– Monday: Press Conference for Safer SoHo Streets & Crosswalks 
After years of futilely trying to persuade the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to mitigate the horrendous rush-hour congestion, gridlock and horn-honking along Broome Street, as well as numerous appeals to repair the myriad cracked and broken crosswalks along Greene and Mercer Streets, the SoHo Alliance has begun working with the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to get some results.
Consequently, Stringer has called a press conference for tomorrow, Monday, January 23, at 12:30 at Broome and Mercer to request DOT to install “Don’t Block The Box” warning signage as well as painted zebra-striping in the intersection.  We believe this will alert drivers to keep the Broome Street intersections clear and prevent gridlock, thus enabling pedestrians and north/south traffic to move safely and freely.
But as a further deterrent, Stringer will call on both the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly Transportation Committees to install traffic cameras at crucial Broome Street intersections so that Don’t Block the Box violators will face stiff fines.
Additionally, Borough President Stringer will request DOT to repair the pavers on the crosswalks along the length of Greene and Mercer Streets, which have deteriorated so badly since they were installed in the mid-90s that deep fissures and cracks create a hazardous condition to pedestrians and cyclists crossing these intersections.

Trump Soho developers to auction hotel, condos

(Bloomberg) – The developers of Manhattan’s Trump Soho will put the hotel and its unsold condominium units up for sale, said Alex Sapir, one of the property’s builders.

The Sapir Organization, which developed the property with Bayrock Group, has hired brokers Eastdil Secured and Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to hold an auction for the unspecified number of unsold condominium units and the hotel’s common areas, said Alex Sapir, president of the Sapir Organization.

Sales of the Trump luxury units come as the city’s supply of for-sale condos shrinks. There were 3,382 units listed for sale in the fourth quarter, down 4.6% from a year earlier, according to Jonathan Miller, president of New York real estate appraiser Miller Samuel Inc.

“This is a real trophy property,” Mr. Sapir said. “An asset like this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The 46-story Trump Soho, managed by the Trump Organization, offers condos for sale that may only be used by their owners for 120 days of a calendar year. For the rest of the time, they’re offered as hotel rooms, with owners sharing in the rental revenue.

The decision to hold the auction comes after the group received unsolicited offers for the hotel, Mr. Sapir said. “They were numbers that we would be very happy selling at,” he said.

The firm chose to sell by auction to gauge the depth of the buyer pool and to probe how much investors might pay for a hotel asset in Manhattan, Mr. Sapir said.

Prospective buyers will receive preliminary information about the sale as early as Wednesday and the auction probably will be held in March or April, he said.

New York City hotel room rates rose 2.6% in November from a year earlier to an average $279 a night, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. of Hendersonville, Tenn. Revenue per available room climbed 6.1% to $230, as occupancies climbed by 3.5% over the year.

The property is being marketed to would-be buyers in Asia, Russia and the Middle East, Mr. Sapir said.

Mr. Sapir and Bayrock paid down $100 million of debt on the property owed to iStar Financial Inc. in 2010. Donald Trump characterized the deal as a “major paydown of the existing mortgage,” which at the time stood at $295 million.

The 391-unit Trump Soho development has recorded at least 90 sales, according to property-data website Forty-two units are currently listed for sale, with prices ranging between $995,000 for a 425-square foot studio to $8.74 million for a 2,331-square-foot two-bedroom, according to StreetEasy.

The Sapir Organization, based in New York, owns office and apartment buildings in Manhattan including 11 Madison Ave., home to Credit Suisse Group AG, and 2 Broadway, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is based. It also owns about 515 apartment units in TriBeCa.

The firm is in talks to acquire a parcel of land near the World Trade Center where it plans to build a hotel, Mr. Sapir said.

Video of NYU meeting

Tensions High at NYU Expansion Meeting

Updated: Monday, 09 Jan 2012, 10:47 PM EST
Published : Monday, 09 Jan 2012, 10:47 PM EST

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MYFOXNY.COM – A public hearing on Monday about NYU’s expansion plans quickly turned into a shouting match when people outside couldn’t get in.

The meeting was eventually stopped and moved to a nearby church to accommodate the large crowd, which was largely against NYU’s 2031 Core Initiative: A 20-year, 2.4-million-square-foot expansion plan to include four new buildings and an overhaul of the area’s zoning laws. It has drawn fire from many local community groups and many NYU neighbors.

One of the groups fighting NYU’s plans is the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Andrew Berman, the executive director, said that NYU’s plan to shoehorn new buildings into existing space would clog up an already densely populated area.

But NYU Vice President Alicia Hurley said the plan would be an economic benefit to the area, bringing money and jobs.



Huge Crowd Opposing NYU Expansion Plan Forces Relocation of Public Hearing

oneHuge Crowd Opposing NYU Expansion Plan Forces Relocation of Public Hearing


FooterLast night several hundred people turned out to the first official public hearing in the review and approval process for NYU’s massive expansion plan to urge Community Board #2’s Zoning Committee to reject the plan and the zoning changes it requires. After more than a hundred people were shut out of the meeting due to lack of space, attendees both inside and out demanded that the hearing be moved or postponed so that all who wanted to could participate. The Community Board agreed, and the meeting was moved to a much larger space at Our Lady of Pompei Church. Of the several hundred people who attended, not a single one spoke in favor of the NYU plan. Residents, NYU faculty, and of course GVSHP spoke forcefully in opposition to the plan. The Committee did not vote last night, and neither they nor the full Community Board will vote until February.