September 14th - September 18th, 2009
Issues over Protecting the new Goldman Sachs headquarters
September 14 – Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed the new Goldman Sachs building on Vesey Street as ‘the safest place you could possibly be.” He spoke to The New York Post about complaints that there won’t be enough anti-terror police officers to protect the 43 story building. Bloomberg said, “We believe the city has provided what we promised to do,” referring to the agreement signed between the City and Goldman Sachs before the building went up.
Artists benefit from the sluggish real estate market
September 14 – Unable to fill 6 million square feet of space, Trinity Real Estate is donating an entire city block for a public art exhibition. Crain’s New York Business reports for the next three years, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council will have use of the outdoor art space between Canal, Grand, Sullivan and Varick Streets. The first exhibition opens September 18th.
There are signs that the leasing market is improving
September 14 – CB Richard Ellis is reporting that the vacancy rate in Class A office space in Midtown Manhattan dropped to 11.8% percent in August, compared to 12% in July. GlobeSt.com also reports Downtown’s vacancy rates at 7.5% remains the lowest in the City. Contrasting that, a Newmark Knight Frank report said conditions in the Downtown submarket continue to weaken, with 1.1 million square feet on the market. One broker told the paper the numbers may signal a temporary reprieve, because there are large blocks of space that were not figured into the latest statistics.
Trouble is brewing over the security deal at Goldman Sachs
September 15 – The sweetheart deal that the City and State signed in 2005 with the financial giant may be unraveling. According to The New York Post, the City told Goldman, because of budget woes, it has to reduce the number of anti-terror police officers to protect the company’s new building. The story says the State is also behind schedule in its security infrastructure (blockades, surveillance equipment and guard stations). Under the deal, the City and the State might have to pay Goldman $320 million if its new headquarters is not ready to open by 2010.
New Pedestrian passageway opens on Vesey and Murray Streets
September 15 – The glass covered walkway, which is a colorful entrance to the new Goldman building, opened with little fanfare, according to Curbed.com. The reconstructed passageway has shades of orange and gives pedestrians access to several retail outlets.
Another new tenant for 156 William Street
September 15 – It looks like the $7 million renovation for 156 William Street continues to pay off. The building is now 91% occupied as The Hawthorne Foundation signed a ten year lease for approximately 11,000 square feet of space for a modest $38 a square foot. The Commercial New York Observer says the Foundation, which serves children and adults with developmental disabilities, joins a host of other nonprofits in the building.
BPC Sites 23 and 24 avoid affordable housing requirements
September 16 – Sites 23 and 24, both Milstein apartment buildings in Battery Park City, will not have affordable housing units. The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily reported the developer, under section 421-A, met the city’s legal criteria to avoid the affordable housing requirement by shifting the requirement to sites in Staten Island and the Bronx. Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green, sites 23 and 24 will now be sold as condominiums with the option to convert some of the units to rentals under section 421-A.
Design for the Sanitation garage gets the ok
September 16 – The vote was unanimous, according to Curbed.com. The Public Design Commission approved the glass box architecture that will become the Sanitation Department’s garage for three district’s worth of garbage. The Commission said the building will fit in well with the neighborhood, which has a number of glass box structures.
A lawsuit filed in connection with Deutsche bank building
September 17 – A worker, who suffered injuries when an air conditioning duct fell on him as it was being dismantled, is suing Bovis Lend Lease. The New York Post reports the lawsuit was filed by Geovanny Chamorro in Queens Supreme Court.
A new report shows a decline in construction costs citywide
September 17 – The New York Building Congress (NYBC) reports construction costs are down about 10% in the past year, making building in New York less expensive today than it was a year ago. GlobeSt.com says costs to build offices and banks fell 10%; the cost to build apartments is down 9% and schools off by about 8%. The declines are the first since the early 1990’s. NYBC President Richard Anderson said the drops will improve the construction market and moderate the high cost construction environment.