UP AND RUNNING
Having launched Protravel in 1984—the US branch, for its first six years, of a larger French travel agency—Priscilla Alexander had the good fortune to preside over the company for more than a decade before the advent of Expedia in 1996. And though the broad grip of the digital, do-it-yourself booking industry slowly took hold, Ms. Alexander was a reliable captain up until the moment of her retirement this January. She left the stage with a 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from Travel Weekly under her belt—and, no doubt, a healthy balance in her checking account. Now Ms. Alexander and her former colleague at Protravel, chief financial officer Tova Fink, have dropped the healthy sum of $4.1 million on a place at 936 Fifth Avenue, according to city records.
Next time he should just run faster to lose the cops. Read More
Last night, nearly 500 New Yorkers gathered at the New York Public Library’s main branch for a forum on the wave of skyscrapers that are rising along the Southern edge of Central Park. Skyscrapers that will, depending on whom you ask, either transform Central Park into a gloomy airshaft or create shadows as fleeting and insubstantial as a cloud moving across the sun. Concerns were raised, grievances aired and oligarchs denigrated. Politicians vowed to defend the public good, the community’s benefit was invoked repeatedly, and Gary Barnett briefly managed to distract everyone from the matter at hand by dissing the Midtown East rezoning. All of which is to say it was a cathartic, and at times entertaining evening, but in the end a futile one. For the sunlight-blocking skyscrapers being debated are, at this point, essentially, fait accompli.
A Stinky Situation
Don’t we have enough of the real stuff to go around? Read More
And they say Jersey stinks Read More
A Deluxe Hotel Room In the Sky
After waiting for nearly a decade to develop its property at 220 Central Park South, tussling first with the residents of the existing building on the site, then with Extell, Vornado obviously wasn’t taking any chances when it came to the project’s design. The developer tapped Robert A.M. Stern, the maestro of historicist mega-luxury behind three of the city’s biggest hits—Superior Ink, 15 CPW and 18 Gramercy Park (though not all of his projects have been runaway successes. Ahem, One Museum Mile)—to carry off its rare foray into residential development. And, looking at the renderings, which were first published by Curbed, 220 Central Park South may be his biggest hit yet.
New Yorkers can finally get really high. Read More
Herbert Waichman, a founding partner of the national law firm Parker Waichman LLP, knows a thing or two about bumps and bruises. A personal injury attorney of long standing, Mr. Waichman butters his bread with the stuff of accidents, negligence and recklessness. Earlier this year, however, Mr. Waichman stood accused of injury-expertise of another kind, when his former secretary testified in Nassau County Court that Mr. Waichman had emailed her pornographic material and threatened to correct her “bad girl” behavior with a whip, which, she said, he kept in his office. (The allegations arose in the context of a lawsuit filed by Mr. Waichman against one-time colleagues for client poaching.)
But if the lawyer did harbor a crime and punishment-variety fetish, is it any wonder that he brought it to work? Fetish Fortress is all the way in Chinatown! And Mr. Waichman is based on the Upper West Side. Perhaps the sale of his townhouse at 163 West 95th Street for $4.6 million, which recently appeared in city records, indicates plans for a southern migration? Alas, the Columbus Avenue address listed on the deed suggests that Mr. Waichman will be staying local.
Of Real Estate and Politics
The New York City Economic Development Corporation has designated a city property at 2040 Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Morningside Heights for a new project with more than 50 apartments and a new space for Millennium Dance Company, The Commercial Observer has learned.
Artimus Construction, which won an RFP process initiated by the NYCEDC in February Read More
The political divide that runs down the middle of Central Park, dividing the very blue Upper West Side from the very red Upper East is considered as unyielding and insuperable as the Berlin Wall. During the last presidential election, the top two fundraising zip codes for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney were on the Upper West Side (10024) and Upper East Side (10021) respectively, an ideological division that has held fast all these years despite all that is shared between the fabulously wealthy residents who live in the sprawling, pre-war co-ops lining either side of the Park.
However, as the results of the most recent mayor’s race reveal, the political leanings of the East and West sides are not as uniform as they seem at first blush—in fact, during an analysis of The New York Times‘ election district results, The Observer discovered that there are some surprising bastions of conservatism in a few of Central Park West’s most storied buildings (alas, no corresponding pockets of liberalism can be found in the posh precincts that radiate out from Fifth Avenue).