The Real Deal New York

Government Briefs


March 31, 2008

Tishman Speyer picked to develop Hudson Yards

Tishman Speyer was selected late last month to develop the MTA’s 26-acre Hudson Yards site, with a winning bid of $1.004 billion. Tishman, which lacked an anchor tenant, offered $112 million more than the only other bidder that was still in the running at the time, the Durst Organization-Vornado Realty Trust joint venture. Morgan Stanley had previously withdrawn from Tishman’s bid over fears that a new headquarters would not be built in time. Tishman’s plan calls for 8 million square feet of office space, 3 million square feet of housing and 13 acres of open space.

Council passes Solow’s East River project

Developer Sheldon Solow’s $4 billion plan to build seven towers along the East River was approved by the City Council last month after its Land Use Committee unanimously approved it. Solow reduced the height of a proposed residential tower on the west side of First Avenue, between 39th and 40th streets, from 69 stories to 44, and trimmed three other towers to placate elected officials. He pledged $10 million for a public pedestrian bridge over the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive. A controversial office tower, however, is still planned.

Manhattan population continued to grow in 2007

Manhattan’s population grew by 8,000, or 51 hundredths of a percentage point, in the year ending July 1, 2007, according to the latest census data. That accounts for more than half of New York state’s total population growth in the period and the largest numerical increase among all the state’s counties. Manhattan was also the only borough to see its population grow at a faster rate than it did the year before. However, New York City’s growth paled in comparison to other parts of the country, the New York Times reported.

Tenants gain right to sue landlords for harassment

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a City Council bill last month that will allow tenants to sue their landlords for harassment, the Times reported. Penalties for tenant harassment will range from $1,000 to $5,000. The bill was supported by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and many housing advocates, but was opposed by the Real Estate Board of New York and the Rent Stabilization Association.

East Side tower had 13 safety violations

Before its collapse last month, the tower at 303 East 51st Street had been issued 13 violations by the Department of Buildings, including two that were rated as “high” in severity, the New York Post reported. Violations included excessive debris, unsafe materials storage and inadequate roof protection. After city officials said those violations were not relevant to the collapsed crane that killed seven people, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said, “Quite frankly, if the buildings commissioner believes that is normal, then the buildings commissioner can work elsewhere.” Building inspector Edward Marquette was arrested after he allegedly falsified documents to show that he inspected the crane prior to its collapse.

Bronx housing construction down

Permit applications for new residential developments plummeted by 33 percent in the Bronx last year, according to a city report. The city issued permits for 3,104 new residential units in the Bronx in 2007, compared with 4,658 in 2006. Despite the drop, a record dollar amount was invested in the Bronx last year, according to the borough president’s office: More than $925 million was spent on housing projects, compared to $713 million in 2006 and $237 million in 2002, the New York Daily News reported.

NYC foreclosures up 13 percent

Foreclosures in New York City increased 13 percent in February from the previous month, and were up 113 percent from the previous year, according to a PropertyShark.com report. Foreclosures in Brooklyn were up 20 percent over the prior month, to 53, while the number of Queens foreclosures more than doubled from the same period last year.

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