According to the New York Times, “there is now more vacant office space in Lower Manhattan than in many cities.” More than a month after superstorm Hurricane Sandy, many buildings have still not been reoccupied by former tenants. While the majority of buildings are now operational, several have encountered repair delays and have had issues with telecommunications services.
Substantial progress has been made in terms of restoring power and pumping salt water from buildings. Office space in New York City that was under feet of salty water from the East and Hudson rivers is now dry, and some buildings have been able to make a recovery. One major success was a building at 120 Wall Street, a 600,000 square foot, 34-story building near the East River that is home to many nonprofits, was able to reopen after Thanksgiving.
According to Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate consultancy that has been tracking recovery operations in Lower Manhattan, 49 of 183 office buildings in the world’s third largest business district which closed because of mechanical failure as of November 26th, that number now revised to about half of that figure. The City of New York’s buildings department quoted that only 9 buildings in Lower Manhattan were unsafe to reoccupy, and Consolidated Edison says the grid was restored to 100% of the city by November 15th.
A surprising setback, after power was restored and buildings declared safe, has been a lack of telephone and internet services at some locations. Verizon Communications claimed that it’s copper wire network, which provides internet and telephone to the financial district, had been compromised by salt water damage. Newer, more advanced fiber optic networks received less damage, but are still inactive due to server damage. Verizon is in the process of replacing the former copper-wire network with advanced fiber optic cables that are less prone to damage. While few buildings remain without heat or power, many are still without telephone and internet services. Verizon’s current timetable quotes a January 1st repair date, but officials at the company are working as fast as they can, regardless of deadline. For those who have been displaced from their office space, even a few more weeks feels like years.
Corporate Suites has been fortunate enough to have power restored to it’s financial district office space location at 22 Cortlandt St. and has been providing temporary recovery offices for businesses in New York City. We look forward to seeing the Financial District reach 100% recovery, and be filled with not only employees, but people enjoying the eateries and entertainment in the district.