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Curbed Cuts: Harlem’s Whole Foods gets an opening date, Webster Hall renovations, and more

Three things you need to know today

Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.

Who are New York’s high-roller renters?

Ever wondered who’s actually living in those over-the-top rentals in hotels like the Pierre, or luxury buildings like 456 Washington Street? Unfortunately, the New York Times’s dive into the world of high-end renting doesn’t quite answer that question—most of the folks profiled rent in the $3,000-$5,000/month range—but it does attempt to answer the question of why, if you can afford to buy, would you continue to rent in NYC?

There are a few different answers: there’s less of a stigma about renting in New York City; some people just aren’t sure if they want to make the commitment to New York that buying requires; and, well, we’ll just let this quote sum up the last point:

“We had a broker tell us, ‘My clients have $9 million to spend on a co-op or condo, and they’re getting frustrated because they can’t find the home of their dreams,” Mr. Cho said. “‘They’re making compromises and feel embittered about it.’ And then the client says: ‘Why don’t I keep my liquidity working for me? Why don’t I buy a country place somewhere and why don’t I just rent the best?’”

Pity the poor rich people who can’t find the $9 million home of their dreams.

But, as absurd as that quote is, it speaks to the jump in so-called “luxury” rentals (like Related’s The Easton) on the market: developers saw a demand for high-end rentals with condo-like amenities, and so they delivered. And apparently, there actually are enough people willing to shell out $10,000/month for a rental. What a world.

The end of Webster Hall as we know it?

Advertising Week New York 2016 - Wrap Party Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

Big changes are coming to Webster Hall: The iconic East Village venue sold to Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment (the company that operates the Barclays Center) and AEG Presents (which owns Bowery Presents) for a reported $35 million earlier this year. And with that sale will come renovations, with BSE CEO Brett Yormack telling the New York Post that “We’re going to preserve what Webster Hall means to the consumers and artists, but we will contemporize it.”

But what does that mean, and when will it happen? That’s what EV Grieve is wondering: According to one of their tipsters, the venue is due to close after its final concert—Michelle Branch on August 8—and subsequent performances that were originally happening at Webster Hall have been moved to other venues, including the Bowery Presents-managed Terminal 5.

But there hasn’t been any official word from the new owners, and as EV Grieve points out, there are no renovation plans on file with the Department of Buildings at the moment. So yes, you can expect some changes (including, fingers crossed, an upgrade to the club’s bathrooms); but when you can expect them, and what impact that will have on the venue and its employees, remains unclear.

Harlem’s Whole Foods gets an opening date

As part of its eventual takeover of the island of Manhattan (and parts of Brooklyn), Whole Foods has several stores currently in the works, including a 60,000-square-foot behemoth in the Manhattan West megaproject. And as Harlem Bespoke reports, one of the chain’s most anticipated stores—the forthcoming Harlem location on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue—finally has an opening date: July 21.

The Whole Foods is the anchor of a much larger (and, if we’re being honest, somewhat suburban) commercial building that’ll also be home to a Burlington Coat Factory, Nordstrom Rock, and an Olive Garden, among other tenants. The project has been in the works since 2012, though the building only just topped out and completed its facade last year.

According to Whole Foods, the 39,000-square-foot store will carry “unique local products” (no word on what those are yet) “that will make the store a one-stop destination for both Harlem-made goods and high quality grocery staples.” So there’s that to look forward to.