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Weekly News (April 5, 2017)

1. Let’s keep Hudson-Bergen Light Rail project in right track  

  • 17 years ago, this light rail began to operate in Jersey City
  • NJ Transit’s light rail system → One of most successful in the nation (50,000 daily passengers at 24 stations)
  • Expectation: 24,740 passengers will board at 7 new stations → NJ is corridor state
  • Need to make sure the state representatives on Capital Hills redouble their efforts to secure federal funds for HBLR and new Gateway Rail Tunnels projects
  • HBLR is expected to get $300 Million ~ $500 Million from New Starts program (Total cost about $1 Billion)
  • Hope this extension is so successful → could extend further north to Bergen County
  • Public hearing on 04/24 in Englewood, NJ

2. ‘Avora’ Phase II released on Weehawken waterfront  

  • 90% of 1st Phase sold (11 story condo: Developed by Landsea)
  • Phase II: 184 units ($800K – $4 Million, initial occupancy in 1st QT of 2018)
  • Steps from Port Imperial Ferry Terminal →only 8 minutes to Manhattan

3. NYC is tough on short term rent ( less than 30days) 

  • $60,000 fine issued to a Manhattan building owner (A hotel owner at 103rd St on Broadway, advertised a short term rent for a single room at Hotwire.com, Booking.com)
  • NYC law prohibits to advertise on Airbnb, web site, newspaper, radio, flyer, e mail for less than 30 days rent
  • 1st offence: $1,000,  2nd offence:$5,000,   3rd offence: $7,500

4. Manhattan commercial buildings increases seller concession 

  • Vacancy rate goes up → induce more concession
  • New trend to give concession to retail store owner(tenant) → Landlord pays facility/utility cost or renovation cost
  • In the past, rent increase too much → 49th ~ 60th St & 5th Ave : $ 3,213 / sf (50% increase for 5years)
  • Vacancy rate: 10.1% in 4th QT 2015 → 15.9% in 4th QT 2016

5. Bergen County Executive James Tedesco unveiled 2017 budget $522 Million  

  • $8 increase on the average assessed at $466,000 (Tax levy: $413 Million: increased by 1.89%)
  • After departmental 20 hearings, board will approve → sent to the State to formally adopt
  • $126 Million → Employee health benefits/Statutory charges
  • $99 Million → Departmental operations
  • $89.2 Million → Capital improvement (Repair bridges, Resurface roads, Buy snow plows, Vehicles,  New computers, Improve parks, golf courses etc.)
  • $61 Million → Education fund(Bergen Community College)
  • $31 Million → Prosecutor’s office
  • 2016: $32 increase / 2015: $13 increase

6. Trump’s Tax Reform → benefit to rich people?

  • If tax reform approved, top class get tax decrease → 1/3 of middle class pay more tax
  • AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) over $1Million → $113,560 Tax saving
  • AGI over $500K will get 63.4% of benefit of tax reduction plan → Only 2% of tax payers
  • AGI between $50K ~ $250K middle class: 1/3 of them will pay more tax
  • Reason: Current 7 classes → only 3 classes (12, 25 and 33%)
  • AGI between $25K ~ $50K → 21,4% will pay more tax
  • AGI between $50K ~ $100K → 33% will pay more tax
  • AGI between  $100K ~ $250K → 39,5% will pay more tax
  • AGI between $500K ~ $1Million → Only 4.2% will pay more tax
  • The analysis was based on NYC 365,000 residents.

7. ‘KidZania’ will come to ADM (American Dream Meadowland) in 2019  

  • 80,000 sf  ‘Mini-City’ layout for the aged 4 ~ 14 children to experience real life of more than 100 professions, including baker, doctor, truck driver, or board member
  • KidZania founded in 1999 by Mexican entrepreneur Xavier Lopez Ancona
  • Sponsors help to provide each role playing(Coca Cola, Honda, John & Johnson, Sony and Kellogg’s etc.)
  • Current operation in London, Cairo, Singapore and Tokyo
  • Future target area → Dallas, Chicago, Paris and Johannesburg (ADM in East Rutherford)
  • ADM is being developed by Triple Five (Canadian Co) since 2010, including 638,000 indoor water and amusement park, indoor snow park, Observation wheel (like London Eye), art performing center, ice skating rink, and 1Million sf retail spaces
  • In 2003, NJ Sports and Exposition Authority chose the Mills Corp/Mack-Cali Xanadu project

8. Jan. Home prices Up, highest in 2.5 years 

  • Tight supply of properties → triggers buyer bidding wars
  • Case-Shiller 20-city home price index up by 5.7% in Jan, the most since July 2014
  • S&P/Dow Jones say higher IR won’t slow sales until later this year
  • Biggest gain → Seattle, Portland and Denver
  • 1.75 Million homes listed in Feb → 6.4% lower than a year ago, near the lowest level since
  • NAR began tracking the data in 1999

9. Construction Spending rises to nearly 11 year high  

  • US developers ramped up construction spending in Feb: increased by 0.8% → highest level since April 2006
  • More building of homes, highways, schools
  • Builder rapidly putting up more homes in response to strong demand that pushed up prices for existing homes → Still not enough to relieve shortage of homes for sale.

10. Paul Yoon (Lawyer) run for Fort Lee city council member  

  • Democrat, President of Fort Lee Korean association since 2015
  • Defeated last time in 2014 (with more than 1,000 votes)
  • Graduated from University of Pennsylvania / used to be a prosecutor in Essex county
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Stephen Lee

He has been in Real Estate industry in about 20 years and has been Broker of Record for 9 years. His experience includes residential, commercial, and property management. Prior to involving with Real Estate business, he has been involved in the digital communication equipment industry utilizing his engineering background and education, including running own company. He has established C Land Realty in 2011 which has grown to staffing over 100 Real Estate agents and the annual transaction amount of over $110,000,000 today.

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