BY LOIS WEISS
Follow me on Twitter @loisweiss
End of Year Notes
Dec. 29, 2012
A snowy shopping day was marred by an explosion in Soho today when manholes and a car erupted into flames. This is deja vu back to Dec. 28, 2006 when manholes also errupted in the area.
These explosions are often caused by wet wires that catch on fire and built up carbon monoxide before creating enough energy to push the iron manhole covers upwards.
Building owners and managers should also watch facades and drains later this week. That's because when snow thaws and then freeze as ice, it gets larger and pushes out into nooks and crannies, sometimes causing cracks in the building. That's one reason to always ensure your drains are clear of debris prior to snowfalls.
November 3, 2011
Property Tax Rates Set for Jan. Bills
Property taxes are going up for homeowners but not as much as they would have without recent City Council and Albany legislation. Those measures have now paved the way for the tax fixing resolution passed by the City Council on Thursday that has set new property tax rates for bills due in early January.
The 2.5 percent cap on property taxes will knock $100 off the taxes for an average home worth $560,352 and assessed at $21,344. But it will still go up by $100.
Additionally, sources told us that large residential buildings, stores and offices will also see taxes go up despite the cap.
The good news for consumers is that utility taxes will go down slightly so any taxes passed along should be lower. Without the cap, however, utilities would have had even lower taxes.
By state law, the city cap on what are known as the ?class shares? is supposed to be 5 percent. But each year, when budget numbers are crunched together with new assessed values, and City Council politicians see home taxes will go up in July, they vote to ask Albany to lower the cap. This usually results in a half year delay before the bills can be adjusted.
The newly adjusted tax bills will be mailed out soon by the Finance Dept. and will be due on Tuesday Jan. 3rd.
The savings for homeowners is being reapportioned to commercial buildings. A typical 8,000 square foot retail store in Queens with an average assessed value of $480,000 will see its bill rise by about $400. Due to the additional rise in assessed values, sources said a store that paid $49,500 in taxes last year would be paying about $51,000 with the new rate.
A Manhattan office building of 500,000 square feet will see its bill rise by $43,000 to about $5.2 million. Those taxes are also typically passed along to the commercial tenants through their lease terms.
The new 2001/12 rates are: Class 1 homes $18.205; Class 2 apartments $13.433; Class 3 utilities $12.473; and Class IV commercial property $10.152.
By comparison, the July bills were sent out using the 2010/11 rates of Class 1, $17.364; Class 2, $13.353; Class 3, $12.631; and Class 4, $10.312. The rates are multiplied per $1,000 of billable assessed value to get the payment.
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much older stuff below
An investor group led by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. has signed a contract to buy the old Knickerbocker Hotel at 6 Times Square and the development site next door for approximately $180 million, Between The Bricks has learned.
Owned by Dubai's financially troubled Istithmar which paid a total of $376 million, the properties are being foreclosed and sold by Danske Bank through Jones Lang LaSalle. The landmarked hotel at the southeast corner of Broadway and W. 42nd St is nearly vacant but for the Gap store.
Ashkenazy is led by Ben Ashkenazy and Michael Alpert who also own 650 Madison Avenue and the Barney's retail condo on Madison Avenue. Sources said they won the hotly contested deal over many groups, including locals and overseas. No one returned calls and emails for comment. "You have the history of the building as office and hospitality and there are many uses," said a source familiar with their thinking.
Danske inherited the Lehman Brothers loan for $290 million which had been paid down to around $220 million.
The information was first reported by Lois Weiss in a Tweet on March 18, 2010 and reported as a Brief in the New York Post on March 19th.
March 27, 2009