Larry loves Chris?
Word is the current year-long World Trade Center slugfest between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority may be approaching a compromised truce, but we were still surprised to hear things had cooled down so much that Silverstein’s spokesperson said the Port’s leader has “innovative ways to invest in regional infrastructure.”
Actually, Bud Perrone, a top Rubenstein Communications exec who sends out most of Silverstein’s press statements, was not emailing on behalf of Silverstein when he heaped praise on Chris Ward, the Port’s executive director. Perrone, who also reps the New York Building Congress, was sending out an advisory about Ward’s appearance before the builders group this week.
Ironically, Ward’s commitment to investing in regional transportation is one of the reasons he has resisted giving Silverstein more help building the W.T.C. towers.
It’s not always easy being the city’s largest P.R. firm — clients’ paths are bound to cross sometimes.
Dave & Bobby
Gov. David Paterson gave props to Robert Douglass at the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association meeting Wednesday. Paterson said before he appointed Richard Ravitch to be lieutenant governor last year, Douglass was one of the few outside attorneys who told him that it would be permitted under New York’s constitution. Many legal observers at the time said the appointment would not be held up, but the state’s Court of Appeals proved them wrong.
Douglass, now chairperson of the D-L.M.A. and the Downtown Alliance, still knows his way around Albany. Years ago, he was Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s chief of staff.
In an “American Idol” of worthy causes, American Express and TakePart are giving out $200,000 grants to the charities that get the most online votes in each of five categories. The only Downtown group that’s made the cut is the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which is one of 10 nominated organizations across the country in the “Arts and Culture” category. Members of the public can vote as often as once a week between now and March 24 at takepart.com/membersproject.
Speaking of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, they just hired a new executive vice president of operations, James Connors. Connors will oversee the design and construction departments, and he will be responsible for making sure the memorial opens on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. Connors will also figure out how much of the memorial can remain open after the anniversary.
Connors most recently managed the Empire State Building, so he is familiar with both skyscrapers and tourist attractions. He also has more than a decade of experience at the Port Authority and led some of the early discussions on how to rebuild the Trade Center site after 9/11.
The lease of the Fulton St. Burger King ran out at the beginning of February, but the fast-food chain decided to stick around until they can find a new spot.
“They’re just buying time,” said Wally Dimson, president of the Southbridge Towers board of directors, which controls the space at Fulton and Gold.
Dimson tells us that Southbridge can’t wait for Burger King to leave. Residents frequently complain about the rowdy students from the nearby Murry Bergtraum High School who hang out in front of the Burger King.
Cristina Obleada, manager at the Burger King, confirmed that the restaurant was looking for another location farther west on Fulton St. and planned to stay in its current place until the new one opened.
Southbridge is also looking for a tenant for the former Foot Locker space next to the Burger King, which is already vacant. Residents would like to see a high-end grocery store like Trader Joe’s, but given Fulton St.’s recent penchant for attracting discount and closeout shops, we’re thinking that could be a hard sell.
Babylicious grown up
In a sign that Tribeca’s baby boom is starting to age, local mom Carol Adams is relaunching her Babylicious boutique this week as Torly Kid.
The six-year-old clothing and toy shop on Hudson St. has grown with Adams’ daughters, now ages 6 and 8, and Adams decided the name and mission ought to keep growing up as well: She’s keeping all her unique birth-to-age-7 offerings but is now expanding to serve tweens. The name Torly Kids comes from a combination of her daughters’ names, Tori and Carly — Adams thought it would be better to lose the “baby” in the shop’s name now that she’s trying to woo 9-to-12-year-olds.