ICYMI – Here is our monthly recap of recent NYC news you might have missed during the last few weeks.
As usual, our list is is a mix of good news and bad, with a combination of real estate, transportation, entertainment and shopping news.
We always identify our sources, too.
No fake news, sarcasm, leaks, collusion, quid pro quo, temper tantrums or witch hunts on NYCOTC.
Okay – sarcasm sometimes.
Atlantic City wants to demolish the shuttered and deteriorating Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.
The current owner, Icahn Enterprizes had intended to implode the eyesore in 2021, but the Mayor of Atlantic City calls it both an eyesore and an “imminent hazard”. He wants demolition sooner because it is a danger to the public, with debris falling off from as high up as the 34th floor.
It took 20 years of mis-starts and delays for the American Dream mega-mall to open in northern New Jersey – and now it’s shut by the pandemic.
The grand project is a 3-million-square-foot “destination” complex, complete with an indoor ski slope, DreamWorks water adventure park, 8.5-acre Nickelodeon-branded theme park, aquarium, ice rink, and over 450 retail shops including the world’s first department store dedicated to candy.
Some of those stores have gone bankrupt in the interim, including Barney’s and Lord & Taylor, and won’t re-open. Other component pieces may not, either.
H&M owes $4 million in unpaid rent on its Herald Square flagship store, and the landlord is suiting to get paid.
JEMB Realty has asked a state Supreme Court justice in Manhattan to declare that the fast-fashion outlet pay its outstanding rent, and is seeking legal fees from the company.
According to retail industry pub Footwear News, Urban Outfitters Inc., Nordstrom and Burlington Stores, also have missed rent payments while stores were shut during the coronavirus pandemic.
And H&M is not the only company being sued over failure to pay rent. Gap Inc. was sued by Simon Property Group for nearly $66 million in skipped payments.
The apparel and accessories chain also is being sued by a New York City landlord for skipping fixed rent and other payments worth $530,334.39. Additionally, Palm Springs Mile Associates Ltd. sued Ross Stores Inc. in Florida district court in May, accusing the off-price chain of owing $5.5 million in back rent on three stores.
Also, the NBA was sued in New York district court for owing roughly $1.25 million after missing two months of rent, plus additional charges, on its Midtown Manhattan flagship.
NYC has recorded more than 400 complaints of drag racing since the PAUSE order went into effect in March, according to an analysis of 311 caller data. That’s more than four times the number of complaints compared to the same period last year.
The most popular drag strip appears to be Fifth Avenue in Harlem between West 137th Street and East 138th Street
Manhattan leads the five boroughs with 123 complaints of racing on streets, followed by Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
There were an additional complaints of racing on city highways. The NYPD had issued 70,456 summonses for speeding so far this year through the end of May.
ICYMI You May Have Missed in May:
Blue Bloods, the CBS drama about a three-generation family of NYPD, has been renewed for an 11th season.
So we will continue be able to watch Tom Selleck as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, Donnie Wahlberg as his son, the detective Danny Reagan, and Bridget Moynahan as his daughter, Asst. District Attorney Erin Reagan, along with the rest of a fine cast.
Another featured star of Blue Bloods is New York City, with so many scenes filmed throughout our great town.
I’ve been addicted to Blue Bloods since Day One. Have you?
After being overwhelmed by a surplus of packages and oversized items to deliver during the pandemic, United Parcel Service is adding a peak surcharge for companies using its services.
Companies including Amazon, Target and Best Buy likely will be hit by the surcharge, which has been reserved in the past for the Christmas period.
But lockdown store closures, and locked down citizens, have meant more reliance than ever on delivery of everything from toilet paper to large-screen TVs for binge-watching. Retailers will now have to decide whether to absorb the extra costs or raise prices.
Fat chance they’ll absorb the increases, so expect to pay more. We always do.
The 2,000-hp ferry is similar to the pair of ferries delivered to NY Waterway in 2015 and 2016 — the 350-passenger Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross.
All three were designed by LeMole Naval Architecture in Tuckahoe, New Jersey.
For you engineers and ferry enthusiasts, the ferry’s hull construction is made up of 5086 aluminum plate and the extrusions are 6061 aluminum.
It’s powered by a pair of Cummins QSK38 engines, producing 1,000-hp each at 1,800 rpm. The engines turn a pair of ZF 5-bladed nibral wheels through ZF marine gear with 2.952:1 ratios. The package gives the ferry a service speed of 22 to 23 knots
The next 109’x31’ ferry is scheduled for delivery in October 2020, with the final ferry set for April 2021.
A New Jersey used car dealer has been charged with trying to rip-off NYC for $45 million by selling N95 respirator masks he did not have, in addition to price gouging the masks he did not have, in addition to claiming the masks he did not have were 3M-branded.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Ronald Romano, 58, sought quick riches in late March when his Performance Supply LLC tried to sell seven million masks to New York City’s Office of Citywide Procurement for about 500% above the typical list price. He was also accused of trying to sell three million Mexican-made N99 face masks to Florida’s Division of Emergency Management for $5.46 million, a more than 500% markup.
Prosecutors said the Manalapan, New Jersey, resident created a bogus letter falsely showing that 3M Co authorized the sale.
Starting June 1, Megabus is will run on a limited schedule between New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and hopes to reseme all other New York City-based routes in mid-June.
All passengers will be required to wear facial coverings in places where social distancing isn’t possible. Buses will also reduce seats on double deck vehicles and be washed and wiped down daily.
Additional measures include individual hand sanitizers for all employees and disinfectant wipes on all buses for employees and passengers.
You can see Megabus’ limited schedule here.
Le Pain Quotidien is the latest business to declare bankruptcy – but only the US arm of the international company. It plans to sell itself off for $3 Million to avoid shutting down nearly 100 US stores, including in New YOrk City.
The chain’s sales were slipping amid heavy competition and lack of investment in its stores even before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the shuttering of all its U.S. locations, Fleming said. The U.S. arm reported a nearly $17 million loss on $153 million in sales last year.
ICYMI news you may have missed in April:
A group of tech-preneurs in Queens have developed a low-cost ventilator, which is saving lives in NYC and beyond. And they did it in weeks, instead of months or even years, and at one-tenth the cost of other ventilators.
The machines are known as “bridge” ventilators, or automatic resuscitators, used to help critically ill patients breathe. have received emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration.
Named the Spiro Wave, the machines received emergency approval by the Food and Drug Adminsitration.
If patients become sicker, with further deterioration of lung function, they still need to be placed on standard ventilators, which typically cost more than $30,000.
The release of the movie version of the popular Broadway show In the Heights has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The film had been scheduled to arrive in cinemas on June 26, but now it looks like June 2021.
Jon M. Chu directed the film based on Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Tony-winning musical, which stars Anthony Ramos in central role of Usnavi and original cast member Olga Merediz reprising her Tony-nominated role as Abuela Claudia.
In the meantime, you can take solace in the official trailer.
With apologies to the iconic Duke Ellington song, Take the A Train, it’s time to take the L train, fully repaired ahead of schedule and under budget.
The Canarsie Tunnel between Brooklyn and Manhattan was seriously damaged by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012.
or Originally, the L was to be shut down entirely for 15 months, or three years of weekends, while repairs were made, including to the tunnel walls and electrical system.
A year after New York’s Governor Cuomo superseded an MTA plan with an inventive new plan, the work was finished.
Williamsburg would be rejoicing in local bars and hipster joints – if only they were open now, during the Coronavirus stay-at-home rules.
- Read the full story on Arch Paper, the newspaper for architects
75% of the retailers in New York City’s high-priced Hudson Yards did not pay their April rent because of the coronavirus crisis, according to The Financial Times
Hudson Yards is the city’s most expensive neighborhood, with a median sale price of nearly $5 million. It is home to office towers, luxury condos, and a seven-story shopping center with more than 100 shops, including Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Cartier, and the city’s first Neiman Marcus department store, and The Vessel, a tourist magnet.
- The neighborhood’s developer is reportedly investigating its tenants who didn’t pay rent, estimating that half of Hudson Yards’ retailers have adequate financial resources to pay.
When Barnes & Noble stores open again after the pandemic shut-down, it will be without magazines.
The chain, which has shuttered over 500 of their 600 bookstores in the US, announced it will no longer order new magazines and will cease carrying them altogether.
This will hurt smaller publishers and “niche” publications as but it could be an opportunity for other businesses such as supermarkets and “big box” stores such a Target.
- Read the full report in Good Reader, a trade website for the publishing industry.
Some major national and international businesses have received loans intended for small businesses.
Some of those major national and internaitional businesses have returned the funds accepted in error.
These big businesses which do business in NYC – and a NYC university – have sucked loans away from small NYC businesses.
We urge you not to do business with them going forward:
Eately, which operates dozens of locations around the world, including in NYC, in Flatiron.
Columbia University plans to keep $12 million in stimulus money intended for small businesses.