Forget Mars Bar, the mangy dogs, vials, crust punks, hard-knock landlords, or any other signifier used to represent the gritty East Village; that’s all dead. Environmentalism killed it and everything in the East Village now looks like a Palm Beach hotel lobby. Or that’s the vision of Michael Namer, the man behind Village Green, a new eco-friendly building on 11th Street.
It sounds soft, like a money grab or a concession to the endless stream of yuppies and NYU kids whom grizzled old men and anonymous Internet commenters are always bitching about. But according to a profile in Saturday’s Daily News, the dude has some cred. Plus, who wouldn’t want track lighting that’s also good for Mother Earth?
Namer, whose building collects rainwater and has a wellness center, “has been developing buildings below 14th St. for more than 25 years.”
He has coached Little League in the neighborhood. He paints. He developed the SoHo building where they found and saved a Basquiat mural hidden behind sheetrock. If anyone knows what makes downtown go, it’s him.
So fall back, haters, because all but two of the 36 units are sold. And that calls for a celebration, or at least a brief newspaper profile that will stop at nothing to convince you of a rich man’s legitimacy.
He throws huge parties. One is so big they have to almost close the street.
Boom: journalism. “Is this the new East Village?” the paper asks. “Maybe, maybe not,” the paper answers. But for $1.1 million apiece — rainwater included — in the neighborhood’s first LEED-certified building? Put that latte down, grab your iPhone, and call your broker. Tell her you want in on the Michael Namer party.