June 1st - June 7th, 2007
Spending on Residential Construction Drops While Overall Industry Booms
June 5th: The pace of residential construction is slowing in New York City, but the construction industry overall is experiencing a major boom, the New York Sun reported this week. Total spending for construction projects in 2007 is estimated to hit a record $25.6 billion, outpacing last year's record high of $24.6 billion, according to a report from the New York Building Congress. The numbers from 2006 represent an 18 percent jump from 2005, and 2007 will see even more money spent on city developments.
Despite a rise in total construction spending, residential construction slowed both this year and last. In 2006, residential spending dropped from $5.2 billion down to $4.8 billion, and a similar decline is predicted for the residential sector again this year, according to the Sun. The drop in spending may be due in part to the booming market for office space and other commercial developments, which are typically more appealing than residential projects.
Building Congress President Richard Anderson dismissed concerns over the drop in apartment construction, pointing instead toward the increase in total spending as a reason for all sectors to enjoy a positive outlook. Real estate experts cited in the Sun's report also agree that the current projections for 2007 are impressive.
333 Rector Place Residents Told to Move Out of Homes
June 4th: Residents of 333 Rector Place are voicing their concerns over plans by the building's new owner, Andrew Heiberger, to convert their units to condominiums. A group of concerned residents met together in May to discuss the issues they face in coming months, according to a report in the Battery Park City Broadsheet.
Tenants feel that the company's management policies and practices are unreasonable, according to the Broadsheet. They are currently faced with large rent hikes and new leases, which (among other stipulations) allow the landlord to force tenants to move from one apartment to another. Some tenants report having received incentives to leave the building before their current lease expires, while others say they have received letters instructing them to vacate the premises by the end of June.
Resident and Community Board 1 member Bill Love explained to the Broadsheet that tenants just want the opportunity to buy their apartments. They plan to reach out to city officials for support as they formulate their next steps, the report continued.
Search of Deutsche Bank Building Complete
June 5th: New York Public Radio reported this week that the search for remains of 9/11 victims at the Deutsche Bank building and a service road near the World Trade Center site is complete. The search will now continue in a sewer line running beneath Ground Zero, where some remains have already been discovered. According to the report, the city still has more than a thousand cubic yards of debris from ramps leading up to the tower to search through. A report from NY1 adds that the search will also cover the rooftops of 130 Cedar Street and Fiterman Hall. Work is expected to be complete by November.
LMDC Seeks to Strengthen Relationship with CB1
June 1st: According to a report in the Downtown Express, the new president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), David Emil, wants to develop a "close relationship" with members of Lower Manhattan's Community Board 1. Emil reportedly reached out to CB1's chairperson, Julie Menin, shortly after his appointment by Governor Eliot Spitzer in April and has expressed interest in attending a community meeting in order to meet the full board.
Menin told the Express that she believes Emil "to be very receptive to the community's concerns" and added that she hopes this is a sign of good things to come. Menin says that she will continue to press the LMDC for a CB1 seat on its board, reiterating her belief that the community must have an active voice in order to continue to force city officials and planners to consider the impact of their projects on the downtown community.