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NYC's most essential project isn't the recently heralded extension of the 7 line or even the in-process 2nd Avenue line (or putting some kind of showering system in at Zuccotti Park), says one lifelong New Yorker. It's the out-of-sight, out-of-mind third water tunnel being dug from the Catskills to Manhattan.
Barry LePatner
A very thirsty Barry LePatner of LePatner & Associates (born and raised in Brooklyn and now a Midtown Easterner) tells us restaurants and apartments will follow the 7 and High Line west, but without the water tunnel (which will allow the existing two tunnels to be shut down for repairs one at a time), our water would dry up faster than Earth, Wind & Fire (that joke would work if the band wasn't still touring). Actually, it'll leak out of the old pipes before it reaches us, he says. Barry also just happens to be moderating Bisnow's NY Post-Recession Projects event a week from today with Greenberg Traurig's Robert Ivanhoe, Bentall Kennedy's Marty Standiford, Gibson Dunn's Andrew Lance, TF Cornerstone acquisitions and finance head Jeremy Shell, and Gotham Organization's Melissa Pianko. Sign up now!
High Line
Still, Barry acknowledges that it's the above-ground work that draws in private investment. The High Line (above) has attracted $2B in private investment to the immediate area, and the $2B extension of the 7 line will be similarly worth it. Both will lead to the renovated Javits (still too small, he says) and Hudson Yards, and Barry expects a hotel across from the convention center to be among the city's 400 recession-stalled developments to restart. Many others will be non-CBD projects like Rockrose's residential work on the Long Island City waterfront, as well as Willets Point near Citi Field. He says the South Bronx is on the cusp of a renaissance, not to mention Washington Heights around the GW Bridge.