The high cost of construction in New York long been an undisputed fact. But now – with two schools being built at the same time in neighboring states (one in New York and one in New Jersey), the exceptionally high price of New York construction is being evidenced even more noticeably.
The Bronx school – serving elementary age students – will be built next to the South Bronx Educational Complex and will feature four floors, 15 regular classrooms, 2 district special ed classrooms, a reading room, speech resource rooms, 4 re-K classrooms and 3 kindergarten classrooms. That is costing approximately $70m.
The Jersey City School – BelovED Charter High School – is expanding 53,000 square feet to serve a further 480 students will cost around $12.5m. This means that per square foot, the school expansion in New York is more than $1,500 per square foot and the New Jersey one totals just $250 per square foot.
Even though the New Jersey school is run privately it received tax-exempt bonds to finance its construction using local labor and wages. Co-founder and head of marketing at Stephen Smith Real Estate, a New York based real estate firm said:
“The city is very difficult to work with. The pool of contractors and vendors is not as large as in private construction. High cost in construction is a problem at every level of government in New York. And there seems to no interest from politicians in understanding these high costs.”
The health regulations and recommendations to curb the spread of COVID-19 are constantly changing. But one message has remained consistent throughout: remaining physically active is important for the long-term health of both the body and mind.
Dayton Kingery, a Connecticut native and fitness enthusiast, says that the real estate market in his area is busier than ever. “People are looking for safe ways to be outdoors and be active. Nobody wants to be cooped up in their small city apartment. They want to escape the virus and the deserted city streets. Here we have more space and plenty of outdoor venues for exercise and exploration.”
People from across New York, who own or rent summer properties in Connecticut, say that riding out the lockdown orders, social distancing regulations, and work-from-home expectations is much easier in less densely populated areas. “Bike riding has always been a popular form of transportation in the city,” Kingery says, “but now it has become a form of relaxation and self-care.”
Longtime Connecticut residents and other city “escapees” should all consider taking up a new hobby or activity; these pursuits are important ways to combat loneliness, remain mindful, and stay busy. Kingery recommends enjoying the many hiking trails, walking paths, and nature reserves across the state and taking in as much of the great outdoors as possible.
Other New Yorkers, who develop friendly connections with personnel at larger chain stores, are unfazed by this phenomenon. “Some franchising gets a bad rap, but that person is still a small-business owner,” said John Armstrong, the owner of the franchising consulting firm FranNet of New York City. “They’re still putting in their capital, time and effort — they’re just going a different route.”
Office leasing for Manhattaners is finally becoming easier. Landlords are offering significantly sweeter deals these days to make it more attractive for business people to find space to lease. This is a response to companies reducing the space they want to rent as well as the addition of new buildings throughout New York.
The Savills Studley Report showed that in the last three months there was a 32 percent increase in Manhattan leasing to 9.1 million square feet (substantially greater than the historical 7.5 million average). As such, asking rents dropped 2.2 percent in Q3 2017 to $73.21 per square foot.