Private Club and Event Space Slated Coming to Former American Stock Exchange
Above: A historical view of the legacy trading floor of the American Stock Exchange building, which offers more than tens of thousands of square feet of space, uninterrupted by columns, with ceiling heights of more than 60 feet. Below: The Trinity Place facade of the landmarked building.
Billionaire Ron Burkle, who purchased the landmarked American Stock Exchange building last year, plans to bring an outpost of his exclusive social club, the Ned, to the august structure, according to an application filed with the State Liquor Authority (SLA).
Mr. Burkle, who made his first fortune buying and consolidating chains of supermarkets in California during the 1980s, paid $155 million last October for the American Stock Exchange Building at 86 Trinity Place, which has been closed since 2008. Mr. Burkle owns several other quixotic trophy properties, such as the 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch in Santa Ynez, California, the onetime home of singer Michael Jackson.
The previous owners of the American Stock Exchange—a 1921 structure that was designated a City landmark in 2012—were Clarion Partners. That firm had been planning for nearly a decade to create a boutique hotel in the complex’s 14-story office tower, and hoped to build a concert venue on the 27,000-square-foot former trading floor of what was once known as the New York Curb Exchange.
A view of the Greenwich Street facade of the American Stock Exchange with its cavernous trading floor converted into “experiential retail,” a proposed by a previous owner.
Both of these ambitions faced significant headwinds. The hotel sector in Lower Manhattan was widely regarded as overbuilt even before the onset of the COVID pandemic, and more than 1,000 new hotel rooms are still in the development pipeline. Such a competitive environment made it difficult to attract financing for yet another hostelry.
And the scheme to crate an event space large enough to host an audience of 3,000 people ran into opposition from local leaders, who have voiced reservations about similar (but much smaller) plans at nearby buildings, such as 23 Wall Street and 48 Wall Street—both legally protected landmark structures built when Downtown was the epicenter of the investing world, but which have struggled to find modern uses in the Financial District’s new incarnation as a residential community.
The Ned describes itself as “a new approach to hospitality,” which blends a members-only private space with event venues, multiple public restaurants, and hotel rooms (also open to the public). Mr. Burkle often locates Ned facilities in distinguished older buildings with which he has become enamored. This was the case for the first Ned outpost, which Mr. Burkle founded in 2017, in the former Midland Bank headquarters in London. That 1920s structure was designed by architect Edwin “Ned” Lutyens, for whom Mr. Burkle named what has grown into an international chain of clubs.
A similar narrative was evident in the creation of the Ned’s first Manhattan location, the 1903 Johnston Building in the NoMad neighborhood (at Broadway and 28th Street), beloved for its Beaux-Arts limestone facade, adorned with corner tower and cupola, which opened in June.
An interior view of the 2018 “experiential retail” proposal for the American Stock Exchange building from previous owners, which conveys some sense of what the trading floor might look like if converted into a concert venue able to host 3,000 people.
Opening such an establishment at the former American Stock Exchange will present legal obstacles because of the building’s proximity to a pair of nearby schools (the High School for Economics and Finance, and the Leadership and Public Service High School) and one house of worship (Trinity Church). SLA regulations forbid the issuance of a license to serve alcohol within 200 feet of schools or churches.
An exception to this rule is legally possible, however, if State lawmakers enact special legislation to permit it. At its May meeting, Community Board 1 enacted a resolution urging elected officials to sponsor and pass such a measure, based on assurances from the Ned that it has begun talks with Trinity Church to address any possible concerns, and that club will come back before the Board to alleviate concerns about traffic and crowding.
Preliminary plans for the 190,000-square-foot Ned at the American Stock Exchange include a pool, a gym, wellness facilities, a major performance space, and multiple drinking and dining establishments. Membership in the Ned is priced at $5,000 a year, with a $1,500 initiation fee. The facility is expected to open in 2024.
Alliance Acknowledges Excellence in Service by Five Downtown Leaders
The Downtown Alliance honored five Lower Manhattan leaders and public servants on June 22 with its annual Exceptional Service Awards. “This year’s recipients have devoted themselves to making life better and brighter for everyone, in both good and challenging times,” said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. “They’re part of the collaborative spirit that makes Lower Manhattan one of the most dynamic and resilient neighborhoods in the City.”
Elected Officials, Local Leaders Push for Environmental Overseer at Jail Demolition
Community Board 1 is pushing for an independent monitor to keep watch over environmental toxins that may be released by the demolition of the Manhattan Detention Complex. This deconstruction of the existing jail is part of larger, controversial initiative to build the world’s tallest penal facility at the same site, in order to facilitate the planned closure of Rikers Island.
Take a deeper look at the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s newest exhibition The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do, a presentation of Holocaust history told through personal stories, objects, photographs, and film. At a time when Jewish heritage is becoming more precious as antisemitism rises, the exhibition reminds visitors about the extremes of hatred, as well as the ability of the Jewish people to endure. $10 suggested donation.
This tour focuses on the commercial core with its 1980s skyscrapers of the original World Financial Center (now Brookfield Place) designed by architect Cesar Pelli, as well as the expansive North Cove Marina and its public realm. This walk investigates how the planning concept of public-private partnership was both the principle and economic engine of the Battery Park City project and how the goals of opening the waterfront to public access and recreation were realized over three decades. Registration is required; each tour is limited to 25 people. Free.
The powerhouse New Jersey-via-Nashville singer and songwriter, Nicole Atkins blends rock, soul, and psychedelic rock into into her own unique contemporary sound. Her impeccable songwriting and emotive voice shine on her latest release, Memphis Ice. Free.
Reading. In this riveting spiritual memoir, the writer, scholar, and commentator tells the story of his struggles with mental illness, explores the void between the Christian faith and scientific treatment, and forges a path toward reconciling these divergent worlds.
Click on the image above to see a frolic in the Battery Park fountains.
Rhythm and grooves fill the air at this Friday evening program. Follow the lead of professional drummers as they guide you through the pulsating beats of traditional African drumming techniques and methods. Drums provided, dancing welcome!
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
World Trade Center Oculus Greenmarket
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturdays, 11:30am-5pm
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Today in History: July 7
On this day in 1952, on her maiden voyage, SS United States broke the transatlantic speed record for passenger liners and claimed the Blue Riband, the designation given to the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The record—three days, ten hours, 40 minutes—stands today. Meanwhile, United States floats in decrepitude on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. The ship was retired in 1969. By 1994, she was stripped of all fittings. Today, donations to the SS United States Conservancy keep her afloat as supporters try to find a permanent home and fund a restoration. For a while, there were plans to tow her to Brooklyn, but these did not pan out.
1456 – A retrial verdict acquits Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death.
1534 – Jacques Cartier makes his first contact with aboriginal peoples in what is now Canada.
1834 – In New York City, four nights of rioting against abolitionists began.
1846 – American troops occupy Monterey and Yerba Buena, thus beginning the conquest of California.
1863 – The United States begins its first military draft; exemptions cost $300.
1907 – Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. staged his first Follies on the roof of the New York Theater in New York City.
1911 – The United States, Great Britain, Japan, and Russia sign the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911 banning open-water seal hunting, the first international treaty to address wildlife preservation issues.
1928 – Sliced bread is sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.
1946 – Howard Hughes nearly dies when his XF-11 reconnaissance aircraft prototype crashes in a Beverly Hills neighborhood.
1947 – In the Roswell incident, the crash of a weather balloon is taken to be the detritus of an alien spaceship near Roswell, New Mexico.
1952 – The ocean liner SS United States breaks the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world.
1954 – Elvis Presley makes his radio debut with “That’s All Right.”
1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan appoints Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States.
2021 – Haiti president Jovenel Moïse assassinated in his home.
1860 – Gustav Mahler, composer and conductor (d. 1911)
1899 – George Cukor, director and producer (d. 1983)
1927 – Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and conductor
1933 – David McCullough, historian and author
1936 – Jo Siffert, Swiss race car driver (d. 1971)
1940 – Ringo Starr, Beatle
1980 – Michelle Kwan, figure skater
1304 – Pope Benedict XI (b. 1240)
1307 – Edward I of England (b. 1239)
1930 – Arthur Conan Doyle, writer (b. 1859)
2014 – Eduard Shevardnadze, second President of Georgia (b. 1928)