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Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Urine the wrong place

Shopping for a new iPod but need to hit the head? If it’s at the new Apple Store in the Meatpacking District, you’ll find no such relief.

One miffed patron who took a recent visit to the just-opened location on 14th St. and Ninth Ave. complained the new Apple Store doesn’t provide restrooms for its patrons even though it’s the largest in New York City and second-biggest in the country.

“How uncivilized is that?” asked Toni Dalton, a Westbeth resident and Apple devotee. “The Soho store is a work of art. This one is a piece of s—t.”

Dalton claimed that when she inquired about washrooms to an Apple Store employee, the staffer recommended she head two blocks north to use Chelsea Market’s facilities.

“It’s enough to spend all that money,” she said, noting that other local shops like Apple dealer Tekserve offer consumer commodes. “Circuit City — even they have a bathroom.”

Dalton also griped about the location’s uncomfortable wooden stools and reported that a woman recently fell down the three-story superstore’s main spiral staircase, bringing an ambulance to the scene. However, a spokesperson for Apple could not confirm the accident as of press time.

“In Soho it’s just an entirely different experience” Dalton added, calling the 14th St. store “sterile and bland” “This is just strictly business,” she said.

Edelman to Hudson Square

Global public relations firm Edelman announced its plan last week to take more than 125,000 square feet of space in Hudson Square, adding to the ever-growing list of media companies flocking to the neighborhood from Midtown.

Matthew Harrington, president of Edelman’s Eastern Region office, confirmed with Mixed Use that the company singed a lease to take over five floors at 250 Hudson St., between Dominick and Broome Sts., in a relocation from their offices at 1500 Broadway in Times Square. Approximately 400 employees will make the move, which he said would occur sometime in mid-2009.

“We’re really excited about the building and the neighborhood, and think that the neighborhood has good access in terms of the transportation hubs, but also from the work-life balance perspective for a lot of our staff,” Harrington stated.

Ken Meyerson, senior vice president at CB Richard Ellis, handled the deal, which will amount to 127,000 square feet in the top floors of the 15-story building owned by Jack Resnick & Sons.

Meyerson said that after searching in Midtown, Midtown South and Lower Manhattan, Edelman settled on a price in the low $50-per-square-foot range for 250 Hudson St.

Pearl St. connection

Companies have yet another reason to head Downtown for office space with the announcement Tuesday of a $172.5-million sale of 29 floors at 375 Pearl St.

The deal, struck through a joint venture between Taconic Investment Partners and Square Mile Capital, accounts for 1.05 million square feet of space at the 32-story office building owned by telecom giant Verizon Communications.

The companies plan to extensively redevelop the space for use by multiple tenants, including a new facade, lobby, ventilation system, bathrooms and up to six new elevators.

The sale gives Taconic and Square Mile ownership of 29 floors, while Verizon will retain a condo interest of three floors.

The building is located near the base of the Brooklyn Bridge not far from City Hall, and boasts 360-degree views of the city. Notable architectural firm Cook + Fox, which has a reputation for green design, will handle structural renovations.

With the deal, Mixed Use wonders whether the massive Verizon logo affixed to the top of the building will come down, making for a less corporately sponsored skyline in Lower Manhattan.

Media roundup

Street benches on the Lower East Side are apparently keeping pace with some new development in the area: appearing out of place and rising above most residents’ means.

The online publication Gothamist points to an odd piece of work at E. Houston and Suffolk Sts., where a bench sits on stanchions many feet off the ground. The Web site speculated that it could have been a piece of guerilla artwork, while one commenter ruminated thusly: “Look at all those chain retailers who pay sky high commercial rents behind this out of reach bench, and I don’t think you’ll have to think much harder about its meaning.”

Farther south at 328 Grand St., online real estate publication Curbed finds plans to develop a seven-story hotel with 10 guest rooms between Orchard and Ludlow Sts. The area, dubbed BelDel (for Below Delancey) by the Web site, is located just a few blocks from some of the Lower East Side’s public housing complexes, but Mixed Use thinks guests will more than likely find themselves in the nightlife oasis located north of BelDel (in NoBelDel?).

* * *

On Sunday, The New York Times led off an article in its The City section regarding development on the Bowery with a description of tenant activist David Mulkins, who appeared in a photo in The Villager weeks ago. The article went on to describe a recent protest as it relates to the larger issue of the Bowery’s exclusion from current rezoning efforts in the East Village and Lower East Side. However, the story fails to mention that activist Rob Hollander helped draw attention to the issue by gathering 100 local signatures in an open letter to local elected officials, which can be found on Page 26 of this issue. Readers can also find a full article on last week’s meeting on the Cooper Square Hotel’s liquor license application — which the Times article neglected to cover — on Page 6.


Volume 77 / Number 29 - December 19 - 25, 2007

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