This art history professor might be a little too interested in the female form.
Medieval Art expert and NYU professor Ross Finocchio, 34, was arrested for spying on two women, ages 26 and 28, in the dressing rooms of Beacon’s Closet, a West Village boutique. He is accused of hiding his iPhone in his shoe and Read More
Love and Real Estate
The sun was setting when we arrived at Westbeth, and as soon as we entered the labyrinthine corridors of the artists’ housing complex, we found ourselves dreaming about living here, in what a friend described as “a Hotel Chelsea that never dies.”
As far as impossible dreams go, gaining residence in the rent-stabilized complex, which sprawls across an entire city block in the West Village and offers studios with rent that starts around $600 a month, is one of the most heart-wrenching. The waiting list is not only seven to 10 years long but has been closed since 2007. (As if the rent weren’t appealing enough, Richard Meier was the architect who oversaw the building’s 1970 factory conversion.)
But at least visitors got a peek on a recent Friday evening, when residents in 20 of the complex’s 383 apartments opened their doors for the PEN World Voices Festival’s “Literary Safari”—a somewhat surreal pairing of the literary and the domestic.
Master photo retoucher Pascal Dangin might make his living zapping the life-sustaining fat off of models and actresses, but it looks like he’s going to make his fortune in real estate.
Mr. Dangin bought a three-story townhouse in the West Village for $5.8 million in October 2007, right as the housing market was beginning to take a turn for the worse. After a starchitect renovation and a few years waiting for the market to return, he’s now cashing out: Mr. Dangin just sold 281 West Fourth Street to the not-so-staidly-named Crazy Snack 05, LLC for a healthy $9.55 million, according to city records (maybe someone had already snagged 281 West Fourth Street LLC?).
The say that New York is not the city it once was is a statement so obvious and oft-repeated that it is all but meaningless. And yet, even for the blasé, who view negative neighborhood change as a losing battle, there are occasionally startling changes, changes that suggest the city has reached an altogether different stage in its gentrification and development.
Like the impending closure of a hip Soho hot spot that has consistently studded its small, intimate tables with celebrities over its 20-year run. And, less than a mile away in the West Village, the opening of a juice bar.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
It can be hard to pinpoint the moment when a neighborhood passes from one phase of gentrification to the next—was it the wine bar that opened on the corner, the coffee shop that only served espresso, the French language pre-school? But the West Village, whose change has been a source of constant hand wringing for at least the last two decades, has undoubtedly crossed a new threshold: the gentrification of even the XXX establishments.
The Villager reports that the new owner of a seedy 24-hour adult video store at Clarkson and West Streets is looking to revamp the space into a high-end topless bar for an upscale audience. The new place will reportedly be “classy.” Or at least way classier than a XXX video store with a naked dancer on duty in the back. In fact, the owner is so serious about turning the space into a sophisticated establishment for gentlemen (and are not all men who visit such establishments gentlemen?) that he has ended the naked lady’s gyrations.
Red Carpet Real Estate
Kiefer Sutherland’s sumptuous townhouse was such a hit with buyers that even at a 100 percent mark-up, the place barely spent 24 hours on the market. The actor’s home has sold for $17.5 million—a transfer first spotted by The Real Deal—more than twice the $8.25 million that Mr. Sutherland paid for the place back in 2008.
Red Carpet Real Estate
It looks like Lindsay Lohan may not need to camp out at her assistant’s Tribeca apartment forever. Which is great news, as couch surfing can grow old, even for someone like LiLo, accustomed to crashing everywhere from club banquettes to L.A. county lock-up.
Ms. Lohan’s portraitist and rumored lover Domingo Zapata is reportedly checking out townhouses in the West Village, according to The Real Deal, who spotted a tweet from NestSeekers broker Ryan Serhant announcing that he was taking the Spanish artist to view a townhouse on Downing Street.
It seems that the proclivities of the late real estate hoarder William Gottlieb did not attach to his property at 79 Horatio Street. In just a few years, the West Village tenement house has been listed twice (thrice if you count a brief marketplace hiatus preceding a re-listing this July).
But we suppose that Gottlieb, who died in 1999, was onto something with his inflexible “buy and hold” approach to property acquisition and management. In just a two years, the vacant multi-family property nearly doubled its price and is now asking an audacious $12.5 million. It’s only a matter of time before it makes its post-renovation debut for $24 million, an outcome that Halstead listing broker Barbara Godson sees as more than likely.
Aussie actor Anthony LaPaglia has sold his West Village townhouse at 292 West 4th Street and left without a trace.
Did the block become too chic for Mr. LaPaglia’s liking? After all, the man is famous for playing mobsters and cops; a fancy address messes with a man’s street cred. Or perhaps starring in the Australian made-for-TV movie about Julian Assange and playing an Aussie in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Django Unchained left him feeling homesick for a house in his native land? In any event, Mr. DiPaglia will have more than enough cash to cover his tracks after selling the place for $7 million, according to city records.
Most ink-stained wretches in New York make their homes in cramped quarters, but Malcolm Gladwell is an outlier when it comes to journalistic abodes: he now owns not one, but two apartments in his West Village co-op.
Mr. Gladwell, who has lived in the trendy neighborhood for quite some time, has purchased the third-floor of 23 Bank Street, an 1850s townhouse, for $999,000, according to city records. And unless the avid trend-spotter is already jumping on board with Mayor Bloomberg’s small apartment push, we assume the guru of clever catch phrases is expanding out from his fourth-floor pad in the same building.