Volume 18 • Issue 12 | August 12 - 18, 2005

UnderCover

War of the realtors
Two New York realtors are going head to head over Home Depot, the home repair giant that recently broke into the Manhattan market. Faith Hope Consolo, chairperson of retail sales and leasing for Prudential Douglas Elliman, divulged to UnderCover last month that Home Depot has been eyeing 100,000 sq. ft. of retail space at 26 Broadway, to the horror of her arch rival.

“She’s a complete liar!” howled Joanne Podell, senior director at Cushman & Wakefield. “This is unbelievable, just unbelievable.” Podell insists that she — not Consolo — showed Home Depot the space eight months ago and they passed on it.

Podell’s underling, Mark Price, told UnderCover that Cushman was Home Depot’s “preferred realtor” and the landmark building was not right for their needs.

Indeed, the owner of the building agrees with Podell’s recollection of the events: “Faith has never shown space in this building,” said Kaleb D. Koeppel, one of the principal owners of the family-owned building. Koeppel added that he has been showing realtors the space at 26 Broadway since 1981. “If she had brought Home Depot to the building I would know.”

Home Depot passed on the space, he added. “To my chagrin, Home Depot was not interested, even though I sold it as well as I could.”

Consolo, however, is sticking to her guns. “They could have 1,000 preferred realtors, it’s who makes the deal,” she said of Price’s comment, adding that a decision was imminent.

Home Depot could not immediately be reached for comment by press time.

Who would’ve guessed that power drills could evoke such ire?


Women of the world
Carole DeSaram, the fiery Tribecan known for waging — and winning — wars against the city and developers alike has been battling the powers that be since before this UnderCover scribe was born. In 1972, DeSaram launched a campaign to stop credit card discrimination against women — credit card companies regularly denied women credit fearing they might get pregnant and no longer pay their bills.

In a nod to feminists of yore, Glamour magazine pegged DeSaram one of four women who “changed your life” in its September anniversary issue. “My God, the stuff that we did was just totally far out!” she told UnderCover from vacation in the Adirondacks. “We just assumed that because our senators were elected to represent the people of the United States we could call them up. We told them to meet with us and they totally freaked out.” DeSaram testified before the banking commission in the United States Senate. By 1975, she prevailed and credit card discrimination was outlawed.

DeSaram, once president of the New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women, briefly stopped the ticker tape at the American Stock Exchange with a group of women bearing signs that read, “We won’t bear any more bull.”

She has since moved onto other causes. She now sells Tribeca real estate and campaigns as chairperson of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee to preserve her predominantly landmark neighborhood.

Unearthing old newspaper clippings and memorabilia for the Glamour story choked her up. “I was like jumping around on a cloud for days after that. I sat there with a box of tissues. I kept telling my husband, ‘I can’t believe we did all that.’”


Sighting
UnderCover spotted Roger Howarth a.k.a. Professor Greg Hetson from “Dawson’s Creek” walking his pooch in Hudson Sq. Perhaps the soap opera-extraordinaire relocated to the swanky Gary Edward Handel-designed 505 Greenwich St. with its very own pet spa. For those of you of the daytime TV persuasion, the affable Howarth was once the loathsome Todd Manning on “One Life to Live” before he became the sixth — and current — incarnation of Paul Ryan on “As the World Turns.”


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