Volume 17 • Issue 31 | Dec. 24 - 30, 2004

Under Cover

Bruce Wraps up Downtown
Bruce Ratner bought himself quite a Hanukkah present this year. Last week, the Brooklyn developer closed on the NYU Downtown Hospital’s Beekman St. parking lot making way for a 75-story, Frank Gehry-designed residential tower. Pace University dropped out of the project and community leaders are still looking to get a K-8 school in the building although Madelyn Wils, Community Board 1 head, quipped, “to be perfectly honest, I haven’t goten any returned calls from Ratner in a while.”

Piazza’s Piazza
Mets catcher Mike Piazza caught a penthouse in Tribeca. He slapped down $4 million-plus for a spot in the new 161 Hudson St. development, former home to the Wetlands Preserve. Maybe newest Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez can be his neighbor and snag the $6.45 million 6,000 sq. ft. spread with a whopping 40 windows.

Making Street Whoopi
Whoopi Goldberg may be spending her evenings on Broadway these days, but she’s carousing Downtown at night. “I love to walk and walk down there. It’s home to me,” she told UnderCover as she slipped out the back door of the Lyceum Theater with actor Billy Connolly after a performance of her eponymous one-woman show. “It’s beautiful down there. It’s got a good groove.” Goldberg, a Chelsea native who spent her pre-Oscar youth laying bricks and working in a funeral parlor, lives in Soho now. Uptown, she said, never appealed. “I don’t walk Uptown too much, it feels odd to me,” she said.

Dem to work
John Scott, an Independence Plaza North tenant leader, is taking a post as Manhattan chairperson of the Working Families Party. Scott, who bid farewell to the local club, Downtown Independent Democrats, to make way for his new post, helped lead the I.P.N. tenants through the treacherous post-Mitchell-Lama rent battles.

Off Roading Tribeca
Tribeca is getting its own SUV for Christmas. Subaru is naming its newest crossover utility model B9 Tribeca, because, according to Subaru, “Tribeca is a vibrant New York City neighborhood with many boutiques, galleries and restaurants.” Why that denotes naming a SUV after it is beyond us, but Tribeca has now entered the ranks of such car-famed locales as Tahoe and Pontiac.

Postal Peck Slip
The U.S. Post Office on Peck Slip is toying with the idea of expanding its home, UnderCover has learned. When it drafts its renovation plans, the federal building may get to follow rules of its own making. Paul Goldstein, Community Board 1 district manager is not entirely sure the U.S. Postal Service, which bought the building in 1993, has to comply with zoning laws and height limits.

Bayard’s New Year
Whoever said the Financial District didn’t know how to have a good time? Bayard’s has plans to dazzle Downtown with the show it’s putting on for New Year’s Eve. Those wild and crazy Poulakakos’ kids at the India House-turned-upscale-restaurant are pulling out all the stops this year with a horse-drawn carriage carousing around raging Hanover Square. Can we say neigh?

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