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Massive food & entertainment skyscraper coming to FiDi



28 liberty street new york

A giant new food-and-entertainment venue is coming to 28 Liberty St., which is stepping out to swing after decades as one of the city’s least-public-friendly “iconic” skyscrapers.

Legends Hospitality, which runs everything from the Yankee Stadium food concession to the One World Trade Center Observatory, has been tapped to operate a 35,000 square-foot food-and-live music complex on 28 Liberty’s ground floor. The as-yet-unnamed venue, to be designed by famed architect Jeffrey Beers, will incorporate the property’s historic Noguchi rock garden.

The 60-story tower was the brainchild of David Rockefeller, who named his new bank headquarters One Chase Manhattan Plaza.

It was an International Style icon but offered little to outsiders other than its alfresco plaza. From the time it opened in 1961 until 9/11, the Wall Street area was home mainly to financial firms and only to a bare handful of lonely residents.

Today of course, FiDi is a mixed commercial-residential neighborhood full of stores and restaurants. Fosun Five Holdings, a division of China’s Fosun International which bought the tower for $725 million in 2013, has been swift to reorient 28 Liberty St. to the new climate.

The skyscraper hit a milestone this month with completion of $150 million in capital upgrades. Most visible is the emergence of a 200,000-square-foot retail portion on the ground and three lower floors — previously home to a bank branch and a newsstand. (The hipped-up high-rise also has a huge Danny Meyer restaurant and event space, Manhatta, on its 60th floor).

With the Legends deal, more than 60 percent of the retail portion at the tower’s base — branded as Marketplace 28 — is leased.

The Legends space “will be more than a food hall,” said Fosun leasing director Thomas Costanzo. “We worked with them to create something unique.” Scheduled to open in 2020, it will feature leading international chefs, major-artist music performances and a separate, “upscale” restaurant.

Fosun was also repped in the deal by Newmark Knight Frank’s Jeffrey Roseman and Ross Kaplan.

Meanwhile, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is building out a 45,000-square-foot, 10-screen movie palace in 28 Liberty’s lowest below-ground level, to open in late 2019.

Costanzo said that 28 Liberty’s 2.2 million square feet of office space are about 77 percent leased despite departures at the end of 2018 by JP Morgan Chase and Milbank Tweed, which had 300,000 square feet between them.

Three newly signed deals totaling 170,000 square feet are helping to offset them — a 70,000 square-foot renewal by Allianz and new leases for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (60,000 square feet) and 42,000 square feet for HelloFresh SE.

Asking rents for remaining space are in the mid-high $50s per square foot on lowest floors and the mid-high $70s in tower floors, Costanzo said.

Fosun is looking to take on a minority partner in 28 Liberty but has no intention of giving up control.


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9-year-old genius to graduate university




Laurent Simons

(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.

Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.

Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.

He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.

His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.

“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.

Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.

While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.

But Lydia has her own theory.

“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.

The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.

“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.

“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”

Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.

“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”

Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”

His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.

“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.

“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”

While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.

“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”

Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.

However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.

In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.

Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.

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New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne




Lena Horne

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Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem




Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem

Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.

The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.

Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.

Father and son were both knocked through a gate.

The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.

One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.

McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.

McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.

Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.


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