Volume 20, Number 48 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | APRIL 11 - 18, 2008
Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Leo in at B.P.C.
Eco-conscious homebuyers have always gravitated to Battery Park City for its commitment to green technology, but now the neighborhood can count one of the cause’s biggest proponent’s — and one of Tinseltown’s marquee names—as its newest resident.

Oscar-nominated actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased into the Riverhouse in B.P.C., the Sheldrake organization’s 32-story LEED-certified development near Rockefeller Park.

Details of the sale have been minimal, but DiCaprio’s publicist released a statement confirming the building’s draw for the celebrated actor/activist: “Riverhouse is a prime example of how green technology is both accessible and achievable for new residential developments — it is a groundbreaking building.”

According to Sheldrake, the development is currently 70 percent sold. Maybe Leo’s arrival will help spur sales, which have risen just 10 percent since November.

Tribeca townhouse record
The words “Tribeca mansion” would immediately conjure spectacular estimates for real estate value, but a listing for a six-story townhouse on N. Moore St. that recently hit the market in the elite enclave would make even the hardiest of house-hunters gasp: $35 million for the sextuplex featuring a private elevator, home gym, three-car garage and penthouse lap pool.

The property, first featured on Curbed.com this week, is being marketed by the Corcoran Group after the previous owners paid about $5.5 million for the site a little under three years ago.

The address, at 2 N. Moore St. near the corner of W. Broadway, is made up of two properties “expertly combined to create a single family mansion fit for the most discerning buyer.” You heard right — over 12,000 square feet for a single family, including five bedrooms, seven full bathrooms, four powder rooms and three fireplaces.

Appraisers told the New York Observer this week that the price tag constitutes the most expensive one-family townhouse ever in the neighborhood.

“Wow” was Tribeca Community Association president Carole De Saram’s reaction to the listing price. “It’s grossly exaggerated,” added the Community Board 1 Tribeca Committee chairperson, who also sells real estate in the area. “It’s an unrealistic number.”

De Saram also sought defend the neighborhood when asked about its increasing reputation as the most exclusive zip code in the city. “It does not lend itself in any way shape, manner or form to the Upper East Side,” she said. “It never pretended to be and never can be.”

Office prices rising
Average asking rents for Downtown’s premier office space climbed to an all-time high in March, even as the area’s vacancy rate increased slightly over the previous month.

The data, provided by commercial brokerage Colliers ABR, showed that while Class A office space Downtown increased by only 7,300 total square feet from February to March, the price per square foot rose to $58 in the most highly sought after space. The report stated that this figure marks a 6.4 percent increase since December, and a 6.5 percent increase since March 2007.

Manhattan asking rents for Class A office space also rose in March, up 1.4 percent, with overall vacancy falling one-tenth of a percentage point borough-wide.

S.L.A. strips Le Souk
East Village nightclub Le Souk, which has been a persistent source of quality-of-life complaints for Avenue B residents, had its liquor license cancelled last week by the State Liquor Authority.

The North African-themed nightspot has endured a host of problems in the area, with neighbors grumbling to both Community Board 3 and the Ninth Precinct about noise and traffic congestion outside the establishment between Third and Fourth Sts.

“We had many, many, many, many complaints about Le Souk,” C.B. 3 district manager Susan Stetzer told Mixed Use. “This has been going on for a very long time.”

An employee at the club, however, denied the cancellation, claiming Le Souk would be open as usual and “everything is good.”

An S.L.A. cancellation is not the same as a revocation, Stetzer confirmed, noting the nightspot could seek a reapplication for a license, which would again have to go before the community board and Liquor Authority.

But, Stetzer pointed out, “If there were so many complaints about them in the immediate area, I wouldn’t assume that they’d want reopen in the same place.”





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