January 9th - January 13th, 2012
Zuccotti Park Free of Barricades
January 10 -- The barricades that have secured Zuccotti Park for months were taken down Tuesday night by police and park security officials, reported DNAinfo. Later, more than 100 protesters peacefully gathered in the park. Police said the barricades were taken down because it was determined they "were not needed," according to chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.
Downtown Baby Boom Underway
January 11 -- Lower Manhattan is home to a higher rate of newborns than any neighborhood in the borough, new birth data shows, reported DNAinfo. Community Board 1, which covers the area south of Canal Street, saw an astounding 1,086 babies born in 2010 — a 12 percent increase over 2009 and more than twice as many babies as were born in 2001, according to new figures released by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Downtown also now has the highest birth rate — 17.8 births per 1,000 residents — of any neighborhood in Manhattan, well above the borough's average of 12.3 births per 1,000 residents, according to city figures for 2010.
One Battery Park Plaza Under One Owner
January 11 -- Rudin Management Co. has taken full ownership at One Battery Park Plaza, buying out Rose Associates’ 50% stake in the 35-story, 885,000-square-foot downtown office building in Lower Manhattan, reported Globe St. Major tenants in the building include Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, Seward & Kissel, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., the Partnership for New York City Inc, and Mound, Cotton, Wollan & Greengrass.
Liberty Bonds Renewal a Tough Sell
January 11-- A tax-free bond program that was intended to rebuild lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 attacks is ending quietly while real estate developers say the city still needs support, reported Bloomberg.
A tax-free bond program that provided below-market financing to develop and build in Lower Manhattan is expiring while New York developers say the city’s commercial real estate market still needs support.
Congress created the Liberty Bond program in March 2002 with $8 billion in tax-exempt funds to rebuild lower Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The allocation ran out last month, and the tax exemption ended on Dec. 31 along with dozens of other breaks for manufacturers, energy companies and transit commuters.
Critics that include affordable housing advocates say the bonds were little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers. Developers counter that, more than a decade after the attacks, low-cost financing remains necessary to help lower Manhattan’s commercial market recover.
Higher Residential Rents Expected in 2012
January 12 -- BOND New York, the largest independently owned residential brokerage predicts that Manhattan rent will increase by 10 percent in 2012, reported DNAinfo. The expectation is based on reviewing data from the previous four years. Landlords will be looking for a 6 to 10 percent increase on current tenants and an 8 to 12 percent increase on new vacancies, according to a report released Thursday. That means overall pricing in Manhattan will likely increase by 8 to 10 percent on average for the coming year.
Menin Raises Funds
January 12—The New York Times reports, Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1 has raised more than $450,000 toward a likely bid for borough president in 2013. Received from more than 770 donors, the majority of whom gave $250 or less, Ms. Menin did not begin raising money until mid-November. The incumbent Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, is not expected to run for re-election. Ms. Menin, a former regulatory lawyer and small-business owner, has been the chairwoman of Community Board 1 since 2005.
Candidates for borough president who accept public financing can spend up to $1,581,000 in the primary.