March 2nd - March 6th, 2009
Funds Needed for Community Center
March 2 - The Battery Park City Authority says it may have to delay building a new community center because it has only $5 million remaining in its capital budget. Authority President Jim Cavanaugh said the authority was unable to succeed in borrowing the $100 million necessary to replenish its capital budget. Instead it will take the $100 million from its operating budget. There are four major projects planned for the next years, according to The Downtown Express; $27 million for a community center, $25 million for new headquarters for the Parks Conservancy; $30 million for a seawall construction project and construction of Vesey Street for the Goldman Sachs building.
1993 Victims Remembered
March 2 - A mass was held on Thursday, February 26 at St. Peter’s church to remember the 6 victims of the 1993 bombing of the WTC. After the mass, the victims’ families walked over to the WTC site and observed a moment of silence.
Governorâ€™s Island Hearing Rescheduled
March 2 – A City council hearing on Governor’s Island, scheduled for Monday, March 2nd, has been rescheduled until early April, indicating that a deal to restore the island’s operating budget is near, according to Crain’s.
Vacancy Rates Expected to Rise
March 3 – The winter 2009 forecast by Cushman & Wakefield says office rents could drop 20%. The report says all signs point to the recessions lasting into the first half of 2009 as consumer demand contracts and businesses become increasingly cautious. Leasing will remain sluggish and lag new supply over the next two years with an upturn only after an economic recovery is firmly under way. The report adds the vacancy rate could go up 3% a year through 2010.
Merrill Lynch to Leave Lower Manhattan
March 5 – There’s yet another report that Merrill Lynch is about to abandon Lower Manhattan. The Business Insider quotes SL Green Realty Corp. CEO Mark Holliday as saying, “It is our understanding that Merrill will be moving much of its banking, sales and trading from downtown to Midtown.” Merrill’s exit from Lower Manhattan will put more commercial space on the market as landlords face the worst property slump in more than a decade, according to Bloomberg News.
Commercial Rents Fall
March 5 – A fourth quarter 2008 report from Grubb & Ellis Co. on office rates says asking rents in Manhattan were down 2.5 percent in 2008 compared to 2007. Commercial Property News is reporting in the second half of 2008, taking rents were discounted as much as 15 percent off the asking price. The report expects that differential to widen in 2009. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate in Manhattan reached 6.6 percent in the 4th quarter, up from 4.5 percent at the end of 2007.
Construction Continues on Governorâ€™s Island
March 5 – A 43,000 square foot beach, café and concert facility are being constructed on the north side of Governor’s Island according to The Battery Park Broadsheet Daily. It’s expected to open July 4th. It’s being built by the Harbor Experience Company, New York Water Taxi and several organizations. New York Water Taxi president Tom Fox said the beach will be similar to the one his company erected in Long Island City. Also, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will provide artists with studio and exhibition space on the island this summer.
Beach at South Street Seaport
March 5 – A fake beach will also be set up on Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport, according to a report in The New York Post. The story says the operators of the Seaport are apparently working with New York Water Taxi to construct the fake beach.
Rebuilding WTC will improve Economy
March 5 – The rebuilding of the WTC site will create 26,000 new jobs between now and 2016, according to a report from the Port Authority. The agency’s most recent study also predicted $3.7 billion will be created from construction at the site. The PA says the study is based only on the construction projects at the site including the Freedom Tower, the Sept. 11 memorial and the transit hub.
Tribute WTC Opens Exhibit
March 5 – A new exhibit at the Tribute WTC Visitors Center spotlights NYC’s immigrant communities and how they were impacted by the 9-11 attacks. Titled “Renewing our American Dream after 9-11”, the exhibit opened on March 5th and will run through October. It focuses on 12 people, including cleanup workers and community activists and victims families, and how the attack impacted their community.