An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
On Sept. 2, Mikhail Prokhorov, billionaire owner of the soon-to-be-Brooklyn Nets, announced he would consider a run for the Russian presidency this winter if the political party he created, Right Cause, does well in parliamentary elections in December. (The Transom first learned of this from a friend who is a journalist in Moscow, and confirmed it with English-language reports of Mr. Prokhorov’s comments.)
So, if Mr. Prokhorov, the central-casting projection of modern muscular Russia, does, in fact, edge out his friend Vladimir Putin or Mr. Putin’s hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev, what will it mean for the borough’s b-ball? Can one man be the leader of a superpower and the owner of a powerhouse at the same time?
They’re at it again! We told you last month that the co-creator of bilingual cartoon character Dora the Explorer Eric Weiner and wife Cherie Vogelstein had sold their home for $5.85 million. Hopefully Mr. Weiner has made a good cut of the cartoon franchise (which has reportedly raked in over $1 billion in revenue for Nickeloedeon) because he and Ms. Vogelstein have just spent $8.5 million on their new Upper West Side home.
“I’m more bullish today than I was in 2007,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Tara Stacom of 1 World Trade and the outlook for the 1,776-foot tower that will offer 3.1 million square feet of Class A office space. “I did not think one of the first tenants would be a million-plus feet.”
Signing the lease with Condé Nast in May of this year was, for lack of a less hackneyed term, a game-changer for downtown Manhattan, especially as the area emerges not only from the Great Recession but from the malaise that characterized so much of the area since 9/11.
In June, Mitch Rudin took the reins as Brookfield Office Properties’s president and C.E.O. of U.S. Commercial Operations following news that Ric Clark would relinquish his role as president of the Canadian firm, which controls downtown’s World Financial Center, while remaining on as C.E.O. of corporate operations. Last week, Mr. Rudin, 58, assessed his progress.
The Commercial Observer: So, why don’t you assess your progress over your first 60 days at Brookfield?
Mr. Rudin: It’s been terrific. I wouldn’t quite call this my midterm report card, but I’ve been here for two months, and to the extent that there have been any surprises they’ve all been pleasant.
What kind of surprises?
Uniformed men milled about, waiting for Leon Panetta, the newly appointed Secretary of Defense, to embark on his morning tour of 7 World Trade Center. At the same time, the leader of one of the city’s most powerful trade unions was being greeted as he crossed from the building’s elevator bank to a floor model of the World Trade Center site. Heavyset and stoic, that labor leader was there to address the members of Helmets to Hardhats, an organization that assists soldiers in their transition from battlefields to construction sites.
A few hours earlier, Mayor Bloomberg had arrived in Lower Manhattan along with his own entourage, calling for the end to “Ground Zero” as the shorthand to describe what, over the course of a decade, has changed from a pile of smoldering ashes to the early metallic seeds of a transit hub, a memorial site and a massive complex of skyscrapers.
Alec Baldwin has a lot of good things going for him– he’s a great actor, the most successful sibling out of four brothers, and will one day be mayor of us all. But the one black mark on Baldwin’s card is his home life: his bitter divorce from Kim Basinger in 2002, the tabloids Read More
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which is a purveyor of bowling balls (seriously, though, they sell coffee), has signed a 1,500-square-foot retail lease on the ground floor of 1412 Broadway.
The deal at the base of the 24-story, Harbor Group International-owned building brings occupancy to 95 percent occupancy, brokers told The Commercial Observer. The company, which operates at 750 locations worldwide, has, until now, not peddled its iced coffee, green teas or signature brews from a Manhattan store.
Two Sigma Investments, an international finance and technology firm, has inked a five-year lease at 100 Avenue of the Americas that will allow the company to expand from its current 38,332 square feet, brokers told The Commercial Observer.
The Neverending Story
Amidst all the commemoration and solemn ceremony for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Charles Bagli took time off from his book leave—for his Stuyvesant Town opus—to file his first story since June 15, “Downtown’s Rebirth, 10 Years and $24 Billion Later.” Mr. Bagli, always the development skeptic, reminds us just how much rebuilding the World Trade Center has cost.
The Neverending Story
It was a day of quiet grace, open grief and occasional grumbles, a time for solemnity, reflection and togetherness. The 9/11 Memorial was commemorated today not with the cutting of a ribbon but the ringing of a bell, the same bell that had clanged for the past nine years, calling out the impacts of those four planes, the collapse of those twin towers. Amidst the silence, there was only the echo of the bell and the distant rush of waterfalls, the signature voids of the 9/11 memorial.