January 17th - January 21st, 2011
Hudson Street Project Ahead of Schedule
January 17 – The city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) told Community Board 1, they hope to shorten the length of the project by about six months. The Tribeca Trib reports DDC will be starting work on Beach and Franklin Streets ahead of schedule and that could abbreviate the project’s timeline. Work began in September on a five-and-a-half-year, $59-million replacement of water mains and utilities beneath several streets in north Tribeca.
New DOT Commissioner Named
January 18 – Joan McDonald, the former senior vice president for transportation at the city's Economic Development Corp., will serve as the next commissioner of the state Department of Transportation. Crain’s New York Business reports Ms. McDonald, had been commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development since 2007.
Hotel Planned for Site of Reade Street Collapse
January 18 – Two years after the partial collapse of a 155-year-old, five-story building on Reade Street in Tribeca, developers have revived their plans to put a boutique hotel on the site. The Tribeca Trib reports the proposed new eight story building extends from Reade Street to Chambers Street and is topped with a two-story penthouse. The limestone facades are adorned with thin, silver-colored steel arches tracing the tops of square window panels, a reference to the arched windows found on several buildings within the Tribeca South Historic District.
Brooklyn-based Broadcastr Collects Oral Histories of 9-11 Attack
January 18 - Thousands of stories of witnesses and first responders recounting where they were and what they saw are being compiled and will be on the Internet and on smart phones as an app. The audio clips will also become available to Ground Zero tourists. “This is a way to get these stories out to people who are visiting the city or who are halfway around the world," said Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum foundation that is building the memorial. "It's pretty powerful stuff."
NYPD Will Assign More Then 650 Officers to the WTC Site
January 19 – The first wave of officers at a new World Trade Center precinct will be in place by the opening of the site’s memorial on Sept. 11, 2011, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told The New York Times. The officers will be added incrementally during the construction of all of the planned towers, Mr. Kelly said. He added that officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey would also be on site.
Watchdog Will Oversee WTC Contractor
January 19 – After city investigators found evidence of bill padding, the Port Authority has ordered Bovis Lend Lease to pay for an independent monitor to oversee its finances. Bovis is building the 9-11 Memorial. The Daily News story also said the special watchdog will report to the PA’s Inspector General.
Unemployment Rate for Construction Workers Rises
January 19 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the December rate of 20.7% is up from November’s 18.8%. Engineering News Record reports a worrisome sign is that the industry lost a further 16,000 jobs in December. That measurement is seasonally adjusted; therefore analysts say, the downturn cannot be attributed to the industry’s usual fall and winter slowdown.
Commercial Real Estate Sales Expected to Continue Growth This Year
January 20 - CB Richard Ellis reported on GlobeSt.com that the number of leasing transactions nearly doubled to 78 last year, while the volume more than tripled to $11.3 billion. However, the report also said the lack of new development means very large tenants have few options in Midtown. There are only eight blocks of space currently on the market with more than 250,000 square feet. That could push tenants to consider looking at the proposed Hudson Yards development or Downtown.
Cantor Fitzgerald Cannot Sue for Lost Post 9-11 Profits
January 20 - Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered the financial-services firm to pare down its $945 million claim against American Airlines and either prepare for trial or try to settle the suit through mediation according to Newsday. The firm had two-thirds of its workforce, 650 people, killed in the attack on the WTC. New York law doesn't allow companies to sue over the wrongful deaths of their workers.
Building Trades Employersâ€™ Association Will Ask for Concessions
January 20 - Later this month, according to Real Estate Weekly, BTEA will circulate a letter seeking a 25 percent wage or benefit reduction from the roughly 30 unions whose labor contracts are set to expire later this year, affecting 125,000 workers. Construction companies say they’re struggling with the lingering effects of a deep recession, which has strangled real estate development and diminished the amount of government infrastructure and capital spending.
130 Liberty Deconstruction Nearly Complete
January 21 - After many stops and starts, the once 42-story skyscraper has now been reduced to two floors, according to WCBS TV. The process to deconstruct the remaining two floors will start next week. Once the building is down to its foundation, the Port Authority will then use the site for about two years as staging for the construction of the VSC, vehicle security center.