Volume 78 / Number 20 - October 15 - 21, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower
East Side, Since 1933

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund


Soho’s noisy neighbor

The neighbors-vs.-nightlife battle has taken an interesting turn in the case of Soho’s Delicatessen, one of Downtown’s trendiest new eateries and the most recent to earn the ire of nearby residents.

Since it opened in July, the restaurant has weathered numerous complaints from tenants living across the street and above the ground-floor space about noise produced by patrons of the 54 Prince St. location, near Lafayette St. Back in August, an unknown tenant responded to the din by urinating on the eatery’s transparent glass roof, and last week another group of residents reportedly doused al fresco diners with buckets of water.

“I really think it has to do with the clientele they cater to,” said Soho Alliance Director Sean Sweeney, calling them a mix of “self-entitled bridge-and-tunnelers and Eurotrash” who lack respect for surrounding tenants.

To avoid future troubles, Delicatessen is in the process of installing a new awning to keep noise from rising from the outdoor seating area, as well as additional soundproofing on the glass roof, said Ray Lee, chairperson of Community Board 2’s S.L.A. Licensing Committee.

“They’re cooperating with us to implement these things,” he added, and “doing it as soon as possible.”

Lee said neighbors across the street have been particularly affected by the racket, which emanates from the restaurant’s retractable floor-to-ceiling front bay windows and sidewalk tables.

Sweeney agreed that shuttering and insulating the entire space could crimp the cacophony, but was at a loss to explain the decibel levels.

“I don’t understand why you have to scream when you eat,” he said.


Trinity’s new hire

The commissioner of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection resigned from her post last week to take over as chief operating officer at Trinity Real Estate, one of the city’s largest commercial property owners.

Emily Lloyd, a former Department of Sanitation commissioner who previously managed Columbia University’s real estate portfolio, announced her decision to leave after nearly four years with D.E.P. She will now supervise the internal business operations of Trinity’s vast holdings — which include more than 6 million square feet, primarily located in Hudson Square — with direct oversight of leasing, administration, business planning, property management and design and construction.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg praised Lloyd for her work in stabilizing the city’s water infrastructure, improving environmental capital project management and modernizing the department’s customer-service bureau.

“Emily served with great distinction, and we are extremely grateful for her dedication to the city she loves,” Bloomberg said in a statement.

“I am grateful to have worked for a mayor that placed environmental stewardship at the top of his agenda,” Lloyd said, “and grateful to the mayor for the opportunity to lead this extraordinary department that touches the lives of New Yorkers every day.”

Lloyd’s résumé also includes stints as executive vice president for administration at Columbia University, Sanitation commissioner under former mayors Dinkins and Giuliani and director of the Office of Business Development for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“As we continue our long-term strategic focus of creating a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood in Hudson Square, Emily’s rare combination of visionary leadership, skillful managerial experience, and commitment to New York City will serve us well,” said Carl Weisbrod, president of Trinity Real Estate.

Lloyd, a member of Trinity’s vestry since 2003, is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She also received a Loeb Fellowship in environmental studies from Harvard University. 


Trader Joe a Ladies’ man?

The latest buzz about the former Barnes & Noble location on Sixth Ave. in Chelsea is that up-and-coming grocer Trader Joe’s is interested in the nearly 42,000-square-foot space between 21st and 22nd Sts.

The property, once expected to court a larger apparel or home-furnishings-type tenant, has drawn recent interest from supermarket operators as the area becomes increasingly residential, said Gary Alterman of Robert K. Futterman & Associates, which is marketing the space.

“The street has incredible foot traffic,” he added, referring the stretch known as “Ladies’ Mile.” “There’s been explosive growth in that neighborhood north of 14th St.”

Alterman could not confirm his company has been in discussions with Trader Joe’s — which currently operates just one Manhattan location, on 14th St. near Third Ave., and has another tentatively planned for the Upper West Side — and a spokesperson for the supermarket also reserved comment on the possibility.

The Chelsea property has been on the market since the bookstore shuttered in early April, with an asking price of $200 per square foot, and could be divided for multiple tenants. Alterman added that the economic crisis would most likely slow down the time it takes to reach a deal, which he hopes to have inked before the end of the year. He hinted, however, that residents don’t like to travel far for their food shopping.

“There’s certainly a need for something convenient on that stretch from 14th to 23rd,” he said.

mixeduse@communitymediallc.com

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