Up & Down the Street
When Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey’s book, Conscious Capitalism, came out in January, Claude Arpels and Winsome Brown hosted a book party for about 150 people at their gorgeous and expansive Tribeca apartment. It was a fitting venue. While America’s hard right continues to find new ways to make people hate big business and the Read More
Hipster vs. Hipster
Williamsburg hipsters are very busy these days! Whether it’s butchering some kind of heirloom pig or smelting the umpteenth variation on a V-shaped necklace to sell at Brooklyn Flea, what burgeoning tradesman or woman has time to dig through thrift stores for the perfect pair of high-waisted Jordache jeans or frumpy chic granny sweaters? Not to mention that the neighborhoods’ thrift stores have been hopelessly picked over since at least 2005.
Thank goodness Urban Outfitters—and maybe even Anthropologie!—will soon be coming to the neighborhood. The college campus staple and her older, wealthier sister (who’s always going off on trips to foreign lands, writing dreamy not-quite-coherent thoughts in her leather-bound diary) are both looking to move into Williamsburg, Crain’s reports.
The Coignet building—a classical structure executed in concrete at 360 Third Avenue in Gowanus—has had a strange allure since the day it was completed in 1873. An elegant mansion in the midst of an industrial zone, it served as both an office building and an advertisement for the material being manufactured in the factory complex behind it, deftly melding disparate elements in a fashion that passerby have long found beguiling.
But the building has languished, empty and deteriorating, for decades. Located on the edge of a vast lot that will soon be occupied by a Whole Foods, it is the lone remnant of the industrial landscape it once anchored. Now, there is a possibility that it may finally be restored and occupied, presiding not just over the neighborhood’s past, but playing a role in its future as well. The building’s owner—Richard Kowalski—has put the mansion on the market with Massey Knakal (a development first spotted by the blog Pardon Me for Asking).
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Over the course of the next few years, Harlem will undergo some major plastic surgery.
First up: a facelift.
Earlier this year, Columbia University began construction of their latest Manhattanville campus expansion, a 17-acre, $6.4 billion site in West Harlem which will serve as the future location of the Jerome L. Green Science Center.
“Five years ago we got some peculiar looks before bidding this project out,” executive director of environmental field compliance for Manhattanville development, Ramesh Raman, told DNAinfo. “Now, good contractors realize this is the wave of the future.”
Second in line: buttock implants.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
There is something about big box stores that brings out irrational hatred. Especially in Brooklyn.
Now that plans for a 52,000-square foot Whole Foods store are hurtling toward groundbreaking, Brooklynites have been forced to confront their fears that without dogged opposition, the borough might come to resemble the kind of suburban hellhole found in the southern or central U.S. Or the Upper West Side, even.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
As Williamsburg has transformed from derelict industrial district to artists’ bohemia to ground zero for Brooklyn gentrification, one eyesore has remained on Bedford Avenue. No, not the ugly condos on all sides, but a hulking burned out warehouse at the corner of North Fourth Street. Well, it will now become the holy grail of BroBo living: a Whole Foods.
The popular Union Square eatery The Coffee Shop has renewed its retail lease at its long time home at 27 Union Square West and also office space it has upstairs in the building.
The deal totals about 20,000 square feet and stretches for ten-years, according to Eric Gural, an executive at the real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank who oversees leasing at the property and whose family owns the nearly 50,000-square-foot box-shaped, boutique building.
The seven-year roller coaster ride that has been Whole Foods’ Brooklyn saga may be taking another nose dive. The blissful ride started in 2005, long before Brian Williams had ever heard of Brooklyn. It slowed to a snail’s pace in 2007 and then completely halted in 2008 in the midst of the grotesque Gowanus Canal’s Superfunding. New York State was nice enough to clean up the property and set Whole Foods back on track in 2010.
The whole ordeal has left us twisted and nauseous from the bureaucratic and communal ups, downs, and loop-de-loops. (Or maybe the toxins are making us nauseous.) Regardless, Whole Foods might be one rubber stamp away from approval, but the Gowanus locals are not succumbing without one last fight.
Shortly after meeting The Observer in the lobby of the Ace Hotel last Wednesday, Dhiraj Arora—who is the owner of the spice company Arora Creations Inc., but is perhaps better known for losing his temper and a good portion of his clothing one wild night at the Four Seasons Hotel—offered up a sly word of warning.
“The last woman who tried to profile me was an editor at Trace magazine,” Mr. Arora said. The editor had overseen a 2007 article in the magazine called “Delhi Rising,” which profiled several successful South Asian Americans. A cover story on Mr. Arora was considered, he said, “but she was eventually like, ‘Yo, D., I can’t keep up with you!’” The two ended up dating, a whirlwind romance that saw the duo jetting around the globe. That was the last time Mr. Arora truly felt he was in love.
We were a little unclear about just what this disclosure had to do with us, until the handsome 36-year-old asked if we were currently seeing anyone. We were. Did our significant other treat us right? Did he take us all over the world? Well, as a matter of a fact, he did.
“That’s really great,” Mr. Arora replied effusively.