October 12th - October 18th, 2013
Sale of a Landmark Building Reflects the Changing Needs of Lower Manhattan
October 13 - With Lower Manhattan in a deep slump during the 1950s,David Rockefellermade a pivotal but risky decision to build a massive new headquarters, 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, in the heart of the citys historic financial district. According to the New York Times, more than five decades later, JPMorgan Chase is selling the landmark tower, on a 2.5-acre parcel bound by Nassau, Liberty, William and Pine Streets. Real estate executives say that the bank could choose a winning bidder as soon as this week, reaping as much as $700 million for the property. Real estate executives said the bidders who were considering hotel and residential uses, which might generate the most profits, had to weigh the cost of installing operable windows and the uncertainty of getting approvals from city agencies like the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The first-round offers were submitted on Sept. 30, according to real estate executives. The bank set a $660 million minimum for the second and final round.
Downtown Manhattan, Uptown Chic
October 15 - Burberry. Salvatore Ferragamo. Ermenegildo Zegna. Michael Kors. Scoop. Hermes. Judith and Charles. Calypso St. Barth. Its an impressive list of retailers, reports the Commercial Observer. Whats more striking is that Brookfield Office Properties cut deals with all of them this year, and theyll be sharing a home at the revamped Brookfield Place beginning next year, forming an unprecedented shopping destination downtown. But its no mall. Upon completion, Brookfield Place will feel more like a neighborhood, Underneath its eight million square feet of office space, and in addition to its high-end dealers, which often find comfort in numbers, Brookfield Place will include a long list of quick-service eateries, sit-down dining options and a 35,000-square-foot Equinox gym. But some hope that with the rise of Brookfield Places new lineup -- as well as the retail slated for the new World Trade Center site, where Westfield is rumored to be in talks with its own share of luxury retailers -- more high-end brands will flow into Downtowns other corridors, which are already seeing rent increases and high demand.
Third Water Tunnel Opens, Providing Backup Lifeline to Manhattan
October 16 - In an echoey cavern 200 feet below Central Park, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared both midtown and lower Manhattan safe from a waterless catastophe, reported Capital New York. "The truth is that until today, if there was ever a major failure of Water Tunnel No. 1, the potential for public health and safety consequences in Manhattan could have been really grim," said the mayor, speaking to the press in a concrete "sectionalization chamber" at a location under the park that both he and his aidesasked the press not to disclose, for safety reasons. Several hundred more feet below where Bloomberg was standing, the third water tunnel split into two, one branch running east into Queens and another, the newly activated one, running south into Midtown and lower Manhattan.Until today, lower Manhattan was served by only one, nearly century-old tunnel whose critical role supplyingwater to city residentsmeant that engineers couldn't turn it off and inspect it.
Work Begins for New Pier 17
October 17 - Work began Thursday on the South Street Seaport's biggest makeover, reported AM New York and other news sources. Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined downtown residents, business leaders and developers for the ground breaking of the "new" Pier 17. The shopping center, which closed earlier this month after 28 years of operation, will be transformed into a state-of-the-art commercial hot spot with entertainment, restaurants and bars. The mayor called the development a major boost for the neighborhood, which is still recovering from the damage of Superstorm Sandy. "The best days are still to come for the seaport," Bloomberg said. The revamped Pier 17 is slated to open in 2015. The $200 million project is expected to create 500 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs.