Volume 79, Number 01 | June 10 - 16, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Webster’s woes

The recently landmarked Webster Hall in the East Village is reportedly more than a half million dollars in debt.

According to a tipster on the blog Down by the Hipster, the popular E. 11th St. club/concert space is in rent arrears to the tune of $400,000, as well as owing an additional $100,000 in back taxes to the city and state. The club’s owners also allegedly owe untold amounts to creditors, promoters and alcohol distributors.

“They are looking for some kind of bailout from the state (for the taxes issues) and the landlord (apparently they would like their rent lowered by half until things ‘get better’),” the mole noted on the blog. Lonnie Ballinger has owned the venue since 1982.

The 1886 hall — which originally hosted labor rallies and political protests before giving way to headline acts — continues to feature regular concerts and weekly events.

The building recently underwent a $2 million renovation and redesign that included a new recording studio and performance area.

Trump ‘Traitors’

Don’t deal with The Donald unless you want the Soho Alliance on your back.

The civic organization, headed by neighborhood gadfly Sean Sweeney, recently criticized the local quasi-business improvement district for partnering with the developer for a shopping event.

After the Soho Partnership announced that the new Trump Soho condo-hotel would be co-sponsoring the “Soho Stroll” — a weekend event that gives customers discounts at neighborhood shops and restaurants, with the proceeds going to combat homelessness — the Soho Partnership wound up on the receiving end of Sweeney’s ire for its dalliance with The Donald.

“It seems like everyone in Soho, and much of Downtown, utterly disdains Trump Soho, yet the Partnership partners up with Trump and his Russian Mafia partners?” read an e-mail missive from Sweeney. “The Soho Alliance have been flooded with money from Soho residents and businesses for the lawsuit to battle this ill-conceived project, but [Soho Partnership founder] Henry Buhl enters into a partnership with it? Apparently, Trump is looking for community acceptance and for a few dollars the Partnership is providing it. It is shameful.”


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