Rats! Apparently the rat problem at 1 World Trade Center is so bad now that Anna Wintour doesn’t even want to go in the building and staffers have been banned from eating at their desks, according to the New York Daily News. And while once they only terrorized Vogue, it seems they’re now plaguing all of Conde Nast. Too bad building security doesn’t extend to keeping rodents out.
At least all the permits are in place at 1 WTC; the same cannot be said of the new 10-foot-tall privacy fence that the de Blasios have installed around Gracie Mansion, according to Post. Guess the “man of the people” doesn’t much like the whole “people’s house” idea. The strange, permit-less barrier, which pokes up from inside the existing brick fence and cost a little over $4,000, was installed because the de Blasios were frightened by the idea of people jumping over the fence, according to his spokesman.
Could the convergence of the hipster and the fratboys in Brooklyn have something to do with rising rents? Signs point to yes. In any event, this Awl essay on the Williamsbros is thoroughly entertaining. And also explains how SantaCon went from a counterculture thing to a bridge and tunnel thing. Speaking of which, in the unlikely event you want to see the faces of SantaCon 2014, Gothamist has them.
Still, as annoying as SantaCon is, is it really that bad? Atlantic Cities has a defense of pub crawls and points out that the organizers of SantaCon really did try to organize a respectful event this year, scaling back because of the protests and pleading with Santas to only drink in participating bars and not to hang out drunkenly on the street.
And let’s not forget that many types of consumption have the potential for obnoxiousness. “As far as this part of Crown Heights is concerned, there’s a need for coffee and there’s a need for scones and doughnuts,” the owner of newly-opened doughnut shop Elsie’s told DNAInfo. Doughnuts will come in gluten-free (of course!) and regular and there will be jelly doughnuts just like his grandma used to like, only instead of jelly, he plans to use fig jam, a sweet ricotta with mascarpone frosting, and put sunflower honey and almonds on top.
Things could be worse, though, you could be paying New York City prices to live in Stockholm. The New York Times reports that Stockholm’s tech boom and dated zoning rules have left little in the way of available housing. But the government doesn’t want to see locals priced out by techies like they have been in San Francisco.
On the topic of techies (so-called, anyway): RFR is expected to tap Urban Compass to exclusively market its 61-story luxury tower at 610 Lexington Avenue, according to Crain’s. The deal would mark the first big partnership for the fledgling firm, though it’s important to remember that in order to make its investors money (it’s raised more than $70 million so far), Urban Compass will have to far surpass the profitability and practices of a traditional brokerage.
Remember how exciting it was Bloomberg signed Local Law 37 last year, which required builders for the first time to post visual depictions of their projects on construction fences? Well, now developers are basically skirting it to such an extent that Yimby discovered 520 Park’s “rendering” is actually a sharpie drawing. It was fun while it lasted…
Harlem’s 125th Street is experiencing something of a development surge, The Wall Street Journal reports. Major developers and national retailers are suddenly scooping up properties and opening stores (though whether the opening of yet another DSW is a good thing for the city remains dubious).
In other commercial news: Beacon Capital Partners is buying a minority stake in 85 Broad Street, which is owned by MetLife, Crain’s reports, a deal that will put Beacon in charge of managing and leasing the property, which currently has more than half a million square feet of vacancy.
Finally, many people know how to tip their building staff as tenants (a certain resident Koch at 740 Park not withstanding), but how much should the board tip? Habitat has a few guidelines, among them, when the board tips it’s not a tip, it’s a bonus, and it’s taxable income.
Also, it is a Monday, but it’s not all bad because cat cafe Meow Parlour officially opens on the Lower East Side.