Volume 18 • Issue 14 | August 26 - September 01, 2005

UnderCover


Slow moving fish
The Fulton Fish Market’s ever-imminent departure has been delayed once again. The market—which has been planning to leave since Giuliani days—now promises to head north to its new Bronx digs this September, said Economic Development Corp. spokesperson Janel Patterson. The fishmongers were originally scheduled to relocate to their state-of-the art locale in January, but the date has been repeatedly delayed.

Twisting Calatrava
Seaport residents wondering what the new Santiago Calatrava-designed tower slated for South St. will look like could venture over to Malmo, Sweden to find out. Calatrava recently completed a 623-foot tall residential and commercial building dubbed HSB Turning Torso. Clad in aluminum panels and glass, the tower is based on a Calatrava sculpture and bears a resemblance to the South St. design, albeit less boxy. From the top floors of the Johnny Orback commissioned epsitle, visitors can ogle nearby Copenhagen, Denmark separated from Malmo by a new bridge that UnderCover recently traversed. She was quite wowed by the Nordic wonder, if she does say so herself.

Making friends
City Councilmember Alan Gerson has gotten himself entangled in the growing feud between Community Board 1 and a nonprofit formerly known as Friends of Community Board 1.

Gerson has agreed to mediate a sit down with the two organizations in early September in an attempt to make nice. “We’re all fundamentally friends,” Gerson told UnderCover this week. “We will be able to sit down and work this out. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.”

UnderCover can think of at least one reason why the two groups might not be able to work things out: $500,000. That’s how much money Friends has in its coffers, money that was raised while Friends was still the fundraising arm of the community board. At that time, the board and the nonprofit shared the same chief, Madelyn Wils. But Wils has since left C.B. 1 (she is still president of Friends). Wils’ successor, Julie Menin, established a task force to examine the organization — and possibly wrestle some control from it — as one of her first orders of business. Friends changed its name the day after the task force held its inaugural meeting.

“Madelyn is still trying to be a player in the community, but she has to do it appropriately,” said Bob Townley, a C.B. 1 member and executive director of Manhattan Youth, a community youth group. Townley has been working feverishly to secure the title for a new Tribeca community center that several Friends members think should be controlled by Friends — not a privately owned youth group.

Wils played a pivotal role in creating the community center for Downtown last September.

Some board members speculate that Menin agreed to give Townley control of the center so Friends couldn’t have it. “The reason why I think Julie [Menin] voted [the resolution] in was to wrestle control from Friends,” said C.B. 1 member Tom Goodkind of a recent C.B. 1 resolution to give Manhattan Youth the title. “What it did was hand Bob [Townley] a monopoly,” he said.

Gerson, however, is refusing to take sides. “It’s for the parties to work it out,” he said.

No Gerson love
While we’re on the subject of Alan Gerson, not only is he not endorsing anyone in the Second Council District race to replace Margarita Lopez, he’s not endorsing in her borough presidential bid either. He’s referred to Lopez as his “sister” in the past, but said he’s not openly backing her—though he added, “I think she would be a fine borough president.” In fact, he said he felt he could serve his district best “by not making an endorsement” for beep.

Correction
In a July 29 article in this column, UnderCover misidentified the principal developer for 475 Greenwich St. Fabian Friedland is the principal developer. Douglaston Development is a minority shareholder and the general contractor.


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