In This Week’s [em]Observer[/em]…

West Side Bar Stands Athwart Bank-Branch Boom
“Like many torch-bearers of old family-owned businesses, Steve Chahalis hopes his son, too, will one day work behind the same counter as he has–as a bartender, though, not a bank teller. But in order to keep his clan’s longstanding P&G Cafe Bar from devolving into yet another ubiquitous Manhattan bank branch, Mr. Chahalis might have to start paying like one.”
Go to Counter Espionage by Chris Shott.

Simon & Schuster Stays at 1230 Avenue of the Americas
“Bucking a recent trend for media and publishing, Simon & Schuster isn’t moving.For now.The publishing titan has renewed its lease of 292,000 square feet at its headquarters at 1230 Avenue of the Americas.”
Trammell Crow Office ‘Like A Morgue’
“‘It’s like a morgue here,’ said one Trammell Crow broker describing Trammell’s former office on Madison Avenue. ‘It just sucks.’ As The Observer reported in December, a large portion of Trammell’s 24 New York-based brokers won’t be making their way to CB Richard Ellis’s headquarters at 200 Park Avenue in the coming weeks.”
Go to Commercial Breaks by John Koblin.

Money Guy Gets Centenarian Beauty for a Song
“The 101-year-old mansion at 47 East 68th Street has been sold for a bargain $19 million to Carlos Alejandro Perez Davila. The managing director of the finance firm Quadrant Capital Advisors is also a director at the beer brewery SABMiller (as in the classy, golden Miller Genuine Draft).”
Crazy Like a Fuchs
“Fifty Gramercy Park North was built in conjunction with the redevelopment of that next-door dowager, the Gramercy Park Hotel, by a development team that included hotelier Ian Schrager and real-estate developers Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs. Mr. Fuchs, who himself invested in an eighth-floor sponsor unit at 50 Gramercy Park North for $9,062,400, has now put the apartment back on the market with a $5.5 million mark-up.”
Go to Manhattan Transfers by Max Abelson.

Co-op and Condo Buildings Win City’s Valuation Game
“When is a luxury condo not a luxury condo? When the city assesses it for property taxes. Then it becomes a rental. Under the city’s notoriously convoluted property-tax code, condos and co-ops are assessed for property-tax purposes as if they were rental buildings. This rule, based on the concept of guessing how much income apartment buildings could generate in rent rolls, leads to vastly undervalued condos and co-ops.”
Go to The Lab by Tom Acitelli.

Congestion Pricing Prophet: ‘Biking Is The New Golf!’
“Paul Steely White, 36, is on his way to a community board meeting in Park Slope to ask for its support for Intro 199, a City Council bill that would require the city to track traffic patterns around New York, and set goals for reducing congestion. It is, he explained, a necessary step toward any sort of congestion pricing system–the system, devised in London, whereby drivers would pay for the privilege of driving into the central business districts of New York City.”
Go to story by Matthew Schuerman.

Letters to the Editor:
Donald Trump Responds
“One would hope that even public figures would be accorded fair and accurate treatment by The Observer. This is clearly not the case. Your Dec. 18, 2006, article entitled ‘The Trump Family,’ by Tom Acitelli and John Koblin, paints a seriously inaccurate–indeed, false–picture of me and my business dealings.”–Donald Trump, Manhattan

Burning Bridges
“I’m not so sure that Robert Moses would appreciate the honor Columbia University is bestowing on him; he certainly would not have wanted Robert Caro to be any part of a program examining his career.”–Jim Schachter, Manhattan
Go to Letters to the Editor. In This Week’s [em]Observer[/em]…