July 20th - July 24th, 2009
Construction Forecast Declines Through 2010
July 20 – The latest forecast on construction activity shows declines for the rest of this year and through 2010. The American Institute of Architects’ study says commercial projects will see the most significant decline in activity, according to Commercial Property News. The report said hotels, retail establishments and offices will see the biggest drop; federal stimulus money will however help boost construction for education, healthcare and government facilities. Also according to the study, architectural firms are seeing some moderation in design billings, so the bottom of the cycle may have been reached.
Governor Paterson to Enter Negotiations
July 21 – Governor Paterson announced he will personally negotiate with Larry Silverstein in an attempt to break the deadlock at the WTC site. The Governor held a conference call with reporters and said he and Silverstein agreed to put binding arbitration on hold for now; yesterday was the deadline for binding arbitration. Paterson also said he doesn’t believe Silverstein has assumed enough risk in the project. The Port Authority issued a statement saying it agrees with the Governor’s position on protecting the public’s resources and not having the State take on all of the risk associated with financing the construction of Towers 2 and 4. Silverstein has asked for more than $2.6 billion of financial guarantees from the Port Authority.
130 Liberty Receives Violation
July 21 – Another violation was issued against the Deutsche Bank building. The New York Post says the City’s Department of Building says a cigar butt was found at the site on June 16.
PA Develops Alternative Plan
July 22- The Port Authority is apparently crafting an alternative plan for the WTC site, one that will not include the office towers that Larry Silverstein wants to build. The New York Observer is reporting the PA has been working on a plan since the spring that would change the design of the Authority’s structures at the site, so they function without Silverstein’s towers. One of the changes being considered is to move the $3.2 billion PATH station into the current station. Another plan calls for a major redesign of the Vehicle Security Center and the planned bus parking garage.
PA Reveals Plan Details
July 24- The Port Authority revealed a plan that will force Larry Silverstein to pay $216,000 a day in rent. It will relocate a retaining wall under the No. 1 subway line to clear the site for Silverstein’s Tower 3. The work will be done by the end of the summer, meaning Silverstein will resume paying at that time. Silverstein hasn’t paid rent for more than a year, because the PA filed to turn over sites for his towers on time; Silverstein collected $132 million in penalties from the PA during that time. The move by the PA is seen as a major escalation in the battle between the two. The deal means Silverstein will have to complete his towers within five and a half years or lose his rights to the site.
PA Pays to Increase Construction
July 24 – The PA also announced it will pay $105 million to Tishman and Turner construction companies to speed up construction of the $3.2 billion PATH transit hub. The PA hopes to complete the hub by 2014. Tishman and Turner replaced Phoenix Construction on the project. In addition, the PA will pay the MTA $150 million to design and build the new Cortlandt Street station.
Partial Stop Work Order Issued at 130 Liberty
July 24 – On Wednesday morning, a chunk of concrete, measuring 3 feet by 3 feet by 10 inches, fell from the second floor of the Deutsche Bank building. No one was injured; the concrete landed in a pit. A partial stop work order was issued for the northeast corner of the building. An investigation is underway.
Claremont Prep School Announces New Lease
July 24 – After several conflicting reports, Claremont Prep School announced it will lease 200,000 square feet at 25 Broadway to middle and high school classes, starting in the fall of 2010. The location is just a few steps away from Claremont’s current home on Broad Street. The asking rent, according to a report in The Downtown Express, was $39 per square foot compared to $40 at 100 Church Street, the other location the school was considering.