The Flipper, The Giant-Killer and More

In today’s Observer: In Manhattan Transfers, Russian developer Janna Bullock wants to flip an Upper East Side townhouse for a profit–a profit–of $19 million. Marketing strategy? Offer the place up as a “designer showhouse” for charity! Get the place looking snappy and charge for the open house!

Matthew Schuerman profiles Richard Lipsky, the self-styled David responsible for running giant Big Box stores like Wal-Mart and BJ’s out of town.

Matthew Grace looks at proposals to make the streets around Union Square less of a death-trap for pedestrians; the locals want “Barnes dances” around the square, where signals at intersections periodically give pedestrians the right of way in all directions.

The sale of the Edmond and Lily Safra collection at Sotheby’s, Brook Mason reports, pulled in $48.9 million for the auction house. That’s the highest total ever achieved at a decorative-arts auction in Manhattan, and it may be just the beginning. (Third item.)

The Flipper, The Giant-Killer and More