Volume 18, Number 37 | Jan. 27 - Feb. 2, 2006

Under Cover

Daring Calatrava
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava said last week that his World Trade Center transportation hub is his most emotional project, and his South St. condo idea his most daring.

“It’s daring because it’s so different from any other building,” Calatrava told UnderCover last Thursday, after a free lecture organized by the Downtown Alliance. The cantilevered, box-shaped condos Calatrava is designing for developer Frank Sciame have wowed Mayor Bloomberg, who may have the $50 million to spare to buy one.

Calatrava’s sketches, sculptures and designs are currently featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The hub under construction at the W.T.C. is based on the architect’s sketches of birds in flight.

Calatrava told the crowd he hopes the train station will be an “icon not only from the street level but from one building to another,” as he showed a rendering of the arched, underground passageway leading to the Winter Garden.

He also has his head above ground. “We work in a different scale than the [W.T.C.] skyscrapers,” Calatrava told us. “Many people will look at the building from the top.”

Not just for tourists anymore
The South Street Seaport won’t be a place you visit “because your tour bus operator says you have to”

for much longer, says Seaport Marketplace vice president Michael Piazzola.

When the Seaport’s owner (and Piazzola’s boss) General Growth finally gets around to unveiling its plans to revamp the vapid mall, it will “be a destination in and of itself.” Not because it’s General Growth’s prerogative.

It’s the city’s.
“The city has told General Growth that they would prefer the Seaport have a neighborhood feel,” said Piazzola at a Small Business Forum at Pace University last Thursday night. The real estate investment trust “has heard the city,” he said. In the next few months, the company will unveil a Beyer Blinder Belle-designed plan for properties that were once part of the Fulton Fish Market, which swam up to the Bronx last year. General Growth is considering a hotel and entertainment venue for the property, possibly a theater.

Piazzola wasn’t the only panelist predicting the neighborhood’s future at the Community Board 1-hosted event. “We see retail rents rising… with no end in sight,” envisioned Cushman & Wakefield associate Steve Soutendijk. With Sephora recently signing a lease at 150 Broadway paying $215 a square foot, “the market will not be good news” for museums and non-profits Downtown, said Cushman & Wakefield senior director James Downey.

Man love
Tribeca’s metrosexuals will soon have a place to call their own. John Allen is setting up his flagship eponymous men’s “club” at the River Loft on Washington St. next month. The club offers men a haircut, manicure and shoeshine for (sorry ladies!) a modest $65 and “is all about making guys feel comfortable with grooming,” said John Allen spokesperson Andrew Swan.

Why the low price in this high-end Tribeca market? “We’re trying not to alienate anyone.”

The 418 Washington St. club — Swan was reluctant to dub it a “spa”—has three other locations, on Trinity Place, on E. 46th St. and in Saks Fifth Avenue, but Tribeca will be the 18-year-old company’s home base.

“We’ve always thought there’s a little bit more to the Tribeca neighborhood,” Swan explained. The 3,000 sq. ft. spread will also have a media room with Saturday night screenings.

“A grooming regiment should be part of every guy’s day.”


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