March 1st - March 5th, 2010
PA Awards a Major Transit Hub Contract
March 1 – Skanska USA was chosen by the Port Authority to construct the PATH hall in the west Bathtub. The $542 million contract involves building four rail platforms, HVAC, plumbing, fire protection, architectural finishes and ADA compliance measures, according to a report on GlobeSt.com. The contract also includes a ‘deck-over’ solution, making it possible for the Memorial Plaza, part of which sits on the PATH roof, to open in time for the 10th anniversary.
Construction in NYC Rebounds End of 2009
March 1 – Signs of life are emerging in the construction industry, according to the latest report from the New York Building Congress. According to Crain’s New York Business, $5.6 billion worth of public sector work began in the fourth quarter, an increase of 51% from 2008. It’s also a 37% increase from the third quarter of 2009. However, the same report said residential construction worsened as the year progressed with spending only at $410 million.
Downtown Alliance Releases LM Real Estate Report
March 3 – Rents for commercial space continue to fall and leasing activity is at its lowest level in a decade according to the report. The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily also reports the vacancy rate for FiDi was 8.7% at the end of the 4th quarter, compared with 6.6% a year ago. There were only three commercial sales in 2009. On the residential side, the report says sales declined 52% from 2008 with prices down between 6 to 9 percent. Meanwhile, occupancy rates at hotels were up, but daily room rates were down about 19%. The report also found the population in Lower Manhattan is approximately 55,000, up 2% from last year and more than double what it was in 2001.
9-11 Memorial Hires Former PA Official
March 4 – James Connors has been hired as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, according to Crain’s. The paper says his priority is to ensure that the memorial meets its opening target of September 11, 2010 and that the museum opening follows a year later. Connors said he’s confident the deadlines will be met.
Thompson Confirmed by the Senate Lead BPCA
March 4 – The NYS Senate voted unanimously to confirm Thompson, the former NYC Comptroller, according to The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily. It’s expected that Thompson will be at the next BPCA board meeting, scheduled for March 29. Thompson replaces James Gill, who resigned abruptly last month.
PA Counters Silverstein Offer
March 5 – The PA announced it will financially support Larry Silverstein’s first tower and would back the second one, once he signs leases for a fifth of the space. The authority, according to The New York Times, also said it wants Silverstein to invest $300 million of his own money while pooling the insurance money and Liberty Bonds to pay for the two towers. The PA’s latest plan also calls for Silverstein to continue to pay ground rent until his insurance proceeds run out. There’s no reaction yet from the developer. An arbitration panel has given both sides a deadline of March 11 to reach an agreement or it will impose its own solution.
PA Calls on the City WTC Rebuilding Funds
March 5 – The PA says the City should give up $400 million in revenue over the next 30 years so the money can be used to rebuild Ground Zero. The Daily News reports the PA wants to keep $13 million it normally pays the City every year and use the funds to finance the construction of two towers. There’s no response yet from City Hall to the report.
Bovis Changes Staff at 130 Liberty Street
March 5 – Reacting to complaints from the LMDC, Bovis announced it has removed several workers and supervisors from the project, according to The Downtown Express.
The story did not say how many Bovis employees were removed. The LMDC had called for the changes after several recent safety violations on the job.
Vesey Street Bridge Escalator Reopens
March 5 – Six months after it was shutdown for repairs, the escalator is running again. The Downtown Express reported that while the escalator is back, the elevator is out of service for repairs. No word from the State DOT when service will be restored.
Work May be Accelerated at West Thames Park
March 5 – The State DOT told the Battery Park Broadsheet Daily it hopes to go to double and even triple shifts in an effort to finish up the park. Right now, workers are doing 16 hour shifts on the park. The news came during a meeting of the Battery Park City committee of CB 1, whose members said the prospect of work 24 hours a day would be intolerable. The Committee said it will discuss the possibility of allowing the Memorial Day deadline to slip.