Nosy Neighbor: Is Ponte Equities Starting on Another Huge Building?

In July 2013 you reported on Ponte’s restaurant closing and speculated about the scale of development on the block. From movements this week, it looks like it will be huge. As of last Monday, the parking garage on Washington between Vestry and Desbrosses was closed, and the machinery inside was being dismantled. A parking attendant around the way told us that it will be demolished. It looks at though the whole block will be razed and developed, but I don’t have any other info (other than what I observe). What happened to the rent-controlled residents of 31 Desbrosses who were ousted after Sandy and who filed a lawsuit? Has Corice Arman sold 428-430 Washington or will it remain as is? —Anonymous

The question is not whether Ponte Equities is doing something on that block—where it owns all but one building—but whether it will be big or huge. The hurdles to a full-block development (à la Truffles), as Anonymous notes, have been Corice Arman’s refusal to sell 428-430 Washington and the lawsuit at 31 Desbrosses (Ponte claims that Sandy rendered the building uninhabitable; the residents counter that the company just wants to kick out the tenants and proceed with demolition). Before we go any further, here are pictures of the block from each corner:

426 Washington31 Desbrosses39 Desbrosses266 WestFirst, I looked at the Department of Buildings website, because that’s how we tend to learn of Ponte intentions, but I found nothing. As I’ve said before, I find the site rough to use on a good day, and this potential development could be under a million addresses: 426 Washington (which the DOB says is also 58-60 Vestry), 432-436 Washington, 438-440 Washington (a.k.a. 31 Desbrosses), 266-267 West (a.k.a. 62-68 Vestry), 268-269 West, or 39 Desbrosses (a.k.a. 270-271 West and 37-41 Desbrosses). The parking garage, 432-436 Washington, has no open job filings with the DOB.

I called Ponte Equities, and they told me to email, which I did, writing that “I certainly understand you don’t have to answer these questions, but I’m sure Tribecans would appreciate it if you did. They love the neighborhood, as you all no doubt do, and are invested in its future.” I received no response.

Then I saw in a Yelp comment that Chandler Auto Repair (in the yellow-and-blue building at 266 West) is moving to the Bronx. “We’ve already moved,” said the guy who answered the phone. Was it because they’re taking down the building? “They’re taking down the whole block,” he said. The only other tenant on that block, that I’m aware of, is Stuart Parr Design (426 Washington/6o Vestry)—and when I called, I learned that the company moved out back in July.

Then I asked anyone and everyone I could think of who might know what was up. The rumor that came back was that there will be two new buildings on that block; the details, however—including whether developments include 31 Desbrosses and 428-430 Washington—remain vague.

If you know what’s going on, or you see demolition work happening anywhere on that block, please contact me at 917-209-6473 or And surely someone out there knows whether Ponte Equities and 31 Desbrosses settled the lawsuit?

Got a question? Email it to

Previous Nosy Neighbor posts:
Didn’t Bread Tribeca Have Plans to Reopen?
When is the Arman building getting its Arman?
Why is 15 Warren painted that way?
Where do Laughing Man’s profits go?
Are dogs allowed at outdoor restaurant tables?
When will FiOS come to Tribeca?
What’s up with 60 Hudson?
Will the W. Broadway construction ever end?
What’s happening at 87 Leonard?
When will the West Street trailers be removed?
What goes on at 444 Greenwich?
When will the Chambers Street Elevators be fixed?
Why are Goldman Sachs’s lights always on?
When will Pier 25 be fully restored?
What’s the story with the Batmobile?
Is 5 Franklin Place stalled again?
What’s going on with 88 Thomas?
Is another Equinox opening in IPN?
Is this the new dog run?
Any update on the Chambers construction?
Who’s responsible for the snowflake lights?
Is the scaffolding on 110 Hudson ever coming down?
Are the Hudson and Chambers reconstructions delayed?
What’s going on at 165 Church?
Is 93 Reade adding a floor?
Why is Pier 25 ripped up?
Is 28 N. Moore going residential?
Why does cobblestoning require sprinklers?
Do newspaper boxes need permits?
Why does 161 Duane say “Whalebone”?
What’s the story behind those Harrison townhouses?
What are those white things at 137 Franklin?
What’s that thing at W. Broadway and Leonard?
What happens to old cobblestones?
Are buses allowed to idle on Laight?
What’s happening with the Verizon building?
Will the construction at Hudson and Laight ever end?
What is Esoteric on Walker Street?
Is N. Moore getting cobblestoned?
What’s happening at 73 Warren?
Can you recommend any Tribeca picture books?
Why are those shuttles on Greenwich?
Who enforces sidewalk-café regulations?
What’s going on at 27 Desbrosses?
When will those trailers on West Street go away?
Do you know anything about 20-24 Varick?
What’s happening to my parking lot?
Is Pier 26 being worked on again?
What are those black pellets on Pier 25?
What do the characters on 47 Vestry mean?
Where is the Special Forces monument going?
Who’s moving into 151 Hudson?
What’s going on at 172 Duane?
What’s up with those Verizon carts?
Where was the original Blues Bar?
Who are the guys in the geeky pants?
Why are the windows above Ponte’s boarded up?
Can we walk on the West Street medians?
What’s going on in 157 Hudson?
What’s the new painting at 153 Hudson?
What is this P.C. Richard & Son Theater I keep hearing about?
What’s the story behind the lights at 289 Church?
What’s the Dream House at 275 Church?
How come every every film and TV shoot seems to have a trailer with doors marked “Lucy” and “Desi”?

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  1. this is my favorite block in the area and will be sad when it inevitably becomes another condo for scrubs

  2. def: pontification – ruining a neighborhood one crrappy 100 year lease at a time. Goodbye NW Tribeca…