Amazon Backs Off Building HQ2 in LIC NYC
Have the Opponents of the Deal Lost by Winning the Battle?
Amazon, one of the world's largest and most successful companies, has withdrew its plans to locate a second headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens. The giant retailer / technology company said it would continue with its other development plans in Nashville, Tennessee and in Arlington, Virginia - but was withdrawing from its plans to set up a second headquarters in New York City at this time.
Queens & NYC Residents Favor Amazon's Plan for HQ2 in NYC
According to a Quinnipiac Poll in December of 2018, 60% of Queens residents and 57% of NYC residents favored the arrival of Amazon HQ2. The reasons for favoring Amazon's move to New York include:
1) The promise of 25,000 new jobs.
2) Pricing pressure to lift rents and real estate prices [beneficial to property owners].
3) Higher tax revenue for the government because of economic growth. The arrival of Amazon HQ2 would increase the NYS / NYC taxable base by billion(s) in annual wages and commercial sales, although some of this would likely have come at the expense of existing businesses.
4) The promise of a tech / business eco-system.
But a Sizeable & Vocal Minority Oppose Amazon's Arrival
But a sizeable and vocal minority opposed the plan. The Quinnipiac poll indicated that 39% of Queens residents opposed the tax incentives [versus 55% who supported them], while majorities in Manhattan and Brooklyn opposed them, and majorities in Bronx and on Staten Island favored them.
Opponents cited the following rationales for opposition to the Amazon move.
1) The $3 billion in NYS and NYC tax breaks.
2) Opposition to unionization by Amazon.
3) The expected inflationary impact on local rents and real estate prices [negative impact for tenants / prospective home buyers].
4) The ground terms of the deal were secretly negotiated by the Governor & the Mayor without legislative input.
The Opposition by Local Pols Was Cited as Squelching the Deal
Amazon issued a statement citing opposition by local pols as its reason for withdrawing from its plans at this time, while simultaneously thanking NYS Governor Cuomo and NYC Mayor de Blasio. Here are a few excerpts from a statement issued by Amazon.
“... we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term ... While polls show that 70% [Editor's Note: the percent favoring the move differs from the independent Quinnipiac poll taken in December 2018] of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward ... We are deeply grateful to Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and their staffs, who so enthusiastically and graciously invited us to build in New York City and supported us during the process ... We do not intend to reopen the HQ2 search at this time. We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time.”
I added the bold on the last couple of lines, because it seems to indicate that Amazon is still interested in expanding here. As of just before 11 am today, only an hour or two before the announcement was made [lunchtime EST], Amazon's ads pitching the community continued airing on the New York Times website - see graphic above right.
So what's next? Dunno, and I am not sure anyone else does either. Perhaps nothing for a while.
But I conjecture that Amazon, like Google and Facebook who preceded them, will grow its footprint in New York City, even without the special tax incentives. Why? Because New York City is one of the few places equipped to provide a diverse, well-educated, sophisticated workforce to accommodate large and rapid corporate growth. It's worth mentioning that only a couple of months ago, in November 2018, Google announced that it would proceed with a $1 billion expansion in New York City without any special tax incentives.
Meanwhile, remember to do something nice for your loved one and yourself, for Valentine's Day. Life goes on.
The Times They are a Changing
Amazon Coming to LIC w/ Sites Secured
New Jobs, Tax Incentives, Real Estate & Housing Impacts & Dissent
According to a November 13, 2018 Washington Post report, yesterday Amazon, NYC and NYS made public, that half of the second headquarters for Amazon would be erected in Long Island City. The other half is going to Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia; and there was a third award - not of headquarters - but rather a new operations center which is to be erected in Nashville, Tennessee which is expected to create 5,000 additional new jobs there.
The photo at right shows Hunters Point Park South along the East River in LIC. This park is just south of and adjacent to Anable Basin, one of Amazon's new HQ2 sites, and only a ten minute walk from the other one on Jackson Avenue near Citibank.
New High Paying Jobs?
The announcement included that the two new HQ2 units would eventually create 25,000 new jobs - EACH [Long Island City, NY & Arlington, Va]. In Long Island City it was expected that 3,000 new jobs would be added over the next three years, with the remaining 22,000 coming roughly over the course of the coming decade [ending 2030]. The hiring for the new locations will begin in 2019.
The NY Times in a November 12, 2018 report indicated that many of the salaries paid to the people working at the new HQ2 would make upwards of $100,000*, which they contrasted to the median income of those living in the nearby Queensbridge Housing projects where the median income is $15,000. They noted in that report that many local citizens are leery of the change, feeling rents and the cost of real estate will rise forcing many residents to move. We've heard this anecdotally as well.
HQ2 Near Low Income Queensbridge Housing Projects
The same NY Times report also stated that Amazon said it would spend $5 million on jobs training programs and resume workshops to assist Queensbridge Housing project residents. They also said they would provide incubator space for artists and tech start ups.
The November 13, 2018 Washington Post report included some indication of the upside / downside in the real estate market stating,
"Amazon’s growth is also likely to put new strains on housing. Since Amazon’s arrival, Seattle has become one of the most expensive places in the United States to live, forcing lower-income residents to move to far-off suburbs. The city and surrounding King County declared a state of emergency in 2015 over homelessness."
At right is a photo of one of the Queensbridge Housing projects in LIC a couple of years ago. The Queensbridge Housing projects have been the recipient of government investments in recent years, including significant roof repairs. Queensbridge Houses are located about a half mile north of the old downtown LIC by 50th Avenue and Vernon Blvd [St Mary's Church is the landmark] and only a stones throw from Queens Plaza.
Amazon Founder Pledges $2 Billion to Address National Housing Crisis
"Since beginning the headquarters search, Bezos and the company have made several announcements that could soften Amazon’s image as it moves to open its second hub. Bezos announced in September that he would donate $2 billion of his own money to support groups battling homelessness in America and to create a network of preschools in underserved communities. In October — after bearing months of criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over its treatment of workers — Amazon announced that it would raise its minimum wage for all employees to $15 per hour."
The photo at right shows Sunnyside Yards, for which a development plan is in the process of being drafted. Sunnyside Yard is on the eastern border of LIC and it is a large swath of over 192 acres of land that separates Long Island City from the rest of Queens. An NYEDC [New York Economic Development Corporation] spokesperson told me that a study indicated that 180 of the acres are potential development property.
Click here to view a special report series on the Sunnyside Yard.
Market Turbulence: LIC Real Estate Market Supply, Demand & Prices
"The real estate listing website Redfin found searches in the first six days of November grew 345% from the same period last year in Crystal City and 659% in Long Island City."
This has roiled the real estate markets, with sellers ratching up their asking prices, or deciding to rent instead of sell. A memorable quote by developer Tien Vominh in the CNN report was,
"everything's kind of cloudy ... I think it'll settle down once people realize that those 25,000 people are not on a plane headed in this direction."
In recent years LIC has seen the largest residential unit growth of any neighborhood - not just in NYC - but in the nation as well, according to a September 2017 report in the National Intelligencer. Prices for LIC rentals had been languishing the last year or so because of the rapid growth in residential unit supply. There have been reports / rumors of generous incentives being offered to potential tenants, and LIC residential unit sales prices have reportedly been softening. Continued demand, rapidly growing supply and ongoing price fluctuations seem likely in the coming years, as Amazon begins hiring in 2019, while many more residential units are scheduled to come online over the next couple of years. And there's the big unknown regarding the development of most of the 192 acre site of Sunnyside Yard.
In the photo at right is the Anable Basin during the summer time. The Anable Basin is located just north of, and adjacent to Gantry State Park along the East River in LIC. According to the LIC Post, this is where part of Amazon's HQ2 will be located using a combination of public and private land. I hear that the site deals have already been secured.
Dissent: Pros / Cons of Governor Cuomo's Generous Incentives
A November 13, 2018 NY Times report also said that NYS Governor Cuomo pledged up to $1.5 billion** in tax incentives / credits through its Excelsior discretionary fund. And NYS Governor Cuomo offerred up to $500 million in a capital grant to aid Amazon in erecting new buildings. Traditional local and state tax incentives will also be made available to the retailing giant.
In a November 9, 2018 Op Ed in the NY Times former gubernatorial and NYS Attorney General candidate, Zephyr Teachout, and NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim of Flushing / Whitestone / College Point / Murray Hill, took a strong stance against the deal, stating the NYS return on incentives given to businesses is the second worst in the nation [based on a study by the Citizens Budget Committee NY a non-profit watchdog] and that the incentives given by NYS represent 77% of the total tax dollars paid by businesses.
In a November 14, 2018 Democracy Now interview, Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim also accused Governor Cuomo of bypassing the legislature in order to allocate billion(s) of taxpayer funds, to a company controlled by the wealthiest man in the world, to subsidize expansion plans that likely would have occurred with or without the subsidies.
The map at right shows approximately where the Amazon sites are being developed. The Sunnyside Yard, just east of them, represents over 192 acres of a mix of federal, state and municipally controlled land [per Wikipedia] of which 180 of the acres are currently in the planning process for potential future development [NYEDC spokesperson]. A mix of affordable housing has been mentioned as one of the top contenders for site development, but it should be noted that the Administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg labeled apartments that rented for over $48,000 per year in Hunters Point South - affordable.
Amazon Cites Economic Impact Using Seattle as Example
According to the LIC Post, One Court Square West [aka the Citibank Building] is where one of the Amazon HQ2 buildings will be located. An NYEDC spokesperson said that Amazon has rented some of the floors in the Citibank Building on Jackson Avenue, but that he was not familiar with any of those details as they were part of a private transaction. In the photo at right you can see the Citibank Building where Amazon will begin working / hiring in 2019.
Winners & Losers of Amazon Arrival
On November 13, 2018 CNN reported that Amazon said that from 2010 to 2016 it added $38 billion to the economy of the city of Seattle - its current headquarters. In a November 11, 2018 report CNN also said that employees who work in Seattle will have an opportunity to relocate.
Lastly, there was a second report in the Washington Post on November 13, 2018 - which by the way is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, so the Washington Post ought to know - that outlined who it expected to be the winners and losers. The winners are property owners and developers and highly skilled workers, while the losers will be renters, low income residents, commuters due to increased transit volume, some small businesses and rival tech companies.
* The incomes reported by Governor Cuomo have been higher than those reported by news outlets [I heard $150,000 in one report]. This may possibly be due to Governor Cuomo's use of 'average' income versus a more fair metric of 'median' income. Using average income can significantly distort the picture - as by averaging in one or a few very high income earners - the average amount can rise significantly, making up for a lot of lower earning jobs. While median income means that half of the people are earning more than the median amount and half the people are earning less than the median amount. Hence median income is generally considered a more fair metric, as a few big wage earners' incomes won't distort this measure.
** The tax incentives / government subsidy numbers reported / estimated by Amazon and government officials - appear to lower than those reported / estimated by opponents - by totals ranging from $600 million to more than $1 billion.
NY Real Estate Expo
NYC Professionals Discuss Manhattan & NYC Metro Real Estate
I attended the 10th annual NY Real Estate Expo at the New York Hilton last week. The event was well attended by hundreds of real estate, development and financial professionals from the NYC and metro area. Anthony Kazazis, Director of the event, had organized a series of panels to discuss key aspects affecting the real estate market ranging from software platforms, to financing, to NYC real estate market assessments.
Generally the mood was upbeat, but not without some concern about the future, given changes in the tax laws, foreign interest in NYC investment, interest rates forecasts and technological challenges facing the industry. But, I thought, that is why everyone is here. To find out what's going on so they can navigate the market changes - rather than be surprised by them.
While I had intended to stay only a short while, I found the topics and panelists too interesting to leave, so I stayed most of the day. I started with a discussion of a new information technology platform called Blockchain, which is intended to serve as an information clearing house, and it includes some artificial intelligence capability. I then found my way into a discussion about New York City versus Silicon Valley with respect to attracting large technology companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google. And I ended my visit after listening in on a discussion by NYC and metro area realtors discuss the residential real estate market in Manhattan and outer boroughs.
Sound like an interesting NYC real estate conference? It was. In the photo above you can see the audience at the well attended panel discussions at the NY Real Estate Expo this year.
NYC / NYS Congestion Pricing 3.0
NYS Senators Liz Krueger & Brad Hoylman Host Community Transit Discussion
It was a cool Thursday evening as I made my way to the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown. The CUNY Graduate Center is located on Fifth Avenue just north of 34th Street kiddy-corner from the Empire State Building.
I was headed to a community discussion about the public transit crisis facing NYC. I suppose, not surprising, was that one of the Congestion Pricing representatives, Alex Matthiessen, was there to present. Alex started out the conversation with a presentation of the new Congestion Pricing Plan, which is now called Fix NYC, telling us how this Congestion Pricing plan was different from the two prior ones floated by the Bloomberg Administration and by Mattheissen’s Move NY group a few years back.
Click here to read our report about NYC Congestion Traffic Pricing posted in March 2016 when we took a pretty in-depth view at who has been pushing this plan [consultancies & businesses that will profit from the infrastructure build out], how much of the London implementation revenue went back into improvements in that city [about 50%], how congestion pricing didn’t reduce traffic, but time shifted traffic in a New Jersey bridge / tunnel implementation [they had claimed emissions reductions and used a ‘green’ label to promote the last version of this plan], and other important things to consider regarding implementing a ‘new and improved’ congestion pricing system along the East River Bridges.
Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project
First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin
I attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.
The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.
Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.
Update on the Steinway Mansion in Astoria Queens
Visionary Investor Makes Good on Development but Still no Announcement of his Plans for the Steinway Mansion
On May 3rd, 2014 the Halberian Family sold the Steinway Mansion to Steinway Mansion LLC for $2.65 million. In the two and a half years since, the new Steinway Mansion owner parceled the property into a eleven additional smaller lots and built eleven two story commercial buildings on each. We watched as the owner quietly developed the property, likely in line with his plans while making the investment.
Just over a year ago I visited the site and took some photos, which momentarily revealed the resplendent glory of the old mansion, overlooking the East River and distant Rikers Island and Bronx shores. The new owner had cut away most of what remained of the Steinway Mansion yard to make way for the new buildings at a height on a level with 42nd and 41st Streets. The construction site seemed well maintained and the historic mansion structure appeared to be treated respectfully both last year, and as I learned in my most recent trip, also since.
The photo above was taken in August of 2015.
Northern Ditmars Neighborhood Real Estate Development
Last weekend I returned to the site to shoot photos and see what was happening. I came in along 42nd Street, and for a moment I wondered if I had gotten my coordinates wrong, as the street had been transformed. The emptiness on the street of the construction site of a year ago had been filled in with a number of spanking new buildings lined along the street with what appeared an exacting precision. The photo to your right shows roughly the same space in September 2016 as was shown in the August 2015 photo above.
A year ago, 42nd Street was an empty, slightly soiled, commercial industrial hub. But on my visit this year the street took on a wholly different appearance with the new buildings / storefronts. There were eight new buildings along 42nd Street, with red brick exteriors complemented by black trim and large floor-to-ceiling paned storefront windows, which I believe could also serve as garage doors. It almost seemed like these new edifices could as easily become art galleries, as manufacturing locales and / or storage facilities.
Click here to read the rest of our report about the Steinway Mansion real estate development in Northern Ditmars, Astoria.
South Street Seaport Neighborhood & Real Estate Development
An Historical Site and Shopping, Dining & Tourist Destination in NYC
I have visited the South Street Seaport several times over the past year and I have found it to have enough of the blend of old and new to merit several or more visits. In this report I will take you on a brief tour of the South Street Seaport to show you what you can find along the East River, looking up at the Brooklyn Bridge from the southern downtown neighborhood in Manhattan.
South Street Seaport Neighborhood
Many subway lines traverse the downtown area, so it’s not hard to get to from most other parts of Manhattan. And many subway lines from the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn traverse or terminate in lower Manhattan, where the South Street Seaport is located.
The South Street Seaport neighborhood has a number of dimensions to it. To be sure it’s a tourist destination as one can sit along the East River wining or dining while looking out at the Brooklyn Bridge. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the neighborhood, so it’s not hard to find ways to feed or amuse oneself.
A new real estate development of the South Street Seaport is currently in process. The planning for it was decided upon in 2013 and it is expected to be completed in 2017. The renovation is expected to free up the East River waterfront to more pedestrian activity.
Click here to read about the history of the South Street Seaport neighborhood & real estate development.
CCM Ben Kallos Hosts Superscraper Zoning Forum
I attended a ‘Superscraper Forum’ hosted by NYC Councilmember Ben Kallos of the Upper East Side neighborhood on a comfortable Thursday evening at the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. It was to begin at 6.30 pm and 250 people had reserved seats for an auditorium that held 140 seats and had space for about 40 standing.
To be sure the auditorium was full when I arrived and I caught only the tail end of what the first speaker had to say. There were over a half dozen speakers, including NYC Councilmember Ben Kallos who organized the meeting which was attended by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer who arrived near the end of it.
The other speakers included the first speaker who was from the NYC Department of Housing & Planning, who I missed, as well as the following: Emma Marconi Bologna of Civitas NYC, Tara Kelly of the Friends of the Upper East Side, Margaret Newman of the Municipal Art Society, and three other people whose names and associations I did not catch. One may have been an architect, one may have been a representative of the East 50’s Association which is a group dedicated to reining in Superscrapers, and there might have been one from the Sutton Area Community neighborhood association.
Click here to read the rest of our report about Superscraper Zoning for the Upper East Side & Sutton Place.
What Is A Decent City?
The Museum of Modern Art Explores Zoning & Real Estate Development
MoMA Exhibit: Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities
I attended a presentation and panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art [MoMA] on Monday evening. The event was being given in conjunction with an exhibit at the museum entitled: Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.
The presenters and panel consisted of two political scientists [Ira Katznelson & Margaret Levi], two architects / designers [Marion Weiss & Jose Castillo], one urban planner [Diane Davis] and the curator of the MoMA exhibit [Pedro Gadanho].
The presentations and discussion were - as billed - about what makes a decent city.
Click here to read a short report with photos taken at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan at the panel discussion entitled What Makes A Decent City?
BALCONY - Business And Labor Coalition NY
Forum Discusses Challenges & Opportunities Of De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan
One day after Mayor de Blasio gave his State of the City Address, the Business And Labor Coalition of New York [aka BALCONY] met to discuss affordable housing and their role in it.
A high quality panel of speakers had been enlisted to help stimulate the discussion which happened on an early Wednesday morning in February. The panelists included a real estate lobbyist, a unionized labor representative who oversees the management of labor pension investments, Public Advocate Letitia James, a representative from the Governor's Office and others. The BALCONY forum attracted a full house of real estate, financial and labor professionals, as well as government officials.
By the end of the morning I had heard how a number of large and important participant groups were processing Mayor de Blasio's plan to address NYC's affordable housing shortage. We'll have more a bit later this week about this informative housing forum.
New York Boat Show @ Javits Center
Full Steam Ahead For Boat & Yacht Dealers & Manufacturers
For the price of a small apartment in Manhattan you can buy yourself a floating power palace with about the same amount of space, and water views on all sides.
It was my first venture into the New York Boat Show on Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown West. There were about 400 boats and yachts on display [364 was the unoffical count] for those looking to buy, trade or just look at the state of the art in boating technology and comfort.
Again unofficially - using one of the dealer's gate count numbers - it seems attendance was up a bit this year versus last year. They surmised that the lower gas prices, the better economy and apparently a few folks were looking to replace what had been damaged or that they'd lost to Hurricane Sandy. And so it was ... show on.
Later this week I'll post a photo slide show of the event and take you onto a few of the boats and yachts so you can see what owning or riding on one of these floating palaces would look like. Ship Ahoy.
Hudson Yards Real Estate Development NYC
Manhattan Real Estate: West Midtown Undergoing Massive Transformation
I spent a fair bit of time surveying the construction projects underway in west Midtown Manhattan this weekend. I went to see for myself what was going on in the area just adjacent [kiddy corner south and east] to the Jacob Javits Center which is located on 11th Avenue and 31st Street.
The deals were cut during the Bloomberg Administration with two real estate development companies - the Related Companies of NYC and Canadian partner Oxford Properties of Toronto, Ontario. The negotations took about five years and involved the MTA leasing the airspace above their track space - the Hudson Yards.
Most of the development will reside atop a huge platform covering the yards, but the building in the photo to your right - the first of the development to come online - has been erected ajacent to the yards on terra firma.
Click here later this week to read more about the Hudson Yards real estate development in NYC, including numerous photos in a slide show.
New York Market Expo
Marketing Your NYC Business In The 21st Century
On May 29th I attended the New York Market Expo at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. There were dozens of vendors there to help small businesses with their sales and marketing efforts.
It seems the online media has moved front and center at this expo with a multitude of vendors generally representing national firms offering a variety of online services. Many of the large social media firms sponsored slide show presentations showing how their offerings differed from the others.
There were also a number of other organizations there, including the traditional media, as well as a number of government and non-profit business organizations whose missions are to help businesses in their endeavors. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is shown in the photo to your right. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is a very active sponsor of networking events, seminars and workshops in NYC.
We'll post more including a photo slide show of the New York Market Expo of 2014.
Real Estate Loans - Manhattan Mortgage Market Condition
Expo Highlights Opportunities, Risks & Other Considerations
I attended the 2014 NYC Finance Expo at the Roosevelt Hotel on May 14th. The expo was well attended by Manhattan real estate professionals and financiers of Manhattan real estate including banks and other lenders.
The organizers had three or more seminars running simultaneously throughout the morning, with most sessions running between 20 minutes and an hour. About every 15 minutes a new session started, so there were plenty of ways to spend one's time productively.
The topics of the seminars covered a cross section of interests of those in the Manhattan real estate financial industry, from social marketing to real estate finance to real estate planning. I sat through a couple of sessions where I listened to Manhattan real estate and financial executives talk about where we are in the current cycle in the Manhattan real estate market, with an eye toward Manhattan real esate prices and valuations from a lender's point of view.
Billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis is shown in the photo at right at the NYC Finance Expo in Manhattan.
Click here to read the rest of our story about Manhattan real estate mortgage market conditions & the NYC Finance Expo.
NYC Manhattan Real Estate & Realtors
Manhattan Real Estate & Realtors
December 28, 2013 / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Real estate in Manhattan was been 'on the rise again' in 2013 with prices rising as the economy gained ground and the super low interest rates made payments on high priced properties possible.
Interest rates began to rise in 2013 as the year wore on and are expected to continue rising in 2014 and beyond. But not too fast say the pundits as the U.S. and world economies are fragile and the central bankers do not want to upend the recovery.
This section will begin to be populated with stories about condos and co-ops in Manhattan NYC, as well as stories about apartment rentals in NYC.
Manhattan Real Estate & Business - Page Directory
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How The Other Half Lives
I attended a reception hosted by TF Cornerstone in late September to celebrate the official opening of their fifth property. The building had been completed earlier this year and the first tenants had moved in sometime in May. I understand they've rented about 70% of the units, so they've been moving briskly.
I visited a couple of the units for rent, including a studio that started at about $2,300 per month and a two bedroom corner that likely rented for something like $5,000 per month [give or take several hundred]. To those of us who live in Queens, these are expensive units, but to those who live in Manhattan - given the views and amenities - these are good value. Like the headline says : )
The photo to your right shows a view of one of the new properties currently lining the LIC waterfront, with a northward looking view of Manhattan.
Click here for a link to a realtor handling apts for rent on the upper east side nyc.
Manhattan Business Meetings
Manhattan NY / March 14, 2014. This section contains business meetings, business events, business seminars in Manhattan for the midtown, upper east side nyc, upper west side nyc and village business meetings in NYC for the month of March of 2014.
Click here to view the Manhattan Things To Do Calendar for the month of March 2014.
Stringer Conditionally Approves Midtown East Development
September 12, 2013 / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
We attended the Community Board 6 Meeting in Manhattan on Wednesday following the election and heard the announcement that outgoing Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had conditionally approved the large scale development in the eastern section of Midtown Manhattan.
Stringer noted that the new developments would put significant stress on existing infrastructure and must be addressed as part of the plan.
Roosevelt Island To Become Techno NYC
Borough of the Arts, will one day become The Borough of Applied Sciences
Updated Spring 2014 / March 7, 2012 / Long Island City / Manhattan Real Estate / Midtown Buzz. I just returned from a breakfast where the NYC Deputy Mayor of Economic Development presented the NYC plan to develop an eleven acre campus on the southern end of Roosevelt Island, into an applied sciences academic institution.
Development of the new facility will take place over the course of the next thirty years, but the first classroom will open [somewhere in a leased facility] in the fall of 2012. When the applied sciences campus is done, the facility is expected to include about 2 million square feet of new construction and a half million feet of open space. Over the course of the next few decades, the institution is expected to become the academic home to 280 faculty members, a student body of 2,500, and to provide ongoing employment for about 8,000 people.
Click here to read the rest of our report on the presentation given by Robert K. Steel at the LIC Partnership breakfast about the new applied sciences development on Roosevelt Island - Midtown Manhattan real estate.
Condos & Co-ops Forum - Manhattan & NYC
Updated Spring 2014 / December 7, 2010 / Manhattan Real Estate / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
City Council Member Daniel Dromm, NYS Senator Peralta in tandem with ACCO [Alliance of Condo & Co-op Owners] organized a forum in Jackson Heights to inform people about their rights and responsibilities as condo and co-op owners.
In addition to the councilman and senator, the panel included two lawyers and the president of ACCO. About two hundred people showed up for the event, packing the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights. See photos in our report of the large crowd that attended this forum.
The panel informed condo and co-op owners in Jackson Heights & Queens about their rights, and discussed new state legislation which has been introduced to more clearly define the processes through which a tenant / owner can assert their rights. Click here to read the rest of our report about the forum for Manhattan condo / co-op owners in NYC.
NYC Real Estate: New Face of a Changing Borough
Real Estate Development Continues - Near Midtown
October 1, 2013 / Manhattan Real Estate / Midtown Buzz. I, like many in the borough, have been watching in near amazement at the rapid pace of real estate development in Long Island City. On September 18th of 2013, I attended the Grand Opening of 4545 Center Blvd, the fifth of the six TF Cornerstone buildings to go up along the Long Island City waterfront.
As you will see from the photos in the slide show at the end of the story, the apartments are beautiful. The new high rise is an airy, modern building with amenities, and apartments that have breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Queensboro Bridge. I saw a studio and corner two-bedroom apartment, which rent for about $2,300 and $5,500 per month respectively – so it’s not only the views that are breathtaking, but the rents as well. Five of the six TF Cornerstone buildings along Center Blvd in LIC are rentals, and only the condominiums in The View [the only building TF Cornerstone named] were for sale.
Click here for a story about NYC real estate including a bit of the history of TF Cornerstone, Rockrose Real Estate and real estate development in the LIC neighborhood of Queens.
Manhattan Real Estate
East Side Access Project Impact
Manhattan Real Estate / Updated Spring 2014 / October 4, 2010 / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Progress on the East Side Access Tunnel project has been visible in Queens since early Spring 2010. The MTA has been busy drilling a new tunnel under the East River from LIC / Astoria, using the Sunnyside Railway Yard as its staging grounds. The photo to your left shows the view of the new tunnel being built underneath the East River from an Astoria / LIC perspective. The tunnel connects into Manhattan on the Upper East Side / Midtown around 63rd Street.
Meanwhile in the Sunnyside railway yards, many of the buildings that once dotted the landscape have been demolished. Thankfully this doesn't include an old train station which has been around for many years [see photos in rest of story / slide show]. They’ve also cleared away a number of old warehouse and garage like structures along 43rd Street between Northern Blvd and 39th Avenue.
Click here to get an update on the East Side Access Project impact on Midtown Manhattan & Upper East Side real estate.
Midtown NYC Election Results
De Blasio Wins But May Face Runoff, Stringer Edges Out Spitzer
September 11, 2013 / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Scott Stringer, outgoing Manhattan Borough President, edged out Elliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary. Bill De Blasio won the Democratic NYC Mayoral primary with about 40% of the vote. A tabulation of some paper ballots may determine whether there will be a runoff later this month. And Gale Brewer, City Council Member of the Upper West Side in Manhattan District 6 won nearly 40% of the vote in the race for Manhattan Borough President. Jessica Lappin, formerly Community Board One Chair won nearly 24% of the vote and City Council Member Robert Jackson of District 7 of Morningside Heights and West Harlem won 29% of the vote. In District 5 Ben Kallos won nearly 46% of the vote, while Assemblyman Micah Kellner won nearly 40% of the vote. And in District 4 there wasn't any primary as the candidates went uncontested.
Home Improvement & Construction In Manhattan
Queens Bronx Builders Association Serving NYC
Building Businesses Continue Improving - Builders Cautiously Optimistic
Updated Spring 2014 / October 25, 2012 / Jackson Heights / Manhattan Business & Real Estate / Midtown Buzz. I attended the Queens Bronx Builders Association Trade Show at the LaGuardia Marriott this evening. The show included between two and three dozen exhibitors showing just about everything and anything you might need to erect and finish a building. I went to get some sense of the mood of the building trades, given the economy has been the focus of many folks’ attention since the financial debacle of 2008.
The sense I got from most of the exhibitors was that, while things are not great like they had been before the bust, they appeared to have ‘hit bottom’, and appear to be steadily improving. Most of the folks I conversed with were cautiously optimistic; saying they had been having some really good days, but also some really slow days. A few of the people I spoke to were downright bullish. Only two people told me that things were still very rough out there.
As you know, this is not a scientific survey, but the generally upbeat mood of the trade fair left me with the sense that things in the construction business were improving.
Click here to read our report about the Queens Bronx Building Association Trade Show in Queens. The QBB Association is comprised building related suppliers and contractors serving Manhattan and NYC including the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown NYC, the Village & beyond.
Manhattan Banks & Loans
April 2018 / Manhattan Banking Loans & Business NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
This section is dedicated to banks and loans in midtown Manhattan, the Upper East Side NYC, the Upper West Side NYC and the West & East Village NYC.
Click here to view reports on banks & loans in Manhattan.
Manufacturers & Wholesalers In Manhattan
Fresh Pasta Made Daily In NYC
Cassinelli Food Products Company Delivers Italian Pasta Into Manhattan Nearly Daily
Astoria Queens / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
used to be heavily populated with Italian immigrants, particularly in the first half of the 20th century. They brought with them their knowledge and skills about food and wine, the products of which became, in time, a part of the American culture.
This is a report about the Cassinelli Food Products company. It's one of the last old world Italian pasta making companies in Queens. The Cassinelli pasta company makes fresh pasta in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens daily.
Click here to read the full report about fresh pasta in Manhattan & NYC.
Greek Food In Manhattan NYC
Titan Foods Has Been Importing Greek Foods Into Manhattan NYC For Decades
Food Stores in Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Astoria has long been known as the Greek section of Queens and NYC. And for nearly 30 years Titan Foods has been serving the Greek section of Queens and NYC with imported Greek food. In 1991 Optima Foods, which is owned by the same folks as Titan, began operating as a mid sized importer and since that time has grown to become one of the leading distributors of Greek food along the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Click this link to read the full story about Titan Foods - Greek food stores in Manhattan NYC.
Manhattan Public Transit To / From Airports NYC LGA JFK
NYC Public Transit To / From LaGuardia Airport & NYC Public Transit To / From JFK Airport
April 2018 / Manhattan NYC Public Transit / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
The following section provides instructions on how to get to and from LaGuardia Airport into Manhattan & NYC. The section also contains the same information on getting to and from NYC and JFK Airport. You can also bike around NYC using Citi Bike and we've provided information about NYC Cycling laws / rules.
Click here to view our section about public transit to / from NYC from JFK & LaGuardia airport, including photos and eventually maps.
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Midtown / UES / UWS - Manhattan NYC
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