Joan's Feed
Sep 7, 2012

NYC WTC developer brushes off concerns about competition

By Joan Gralla

(Reuters) – Silverstein Properties still expects to land tenants for its three delayed downtown World Trade Center skyscrapers despite competition from established and planned midtown competitors, Janno Lieber, Silverstein’s president, said on Friday.

Officials from Silverstein Properties, named after developer Larry Silverstein, were demonstrating the progress that has been achieved in redeveloping ground zero before next Thursday’s 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Aug 2, 2012

Signature beam placed atop One World Trade Center

Aug 2 (Reuters) – A horizontal steel beam signed by
President Barack Obama — and about 100 construction workers —
was hoisted from street level and installed on the 104th floor
of New York City’s One World Trade Center on Thursday.

Two workers, James Brady and Billy Geoghan, whose safety
harnesses were attached first to two exterior columns and then
to the white-painted beam itself, set the 35-foot long (10.7
meters), 11,000-pound (4,990 kilos) support beam in place, some
1,335 feet (407 meters) above ground level.

Aug 2, 2012

Port Authority of NY and NJ approves $10 bln 3-year bond plan

Aug 1 (Reuters) – The board of the Port Authority of New
York and New Jersey on Wednesday approved a plan to borrow as
much as $10 billion over three years to pay for capital projects
at the World Trade Center and local airports, ports, bridges and

The financing plan is the same size and duration of the
previous one, and Michael Fabiano, chief financial chief, said
by telephone that the Port Authority will competitively sell the
debt in a number of offerings with a maximum principal amount of
$500 million, a top true interest cost of 8 percent, and a top
maturity of 35 years.

Jul 27, 2012

NYC public advocate sues city over soaring small business fines

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s public advocate, a Democratic mayoral candidate known for his liberal views, on Thursday sued the city to obtain data to determine if soaring fines are hurting small businesses.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio said he has been stonewalled since May in his attempts to investigate whether city agencies – from the Departments of Health to Sanitation – have been guilty of “overzealous enforcement,” in an apparent effort to boost how much money the city rakes in each year in fines, according to a complaint in Manhattan state court.

Jul 26, 2012

NJ Port Authority must keep raising tolls – analysts

July 26 (Reuters) – The Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey must carry out what likely will be more unpopular toll
increases for bridges and tunnels it owns in the New York City
area or risk jeopardizing its rating and ability to fund
improvements, analysts said.

Political concerns, investigations and a lawsuit over toll
increases may make the authority row back on planned hikes, a
move that would reduce future revenue and undermine its 10-year
$25 billion capital plan.

Jul 25, 2012

NY’s transportation agency projects deficits from 2014

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority expects to end 2012 with a $46 million cash surplus, officials said on Wednesday, as they unveiled a “risk-laden” financial plan that projects deficits for 2014 through 2016.

MTA’s budget status will depend on negotiating a three-year contract with unionized transit workers that has no wage hikes unless current restrictive work rules are amended or workers would pay more for healthcare.

Jul 18, 2012
via MacroScope

Hudson Yards and New York’s love-hate relationship with Mayor Bloomberg

(Updates with background on Fiscal Policy Institute, details on city bonds)

New York City’s Hudson Yards project – a $12 billion transformative development slated for Manhattan’s West Side – embodies several aspects of the Bloomberg administration’s strategies that infuriate critics while delighting boosters.

At a public hearing on Thursday, the developers will ask a city agency to approve $106 million of property tax breaks for the first office tower planned for the site. The new 46-floor, $1.27 billion building, which is expected to house luxury retailer Coach Inc, should start going up in October, and be finished in July 2015, according to the filing for the tax relief.

Jul 16, 2012

NYC and NY counties see slower Q2 growth in sales tax revenue

July 16 (Reuters) – Sales tax revenue slowed in some New
York cities and counties in the second quarter, underscoring the
still uneven and uncertain economic recovery.

New York City’s sales tax collections grew 2.79 percent in
the second quarter from a year ago, according to the New York
State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Jul 12, 2012

Most U.S. muni tobacco bonds will default – Moody’s

July 12 (Reuters) – The majority of tobacco bonds sold by
U.S. states, counties and cities will default if cigarette
consumption keeps falling at a 3 percent to 4 percent annual
pace, Moody’s Investors Service said on Thursday.

Municipal tobacco bonds are backed by the more than $200
billion in payments cigarette-makers agreed to make over time to
states to help pay for the costs of treating ailing smokers.

Jul 7, 2012

NY Nassau County braces for financial speed bumps

July 6 (Reuters) – A judge has started a 60-day clock
ticking by signing court orders that will force Nassau County in
New York state to pay $41 million in property tax refunds or
risk having twice that amount seized from county bank accounts,
a step that could halt government services.

Next week, the county, a commuting suburb of New York City
that makes up the western half of Long Island, also will get
unaudited 2011 financial statements for fiscal 2011 and the
responses from any investors interested in leasing the sewer and
waste water authority for $850 million.