After Sandy, Lower Manhattan Will Rebound

Three weeks ago, our beloved city was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The tropical storm force winds and resulting storm surges ravished entire neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Lower Manhattan leaving thousands without homes. While the storm was tragic, the immediate action of first responders; City, State, and Federal officials; the real estate industry; and volunteers began the momentum that continues today to restore and rebuild what was destroyed.

The Real Estate Board of New York commends everyone who contributed resources, time, equipment or space to help with recovery efforts. We also applaud Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo, and President Obama for their steadfast leadership in this time of need.

In Lower Manhattan, many commercial and residential buildings in the low-lying coastal area were flooded, causing power outages and disruption to services, subsequently shutting down one of the most vibrant areas of New York City. The unprecedented flooding has added unprecedented complexity to many buildings’ recovery efforts. The comprehensive evaluation and assessment process required by the Department of Buildings to ensure the safety of building residents, means that some of the damaged buildings will remain closed for weeks or more.

However, Lower Manhattan will bounce back, and become stronger than ever. History has shown time and time again that Lower Manhattan has the resilience to rebuild and recreate itself into an even better version of what it was. This will be no exception. In a short period of time, a great deal of progress has already been made, and the spirit in Lower Manhattan displays both optimism and perseverance.

In just the last several days, here are just some of the buildings that have reopened: 5 Hanover, 77 Water, 1 New York Plaza, 120 Wall, 17 State, 2 Broadway, 2 New York Plaza, 125 Broad Street, 55 Broadway, 61 Broadway, and 75 Broad.

Each day, more and more buildings are reopening. That vibrant activity that had made Lower Manhattan a global example of a 21st Century downtown will be in full display.

Lower Manhattan is known worldwide by those who want to live, work, and play in the same neighborhood. The ample amounts of transit options, new boutiques and restaurants, and a variety of businesses all make Lower Manhattan a highly in-demand neighborhood. These amenities have not disappeared. In fact, many Lower Manhattan small businesses will get a big boost from a recently unveiled grant program made possible by the Downtown Alliance and major corporate donors.

Our industry will continue to work until all of Lower Manhattan is restored and rebuilt. New York has been challenged before, but each time it comes back better than the old version.

In other REBNY News:

You can donate through two funds created for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City set up a donation page for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. Checks can be made out to:

  1. Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City
    253 Broadway, 8th Floor, NYC, NY 10007.
    For more information, call 212-788-7794.

  2. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo created the Empire State Relief Fund, aimed at rebuilding and restoring damaged homes from Hurricane Sandy.
    To donate visit www.empirestaterelief.com or
    text "RELIEF" to 80000 to make a $10 donation.

"Market Trends-An Owner’s Perspective" is the topic for the REBNY Member’s Luncheon from 11:45 am to 2 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 at The Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. Luncheon speakers are Gary Barnett, President - Extell Development Company and Marc Holliday, Chief Executive Officer - SL Green Realty Corp. Peter Grant, Editor of the Wall Street Journal, will serve as the moderator. The event is open to REBNY members & their guests only. Registration is required.

For tickets, contact Desiree Jones at djones@rebny.com

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!