Volume 78 / Number 7 - July 16 - 22, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since

Meat Market

‘Mini-inn/mystery museum’ dream still alive; Develop partner needed

By Laurie Mittelmann

Novac Noury, 62, inventor of the wireless, arrow-shaped keyboard, is certainly a visionary.

“If you don’t have a dream and a goal, you’re in limbo,” he said.

Last week, he stood on Pier 54 at W. 13th St., where the Carpathia discharged rescued passengers of the Titanic, and recounted the story of John Jacob Astor’s wife futilely waiting for him to return. It is one that he would like to commemorate.

Noury plans to transform his dilapidated building at 51 Little W. 12th St., previously Astor’s horse stable, into a 10-story “mini-mansion-inn” with a “history and mystery museum” to inform visitors about the Carpathia, Titanic and Pier 54.

He wants to build a cabaret with eating, drinking, dancing and no restriction for live music on the first floor, an outdoor patio, cafe and spa with a view of the Hudson River and the historic High Line rail structure on the second floor, and rooms and offices on every other floor.

The High Line will, of course, be patched with green grass instead of rust, if it is up to him. He wants it to resume use as an elevated park that would connect to the second floor of his building by a staircase.

“Instead of buying condos out in the Hamptons, people are going to be riding their bicycles or taking the train to the Pier 54 Beach,” he said. “Pier 54 Beach” is what Noury calls the beach planned by the Hudson River Park Trust for Gansevoort Peninsula, just west of his building.

With massive concrete structures, Noury plans to section off part of the beach as a pool, which he will purify with chlorine and dye blue. He will install lockers and hire an ice cream man to service visitors with cold treats.

“We are overdue for our right to relax and work on the same island,” he said. Currently, Manhattan is the only borough that does not have a beach, he noted. Noury has not cleared any of his plans for the beach with the Trust, however, which is building the Hudson River Park.

Noury does not have a development partner for his hotel, but is currently embroiled in working out issues with The Standard hotel, at 47 Little W. 12th St. he claims The Standard construction caused cracks to his building’s walls and foundation.

He continues to construct ideas, however, dedicating much of his thought to his hoped-for project.

“I’m glad that I caught the shooting star of dreams at a young age,” he said.


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