Kyrie Irving Traded To The Dallas Mavericks

This past Sunday, The Brooklyn Nets and Dallas Mavericks made the major trade of Kyrie Irving, who’s now heading to Dallas.

NYC Real Estate

New York Real Estate Surging As City-Life Returns To Normalcy 

After one year of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the rollout of multiple vaccines, life in major cities is starting to return to normalcy, as are the many industries that keep these cities populated. Real estate in New York City is beginning to see a rise in demand as prices begin to decrease again. 

In Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens the number of leases that were signed in February of this year beat a record that was set back in 2012 during the comeback from the 2008 economic crisis. “The median rental price—lease value net of concessions—fell at least 11% across those boroughs last month,” according to a new report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

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Hundreds of thousands of New yorkers initially fled from the city to head to suburbia when the pandemic began. Within the past few months, however, there’s been an increase in transactions within the cities major boroughs. The coming months are projected to give the city the boost it needs to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic. 

Some owners are keeping their properties off the market to wait for more individuals to be vaccinated/ the summer when it’s expected that more individuals will be flocking to the city.  According to UrbanDigs, a real estate insights firm, “in Manhattan landlords took more than 1,800 apartments off the market in February. For their part, renters are enjoying the reprieve from record prices, which peaked just before the pandemic.

According to Douglas Elliman, in Manhattan specifically non-luxury units will be offering the best deals in the coming months, and apartments of three or more bedrooms will likely be the most discounted due to the influx in demand. “The median rental price dropped 22.7% over the last 12 months on those units. Two-bedroom apartments are down 8.9%, while studios are down 19.3%. New signings are up dramatically from February 2020, but the overall vacancy rate remains high, at 5%, compared to 2.01% last year.  More than 40% of new leases come with some form of landlord concessions, the authors said, often one or more months of free rent during the first year after signing.”

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In Brooklyn, the borough saw the ““highest number of new lease signings since tracking began during the financial crisis, at 1,834 for February, a 133% year-over-year increase. Still, the median effective rent dropped 16.3%, more than any other year in almost a decade. Nearly 40% of new signings last month included landlord concessions,” according to reports from Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants.  

Miller Samuel also revealed that studio apartments in Brooklyn are seeing the best discounts in the borough. Average rental prices for studio’s fell nearly 19% when compared to this time last year. Apartments with three or more bedrooms saw the next biggest discount with a 13% decline. There are currently 3,438 listings in Brooklyn, which is also up 1,375 when compared to the amount of listings the borough had this time last year. 

Queens also set a new record for pricing, with inventory up 64% and signings up 36% when compared to last year.

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Federal Judge Dismisses Amazon Warehouse Workers’ Covid-19 Lawsuit

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit in New York involving an Amazon warehouse employee who was claiming that the company was putting employee lives on the line with their mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. The suit initially began after a slew of Amazon warehouse employees contracted the coronavirus due to a lack of proper health and safety procedures. 

The lawsuit was initially filed in June after workers accused Amazon of creating a “public nuisance by exacerbating Covid-19 risks.” These “exacerbations” took the form of a company culture that created “workplace fear” for the employees. According to the filing, workers were told to “work at dizzying speeds, even if doing so prevents them from socially distancing, washing their hands, and sanitizing their work spaces.”

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This Sunday, US District judge Brian Cogan made a ruling in Brooklyn, NY, in which he decided that the warehouse employees should have brought the issues up with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) instead. Cogan claimed that the federal agency would better be able to “strike a balance between maintaining some level of operations in conjunction with some level of protective measures.” 

Given the federal courts lack of expertise on workplace health and safety issues during a global health crisis, Cogan feared bringing the lawsuit to the courts would only create a bunch of conflicting rulings from various judges who also lack experience in this type of legal issue. 

“Court-imposed workplace policies could subject the industry to vastly different, costly regulatory schemes in a time of economic crisis.”

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The Amazon workers’ lawyers said that they were weighing an appeal of Cogan’s ruling, claiming that the judge’s redirection of the case to be further dealt with by the OSHA “should be very concerning to anyone who cares about the health of American workers, given that OSHA has been virtually AWOL throughout this crisis,” they said in a statement after the ruling was made. 

Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski recently released a statement after the ruling as well, denying any wrongdoing from the company, and calling the lawsuit an “effort to exploit the pandemic.”

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees, which is why at the onset of the pandemic we moved quickly to make more than 150 COVID-19 related process changes.” 

In general, worker advocate groups all throughout the nation have filed public nuisance suits due to the lack of effort from the OSHA, meaning they’ve looked into the options with the agency but as they claimed, the organization has been relatively absent throughout the past nine months. 

Towards Justice and Public Justice are two legal non-profits that helped bring the Amazon suit to the courts initially. Additionally, the two companies are separately suing OSHA in a federal court in Pennsylvania due to their lack of efforts to address the “imminent dangers” workers everywhere continue to face.

Statue of Liberty

Underrated Things To Do In New York City

New York City is known as the “city that never sleeps”, and as a native myself I can confirm that this holds true. With five large borough’s, over 8 million residents, and skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, NYC is truly one of the most magnificent and diverse places in the U.S., maybe even the world. 

If you’re not a native, are planning on visiting, have visited but was overwhelmed by the thousands of things to do, or just are in the mood to explore a new city and New York has always been on your list, than it’s important to look into some of the amazing attractions that NYC has to offer. A lot of the typical tourism spots in New York do hold true to the photos online, however, they really aren’t the star of the show. NYC is HUGE and there’s an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to what to do when you find yourself exploring this concrete jungle. 

Central Park is the most popular park in NYC, and rightfully so, if you’ve ever seen an aerial shot of the city, it’s absolutely magnificent how contained this massive plot of nature remains in an otherwise industrial landscape. However, there are plenty of other beautiful parks in New York that don’t get as much attention, but truly deserve to. Bryant Park is an obvious runner up, as it has an endless amount of eateries surrounding the perimeter, and plenty of seating to enjoy the views on a nice day. In the winter, the park also has ice skating and the occasional concert in the park (concerts occur throughout the entire year it just depends on the day). 

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The Met

If you want to go the more historical and artsy route, NYC has one of the widest selections of museums that one could dream of. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most magnificent museums in the country. The MET holds a myriad of artwork extending from the dawn of man, to modern examples of pop art by Andy Warhol himself. The vast size of the amount of artwork the MET has curated throughout the years is astounding, and a majority of it is on display. The best part? Entry is only $25, and for the amount to be seen within the museum, it’s definitely worth it. 

Other notable and exciting museums that one should visit in the city include; The Museum of Natural History, The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Sex, The Museum of Ice Cream, The Guggenheim, and plenty more

Some more underrated attractions that one may not initially think of when planning their trip to New York City includes taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry! Many don’t realize that the ferry itself travels on a route that allows passengers to see Brooklyn, the Statue of Liberty (without the overwhelming tourist energy), and lower Manhattan! 

Brooklyn itself has truly built up a representation as being flooded with hipsters and artisanal cheeses, however, the art and culture that’s circulating throughout these boroughs streets is truly astounding. Brooklyn Flea is the epicenter of all of it. Filled with up-cycled clothing stores, unique cafes and an endless amount of artwork, you can’t go wrong with a day of hipster magic and good food. 

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The West Village

The West Village is another beautiful little piece of NYC that deserves to be explored. In fact you could spend a whole day just walking around the village and you’ll definitely find plenty to do without all the noise and congestion that one would find in Times Square. Something unique to the West Village as well is their Midnight Movies at the IFC Center. IFC often roles through a whole slew of titles for their late night movie showings; including classics such as Jurassic Park and The Shining. 

Chinatown is to New York City as peanut butter is to jelly, however, if you’re looking for the greatest Chinatown/NYC experience, no other beats that of Flushing’s Chinatown. This location specifically stands out because of all the amazing food and restaurants that are bustling throughout the streets. Even more so, they have the New World Mall Food Court, a must see in terms of NYC eating. 

Finally, The Bronx. No, nothing in particular, but the Bronx in general is one of the most underrated boroughs throughout NYC and it’s no thanks to a lot of ignorant representation in the media. The Bronx has way more to offer than just the zoo as well. Home of the Yankee’s, the NYC Botanical Gardens, and several Victorian mansions, the Bronx has become a cultural hub for the history of the city, and has plenty to offer in terms of things to do. 

There’s a billion possibilities when it comes to exploring New York City. The key is figuring out what specific kind of experience you want to get out of it. Once you figure that out, there’s plenty of online resources to connect you to the perfect attraction to get the most out of your time in NYC.

NYC Real Estate

How NYC’s Real Estate Market Continues To Change

As one decade ends and another begins, the New York City real estate industry is taking all it’s learned within the past ten years and applying it to 2020. Throughout the past decade, there’s truly been a shift and growth within the cities real estate market. Brooklyn has become a hub for millennials and young families, Manhattan has gotten pricier as always, and Harlem is going brownstone. The east coast concrete jungle is forever changing with the times and as 2020 approaches, agencies are preparing to keep up with that change. 

One of the major changes that’s taken over the city within the past decade is how many more condos have been built. Unfortunately, this trend isn’t exactly succeeding, as according to Bisnow Magazine, Manhattan currently has more than 9,000 condominium sale units still empty. Real estate agencies are blaming the constant influx in real estate prices in Manhattan; no one can afford the borough. 

“Everyone has seen the reports of unsold apartments, about 30% of the apartments sold have come on as shadow rental inventory. I do think we will see some repricing in the condo space,” Michael Givner, A Morgan Stanley Executive Director, said.

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Givner went on to discuss how condo repricing has already begun, and ever since Labor Day the industry has seen an increase in buyers as a response to a decrease in asking price and inclusion of more incentives. Prices in the city are becoming more negotiable through corporate sponsorship; however, the results haven’t been as successful as expected. 

Many of the residential buildings in the city are built around the same time, that’s how overall neighborhoods change in an instant. So while the demand may be there, the supply can tend to overcompensate. In addition, agents are noticing an increase in office space rentals over residential renting in areas of Downtown and Midtown. While the leasing market may be thriving through this process, the fact that more residential families aren’t moving into these spaces that were constructed for their market specifically hurts the industry in the long run. 

When certain areas of the city begin to be known as areas of business, or office spaces, that branding serves a long term impact, and it becomes way less likely that the intended market for that area will actually fill the space. That’s what agents are seeing happen in the Mid/Downtown areas. 

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“One of the millennials in my office said that Midtown is where fun goes to die. 2020 will be an interesting year to observe how Midtown rebrands itself. How long will it take, who will it attract and how will it evolve over the next 10 years,” said Colliers International NY Tri-State President Michael Cohen.

It’s also been reported that the hotel market in New York City has remained fairly stagnant for the past few years. While “stagnant” may not mean “declining,” that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing either.  A flat real estate market means not enough profit is coming in either and when it comes to the city’s hotel industry that’s what’s seeming to happen. Because of overall rising room costs, in combination with an oversaturation of hotels in the city and increase in popularity in services such as Airbnb, the industry just isn’t thriving as it used to. 

“The important thing that we found, in hospitality, is managing expenses and keeping a lean staff providing what guests want when they come to New York City. The hotels we are building have a great room, a clean bathroom, not a lot of amenity space and not a lot of staff, and what we found is that’s a recipe for success.” said Hidrock Properties CEO Abie Hidary.

While aspects of New York City’s real estate market haven’t exactly kept up with all the development it’s seen, agencies are learning from the mistakes of the past decade. As stated above, the hospitality industry is mainly focusing on what’s working and delivering that to its clients. That’s the general consensus over how to handle any and all of the problems in the industry, especially in the city.