Volume 17 • Issue 36 | February 4 - 10, 2005

Under Cover

Waksal Dazzle?

Want to send a letter to the owners of the empty lot at 31-33 Vestry St.? Better send it to ImClone Systems, Inc. — yes, the ImClone that brought down the house that Martha Stewart built. According to city records, that’s the mailing address for Vestry Acquisitions, L.L.C., the soon-to-be- Winka Dubbeldam -designed residential building in Tribeca. If former Soho resident and ImClone chief Sam Waksal, now holed up in a Pennsylvania prison for the next seven years for insider trading, has any ties to Vestry Acquisitions, Tribeca may have quite a building in store.

The Waksal clan is no stranger to Tribeca real estate. In 2000, when Waksal’s daughter, Elana Waksal Posner — who ran an unmemorable campaign for Kathryn Freed’s City Council seat in 2001, bankrolled with nearly $100,000 of her family’s cash — plopped down $1.7 million for a condo in 60 Warren St.

The luxury building happened to be owned by her father, his brother, Harlan, and Posner’s husband, Jarett. The building reportedly was the first of a number of old Tribeca properties that the family bought and converted into luxury apartments through their company called BDB Development. The building, just outside the Tribeca South Historic District caused a major uproar in the community when the owners tacked on a four-story rooftop addition to the 1860’s building.

Community board 1 rejected plans including a translucent stone and stone glass laminate façade on the building at 31-33 Vestry St., a harbinger that Tribeca may be in store for another historic battle, although the community board likes some aspects of the design.

Sinking Tunnel on West?

Speaking of the governor, he may be recalling the phrase “you don’t get out of a hole by digging deeper.” Gov. Pataki’s look at extending a proposed West St. tunnel a block south is proving to be more and more complicated. Goldman Sachs requested an extension because executives did not want a tunnel entrance ramp outside the spanking new headquarters it plans to build in Battery Park City. Neighbors who never liked the tunnel idea to begin with did not appreciate extending the ramp to the ball fields. Now developer Edward Minskoff is raising objections to the extension because it will also put the ramp near the apartment buildings he wants to build at West and Warren Sts., according to a source.

Green is the Color

Word is the greenbacks for Tribeca’s Hudson River Park green are arriving in March, according to a park advocate. Gov. George Pataki has been singing the park’s praises for years while parkies eagerly await his green light for $70 million of Lower Manhattan Development Corp. cash. It now looks like the park money will coincide with the Pataki-authorized report on how to empty what’s left of the L.M.D.C.’s coffers. But the city also has a say over the money and the delay could be tied to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s negotiations with Mayor Mike Bloomberg over a West Side stadium. Silver has been pushing for the park and a Downtown school.

Clarke’s-on-the-Hudson

P.J. Clarke’s the 120-year-old watering hole on Third Ave. is heading to Battery Park City. Its venerable owner, Philip Scotti, signed a lease at 4 World Financial Center and, with a nod for Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee, is one step closer to sealing the deal on a liquor license. “This is probably the greatest place ever,” gushed board member Tom Goodkind, whose dad Bobby threw back a few at the original P.J.’s.


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