Business Briefs

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:01

 For downtown rents, some record highs

Downtown- More data for the real-estate obsessed:, a listings web site, has tallied up median rents throughout Manhattan, and come up with some surprising findings.

For downtown residents -- regardless of whether you live in Battery Park, FiDi, Tribeca or the West Village -- the news is not good, if you're a renter: Those neighborhoods are by far the most expensive in the city, Zumper says.

Tribeca leads the priciest list, with the median price of a one bedroom hitting $4,000. That's followed closely by $3,600 in Battery Park City and $3,595 in the West Village. For a two-bedroom, Tribeca median rents are also the city's most expensive, at $6,659.

While none of this will come as a surprise to renters, it's a boost to landlords -- and a sign of how much downtown has displaced uptown when it comes to fancy real estate.

By way of comparison, a one bedroom on the Upper East Side goes for a median rent of $2,600 -- $1,000 less than its downtown counterpart.

For more info on how much you pay and why, go to

East Village businesses join forces

East Village businesses have formed a merchants association, following several small-business closures, in an effort to survive in a business climate with rising rents and competition from chain stores.

The East Village Independent Merchants Association was formed under the auspices of the East Village Community Coalition, and received funding from the city's Dept. of Small Business Services and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce.

The association had its inaugural meeting on Feb. 24 and now plans to conduct a neighborhood-wide business survey to determine priorities and hold committee meetings to develop their offerings. According to their website, the association will act as a resource for growth in the community's businesses and will work to promote small business visibility in the neighborhood.

Sara Romanoski, managing director of the East Village Community Coalition, told that she formed the new group to preserve the character of the neighborhood.

"From a community character and quality-of-life standpoint, we believe in a diversity of businesses and services in the East Village," she said. "It really makes the neighborhood ideal."

For more information on the association and how to join, email

Bobby Flay's New Joint

Celeb chef Bobby Flay is set to open a new Mediterranean eatery, named Gato, on Lafayette Street later this month. He told the New York Post, "I am pretty focused on Gato right now. We are going to have some great grilled dishes there. We'll do a charred steak with cabarales blue cheese, a grilled chicken with tarragon, and goat cheese potatoes."

Flay will also be filming his new Food Network show called "Beat Bobby Flay" where he will challenge various chefs around the city to see who can produce the best grilled dishes. The show will air on March 6th.