December 27th - December 31st, 2010
Embassy Suites Hotel is Undergoing Renovations
December 27 – The building, at 102 North End Avenue, will become the luxury Conrad New York Hotel next year. The renovations include an upscale design and more luxury amenities, plus a new conference center with a 6,000-square-foot ballroom. The facade of the Embassy Suites building is already under construction. The renovations mean about 250 workers will be laid off, according to a report in DNAINFO.COM
Downtown Sees New Lodging Boom
December 27 - In just one year, five new hotels have opened below Canal Street. The latest is the 399 room Doubletree Hotel at 8 Stone Street, which increased the area’s room count to 4,100, a gain of nearly 80% since 9/11. Quoted in GlobeSt.com, Elizabeth Berger, president of the Alliance for Downtown New York said, “The volume of investment pouring into Downtown’s hospitality industry is further proof that the district has become one of New York City’s most desirable and dynamic locations for both business travelers and tourists.” The Doubletree joins the W New York, the World Center Hotel, the Holiday Inn Express and the Andaz Hyatt Wall Street. In addition, three more lodging properties with a combined 285 keys are planned or under construction, according to the Downtown Alliance.
AIGâ€™s Wall St. Tower Sold
December 28 - Beijing-based SouFun Holdings Ltd. acquired 72 Wall St., one of a pair of adjoining AIG properties purchased last year by Youngwoo & Associates and Kumho Bank. According to GlobeSt.com, the internet company paid approximately $46 million for the 250,000-square-foot office property and says it expects to close the deal in the first half of 2011. SouFun plans to use the former AIG Training Center as its own global training center to train its expanding management, staff and clients, in conjunction with selected universities and colleges in the US, according to a release.
9-11 Firebug Sentenced
December 28 – 26 year old Brian Schroeder was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for setting a fire that destroyed 9-11 mementos. The New York Post reported the Harvard Law School grad broke into Memorial Park on the East Side in November 2009 and set fire to teddy bears and other 9-11 memorabilia.
9-11 Survivor Tree Returns to Site
December 28 – The Callery Pear tree, which stood near Church Street and survived the 9-11 attacks, was replanted at Ground Zero. According to The New York Post, the tree which was planted at the WTC in the 1970’s, was nursed back to health at Van Cortlandt Park. Mayor Bloomberg said the tree symbolizes the city’s and nation’s resilience.
Dorm for Pace University Soon to be Underway
December 28 – The New York Post reported a 600 bed dormitory will soon be under construction at the northeast corner of John Street and Broadway. The 220,000 sq ft building, which will include 30,000 sq ft of retail space, is slated for completion in 2013. The new dorm will be about a block from the Pace University campus.
Majority of Construction Workers Live in NYC
December 29 – The New York Building Congress says an analysis of the US Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey shows 176,351 construction industry workers lived in NYC last year, with Long Island and New Jersey residents accounting for the rest of the local workforce. “New York City’s construction industry has been and remains a vital source of meaningful employment opportunities for recent immigrants and residents of all educational backgrounds,” Building Congress president Richard T. Anderson says in the report. “These data demonstrate the important role the industry plays, especially during periods of high unemployment for the City as a whole.”
Deloitte to Leave FiDi
December 29 – The accounting firm will be moving to Rockefeller Center in 2013, according to The New York Post. The news quashes rumors which had the firm moving from 2 WFC to 4 WFC and taking 400,000 sq ft. The State and City had offered Deloitte tax breaks to move to 4WFC.
PATH Reinforced Against Terrorism
December 30 - The Port Authority installed massive reinforced "blankets" over the four PATH subway tubes beneath the Hudson River, a move to secure them against a potential terrorist-bomb attack, according to The New York Post. The pads would reduce the amount of water that would flow into the tunnels in case of an explosion, and would also help them resist the blast by exerting pressure on the tube, sources said. In 2006, report about the vulnerability of the PATH tunnels said that if a small explosive -- with enough power to blast a 50-foot hole in a tunnel -- were detonated, more than a million gallons of Hudson River water per minute would surge into the PATH tubes.
PA Meets 2010 Construction Goals
December 31 - DNAINFO.com reports between July and September, the Port Authority started building the 9/11 memorial plaza, erected steel for the Santiago Calatrava-designed PATH station and made substantial progress on One World Trade Center. The report marked the first quarter that the Port Authority has met all of its milestones since executive director Chris Ward started setting specific, public goals two years ago.
PA Warns of WTC Challenges
December 31 – In a Dec. 30 letter to Gov. David Paterson, the PA said one of the biggest setbacks to the WTC project has been the years of delays at the Deutsche Bank building. LMDC, which owns the building, is now scheduled to turn the cleared site over to the Port Authority in the first week of February. Another project that was at risk of falling behind was the winged PATH hub, because its schedule was dependent on the many companies that would fabricate the materials and build the structure, Ward said in his letter to Paterson. To further complicate matters, the station’s infrastructure overlaps with developer Larry Silverstein’s office towers.