May 12th - May 16th, 2008
Sound and Art Installation To Open
May 12- The Battery Maritime Building will become a musical building this summer. According to The New York Sun, David Byrne of the band, Talking Heads, will transform the interior of the building so that it produces sound. He’ll attach various devices to the ceiling beams, plumbing, electrical conduits and pipes that will produce sound through vibration. The sound/art installation will be open for visitors and passengers at the end of the month when Governor’s Island opens for the summer season.
Goldman Sachs Deal Being Renegotiated
May 13 – The multi-million dollar deal hammered out in 2005 by the City and State to keep Goldman Sachs downtown is being renegotiated according to several published reports. The package includes $320 million in penalties for the city and state if they fail to completed road and transit projects and a security plan by 2010. Goldman wanted reassurances from the city and state prior to building its $2.4 billion headquarters across from the WTC site. Mayor Bloomberg is insisting that the timetable for the security plan is on target for the end of 2009; he blamed the Port Authority for delays at the Transit Hub and the Vehicle Security Center. Goldman would be able to recoup a lump sum rent payment of $161 million along with $160 million in sales tax rebates. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, “Obviously, I’m not happy about this. Unfortunately, unrealistic timetables were set in many instances.”
375 Pear to get a Facelift
May 13 – One of Manhattan’s least popular skyscrapers is about to get a facelift. The New York Post reports 375 Pearl Street will have its limestone removed and replaced with a glass curtain wall. The $350 million redesign also includes a double-height lobby and an outdoor plaza. Verizon sold the building last fall to Taconic Investment Partners for $172 million; the building had been used mainly as a switching tower.
Brooklyn Bridge Celebrates 125
May 13 – The Brooklyn Bridge is about to turn 125 years old! Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz announced a five day celebration including a special bridge lighting ceremony, concerts, films, dance performances and other family oriented events. The festivities kick off on Thursday, May 22nd with a public birthday party at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State park, including live music by the Brooklyn Philharmonic and a Grucci Fireworks presentation. Also that evening, there will be an amazing light installation featuring a colorful array spanning the length of the Brooklyn Bridge, illuminating the New York City skyline each evening from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm from May 22 through Memorial Day. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov or call 311.
West Side Railyards Under Review
May 14 – Governor Paterson, in The Daily News, said he wants to put together a ‘summit’ to focus on Ground Zero, the West Side railyards, the proposed Moynihan Station and the Javits Center expansion. He says these projects are in need of “real serious conversation.” Paterson said, “I think they can be resurrected. That’s why I would like to bring all those parties together to perhaps decide where are the priorities, No. 1 and secondly, what is achievable and thirdly, what is not achievable.”
Apple on Wall Street
May 14 – Apple may be coming downtown. According to The New York Post, the computer company is in serious negotiations for 23 Wall Street, a 12,500 square foot building at the corner of Broad Street.
Record Real Estate Deal Downtown
May 14 – Hotel developer Sam Chang has purchased 6 Water Street and 32 – 38 Pearl Street according to The New York Post. The story says it was a $56 million deal which is a record for downtown at $448 a developable square foot.
Renovations to Begin on 100 Church Street
May 15 – Renovations will begin soon at 100 Church Street, a building that has been 50% vacant for the last 7 years. The New York Sun reports the building is being transformed with a new black granite exterior, mechanical upgrades, new security system, elevator upgrade and double-paned windows. Approximately 400,000 square feet of space in the building is unoccupied; several deals have fallen through recently including one involving Newsweek. The magazine opted to lease on Hudson Street. The building’s owner, the Sapir Organization, is hoping the renovations will make the building more attractive to potential tenants.
130 Liberty Issued Violation
May 16 – Another violation was issued against 130 Liberty Street. According to NY1, the Department of Buildings issued a stop-work order on the decontamination process after a steel disc from a hoist fell 22 stories. No one was injured.
Fiterman Hall Price Tag Rises
May 16 – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is accusing the city of not putting up its share of the cost to rebuild Fiterman Hall. In an article in The Downtown Express, Silver said the project is $80 million short and the city spent $60 million slated for Fiterman on other projects. The city says it will replace the money, but the contribution is part of its overall funding for the project and that the dollar amount will not be increased despite the fact that the project’s price tag rose by $100 million in the past year.
PA and Silverstein Properties Negotiate
May 16- Negotiations are underway between Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority in an attempt to avoid paying millions of dollars in late fees to Larry Silverstein. The PA agreed to pay Silverstein $300,000 a day if it fails to meet the 30th deadline to turn over a building site at Ground Zero. A report in The New York Sun said the PA is hoping Silverstein will waive the fees in exchange for several concessions including altering the floor plates of Tower 3 which would make the building more attractive to financial firms.
Chase Downtown Headquarters Uncertain
May 16- There’s another report this week that JP Morgan Chase may be backing away from its plans to build at the WTC site. Reuters and Commercial Property News quote Chase CEO Jamie Dimon saying the company expects to have to sell or sublease about a million square feet of the 4 million square feet of space it will get in the merger with Bear Sterns. Dimon said, “This stops us from having to basically spend $3 billion to build an investment banking headquarters downtown.” The Port Authority said it has not been informed of any new decisions by Chase.