The Daily Dirt: Office or no man’s land

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

TRD New York /
Aug.August 14, 2020 07:00 PM

Offices are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. That doesn’t mean people are back at their desks.

According to a survey by the Partnership for New York City, only 8 percent of employees at major NYC businesses have returned to their workplaces. By the end of the year, they expect that to rise only to 26 percent, and then to 54 percent by July 2021.

But people in certain industries appear more keen to get back to their desks — specifically in real estate. Fifty-three percent of real estate workers are already back in the office, a volume expected to run up to 94 percent by the end of the year, Erik Engquist reports. Tech firms are hopeful that 74 percent of staff will return to the office by July 2021. The next tier on the optimism index features finance, insurance and consulting firms.

Though optimistic in this survey, tech companies were among the first to publicly announce long-term plans for having their workforce work remotely. Following others who have committed to extended work-from-home policies — including Twitter, Facebook and Google — Zillow announced late last month that its employees can work remotely on a permanent basis.

Nationwide, the office market is looking grim. A report released by CBRE this month found that net absorption in the U.S. office market turned negative for the first time in a decade — with 21.5 million square feet of negative net absorption in the second quarter. Most of that negative net absorption can be attributed to Texas, California and the New York metro area.

What we’re thinking about: Will I need to file a public records request to get a copy of this project labor agreement, which was announced yesterday? Can someone please just send it? Email a copy or validation of my frustration to [email protected]

CLOSING TIME

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Friday was for a condo unit at 30 Park Place in Tribeca at $9.3 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an office building at 6201 15th Avenue in Bensonhurst and a nearby vacant lot, at $29.5 million.

BREAKING GROUND

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 6,722-square-foot, one-family building at 1021 East 3rd Street in Midwood.

NEW TO THE MARKET

The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a condo unit at 432 Park Avenue in Midtown at $20 million. Compass has the listing.
— Research by Kevin Sun

A thing we’ve learned…

Brenzel Construction is the name of a general contractor based in Scott Township, Pa. A brief search on Facebook shows that we have one mutual family member as a friend, which tells me we might actually be related? Who knew? What a strange Internet journey that was. Anyway, hello to maybe-cousin Brian!

Elsewhere in New York

— Glad I worked the GTL joke into yesterday’s newsletter because Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said gyms, bowling alleys and museums will soon get the green light to reopen, Politico New York reports. Guidance for gyms and fitness centers will be released Monday.

— NYC has opened up 21 more areas for outdoor dining, bringing the total number of Open Streets initiative participants to 76, Gothamist reports. “Rebuilding a fairer and better city means using our urban landscape creatively, and I’m proud to build on the success of our Open Streets program,” de Blasio said in a statement. “New Yorkers have sacrificed so much during this crisis and they deserve the opportunity to safely enjoy their neighborhoods and communities.”

— The city’s Department of Education has approved reopening plans for 1,200 schools, the New York Post reports. All requested a mix of in-person and remote learning


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