$45,000 Raised For Chinatown Sandy Fund

City Hall Steps.

it was a show of force earlier today at City Hall, as local elected officials and community leaders came out in support of a relief fund for small businesses in Chinatown impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  The effort by the Chinatown Partnership and the Chinatown BID has already raised $45,000.  All of the money will be used for a grant program; eligible businesses are encouraged to apply for assistance.

The campaign includes a benefit dinner at the Grand Harmony Restaurant, 98 Mott Street, on December 19.  Today, Grand Harmony owner Tony Chen said his business was dealt a serious setback from the storm. Not only was he shut down for a week and forced to throw out  a lot of spoiled food, but Chen said his customers have not come back in large numbers since the storm. He estimated business is off by about 30%

Holidays 2012: Keeping it Local on the LES

Ian Trask’s unique Christmas ornament is available at Recession Art.

Here are some more suggestions for keeping it local during the holidays — Lower East Side gift ideas.  Send us your favorite neighborhood gift inspirations at tips@thelodownny.com.  We’ll have a new installment of “Keeping it Local” every day this month.

  • Recession Art at Culturefix (9 Clinton Street) is featuring holiday gifts made by local artists, such as this one-of-a-kind Christmas ornament sculpture composed of recycled earbuds and yarn by Ian Trask ($50). There’s also a set of holiday cards featuring polar bears and reindeer in Victorian outfits from illustrator Allison Guy’s Pigeon and Tonic series, limited edition prints by Tate Foley, and a brand new series of paintings from Megan Berk.  You can go by Recession Art or take a look at their online store for more ideas.
  • Revolution Now, the new knitwear shop at 162 Allen Street, has some good deals on sweaters, caps, scarves and even some dog sweaters.  There’s a $25 table up front.  We stopped by last night during the Lower East Side BID’s holiday shopping event, when everything was 25% off, but not to worry.  There are still good values to be had.  You can check out Revolution Now’s designs, featuring bold colors and interesting details, on their web site.
  • Honey in the Rough is having a holiday jewelry sale. Prices are 20-50% off current and past season items.  You can stop by the sliver of a store at 161 Rivington Street or go online to look at all sale items.
  • And Melt Bakery has launched a new line of mini-ice cream sandwiches.  There are special flavors for the holidays, including Brown Butter Pumpkin Meltcake with Eggnog Ice Cream.  Melt delivers or you can stop by their shop at 132 Orchard Street.


250 Bowery Apartments Now Online; Penthouse Listed For Nearly $7 Million

Curbed and the Real Deal report today that the listings are now officially online for 250 Bowery, the new 8-story luxury building near Prince Street.  Some of the 24 apartments have already been snapped up. The lowest price is for a one-bedroom unit on the third floor for $925,000.  The priciest penthouse unit is listed at nearly $6.9 million.

VE Equities bought the property in 2010 for just under $10 million.  Elliman broker Douglas Elkund (the star of Bravo’s “million Dollar Listing New York”) told The Real Deal that interest in the property had been “incredible… I’ve never seen anything like it in my 10-year real estate career.”

Still to come at 250 Bowery: the retail portion of the project.  Clothing store Anthropologie has leased the ground floor.

Here’s the link to 250 Bowery’s web site.


CB3 Asked to Weigh Low Line With Seward Park Project

The abandoned trolley station under Delancey Street. All photos taken by the Delancey Underground team, May 2012.

Community Board 3’s land use committee met last night to discuss the Seward Park development project.  As it turns out, there wasn’t much to discuss.  A secret task force has now met twice to help guide the city’s creation of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the large mixed-use project adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge.  Members of the task force were required to sign confidentiality agreements, meaning they can’t talk about any issues covered in their deliberations.   The most interesting topic of conversation last night concerned an adjacent project, the proposed park envisioned in an abandoned trolley station below Delancey Street.

The project, known as “The Low Line,” is not part of the Seward Park RFP.  But during the discussion, Low Line co-founder Dan Barasch was invited to update committee members on his organization’s progress.  In a resolution approved last June, the community board expressed its strong support for the project. 

Morning Reads: Hurricane Aid, Seaport Mall Still Closed, Jay-Z Video Makes Local Artist Famous

  • President Obama prepares to ask Congress for around $50 billion in hurricane aid; New York political leaders are disappointed he’s not planning to ask for more (NYT).
  • The South Street Seaport Mall at Pier 17 is still closed, weeks after Hurricane Sandy.  The shops, scheduled to be demolished next year, may not reopen during the holidays (Tribeca Trib).
  • David Bensinger of the Little Laptop Shop on Clinton Street has become involved with Startup New York, which is helping businesses recover, post-Sandy (NY1).
  • An interview with Leonard Abrams, who edited the influential East Village Eye (EV Grieve).
  • More about that “adorable old lady” who asked Jay-Z if he was famous — East Village artist Ellen Grossman (NYT).


Good Morning!

Williamsburg Bridge & Brooklyn

Williamsburg Bridge, looking towards Brooklyn. Photo by Joel Raskin.

Sunny today with a high of 42.

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