Under Cover, April 17, 2013

Club Nod

Jenifer Rajkumar edged out Councilmember Margaret Chin last week, getting the endorsement of the Village Independent Democrats in this year’s City Council primary.

Club president Tony Hoffman told us the reason was simple — “it was N.Y.U.” — meaning  Chin’s support for the university’s development project.

Long before he became a state senator, Brad Hoylman likened the V.I.D. nod to the Iowa Caucus. When he got the club’s backing in his 2001 City Council run, it did appear to move him ahead of some of the candidates, including Chin, but it was not enough to best Alan Gerson.

This year, both candidates cited their immigrant roots. Rajkumar also told the club she was taking a “leap of faith” in running.

Indeed, one of her supporters, Sean Sweeney, told us recently that he had originally advised Rajkumar not to run because it’s so hard to beat an incumbent, but now the Downtown politico thinks she has momentum and will probably win.

Field Advocate

If there’s anything to that “enemy’s enemy is your friend” theory, perhaps Deborah Glick and NYCHA honcho John Rhea will soon be best buds.

Bill Bialosky,  president of the Downtown Soccer League, said at a recent Community Board 1 meeting that there are only two spots to get a lot more desperately needed field space in Lower Manhattan — Pier 40 and Smith Houses — but he knocked Glick and NYCHA for standing in the way.

Assemblymember Glick no doubt was the leading opponent to the plan to add field space to the pier by building nearby housing, but the idea had many other opponents as well, most notably Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Bialosky is miffed because Glick has talked about building more fields north of the Village but has not mentioned anywhere south.

Rhea, whom Bialosky did not mention by name, has already had his hands full fending off affordable housing advocates who don’t want any market rate apartments built on the Smith parking lot. Now he has a new opponent who literally wants a big piece of turf there for all Downtowners.

What Tin Building?

Many Seaport lovers have made much of the fact that the city hid the Howard Hughes Corporation’s intent to build a large apartment and hotel around the Tin and New Market buildings until after the City Council approved the firm’s redevelopment plan for Pier 17, but there was a curious part of the letter of intent that was also redacted from the original version.

Both versions had identical maps of the area, but the first version of the map did not identify the Tin or New Market structures, and the unredacted version did.