Seen & Heard: North End Grill’s Last Day

••• North End Grill‘s last day of service will be Saturday, December 15. It’s hard to believe that it was only open six years. I had a lot of wonderful times at the restaurant.

••• The Blue Bottle café at 75 Varick (just above Canal) appears to be open.

••• Luis of FIDi Fan Page says that Sola Lab is opening Monday or Wednesday.

••• A reader discovered a more complete rendering of the building under construction at 77 Charlton. The other one we’ve seen is the entrance.

••• From Z.: “This will be of interest to homeowners in Tribeca, regarding possibly massive property tax increases for condo and coop owners in the area. The hearing for Manhattan will actually be held in Tribeca, on October 23. I don’t pretend to understand all the issues, though, but perhaps Tribeca Citizen can post and start a (hopefully enlightening) discussion about this matter. Public hearing info is here; and the Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums has an action committee about this and other issues.”



  1. Is it not crystal clear to the city that condos and coops in Manhattan are significantly more taxed than those in other boros? A similarly priced apartment in a Park Slope brownstone that has MORE space might pay 15-20% the annual property tax of a condo/coop in Lower Manhattan. Are those folks using one-fifth of the city services? Hardly.

    I guarantee you the commission will spend its time on saying properties are UNDERVALUED in Manhattan and try to jack up our taxes even more.

    • Aren’t Manhattan condos disproportionately owned by those who don’t vote in NYC elections? It’s like a tourist tax (i.e., on hotel rooms)…. doesn’t affect constituents.

      • Randy, why do you assume that a large number of coop/condo residents don’t vote in NYC elections? Please provide your data and where it came from.

        • The two-step assumption is that they are disproportionately not primary residents, and thus would be voting illegally in NYC if registered here but were non-primary residents.

        • NY Times, Jan. 11, 2015, Page RE1 “Why the Doorman Is Lonely”

          In Manhattan, the number of nonprimary residences is slightly higher than the citywide average, 29 percent, and in some neighborhoods favored by investors, such as Midtown, the share of nonprimary residences ranged as high as 44 percent.

          “Many of these buildings were built or converted in the 1980s, and are largely made up of smaller apartments, such as studios and one-bedrooms,” said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “The smaller the apartments, and the more smaller apartments there are, generally the higher the pied-à-terre factor.” […]

          While the budget office research sheds light on ownership across the city, the true number of part-time owners is difficult to pin down. That is because buildings that do not receive the particular tax abatement the budget office examined were excluded. Many of these unconsidered buildings are recipients of a more lucrative tax break known as the 421a tax exemption. […]

          To overcome this hurdle, the agency is reviewing apartment ownership by looking at owners’ Social Security numbers along with their New York City personal income tax records. So far, it appears that in Manhattan, around 36 percent of apartment owners in 421a buildings are nonprimary residents and a slightly smaller percentage are primary residents. However, results are inconclusive because the remainder could not be identified.

          • In which case, wouldn’t the preponderance of large apartments in Tribeca argue against the pied-à-terre notion?

          • Yes, but that said, there are plenty of new higher end condo developments downtown where foreign buyers may feature, which is different from the phenomenon of the midtown, suburban pied a terre owner.

        • NY Magazine: “Stash Pad” Published Jun 29, 2014:

          According to data compiled by the firm PropertyShark, since 2008, roughly 30 percent of condo sales in large-scale Manhattan developments have been to purchasers who either listed an overseas address or bought through an entity like a limited-liability corporation, a tactic rarely employed by local homebuyers but favored by foreign investors.

          Similarly, the firm Corcoran Sunshine, which markets luxury buildings, estimates that 35 percent of its sales since 2013 have been to international buyers, half from Asia, with the remainder roughly evenly split among Latin America, Europe, and the rest of the world. “The global elite,” says developer Michael Stern, “is basically looking for a safe-deposit box.”

  2. D’oh! The opening of Sola Lab on Beekman in Monday, the 22nd.

  3. Pepe Rosso YES!!!! Big thumbs UP!
    I live in the West Village and have eaten their food for years!
    Had no idea they delivered to Tribeca.
    Caution on actually visiting-
    They have 10 seats and no bathroom (but you can use the one in bar across street =)