly needs another $35 million to meet its budget.
The I.D.A. is considering authorizing $186 million in tax-exempt bonds to a nonprofit developer to build the garages. The agency’s analysis shows that the city will spend $20 million to reconstruct parkland on top of the garages and will lose another $2 million in forgone taxes on the bonds.
Eventually, the city anticipates that it will make more than double its money back through new taxes, lease payments and shared revenues, though it will do so over a 43-year period, the I.D.A. said. It would not release the assumptions for the revenue numbers.
Officials say that a shortage of parking spaces is now forcing drivers to park illegally or to troll endlessly before games to find on-street parking.
But Bettina Damiani, the project director of the watchdog group Good Jobs New York, said the reason why fans parked on nearby streets was simple: “to avoid paying the expensive parking fees, which are projected to rise to $25 a game when the new stadium is completed.”
As for illegal parking, the extra 2,700 spaces that the developer, Bronx Community Initiatives Development Corporation, has proposed would far exceed the 355 cars that the project’s final environmental-impact statement estimated were parked illegally on any given game night.
In fact, the impact statement shows that the new and expanded parking lots and garages would siphon off 808 cars from existing stadium parking facilities every game night, leaving some of the privately operated old ones as little as 60 to 80 percent full.
But the new garages were part of the agreement that the city used to convince the Yankees to devote more of the franchise’s own money toward the new stadium, and a look at a map of the future set-up shows why: for the convenience of patrons.
The new stadium will be moved north a block. The new garages will go right next to it, rendering the existing garages and lots that are farther away less attractive. It is apparently worth $25 for the ticket-holder, and $22 million for the city, not to have to walk three or four blocks after a game.
Union Leader Gets Inside Tax-Break Game
The newest member of the Industrial Development Agency, an obscure panel that gives out hundreds of millions of dollars in city tax breaks annually, is promising to cast a skeptical eye on the process.
“New York is so vibrant and strong that companies are under significant pressure to be in New York City,” Kevin Doyle, executive vice president for Local 32BJ, told The Observer. “What’s the rationale for spending public money to do things that [companies] are going to be doing anyway?”
It is rare that a labor representative sits on the I.D.A. board of directors. Mr. Doyle, 58, was recommended to the post by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who has a close relationship with 32BJ, an 85,000-member division of the Service Employees International Union, which represents building workers.
Mr. Doyle also said that he would question the labor practices of companies applying for tax incentives, mentioning that J.P. Morgan Chase, which is reportedly pushing for more subsidies to move to Ground Zero, pays its security guards “as little as $8 an hour.”
Mr. Doyle, who was appointed in February, is realistic about the impact he will have, given that nine of the 15 members are appointed by the Mayor, and the others—recommended by the borough presidents and the city comptroller—must be confirmed by him. (There are currently some vacancies.)
“It’s a mayorally driven process,” he said.