January 24th - January 28th, 2011
School Will Not Expand at 26 Broadway
January 24 - Millennium High School lost its bid to expand into two floors of a nearby building at 26 Broadway, when the city’s 13-member Panel for Education Policy voted unanimously to approve the Department of Education’s choice of an Upper East Side school for the building, the Richard R. Green High School of Teaching. The Tribeca Trib reported Millennium had hoped to increase its students by 400 and expand its advance placement courses and performing arts classes.
Vacancy Remains High in Lower Manhattan
January 24 – A dearth of demand for big blocks prevails Downtown, where Goldman Sachs’ giveback of 1.1 million square feet of space at 85 Broad St., its former headquarters, helped push the submarket’s vacancy rate up to 12% at year’s end, compared with 7% the year prior. GlobeSt.com also points out asking rents in Lower Manhattan’s trophy properties rose 2.4% over the past six months, increasing to $47.76 per square foot. The statistics come from the Jones Lang LaSalle semi-annual Skyline Review.
Ward Will Remain PA Executive Director
January 24 - Gov. Cuomo has decided to keep the head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in his job, according to Crain’s New York Business. The paper says with the construction schedule tight to have the 9/11 Memorial ready for the 10th anniversary this year, the Gov. sees this year as a crucial one for the rebuilding of the WTC site, and no one knows the intricacies better than Mr. Ward. He has been credited for hammering out an agreement with developer Larry Silverstein to get the project back on track after years of delays during the Pataki and Spitzer administrations.
More Street Life Coming to Water Street
January 24 - Zoning changes have been proposed by the Dept. of City Planning to add more activity to Water Street, considered to be one of Manhattan’s main thoroughfares. Crain’s New York Business says the zoning change would allow local business and property owners to place tables and chairs year-round along Water Street as an amenity to the public. The move is part of the city's effort to transform lower Manhattan into a bustling, pedestrian friendly area and encourage use of these arcades by workers, visitors and residents in the neighborhood.
Nassau Street Site on the Block for $29 million
January 24 - The vacant lot at 115-117 Nassau St. is owned by Rena Shulsky and is zoned for residential and commercial use. At 169,000 square feet of buildable space, Crain’s New York Business reports its going for $170 a sq. ft, a major price drop for a site that has an excellent view of City Hall Park. Previously the site offered for 32% higher. The story says the sale is seen as part of a broader effort by owner Rena Shulsky to trim her real estate portfolio in the city.
Fake 9/11 Commemorative Coins Sold
January 25 – Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Jerrold Nadler have called on the Federal Trade Commission to stop the National Collectors mint from selling the coins, which go for $29.95. They say the coins are not sanctioned by the government. WPIX TV reports the company claims the coin is made from silver recovered from through one of the banks who stored silver bars, coins, etc. in its vaults under the WTC.
2 Tenants Sign on at 2 Rector
January 25 - An accounting consulting firm and a financial services firm have signed leases for a total of 5,500 square feet in the 26-story downtown tower, according to Crain’s New York Business. NEE Consulting took 4,000 square feet on the 12th floor for a little over 10 years and will move from 40 Rector St. in February. Goldstein Capital, a fixed-income investment management firm, took 1,500 square feet on the 17th floor for a little over seven years and will move in next month, as well.
9/11 Sphere to be Moved to Storage
January 26 – The WTC sphere will be placed in storage for several years while the Port Authority finds it a new home, sources told DNAinfo this week. Many 9/11 family members had hoped the sculpture would return to the heart of the WTC site. But the Port Authority and the 9/11 memorial foundation objected, saying that the dented, 25-foot-tall sculpture would be out of place there. Other reports say the sphere may return to Battery Park or be placed in the still-to-be-built Liberty Park.
LMDC to File $100 Million Counter Suit
January 27 - Next week, LMDC will go to court against Bovis Lend Lease, the company hired five years ago to decontaminate and deconstruct the 41 story, according to The New York Times. Bovis, which declined to comment, filed its own lawsuit six months ago claiming that it had been shortchanged at least $80 million for work it was ordered to do in decontaminating and demolishing the building.
The Drawing Center to Remain in SoHo
January 27 – The LMDC board announced the Drawing Center has plans to expand its current home at 35 Wooster St., instead of moving to the WTC site. DNAINFO.com reported the decision frees up nearly $7 million in LMDC grant money that the center would have received had it moved. The LMDC board voted to use about $5.9 million of the original Drawing Center allocation to fund other downtown cultural and community enhancement grants.
Report Predicts Uptick in 2011 Rents
January 27 – The brokerage firm Platinum Properties released its fourth annual year-end "FiDi Report" which focuses on luxury rentals in Lower Manhattan. The Battery Park City Broadsheet Daily says average rents in FiDi went up approximately five percent from studios to two-bedroom apartments, as vacancies declined just over one percent from 2009 with a reported 3.61 percent vacancy rate this year. However, the report predicts a return of a strong renter's market in 2011 as the conversion of William Beaver House and the launch of Beekman Tower add more inventory to the district and developers offer more concessions to attract new customers.
Jon Stewart Named to the 9/11 Memorial Foundation Board
January 28 – Joe Daniels, the foundation's president, says Mr. Stewart is an important public figure and a regular New Yorker who saw the world change on Sept. 11, 2001. Crain’s New York Business reports Stewart, the host of the Emmy-winning The Daily Show on Comedy Central, recently used his show to campaign for the federal bill that provided billions of dollars to treat people who became ill after working in the ruins of the WTC.