Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Building Congress to Propose New Post-Sandy Storm Regulations


The New York Building Congress will issue a series of recommendations today that would go “a long way” toward mitigating the risk associated with future storms like Hurricane Sandy.

A task force made up of 43 local experts found that insufficient power and telecommunications reliability, “uneven emergency response,” vulnerable infrastructure and antiquated building systems contributed Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Lower Manhattan is ‘Back in Business,’ Industry Data Shows


Lower Manhattan is “back in business,” according to a report from the Downtown Alliance that charts the unprecedented response to the devastation that Hurricane Sandy wreaked just over four months ago.

The data shows that 99 percent of office and residential space, 96 percent of hotel inventory and 90 percent of retail stores are online; while the group said leasing was unfazed.

“Lower Manhattan’s recovery from Sandy has been vigorous,” said Downtown Alliance President Elizabeth Berger, in a statement.  “The Downtown Alliance’s research shows dramatic improvement across of all of Lower Manhattan’s major markets.” Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

City Stretches Zoning Code to Address Growing Concern Over Climate Change

Sandy barrels toward the northeast (Credit: NASA)

The city announced today that it is implementing new measures that will stretch current zoning codes in order to help property owners update buildings to meet new flood standards in the wake of Hurricane Sandy — and in the face of climate change.

The measures will allow home and building owners to rebuild destroyed properties and meet new safety standards. They are also intended to limit the cost of future federal flood insurance premiums by better protecting properties in flood-prone areas.

“We are beginning the process of updating our building code and zoning regulations so that new construction meets standards that reflect the best available data about flood and climate risks,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.  “This is particularly important for homes and businesses damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Sandy – and the rules we are putting in place today will enable them to rebuild and re-open safely.” Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

One New York Plaza Retail Concourse to Be Rebuilt After Post-Sandy Flooding

The Plaza Shops (Al Barbarino)

Brookfield Office Properties was forced to gut the 31,000-square-foot, sub-level retail concourse at One New York Plaza after severe flooding brought on by Hurricane Sandy destroyed it, and now the commercial real estate owner plans to rebuild the space and bring new tenants in, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The estimated 23-million-gallons of water that flooded the lower levels of the building were removed within a week of the storm’s touchdown on the southern tip of Manhattan.

But as of Monday night, multiple giant yellow heating ducts resembling something from an alien horror flick continued to pump warm air into the building’s retail center — The Plaza Shops — amid the rumbling of temporary generators. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Legal Group Appeals to Judge for Extension of Eviction Moratorium

An eviction unfolds (Credit: Getty Images North America)

A consortium of legal groups is pleading with a city judge to extend the moratorium on post-Sandy evictions that was lifted yesterday.

The group of 19 organizations, led by MFY Legal Services, sent a letter to Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern Fisher yesterday asking that she extend the moratorium until Jan. 1.

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

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Nearly 80% of Lower Manhattan Office Space Back Online

One New York Plaza came back online over the weekend

The pace at which Lower Manhattan buildings are coming back online is a pleasant surprise, even for those tracking the progress day by day.

A total 19 buildings have reopened since The Commercial Observer last reported on Lower Manhattan’s progress 12 days ago.

And as of yesterday, just 25 of 183 Class A and Class B building stock remained closed in Lower Manhattan, compared with 44 on Nov. 7, according to the latest data from Jones Lang LaSalle. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

One New York Plaza Re-Opens its Doors After Sandy

One New York Plaza is officially open again – as of this past Saturday – following a shutdown due to tropical storm Sandy. Building owner, Brookfield Office Properties, said that the company has property, casualty and flood insurance and anticipates full coverage of losses. “The storm will have no material financial impact on the company,” the firm said as part of a release.

Hurricane Sandy caused a surge that increased ocean water levels and flooded numerous coastal areas of New York City, including the southern tip of Manhattan where One New York Plaza is located.

“Brookfield’s property operations and maintenance personnel removed all water, restored services and prepared the building for the safe return of tenants,” a Brookfield spokesperson said. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Rallying Cry For Anti-Development Crowd in Brooklyn

The corner of Third Street and Third Avenue, near the Whole Foods site in Gowanus.

The Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn has been billed as one of the city’s most up and coming areas for the better part of a decade despite the literally toxic nature of its namesake canal.

Now, development-wary locals are viewing the surge of dirty water that Hurricane Sandy brought to the Superfund site as a rallying cry in their restrained fight against Gowanus’ residential and commercial rehabilitation. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Silverstein Properties Reopens 120 Wall

120 Wall Street (Credit: Silverstein Properties)

Silverstein Properties reopened 120 Wall Street Wednesday morning for the first time since Hurricane Sandy flooded the 600,000-square-foot building’s basement and damaged electrical distribution equipment.

The company pumped more than one million gallons of water out from the building’s basement and removed contaminants before methodically checking all base systems to get them back up and running, Jeremy Moss, the firm’s vice president of leasing told The Commercial Observer.

“Since the storm we’ve been working around the clock to get the building up and running and to bring tenants back – we succeeded this morning at 8 a.m,” Mr. Moss said. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

City Marshal Richard McCoy Extends Citywide Suspension on Evictions

Pursuit 2

Some city landlords are fuming at an announcement from New York City Marshal Richard McCoy today that all evictions remain suspended through this week as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and that “no target date” has been set for evictions to resume.

“I regret to inform you that evictions still remain suspended until further notices,” states a letter issued by Mr. McCoy.  “The city believes that the unprecedented damage, disruption, and impact of the Hurricane Sandy’s disaster upon the City of New York continues, including thousands of persons, with special needs who require shelter and other financial needs.” Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

FEMA and Muss Development Ink Deal for Hurricane Relief Headquarters in Two Days


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has pulled together a Queens home base for its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in a matter of days.

FEMA, as the agency is better known, is taking 200,000 square feet across 10 of 17 floors in the Forest Hills Tower, located at 118-35 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, Queens.

Negotiations began last week with owner Muss Development, and by Sunday the relief agency had begun its move into the building. Read More