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CONSTRUCTION: IT’S ALL RELATED

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CONSTRUCTION: IT’S ALL RELATED
Yesterday, Coach announced a 600k SF lease commitment (repped by CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe and Greg Tosko) for its global HQ in the first tower at Hudson Yards. This means Related and Oxford Properties’ 26-acre development (part of a larger 300-acre neighborhood) can fire up its engine, breaking ground mid '12 (just in time for the proposed TV prequel to Sex and the City). The announcement also came just in time for Bisnow’s NY Construction & Development event this morning.
Richard Anderson at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
New York Building Congress prez Richard Anderson keynoted the event at the NY Bar Association and says the 20M SF of officespace on the drawing board could improve his forecast thatconstruction spending in NY ($28B each this year and next) will fall in 2013. But until those office projects and the city’s 600 stalled residential projects get started, public-sector spending will remain the local construction industry’s support beam. And yet public spending (infrastructure and sports/entertainment venues) is slowing.

NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
Richard called for public-private partnerships; getting the MTA’s capital program financed; infrastructure projects; and healthcare, cultural, and educational investment.
Joe Ienuso at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
Columbia University’s Joe Ienuso says that to that end, the New York Building Congress has formed a higher-ed subcommittee. Joe’s also overseeing Columbia’s coming 6.8M SF Manhattanville campus, and the university has committed to LEED Silver (at a minimum) buildings. In fact, the Morningside campus already has four LEED Gold and one Silver building. But sustainability is about more than the new properties, he says. 80% of his organization focuses onoperations of the university’s existing 14.5M SF, including squeezing every drop of energy efficiency out of them.
Dave Pospisil at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
ConEd’s Dave Pospisil works with ConEd clients that want to improve their energy usage through rebates, incentives, and consultation. After an initial $100M, his department just got word it’ll be fully funded through 2015 with another $200M. He says the number of five-year-old buildings already making major adjustments to lighting, HVAC, and other systems is a testament to how long buildings take from design to delivery and to how quick sustainability is advancing.
Stirling Collins, Salvatore Leone, Rob Otani, and Keith Rennard at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
Another of our panelists, Thornton Tomasetti’s Rob Otani (second from right, with Transel Elevator’s Stirling Collins and Citrin Cooperman’s Salvatore Leone and Keith Rennard), says LEED makes the building and design process more collaborative, involving contractors, engineers, and owners all from the start.
John Livingston and Joe Ienuso at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
Tishman Construction prez John Livingston (also CEO of AECOM Construction Services) says the way to put people back to work (a prerequisite for development, according to Richard) is to instigatelending. “I never met a developer who’s not going to build if he can get money,” John says. But 40% to 50% equity requirements on loans wipe out returns.
David Pfeffer at NY Bar Association, 42 W. 44th St., NYC, on Nov. 2, 2011
Our moderator, Tarter Krinsky & Drogin’s David Pfeffer, pointed out that a good deal of the financing for Steiner Studios at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard came from EB-5 visas, the government’s practice of trading green cards for foreign investment of at least $1M (or $500k in certain markets) that will produce at least 10 jobs.