In the News: Phone Snatchings

Thierry Despont by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair••• Vanity Fair profiles architect Thierry Despont, including photos of “the architect the 1 percent tend to call” in his Tribeca office and art studio. I don’t read Vanity Fair anymore, but I’m amused to see that the magazine still ends its subheds with a series of three: “As the low-profile Frenchman works on a massive renovation of the Ritz Paris and New York’s iconic Woolworth Building, James Reginato reports on what has made Despont the choice of such modern-day Midases as Bill Gates, Calvin Klein, and Leslie Wexner.” Despont has “a forthcoming exhibition, ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Gurnwyeth.'”—if you missed Despont’s “Cabinet de Curiosités” in 2011, it was really neat. (Photo by Jonathan Becker for Vanity Fair.)

••• Daytonian in Manhattan does his thing on 176 Franklin, where the Gary Graham store is and where Riverrun restaurant once was.

••• The chef and pastry chef at Cut by Wolfgang Puck are married; the art collection is Puck’s. —New York Times

••• That big parking lot in the Seaport won’t let Peck Slip be closed during the day so that kids at Peck Slip School can play out on the street. —Tribeca Trib

••• “Downtown Saks, the new store in lower Manhattan from Saks Fifth Avenue, is designed to be more like a website.” Sounds fun. —Wall Street Journal

••• “Two pedestrians walking along Broadway had iPhones grabbed out of their hands on Saturday night” around 10 p.m. It’s a shame the city papers don’t take a citywide look at this trend, which seems to be on the rise (so be alert). —DNAinfo

••• “Westfield is suing a fifth retail tenant for not taking space at the shopping complex at the World Trade Center. The Australian real estate firm claims Edward Beiner owes $2.5 million for ‘defaulting’ on its seven-year lease.” —Real Deal

••• “The City’s Economic Development Corporation is planning to redevelop a publicly owned site [137 Centre] in Lower Manhattan, and has pledged to include in the project benefits such as affordable housing and a pre-kindergarten facility. But a close examination of EDC’s approach indicates that both of these bonuses may accrue to communities far removed from the Civic Center neighborhood in which the property is located.” Whatever gets built on the site will replace an attractive old building. —Broadsheet


  1. The city sells these Civic Center buildings because they have not maintained them and they are now decrepit and falling apart, and is unwilling to pay the rising costs of keeping them operational. It makes no economic sense to put affordable housing there when the development costs in this area are so high, and the neighborhood has become part of one the wealthiest communities in the city. Better to build affordable house where land and construction costs are more modest and the cost of living is affordable on a middle class income.

    • It’s not about “economic sense, ” but rather politics. The City would seemingly rather build fewer affordable housing units and in less affordable areas rather than be accused by councilmembers, etc., of inadvertently promoting gentrification.

    • ” Better to build affordable house where land and construction costs are more modest and the cost of living is affordable on a middle class income.”

      this is the same logic that created the housing projects of the sixties. it’s a bad bad idea.

  2. It would be a double standard if EDC is allowed to place the affordable housing far away from the site.

    deBlasio’s “Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning” mandates private, market-rate developers also build affordable housing, apparently in one of three ways:
    1. In the same building
    2. In an adjacent building on the same site, aka the much maligned “poor door”
    3.On another site within a half-mile of the same community board.

    Will this EDC project hold the developer to the same rules ?

    • In other parts of Manhattan developers are being held to the mandates. I guess the question is whether this developer is better connected, etc.

      I don’t see how affordable housing promotes gentrification.

      My family lived in affordable housing – and have owned in Tribeca for a long time. We’re not always bad for property values, a bad influence on the children, etc.