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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:45 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcastle kid
Well you'll be in for a big surprise, like I said before, nothing lasts forever.

Japan is now probably the most technologically advanced country on the planet anyway.

But that's it. They didn't take over the world, like everyone thought.
Neither will China. I think you are the one in for the Surprise.

And what won't last forever?

Lol @ my "BIG" surprise.... Yuh, ok.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #102
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Commercial Office Development Returns to the City


By MICHAEL STOLER
May 4, 2006

The metropolitan region is finally seeing a return of commercial office development. Within six years, more than 10 million square feet of office space is expected to be completed in Lower Manhattan. On May 23, Silverstein Properties will officially open the 1.7 million-square-foot 7 World Trade Center. Construction is under way for the 43-story, 1.9 million-square-foot new world headquarters of Goldman Sachs on site 26 in Battery Park City. Goldman is the first company to build headquarters in Lower Manhattan since JPMorgan constructed its Wall Street home in 1988.

Zoning has been approved for 4.5 million square feet of office space as part of the Downtown Brooklyn Plan. An additional 1.9 million square feet is expected to be built by Forest City Ratner at the Atlantic Yards, the proposed home of the Nets. Tishman Speyer Properties plans to build 3.5 million square feet in Gotham Center in Long Island City. Other developers are planning offices in Long Island City, Jamaica, and the Bronx. For the first time in more than two decades, office buildings are planned for Westchester. The New Jersey waterfront, to which many companies from Lower Manhattan and Midtown relocated, has at least 18 million square feet of space and more planned.

Can New York City absorb all the office space that is proposed to be built over the next decade?

A number of leaders in the industry and business weighed in on the viability of office space in the city. The president of Swig Equities, Kent Swig, whose firm owns 4.1 million square feet of office space in Lower Manhattan, said, "The amount of space we are adding over the next 15 years is not much more than the addition to the historic office supply. I do not think buildings in Lower Manhattan will be built without pre-leasing.

"Downtown needs huge, modern office space to attract and accommodate large tenants. Today, the city has a major problem: Rents in Midtown are skyrocketing, and there is a need for alternative spaces to retain companies in New York. How many businesses think they can spend $80 to $90 a square foot in Midtown? Lower Manhattan offers lower price with great incentives."

***

The president of the real estate division of Parish of Trinity Church, Carl Weisbrod - whose church is one of Lower Manhattan's largest owners of real estate - is the immediate past president of the Alliance for Downtown. He said, "I believe the agreement to move forward on the WTC site resolves the major market uncertainty that has made commercial tenants reluctant to commit to large blocks of space in Lower Manhattan. In view of the historic rental price disparity now between Midtown and downtown, together with the available downtown incentives, I believe space in Lower Manhattan will be absorbed as quickly as it becomes available, assuming the economy in New York and in the nation remains strong."

The chairman of the executive committee of GVA Williams, Michael Cohen, said, "I don't believe there is any doubt that 7 World Trade Center will lease successfully. Because of shortage of space in the city, the building should be absorbed during this current market cycle. Tenants will perceive it to be a bargain compared with comparable Midtown buildings. This has been Larry Silverstein's strategy all along, and he's going to be proved right."

The president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth Adams, said, "Midtown is corporate headquarters, downtown Brooklyn is the home of essential functions for banking and insurance, and Lower Manhattan is Wall Street and a construction site. Incentives, like REAP, help business districts such as downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan, and Long Island City to better compete for tenants against New Jersey and Connecticut. The challenge is to create incentives that attract new taxpayers to the city and the state; to continue to drain more from the existing tax base is untenable. Locally, a healthy competition between NYC submarkets is generally a good thing. When that leads to new businesses coming to any one of these districts, the entire city wins."

***

As may be expected, not all industry leaders are optimistic. The co-chairman of the real estate securities portfolio manager Cohen & Steers, Marty Cohen, is cautious about Lower Manhattan. He said, "Initially, this is a very scary since oversupply is the perennial killer. Sometime in the next few years, we could very well have an economic downturn. If oversupply is the killer, then reduced demand is the undertaker. Though it is tempting to believe, I don't believe the real estate cycle has been repealed."

A principal at Koeppel Companies, Caleb Koeppel, whose family has owned the landmark 26 Broadway for more than 50 years, said, "It is history repeated. They're going to throw a ton of space on the market and destroy an already weak market."

The president of Mack-Cali Realty Corporation, Mitchell Hersh, said, "Prior to recent announcements, the only real competitive Lower Manhattan building in the market is 7 WTC. This building has had substantial difficulty in leasing space due to a variety of issues, including uncertainty as to the shape of Lower Manhattan redevelopment, infrastructure issues, and the concern among the corporate community relative to future threats of terrorism - and the impact this could have on their businesses and business continuity.

"Jersey City is clearly a preferred market and is being considered by a number of Midtown companies. It has a proven track record, cost of occupancy advantages, as of right incentive programs, a very diverse and wide labor pool, a wealth of affordable housing, great transportation infrastructure, great amenities, and a lot less congestion than New York City."

***

Many real estate leaders are bullish on commercial development in downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City. The president of Shalom Zuckerbrot Realty and a principal at Octagon Properties, Frank Zuckerbrot, said, "Downtown Brooklyn is a mature office market, although it still lacks the real liquidity in terms of leasing velocity. It has excellent mass transportation infrastructure and established retail businesses. The area is in demand and should be able to absorb new office space".

The president of Brause Realty and chairman of the Long Island City Business Improvement District, David Brause, said he is encouraged that Midtown tenants are receptive to the savings offered in new space located a subway stop away from Manhattan.

Mr. Brause said that the effective rents for Long Island City are in the low $20s per square foot, while similar space at the Bank of America Tower across from Bryant Park is projected to lease for $100 a square foot.

"If a major tenant plans to lease one million square feet, the annual savings for leasing in LIC is $75 million per year and over $1.5 billion over a 20-year term," he said.

Mr. Zuckerbrot, said, that Long Island City - while being the city's targeted area for major office development - will have a difficult time competing with downtown because it is not yet an established office market complete with amenities.

"Initially, the city was going to provide incentive for companies to relocate to this new central business district," Mr. Zuckerbrot said, "however, with the same incentives being offered for downtown, this area will have difficult time competing for those occupants. In addition, should city, state, and federal government agencies move to downtown Manhattan, this will be a blow to the LIC redevelopment process which would have benefited from some of these tenancies."

I agree with the executive director at Cushman & Wakefield, Glenn Markman, when he says, "Current estimates are that, with modest job growth over the next 10 years, New York City could see demand for new office space reach 28 million square feet by 2016. To meet this demand, office space has to be developed all over the city. Midtown firms that require large blocks of space will have to be more open-minded regarding alternative locations like downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island City."


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #103
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I don't mean to burst the bubble here, but the Atlantic Yds hasn't been given the green light yet nor has the NBA Board of Governors approoved the relocation for the Nets, so I wouldn't be celebrating too early if I were you.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorkrunaway1
i agree, ny doesn't have to re-invent itself. it will remain an icon and stand above all else forever.
I don't believe that a city should try to have a construction boom just to compete with others. In reality, the city will end up being no better than the ones they are trying to compete. I don't mean to offend those who are happy about what's going on other cities, but I couldn't care less what they get. A city doesn't became the center of the world just b/c of a construction boom and it ends up having the biggest skyscrapers. Please remember that it's quality over quantity that matters. I find it better when cities are more distinctive rather than having so many similar characteristics Honestly, I find the book Learning from Las Vegas to be very overrated. All I can say about trying to compare NYC with other cities is FUHGEABOUDIT!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #105
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/loca...p-351123c.html
People power vs. tower on W. Side

Pushing grocery carts, waving signs and chanting slogans, more than 100 Manhattan residents rallied yesterday to protest the gentrification of their neighborhood.

Residents expressed disgust that their local C-Town supermarket had been shuttered - claiming it was closed to make way for luxury apartment towers in the area bordered by Columbus and Amsterdam Aves. and 97th and 100th Sts. "This neighborhood was created to accommodate the diverse people who live here," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

"They're taking everything from us," said Joan Sandler, who said she has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. "It's one of the last diverse communities left."

Jego R. Armstrong and Don Singleton

Originally published on May 7, 2006
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Old May 8th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #106
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Yes Joan Sandler, Everyone is out to get you and make your life miserable. Or maybe perhaps an apartment tower will bring a bigger population to your neighborhood and thus making it more diverse as you so want it.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:44 PM   #107
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Trying to get rentals to make sense
City's economic health depends on next generation of renters, say development incentives backers



By Alison Gregor
May 2006

A recent report indicates the absence of new rental housing development in New York City may jeopardize the city's future economic development, and the real estate industry is stepping up to the plate to change that.

The 2005 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey showed that the city has a 33.3 percent home ownership rate, up from 32.7 percent in 2002. But perhaps more revealing, the survey showed a loss of 16,000 rent-controlled units and that the number of rent-stabilized apartments increased by only 1,000.

There goes the (affordable) neighborhood? Not necessarily, but real estate experts agree on a need for more rental housing.

"There's never enough -- like 'never too rich, never too thin' -- there's never enough housing," said Barry Gosin, CEO of Newmark Knight Frank and a commercial broker who said he is serving as adviser to an innovative and large new rental housing project that has not yet been announced.

While the city has formed a commission to modify its 421a tax abatement, which provides a property tax break for construction of housing in certain areas of New York City, it is also working with the Real Estate Board of New York and property developers to come up with other incentives for rental housing.

"Obviously there's a concern that you can't buy a piece of land today at the land prices and build a rental apartment building when you throw in construction costs and the tax policies of the city of New York in terms of how they assess property," said Steven Spinola, president of the real estate board.

Spinola said any program to encourage more rental housing -- both market-rate and affordable -- might include two different tax assessment formulae: one for condominiums and one for rentals.

Industry experts say that, at any one time, there is a portion of the population seeking rentals for more flexibility, and not everyone wants to invest in a condominium.

"Condominiums have become very popular, because people also see it as a favorable investment," said Andrew Oliver, a managing director and principal at investment banking firm Sonnenblick-Goldman. "But if the market turns, a condominium can become an illiquid investment."

Also, many people, including the next generation of young residents the city would like to attract, are priced out of the current condominium market.

"As more and more people come into the city, especially young people looking to start their careers, there needs to be more affordable housing and rental units for them just to be able to live and work in the city," said Nick LaPorte, executive director of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York, a building trade organization. "Otherwise, they'll leave for the suburbs or never come to the New York City area at all."

That means companies may begin looking elsewhere, the suburbs in New Jersey or Upstate New York, for instance, to locate closer to their employees, Gosin said.

"The best thing for the New York City office market, aside from continuing to improve the school system, would be to create an incredible stock of low- and middle-income housing," he said. "Because if people are here to be employed, it will make it more attractive for companies to be here."

Earlier this year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to build 92,000 new affordable homes and preserve 73,000 existing affordable homes by 2013. Those 165,000 apartments and houses will be enough to house half a million people, the mayor said. Some will be rentals and others co-operatives. Preserving homes means stanching the conversion of the existing 250,000 units of government-assisted housing in the city to market-rate units.

But residential developers have been lamenting for years that market-rate rental apartments are no longer feasible in New York City, and even affordable rentals -- which can receive a mix of tax abatements, government subsidies, zoning bonuses, and other incentives -- can be an unattractive proposition in the current hot real estate market.

Making things more difficult is that while the prices of condominiums have flattened, the cost of land in New York City isn't going down.

"It's just so hard to build affordable apartments in the city right now," said LaPorte, whose group has many members involved in building and managing affordable housing in metropolitan areas. "Basically, because the cost of land and labor, as well as construction materials, is so expensive that you need help from the government."

Bruce Becker, president of Becker + Becker Associates, served as developer, architect, and planner on the Octagon, a 500-unit luxury rental development that opened on Roosevelt Island April 17. Becker said he developed the complex on land leased from the state's Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, which made the project feasible.

Sonnenblick-Goldman handled financing for the project, Oliver said, and raised $150 million to get it off the ground. "The developer had some tax credits," he said. "There were old buildings on the property that he renovated, so he got a historic tax credit. He was able to sell and count that as equity. He also built a very environmentally-friendly building, so he got green tax credits. And he put in a daycare for even more credits."

While Becker opted out of the 80/20 program -- a city program that uses tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of multifamily rental housing as long as 20 percent are affordable for low-income tenants -- he did choose to dedicate 100 of the units as affordable for middle-income residents.

The project is chock full of amenities, from a swimming pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and 24-hour doorman, while apartments with luxury finishes start at $1,570 a month for a studio with home office. The demand is there, Becker said. As of mid-April, 130 units had been rented. "I'm glad we got started when we did, because the costs have escalated significantly since then," he said. "I would say the project wouldn't be viable today on the same ground-lease terms."

Emily Youssouf, president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation, which issues bonds for affordable housing, said there are a number of financing programs available to developers planning affordable housing. One of the latest, begun about 18 months ago, is a 50/30/20 program, which enables developers to obtain low-cost financing for their projects in return for offering a blend of market-rate, middle-income, and low-income housing.

"What we like about this program is we're economically integrating buildings," Youssouf said. "Then you can economically integrate a neighborhood, and that stabilizes it. You go into these buildings, and you can't tell which apartment is 50, which is 20, which tenants belong where."

Some were skeptical about the program. Oliver said it helps somewhat, but most of those projects are being done north of 100th Street in Manhattan, because it's the only place land is cheap enough to do them.

Gosin said the 50/30/20 program can work especially if combined with other incentives such as zoning overrides where the city gives away air rights for free, thereby undercutting high land costs.

"The one I'm involved in will create an enormous amount of housing, but part of it is market housing," Gosin said. "This will probably be rentals, but one way to do it is to allow market condominiums to be at the tops of buildings where the best views are, and allow additional air rights, in exchange for building some moderate- and low-income housing.

"It's zoning, very aggressive and generous zoning, with some government funding and some tax relief," he said.

Spinola said rentals can be done with condominiums, but it requires a complicated legal process where a building must be a condop.

Gosin said that, in a perfect world, more could be done to promote rentals. "Perhaps one thing to look at would be wider berths of areas where you could transfer air rights," he said. "So you could transfer rights from one location to another, though they're not necessarily adjacent to one another."


Upkeep needed as much as new buildings


Preventing a shortage of rentals in the city means maintaining existing housing as well as constructing new buildings. Many of the government incentives that exist and that are being explored aim to help preserve existing affordable housing.

"If all you did was new construction and didn't help preserve what's already there, you would always be in a losing situation," said Emily Youssouf, president of the New York City Housing Development Corporation. "So we have a lot of programs that target preservation as well."

Maintaining and improving existing rental buildings is a niche that some developers are profiting from.

Ioannis "John" Danalis, principal of Blue Star Properties, for example, said his company specializes in buying under-performing rental buildings, removing low-rent tenants, spiffing up the buildings, and maintaining them as market rentals -- instead of converting them to condominiums.

"Each property is different," said Danalis, a landlord with buildings in Greenwich Village, Soho, and Tribeca, among other neighborhoods. "Some properties need major capital improvements, and by doing that, you're increasing the rent roll you'll be able to charge the tenants. At the same time, you're minimizing your costs, so at the end of the day, there's more money in your pocket."

Depending on the extent of capital improvements, there are tax abatements available, Danalis said. And with rents projected to increase by 15 to 20 percent in the coming year, he said the projects make sense.


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:46 PM   #108
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DOWNTOWN'S CONSTRUCTION BLITZ READY TO MOVE ONWARD - AND UPWARD





By TOM TOPOUSIS
May 8, 2006

As downtown braces for an onslaught of construction, The Post got a first look at the battle plan being drawn up to keep the massive building projects rolling.

Within two years, lower Manhattan's skyline will become a maze of tower cranes and steel girders, while workers closer to the ground tear up streets, knock down damaged buildings and rebuild the below-ground transit system.

"This is one of the single largest urban programs ever undertaken in America," said Charles Maikish, who has to coordinate the dozens of massive projects as executive director of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center.

"The challenge here is to do it and preserve the vitality of lower Manhattan," Maikish said.

Maikish and his team of engineers and planners are now putting the finishing touches on a plan to coordinate the enormous amount of construction work while at the same time keeping the nation's third-largest business district open.

The plan will coordinate the arrival of 3,000 concrete trucks a month, delivery of enough steel to build the Empire State Building six times over and the arrival of 7,000 construction workers every day.

"Lower Manhattan's resurgence is being forged in concrete and steel," said Gov. Pataki, adding that the projects will "ensure that downtown is positioned as the premier 21st-century central business district."

Altogether, $20 billion of construction will take place downtown over the next six years. The World Trade Center, PATH station and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum alone will account for half of that construction budget.

"It's unprecedented," said City Councilman Alan Gerson, a Democrat representing lower Manhattan whose primary concern is having an independent monitor to watch for potential environmental problems from all the work. Gerson said he's considering action by the City Council to get such an independent monitor.

Much has been made about the 10 million square feet of office space that will be built, but developers are busy with a residential boom that will boost downtown's population by 40 percent over the next four years during the height of construction.

Planned residential towers will add at least 8,000 apartments and condos by 2010, including five buildings slated for Battery Park City and two more across West Street at Chambers and Warren streets.


The project will tax the limits of the city's bridges, tunnels, highways and streets - not to mention the patience of 240,000 people who commute to work in lower Manhattan every day and the 36,000 who call it home.

To keep traffic rolling, the command center will create a satellite office of the city's Long Island City traffic center in lower Manhattan, where they can make immediate adjustments to traffic patterns as problems arise.

Maikish said his group is working with builders to set up staging areas for construction workers so that they won't all try to drive into lower Manhattan.

Lower Manhattan's voracious appetite for concrete will kick in about six months from now, and at its peak, the downtown projects will consume 3,000 truckloads of concrete a month from plants in Brooklyn and Queens.

Maikish said the command center will have to coordinate with the Department of Transportation and the Police Department to make sure those trucks can reach their destinations within 30 to 45 minutes. Any longer and the concrete is ruined.

The trucks will roll in over the Manhattan Bridge or through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, unless Maikish and his engineers can come up with a plan to build a temporary mixing plant downtown to speed the flow of concrete.

Engineers are studying an alternative plan to mix concrete at a temporary plant in lower Manhattan to speed delivery, but that would likely have to delay construction of parts of the Hudson River Park, the only site that is potentially suitable.

Maikish said his agency has been working with contractors to line up heavy equipment, competing with projects in the Gulf Coast.

Thirty-four massive tower cranes will be needed - four alone at the Freedom Tower - to feed materials to the skyscrapers.

While much of the work will be heading skyward, one of the largest construction projects is digging a massive, 80-foot-deep foundation for three office towers slated for the World Trade Center's Church Street Corridor, beginning by summer.

That project will involve 2,000 trucks a day to haul off the rubble.

Moving pedestrians through the work sites is another challenge, with plans to reroute commuters over bridges and skyways where needed.

Maikish said the command center's main mission is to make sure that each project, public or private, is coordinated through a central agency.

"We've got to get materials in, the labor force in and heavy equipment in. It's an enormous job," Maikish said.


Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:07 AM   #109
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Under Construction....


25 Thames Street: 368 ft - 33 floors




Construction starting on condo tower at 133 Greenwich Street


08-MAY-06

The Copper Group is developing a 30-story residential condominium tower at 133 Greenwich Street, which is also known as 25 Thames Streeet near Ground Zero.

Costas Kondylis is the architect.

The building will have a low-rise base on Greenwich street with a setback tower with pierrs that extend slightly above the top on three facades.

It will have about 100 apartments.

The site was acquired last year by an investor group led by Hosea Deitsch and Edgar Bronfman for $20 million from YL Real Estate Developers, which reportedly will retain a small interest in the project.

Mr. Deitsch is managing member of the Cooper Group 1 LLC, which is part of Greenwich Street Project LLC, which is developing the site.

The site is to the south of O’Hara’s Bar on Cedar Street and it is near the Deutsche Bank building that is being demolished because of damage sustained in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on Lower Manhattan.

The Department of Environment Protection earlier this year revoked a demolition permit for the site because of concerns over possible toxic hazards, but after studies the work was resumed and demolition has been completed.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY
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Old May 9th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #110
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I thought the bathtub thats already there at GZ would be sufficient enough for these new towers. Apparently not if they are going to dig 80 feet deeper. They should use the dirt that comes out as more infill for Battery Park City like the original WTC. Maybe extend BPC to the north
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Old May 9th, 2006, 07:53 AM   #111
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Yeah! That's what I was thinking. Then we could build more skyscrapers if the bedrock is in the right sopt.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 05:55 PM   #112
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Under Construction...


188 Ludlow Street: 23 floors




Edison Properties breaks ground on Ludlow St. residential project


March 8, 2006

Executives from Edison Properties, LLC broke ground at 188 Ludlow St. to officially begin construction on Edison's first residential building, located at the southeast corner of Ludlow and East Houston Streets.

The 210,000 gross s/f, 23-story, 243-unit residential development will be constructed with Hunter Roberts Construction Company acting as general contractor. The building was designed by Costas Kondylis & Associates.

"2006 marks Edison's 50th anniversary. Entering into residential development in this dynamic location is the perfect way to celebrate this milestone. 188 Ludlow has been designed to complement and enhance this historic neighborhood and to meet the needs of the many people who want to enjoy the area's exciting stores and restaurants," said Gary DeBode, president of Edison Properties.

The $90 million dollar project will be financed through developer equity and tax exempt bonds issued in accordance with the New York State Housing Finance Agency's 80/20 program. The bonds will be credit-enhanced by Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen Girozentrale. In addition to providing 20% low income housing, the developer is setting aside 5% for moderate income tenants.


COPYRIGHT 2006 Hagedorn Publication


Developer Wins $83M Financing





By Barbara Jarvie
May 8, 2006

NEW YORK CITY-Approximately $83 million in construction financing under the New York State Housing Finance Agency’s 80/20 program has closed for a project on the Lower East Side. The owner/developer of the property is an affiliate of Edison Properties LLC and Hunter Roberts Construction Group.

The apartment at 188 Ludlow St., will total 208,000 sf with 6,000 sf of retail space. Once it’s completed in 2008, it will contain 243 units. In addition to providing 20% low-income housing, the developer is setting aside 5% for moderate-income tenants. The joint venture leased the land from Edison Properties LLC under a 99-year agreement. The building was designed by Costas Kondylis & Associates.

The Singer Bassuk Organization arranged the construction leasehold financing including financing provided by low-floater tax-exempt bonds issued by the HFA. It also included a credit enhancement in the form of an $83-million letter of credit for the HFA bonds provided by Helaba. Richard Bassuk, president of SBO, also arranged a forward commitment on permanent financing from Helaba. “This cutting edge financing is the first time a commercial bank has agreed to provide permanent financing on such advantageous terms and is a very positive development for project owners.

In the past, permanent financing has been provided by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac through a DUS lender.” The firm’s James O’Reilly and Evelyn Savino also worked on the financing.

Gary DeBode, president of Edison Properties, said the project was designed to “complement and enhance this historic neighborhood and to meet the needs of the many people who want to enjoy the area’s exciting stores and restaurants.” Other recently completed SBO transactions include the $135-million construction loan financing and $155-million permanent financing for the Marc under HFA’s 80/20 residential program as well as the $120-million financing for 88 Leonard St. under HFA’s Liberty Bond Program. The firm also completed the $104-million construction and permanent financing for Chelsea 27th Apartments under HFA’s 80/20 residential program, the $145.2-million construction loan and $165-million permanent loan for 63 Wall St. under the Liberty Bond Program with HDC in addition to the $82.9-million construction and permanent financing for 90 Washington St. under the Liberty Bond Program.


Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties, Inc.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 10:56 PM   #113
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Under Construction...


45 Park Avenue: 21 floors




Development Du Jour: 45 Park Avenue


by Matt Lobron
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A new condo development, known as 45 Park Avenue, is being constructed at the site of the former Sheraton Russell Hotel at Park Avenue and 37th Street. The building is designed by ubiquitous architects Costas Kondylis & Partners and will contain 105 apartments over 15 floors. No word yet on what prices will be, but at least owners won't have to worry about any sudsing issues—the website makes sure to point out that each apartment will have its own full size GE washer and dryer. The building is very conveniently located right near Grand Central, and the Park Ave. address should compensate for any embarrassment you might feel when telling people that you technically live in Murray Hill.


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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #114
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Waterfront deals boom in landgrab
Despite fire, prices soar as construction picks up; skeptics doubt demand


By Julie Satow
Published on May 08, 2006

Last week's 10-alarm fire in Greenpoint destroyed a historic former industrial complex and left a planned 2.6 million-square-foot condominium complex in limbo. But even as that 14-acre site lies in cinders, developers are moving ahead with other projects along the north Brooklyn waterfront in what is one of the city's most extensive and lucrative neighborhood revitalization efforts.

One year after city officials approved a major rezoning of the area, the transformation of Williamsburg and Greenpoint is in full force.

Land prices have soared as builders plan a wave of luxury condominiums. A 300,000-square-foot property acquired two years ago for $14 million is on the market for $61 million. A 103,000-square-foot development has sold for $217 a square foot--the first time a large property has broken the $200 mark in this area.

"In just two short years, the vision initiated by Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of City Planning is becoming a reality," says Jeffrey Levine, president of Levine Builders, which will break ground on a 1,000-unit waterfront project in the next 60 to 90 days.

Real estate brokers say they expect 3,000 residential units to go on the market in the next six to 12 months. Smaller condo buildings are already being built on upland blocks, but construction is expected to reshape the low-lying and more valuable waterfront within the next 15 to 18 months.

Some developers are wary and say that the true strength of the neighborhood's renaissance remains to be seen.

"We've seen a few hundred apartments coming to market, but we are about to see several thousand," says Abraham Hidary, president of Hidrock Realty. "The jury is still out whether there will be enough demand."


Use of inclusionary zoning


The 175-block rezoning, approved last May after years of planning, is aimed at reclaiming the faded East River waterfront, once a bustling manufacturing zone. The effort is being watched closely by both civic groups and politicians, largely because it marks the city's most extensive use of market-based inclusionary zoning policies, which let developers build bigger towers if the projects include affordable housing.

Over the past 24 months, as the area changed to a residential zone from manufacturing, land prices doubled, to about $200 a square foot. In the largest deal this year in terms of space, Steiner Equities--which developed the Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard--paid $197 a square foot for the 127,000-square-foot Old Dutch Mustard Factory in Williamsburg.

The hope is that those price tags will be justified when condos are sold for $1,000 a square foot. Luxury condos in Manhattan average $1,362 a square foot, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

Home builder Toll Brothers in Horsham, Pa., has joined with L&M Equities to develop one of the first waterfront projects--three towers with more than 800 units--at 164 Kent St.

"On average, we anticipate the units will be sold for $900 to $1,000 a square foot," says David Von Spreckelsen, vice president at Toll Brothers.

One of the area's larger brokers, Aptsandlofts.com, has been ramping up. "We have hired a lot of people and are looking to open a new office," says President David Maundrell.


Higher interest rates, costs


The Corcoran Group, one of the city's leading residential brokers, recently opened its first Williamsburg outpost.

But higher interest rates and rising construction costs have caused some developers to pause, says David Jurnic, a broker at Greiner-Maltz. He estimates that asking prices for development properties have dropped 5% to 10% over the past few months, but they have since stabilized.

"We were doing a deal for $175 a square foot, but I just couldn't get comfortable that I could make these numbers work on the back end," says Mr. Hidary at Hidrock Realty. He backed out, deciding to build in the more stable Brooklyn neighborhoods of Midwood, Bensonhurst and Kensington.

Mark Lively, a broker at Massey Knakal Realty Services, says, "There are still developers looking for projects, but for the first time you are seeing owners granting a due diligence window or less than 10% down."

Adding to the upheaval, neighborhood groups are complaining. They say that a promised community oversight panel has not yet been established; that most of the funding to preserve industrial space and help displaced businesses has not been spent; and that the city has not yet studied how schools, firehouses, and the transportation network and other infrastructure will handle the expected flood of new residents.

In response, a spokeswoman for the planning department says the city has thoroughly studied the potential impacts of the rezoning.

Despite the uncertainty, one thing is clear: "Five years from now, north Brooklyn will look completely different," says Mr. Maundrell of Aptsandlofts.com. "The entire area will be brand-new, like Battery Park City or Trump's Riverside South."


©2006 Crain Communications Inc.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:32 AM   #115
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Proposed...


Platinum (247 West 46th Street): 450 ft - 39 floors




"Historic" first transfer of air-rights in Theater District debated


04-APR-06

In a rather thrilling and almost gladiatorial bout, the land-use committees of Community Boards 4 and 5 last night considered a request for comment from a developer wishing to use air-rights in the theater district for a new residential condominium tower on the northeast corner of Eighth Avenue and 46th Street.

After an impassioned, two-hour meeting on the request, the committees decided to not endorse the project on procedural rather than qualitative grounds and began to draft a resolution outlining their concerns to the City Planning Commission.

Anna Levin, the chairperson of the land-use committee of Community Board 4, chaired the meeting and stated that while the committee was very supportive of the general outlines of the proposed building and transfer of air-rights, it believed that the entire plan should be presented rather than one part and that important issues remained to be resolved regarded a fund set up to manage funds contributed by developers using air rights from the theater district and that concerns about the relocation of theatrical organizations evicted for new projects using the air rights should be addressed.

Paul Selver of the law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel represented the developer, SJP Residential Properties of Parsipanny, N.J., of which Stephen J. Pozycki and Allen F. Goldman are principals, of the planned building at 750 Eighth Avenue on the former site of a building that housed McHale’s restaurant.

Mr. Selver said the application was “an historic occasion” as it was the first project to attempt to utilize transferable air-rights created in 1998 but on the drawing boards for “over a generation.

The proposed building is a 38-story tower with 195 apartments designed by Costas Kondylis that would use air rights from the Al Hirschfeld Theater (formerly the Martin Beck Theater) on 45th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues as well as air rights from the Brooks Atkinson Theater on West 47th Street.

Under questioning, Mr. Selver indicated that while the developer was seeking approval initially only for the “discrete” application before the committees, it had larger plans. Those plans included seeking a zoning text-change to permit the transfer of other air-rights from a theater on 47th Street that would enlarge the building at 750 Eighth Avenue to 42 stories and 220 apartments.

As part of the special district’s air-rights transfer requirements, the developer would contribute $10 per square foot of transferred air rights into a special theater district fund.

Joe Restuccia, the executive director of the Clinton Housing Development Company, suggested that the rate of $10 was perhaps too low as it was set in 1998 and that the market has changed.

Jack Goldstein, a former executive director of Save The Theaters Inc., and the Theater Development Fund, argued that the transfer of air rights should not be permitted until the special fund was created and its purposes clarified. He noted that originally the fund was intended to help finance theatrical productions, but is now apparently being planned to finance theatrical education in the city’s school system.

Representatives of the New Perspectives Theater claimed that it had been evicted from the McHale’s building without any relocation assistance despite assurances to the community board from some local politicians that such assistance would be forthcoming.

Mr. Restuccia suggested that the developer withdraw his application so that the “entire package” could be addressed and resubmitted, but Mr. Selver said “no.”

Val Libin, production director of Jujamcyn Theaters, the owner of the Al Hirschfeld Theater, stressed his organization’s desire to preserve and promote “legitimate theater” in the city.

Mr. Selver indicated that “there is another site” on Broadway at 54th Street that is likely to soon seek to use air-rights from a theater to develop a residential tower.


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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #116
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Proposed...


The Rushmore (80 Riverside Boulevard): 425 ft - 41 floors (Twin Tower)





Not bothering to catch its breath, Extell announces new condo project


04-APR-06

The Extell Development Company this week launched its marketing campaign for The Rushmore, a condominium apartment tower on Upper West Side property it recently acquired from Donald Trump and a consortium of investors from Hong Kong.

The new project is located at Riverside Boulevard and 64th Street and presumably will have a 80 Riverside Boulevard address since it is one block south of the Avery at 100 Riverside Boulevard on which Extell only began marketing this year. The Avery is a 32-story building with 274 condominium apartments priced from about $850,000 to more than $3,000,000.

An advertisement in Quest, a monthly magazine that was distributed yesterday, indicated that one- to five-bedroom apartments at The Rushmore will range from approximately $1,000,000 to over $6,000,000. No indication was given of how many stories The Rushmore might have, or how many units, but presumably it will about the same size as the Avery.

The building will have twin towers atop a seven-story base and has been designed by Costas Kondylis.

The Rushmore will have a 24-four concierge and doorman, a garage, a swimming pool, an atrium with adjacent reading room, a “Grand Salon with catering capabilities,” a billiards room, a “Kid’s Creative Studio and Playroom, a La Palestra Spa & Fitness Center, and “Abigail Michaels lifestyle managers, a member of Les Clefs d’Or.”

Extell and the Carlyle Group paid about $1.8 billion recently to acquire 20 acres between 59th and 65th Streets from Donald Trump and a consortium of investors from Hong Kong who have been developing properties to the north along Riverside Boulevard that ends at 72nd Street.

Extell and Carlyle are expected to erect six buildings on their property that overlooks the West Side Highway and the Hudson River.

Extell has recently become one of the city’s most active developers. Some of its other projects include the Orion on West 42nd Street, the Ariel East and West on Broadway at 99th Street, Altair 18 and Altair 20 in Chelsea, the W. Hotel in Times Square.


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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:45 AM   #117
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there's so much going on around Ground Zero...Freedom Tower will have a lot on neighbors!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 04:08 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krull
Altogether, $20 billion of construction will take place downtown over the next six years. The World Trade Center, PATH station and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum alone will account for half of that construction budget.

"It's unprecedented," said City Councilman Alan Gerson.

Thirty-four massive tower cranes will be needed - four alone at the Freedom Tower - to feed materials to the skyscrapers.

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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #119
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Merrill Lynch construction of a new downtown skyscraper?

MERRILL MULLS ITS OPTIONS


May 10, 2006

FINANCIAL services giant Merrill Lynch has just begun working out its future headquarters scenario that could include construction of a new downtown skyscraper - perhaps even as part of the World Trade Center redevelopment.

Now located in well over 2 million square feet between World Financial Centers Two and Four, the firm wants to have all its bricks in a row by the time its triple net leases end in 2013.

Merrill occupies all 1.8 million feet of the 34-story 4 WFC and a portion of the 44-story 2.5 million foot 2 WFC while subleasing the rest to firms that include Nomura and Mass Mutual.

"It is exploring all its options," stressed one real estate executive on condition of anonymity.

"It wants to make a decision by the end of the year."

Those options include leasing or constructing its own tower, remaining in place and retrofitting, or moving to Midtown, a boro, Jersey or Westchester. Whew.

One intriguing scenario could have Merrill take over one of the new ground zero hi-rises and have it tweaked to their liking with the latest high-tech trading floors and gadgets.

Attention city and state: a hand is obviously being extended here for retention benefits.

We hear the real estate giant Trammell Crow has been hired to explore the "build," "no build" option while the similarly savvy Jones Lang LaSalle is concentrating on the renew and retrofit vs. rent elsewhere scenarios. The various firms all declined comment.

"The most important thing is that they remain a Lower Manhattan tenant," said Alliance for Lower Manhattan President Eric Deutsch. "They are an important anchor tenant and it is crucial for everything going on to keep them downtown."


Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #120
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Building 7 (Queens West): 290 ft - 30 floors




Aiming high at Queens
West Builder breaks ground for 2d housing tower


BY DONALD BERTRAND
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
May 10, 2006

Things are heating up at Queens West.

Ground was broken yesterday on the second of seven buildings comprising approximately 3,300 units that Rockrose Development Corp. is building at Queens West.

The Rockrose buildings will occupy a 22-acre northern portion of the 74-acre site, which sits across the East River from the United Nations.

Two months ago, another Queens West developer, Avalon Bay, broke ground for its second tower, a 39-story residential tower with 602 rental apartments.

The latest Rockrose structure is scheduled to open in late 2007, and will be 290 feet tall with 394 rental apartments and 825 parking spaces.

"Our first Queens West building is set to open in less than a month, and we have already begun construction on our second building. This gives you some idea of our enthusiasm for this project and for the residential market in Long Island City," said Henry Elghanayan, a Rockrose principal.

"I am firmly convinced that this community of Long Island City which is being spearheaded by the Queens West project is going to be one of the great communities of New York."

Rockrose's first building, located adjacent to a giant Pepsi:Cola sign, is nearing completion and will start leasing in about a month. The first tenants are expected to start moving into that building in the summer.

"With the completion of the first two Rockrose buildings and Avalon Riverview North by 2008, we will have achieved critical mass constructing more than 2,400 apartments between the four blocks between 47th and 50th Aves.," said Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corp.

When completed, Queens West will have 19 residential buildings, an eight-story senior citizen residence, two schools, and more than 20 acres that encompasses waterfront parkland, open and commercial space, Gargano said.

"This development will literally transform this area into a vibrant neighborhood," he said.

"Rockrose is adding something very magnificent and special to this whole area," said Borough President Helen Marshall, who was especially happy about plans to open a supermarket in the second Rockrose building.


All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

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