September 21st - September 27th, 2007
Advertising on Scaffolding Could Bring Revenue to NYC If Council Bill Is Passed
September 26th: A City Council bill introduced this week would, if passed, allow building owners to obtain a permit to advertise on scaffolding in New York City, reports the New York Sun. The city currently bans such advertising displays, but the bill's endorser, Councilmember Melinda Katz of Queens, says that the new system could provide "a very good source of revenue for the city" because owners would have to purchase the permits in order to obtain the rights to advertise, according to the Sun's report.
The permits would allow advertisers to lease the wall space on what is called the "sidewalks sheds," the portion of paneling that wraps around the scaffolding on its lowest walkways, from building owners. The bill includes a stipulation as to where in the city such leases could be negotiated, keeping advertisers restricted to commercial and manufacturing zones. It is unclear how much money could be made if the new system goes into place, but according to estimates, there were a little more than five thousand sidewalk sheds in the city last year.
Reactions to the introduction of the bill have been mixed so far. Those in support of the new system have argued that it would allow the city to raise money from what has previously been considered "black market advertising." If the bill is passed, it would give the city the authority to regulate illegal advertising and, at the same time, earn revenue for the city. Critics, on the other hand, say that the new system would inevitably lead to even more advertising displays than the city already has.
Verizon Sells Its Tower at 375 Pearl Street
September 26th: Taconic Partners will be a majority owner of the tower at 375 Pearl Street once Verizon completes a pending sale of about 85 percent of the building for the "dirt-cheap" price of $172.05 million, reports the New York Post. The group is purchasing 930,000 feet of the property through a condominium interest, which would give it ownership of floors 2 through 7 and 11 through 32; Verizon will maintain floors 8 through 10 and the basement levels, according to the this week's report.
Moving forward, Taconic has hired the architectural firm Cook & Fox to perform an estimated $100 million in design work on the tower. The work will include adding as many as six elevator cabs and installing new HVAC, electricity, bathrooms, and more, says the Post. The most striking addition will be the planned 360-degree "window walls." According to the Post, the deal is expected to close by the end of December.
Downtown Ranks as City's Fastest Growing, Most Affluent Neighborhood
September 27th: Lower Manhattan was recognized in the New York Sun this week as not only the fastest growing neighborhood in the city, but also the most affluent. With the population of wealthy residents downtown increasing -- with little sign of slowing down -- retailers and service providers are quickly picking up on this largely untapped downtown market.
In its report, the Sun refers to downtown as an "essential destination" for retailers and service providers given the speed with which Lower Manhattan has grown in recent years and the type of residents it has started attracting. Currently, more than 44,000 people live downtown, and the city is projecting that number will rise to 53,000 by 2008, says the Sun. Moreover, the neighborhood attracts a tremendous number of visitors and tourists each year; another number that is expected to continue increasing as the city nears completion of the new World Trade Center complex and memorial.