• New York Real Estate Woes - They Impact Rail

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Gilbert B Norman
Anyone holding interest in the future of Northeast passenger rail - commuter agency and/or Amtrak, should read this article appearing today in The New York Times .

Fair Use:
.Even as the coronavirus pandemic appears to recede in New York, corporations have been reluctant to call their workers back to their skyscrapers and are showing even more hesitation about committing to the city long term.

Fewer than 10 percent of New York’s office workers had returned as of last month and just a quarter of major employers expect to bring their people back by the end of the year, according to a new survey. Only 54 percent of these companies say they will return by July 2021.

Demand for office space has slumped. Lease signings in the first eight months of the year were about half of what they were a year earlier. That is putting the office market on track for a 20-year low for the full year. When companies do sign, many are opting for short-term contracts that most landlords would have rejected in February.
Do not underestimate the impact upon the three commuter agencies, as well as Amtrak, that these developments will have.

We could be looking easily five years after the "COVID All Clear" sounds for all operators to see pre-COVID traffic levels return.

Finally, lest we forget. airlines are not expecting their pre-COVID traffic for three years after such time.
  by electricron
Real estate prices and transit ridership are not pushing or pulling each other up or down as much as both are reacting to the same economic and political conditions in New York City. The anti-business policies of the mayor are not allowing the City to recover faster than it is.

When the haves feel they are being taxed too much to fund more programs for the have nots do not be surprised that the haves leave, or return slower than they did in the past.
Last edited by electricron on Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Ron, for better or worse, New York Mayor has term limits; love him or not, de Blasio is gone High Noon Jan 1, 2022.
  by mtuandrew
From some of my friends and colleagues up there, I’m pretty sure that neither left nor right will be sad to see him go. The real estate market is still going to be soft though - developers would do well to change over to a higher proportion of apartments and condos where feasible.
  by charlesriverbranch
I'd love to see depressed real estate values torpedo the proposed skyscraper over Boston's South Station.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Mr. Charles River, from the renderings, it appears that the South Station façade will be maintained and that the high rise building will provide revenue to whatever agency actually owns the property. It will certainly provide cost benefit to both the "T" and Amtrak.

Not sure why you hold your stated position; but you do have a point in that who knows to what extent both the commercial and residential real estate markets will recover post-COVID.
  by rcthompson04
I think blaming politicians for the depressed business traffic isn’t accurate. Corporate America has pretty much killed white collar business travel. I haven’t been to the office in over 6 months, probably won’t be going back for months more and won’t be even taking relatively short trips any time soon.
  by eolesen
It's not just New York. Moody's is projecting a 20% vacancy rate next year...

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/ ... .9-in-2021

Downtown Chicago's vacancy rate was over 15% in June, with suburban rates around 23%.

And it's not just commercial real estate. People are leaving city rental apartments in droves for the suburbs out of fear of another lockdown this winter, and also because so many restaurants have gone out of business. City life has taken a big hit, so if you're going to be working from home all winter, you might as well have a little more space to do it in.
  by Gilbert B Norman
Chicago without the Palmer House? Welcome to "the new reality":grinning:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/grand-chic ... lewebshare

Fair Use:
The Palmer House Hilton has been one of Chicago’s grandest hotels for more than a century. Oscar Wilde was a guest. Frank Sinatra serenaded diners at its supper club. Over the past 15 years, the owner spent $173 million to overhaul the hotel, modernizing most of the 1,641 rooms.

But today, the property faces a bank foreclosure and has become one of the most potent symbols of the troubled hospitality industry during Covid-19.

Wells Fargo Bank said in court papers last month that the hotel’s owner, real-estate investor Thor Equities, was in default on its $333.2 million first mortgage, making the property one of the first major foreclosure actions during the pandemic. The Palmer House was worth $305.5 million shortly before Wells Fargo filed its action, appraisers said..
  by eolesen
It's getting harder and harder for older monster properties like the Palmer and Conrad to keep up, especially with new build properties that have half the rooms and a tenth of the upkeep.