Under Cover, Week of Nov. 6, 2014

Competition, yes
Critics of Howard Hughes Corp.’s plans to bring big retail to the historic South Street Seaport often cite the similar plans at Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center as reasons not to go forward, but Dennis Friedrich, C.E.O of Brookfield scoffed at the idea Wednesday.

“I have been asked by our investors ‘aren’t you scared of Westfield moving across the street [at the W.T.C.], the South Street Seaport,” Friedrich said at a panel discussion organized by the Commercial Observer. “Retailers like to be around other retailers.”

Friedrich also said Brookfield Place’s retail is 80 percent leased and almost all of that will open next year, except for Saks. He was also bullish on the coming openings of places like Hermès and Ferragamo.

A stone at Rock
Speakng at the same event, real estate powerhouse Mary Ann Tighe is already tired of being sent clips of Chris Rock’s “Saturday Night Live” monologue clip about the Freedom Tower. She also thinks Rock is full of it.

“They should change the name from the Freedom Tower to the Never Going in There Tower, cause I’m never going in there,” Rock said last weekend. “There is no circumstance under which I will be going in there.”

Tighe, who’s brokered many of the major World Trade Center deals as the C.E.O. of CBRE Group, said Rock would quickly change his tune if Vanity Fair asked him to do a cover shoot in their One W.T.C offices they plan to open next year.

Obama visit?
A supervisor outside the Freedom Tower last week told us he’s hearing President Obama may be planning to visit for a big ceremony with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We had the sense he has been around awhile and was in the know.

For one, even though the building was planned to open in a few days, he told us he wouldn’t believe it ‘til it happened— actually that one made us wonder if he was a long-lost relative.

Our source also didn’t mention Gov. Chris Christie, who shares control with Cuomo of the Port  Authority, owners of the World Trade Center.

We’re guessing Christie is not anxious to be connected with the Port after Bridgegate, or Obama. Many Republicans are still mad at Christie for embracing the president after Hurricane Sandy, which hit right before the 2012 election. 

Challenging Challenges
By now, you all know, that Republicans won control of the U.S. Senate Tuesday and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo romped in his reelection bid (maybe we knew that one a few months ago), but here Downtown, where Democrats rule, there were two spirited races, although the outcome was not much in doubt.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver cruised to victory with 82 percent of the vote over Battery Park City Republican Maureen Koetz, who was one of the more organized challengers Silver has faced in his career.

For Progressive candidate Alexander Meadows in the other spirited race, it was  a tough night as he came in third in his bid to unseat Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who captured 80 percent of the vote. Republican Nekeshia Woods took second with 13 percent, and Meadows got 7.

For those keeping score at home, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and State Sen. Daniel Squadron also won easily, with 88 and 87 percent respectively.  

Nationally, Republicans made a big and successful effort to make gains in Congress, but in Nadler’s race, not only did they not spend money, they didn’t even put up a candidate. Nadler beat a Conservative candidate, Ross Brady.

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