WTC bond sale approved; NYC airport overhaul contest and more ...

Snapshots of government-related real estate news

Nov.November 01, 2014 07:00 AM
LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport

State approves $1.8B in bonds for 3WTC

New York’s Liberty Development Corp., a subsidiary of the state’s economic-development agency, approved the sale of up to $1.8 billion in bonds to fund the continued development of the 80-story tower at 3 World Trade Center. The sale of the bonds will be managed by Goldman Sachs, which previously sold more than $1.6 billion in Liberty Bonds to finance the construction of its own new downtown headquarters, Bloomberg News reported. The bonds will be issued in three classes, and will be secured by a mortgage on the building, tenant leases, and rents; the building’s main tenant is advertising firm GroupM. Development will also be financed by $55 million of equity from developer Larry Silverstein, $210 million from the Port Authority, and contributions from the state and city. The bond deal had previously been delayed for over a year when the Port Authority hesitated to guarantee the debt.

Pols tout contest to overhaul NYC airports

Vice President Joseph Biden joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month to announce a contest aimed at fixing New York City’s airports.

Biden famously said earlier this year that arriving at LaGuardia could easily be confused with landing in a “third world country.”

Cuomo aims to counter that complaint by modernizing LaGuardia and Kennedy International Airport. The governor said he would open competitions for the best designs for the airports, seeking master plans for making them more attractive and efficient.

At LaGuardia, he said those plans could include linking the airport to Manhattan with ferries and a spur of the Long Island Rail Road. At Kennedy, he indicated, they could include a hotel and better access to existing transit lines.

To Biden, a fellow Democrat, the governor said, “We’ve heard your message and we’re acting on it.”

Other critics of the city’s airports wondered what took Cuomo so long, the New York Times reported. And developer Joseph Sitt, who is chairman of Global Gateway Alliance, a group that has called for improvements to the airports, questioned whether the announcement was mere election-year hyperbole. He said that a couple of years ago, “the governor was practically laughing at” his group’s demands.

Sitt said he had hoped to hear a financial commitment and a schedule for getting the work done because “without dollars and cents, it could just be government rhetoric.” He also expressed concern that the governor’s call for ideas would delay the impending decision by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on a winning bid for the construction of a new main terminal at LaGuardia.

Brookfield, TF Cornerstone give big election boost to REBNY-backed PAC

New York City’s biggest real estate developers made a big splash in the political arena last month just before the election, forking out more than $2.5 million to Jobs for New York, a pro-industry political action committee backed by the Real Estate Board of New York. The developers are bankrolling a PAC that is spending lavishly to unseat several Democrats at the poll November 4, and to back Republican candidates in several open races, a review of campaign filings showed. The top donor over the past month to the PAC was Brookfield Property Partners, led by CEO Ric Clark, which contributed $170,800. Next was TF Cornerstone, led by Thomas and Fred Elghanayan, with $170,600.

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