Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 Outlook for Four Mega Projects

After two years of slow but relatively consistent growth, developers are expecting that 2012 will be the one in which tower cranes start rising. Here's a look at a few projects we have been following closely, and their outlooks for getting started this year.

Project:              432 Park Ave.
Developer:          CIM Group/ Harry Macklowe
2012 Outlook:     Good

Los Angeles-based CIM Group owns one of the country's most desirable development sites: 432 Park Avenue, home of the former Drake Hotel. The firm, working with developer Harry Macklowe, plans to build a 1,400-foot tower filled with condominiums and retail space.

    See $1Billion Tower To Rise On Park Avenue  [ElectricWeb | Blogger, Oct. 19, 2011]

CIM is in a good position to build. The remaining hurdle is closing on financing deals with lenders at a time when few banks are willing to give large loans for condo projects, even in Manhattan.


Project:               Hudson Yards - Tower 1
Developer:           Related Cos.
2012 Outlook:      Good

For decades, planners have hoped to develop the 26-acre West Side rail yards, by the southern end of the Javits Convention Center, in a bid to remake Manhattan's far West Side into a business district.

     See Hudson Yards Massive $15 Billion Development  [ElectricWeb | Blogger, Nov. 5, 2011]

Related Cos. is closer than anyone before: Handbag maker Coach Inc. has announced plans to buy one-third of the 1.8-million-square-foot planned first building on the site, and Related says it expects to start construction early this year.

Project:               3 World Trade Center
Developer:           Silverstein Properties
2012 Outlook:      Fair

The third building slated to rise at the World Trade Center site, the base of the planned 2.8 million square foot 3 World Trade Center is already under construction.

     See 1 WTC, 4 WTC to Top Out in Early 2012   [ElectricWeb | Blogger, Oct. 21, 2011]

But based on a deal struck for a public-sector-financing package in 2010, construction won't continue above the first few floors of retail space until Larry Silverstein finds tenants for at least 400,000 square feet.

That's going to be tough, given the other office development under way at the World Trade Center site. There's already about 5 million square feet of space being built but tenants have signed commitments for only half of that.


Project:              15 Penn Plaza
Developer:           Vornado Realty Trust
2012 Outlook:      Poor

Vornado Realty Trust has long dreamed of demolishing the Hotel Pennsylvania across from Penn Station, and replacing it with a soaring office tower.

     See Manhattan developers push office construction  [ElectricWeb | Blogger, May 21, 2011]

But Vornado, one of the most cautious large developers in the city, has no tenants for the 2.8-million-foot tower. Further, the 1,700-room hotel generates gobs of cash—$18 million in the first nine months of 2011—and its revenue goes up every time the economy improves, offsetting the appeal of an office tower.