In the News: Hudson River Park Conflict

550 washington courtesy google maps••• The Wall Street Journal details an eyebrow-raising conflict of interest regarding the Hudson River Park’s deal to sell its air rights to adjacent properties. “Mike Novogratz, the chairman of Friends of Hudson River Park, a fundraising and advocacy arm that pushed for the legislation, […] is a principal at Fortress Investment Group, which oversees funds that own a controlling stake in the former St. John’s Terminal Building [above, courtesy Google Maps], a three-block site less than a block from the park that potentially would be one of the largest beneficiaries of the air rights. He said he wasn’t aware of the legislation’s air-rights provision [Hard to swallow, that….] and he wasn’t personally involved in the December 2012 purchase of the building, a former freight-rail terminal that developers view as among the most desirable sites on the West Side to build luxury apartments. […] Mr. Novogratz conceded that on its face his dual roles might seem problematic. ‘It certainly doesn’t look great,’ he said. But he said his involvement on both fronts had been minimal and that the St. John’s site was overseen by a separate division of Fortress Investment Group. […] Mr. Novogratz said he would likely give away benefits he ultimately reaped from development at the St. John’s site to the park.”

••• A couple photos of the inside of the Corbin Building. —Curbed

••• “Most elderly residents of Battery Park City who own their apartments have been effectively redlined from taking out federally insured reverse mortgages by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirement that hinges upon the exotic nature of property ownership in the community.” —Broadsheet

62beach••• Remember that 62 Beach penthouse that went on the market for $14 million, nearly double what the owner had paid in 2010? It sold for $13.75 million. As I’ve said before, it’s a great time to sell—as long as you’re not planning to keep on living here. —New York Observer

••• “Three years ago, residents of Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan complained about noisy engines of ferryboats. Now, the ferries’ horns have some of them squawking and blaming letter-of-the law kayakers for their lost sleep.” —New York Times (via Curbed)



  1. Fortress bought a controlling interest in the St. John’s Terminal Building in January 2013. If Mike Novogratz didn’t know about the air-rights deal, the Board of Fortress Investment Group (a publicly traded company) should fire him (why else do they buy tables at the annual Gala and have him spend time on Friends business, if not to find out scoop like that?) and the rest of the Board of Friends of Hudson River Park should ask him to resign (the Chair of the official fundraising and advocacy group wasn’t up to speed on the changes to the Park’s law that they’ve been asking for forever?). And if he did have a hand in the deal, well, you get it.

    And before you’re lulled by his promise to “likely give away benefits he ultimately reaped from development at the St. John’s site to the park”, remember that’s his personal share only, and we won’t hold our breath until we see a big uptick in his personal contribution one year.

  2. NO, NO, NoNogratz!! Say it ain’t NoNogratz! You mean to tell me that that sweet man’s white tennis shoes and white chocolatey coating is just covering a lusciously creamy inside of bullshit? Why I would have never guessed it, while sipping one of my many Sloe Gin Fizzes at the Gala, that corruption had seeped so deeply into the inner confines of the esteemed Frenemies of Hudson River Park. Greed has overpowered integrity once again and it certainly “doesn’t look great.” But who cares, right? Hey, look over there…it’s Anthony’s Weiner and he’s at it again! Phew, that was close. Now how do we get the NID slush fund passed before these schmucks know what hit them?