As business activity ground to a halt in March due to the pandemic coronavirus, the market for apartments in Lower Manhattan experienced something akin to a heart attack during the first quarter on this year, according to analyses from two real estate data firms.
A pair of reports from Platinum Properties, a brokerage firm headquartered in the Financial District, documents the carnage in Battery Park City and the Financial District. The first notes that the median price for condominiums sold in Battery Park City dropped from $1.515 million in the first quarter of 2019 to $1.005 million in the same period this year. That represents a 33.7 percent decline in 12 months, and a 14 percent decline just since the last quarter of 2019, when the median price was $1.168 million.
The news is slightly better in the Financial District, according to a second report from Platinum Properties, which notes that the condominium price neither declined nor fell between the final quarter of 2019 (holding steady at $1.05 million), and increased slightly from the same period a year ago, bumping up by 3.5 percent from media of $1.014 million in the first quarter of 2019.
But all is not well in FiDi, according to a third report, by online real estate database company, StreetEasy, which looks at longer-term trends. This analysis found that fully 30 percent of all the apartments sold in the Financial District during 2019 closed at a price representing a loss on the owner’s original investment.
Prices for rental apartments in Battery Park City and FiDi largely mirrored trends in the condominium market. Platinum Properties found that the median rent in Battery Park City fell from $5,219 to $5,008 between the first quarter of last year (a drop of 11.09 percent), while rental units in the Financial District softened by 2.99 percent, falling from a median of $4,086 at the end of last year, to $3,964 at the close of 2020’s first quarter.
In a separate development, three Lower Manhattan neighborhoods recently made a “top five” list of communities throughout New York City in which homebuyers have the upper hand, in a separate analysis by StreetEasy. That report (published before the impact of the health crisis had begun to register) found that the Financial District, Tribeca, and Battery Park City were the areas where condominium purchasers have received the biggest discounts in recent months, on homes valued at $1 million or more. In all three districts, buyers have been negotiating discounts of between 7.0 and 8.0 percent, relative to original asking prices.
In one telling (if anecdotal) indication of the direction that pricing dynamics have taken, a three-bedroom apartment in Battery Park City’s Cove Club condominium (located at Two South End Avenue) recently sold for $990,000. Sinking beneath the one-million-dollar benchmark for such an apartment (which was originally listed $1.375 million) is a milestone not seen anywhere in Lower Manhattan in recent years.
Yesterday’s extreme wind conditions felled trees throughout the city. Battery Park City resident Azalea de Peralta captured this scene on a walk with her dad.
Doing Good, Even When Not Doing Well
A Local Business Struggles to Survive, By Helping Those Less Fortunate
In happier times: Karen Barwick (right) and her staff, at Tribeca’s Boomerang Toys
Karen Barwick, the proprietress of Boomerang Toys in Tribeca, which has been a fixture in the lives of generations of Lower Manhattan kids, is leading a push to bring a smile to the faces of homeless children, who are quarantined in shelters, while also helping small businesses.
“We have teamed up with several other neighborhood toy stores that are struggling, because of being locked down,” she explains, “and partnered with Homeless Services United” (HSU) — a coalition of nearly sixty non-profit agencies serving homeless families. By browsing www.BoomerangToys.com, and clicking on the Donate button, users can purchase a toy that will be delivered to a shelter by the HSU’S existing distribution network, which already parcels out clothing and food. To read more…
how to care for your pet during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated Pandemic Statistics
City Releases Data about Local Rates of Infection
Lower Manhattan’s eight zip codes are the site of 402 confirmed cases of coronavirus, up from 309 cases on April 2, which represents an increase of approximately 30 percent.
A total of 402 residents of Lower Manhattan (among 973 who have been tested) are confirmed to have been infected by the pandemic coronavirus, according to statistics released by the City’s Department of Health (DOH). The current local mortality rate for COVID-19 is approximately 5.8 percent. To read more…
Federal Legislator Backs Proposal to Extend September 11 Safeguards to Coronavirus
A screen shot from Monday evening’s online meeting of the Downtown Independent Democrats political club (to which all participants linked remotely, via the Internet, from their homes), during which Lower Manhattan community leader Justine Cuccia (upper right) proposed to United States Congressman (center) that federal programs aiding September 11 first responders and survivors be expanded to cover the pandemic coronavirus
United States Congressman Jerry Nadler has endorsed a proposal by a Lower Manhattan community leader to expand the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) to cover illness and death from the pandemic coronavirus among the populations of first responders and survivors whose health was impacted by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
An an online meeting of the Downtown Independent Democrats political club on Monday evening, Mr. Nadler was asked by Justine Cuccia, a co-founder of the grassroots organization, Democracy for Battery Park City, whether he would, “support an expansion of the Health Program and the VCF to cover COVID-19, because the survivor population are among those who are at heightened risk of complications from this disease?” To read more…
Resilience, in the Original Sense of the Word
Facing Adversity, One Community Leader Tries to Lead By Example
In the days following September 11, 2001, Bob Townley called the community together at the basketball court at the intersection of Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas.
Bob Townley, the founder and executive director of Manhattan Youth, reflects, “I’ve been through this before — twice, actually.” He is referring to a pair of previous cataclysms that seemed to threaten the viability of the Lower Manhattan community he serves, as well as the organization he leads.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the inundation of Hurricane Sandy, 11 years later, both wrecked the neighborhood. And both raised questions about whether Manhattan Youth, which provides services to thousands of school children, families, and seniors, could remain viable. So the ongoing crisis related to the pandemic coronavirus is not without precedent for him.
“In the fall of 2001,” he recalls, “pieces of the World Trade Center were in a pool on Rector Place, where we had been giving toddlers swimming lessons a few days before. And when I finally got back into our Downtown Community Center in November, 2012, we had 20 feet of water in the basement. The entire bottom level, and a second story below the street, were both submerged.”
New Amsterdam Market returns in virtual format, as a service to the growing community of purveyors, distributors, producers and other small businesses who are creating regional, sustainable, regenerative, healthful, and equitable food systems.
A pair of peregrin falcons are back in Lower Manhattan, high above 55 Water Street. Click to watch a live camera as they care for their clutch of eggs that are expected to hatch in the coming weeks.
Virtual Events Available to All
Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field
National Museum of the American Indian
Developing Stories: Native Photographers in the Field is a pair of sequential photo essays created by Native photojournalists Russel Albert Daniels and Tailyr Irvine in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian. The work of both photographers springs from the same desires—to break down stereotypes of Native peoples and to portray stories that show the diversity and complexity of their contemporary lives.
While the installation of the first photo essay by Daniels — The Genízaro People of Abiquiú — is postponed due to coronavirus, the photo essay is online.
Celebrate Endangered Species Day (May 15) and the 50th anniversary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by participating in the Greater Atlantic Region’s Marine Endangered Species Art Contest.
Endangered and threatened species need our help. Students’ artwork will showcase their knowledge and commitment to protecting these animals. Throughout 2020, NOAA is celebrating 50 years of science, service, and stewardship. NOAA is a world-class forecasting and resource management agency with a reach that goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. In the next 50 years, NOAA will advance innovative research and technology, answer tough scientific questions, explored the unexplored, inspire new approaches to conservation, and power the U.S. economy. Through April 24
This documentary series explores the shared commitment to the mission behind the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. From showing how we create new traditions of tribute, to demonstrating our unique conservation techniques, the short films go beyond the surface to immerse viewers in untold stories of honor and remembrance. Click here to view the series.
Today through April 30
The Stories They Tell
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Family members, survivors, first responders and recovery workers discuss the 9/11 history they are helping to preserve through the material they have shared with the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Click here.
Offerings include morning warmup/stretching/conditioning exercises, mid-day classes in contemporary dance with afro, ballet and jazz fusion elements, evening classes in varied ballroom styles, plus a daily short video at 4pm by dancers performing in their living rooms.
Today through April 30
Tourist in Your Own Town Videos
The New York Landmarks Conservancy
Now that most of us are staying home, you can take virtual tours of New York City.Visit Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, Alexander Hamilton’s home in Upper Manhattan, the Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan, the site of the Battle of Brooklyn, the home of one of America’s first female photographers on Staten Island, and Louis Armstrong’s home in Queens. There are 61 sites in all. You’ll be amazed at the discoveries you will make.
Downtown Food Festival Supports Local Restaurants by Feeding Healthcare Workers
The ever-popular Taste of Tribeca food festival has been cancelled for this year, but the organizers are rallying support to help the now-struggling restaurants that have contributed food for decades, by purchasing meals to donate to hospital workers.
Starting today, up to 100 free meals will be arriving daily at local healthcare facilities, prepared by half a dozen Lower Manhattan restaurants, and paid for with contributions solicited by the Downtown parents who organize the Taste of Tribeca food festival.
For the past 25 years, that event has accepted food contributed by dozens of eateries, and sold these “tastes” at a street fair, to raise money for two beloved local public schools: P.S. 234 and P.S. 150. Earlier this month, however, mounting concerns about the pandemic coronavirus forced the first-ever cancellation of the event.
Biking through traffic seven years ago at lunch hour in downtown Manhattan compared to the dearth of people and traffic after the Corona virus epidemic is a huge contrast. Footage is sped up, so although it may look a but scary, the ride was totally safe!
Thanks and be well! -Esther R.
Where to Get Care
Lower Manhattan Health Resources for Residents with Concerns
Government officials are asking that people with non-urgent health problems avoid showing up at hospital emergency rooms, which are already overburdened.
Instead, they ask that patients who have concerns consult with their personal physicians. Those in need of non-emergency medical help can also call (or walk into) one of the five Lower Manhattan urgent care clinics that remain open. As of Thursday afternoon, these are:
• CityMD Financial District (24 Broad Street). No appointment necessary. 646-647-1259.
• CityMD Fulton (138 Fulton Street). No appointment necessary. 212-271-4896.
• CityMD Tribeca (87 Chambers Street). No appointment necessary. 347-745-8321.
• NYU Langone at Trinity (111 Broadway). Appointment required. 212-263-9700.
• Mount Sinai Doctors (225 Greenwich Street, fifth floor). No appointment necessary. 212-298-2720.
That noted, anyone experiencing dangerous symptoms (such as trouble breathing or dangerous spikes in body temperature) is encouraged to go to a hospital emergency room.
Two Lower Manhattan healthcare providers are also offering Virtual Visits, in which patients can consult over the phone or video link with a physician or nurse practitioner.
To schedule such a session with NYU Langone, please browse: NYULangone.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
To make an appointment with New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, please browse NYP.org, and click on Virtual Urgent Care.
Patients enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program are advised not to cancel or reschedule existing appointments. Clinic staff will be contacting you to make arrangements to convert these sessions into a tele-visits.
All program participants with prescriptions for their certified WTC-related conditions are strongly encouraged to sign up for Optum Home Delivery which allows for 90-day prescription fills and delivers directly to members by mail.
For more information, please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 2. For members who prefer to pick up prescriptions at retail pharmacies, the program is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications. Please call Optum at 855-640–0005, Option 3 for more information.
The World Trade Center Health Program is also covering limited COVID-19 testing for members with certain certified World Trade Center-related conditions that may put them at higher risk of illness from COVID-19. In addition to testing, treatment for COVID-19 is also covered, contingent on certain criteria being met, including that the member was eligible for COVID-19 testing, the treatment is authorized by the program, and the treatment is not experimental. Coverage of COVID-19 treatment costs requires approval by the program’s administrator, on a case-by-case basis.
Meditations in an Emergency
Our Hometown and the Myth of Eternal Return
You tell yourself that you’ve seen this story before, and more than once: edifices falling; waters rising. And you reflect that the worst situations are not those that can’t get any worse. The worst situations are the ones that are going to get worse before they get better. So you hunker down.
You recall the Old Man deciding, a lifetime ago, that since you were too old for fairy tales, you were perhaps old enough for true confessions. To read more…
Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these great and true principles.
–August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan
43 BC – Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Julius Caesar’s assassin Decimus Junius Brutus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, who is killed.
1434 – The foundation stone of Cathedral St. Peter and St. Paul in Nantes, France is laid.
1777 – New York adopts new constitution as an independent state
1831 – Soldiers marching on a bridge in Manchester, England cause it to collapse.
1841 – Edgar Allen Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue” published
1860 – First Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco from St Joseph, Missouri
1861 – Formal Union surrender of Ft Sumter
1865 – Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family are attacked in his home by Lewis Powell.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater
1894 – First public showing of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope (moving pictures)
1912 – RMS Titanic hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland
1927 – The first Volvo car premieres in Gothenburg, Sweden.
1939 – John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” published
1948 – A flash of light is observed in crater Plato on Moon
1948 – NYC subway fares jump from 5 cents to 10 cents
1958 – Sputnik 2 (with dog Laika) burns up in atmosphere
1973 – Acting FBI director L Patrick Gray resigns after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal
1978 – Korean Air Lines Boeing Flight007, fired on by Soviets, crashes
1981 – First Space Shuttle, Columbia returns to Earth
1999 – A severe hailstorm strikes Sydney, Australia causing A$1.7 billion in insured damages, the most costly natural disaster in Australian history.
2003 – The Human Genome Project is completed with 99% of the human genome sequenced to an accuracy of 99.99%.
In their first year of production, Volvo built 280 cars in 1927. In 2018, Volvo sold 642,253 cars. Its largest market was China (20%), followed by the United States (15%), Sweden (10%), the United Kingdom (8%) and Germany (7%).
1629 – Christian Huygens, Holland, astronomer (discovered Saturn’s rings)
1889 – Arnold Toynbee, England, historian (Study of History)
1912 – Robert Doisneau, photographer
1099 – Conrad, bishop of Utrecht, stabbed to death
1759 – George Frideric Handel, Baroque composer and organist (Water Music), dies at 74
1964 – Rachel Carson, American biologist/author (Silent Spring), dies at 56