April 13th - April 17th, 2009
MTA Signs Lease at WFC
April 13 – The MTA has signed a deal to lease more than 54,000 square feet at 3 World Financial Center, according to The New York Post. The lease is for 23 months with the MTA paying about $41 a square foot. An MTA spokesman said it’s a temporary step to house MTA employees who work for the Business Service Center and are now at several locations. He added it’s an effort by the MTA to consolidate back office functions. Eventually, these employees will work out of a new MTA business center on Jay Street in Brooklyn.
Schedule Conflicts at WTC site
April 15 – Several published reports hint at a dramatically different schedule for the WTC site. A new report by Cushman and Wakefield, based on anticipated market demand for office space, says it could take 12 years to fully lease Tower 2. The New York Times and The New York Observer say the negotiations between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority are focused on delaying the construction of Tower 2 until 2022 and Tower 3 until 2030. Discussions are reportedly focused on getting Tower 4 built with financing from the Port Authority. The Port Authority is calling for Silverstein to use the $900 million or so in remaining insurance money to build the underground portions and the first few floors of all three towers, because they contain ventilation systems, entry ways and emergency exits for the transit center and memorial. A Silverstein spokesman said having three unfinished blocks for the next 20 years will not be good for the City. According to GlobeSt.com, an impasse on a timetable could delay progress on infrastructure work and jeopardize completion of the Memorial by the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The Port Authority continues to say the memorial and museum will be open for the 10th anniversary.
Mayor Proposes Cuts on Capital Spending
April 15 – The New York Building Congress is predicting 10,000 construction jobs will be lost if the Mayor cuts the city’s capital spending plan. Forty two members of the City Council joined forces with the Building Congress, calling on the Mayor to rethink his proposal. Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber said the city is faced with rising health care and pension costs and cuts need to be made in other areas.
Seaport Plans on Hold
April 17 – General Growth Properties has filed for bankruptcy but says the South Street Seaport, which it leases, will remain open. Plans to redevelop the Seaport are on hold, however. General Growth says it hopes to reduce its debt and reorganize.
Downtown Residents Wealthiest in City
April 17 – Downtown residents are the richest in the City according to the 2008 State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods report, issued by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. It found Lower Manhattan residents pay the highest rents in the City, live in the oldest buildings and are closest to the subway. The Financial District also had the fewest housing code violations and the fewest tax delinquencies of any other area in the City.