No rear window
James Gandolfinis would-be neighbors wont have as many windows to look out on him if he and his business partners build a residential building on Washington St. Tribeca residents were up in arms that the Sopranos star planned to build a seven-story residential building that would block their rear yard windows, claiming the law demanded more space between the windows and the new building. Joseph Pell Lombardi, the buildings architect, insists most of the windows are not legally protected at all.
It turns out, the neighbors are wrong.
The information the community was giving me wasnt all that accurate, said Rick Landman, chairperson of Community Board 1s Tribeca Committee, in a voicemail left on UnderCovers machine.
Neighbors of 415 Washington claimed the windows in question are rear yard windows, or windows separated from a neighboring building by a rear yard and would be protected under city law. The boards Tribeca Committee recently rejected a Board of Standards application partially on the grounds that the windows need to be protected. But it turns out that most of the windows on the neighboring buildings are lot line windows, or windows on the adjoining side of a building, which have no legal protections at all.
Of course, its just a committee meeting, so itll be corrected when it gets to the full board meeting, Landman said in the message. The community board vote is only advisory, and B.S.A. will still vote on the application regardless.
Gandolfini and the four other principal investors would like to build a residential property in a commercial zone. The residents see no problem with the residential request; theyre only remaining fault lies with the size of the building, which they maintain is too dense.
Out of the frying pan
UnderCover hears that John Gallagher fled his spokesperson gig at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. to head up press for Jeanine Pirros attorney general campaign. Kori-Ann Taylor has taken over for Gallagher.
Robert Lee Morris Design, the high-end Soho jeweler, is getting a new landlord. Marvin Shulsky of Shulsky Properties recently bought its home at 400 W. Broadway, a seven-story commercial building with no other tenants.
This building flew off the shelf because the demand for properties in great Soho locations is so staggeringly strong, said Brian Ezratty, the selling agent. Shulsky bought the property from Lloyd Goldman of BLDG Management Co., Inc for $8.6 million. Robert Lee Morris isnt going anywhere anytime soon, the company recently signed a new five-year lease on their ground- and first-floor space.
Music on Wall
Speaking of moves, ATO Records is moving to Wall St. The record company signed a lease at 44 Wall, filling the last commercial space in the Swig Equities owned-building. ATO will share 16,000 sq. ft. space in the 25-story building with its affiliates ATO Pictures, Red Light Management and Mick Management.
Music on Stanton
The Stanton Street Shul has named a guitar and mandolin-strumming rabbi to be the fifth spiritual leader of the 94-year-old synagogue on the Lower East Side. Rabbi Yossi Pollak, a recent graduate of Rabbi Avi Weisss Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, is now the leader of the congregation for the restored shul.
Corky Lee, Chinatowns undisputed, unofficial photographer laureate and a Downtown Express contributor, is becoming world famous. He was recently interviewed by one of Chinas most famous television journalists, Yue Sai Kan, and Lees profile on Yue Sais World will be broadcast to over one billion people.