You know what? Screw what mom says, this guy is gold. What’s his name, Effi? Yeah, he’s great. Big improvement on that stuffy investment banker that you were dating last year. This guy is just such a free spirit, you know? You can just tell that he wakes up every morning and does that Roy Scheider thing from All That Jazz. Except instead of Dexedrine its his anti-psychotic medicine, and instead of talking to a mirror, he’s talking to his box of merkins.
On a recent evening at the 92nd Street Y, Stephen Ross, chairman of the Related Companies, reflected on four decades of transformation—for the city, where he has built more apartments than almost any other developer of his generation, and also for himself. In September, Mr. Ross, 72, stepped down as the CEO of the once-humble affordable housing outfit he transformed into a luxury real estate behemoth.
Not that he’s stepping aside. There he was a few weeks later, alongside Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn on the formerly desolate Far West Side, breaking ground on the Hudson Yards project, a glass and steel city within a city that is actually larger, in terms of square footage, than downtown Portland or downtown Baltimore.
He was just trying to help out those without health insurance! A Mount Sinai Medical Center urologist was charged yesterday with unlawful surveillance in the second degree after he was caught allegedly looking up ladies’ skirts in Union Square.
Lease of the Week
When in 2006 the real estate investor Joseph Moinian bought the office building 475 Fifth Avenue in partnership with the firm Westbrook Partners, the Eurasia Group—a tenant in the building—saw it as an opportunity. The company had years left on its lease, but word quickly spread among tenants that Mr. Moinian was going to offer handsome buyouts to empty the building so he could gut renovate the skyscraper and re-lease it at sky-high rents.
Mr. Moinian’s strategy hardly seemed audacious at the time. The economy was hot, Manhattan rents were rising by the month and prime office space was in strong demand.
Occupy Wall Street
Robert Lederman, a crusading artist and a bit of crank who was a frequent antagonist of Mayor Giuliani, thinks the Bloomberg administration is being two-faced in expelling the Occupy Wall Street protestors tents from Zuccotti Park. He points to tents set up for holiday markets as the unjust, commercial expropriation of public space.
The holiday vendors have permits, of course, and a portion of their proceeds goes to the parks they occupy, so there appears to be a public good here, whatever your opinion of overpriced tchokes. Mr. Lederman has his own agenda, as he has run afoul of the city for trying to sell art in parks without permits. Still, his thoughts, which he just emailed around, are intriguing in light of last night’s events.
The Parks Department unveiled its newest piece of public art yesterday, a 26 foot tall Gran Elefandret by Spanish artist Miquel Barceló. Contrasts rather nicely with Andy at the other corner of the park, no?
God bless the Silicon Alley trend piece. We’ve done one (and then another about a colony of the alley); and, incidentally, we cover the industry regularly every day here. No matter how much ink is proverbially spilled in deference to the tech industry’s growth, we as New York reporters can’t seem to get enough of the nerds-are-among-us-and-they-need-space-to-work angle.
If whipping out a crumpled coupon following dinner at Le Cirque doesn’t exactly appeal, this might be the start-up for you. E-coupon innovator Village Vines has landed its first grown-up office.
“When we went to see the space, it helped that the agent said, ‘I know what you guys are. I just used you!’” the tenant’s broker, Elliot Warren of The Kaufman Organization, told The Observer. Village Vines then successfully landed its first 2,500-square-foot permanent digs near Union Square for five years at 37 West 17th Street.
The company is less than a year old, so for the less technologically inclined, he explained the concept thusly:
The Andy Monument, artist Rob Pruitt’s sculpture of the late Andy Warhol, is being unveiled in Union Square this week. It stands not far from the Decker Building, which housed the second Factory, the one where Valerie Solanas shot Warhol in 1968. So it should perhaps be seen as the Public Art Fund’s belated catch-up Read More
It was only a matter of time before the high-end burger craze hit Union Square. Sorry Shake Shack, because 5 Napkin Burger is opening on the corner of 14th Street and Third Avenue.
The burger chain has opened three other New York locations since 2003. It does face some stiff compeition from Goodburger, at Broadway Read More