January 12th - January 18th, 2013
Cantor Fitzgerald 9-11 Memorial Pledge Hedge
January 11 - Earlier this week, Cantor Fitzgerald announced it would donate $10 million to New Yorkers who live in neighborhoods that were decimated by Hurricane Sandy, reported Crain's New York. But Cantor Fitzgerald -- which suffered the biggest death toll of any employer when it lost 658 of its own workers during the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11 -- still has not made good on a previous $10 million pledge to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, according to two people with knowledge of the foundations fundraising. Five years after Cantor's monetary pledge to the 9/11 Memorial, the company has delivered less than 10 percent of the money promised to the site, according to a source. A spokesman for Cantor said the company fully intends to pay the $10 million to the 9/11 Memorial over time. He did not specify when and noted that there was never a deadline for the payment. The major donation to the nonprofit memorial was announced with great fanfare in April 2008. Disputes over cost of the $1 billion museum have plagued the memorial and museum for years and lead to a delay of the opening of the museum, which is still shuttered and has no firm opening date.
Lower Manhattan Office-Leasing Market Benefits from School Expansions
January 13 - Schools and universities have chalked up a sharp expansion in their New York space needs in recent years, driven in part by more families populating Lower Manhattan, a new CBRE report says. According to the Wall Street Journal, since 2005, the footprint of the education sector in the Manhattan office-leasing market has increased 47 percent as of November. Most of the educational-leasing activity has been concentrated in the Midtown South and Lower Manhattan areas, reflecting changing demographics as more families move to neighborhoods that previously saw mostly commercial activity. Cheaper rents following the economic downtown have also helped education-sector tenants to pick up space in the tight office market. The number of residential units in Lower Manhattan almost doubled between 2000 and 2010 to more than 27,800 units, and the number of children aged 14 and under doubled in 2012 from 2000, to more than 5,200. New York has the largest public-school system in the nation, with nearly 1.1 million students in more than 1,700 schools, as well as 76 universities and colleges, more than any other U.S. city.
Seastreak Ferry Resumes Service After Crash
January 14 - Regular ferry service resumed Monday for the company involved in the ferry crash in Lower Manhattan last week, reported ABC 7 News New York. This comes as investigators focus on why the Seastreak ferrys engines may have failed in the accident. About 70 people were injured when the ferry crashed into a pier. Its engines have a data recording feature that investigators will try to access. At the time the ferry smashed into the dock, it was going about 13 mph, which is fast for the usual crawl into the slip but not necessarily for turning into the area, experts said. After the impact, the boat was able to dock normally. The ferry had recently undergone a major overhaul that gave it new engines and a new propulsion system, and officials are looking into whether they played a role.
Downtown Real Estate Shrugs Off Sandy
January 15 - Despite taking a massive hit from Hurricane Sandy, the downtown real estate market has held up remarkably well, reported Crain's New York. Sheldon Cohen, a senior managing director of CBRE Group, noted that leasing in the final three months of the year downtown totaled 1.2 million square feet, 9 percent more than was leased in the year-earlier quarter. In fact, the largest deal of the entire year downtown was completed after the storm. That was a lease for 237,000 square feet signed by the New York State Department of Financial Services. There were also no major deals that were canceled because of the storm, according to CBRE, which reported that 94 percent of the office space in the market is now fully operational. Cohen noted that more than half of last year's leases were signed by companies outside the traditional financial and insurance sectors. That includes Nielsen Media Research, which took 115,000 square feet, in the fourth largest lease signed last year. That process will likely continue this year, during which 3 million square feet is expected to hit the market, much of it courtesy of 1 and 4 World Trade Center.
Spire Begins to Rise At 1 World Trade Center
January 15 - Workers at the rising 1 World Trade Center on Tuesday installed the first piece of the spire that will make the 104-floor skyscraper the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, reported NY1 and other news sources. Dozens of construction workers were on hand as two giant cranes on the roof slowly lowered the massive, round piece of steel into its socket -- the base of the 800-ton, 408-foot spire that will also serve as a world-class broadcast antenna. With a beacon at its peak to ward off aircraft, the spire will provide public transmission services for television and radio broadcast channels that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, along with the twin towers. The nearly 70-ton piece floated into Manhattan last month on a barge. Overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the high-rise is scheduled to open for business in 2014.
Fixes to South Ferry Subway Station May Take Two Years
January 18 - The badly damaged South Ferry subway station will not be fully functioning for at least two years -- a much longer Hurricane Sandy hangover than officials initially estimated, reported the NY Daily News. Last month, MTA officials said the repairs could take as long as a year, but they doubled that estimate Thursday while touring the waterlogged Financial District station with reporters. The MTA estimates it will cost $600 million to rebuild the No. 1 train station, a key conduit to the Staten Island and Liberty Island ferries. The estimate represents $350 million for station repairs, $200 million for signals and communications, $30 million for traction power repairs and $20 million for line equipment. Tens of thousands of riders used the 1 train terminus each weekday, MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said. The station had been fully renovated just four years ago, but was pummeled by nearly 15 million gallons of brackish water during the superstorm.
Pier 17 Businesses Must Move Out by May 1, Developer Says
January 18 - As businesses in the Seaport continue to struggle in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, business owners were recently dealt another blow, according to DNAinfo.com. Pier 17 tenants received lease-termination notices a few weeks ago from the piers owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, saying they have to leave by May 1 in anticipation of a massive redevelopment project slated to begin in July. Tenants have long known about the upcoming overhaul of the pier -- which calls for gutting the entire mall andreplacing it with high-end shops and restaurants built in a sleek, glass structure-- but many business owners had hoped they would be able to keep their doors open longer into the warm weather. Howard Hughes representatives had previously said at public Community Board 1 meetings that tenants would be able to stay until at least May 31. And tenants, along with CB1, have been urging both Howard Hughes and the City Planning Commission to push the construction start date back to Oct. 1, allowing the pier's stores to take advantage of the bustling summer season. A Howard Hughes representative confirmed that Pier 17 businesses have received the lease-termination notices. Other business owners who did not have long-term leases said their temporary leases are up at the end of April. The NYC Planning Commission is slated to vote on the redevelopment this month.