In the News: Whole Foods in FiDi Lease Talks

One-Wall-Street-Retail-777x437••• The New York Post hears that Whole Foods is in talks to open a store at 1 Wall (but in the adjacent building on Broadway, rendered above). The previous rumor had the supermarket looking at 28 Liberty (formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza).

••• The Broadsheet covered the attack at the ball fields. Of note: “The boy whose injuries were less severe spent the night in Bellevue’s emergency room, but was released on Sunday. The boy with the concussion and skull fracture remained in the hospital for much of the holiday season. ‘It now appears that he’s going to be recover,’ the boy’s mother says, ‘but at first, it looked like this could go either way.'”

••• “It turns out the decision 50 years ago to locate New York Law School in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood might just bolster the institution’s finances for the future. The private school, founded in 1891, is selling $141 million of tax-exempt debt through the Build NYC Resource Corp. on Tuesday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Moody’s Investors Service rates the securities Baa3, the lowest investment grade, in contrast to its other obligations, which are deemed junk. The higher rank for the deal stems from a mortgage pledge on one of its buildings, which is worth an estimated $170 million. Aside from its valuable real estate, the law school’s finances are strained like similar institutions across the U.S. […] New York Law had to draw down 10 percent of its investments to cover an operating shortfall in 2015, offering documents show. Full-time enrollment fell to 578 from 1,365 four years earlier, cutting tuition revenue in half over the period to $36 million.” —Bloomberg

••• The Real Deal recaps the court cases tenants are bringing against Lower Manhattan landlords. (Warning: There’s a photo of Rudy Giuliani.)

The 421g program was launched in 1995 by New York State, in an effort to woo residential developers to then-moribund Lower Manhattan. The program gave new developments in the area a hefty tax break, but required apartments to be rent-stabilized for the duration of the abatement. At least 32 buildings with nearly 5,600 apartments currently receive the abatement, according to data from the Independent Budget Office cited by the Wall Street Journal. But some landlords of these buildings have deregulated their units, arguing that once an apartment crosses the “luxury” threshold of $2,700 per month it should no longer be eligible for rent-stabilization.

At 90 West Street, a 410-unit rental building, more than 40 tenants are suing landlord Kibel Companies, arguing that their units should have been stabilized under 421g, given that Kibel’s abatement at that property continues until 2019. And at 85 John Street, Kibel sued two tenants who argued their apartments should remain rent-stabilized, although their rents were $7,250 a month, more than twice the deregulation threshold. […] On Tuesday evening, a group of tenants from 50 Murray Street, a 389-unit, 421g luxury rental in Tribeca, will meet with tenants of 90 West and 85 John, to learn more about what the tax break entails.

••• The FedEx distribution center at 20 Pine is driving residents crazy—first the new ramp, and then the paint fumes. —New York Times

••• “The campaign to commemorate America’s final victory over the British [Evacuation Day] suffered a defeat this week when the Council refused to consider an honorary co-naming of Downtown’s Bowling Green.” —Downtown Express

••• “The Battery Park City Authority has approved financing that may bring the long-planned West Thames pedestrian bridge a step closer to reality. At its December 4 board meeting, Authority president Shari Hyman said, ‘the project is moving into the build phase. There is currently a request for proposals out by the City for a contractor to come in with their bids on what the construction is going to cost.'” —Broadsheet

West Thames Pedestrian Bridge rendering courtesy NYC EDC



  1. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t understand NY Law School’s financial plight. I thought they made a bundle selling their air rights so that nearby giant towers could be built.

    • From the full article:

      “New York Law School already sold its former library building in 2006 for $136.5 million, with the buyer building condos in its place, bond documents show. Proceeds were put in its investment funds, which had a $273 million balance to start the current fiscal year, according to offering documents. That’s expected to fall to $233 million by June 30. The draws are projected to decline as the school adjusts to its new size.”