Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx
What's to Become of the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx?
Efforts Underway to Solicit Ideas for Repurposing the Century Old, Once Largest, Armory in the World [WWI] in the Bronx
The photo at right shows the inside of the Kingsbridge Armory in the Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. There's an effort underway to repurpose the ancient structure.
We'll provide a full report this weekend.
- CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx NYC.
A Changing Retail Landscape in the Bronx
Bronx Shopping Malls, Bronx Shopping Centers & Bronx Shopping Districts in Transformation
This is a compendium of many, possibly most of, the largest shopping malls and shopping centers in the Bronx. Over the past decade or so a number of shopping malls have been erected and many existing shopping centers have been renovated / refurbished as the Bronx undergoes the process of transformation and in some areas, gentrification.
I've grouped the shopping malls by geographical location, using the same definitions used in the neighborhood section of this site - South Bronx, Central Bronx, Eastern Bronx and North & Western Bronx.
- South Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The general boundaries for the South Bronx are the Harlem River to the south and west, the East River to the south and east, White Plains Road to the east and roughly the Cross Bronx Expressway at about 174th Street to the north.
- Central Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The general boundaries for the Central Bronx are the Cross Bronx Expressway at about 174th Street to the south, the Bronx River Parkway [Morris Park & Bronx River Avenues] as well as the Bronx Zoo and NY Botanical Gardens to the east, Woodlawn Cemetery and Van Cortlandt Park to the north and the Major Deegan Expressway [Bailey Avenue] to the west.
- North & West Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The Major Deegan Expressway [Bailey Avenue] to the east, the northern Bronx boundary around 263rd Street to the north, the Hudson River to the west and the Harlem River to the south.
- East Bronx Shopping Malls & Shopping Centers. The northern boundary of the Bronx along the north at about Kingsbridge Road [rises further north for Wakefield], the Bronx River Expressway [along Bronx Park East] north of the Cross Bronx Expressway and White Plains Road south of the Cross Bronx Expressway on the west [about 172nd to 177th Streets] and the East River to the south and east [leading into the Long Island Sound].
Click here to read our report about the changing retail landscape in the Bronx, including a solid listing of most of the major Bronx shopping malls, Bronx shopping center and Bronx shopping districts in NYC.
Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project
First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin
I attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.
The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.
Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.
Which Bronx & NYC Pols Support $8 Tolls To Cross 60th Street & East River Bridges?
Borough President Brewer, NYS Assemblyman Rodriguez, Cuomo's Deputy of Legislative Affairs Weprin & Many Manhattan CCM's Support $8 Tolls to Raise Capital for the MTA
NYS Governor Cuomo Supported Congestion Traffic Pricing in the Past & Cuomo's Deputy of Legislative Affairs Mark Weprin Is Supporting It
The new Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan has been making its way into the legislative process over the past year. Just last week NYS Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, a Democrat from Manhattan introduced the bill on March 23, 2016. The Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan is being sold into the legislature as a means to raise revenue to fund MTA Capital projects.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, NYS Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, Cuomo's Deputy of Legislative Affairs Mark Weprin, CCM's Ydanis Rodriguez, Margaret Chin, Mark Levine & Corey Johnson support installing $8 tolls on 60th Street & East River bridges to raise capital for the MTA.
Governor Cuomo's Words Are ...
Governor Andrew Cuomo supported the Congestion Pricing Plan put forth years ago, which wasn't popular with many of the voters in Brooklyn & Queens. The two boroughs have a combined population which rounds to 5 million or 25% of the 20 million people who live in New York State.
Cuomo was quoted as making the following statement by the Observer in an article published a year ago on March 15, 2015,
"It's not, 'Can I support it?' Will the people support it? Can you get it done? Can you get a congestion plan passed and we've gone through this a couple of times and it was an overwhelming 'no' and I haven't seen anything happen that would change my opinion,"
The Governor has essentially been repeating this position publicly ever since.
Inconsistent with Governor Cuomo's Staff Actions
But while the Governor is publicly distancing himself from the measure which is unpopular in Queens and Brooklyn, former NY City Councilmember Mark Weprin, who is now Cuomo's Deputy of Legislative Affairs, has supported the Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan.
Weprin vehemently oppposed Congestion Traffic Pricing in 2008 when he was a NY City Councilmember, but in 2015 Weprin began publicly supporting the revised Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan as he transitioned from NY City Councilmember to becoming Cuomo's Deputy of Legislative Affairs. NYS Assemblyman David Weprin, Mark's brother, continues to publicly oppose the plan.
It's worth mentioning that the Weprins and the Cuomos have had close family political ties spanning two generations.
Move NY's 'New & Improved' Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan
We studied the Move NY Traffic Congestion Pricing proposal by first taking a closer look at what groups are pushing the plan [follow the money]. Gridlock Sam Schwartz Consulting LLC is one of the primary promoters of the plan, and the consulting company is owned in part by a large, multi-national, transit infrastructure contractor. We also evaluated the assumptions they used to create the estimates provided in the plan, which we found to be inconsistent with fairly recent independent studies by respectable institutions, and we also looked at what happened in one of the other cities around the world that implemented the plan.
In essence the plan retrofits [re-prices] the fossil fuel infrastructure, by making a significant investment to install and operate tolling around the center of Manhattan. The remaining proceeds would then go to fund other MTA capital projects [in London this was about half the proceeds]. The pricing would require those who can't afford the $8 tolls [each way] to either use mass transit [recent NYC metro studies have shown this switching doesn't happen] or to cross the bridge at other times at which time the tolls would cost less. The proponents say this would enable those who can afford the tolls to cross the East River bridges and 60th Street more quickly and move around mid Manhattan more easily [less traffic congestion with the rest of the community priced out of their way]. How 'democratic' is this?
Previously MTA Invests Billion$ in New Subways Appearing to Accommodate Billionaire Manhattan Developer(s) & Now Pols Want Metro Residents & Employees to Fund a System to Toll Tax Them to Fund MTA Capital Budget
The MTA during the Bloomberg (Republican) Administration made approximately $8 billion in MTA capital investments for about 30 to 40 blocks of Manhattan subway lines. One line travels from Times Square to the Javits Center [$2.4 billion mostly paid by city] and the other, which was strongly supported by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, is expected to travel along Second Avenue from about East 60th Street to about East 86th Street when it is completed [ran way past budget and time estimates - currently about $5.2 billion].
The latter subway line has been called the 'subway to nowhere', while the other isn't much different - as it terminates at the Javits Center and billionaire real estate developer Steven Ross' & Related Companies' new Hudson Yards development - without any other subway connections. Pundits have opined that one [new #7 Hudson Yards station] and possibly both of these multi-billion dollar investments were made to accommodate Manhattan real estate developers [such as Ross], more than to facilitate transit for commuters and residents of New York City.
When I confronted an MTA spokesperson with this perspective, they told me that the Q line extension would alleviate a considerable amount of the congestion on the north / south east side Manhattan subway line, but made no comment regarding the Hudson Yards station.
The photos above show no passengers on the Javits subway [at an admittedly random time and not long after it was installed], while the second photo shows the #6 subway along the Upper East Side, also at a random time. The map to your right shows the new #7 subway line extension ending as an unconnected spur.
Perhaps if the MTA and the government officals who oversee MTA capital project spending were more judicious in their selection of multi-billion dollar projects and allocation of funds, they wouldn't need to make a huge investment of the public's money in the creation and operation of an expensive new tolling system which they plan to use to charge taxpayers $8 tolls to cross 60th Street and the East River Bridges.
This plan essentially aids the wealthy by making their lives easier, while economically discriminating against those with less wherewithal, by making their lives harder. This doesn't strike me as a solution that's 'democratic' at all. There must be less costly, more fair ways to raise additional revenue for transit that NYC commuters - not Manhattan real estate developers - really need.
CLICK HERE TO SCAN / READ THE FULL REPORT on the Move NY Congestion Traffic Pricing Plan.
BALCONY - Business And Labor Coalition NY
Forum Discusses Challenges & Opportunities Of De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan
One day after Mayor de Blasio gave his State of the City Address, the Business And Labor Coalition of New York [aka BALCONY] met to discuss affordable housing and their role in it.
A high quality panel of speakers had been enlisted to help stimulate the discussion which happened on an early Wednesday morning in February. The panelists included a real estate lobbyist, a unionized labor representative who oversees the management of labor pension investments, Public Advocate Letitia James, a representative from the Governor's Office and others. The BALCONY forum attracted a full house of real estate, financial and labor professionals, as well as government officials.
By the end of the morning I had heard how a number of large and important participant groups were processing Mayor de Blasio's plan to address NYC's affordable housing shortage. We'll have more a bit later this week about this informative housing forum.
New York Boat Show @ Javits Center
Full Steam Ahead For Boat & Yacht Dealers & Manufacturers
For the price of a small apartment in Manhattan you can buy yourself a floating power palace with about the same amount of space, and water views on all sides.
It was my first venture into the New York Boat Show on Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown West. There were about 400 boats and yachts on display [364 was the unoffical count] for those looking to buy, trade or just look at the state of the art in boating technology and comfort.
Again unofficially - using one of the dealer's gate count numbers - it seems attendance was up a bit this year versus last year. They surmised that the lower gas prices, the better economy and apparently a few folks were looking to replace what had been damaged or that they'd lost to Hurricane Sandy. And so it was ... show on.
Later this week I'll post a photo slide show of the event and take you onto a few of the boats and yachts so you can see what owning or riding on one of these floating palaces would look like. Ship Ahoy.
Hudson Yards Real Estate Development NYC
Manhattan Real Estate: West Midtown Undergoing Massive Transformation
I spent a fair bit of time surveying the construction projects underway in west Midtown Manhattan this weekend. I went to see for myself what was going on in the area just adjacent [kiddy corner south and east] to the Jacob Javits Center which is located on 11th Avenue and 31st Street.
The deals were cut during the Bloomberg Administration with two real estate development companies - the Related Companies of NYC and Canadian partner Oxford Properties of Toronto, Ontario. The negotations took about five years and involved the MTA leasing the airspace above their track space - the Hudson Yards.
Most of the development will reside atop a huge platform covering the yards, but the building in the photo to your right - the first of the development to come online - has been erected ajacent to the yards on terra firma.
Click here later this week to read more about the Hudson Yards real estate development in NYC, including numerous photos in a slide show.
New York Market Expo
Marketing Your NYC Business In The 21st Century
On May 29th I attended the New York Market Expo at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 West 18th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. There were dozens of vendors there to help small businesses with their sales and marketing efforts.
It seems the online media has moved front and center at this expo with a multitude of vendors generally representing national firms offering a variety of online services. Many of the large social media firms sponsored slide show presentations showing how their offerings differed from the others.
There were also a number of other organizations there, including the traditional media, as well as a number of government and non-profit business organizations whose missions are to help businesses in their endeavors. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is shown in the photo to your right. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is a very active sponsor of networking events, seminars and workshops in NYC.
We'll post more including a photo slide show of the New York Market Expo of 2014.
NYC Manhattan Real Estate & Realtors
Manhattan Real Estate & Realtors
December 28, 2013 / Bronx Business & Real Estate / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Real estate in Manhattan was been 'on the rise again' in 2013 with prices rising as the economy gained ground and the super low interest rates made payments on high priced properties possible.
Interest rates began to rise in 2013 as the year wore on and are expected to continue rising in 2014 and beyond. But not too fast say the pundits as the U.S. and world economies are fragile and the central bankers do not want to upend the recovery.
This section will begin to be populated with stories about condos and co-ops in Manhattan NYC, as well as stories about apartment rentals in NYC.
How The Other Half Lives
I attended a reception hosted by TF Cornerstone in late September to celebrate the official opening of their fifth property. The building had been completed earlier this year and the first tenants had moved in sometime in May. I understand they've rented about 70% of the units, so they've been moving briskly.
I visited a couple of the units for rent, including a studio that started at about $2,300 per month and a two bedroom corner that likely rented for something like $5,000 per month [give or take several hundred]. To those of us who live in Queens, these are expensive units, but to those who live in Manhattan - given the views and amenities - these are good value. Like the headline says : )
The photo to your right shows a view of one of the new properties currently lining the LIC waterfront, with a northward looking view of Manhattan.
Stringer Conditionally Approves Midtown East Development
September 12, 2013 / Bronx Business & Real Estate / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
We attended the Community Board 6 Meeting in Manhattan on Wednesday following the election and heard the announcement that outgoing Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had conditionally approved the large scale development in the eastern section of Midtown Manhattan.
Stringer noted that the new developments would put significant stress on existing infrastructure and must be addressed as part of the plan.
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