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Weekly News (November 21, 2018)

1. The plan for 14 story High-rise apartment in Palisades Park is cancelled

  • The location was between Edsell Blvd and 14th St at the border of Fort Lee and Palisades Park
  • Palisades Park town board approved the plan once, but the State court decided to nullify the plan because there was no rationale and arbitrarily
  • Carriage House and other residents objected the plan and filed the suit in the State court

2. Bow Tie Cinema in Tenafly re-opens

  • 4 West Railroad Ave, Tenafly, NJ
  • It was closed for 2 weeks due to the historic designation by town
  • Owner and residents do not want the designation
  • Borough council decided not to designate after heated discussion at the hearing

3. Available space in 23rd St and 10th Ave in Manhattan

  • 227 10th Ave (between 23rd and 24th St)
  • Used to be “Red Cat” restaurant for 20 years and will be closed at the end of the year
  • 2000 sf with 800 sf basement: asking rent is $180/sf which is equal to $360,000 per year (monthly rent is $12,000)

4. NYC allows Helicopter port at Amazon LIC building

  • In order to minimize inconvenience for residents, it can be used only for company’s official business purposes and can be used maximum 120 times a year, and airway is only limited to over the building and water
  • The distance between two HQ2 is about 200 miles which can be 1 hour and 20 min to fly (CEO Jeff Bezos got hurt when a helicopter taking off has fallen in 2003)
  • Currently when one uses a Wall St helicopter port, one pays $400 and $260/hr for parking
  • Many artists will be leaving the town due to high rent (lower rent with spacious former factory buildings) as well as small theaters and performers
  • Public re-development fund will not be enough (only $1M per year goes to this funds out of $2M tax from Amazon for next 11 years)
  • A RE broker office in LIC made 150 deals last week (2 Amazon employees contracted luxury condo with indoor garden and swimming pool)
  • A broker says condo price went up by $20,000 for a week

5. New concept: “Pajama lounge” in a house

  • It is getting popular: A secretive place only for family near master bed room
  • Family is getting together between dinner time and bed time
  • Living room is more formal: Pajama lounge is informal with recessed light, easy and comfortable big couch, Kitchenette, small work desk, TV, etc
  • Usual size is about 10 x 10

6. Homebuilding rose 1.5% in US in October

  • New home building rose by 1.5%, but groundbreaking for a single-family houses fell
  • Homebuilding rose to 1.23M in Oct from $1.21 in September I mainly apartment
  • Mortgage rate increase led to marked decline of home construction since May such that groundbreaking fell down by 2.6% over the last 12 months
  • NAHB announced housing market index to 60 points dropped by 8 in November: Biggest drop since 2014 (above 50 means growing sign)

7. Closing cost intercepted by e-mail fraud

  • Criminal collects all the info for a RE transaction and pretends as seller
  • Using seller’s email account, criminal sends an email to buyer to wire the closing cost
  • Due to some complicated RE transaction process, buyer gets confused
  • FBI says it is almost impossible after 72 hours once money sent by wire
  • According to FBI, damaged amount during October, 2018 has reached to $1.1B by fraudulent activities

8. Congestion fee in Manhattan, NY will be imposed to Tax driver from 1/1/2019

  • Yellow cap /Green cap /Limo /Uber (Lift), etc will pay congestion fee of $2.50-$2.75, if they go below 96th St in Manhattan (yellow cap:$2.50 / sharing car biz:$2.75)
  • Base rate of $3.30 for yellow cap will be $5.80 ($1.00 addition if they drive between 4-8pm /$0.5 addition if they drive 8pm- next day 6am)

9. Styrofoam products in stores/restaurants in NYC will be banned from 1/1/2019

  • The banning law passed in 2015 (it was pending due to the law suite by restaurant owners’ association)
  • Alternatives is to use plastic, aluminum, car board products
  • DOC is receiving applications for delaying law enforcement due to severe impact for small biz

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Stephen Lee

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