Under Cover, Week of Jan. 9, 2013

W.T.C. Detente
For the last 11 years, it’s been mostly fighting between World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority, but one of “the great periods of détente” between the two — as one side described it — is clearly continuing.

“Every couple of years it’s like ‘The Godfather,’” the source added. “This is one of the longest periods of calm ever.”

Port officials had nice things to say about Silverstein at a Community Board 1 meeting last week. The Port’s Glenn Guzi said the developer’s prospects for signing a desperately needed tenant for Tower 3 were “very promising.”

Our source confirmed reports that Silverstein Properties is in talks with White & Case law firm and the M Group ad firm, but said no deal is imminent.

Silverstein has the rest of the year to sign a tenant for 400,000 square feet of space at T3, which will be enough to finance continued construction of the office building. Without a deal, Downtown could be left with a seven-story stump stuffed with equipment to support Santiago Calatrava’s transit hub for the foreseeable future.

Gerson Run?
Former Councilmember Alan Gerson acknowledged to us that he is thinking about running against the woman who beat him four years ago, Councilmember Margaret Chin.

His friend, Marvin Greisman, said “Alan might be running again. He’s seriously thinking about it. He’s a committed guy and people love him.”

Gerson said other local seats might also open up. He noted that, for example, if State Senator Dan Squadron wins the race for public advocate (a seat district leader Paul Newell would also run for if it’s open) or possibly Brooklyn borough president, then he might run for Squadron’s former office.

But it’s clear that political players are watching whether Gerson will run against Chin. He told us that District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar recently called him, obviously eager to sound him out on his plans, but that he hasn’t returned her call yet. Rajkumar looks to also be considering a run against Chin.

As for the state of the district during his absence from office, Gerson sighed and said simply, “Things could have been done differently.”

Twirrific Glick
One of the things about Twitter is if you use it at different times than the people you follow, you often miss their tweets.

We only recently noticed that Deborah Glick, in addition to expected tweeting about women’s rights and other progressive causes — that this petite Assemblymember, the first lesbian elected to office in New York, is also a huge football fan.

Glick’s recent tweets included complaints about the refs in this week’s B.C.S. college championship game. She did not take the Redskins to task for their politically incorrect name, but she did question their decision to play an injured RG3.

We were surprised that the entertaining @DeborahJGlick feed only has 363 followers, but nevertheless Glick is clearly more of a leader than a follower. The only person she follows is New York Times reporter Kate Taylor.

Soho Concession
During a recent conversation, Soho Alliance Director Sean Sweeney told us that opponents and proponents of the proposed Broadway Soho business improvement district have been in talks since the City Council’s Finance Committee hearing on Nov. 20. The next Council hearing on the matter has yet to be scheduled.

In the meantime, according to Sweeney, members of the two factions have recently held a few behind-the-scenes meetings to work out some “compromises” on the BID proposal. Why? It seems like he and his crew have come to terms with the notion that, since Councilmember Margaret Chin strongly supports the plan, the antis will probably end up on the losing side of this battle.

“Chin wants [the BID] to happen, so it’s going to happen,” Sweeney said, although he didn’t seem overly dejected by the admission.

Mysteries of the M.T.A.
Now that Joe Lhota has left the M.T.A. for a probable mayoral run, he no longer has to get to the bottom of mysteries like these: Last Wednesday night at a bout 7 p.m. the uptown local E and C trains inexplicably switched to the express track skipping locals. Conductors gave no explanation, and the MetroCard clerk (though dated, doesn’t token booth clerk t sound better?) at W. 14th St. had no info about the switch, but we did appreciate her letting us back through the turnstile without an argument — always nice to actually be treated like a paying customer.

Not long after the mystery surfaced, the locals switched back to their regular routes.

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One Response to Under Cover, Week of Jan. 9, 2013

  1. Regarding the SoHo BID Plan: Rest assured that those of us in SoHo who have been working hard for the past two years in opposition to the over-reaching proposal as put forth in the SoHo BID Plan are not conceding, but rather continuing to work to assure that whatever is decided by the NY City Council is done in a way that fully represents all of those who live, own, and work along Broadway in SoHo.

    The SoHo BID Plan has been faulty from the start, and those behind it have acknowledged those faults through the various changes that have been implemented due to strong community input. Our mixed-use neighborhood is best served by solutions that address key problems, while at the same time balancing the responsibilities and concerns of all involved. Needed changes from all involved were highlighted during the recent SoHo BID Oversight Hearing before the NYCC Committee on Finance.

    As noted in last week's Villager, Scoopy added some additional info that was not included in the Undercover Report found above:

    "When we asked for some specifics on these “compromises,” he directed us to fellow BID opponent Pete Davies, who’s apparently been closer to the front lines of the closed-door discussions. Davies, on the other hand, told us in an e-mail that it’s “too premature” to share any details, since those talks are still in their initial stages. But he added that, now that the holidays are over, both sides are planning to meet again soon. We’ll get back to you about this one."

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