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News and Events
in Lower Manhattan
Volume 1, No. 37  March 10, 2014

Quote of the day:
"Mr. Kalikow was simply inspired by non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust and thought the Museum should recognize those that risked their lives for others in a meaningful way." - A spokesperson for the Museum of Jewish Heritage

* Ackman, chairman of The Howard Hughes Corp., gets grilled in The New York Times
* Gov. Cuomo and Cardinal Dolan visit Battery Park City
* Bits & Bytes: Brewer budget survey; Water Street rally; record price for lower Manhattan lot
* Community Board 1 meetings
* Calendar

Masthead photo: Historic Front Street in the South Street Seaport. March 8, 2014.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


David Weinreb, C.E.O. of The Howard Hughes Corporation at the Oct. 18, 2013 groundbreaking for a new mall on Pier 17. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


The lead article in today's New York Times (3/10/14) is about a billionaire hedge fund manager named William A. Ackman. The article, called "After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Lever of Power," goes on for several thousand words about Ackman's taking a billion-dollar position against the stock of a company called Herbalife, betting that its stock would drop.


If the bet paid off, Ackman would stand to make to make vast sums of money. This kind of investment gambit, called "selling short," is not unusual. But what made Ackman's activities worthy of two pages in The Times was that he did everything he could to bring Herbalife to its knees - spending millions of dollars on lobbyists to pressure state and federal regulators to investigate Herbalife, organizing protests and letter-writing campaigns and news conferences, and spending money to buy off grassroots organizations who then wrote letters criticizing Herbalife.  


Ackman's tactics should be of interest in lower Manhattan because in addition to being the founder and managing member of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., a registered investment adviser founded in 2003, Ackman is the chairman of The Howard Hughes Corporation, the Dallas-based developer that holds long-term leases on much of the South Street Seaport.  


In January 2014, according to an S.E.C. filing, Pershing Square increased its stake in Howard Hughes to 5.48 million shares from the 3.57 million shares that it held at the end of September. This represents 13.2% of the company's common stock.  


To further its interests in the South Street Seaport, The Howard Hughes Corporation has spent several hundred thousand dollars to date on lobbyists, who have courted New York City's Economic Development Corporation, landlord for much of the Seaport, the City Planning Commission, the Department of City Planning, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Community Boards, the Manhattan Borough President, and members of City Council.  


This information is publicly available on the New York City Clerk's website. To see it, click here.      

In the Seaport, Howard Hughes executives have stated that they would like to demolish the New Market Building and erect a 50-story residential and hotel tower on that site. They have other ideas and plans for the Seaport that would drastically change its historic ambiance and structure.  


Herbalife, the subject of Ackman's concerted attack as reported in The Times, has attempted to fight back. The Times quotes John G. DiSimone, its chief financial officer, as saying that accusations against the company, namely that it is a pyramid scheme that takes advantage of low-income blacks and Latinos, "are provably false. And they can all be traced back to the same source: hedge-fund billionaire Bill Ackman, who is motivated by one thing - getting even richer by winning a billion-dollar bet he made against our company, by any means possible, no matter how unscrupulous."


The Times says that even Ackman's staff acknowledges that his motives in assaulting Herbalife are "really rooted in one goal: finding a way to undermine public confidence in Herbalife so that his $1 billion bet will produce an equally enormous return."


Given this track record, it seems probable that Ackman also sees the South Street Seaport as a potential pot of gold.  


    - Terese Loeb Kreuzer 




The dedication of a new memorial at the Museum of Jewish Heritage honoring non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust. (L to R): Museum Trustee Peter S. Kalikow, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Museum Chairman Robert M. Morgenthau, and His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Also shown is Bishop Robert Rimbo. Kalikow donated funds for the memorial. (Photo: Museum of Jewish Heritage/Melanie Einzig)


Gov. Andrew Cuomo and His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan took time from their busy schedules to spend an hour at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City on March 6. The occasion was the dedication of a memorial honoring non-Jews who risked, and often gave their lives, to save Jews during the Holocaust.  


The memorial was funded by Peter S. Kalikow, a founding trustee of the Museum of Jewish Heritage.


Kalikow, a former MTA chairman, a former commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and owner of the New York Post from 1988 to 1994, is president of H. J. Kalikow & Co., LLC, a real estate firm founded by his grandfather - an immigrant from Russia.   


Cuomo's visit to Battery Park City may have been motivated by more than appreciation for Kalikow's philanthropy. 


The New York Post noted on July 27, 2009, that Kalikow, "a major Republican fund-raiser and activist," had endorsed Cuomo for governor. ArtVoice said in its Jan. 17, 2014 issue that H. J. Kalikow & Co. and Peter Kalikow had given $150,000 to Cuomo's current campaign warchest, making them among the governor's top 10 donors. 


Cuomo has, thus far, amassed $33.3 million for his re-election campaign. In second place in the gubernatorial funding sweepstakes, Gov. Jerry Brown of California has $10 million.


As for Kalikow's gift to the museum, a spokesperson commented, "Mr. Kalikow was simply inspired by non-Jews who helped Jews during the Holocaust and thought the Museum should recognize those that risked their lives for others in a meaningful way."

Around 100 people attended the dedication ceremony including religious leaders, Museum Chairman-Elect Bruce Ratner and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. Holocaust survivors who were hidden as children also attended.
- Terese Loeb Kreuzer


Bits & Bytes  

The astonishing lobby of the Woolworth Building, usually off limits to the public, is currently accessible with guided tours. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)


Survey on budget priorities for Manhattan: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has launched a survey to solicit public input on budget priorities for Manhattan. As required by the New York City Charter, she will generate a report that reflects the recommendations of Manhattan community boards, borough residents, and others with substantial interests in the borough on the proposals contained in the preliminary budget, and on the capital and service needs of the borough. Survey responses will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, March 17, 2014.
For more information, contact William Colegrove, Director of Budget & Transparency, at To see and fill out the survey, click here.
Rally on Water Street: Shortly after 1 p.m. on March 7, Community Board 1 received word from the NYPD that a rally was planned for March 9 on Water Street between Fulton and Broad Streets beginning at 2 p.m. at which there could be around 25,000 people. Usually, the Community Board has to approve plans for a rally, and this was the first it had heard about it. No further information was available, except that the NYPD might have to close some streets to pedestrians. After the fact, the New York Daily News reported what this was about. The estimated attendance at the rally was way off. More than 50,000 people showed up. "Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews flock to lower Manhattan to protest Israel's proposed draft of religious citizens to its army," NY Daily News, 3/9/14."The gathering took up a stretch of 10 blocks, with dark-clothed demonstrators standing behind police barricades amid tight security," said the Daily News. Organizers kept to tradition, with men and women in separate groups as they are at religious events. Sunday's prayer event brought together a community of New York's most Orthodox Jews, based in Brooklyn and in the village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, north of the city." For the complete article, click here.

"Go Deeper into the Woolworth Building,"
Tribeca Citizen, 3/7/14.  Tribeca Citizen reports that Chuck Post of Woolworth Tours has "just negotiated the ability to continue to offer 30-, 60- or 90-minute tours of the lobby, mezzanine, and bank vault in the basement." This is a rare and exciting opportunity to see the interior of one of New York City's most magnificent skyscrapers. Pre-registration is required. "All tours are led by architectural historians," says Tribeca Citizen. Photographs are permitted, but no flash or videos are allowed. The 30-minute tours and 60-minute tour both explore the lobby. The 90-minute tours also include the bank vault. For the complete article, click here.

"Downtown lot hits market at a princely $260M," Crain's New York Business, 3/10/14. "A father and son team that purchased an empty parking garage just south of the World Trade Center has put the site on the market for $260 million, five times what they paid for it just three years ago," says Crain's New York Business. "Fred Ohebshalom and his son Richard acquired 111 Washington St., three blocks south of the WTC site, three years ago by buying the distressed mortgage on the property from lender New York Community Bank. The price was a figure close to the $50 million loan's face amount, according to reports. Eventually, the pair took control of the property when it was in foreclosure. The pair then spent an undisclosed amount snapping up nearly 200,000 square feet of air rights from several surrounding properties, 102-104, 106 and 108 Greenwich Street and 105 and 109 Washington Street. All together with those extra air rights, about 362,000 square feet of residential or mixed use space can now be built on the site, which is at the corner of Washington and Carlisle streets." For the complete article, click here.

With a growing population of children and not enough public school seats, on March 11, Community Board 1's Youth & Education Committee will get an update on the child demographics of the district. (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

All Community Board 1 meetings are held at 49-51 Chambers St., Room 709 starting at 6 p.m., unless otherwise indicated. All are welcome to attend.

March 11: Youth & Education Committee
* CB1 Child Demographics - Update by Diana Switaj, CB1 Director of Planning
March 12: Tribeca Committee
* Pier 26 Boathouse - Update by Nicole Dooskin, Hudson River Park Trust.
* Heritage of Pride June 2014 events on Pier 26, Hudson River Park - Update by Chris Frederick, Managing Director
* Megu, 62-66 Thomas St. - Discussion about upcoming renewal of liquor license
* Chambers Street Reconstruction Project - Update
* Hudson Street Water Main Project - Update
* 56 Leonard St. - Update by Sharon Stern, Community/Public Relations Liaison, Project Management & Construction, Lend Lease
* 305 Church St., application for renewal of sidewalk cafe for Los Americanos - Resolution
* 353 Greenwich St., application for liquor license for liquor license for Dahlia's Mexican Restaurant Inc. - Resolution
* 65 West Broadway, application for alteration of operating hours for 65 West Broadway Restaurant LLC, d/b/a Saleya - Resolution
* Spring Studios - Discussion with David Hemphill, Spring Studios and Bradford J. Gonzalez-Sussman, Associate, Pitta & Giblin LLP
The following notices have been received for renewal, upgrade, or transfer of wine and beer or liquor licenses or sidewalk cafe permits:

460 Greenwich St., renewal application for restaurant liquor license for Tecton Café Inc. d/b/a Sosa Borella aka Estancia 460
121 Hudson St., application for renewal of liquor license for MC Tribeca, LLC d/b/a Mr. Chow
100 Lafayette St., application for tavern liquor license renewal for 100 Lafayette Street LTD, d/b/a Santos Party House
13-17 Laight St., application for renewal of restaurant liquor license for Tribeca Cinemas LLC
·         450 Washington St., renewal of restaurant liquor license for Pachanga Inc. d/b/a Fika
March 13: Landmarks Committee
* 15 Jay St., application for sixth floor addition - Resolution
* 136 Beekman St., application for rooftop addition - Resolution
* 18 Broad St., application for installation new door - Resolution
* 35 Lispenard St., application for storefront alteration - Resolution

CALENDAR: Week of March 10
The opalescent facade of Jean Nouvel's condominium at 100 11th Ave. in Chelsea stands out among surrounding buildings. It will be among the structures discussed in this week's "Tuesday Talks" at Asphalt Green.  (Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

March 10: Every Monday at 1 p.m., "Bach at One" at Trinity Church. A weekly service featuring the music of Johann Sebastian Bach's cantatas. These services present Bach's cantatas in a liturgical context, returning these miniature, oratorio-like works to their original purpose. Today: Johann Sebastian Bach BWV 84 Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke; Bach BWV 90 Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende. Trinity Baroque Orchestra/The Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Julian Wachner, conductor. Place: Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Streets. Time: 1 p.m. Free. 
For more information, click here.

March 11: Asphalt Green Battery Park City's Tuesday Talks series continues with "Hottest New Buildings in New York City." Architectural historian Gail Cornell will talk about French architect Jean Nouvel's fascinating glass-paned residential building on West Street and American architect Neil Denari's HL 23, a stainless steel apartment building near the Highline whose sinuous lines explore subtle geometries - and more. Place: Asphalt Green, 212 North End Ave. Time: noon to 1 p.m. Tickets: $22; $18 (members). For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

March 11:
The Skyscraper Museum presents a lecture and panel discussion on 111 W. 57th St., one of the super-slim, ultra-luxury residential towers surveyed in the museum's current exhibition "Sky High & the logic of luxury." SHoP Architects designed the building, with structural engineering by WSP Group for JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group. The speakers will include Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal, SHoP Architects; Gregg Pasquarelli, Principal, SHoP Architects; Chris Sharples, Principal, SHoP Architects; and Silvian Marcus, Partner in Charge, WSP Group. Carol Willis, director of the Skyscraper Museum, will moderate a panel discussion. Where: Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place. Time: 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Free to members of The Skyscraper Museum; non-members, $10; students and seniors, $5. RSVP required at "Sky High & the logic of luxury," on view at The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, through April, examines the recent proliferation of super-slim, ultra-luxury residential towers on the rise in Manhattan. The exhibition will be open to the public from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., before the lecture. Click here for the virtual exhibit on the museum's website.

March 12: "Dudu Tassa Plays the Al-Kuwaitis" at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Israeli rock star Tassa returns to his musical roots by playing the music of his grandfather and great uncle, known as the Al-Kuwaiti Brothers, who were central figures in the Iraqi music world of the 1930s. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage" at the museum through May 18. Tour the exhibition at 6 p.m. Pre-registration suggested. Place: 36 Battery Place. Concert time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $35; $30, students and seniors; $25, members. To buy tickets, click here.

March 13: A 90-minute walking tour of the Financial District: "History of Wall Street," leaves from the Museum of American Finance.  $15 per person includes the tour, admission to the museum and a Lunch and Learn talk with Eswar Prasad, Cornell University professor and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Tour: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Talk: Eswar Prasad on "The Dollar Trap: How the US Dollar Tightened Its Grip on Global Finance," 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. Place: 48 Wall St. Tickets: $15. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

March 16:
In a series of Sunday concerts called "Lamentatio," Trinity Wall Street presents six performances of early Renaissance music juxtaposed with contemporary music. The second concert features Golijov's Tenebrae for string quartet, clarinet and soprano; Barber's Adagio;  Nathan Shields' Tenebrae for harp and string quartet and Messiaen's Quatuor pour la fin du temps performed by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, NOVUS NY, Decoda and the Choir of Merton College, Oxford. Place: Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street. Time: 5 p.m. Tickets: $25. For more information or to buy tickets, click here. Concerts every Sunday through April 13.

Through March 14
: The exhibition "come celebrate with me: The Work of Lucille Clifton," featuring rare photos, letters, manuscripts and more, from Emory University's Danowski Poetry Library at the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library. Place: Poets House, 10 River Terrace. Free. For more information, including hours, click here.

Through March 28: Exhibit of artwork done in classes sponsored by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. 75 Battery Place, weekdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Ongoing: "Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage," is at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community of Iraq in a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives' ongoing work in support of U.S. government efforts to preserve these materials. Through May 18, 2014. Place: 36 Battery Place. Varying hours. Museum admission fees: $12 (adults); $10 (seniors) and $7 (students). Members and children 12 and under, free. Free admission on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, click here.
Ongoing: The National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free admission. It offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and tours of its premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, designed by Cass Gilbert. The building, which was completed in 1907, is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. Phone: (212) 514-3700. For the museum's calendar, click here.

Reserve now for Saturday, March 15:
Seaport Series: Repairing the Rift, a walking tour in the South Street Seaport organized by Open House New York (OHNY) won't take place until Saturday, March 15, but reservations should be made now. When the FDR elevated highway cut through the South Street Seaport in 1954, it had a profound impact on the feel and flow of the area. The tour will be led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design's Adam Lubinsky and artist and designer Yeju Choi. It will explore the proposed site of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach, part of the East River Blueway Plan, and the pop-up participatory installation Catch - & - Release, part of the Design/Relief initiative by AIGA New York, to understand how social and infrastructural strategies for addressing the void created by the FDR can work hand-in-hand to reconnect the neighborhood with its waterfront. Tickets,  $25; $15 OHNY (members). For more information and reservations, click here.

Block Party Workshop at Bowne Printers, 211 Water St., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On March 15, resident printer Ali Osborn will teach the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks. Come to the workshop with a couple of ideas for images and learn how to transfer your design from block to paper. At the end of the workshop, everyone's designs will be locked up together (you'll find out exactly what that means) and printed on the South Street Seaport Museum's vintage Vandercook press. Each student will go home with their block, individual prints and one poster of everyone's prints together. All materials supplied. 10 person limit. Fee: $50; $45 (South Street Seaport Museum members). Email or call (646) 628-2707 for reservations. $15 non-refundable deposit for materials due by March 12.


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Editor: Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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