May 25th - May 29th, 2009
Work Continues on the Waterfront
May 26 – New piles are being installed at Piers 13 and 14 at the East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers and the old esplanade is being demolished. Just south of the South Street Seaport, the construction will cover about two miles of waterfront from the Battery Maritime Building to Pier 35 at Rutgers Street, according to The Battery Park Broadsheet. The rebuild section of the Esplanade will reopen in the fall of 2010 and will include seating, lighting and planting designs.
Wall Street Unemployment Numbers Revised
May 26 – The NYS Labor Department is out with a more optimistic forecast on the number of jobs that Wall Street may lose. Economists were predicting job cuts would reach 50,000, but the latest report indicates about 19,000 is a more realistic number. Crain’s NY Business says some think the job cuts are delayed by severance packages that keep laid off employees on payrolls; others believe TARP, which gave banks billions, means fewer people will be let go.
Valiant Insurance Expands Space
May 26 – Valiant Insurance Group is taking advantage of reduced commercial rents in Lower Manhattan. It signed a lease to nearly double its space at 110 William Street to approximately 18,500 square feet, taking over the building’s entire 21st floor. Crain’s New York Business is reporting the asking rent was in the mid 30’s a square foot.
Candle Building Price Lowered
May 26 – Another price cut is being reported at 11 Spring Street. Curbed.com and The New York Observer say the massive 19th century brick house, nicknamed the Candle Building, is now on the market for $26 million, down approximately $10 million from the original asking price last September.
AIG Tower Deal Near
May 27 – AIG’s towers at 70 Pine Street and 72 Wall Street may be sold soon to a Korean or Chinese firm, according to The New York Observer. The paper says the price for the buildings is around $100 a square foot; the deal contrasts sharply from a mega deal in 2007, where 60 Wall Street went for approximately $730 a square foot. The Observer is also reporting the firms are haggling with AIG to get free rent for the first 18 months.
Law Firms Sign Lower Manhattan Leases
May 27 – Rents in the $40 a square foot range are reportedly what two law firms landed in two separate deals at 14 Wall Street. According to GlobeSt.com, Newman Fitch Altheim Myers and Gibson and Behman have signed leases for nearly 30,000 square feet in the 37 story office tower.
Rents Fall in Manhattan
May 27 – Rents throughout Manhattan have dropped to 2007 levels, according to the Manhattan Rental Market Report, released by the Real Estate Group. Doorman buildings reported a drop of about 6.92 percent; rents in non-doorman buildings fell about 3.62 percent in the past two years. In the Financial District, rents are down about 2.73 percent.
Group Protests New Jersey 9-11 Memorial
May 28 – The Friends of Liberty State Park are against building the Empty Sky Memorial, a tribute to 9-11, in the park. The group feels the $12 million memorial is a waste of taxpayers’ money and will block views of NYC, according to The Jersey Journal. The memorial consists of two 30 foot high, 200 foot long steel walls. The group pointed out the park already has a Grove of Remembrance, a group of 750 trees which pays tribute to 9-11.
Work Resumes at Beekman Tower
May 29 – Work has resumed on Beekman Tower, after the developer was able to reach cost savings measures, according to The New York Times. Forest City Ratner says it reduced labor expenses and took advantage of falling prices for construction materials and appliances for the building’s 900 apartments. The Building and Construction Trades Council and The Building Trades Employers Association said the agreement is unprecedented and will impact 12 construction projects around the city. Mayor Bloomberg said, “Labor and management in the industry are not content merely to wait for a national rebound. Instead, they are taking measures to do something about it now.”
PA Sends Funds to Transit Hub
May 29 – The Port Authority board voted to shuffle money from two key projects at the WTC site to the Transportation Hub. The Daily News reported $546 million from the Vehicular Security Center (VSC) and $70 million from the Cortlandt Street station will be funneled to the Hub, whose budget has spiraled to about $3.2 billion.
Tribeca Water Main Work Planned for 2010
May 29 – The City’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced water main work in North Tribeca will begin next spring to connect new water mains to the Third Water Tunnel. In a report in The Downtown Express, the DDC said the work will impact Hudson Street between Laight and Worth Streets and on Hubert, North Moore, Beach, and Franklin Streets. DDC said it could not pinpoint now how long the work will take.