Happy 2017! This is our monthly recap of recent NYC news you might have missed during the last few weeks. As usual, top of our list again is food and drink, real estate and shopping.
NYC is a tourist magnet – If you didn’t already know that by the crowded sidewalks in Midtown and the hordes in Times Square for New Year’s Eve, it’s official. By the end of 2016, New York City will have welcomed an all-time record 60.3 million visitors, surpassing the 60 million visitor milestone for the first time ever. It represents the seventh consecutive year of travel and tourism growth for the City, according to a press release we received from NYC and Company, the city’s marketing agency. Travel and tourism is an economic engine, supporting more than 375,000 jobs in New York City, a gain of 15,000 jobs over 2015.
Saving Pier 40 – After years of negotiations and bickering, the City Council finally has approved plans to allow a developer to buy the air rights from the crumbling pier in Hudson River Park at Houston St. for $100 million. That money will be used to keep the one-time cargo pier from falling into the water, and the developer gets to build a 1,600 apartment complex, 30% of which will be reserved for middle-income and low-income tenants. Excellent! (NYTimes)
New NYC landmarks – The Landmarks Preservation Commission has added ten new buildings to the list of historic architectural gems. They include the Bergdorf Goodman Building across Fifth Avenue from Trump Tower, two Revolutionary Era homes in Staten Island, the Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, and the ornate Persian style United Palace community center in Washington Heights, which used to be the movie palace known as Loews 175th Street, back when movie theaters were palaces. (NYTimes)
Trump Tower security costs – The Feds are refusing to pay for the cost of protecting President-Elect Trump in NYC. We taxpayers already are out more than $35 million, and Republican-controlled Congress is willing to re-imburse us just $7 million. By my math, that’s a $28 million dollar burn on NYC taxpayers. (DAInfo.com)
Work program for homeless stops work – Score another one for the dual cost of gentrification and greedy landlords taking advantage of it. ACE, the long-running organization that employs homeless men and women to clean New York City streets, is leaving SoHo after nearly 25 years due to the area’s high office rent prices. If you’ve noticed the streets of SoHo, TriBeCa and Nolita aren’t as clean and tidy as they used to be, it’s because ACE workers have stopped working. Now, they’re not only homeless, but jobless, too. Read more on DNAInfo.
Whole Foods accused of cheating employees – Two NYC employees of what some of us like to call Whole Paycheck have filed a class action suit federal lawsuit claiming the chain has cheated 20,000 employees out of wages and bonuses. (Grub Street)
$3 Subway Fare?– The price of regular subway rides could increase 4% in 2017, to $3, under a proposal from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The plan also would increase the MetroCard bonus. A second proposal would keep fares at $2.75 but decrease the bonuses. Both plans involve raising bus and commuter rail fares. [The Wall Street Journal]
If there is a NYC news headline you would like to see included in next month’s report, let us know. Email us at [email protected] with tips.