January 4th - January 8th, 2010
PA is Looking for One World Trade Center Investors
January 4 – The Port Authority wants to sell a stake in the 105 story tower, according to The New York Times, for $100 million. The report says the PA wants to form a strategic partnership with a commercial real estate developer who would handle the marketing, operational and leasing aspects of the tower, which when finished in 2013, will be among the most expensive office buildings in North America. The PA has asked a select group of developers to bid for the partnership and a selection is expected in six to eight months.
Rebound in Commercial Real Estate Predicted the First Half of 2010
January 4 – The vacancy rate in the city is expected to peak at approximately14% by midyear and then drop to about 11% by years end, according to a study from Cushman & Wakefield published in Crain’s. The report also predicts asking rents could drop another 5% in the first half of 2010; rents plummeted 22% in 2009.
Goldman Sachs subleases Space at 77 Water Street
January 4 – Asking rents for the deals were about $35 a square foot, according to Crains and at 235,000 feet, it was the largest block of sublease space in the country. It took Goldman nearly two years to get tenants. The four tenants are law firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, A T & T, United Healthcare and OneBeacon Insurance group. Goldman is leasing the space because the company is moving into its new headquarters at 200 West Street.
Construction Industry is Cautiously Optimistic
January 5 – The New York Building Congress (NYBC), in its latest assessment published in New York Construction News, predicts construction employment will drop about 8.3% this year, translating into about 11,000 lost construction jobs in 2010. A more dire report out last fall predicted the industry would lose about 30,000 construction jobs. NYBC President Richard Anderson told New York Construction News 60% of construction activity is coming from government spending on mass transit, schools and infrastructure.
Arbitration Continues Between PA and Silverstein
January 6 – A report in The New York Observer suggests if the current round of arbitration between the Port Authority and Larry Silverstein fails, a second round of arbitration would follow as well as more delays in the rebuilding. The paper cites a bond document filed by the PA in the fall in which Silverstein Properties intends to ‘commence a second arbitration that will show that the Master Development Agreement was the product of the Port Authority’s negligent misrepresentation and/or fraud.” The story goes on to say Silverstein will seek damages of approximately $2.75 billion. Bloomberg administration officials told the paper they now believe a plan to pay for two Silverstein towers through hundreds of millions in private capital is workable given improving conditions in the financing market.
Childrenâ€™s Letters to be Preserved
January 6 – The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has acquired more than 3,000 letters, photos and quilts sent to firehouses after 9-11 and will display the items in the museum. Delta Air Lines flight attendant Tanya Hoggard collected and preserved the items, calling and visiting firehouses in the year after the attacks. According to Newsday, Hoggard donated the ‘Dear Hero” collection to the museum; she collected 80 plastic bins of letters, cards, photos, quilts, wreath, teddy bears and flags, many of which were made by students around the world.
130 Liberty Deconstruction Receives Violation
January 7 – There was yet another safety violation filed against Bovis Lend Lease on December 22nd. According to The Downtown Express, workers using torches to cut steel columns were cited for working too close to a fuel tank. The violation did not stop work on the building according to the Department of Buildings.
Fewer Construction Deaths but More Accidents
January 7 – The City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) reports there were three fatal construction accidents last year compared with 19 the year before. However, the number of construction accidents jumped to 224 from 151 in ’08. The number of injuries also climbed to 246 from 178 in ’08. The statistics come amid a slowdown in construction activity throughout the city.
Reports Recommends City to Buy BPC
January 7 – Yet another report is out, recommending that the City acquire Battery Park City to reap up to $1 billion in profits. The latest report comes from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It says the City could sell the land beneath the commercial properties and use the proceeds to pay down debt. The proposal would have the Battery Park City Authority continuing to administer the residential areas of the community.
Insurance Firm Signs Lease
January 8 – Water Quality Insurance Syndicate has signed a deal for 12,000 square feet, taking over the entire 33rd floor at 60 Broad Street. According to Crains and The Downtown Express, the 10 year deal came in the high $30’s square foot. The firm is moving from its current headquarters at 80 Broad Street.
Two More 9-11 Victims Identified
January 8 – The City Medical Examiner’s Office said two women who died on 9-11 have been identified; their names are being withheld at the families’ request, according to Newsday. They were identified through the retesting of DNA from remains found in and around Ground Zero. Officials said they are now using new DNA technology developed in 2006; a total of 25 victims have been identified with the new technology. Remains from one of the women were found during a renewed search for remains of building tops three years ago. More than 1,100 of the 2,750 victims of the 9-11 attacks have not been identified.