January 14th - January 18th, 2008
Port Authority pays fines for delays at WTC site- January 14, 2008
Port Authority Chairman Anthony Shorris told the NY Times that the agency would have preferred to be on schedule at the WTC, but added ,"It was the challenge of doing a project of this scale in this short a time." On January 1, the PA began paying $300,000 a day for missing its deadline to turn the site over to developer Larry Silverstein. The penalty could reach $13 million since the PA won't be finished excavating the site until next month. Shorris said the impact of the construction delay 'ultimately will be minimal. To be realistic about it, if we are a few weeks late on a quarter of a billion dollar project, you might say 'not so bad'". The biggest factor in the delay was the rock. Steven Plate, director of trade center construction at the PA said, 'We expected 2,000 cubic yards but it was double that. We expected schist, but we found a much harder rock- quartz."
Construction costs continue to rise for the Fulton Transit Center
The MTA is considering breaking up the contract for the Fulton Transit Center into smaller projects to attract several bidders and bring down the cost, according to Mysore Nagaraja, president of the MTA's Capital Construction Co. the only bid received was over budget. The Daily News also reports that the MTA may also be considering trimming the scope of the plan. That could mean the glass dome which was originally set to be 50 feet tall could now be brought down to 20 feet. The latest estimates put the cost of the Transit Center at $890 million.
Survivors Staircase will soon be on the move
Progress is being made on removing the Survivors Staircase and moving it to the National September 11 memorial and Museum. The New York Times says workers are cutting openings into the concrete superstructure which supports the 38 steps. The report says by late February, the Port Authority expects to build a steel framework under the five foot wide staircase, which will isolate it from the remaining Vesey Street structure. The steel cradle will then be jacked up and rolled to Vesey street in a small part near 7 World Trade Center where the staircase will remain until its lowered to the museum's main floor.
Parents present their proposal for Pier 40
A group of wealthy parents, calling themselves the Pier 40 Partnership went before Community Board 2 this week. Their idea for the Pier is 14.5 acres of open space, a school and a visual arts market for galleries and artists studios, according to a report in Metro. The Partnership believes increasing the number of parking spaces at the Pier tfrom 2,000 to 2,800 would bring in revenue to support the park and they plan to raise $30 million through tax free bonds. The group urged the Hudson River Park Trust to throw out two final bids by Related and Camp Group.
Skyline views are on the way for 375 Pearl Street, the Verizon building
Much of the building is still occupied by Verizon, but 29 of the 32 floors have now been sold to Taconic Investment Partners and Square Mile Capital as a condominium. According to a report in the New York Times on January 15, the two companies plan a new curtain wall which will open up the three foot wide slits that now serve as windows in the building. The new design for the building is expected to be revealed in March.
Rent on the rise again for office space in Lower Manhattan
At the end of 200, according to Crains, the average rent downtown was $47.47 a square foot versus $30.89 two years ago. That's a 54% increase according to Cushman & Wakefield. CB Richard Ellis's Sheldon Cohen told Crains, "If transportation and residential development continue to go as expected in seven to 10 years, downtown's office market will be on equal foot with midtown." Bur Marisa Manley of Commercial Tenant Real Estate Representation LTD said, "Our clients are telling us that midtown is where they want to be, but they're being drive downtown by pricing."