Seen & Heard: Independence Plaza Signage

••• Behold the west side of 101 Warren, which hasn’t seen the light of day in many years. May the Warren Street side be next! (Photos by I.)

••• Independence Plaza got some branding in the storefront windows. My guess is that Vornado is going to offer short-term leases while it gears up for the big overhaul of the complex. And anyone who signs a lease there now had better make sure he/she can’t get kicked out early….

••• More bowl food: Blue Park Kitchen has opened at 70 Pine.

••• I can see how a car might accidentally drive onto the sidewalk—but in reverse? Thanks to K. for the photo.

••• The Franklin Street sidewalk in front of Cast Iron House is coming along. Nice to see granite.

••• I finally got a full look at 440 Washington (a.k.a. 31 Desbrosses). I’m not a fan of this watered-down Tribeca style, but it could be worse. One part where they really cut corners, literally and figuratively: the south side, where the gray brick and stone trim abruptly end.

••• That artwork on a third-floor balcony of 56 Leonard seems to have tipped over.



  1. New buildings must leave a 2 to 3 inch seismic gap between them and their existing neighbors by code. It usually gets filled at the façade with an expanding rubber product like Emseal.

  2. why would vornado want to overhaul independence plaza? the residential part of the building is fully rented at top dollar. if they start construction, they will have a very hard time renting until it’s done. the retail has obviously been kept off the market on purpose. i really don’t understand how any of this makes sense from a business perspective.

    • “Independence Plaza is owned by Vornado Realty Trust(the majority owner) and Stellar Management; the former manages the 54,500 square feet of retail, while the latter handles the residential component, comprising the three 39-story residential towers at 40 Harrison, 80 N. Moore, and 310 Greenwich, along with the low-slung “townhouses” off street-level.”

    • The complex is currently not attractive enough to appeal to luxury retailers. And I doubt Stellar will be lowering rents because of construction at street level.

      • so “big overhaul of the complex” means just the street level retail portion? and would that include the ps150 section of the building, too? this would explain they haven’t rented any new retail in years.

        • No one knows (or rather no one who knows is talking yet). But overhauling just the retail (and PS 150) is tricky, because it’s so integrated with the residential parts. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vornado/Stellar want to find a way to get more retail on Greenwich, because right now valuable space is being devoted to “townhouses,” vents, and parking garage entrances.

  3. Stella and Vornado are the worst landlords!! I am sure you are aware.

  4. the sidewalk in front of 14 jay street has been in a state of disarray for almost a year–barriers, port-a-john, street partially taken over, an ugly mess. the building has, or perhaps better, has not finished repair on their vault. the salon on the ground floor has had to put up with the ugly sight for what will soon be a year. there has been an inspection & the building had a deadline of 9/15 but again work has stopped. any advice who I can contact about this? it is more than a nuisance for the entire block. I live in the building next door. thank you for help!

    • On another sidewalk issue, a rep for the Department of Buildings told me that the best way to complain is via 311, so it gets routed to the right agency (which could be the Department of Transportation or the DOB in this case).