Residential Conversion of Financial District Bldg

25 Water Street, an iconic financial district building, is getting a residential facelift.
With a $535.8 million loan arranged by Newmark for GFP Real Estate, Metro Loft Management, and Rockwood Capital, the 1.1 million-square-foot office building will be bought and redeveloped in the largest ever office-to-residential conversion in the United States.

The renovation of the 22-story building is being redone to include some 1,300 residential units of varying size (studios to four-bedrooms). Amenities in the building will include a basketball court, steam room/sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, and other sporting/fitness equipment. There will also be a sky lounge, a rooftop garden terrace, and spaces for entertaining and coworking.

The property was built in 1969 and showcases views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor from each floor. It sits on a double-wide street corridor with the widest exposure facing Water Street.

Female-secured Patents Could Boost Economy by $1 trillion

Small businesses and startup entrepreneurs are known to rely on funding from government agencies like the Small Business Administration; minority-owned businesses might turn to the Minority Business Development Agency. Kathi Vidal is pushing to have entrepreneurs consider applying for patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office alongside their application(s) for funding.

Vidal, who is currently serving as USPTO director, is an experienced intellectual property lawyer. A primary platform of her work in the USPTO, since her appointment by President Biden in April 2022, has been the diversification of those applying for and receiving patents. To date, only 13% of U.S. patents have been issued to women. When offered free legal guidance for the patent-application process, women-led filings increased by 41%. Vidal believes that the inclusion of women in the patenting system at equal rates as men could boost the U.S. economy by as much as $1 trillion.

According to Vidal, legal support is not the only barrier to female inclusion. The patenting system is inherently confusing and excluding. While the government views rejections as an opportunity for re-application, most applicants don’t understand. Vidal is introducing a cover letter to patent decisions, assigning an examiner who will be available for consultations and be the human face of an otherwise amorphous and overwhelming process.

Patents are a tangible way of supporting the economy and expanding business competition, particularly in growing fields like artificial intelligence and technologies. Similarly, Vidal explains that patents facilitate partnership and cooperation. Without patents, companies are resistant to sharing their ideas.

Remote Workers Resign to a Renters Crisis

Pandemic restrictions are lifting and most bosses and companies are accepting that remote work is here to stay. And as employees continue to enjoy the benefits of working from home, they are also looking for homes to work in. The rental market is fierce these days, with prime interest in Florida and across the Northeast region of the U.S.

A review of recent real estate data released in June by RentCafe, a subdivision of Yardi real estate software, indicates that Miami-Dade County, with its 20+ miles of beaches, had the most competitive rental market during the first third of 2022. Orlando and other parts of Southwest Florida are also in the top-ten list of cities, as are Harrisburg, Pa., North and Central Jersey, Grand Rapids, Mich., Rochester, N.Y., and Milwaukee.

What these cities all have in common is their excellent school systems, tranquil lifestyles, and family-friendly communities. The demand for rental properties is driven by high housing prices that have not budged in years and climbing mortgage rates prompting buyers to delay their purchase and seek a rental lease. While some cities are accommodating the increased demand, like Miami-Dade County where additional units were released to the rental market, other cities are not as quick to meet the need: Harrisburg, PA did not add any new apartments in the last four-month period, causing most tenants to renew their leases instead of moving out.

Importance of Infrastructure for US Economy

It has been 65 years since the Federal-Aid Road Act was enacted, paving the way for the creation of the Interstate Highway System (HIS). To this day, it is still recognized as one of the most influential and useful elements of America’s economy. Encountering close to 75 percent of all truck freight that moves through the Interstates, this figure is huge considering it covers such a small amount of roadway miles – just 1 percent.

Further, over the last 65 years, America’s population has doubled and the amount of miles that have been covered on the HIS has increased by 422 percent. In addition, the HIS has contributed to the country’s GDP a 340 percent growth since its inception.

This data shows that the IHS is deserving of some serious renovation if it is to continue to be one of America’s most valuable economic asset.  According to Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist at the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA):

“The Interstates need a shot of investment to remain healthy and vibrant for the future. A renewed federal commitment to America’s transportation network is one of the best ways to preserve the Eisenhower legacy and ensure the Interstates remain the engine of economic growth for decades to come.”

One possible solution – or at least something that would make a start on this project is the American Jobs Plan. The idea behind this is to make a serious investment in America that would rebuild its infrastructure, while at the same time, create millions of jobs and give the country a boost in its relationship with China. Even though America is the world’s wealthiest nation, it comes up as a low number 13 vis-à-vis infrastructure quality.  Hopefully the American Jobs Plan is the start of a way ahead for this invaluable asset