Michael Shvo, the irrepressibly showy boom-time broker who vanished in the wake of the financial crash only to return this spring as an equally flashy real estate developer is now (officially!) an art impresario. Art + Auction has named him to its Power 100 list, where he joins “a prominent group of power players who wield significant influence in the art world,” among them Jeff Koons, Larry Gagosian, Oprah Winfrey and the Aquavella family, trumpets a release about Mr. Shvo’s alleged art world coup.
The Office of the City Register lists as the recent seller of the $3.9 million 32nd-floor combination at 422 East 72nd Street one Stewart J. Rahr, the billionaire philanthropist who in 2010 sold Kinray Pharmaceuticals, which he’d grown from a small family business into the largest privately-held industry wholesaler in the country. But according to an October profile in Forbes, Mr. Rahr has since his May divorce from Carol Rahr—his wife of 43 years—been replaced with a hard-partying, fame-obsessed character by the name “Stewie Rah Rah Number One King of All Fun,” a figure clad habitually in bright yellow sunglasses who uses as a personal anthem Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and who owns a phone case that reads “I Love Ibiza.”
We imagine that the folks at city records might have been less than thrilled had Mr. Rahr requested that his lengthy new monicker be entered into their databases—though we suppose a Stewie Rah Rah LLC would have been acceptable—but it will most certainly be Ms. Rahr, anyway, who benefits from the sale, even if the condo can account only for a tiny portion of the Rahrs’ $250 million settlement.
No one takes the holidays more seriously than Martha Stewart.
She has to. Everyone is a lifestyle guru now. It’s not just celebrities—although in recent years Martha has found herself in competition with everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Padma Lakshmi—it’s also your aunt, who now shares all her recipes on Pinterest, and your friend from high school who Instagrams his home decorating projects. Read More
Having exorcised the hedonistic Limelight nightclub’s drugged out demons, the former Episcopal church at 656 Avenue of the Americas is set to become a branch of exercise chain David Barton Gym.
Rumors that DBG was cruising the Chelsea location have circulated for months, but the gym has confirmed the news on its Facebook page. And The Commercial Observer has learned that Scott Edlitz, a retail specialist who joined Colliers International just last month, brokered the 19,000-square-foot deal on behalf of the tenant. Daniel Iwanicki represented the landlord, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, in-house. The new location will open next fall.
Windsor Terrace, maybe sort of? a destination neighborhood now. [NYT] Chain store growth shifts to the outer boroughs, along with the rest of the population. [Crain's] Breathless speculation continues on whether de Blasio will move into Gracie Mansion. [CNY] Are tiny homes really a solution to cities’ affordable housing crises? [AC] Speaking of which, is it actually a good idea to build houses out of shipping containers? [Gothamist] 5Pointz graffiti cat finds a home, the aerosol artists are still looking. [DNAinfo] Rockefeller Foundation to lavish New York with storm preparedness funds. [WSJ] World’s third richest man pays $94 M. for Meatpacking offices. [TRD] Parents plead for buffers to quiet train’s clatter by Queens school. [NYT] St. Mark’s bookstore still desperately searching for a new home. [DNAinfo] One high end fashion boutique replaces another on Bleecker Street, the world yawns. [Crain's] In other earth shattering news, UES French restaurant Bilboquet moves a few blocks. [WSJ] The horrific Brooklyn train crash that changed the New York subway system. [Narrative.ly] Sinatra’s old penthouse hopes staging and a price cut can distract from bizarre renovation. [Curbed] The ubiquitous Karl Fischer to leave his undistinguished mark on Clinton Hill. [Brownstoner]
As New York City’s streets play the backdrop in an ever increasing number of TV shows and movies, the tension between film crews and local residents has occasionally erupted into melees and/or the posting of passive aggressive notes. Things are so bad in some picturesque quarters of the the city that New York even has a “take five” program to give film-burdened blocks a temporary break.
But a new backlot at Astoria’s Kaufman Studios—the city’s first—should take some of the pressure off the streets, supplementing the burgeoning facilities at Steiner and Silvercup studios.
The co-op board at River House, once sufficiently exclusive to reject applications from Diane Keaton and Gloria Vanderbilt, has lately relaxed its standards in effort to attract more buyers amid an increasingly condo-friendly high-end market. (It also recently listed the River Club on the market as an ultra-luxe, standalone mansion.) In fact, things are so laid back these days that the gatekeepers at 435 East 52nd Street did not even look askance at Uma Thurman‘s application, despite the actress’s starring role in Lars Von Trier’s forthcoming Nymphomaniac, a two-part film oft-described as pornographic, and which features Ms. Thurman in—ahem—compromising positions.
Fortunately for the actress—and for any red-blooded male in residence at River House—Mr. Von Trier’s erotic epic remains in post-production, the chatter at whisper level, and Ms. Thurman has passed muster with the board. For the price of $10 million, she has become the proud new owner of a four-bedroom unit on the sixth floor, according to city records. (The sale was first reported in The Post.)
New York subway map gets the Super Mario treatment. [Gothamist] Sales of Manhattan retail space see a third quarter resurgence. [Crain's] All-cash buyers from overseas prop up Miami’s once-ailing condo market. [WSJ] But is the boomlet being fueled by foreigners laundering money? [AC] Wolf to visit Williamsburg hipsters during documentary screening. [Bk Paper] Speaking of hipsters: Bed-Stuy’s Daily Press coffee expands to Williamsburg. [Brownstoner] Suddenly visible, two shuttered subway stations provide glimpses into city’s past. [NYT] Ice cold: Prospect Park’s new skating rink slated to open Dec. 20. [NYDN] Kent Swig drops lawsuit against JP Morgan for sale of 90 Broad. [TRD] Thor Equities continues Soho shopping spree, buys $16.8 M. retail condo. [TRD] Check out the stripey, 28-story condo tower coming to West 28th Street. [Curbed] The East Village is losing all its laundromats and dry cleaners, but at least there’s dessert! [EVGrieve] Developers, not the environment, are biggest beneficiaries of Brownfield program. [CNY] Penn South moves to evict tenant after he rents out enclosed terrace to tourists. [NYT] Condo developer buys on Bond Street, plans to destroy stretch’s last shred of charm. [Crain's]