The Real Deal New York

Category: Hurricane Sandy

  • Shaun Donovan

    Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said it is crucial for Congress to approve aid for Sandy victims in order for storm-affected residents to begin planning their rebuilding, WNYC reported. Though immediate concerns, such as getting the displaced back home, are a top priority, long-term issues, such as climate change and where to rebuild, remain as well.

    “One of the things the President has made clear to me is we have to rebuild not exactly what was there before,” Donovan told WNYC. “We have to rebuild smarter and stronger to make sure that we minimize the enormous damage to people’s lives and their families and their communities that we saw in this storm.” [more]

  • From left: Faith Hope Consolo and a rendering of Pier 17

    The future of the proposed South Street Seaport revitalization project is uncertain, the Wall Street Journal reported. The culprit: Hurricane Sandy, whose landfall in Lower Manhattan not only damaged the South Street Seaport Museum, but also could have damaged Pier 17, where Howard Hughes Corp. is planning a redesigned mall.

    Now that the site is closed, and could be closed for two years with construction, retailers could get cold feet in signing leases and the site may have problems getting visitors, real estate experts told the Journal. “People have a short time span to remember,” Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman’s retail group, told the Journal. [more]

  • Judge Fern Fisher and Mark Segall, chair of MFY Legal Services

    A group of 19 legal organizations is now urging a city judge to extend a moratorium on post-Hurricane Sandy residential evictions that was lifted yesterday, the New York Observer reported. The group is led by MFY Legal Services, which yesterday wrote to Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern Fisher asking for an extension until Jan. 1, 2013.

    “We were dismayed to learn that, less than a month after Hurricane Sandy hit, the moratorium on residential evictions is being lifted,” the letter reads. “With the city’s infrastructure still reeling, we respectfully request that you reconsider lifting the moratorium.” [more]

  • 122 Bergen Street

    Ales Realty, the landlord of a Boerum Hill brownstone at 122 Bergen Street, allegedly used Hurricane Sandy damage as an excuse to evict tenants, according to a lawsuit filed by residents, reported by DNAinfo.

    Problems allegedly stemmed from a fallen tree that damaged the building’s fire escape, and prompted a Department of Buildings violation on Nov. 1 calling for its immediate repair. Four tenants of the building claimed that, due to the violations, Ales Realty ordered them to pack up their belongings and hand over their keys within 10 days. [more]

  • Lower Manhattan

    More than one-fifth of office space below Canal Street remains closed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, according to a tally released today by Jones Lang LaSalle research. Out of 183 Class A and Class B buildings, 25 are shuttered three weeks on. Thus, some 20.7 million square feet of office space downtown are closed to tenants.

    Total inventory of Lower Manhattan Class A and Class B office properties totals 101.2 million square feet. [more]

  • Piles of wood at the Rockaways (source: Slate)

    Nearly three weeks after the storm, a question has arisen in the Rockaways over future uses of the lumber, currently in piles, that Sandy tore up from the boardwalk, the New York Times reported. There’s a mix of teak, pine and ipe lumber, which can be valuable.

    In the past, a stockpile of lumber taken from Coney Island’s boardwalk in a recycling project was used to make flooring, furniture and decks for homes. The city had discarded the wood and did not gain money from its recycled sales. [more]

  • Tri-state area sees spike in foreclosures

    November 15, 2012 02:00PM

    Even before Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the states were faced with dramatic increases in foreclosures, Bloomberg News reported today.

    October default, auction and repossession notices increased 123 percent in New York, 140 percent in New Jersey and 41 percent in Connecticut from a year earlier, according to a RealtyTrac Inc. report cited in the story. Those were the biggest annual gains nationwide. [more]

  • From left: Nancy Horowitz and a rendering of a storm-resistant home in Copake

    Following the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, which has left thousands of residents and office tenants displaced, some interested clients are looking to invest in hurricane-resistant, self-sufficient safe houses just outside of the city, Forbes reported.

    Nancy Horowitz, a Halstead Property broker in the Hudson Valley said that she’s received a sudden flurry of emails from downstate dwellers who are looking for a stronger home away from water. [more]

  • FEMA inks 200,000-square-foot Queens lease

    November 13, 2012 12:00PM

    From left: FEMA’s Craig Fugate and Forest Hills Tower (credit: PropertyShark)

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has inked a 200,000-square-foot lease at Forest Hills Tower in Queens for its New York City headquarters, according to a release from Muss Development, the landlord of the property. The lease encompasses 10 full floors that will be used by FEMA for administrative office space.

    The lease spans the next several months, as the area recovers from the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, and has options for short-term extensions. The financial terms of the deal were not mentioned. [more]

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  • Mayor Bloomberg

    City plans to pump $1 billion into city infrastructure projects are being radically altered by the affects of Hurricane Sandy, Crain’s reported. Last October, when the stimulus was announced, the funds were intended for waterfront construction, road and bridge repairs and street construction at a time when construction costs were at a relative low. Now with some 70,000 homes in need of repair, the cost of building materials like plywood and drywall has risen nearly 15 percent  — making construction more costly for the city.

    Moreover laborers are being stretched across thousands of repair projects. “Every union member is working,” Lou Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, which represents 17,000 union contractors, said. [more]

  • Mayor Bloomberg

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an emergency order today to waive Department of Buildings application and permit fees for Hurricane Sandy-induced repair work, according to a statement the Mayor’s office issued today. New York City buildings that sustained significant damage from the storm and are in need of demolition, alteration or reconstruction work will have all repair fees waived until further notice, as well as fees for electrical and plumbing repair.

    “It will ensure that New Yorkers fixing their homes will not have to incur additional expenses,” Mayor Bloomberg said in the release, “and we are going to do everything we can to help those displaced by Hurricane Sandy rebuild and recover as quickly as possible.” [more]

  • Seaside, N.J. during hurricane Sandy

    Although the real estate market has and will continue to suffer in the waterfront areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, decreased competition is pushing some buyers back into the market, Bloomberg News reported.

    “You take your chances anytime you get involved with real estate,” Danea Kelly, who is house-hunting with her brother in North Wildwood, N.J., said. “We may now have less competition from other buyers and it might steer some people who have lived down there a long time, who may decide, ‘It’s time for me to sell.’” [more]

  • Debris in Coney Island following Hurricane Sandy

    As the temperature drops, New York City, state and federal officials fear an uptick in the number of those displaced by Hurricane Sandy seeking temporary shelter. In response the government is calling on city landlords to open up their vacant units to those in need, the New York Times reported.

    Although most buildings affected by Hurricane Sandy in Manhattan have come back online, many properties in Coney Island and the Rockaways remain without heat or power. And with temporary shelters already crowded and winter on its way, landlords may be able to offer the perfect solution. [more]

  • From left: signs at 4 New York Plaza, 1 New York Plaza and 120 Wall Street, respectively

    Many of Lower Manhattan’s large commercial landlords have been reluctant to provide information on how their properties fared in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but recent assessments by city inspectors provide a limited window into the damage.

    Over the past week, officials from the city’s Department of Buildings and other agencies catalogued the impact of Sandy on properties within the city’s evacuation zone A. These assessments will determine which buildings can be reopened. [more]

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    Danny Meyer
    In light of last week’s storm, restaurant sales fell significantly last week, CBS News reported. Broken down, casual dining sales fell 30 percent and fine dining sales slipped 50 percent. According to Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group, some city restaurants — though not his — could go out of business as a result of the hurricane (see video after the jump).

    In eight Danny Meyer restaurants, there was no power, leading to the disposal of 10 tons of food. … [more]

  • In the wake of last week’s hurricane, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expanding assistance to those whose properties were destroyed or sustained damage during the storm. Evictions and foreclosures will be suspended for 90 days in storm disaster areas and both Fannie and Freddie gave servicers more leeway to suspend payments, waive late payment fees and provide modifications on loans for owners in storm-stricken areas. [more]

  • Real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey and Le Rivage (Le Rivage image c/o CityRealty)

    In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, several of the city’s largest residential landlords have announced that they are providing comprehensive rent abatements to tenants who lost power or water during the storm.

    Both tenants of luxury and more affordable housing may see some relief. Rose Associates, owner of high-end rental properties such as Le Rivage and the Chelsea Landmark, said it will issue abatements for residents of Rose-owned buildings which were under evacuation orders, as well as to those who lost power or water as a result of the storm. Meanwhile, CW Capital, the owner of the East Village’s Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, will do the same. At 2 Gold street, the Financial District building recently deemed uninhabitable, landlord TF Cornerstone has waived November rents. [more]

  • Interior shots of 145 Sixth Avenue

    The folks at have created a section on their website where residents displaced by last week’s storm can find short-term rentals. However, some of the available listings are better suited to a more well-heeled crowd, as Curbed noted.

    An Upper East Side townhouse at 407 East 75th Street that once belonged to photographer Richard Avedon, and later housed former French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s brother, can be rented for three months to the tune of $225,000. If a would-be tenant’s regular home won’t be habitable for some time, the property can be purchased for a cool $12.5 million. [more]

  • The crane at One57

    It appears that the boom of the One57 crane – an enduring image of last week’s storm – was alarmingly close to plummeting 1,000 feet to street level. Building engineer Michael Alacha estimated it had an 80 percent chance of falling, the New York Times reported, in a play-by-play account of what transpired at the site during the storm.

    “In my mind, the boom was going to go,” said Alacha, who was on the scene at One57 shortly after the collapse. “We still had another 6 to 10 hours of severe wind,” he added. “It was rocking. Usually, metal gets fatigued and it would let go.” [more]

  • 2 Gold Street

    [Updated Wednesday 12:58 p.m. with additional information from TF Cornerstone] Residents of 2 Gold Street are claiming that TF Cornerstone, the landlord at the 839-unit Financial District apartment tower, has failed to make a good enough effort to relocate tenants or provide them with accurate and consistent information in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, The Real Deal has learned.

    More than 50 residents sent an open letter to TF Cornerstone calling on the developer to improve communication between management and residents, as well as improve support for the residents displaced by the storm. The building sustained serious damage from Sandy and may not reopen for a month or longer. Meanwhile, tenants have been displaced. [more]

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