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CurbedWire: Leaky Chupi, Bad Apple in Soho?

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WEST VILLAGE?The tipster who sends the pic above with the subject line "Seem like Chupi has sprung a leak" about our beloved Palazzo Chupi writes: "No sure if this is what it is, but since it was raining yesterday, it does seem that something was not right at the palazzo." Is the palazzo really leaking? Nooooo. [CurbedWire Inbox]

SOHO?There is grave unhappiness in the environs of the Apple store. And we do mean seriously grave. First the iPhrenzy and, well, now the Jonas Brothers. The SoHo Alliance writes: "The SoHo Community - residents and the high-end retail stores - have been besieged ever since Apple SoHo moved in. The last straw was last Tuesday when thousands of pre-teen and teenaged girls mobbed Prince and Greene Streets, shutting it down for hours like it was Shea Stadium and the Beatles. Below is a letter with links sent out to elected officials to ask for assistance in controlling Apple."

Here is some of the very long letter from SoHo Alliance Director Sean Sweeney, which reads like a declaration of war:

Dear Manhattan Borough President Stringer, The residents and businesses of SoHo desperately need your help regarding constant problems we have with Apple SoHo. I contacted Shaan Khan, your Director of Community Affairs, and he has agreed to facilitate a meeting between the surrounding high-end stores owners, local residents and Apple SoHo representatives and other elected officials to find a solution to these problems.

Since the Apple SoHo store moved in six years ago, it has become the worst neighbor in SoHo. No bar, nightclub or construction site comes close to ruining continually our quality-of-life like Apple SoHo has. This is very disappointing since the many Mac users in SoHo initially welcomed the store. Even before the store opened, the SoHo Alliance was receiving construction complaints from residents and businesses, and there have been over a dozen complaints filed with the Department of Buildings since then.

However, the final straw occurred last Tuesday, August 12th with an in-store performance by the Jonas Brothers, who recorded "Jonas Brothers Live" for Apple's i-Tunes. This concert attracted thousands of young teenage girls who SCREAMED INCESSANTLY on the street for hours for their idols, blocking traffic, injuring one resident in the crush, and inconveniencing scores of other people and businesses;

This concert for the Jonas Brothers was like the Beatles at Shea Stadium. The screaming was that loud. However, residential Greene Street is not Shea Stadium.

To see what a mob scene this was, visit here. A commenter on that blog writes: I waited 17 hours in line, to be mobbed by millions of girls.
We left crying because my friend couldn't breathe and had a panic attack. The whole thing was stupid and disorganized...These regular music performances by Apple may violate the Zoning Resolution, the Certificate of Occupancy, and the Public-Assembly-permit requirement (they have no P.A.)...Perhaps a call to the FDNY during the next concert, bringing it to an end mid-performance, is in order. Nor would Apple welcome a lawsuit if one of these young girls were struck by a car while blocking vehicular traffic.

However, there are many other examples of irresponsible corporate behavior by Apple SoHo:

- construction occurring after midnight on the public sidewalk with loud power machinery several times in 2006;

- illegal night-time construction without a permit, keeping neighbors awake in 2002, 2006 and 2007; (see the numerous DOB complaints: http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/ComplaintsByAddressServlet?requestid=1&allbin=1007985 )

- lies to me and the Manhattan Borough President's Office by the manager, Paul Fradin, that Apple SoHo had night permits for this work when in fact it didn't;

- crowds for Apple SoHo on a regular basis that necessitate police barricades, adding to pedestrian crowding, preventing access to high-end businesses on Greene Street and subsequent diminution of income, as well as restricting residents access to their homes;

- subsequent litter left by these crowds who often number in the hundreds, and who line up and even camp out overnight on public sidewalks, giving SoHo the appearance of a homeless encampment;

- Apple employees during their breaks lounging, eating, smoking, littering - in effect, trespassing - on nearby people's stoops...

Everyone in the vicinity of Apple SoHo has been contacting me for a solution. We need assistance to curb this egregious corporate behavior. It is gratifying that your office is willing to initiate a facilitation of these problems. Thanks for your office's offer, looking forward to working to alleviate these problems.

Any questions? [CurbedWire Inbox]

Palazzo Chupi

360 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014