Parks and Recreation

EDC to Install Fox Square Plaza in Downtown BK

Rendering of Fox Square

The city’s Economic Development Corporation will begin installing greenery and seating in Downtown Brooklyn’s Fox Square in a 6,500-square-foot traffic triangle on Fulton Street at Flatbush Avenue and Hudson Avenue in a six-month project starting in August.

The construction that EDC is managing on behalf of the city Department of Transportation’s NYC plaza program will include benches, trees, water fountains and movable furniture, said Andrew Kalish, the director of cultural development at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the local business development corporation that’s worked in conjunction with the city agencies to set up the site. Read More

on the waterfront

Panel: Ferry Boats Operating in Shifting Tides

Water Panel

Discussions over the future of the city’s ferry system at the New York Conference on Water this morning showcased the topsy-turvy nature of the boat transit that has a long history in the city.

New York Water Taxi president and Durst Organization Vice President Helena Durst and city Economic Development Corporation vice president of ports and transportation Andrew Genn offered nuanced views on the outlook for new and existing routes on the ferry system that’s the second largest in the world in a panel discussion at Fordham University. Read More

Bricks and Politics

EDC Investing $15M at Brooklyn Army Terminal

The administration building at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation will be spending roughly $15 million to renovate the 55,000-square-foot administration building at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned.

The undertaking marks the first large-scale strategic investment EDC is making with its own funds in a building it manages on behalf of the city, Kyle Kimball, the president of EDC, said, and it is the only agency-managed building EDC has on tap to improve. Read More

Sales Beat

Madison Capital’s Purchase of 606 Bway Slated to Close by Year’s End

Rendering of 606 Broadway

Madison Capital is expected to close on its purchase of 606 Broadway by the end of the year, Commercial Observer has learned, after going into contract nearly a year ago.

Madison Capital paid $25.825 million for the Soho property as well as $13 million for an alternative parking facility for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which leases 606 Broadway from the city under a master lease. Read More

East 23rd Street

Flatiron BID Looks to Draw High-Profile Tenants to East 23rd Street [Updated]

View of 23rd Street facing west from Park Avenue South

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is hoping to raise the profile of one stretch of its district that has been under the radar, in part due to scaffolding that has been up for years: East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

With streetscape and free public wireless network projects underway, the BID’s executive director, Jennifer Brown, told Commercial Observer that she hopes sprucing up East 23rd Street will help “attract” high-quality tenants. Read More

Wired City

City Launches Wireless Corridor Challenge and WiredNYC

(Photo: Celeste Sloman)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.

The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish free public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Digital Advising Agency Barrel

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Their Chinatown office may boast a ping-pong table and two kegerators, but Barrel’s most important presence is on the web. Founded in 2006, the company helps other businesses develop and achieve their digital goals: from designing sleek websites to developing custom apps; tailoring online user experience to implementing content management systems.

“As a digital agency whose main operations exist on the web, our Internet connection has a direct impact on how our business functions,” said Boram Kim, Barrel’s office manager. Let’s just say they’re one forward-thinking company that definitely doesn’t have time for a backwards Internet connection. Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Coworking Center SoTechie Spaces

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When the fates of over a dozen startups are in your hands, you naturally want to provide them with all the resources they could possibly need to succeed—and that includes reliable Internet connection.

Such was the position of SoTechie Spaces, a popular coworking center near Manhattan’s Bryant Park. The organization’s primary focus is to offer startups and entrepreneurs an affordable place to incubate and run their businesses, said SoTechie Spaces board member Nancy Gonzalez. Read More

Wired City

One on One with a ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge Winner: Creative Hub 3rd Ward

carloshenriquez

If you check out the city Economic Development Corporation’s map of fiber availability in New York City, it’s hard to miss the sprawling fiber-less emptiness of poor Brooklyn and Queens. With the exception of two prominent east-west channels of wiring, things are looking a little sparse.

So you can imagine 3rd Ward’s excitement when it learned not only that it had won the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge, but also that Time Warner’s fiber was laid right outside its East Williamsburg building. Read More

The Sit-Down

Rise of the Machines: Robot Garage Will Be North America’s Largest

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Perry Finkelman at times sounds like he’s describing something from a science-fiction movie. The CEO of Automotion Parking Systems talks of designing machines, manipulating machines—even machines that send text messages. It’s not Rise of the Machines he speaks of … not exactly. But the technology that will control the 697-car underground parking garage that Automation plans to Read More

Wired City

NYC Launches Second Round of ConnectNYC

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In a press release Tuesday, New York City’s Economic Development Corporation announced that ConnectNYC Fiber Access will begin accepting applications for a second time.

ConnectNYC is part of the suite of initiatives launched in July of 2012 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to help expand broadband connectivity to businesses. The program covers the cost of construction and installation of fiber in commercial buildings. Read More

Wired City

The World According to Riggs Kubiak, Honest Buildings’ Visionary CEO

Riggs Power Broker_Fernando Pereira Gomes-3

For Riggs Kubiak, the appeal of real estate lay in its tangibility.

“Working with things that you can touch, feel, walk into and experience,” he said, “was more exciting to me than dealing with synthetic collateralized debt obligations.”

Mr. Kubiak, 32, got his start in the industry renting apartments while he was an undergraduate at Boston College. And, following stints at Ernst & Young and Granite Partners, he rose to become the global head of sustainability at Tishman Speyer, where he worked for five years.

Now he’s the chief executive officer of Honest Buildings, a website he co-founded with his sister, Garrett Kubiak, and Cody Roberts that connects building owners and tenants with brokers, contractors and other real estate professionals in a bid to bolster transparency and hasten innovation in construction, design and other fields. Read More

Development

City Planning Commission Approves Pier 17 Retail Development Plans at South Street Seaport

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The New York City Department of City Planning has approved The Howard Hughes Corporation’s plans to raze South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and replace it with a two-level glass structure.

The commission agreed to allow the Dallas-based developer to overhaul the existing development with 120,000 square feet of retail and additional open space, including a 10,000-square-foot Read More