Lower Manhattan’s Local News
Ban on Broker’s Fee Will Impact Lower Manhattan More Than Other Communities
A new analysis from PropertyClub.com, an online real estate marketplace that eliminates middle-men for landlords, brokers and managers, indicates that Lower Manhattan renters will gain more than those of most communities from the recently announced ban on tenants paying broker’s fees.
In the wake of last year’s enactment of a package of legislation focused on reform of tenant’s rights, the New York Department of State issued this week an interpretation of these laws than banned landlords from charging broker’s fees to prospective tenants. This move threw New York’s real estate industry into an uproar, with trade associations (among them the Real Estate Board of New York) going to court and obtaining a temporary restraining order preventing this ruling from being implemented, at least for the time being.
Because broker’s fees usually equal 15 percent of a years rent, this policy would have the greatest impact in neighborhoods where rents are highest. And Lower Manhattan communities routinely rank among the highest-rent districts anywhere in the five boroughs.
As the PropertyClub analysis notes, “the biggest difference, at least so far, would be in Battery Park City, where renters would end up saving $7,413 if theyʼre not required to pay a broker fee when they move in. In this neighborhood, the 15 percent broker fee amounts to an eyebrow-raising $10,017.”
Put another way, the average annual rent in Battery Park City is $66,780. A broker’s fee of 15 percent on this amount would come to $10,017. Even with the average annual rent increase of 3.9 percent (or $2,604), a typical renter would save $7,413, just in the first year of tenancy, even with the rent increase.
The situation is similar in Tribeca, where the average annual rent is higher (at $67,692), and the average annual increase is also steeper, at 7.2 percent (or $4,874). A renter there would save $5,280 in the first year, as a result of not paying the broker’s fee of $10,154.
In the Financial District, the outlook is much the same. Annual rents average $50,616, generating a broker’s fee of $7,592. Annual rent increases average 5.6 percent (or $2,834). Even with the customary hike in rent, however, a tenant would save $4,758 by not paying a broker’s fee.
One argument in favor of the legislative ban on tenants being required to pay broker’s fees is that this is not the norm anywhere in the United States, with the exceptions of New York and Boston. In most cities and states, the party who hired the broker (the landlord) is expected to pay the fee for the service of finding the tenant.
A Plan to Warm Up the Frozen Zone
Alliance Readies First Steps in Master Plan to Balance Beauty with Security Around Stock Exchange
The Downtown Alliance is preparing to implement the first phase of a master plan unveiled in May, 2018, which aims to transform the “frozen zone” — a 3,000-feet security perimeter surrounding the New York Stock Exchange, which has enclosed (and limited access to) 19 acres of the Financial District since shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. To read more…
Higher, Wider, Handsomer
City Council Announces Design Competition to Improve Pedestrian Access to Brooklyn Bridge
The City Council has partnered with the Van Alen Institute (a New York nonprofit architectural organization, dedicated to improving design in the public realm) in sponsoring a contest to incubate fresh ideas for better pedestrian access to the Brooklyn Bridge. To read more…
City Plans to Raise Esplanade in the Battery to 11 Feet Above Waterline
Among the myriad of resiliency projects that are now in the planning stages for various parts of Lower Manhattan, the City is planning to raise the level of the waterfront Esplanade in the Battery to an elevation 11 feet above the current waterline. To read more…
Retrofit and Restoration
Centuries-Old Aesthetics to Converge with Cutting-Edge Technology at Historic Seaport Warehouse
Trinity Church has purchased a historic warehouse in the South Street Seaport district, which it intends to convert into a four-family residence, while also adhering to the environmentally rigorous “passive house” standard. The building, at 245 Water Street (between Peck Slip and Beekman Street), was originally built in 1836, after a fire destroyed the previous structure on that lot. The building was put up by the firm of Hendricks & Brothers, who operated cooper mines in Newark, but had their offices in Lower Manhattan. The family, who had anglicized their names from the Henriques of their native Spain, had been in the cooper business for generations, selling to customers like Paul Revere and Robert Fulton.
The building bade farewell to its commercial and industrial legacy in 2008, when it was initially converted into a two-family residence. But Joshua Levine, the owner for several years, put the property on the market in early 2019, asking $12.82 million. Last August, Trinity Church negotiated a price of $12.3 million and took possession. To read more…
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House Tour
National Museum of the American Indian
Join a Museum Ambassador for a tour of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, home of the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. Tour highlights include a discussion of the history of the site, architect Cass Gilbert, viewing the Collectors office with Tiffany woodwork; Reginald Marsh murals; and the 140 ton Rotunda Dome by Raphael Gustavino. One Bowling Green.
Valentines Day Sweet Swap
200 Rector Place
Bring in a few dozen of one kind of sweet to trade with friends and BPCA staff at this quaint celebration of the sweetest day of the year! 200 Rector Place. FREE
Love in the Time of Revolution
Fraunces Tavern Museum
Longtime Residents, Neither Rich Nor Poor, Face an Uncertain Future Downtown
The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has released an updated version of its Where We Live NYC affordable housing plan, which contains some striking insights about Lower Manhattan.
The report finds that between 25 and 30 percent of all local rental units are rent stabilized, while market-rate apartments comprise between 35 and 42 percent of all units. To read more…
Today in History
Friday February 14
842 – Charles the Bald and Louis the German swear the Oaths of Strasbourg in the French and German languages.
1655 – The Mapuches launch coordinated attacks against the Spanish in Chile beginning the Mapuche uprising of 1655.
1778 – The United States flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.
1779 – James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.
1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
1855 – Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.
1912 – The U.S. Navy commissions its first class of diesel-powered submarines.
1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
1929 – Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre: Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone’s gang, are murdered in Chicago.
1945 – World War II: On the first day of the bombing of Dresden, the British Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces begin fire-bombing Dresden.
1945 – Franklin D. Roosevelt meets King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, officially beginning U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relations.
1961 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.
1989 – Union Carbide agrees to pay $470 million to the Indian government for damages it caused in the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
1989 – Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issues a fatwa encouraging Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses.
2000 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker enters orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.
2018 – A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland,Florida is one of the deadliest school massacres with 17 fatalities and 15 injuries.
1368 – Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1437)
1468 – Johannes Werner, German priest and mathematician (d. 1522)
1483 – Babur, Moghul emperor (d. 1530)
1490 – Valentin Friedland, German scholar and educationist of the Reformation (d. 1556)
1545 – Lucrezia de’ Medici, Duchess of Ferrara (d. 1561)
1640 – Countess Palatine Anna Magdalena of Birkenfeld-Bischweiler (d. 1693)
1819 – Christopher Latham Sholes, American journalist and politician, invented the typewriter (d. 1890)
1859 – George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., American engineer, inventor of the Ferris wheel (d. 1896)
1894 – Jack Benny, American actor and producer (d. 1974)
1913 – Jimmy Hoffa, American trade union leader (d. 1975)
1924 – Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma (d. 2017)
1941 – Paul Tsongas, American lawyer and politician (d. 1997)
1942 – Michael Bloomberg, American businessman and politician, 108th Mayor of New York City
945 – Zhu Wenjin, Chinese emperor
1317 – Margaret of France, queen of England
1400 – Richard II, king of England (b. 1367)
1744 – John Hadley, English mathematician, invented the octant (b. 1682)
1881 – Fernando Wood, American merchant and politician, 73rd Mayor of New York City (b. 1812)
1891 – William Tecumseh Sherman, American general (b. 1820)
1975 – P. G. Wodehouse, English novelist and playwright (b. 1881)
1999 – John Ehrlichman, American lawyer and politician, 12th White House Counsel (b. 1925)
2012 – Dory Previn, American singer-songwriter (b. 1925)
Photos and information culled from Wikipedia and other internet sources
Community Board Applications Now Being Accepted
DEADLINE IS TODAY
Every Community Board has 50 seats which are filled for two-year terms by volunteers, who are selected by the Borough President and local City Council members. Half the seats are up for appointment or re-appointment every year.
Community Boards get a seat at the table in high-stakes land use, real estate, and zoning negotiations, and they work directly with city agencies to influence how government services are delivered at the neighborhood level.
If you’d like to serve as a member of your Community Board, apply online here.
Cruise Ships in New York Harbor
Arrivals & Departures
Friday, February 14
Inbound 9:15 am; outbound 4:30 pm; Southern Caribbean
Saturday, February 15
Anthem of the Seas
Inbound 5:30 am (Bayonne); outbound 3:00 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Sunday, February 16
Inbound 6:15 am; outbound 3:30 pm; Port Canaveral, FL/Bahamas
Many ships pass Lower Manhattan on their way to and from the Midtown Passenger Ship Terminal. Others may be seen on their way to or from piers in Brooklyn and Bayonne. Stated times, when appropriate, are for passing the Colgate clock in Jersey City, New Jersey, and are based on sighting histories, published schedules and intuition. They are also subject to passenger and propulsion problems, tides, fog, winds, freak waves, hurricanes and the whims of upper management.
Ars Gratia Communitas
Battery Park City’s Annual Art Exhibit
Battery Park City’s annual art exhibition opened on Sunday, January 26.
The art will be on view at
75 Battery Place, weekdays,
January 27 to March 27,
2PM to 4PM (no viewing on 2/17).
People visiting should check in with our security desk on the ground floor, where they will be directed to the elevators to the 4th floor. The receptionist will direct them to the show.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
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Available for weeknight and weekend baby-sitting and tutoring middle-schoolers in Math or Science. Please contact Emmett at 917.733.3572
IT AND SECURITY SUPPORT
Experienced IT technician. Expertise in 1-on-1 tutoring for all ages.Computer upgrading & troubleshooting. Knowledgeable in all software programs.
James Keirstead firstname.lastname@example.org
347-933-1362 References available
CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDE SEEKING
Full-Time Live-In Elder Care
I am loving, caring and hardworking with 12 years experience. References available. Marcia 347-737-5037 email@example.com
NOTARY PUBLIC IN BPC
$2 per notarized signature Text Paula at 917-836-8802
ELDER CARE NURSE AIDE
with 17 years experience seeks PT/FT work. Refs available Call or text 718 496 6232 Dian
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The Greek Calends
After Two-Year Hiatus, Work to Resume at St. Nicholas Church
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on January 2 that a newly formed non-profit organization will raise funds and underwrite the completion of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, within the World Trade Center Complex.
The building, designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava (who additionally created the nearby Oculus, also in the World Trade Center) is slated to replace the histo precious parish church that fell among the victims of September 11. To read more…
They Didn’t Get the Memo…
Much-Touted Crackdown on Placard Parking Not All It Was Cracked Up to Be
Amid much fanfare, multiple City agencies recently announced that they would take part in a crackdown on illegal parking by government employees, whose personal vehicles bear placards that allow them to leave their cars blocking bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants, bike lanes, and lanes needed for use by fire trucks and ambulances.
By Tuesday, it appeared that dozens of law enforcement personnel who work in Battery Park City hadn’t heard, or perhaps knew better.
Recalling Five Points
Epicenter of a Notorious Slum Proposed for Commemoration
In 1831, the City government considered a petition that warned, “that the place known as “Five points” has long been notorious… as being the nursery where every species of vice is conceived and matured; that it is infested by a class of the most abandoned and desperate character.”
A decade later, Charles Dickens, visiting New York, wrote of the same Lower Manhattan neighborhood that had inspired the petition, “what place is this, to which the squalid street conducts us? A kind of square of leprous houses, some of which are attainable only by crazy wooden stairs without. What lies behind this tottering flight of steps? Let us go on again, and plunge into the Five Points…. To read more…
Death Came Calling at the Corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in Lower Manhattan’s First Major Terrorist Attack
As the noon hour approached on a fall Thursday morning in 1920, a horse-drawn wagon slowly made its way west down Wall Street toward “the Corner,” the high-powered intersection of Wall and Broad. Its driver came to a gentle stop in front of the Assay Office, where stockpiles of gold and silver were stored and tested for purity. But theft was not his motive.
Cass Gilbert and the Evolution of the New York Skyscraper
by John Simko
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