September 27th - October 1st, 2010
Memorial Plaza Changes Trees
September 28 – It seems that sweet gum trees are too colorful. The New York Times reports because the leaves of the sweet gum trees turn a crimson blush, they might draw attention away from the reflecting pools. So, the 9-11 Memorial and Museum decided to use only swamp white oaks to create a uniform set of trees near the pools. When the Memorial is complete, there will be 438 oak trees on the eight acre plaza. The 39 sweet gum trees which were already purchased at a cost of $500 each may be planted elsewhere on the WTC site.
Upbeat NYC Class A Sublease News
September 28 – The latest study, by Cassidy Turley, shows a 9% drop in available sublease space to about 8 million square feet. Despite the decline, rents fell only slightly from $58.29 a square foot in August to about $57.37 this month. The statistics point to the fourth straight month of tightening inventory. The study’s author predicts rents will start to rise at the beginning of next year.
Construction Costs Inch Up
September 28 – The New York Building Congress reported in Crain’s New York Business that construction costs rose moderately in the first three quarters of 2010. Construction costs fell sharply in 2009, but the latest report shows costs are up between .8% and 4.9% because of volatile prices for diesel fuel, copper, aluminum and steel.
Proposed Waterfront Development Plan Released
September 29 – The draft calls for making extensive improvements to the South Street Seaport area and moving the entrance to the Battery Tunnel northward, according to The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily. The document also mentions relocating the screening tents for Liberty Island.
All WTC Towers May Not Be Built
September 30 – The developer filed papers in court this week, indicating that unless he wins his lawsuit against American and United Airlines, he won’t have enough cash to complete Towers 2 and 3. The New York Post reports Silverstein stands to win as much as $12 billion from insurers; in a deal reached last month, Silverstein would have to raise $2.3 billion privately to complete the two towers.
New LEED Maintenance Battery Park Facility
September 30 – Designed by Dattner Architects, the 40,500 square foot facility was granted LEED Platinum certification according to Real Estate Weekly, because of its natural lighting, double-glazed exterior, solar energy and giant fans- all of which reduce energy costs by 35%. The facility is at the base of the Visionaire building and provides the Battery Park City Conservancy with space for educational and arts workshops as well as office space.
Unique Suit Store Comes Downtown
September 30 – The made-to-measure men’s clothing store, My.Suit, has set up shop at 30 Broad Street and Exchange Place. Real Estate Weekly reports the company took 23,000 square feet and is the company’s first location in FiDi.
Added Jobs in Construction
September 30 – Statistics from the NYS Department of Labor show construction was one of only two industries adding new jobs; the other was retail. The numbers, reported in Real Estate Weekly, show 1,700 new jobs were created in construction in NYC in September. Nationally, the construction industry added 19,000 jobs the month before.
No New Construction Projects Forecasted
September 30 – Data from Foresight Analytics, published in The Wall Street Journal, indicates construction financing has fallen to about $221 billion, down from a peak of $298 billion in early 2009. Loans, that are 30 days or more past due, are up to 15.6%, four times the rate two years ago. The statistics, analysts say, are a sign that any uptick in new construction won’t happen for 9 months to a year.
NJ Governor Names Successor to Coscia
September 30 – Former NJ Attorney General David Samson has been chosen by Christie to replace Coscia as head of the Port Authority. According to The New York Post, Samson, who served as AG under Governor McGreevey, has to be confirmed by the Senate.
November 1 Rector Square Auction Date
September 30 – More than 230 units, the parking garage and commercial space in the building, will be auctioned off in a bulk sale, according to Crain’s New York Business. Only 72 units in the building have been sold to date. Related Cos., which manages the property, is rumored to be interested in owing the building.
Financial Firm Moves to Midtown
September 30 – An equity and derivative trading company, WJB Capital, is moving from Broad Street to East 54th street, says Crain’s New York Business. The company signed a 12 year lease, doubling the space it had in Lower Manhattan, to 31,440 square feet.