Covering Battery Park City, May 1, 2013

Brookfield Place leasing:
Brookfield Office Properties, the owner of the four buildings formerly known as Battery Park City’s World Financial Center, announced that it has signed a new 16-year lease with GFK US Holdings for 75,000 square feet at 200 Liberty St. and another new 16-year-lease with Regus for 55,000 square feet at 200 Vesey St. Regus offers part-time and flexible office space to businesses and individuals, who can rent fully equipped office space for a day or even an hour.

Two retailers have signed up so far to open stores in what was formerly called 2 World Financial Center (a part of Brookfield Place), now under construction. In 2014, look for Michael Kors and Burberry.

Asphalt Green membership dues:
The Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center, slated to open on June 15, has been offering reduced initiation fees.

Battery Park City residents also get an extra discount. The monthly fee for a single membership will be $105 (compared with $119 for non-Battery Park City residents). B.P.C. families will pay either $125 a month or $195 a month, depending on family size. In May, the initiation fee will be $99 for all memberships, going up to $199 for singles and $259 or $299 for families after June 1.

No special discounts have been announced for B.P.C. seniors. “I don’t know of any of the single seniors or older seniors who would be likely to join now at those prices,” said Ruth Ohman, who heads the Battery Park City seniors group. “We are so lucky that Bob Townley’s Manhattan Youth [in the Downtown Community Center at 120 Warren St.] has a wonderful free swim program for seniors.”

Memberships in Asphalt Green include use of a 25-yard, six lane swimming pool, a warm water teaching and exercise pool, a completely equipped fitness center, a gymnasium for sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball, and six multipurpose studios in which up to 84 group exercise classes will be offered. The membership office is at 212 North End Ave. The phone number is 212-298-2980.

Merchants Hospitality on the plaza:
There will be three kiosks this year on the Brookfield Place plaza overlooking North Cove marina, all run by Merchants Hospitality. Quality Burger and Oaxaca Express have already opened. The third kiosk, American Rotisserie, is scheduled to open in early May. The menu will feature rotisserie chicken priced from $5.75 for a quarter of a chicken to $15.95 for a whole one. Side orders ($3.75 each) will include mac and cheese, cornbread and biscuits, mashed sweet potatoes and kale salad with apples and toasted walnuts. The kiosks will be open from 11 a.m. to around 9 p.m.

Citation for Linda Belfer:
At its monthly full board meeting in April, Community Board 1 awarded a citation to long-time member and community leader Linda Belfer. The award mentioned her three decades of service “as an advocate for quality of life” in Battery Park City and in Lower Manhattan. In March 2012, Belfer moved from Battery Park City, where she lived at Gateway Plaza, to a rehabilitation center in the Bronx.

As one of the first Battery Park City residents, Belfer was a member of Community Board 1 for 30 years, serving as treasurer, chair of the nominating committee, and chairperson of the Battery Park City Committee, among other posts. She was also president of the Gateway Plaza Tenants Association where, the citation said, “she worked tirelessly to defend rent protections and improve conditions for her neighbors.”

“Linda devoted years of her life to the cause of helping the Gateway Plaza residents,” said Glenn Plaskin, the current president of the tenants association. “Were it not for her, we might not have the rent stabilization agreement that we signed in June 2009.”

The C.B. 1 citation also mentioned Belfer’s work in the aftermath of 9/11, when she “provided a strong voice for residents who remained in lower Manhattan and rebuilt their community.”

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer Primroses and other flowers are in bloom in Battery Park City’s South Cove.

Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Primroses and other flowers are in bloom in Battery Park City’s South Cove.

Battery Park City in bloom:
In spring, South Cove’s wooded glade shelters a constantly changing symphony of flowers, from the first snowdrops and hellebores to daffodils to the brilliantly colored primroses that now adorn the ground under the honey locust trees and shadbushes.

Primroses (Primula vulgaris) originated in western and southern Europe. They grow wild as far north as the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and as far south as Portugal and Algeria in northern Africa. They can also be found wild in Turkey and Iran, but quintessentially, they are associated with English gardens.

Their name comes from old French, “primerose,” which means “first rose,” though they are not roses at all.

With a long history of cultivation, parts of the primrose plant have been used in herbal medicine to induce vomiting and to treat wounds and nervous disorders. Primroses have also been used as food and to make tea.

South Cove’s primroses flourish next to yellow flowers on slender stalks that resemble Chinese pagodas — appropriately called “Erythronium ‘Pagoda.’” The pagoda flower was hybridized from two wildflowers native to North America. They are members of the lily family and grow from bulbs.

Scattered around them are charming flowers, commonly called “pansies”or “violas.” They, too, turn up in herbals and on dinner plates. The flowers, leaves and roots contain vitamins A and C.

Lil Bub & Friendz:
“Lil Bub & Friends,” a film about a cat with an unusually sweet face that premiered on April 20 at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival Drive-In in Battery Park City, won the Best Feature Film award at the 2013 Tribeca Online Festival. Votes from online viewers gave the film its victory. The feature documentary, directed by Andy Capper and Juliette Eisner, described how Lil Bub captivated fans on the Internet and then enchanted them in person at the first-ever Internet Cat Video Film Festival. At the Tribeca Film Festival, Lil Bub got to walk the red carpet, where she showed off her large green eyes. For those who missed her star turn, she has her own channel on YouTube.

— BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email

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One Response to Covering Battery Park City, May 1, 2013

  1. Excellent work i am glad to read your article.
    Thanks for the useful share.

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