Friday: ‘Aren’t You Just A Little Glad the Real Estate Boom Is Over?’

Manhattan in her prime (NYT)

  • So, about those pesky Hudson Yards: MTA is really sorry to break the news, but a new appraisal says the 26-acre railyards are worth $1.5 billion. That happens to be a bit more than Mayor Bloomberg’s $500m offer for the development rights, which he made during the freewheeling days of July ’06. “We think our offer is fair,” says a mayoral spokesman–which, gosh, it isn’t. (New York Times)
  • The noble folks at The Wall Street Journal claim to be glad that the real estate boom is over. Oh really? “No more bragging from self-congratulatory owners,” goes the column. “No more breathless tales of bidding wars.” To add cruel insult to violent injury, we’re told: “The long-anticipated real-estate downturn has begun.” Hurrah! (WSJ)
  • But is the boom really over? “All signs point to steady growth,” says Cushman & Wakefield, meaning that the end-of-summer numbers for vacancy rates and asking rents are looking prim and proper. And downtown, vacancy rates are nearing their lowest points of the decade. See, everything’s fine! (NY Globe St.)
  • Those quiet voices whispering against Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards development finally have a chance to be heard: the Empire State Development Corp will extend the “public comment period” to September 29, so that opponents (and fans of historic real estate) can have time to trek through the 4,000-page proposal before the ESDC vote. Who said activism had to be well-informed? (NY1)
  • No one but the New York Times would commemorate 9/11 with a biblical retrospective of the downtown “arts” scene in the mid 1970s. Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds? It was there. Creative Time’s work on the Hudson River landfill? Ditto. The Pussycat Lounge? Check. The big conclusion: “Lower Manhattan is a different place from what it was 30 years ago.” Yes, and from what it was 5 years ago too. (New York Times)
  • Max Abelson