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New York’s coronavirus numbers remain low, and the city and state are taking dramatic steps to help them stay that way. In addition to the traveler form required for air travelers, the city has set up checkpoints at key entry points to ensure out-of-state travelers' compliance with the state’s quarantine regulations. Additionally, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular will not take place this winter.

Hudson Yards rental begins to rise

517-West-29th-Street-01 Rendering via NY Developers
New zoning regulations have breathed new life into a formerly industrial section of West Chelsea. Much of this has centered around architecturally adventurous condominiums surrounding the High Line, but that is hardly to say that the rest of the area is neglected. On the contrary, half a block from the elevated park, work is underway on a new rental at 519 West 29th Street. The self-storage warehouse formerly on-site was demolished in summer 2018, and a more recent site visit saw construction about three stories up.

Amenities are expected to include a rooftop terrace, pool, bike room, and storage. The new building was originally conceived as a condo, but is now getting ready to join the ranks of a robust new rental community that has sprung up around Hudson Yards.
517-West-29th-Street-02 Construction progress circa August 2020 via CityRealty

Governor Cuomo extends order banning evictions

Early in the pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order issuing a 90-day moratorium on evictions to allow New Yorkers to safely shelter in place. The moratorium was extended at the beginning of May, and has just been extended again.

The new order comes as a relief to New Yorkers who have missed rent payments due to the pandemic and its economic fallout. However, it is unclear how it is to be applied to households that faced eviction related to proceedings that began before the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports that that is for the New York Court System to decide.

Popular Open Restaurants program teases extension in 2020, announces 2021 return date

Little-Italy-01 Little Italy's sidewalk dining scene via CityRealty
There is still no word on when indoor dining may resume in New York City, but some don’t seem to miss it: Restaurants from $1 pizzerias to the city’s fanciest restaurants have embraced open-air dining options in an atmosphere that some locals say evokes Parisian street cafes, and that the city says has supported approximately 80,000 jobs.
Shortly after the Open Restaurants program was extended to October 31, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city was considering allowing the program to keep going in the colder months. Some restaurants are enthusiastic about the idea, while others have expressed concern about the cost of buying heaters and how it could keep patrons warm without enclosing the space.

The news comes hot on the heels of the news that the Open Restaurants program will resume in 2021. The start date is tentatively set for June 1, but could possibly be pushed to earlier in the spring.

Facebook goes all in on James A. Farley Building

Farley-Building-01 Rendering of the James A. Farley Building via Vornado Realty Trust
On Monday, Facebook closed a deal to lease all the office space at the James A. Farley Building, the landmarked former post office across the street from Penn Station. A large-scale renovation is currently underway to transform it into a combination of commercial space and the new Moynihan train hall. The lease brings Facebook’s footprint to a total of more than 2.2 million square feet of office space in New York, including 1.5 million square feet spread across 30 Hudson Yards, 50 Hudson Yards, and 55 Hudson Yards.
A Facebook representative said that the uncertainties of the pandemic and the company’s new work-from-home policy made it too soon to estimate how many employees would be at the Manhattan properties, but the deal signals optimism for New York’s offices. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo released a statement saying, “Vornado and Facebook’s investment in New York and commitment to further putting down roots here – even in the midst of a global pandemic – is a signal to the world that our brightest days are still ahead and we are open for business.”
Facebook’s new headquarters take place in the heart of a rapidly growing office boom and what Vornado CEO Steven Roth describes as “a second tech hub”: Amazon has leased office space at 410 Tenth Avenue (just east of Hudson Yards), Apple signed a lease for 220,000 square feet of space at 11 Penn Plaza in February 2020, and Google’s campus is spread across several Chelsea buildings.

Construction in progress on new rental at 609 Second Avenue

609-Second-Avenue-01 Construction circa summer 2020 via CityRealty
As 609 Second Avenue shows, a recent Kips Bay building boom shows no sign of slowing down. The four-story building previously on-site has been demolished, and work is underway on its seven-story replacement for which Fischer + Makooi Architect is the designer of record. Completion is estimated for December 2022.

Permits call for two stores at grade level and five apartments per floor starting on the second story. Amenities will include storage, a bike room, a package room, a cellar-level lounge, and a fourth-floor lounge. There is no gym, but the building is taking shape a short distance from a wide variety of gyms and fitness studios (that we hope to see open safely and soon!). It is also just up the street from Fairway and Trader Joe’s, a short walk from the 33rd Street 6 station.

Construction tops out on Solaia, upscale condominiums on New Jersey Gold Coast

8701-Churchill-Road-01 Rendering via Skyline Development Group
Construction has topped out at 14 stories high on Solaia, a new luxury condominium rising on an elevated location on the North Jersey Gold Coast. A sales launch on apartments ranging from mid-$700K to $2 million is expected to take place this fall, and delivery is anticipated for the first quarter of 2021.

All 70 one- through three-bedroom units will feature WiFi-enabled appliances and thermostats, HUE lighting and home automation systems, custom closet systems, kitchens with custom Italian cabinetry and countertops, and baths with soaking tubs. The majority of units will have private balconies.
The highlight of the 10,000-square-foot amenities package is undoubtedly a three-story wellness center with a fully equipped fitness center and full-service spa with steam rooms, saunas, Halotherapy salt lounge, vitality tub, and locker rooms. Recreational amenities will include co-working spaces, a lounge with fireplace, billiards, and catering kitchen, and rooftop deck with grills, dining area, and lounging area.

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