Volume 18 • Issue 38 | February 3 - 9, 2006

Under Cover

Silverstein not talking

Larry Silverstein told UnderCover that he has not spoken with Mayor Bloomberg or Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff since hizzonor gave his State of the City speech last week. Bloomberg, ramping up his re-election campaign rhetoric to push the World Trade Center developer out of redevelopment process, demanded Silverstein hand over two of the Trade Center towers to the Port Authority in exchange for a reduced rent. Silverstein’s director of Trade Center development Janno Lieber said in a statement the same day “We will continue to work with the mayor… to assure that we can fully build out the World Trade Center site.” Apparently, the work is continuing without much conversation.

Nordstrom Downtown?

Nordstrom is eyeing a move Downtown and has been in discussions with the Related Companies about moving into one of their Battery Park City buildings, Women’s Wear Daily reported this week. But mum’s the word Downtown this week. The Battery Park City Authority, the agency overseeing the neighborhood, claims to know nothing about the discussions and isn’t even certain what Related building a Nordstrom might go in. “Unless they’re thinking a small store, I don’t know where they could go,” said authority spokesperson Leticia Remauro on Monday. One place the department store giant is not considering is the World Financial Center. “We’ve had no discussions with Nordstrom,” said Melissa Coley, a spokesperson for Brookfield Properties, which owns the Financial Center. Brookfield is “in the early stages” of planning a retail expansion of its mall there and although adding Nordstrom or another department store “is a possibility,” Brookfield has not involved Related in their discussions. Nordstrom does not “have anything to announce” on the subject, said Nordstrom spokesperson Amy Pobst, and would say no more except to add, “We look at opportunities throughout Manhattan.” Related, which built the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, did not return calls for comment.

Condo a go-go

A condo owner at the Winka Dubbledam-designed building at 497 Greenwich St. tells us tenants are doubly angry that the all too conspicuous, curvy-glass-walled, high-priced Hudson Square building isn’t finished yet. A promised gym and wine cellar still aren’t done and the entranceway looks like a hardhat zone — though these were all supposed to be completed a year and a half ago. “We have a big hole in the middle of the building — that’s where the gym was supposed to be,” the condo owner said. “It’s false advertising.” Dubbledam actually lives in the building, which she also designed. Residents say it’s not Dubbledam — “she did her job,” noted the resident — but the developer, Jonathan Carroll that has dropped the ball.

E.P.A. is a no show

The Environmental Protection Agency has no plans to show up at a City Council hearing about its policies. The agency’s regional administrator Alan Steinberg sent a letter to City Councilmember Alan Gerson on Jan. 24 telling him he’s not interested in testifying at his World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee.

“Something weird is going on,” said Gerson. He invited Steinberg to testify in December after E.P.A. scaled back a Trade Center dust testing and cleanup plan for Manhattan and Brooklyn. The decision resulted in a pandemonium at the final E.P.A. panel meeting on the topic with panelists deploring the agency, and Senator Hillary Clinton calling for an investigation.

But E.P.A. insists there’s nothing left to say on the matter.

“E.P.A.’s activities related to Lower Manhattan have already been widely disclosed,” Steinberg wrote in the letter.

Gerson was so befuddled by the letter that he wondered if perhaps Steinberg didn’t know what he was talking about. “I don’t know if it’s one part of the agency not knowing what the agency is doing,” he said.


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