Business Briefs

| 17 Feb 2015 | 01:01

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

For Upper East Siders, some good news: Zumper says the U.E.S. is among the cheapest neighborhoods in Manhattan, with one bedrooms going for a median rent of $2,600. That's cheaper than anywhere except the Lower East Side. Two-bedroom rents also are a (very) relative value, at $3,595.

While this isn't perhaps welcome news for landlords, it's a boost for renters -- and somewhat of a surprise for a neighborhood that for decades ranked as one of the priciest in the city.

To get a sense of how times have changed, rents downtown have zoomed past the Upper East Side, pretty much across the board. In Battery Park City, for instance, median rents for a one-bedroom are $3,600 -- exactly $1,000 a month more than on the East Side -- while Tribeca ranks as the priciest in the city, with media one-bedroom rents going for $4,000.

Hearing to overhaul community board process

Freshman Councilman Ben Kallos, representing the Upper East Side, held a hearing Monday as chair of the Government Operations committee aimed at overhauling the application and appointment process to the city's 59 community boards.

Kallos' office reported about 1,500 spots were opening across the five boroughs, and that reforms in recent years had been achieved but never standardized.

"There is tremendous opportunity to share knowledge and best practices across the five boroughs," said Kallos in a press release.

The hearing featured testimony from community board chairs, good government groups, and other elected officials including borough presidents, and centered on improving, across the board, standardization and transparency in the recruitment and appointment process.

"We have a chance to do the appointment and recruitment process right across all five boroughs," said Kallos in an interview after the hearing. "This hearing provided an excellent forum for knowledge-sharing, so that best practices from one borough can become the norm across all five."

Borough presidents must make the appointments before May 30. According to a Kallos spokesperson, his office is in the process of gathering information from the hearing and will create a set of recommendations. "We will be considering a number of different options for action," said the spokesperson.

Per Se slammed by Health Dept

The famed upscale dining haven Per Se was pushed down to earth with the rest of the grubby population by a Health Department inspection from February 19, Eater NY reports. The restaurant received 42 points, which would earn it a C grade, though the grade is officially pending and can change after a second inspection, once the place has a chance to clean up its act. The violations included five categorized as "critical," and the restaurant was cited for not having hand washing facilities in or near the food preparation area and bathroom. "Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided."