2nd Ave. Subway Lures Foreign Investors — Especially Chinese — to Yorkville

The power of good transit is not merely one of the most important factors for New Yorkers when buying real estate — it also drives up interest of foreign buyers, as Yorkville is quickly seeing.

This quiet neighborhood on the Upper East Side, which had to endure years of construction clangs and clouds of dust during construction of the Second Avenue Subway, is undergoing rapid transformation since the new Q train stations opened this year, experts say.

Swanky residential towers rising in the area are attracting more families, as well as an influx in foreign buyers — especially from China — as brokers increasingly lure them to the neighborhood to take advantage of the lower price points relative to Downtown or even other parts of the Upper East Side.

“Yorkville really never has been on the map for them,” said broker Seth Levin, of Keller Williams TriBeCa. “It’s through educating our clients and the media reporting on the results of the Q train coming in that has brought it to their attention. If they’ve seen it in the media, it makes them comfortable. Yorkville has been reported on a bunch, so they have a comfort level that wasn’t there in the past.”

Foreign investors tend to look for something “safe” or “blue chip” when buying, he noted. They prefer brands they’ve heard of, like the Four Seasons or the Ritz, and continue buying on Billionaire’s Row because they keep hearing about pricey new developments on that strip.

dnainfo.com

Elon Musk Is Building His Own Hyperloop

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO famously told the world about his super-fast, inter-city, train-in-a-tube concept, Hyperloop—then said that other people should build it. Fair enough: he is a busy guy. But he’s now decided to build the thing himself. The news was hinted at when Musk announced a “verbal government approval” for an underground Hyperloop from New York City to Washington D.C.—and a Bloomberg report last week added to the buzz—but it was only confirmed for the first time today by Wired.

Construction of the Hyperloop will be part of Musk’s side project, the Boring Company. Its premise is that a “large network of tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew.” There are some problems with the idea, but no matter: the company has already been digging its own tunnels in Los Angeles.

Speaking to Wired, a spokesperson from the Boring Company has explained that the firm plans to build different types of transportation systems in those tunnels. Some will be “standard pressurized tunnels with electric skates going 125+ mph,” while others will “use pressurized pods in a depressurized tunnel to allow speeds up to approximately 600+ mph (aka Hyperloop).”

The news comes at a time when Hyperloop is starting to look a little less like a crushing disappointment and more like a technology that could, one day at least, work. Last week, Hyperloop One managed to fire its first pod through a low-pressure tube on mag-lev, reaching 192 mph in five seconds. Still, Musk’s vision of a Hyperloop running in underground tunnels is perhaps an even more ambitious goal than firing them through overground tubes, certainly from a city planning perspective.

Still, this is the man that was faced with incredulity when he vowed to recycle rocket boosters, then went ahead and made the whole thing look like child’s play. So his decision to build an underground Hyperloop will certainly buoy the nascent industry surrounding the peculiar form of transport, as many people will assume he can make a go of it. Whether he can or not? Keep your eyes on those tunnels.

From TechnologyReview

Governor Cuomo Announces Major Construction To Begin On New Grand Moynihan Train Hall

Albany, NY – August 17, 2017 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of major construction of the Moynihan Train Hall, a world-class transportation hub for the 21st century. The Farley Building redevelopment into the Moynihan Train Hall will create a new 255,000-square-foot Train Hall for Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak passengers and increase total concourse floor space in the Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex by more than 50 percent. The Farley Building will also house 700,000 square feet of new commercial, retail and dining space within the mixed-use facility and create an iconic civic space for Manhattan’s West Side.

“For decades, passengers were promised a world-class train hall worthy of New York – today, we are delivering on that promise and turning that dream into a reality,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are transforming the Farley Post Office into a state-of-the-art transit hub to get travelers where they need to go faster and more comfortably. With better access to trains and subways, vibrant retail and business opportunities and stunning architectural design, we are bringing Penn Station into the 21st century.”

The Governor also announced the completion of the first significant milestone in the construction of the transformative Penn-Farley Complex announced by the Governor in September 2016, as workers finished demolishing the former sorting room floor slab. This accomplishment – five months ahead of schedule – will enable Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska USA, the developer-builder team, to begin full construction of the train hall, including the one-acre skylight.

Since September 2016, significant progress has been made to prepare the James A. Farley Post Office building for this dramatic transformation. To date, Skanska has removed more than one acre of concrete and steel flooring to increase the vertical space underneath Moynihan Train Hall’s future skylight. This process entailed the demolition of 6,000 tons of concrete and the removal of approximately 800 tons of steel, as well as an additional 400 tons of hazardous materials. Skanska has also made significant progress in the interior demolition of all five floors of the Farley Building.

The Farley Building was designed by McKim, Mead and White as a sister to their masterpiece – the original Pennsylvania Station. Five decades after the loss of the original structure, the Moynihan Train Hall will once again provide New Yorkers a grand entrance in a McKim, Mead and White architectural marvel. The Farley Building’s train hall will bear the name of one of its great champions – the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

The Farley Building’s Moynihan Train Hall will feature a new, spectacular 92-foot high skylight that will rest upon the building’s historic and architecturally-dramatic steel trusses. All LIRR and Amtrak trains will be served by the nine platforms and 17 tracks that will be accessible from the Train Hall, serviced by eleven escalators and seven elevators. The Train Hall will provide a direct connection to the Eighth Avenue Subway and create direct access to the train station from 9th Avenue for the first time, bringing unparalleled regional transportation options within convenient reach of the booming Hudson Yards and Far West Side areas.

In addition to the demolition and removal of existing materials, work has begun on many new features of the Penn-Farley Complex, including:

Restoration of the exterior façade on 31st Street and the interior courtyards;
Creation of new openings to accommodate escalators carrying passengers to platform level;
Shielding three of six underground train platforms for demolition and construction operations; and
Installation of 100 tons of new steel.
The $1.6 billion project is being funded with $550 million from the State, $420 million from Amtrak, the MTA, the Port Authority and a federal grant, and $630 million from the joint venture developers. The new Train Hall is targeted for completion by the end of 2020.

The Moynihan Train Hall is part of the $2.5 billion transformation of the Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex announced by Governor Cuomo in January 2016 to dramatically modernize, upgrade and redesign America’s busiest transit hub into a world-class facility for the 21st century. The complex also includes a comprehensive redesign of the LIRR’s existing 33rd Street concourse at Penn Station and an extensive renovation to the adjacent Seventh and Eighth Avenue subway stations. The plan will include nearly tripling the width of the 33rd Street Corridor, which is among the busiest sections of Penn Station and stretches along the station’s lower level from Seventh to Eighth Avenue. Other improvements include upgraded lighting and wayfinding and digital screens to convey information and create a modern passenger experience.

ESD President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “A 21st century transit hub is integral to a strong 21st century economy. Today’s milestone brings us one step closer to a world-class, fully-modernized Penn Station and I commend the Governor for prioritizing and investing in critical infrastructure and moving this project forward.”

Amtrak co-CEO Wick Moorman said, “We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in advancing construction on the Moynihan Train Hall. The new Train Hall will provide a modern new concourse for Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road passengers, funded in part by a $105 million contribution from Amtrak. Along with Amtrak’s infrastructure renewal and concourse improvements at Penn Station, this is another significant milestone is the effort to create a better customer experience for passengers in New York.”

Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “Today’s announcement is a major step in realizing Senator Moynihan’s bold vision of a grand rail gateway into New York City. I applaud Governor Cuomo, who has worked tirelessly to transform the Farley Federal Post Office Building in Manhattan, and am proud to have helped push for federal funding for this project. I am convinced that Moynihan Station is just the sort of infrastructure improvement and economic development that New York and our nation needs. In addition to generating thousands of good jobs, Moynihan Station will bring our aging infrastructure into the 21st Century and expand our capacity for passengers and make New York-in particular, the West Side of Manhattan-more accessible to commuters and visitors.”

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney said, “Governor Cuomo has unveiled a bold vision for transforming the Farley Post Office Building into a hub that will do justice to the extraordinary Beaux Arts structure and the urgent transportation needs of New Yorkers. When finished, the Moynihan Train Hall will be a grand destination with shops and restaurants that will attract all New Yorkers and make commuting and travel more pleasant. I am thrilled that New York will once again be served by an iconic terminal whose grandeur and beauty reflects all that is best about our city.”

Congressman Adriano Espaillat said, “I commend Governor Cuomo for this mega project as part of his commitment to invest $100 billion in infrastructure projects across New York and for today’s announcement to unveil the modernized renovations of the Moynihan Train Hall. The new Moynihan Train Hall, in its beauty and redesign, will be a critical part of Penn Station’s overhaul, improving New York’s transit infrastructure and helping to connect travelers beyond Manhattan and throughout cities around the world.”

Senator Brad Hoylman said, “After decades of false starts, it is a testament to splendid architecture of McKim, Mead & White, the enduring legacy of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo that the Farley Post Office will now be transformed into the Moynihan Train Hall. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for jumpstarting this monumental project in my Senate district which will be an enormous benefit for commuters and a significant boost to the city’s economy.”

Senator Marisol Alcantara said, “After decades of stagnation and delay, New Yorkers are finally bearing witness to the revival of the Farley building into a train hall truly worthy of this great city. This state-of-the-art transformation will turn the new Moynihan Train Hall into a world-class gateway to Manhattan – offering locals and tourists alike a truly spectacular look into New York City, whether it is their first time visiting or they are simply commuting to work. I thank Governor Cuomo and my partners in the legislature for getting this long-anticipated project on the fast track for completion because New York City deserves the best and with this project, we will deliver just that.”

Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried said, “We’ve waited a long time while all the players have tried to sort out the Farley/Penn Station project. Governor Cuomo has done a great job putting it together and moving it forward. Transforming the Farley building into a 21st century transit center will help people who live, work and visit in our area move more easily and quickly. I commend our state and city partners for bring this project to fruition, providing jobs to New York men and women, and proving to the world that government can get things done.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, “I’m glad to see Gov. Cuomo’s administration is continuing to make progress on this long-overdue project. Manhattan has long deserved an intercity rail terminal worthy of the greatest city in the world. As this project moves forward, I look forward to working with Gov. Cuomo and Penn Station’s elected officials to make sure the neighborhood and transit network reap the full benefit of this upgraded station complex.”

New York City Council Member Corey Johnson said, “After decades of hand-wringing, New York will finally have at the heart of its transportation network, a state-of-the-art, 21st century transit hub. Spectacular in its architectural design and fit for commercial and retail development, the Moynihan Train Hall demonstrates that government can deliver remarkable results for the people it serves. For years, many talked about the grand idea of transforming the iconic Farley Post Office, but to no avail. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s vision and unwavering leadership, we are celebrating another major milestone in the transformation of Penn Station and giving New Yorkers the world-class transit hub they deserve.”

In January 2016, Empire State Development, the MTA, LIRR and Amtrak issued an RFP soliciting proposals for the comprehensive redevelopment of the century-old, landmarked Farley Building, including a Train Hall and the surrounding office and retail space. RFP responses were received in April 2016 and reviewed by a panel of private and public experts from the real estate, construction, design and finance fields.

In September 2016, the Governor announced the selection of a developer-builder team, including Related Companies, Vornado Realty LP, and Skanska USA, to redevelop the Farley Building. Empire State Development and the joint-venture reached financial close on the transaction in June 2017.

Governor Cuomo is investing $100 billion in infrastructure projects across New York to promote economic development, create jobs, and expand opportunity. These investments enable New York to rebuild and modernize its roads, bridges, broadband networks, public buildings, and other critical infrastructure across the state while putting thousands of New Yorkers to work. Governor Cuomo has jumpstarted long-stalled or long-overdue projects, such as the Tappan Zee Bridge, the transformation of LaGuardia and JFK Airports, the Jacob K. Javits Center expansion, and building a new Penn Station.

LongIsland.com

East River tunnel plan: feasible or fantasy?

Think tank’s rail tunnel plan: feasible or fantasy?

It took a century to complete even a small piece of the Second Avenue subway. The ARC rail tunnel project was canceled after work began. The quest to build the Gateway tunnel has been dragging on. East Side Access, which was once expected to have connected the LIRR to Grand Central by now, is still about six years away. And the cross-harbor rail freight tunnel, after 30 years of advocacy from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, remains just a hope.

Yep. Building train tunnels around here is hard.

So what did the Regional Plan Association propose yesterday? Two new rail tunnels under the East River.

But anyone who mocks the idea as fantasy should consider the list of big RPA ideas that have been ridiculed over the last few decades only to eventually come to fruition, including the George Washington and Verrazano bridges; open space preservation (the Palisades, Governors Island Gateway National Recreation Area); the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; the Second Avenue subway, East Side Access (just about) and (probably) Amtrak’s Gateway project.

Crains New York

Tesla Technology Put To Use In L.A. Tunnel Project

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is known for its electric cars, batteries, and solar panel innovations, but its drivetrain technology is also being put to use in an unexpected place: underground.

CEO Elon Musk’s pet project, The Boring Company, is using Tesla technology to help dig test tunnels in Los Angeles:

After several announcements of upcoming large scale projects, like a network of tunnels under Los Angeles and an underground hyperloop between New York and Washington DC, the company is now presenting its R&D tunnel project underneath Hawthorne.

They plan to test boring techniques in the tunnel as well as Tesla’s autonomous driving and powertrain technologies on electric platforms to move vehicles.

In April, Musk’s new startup took delivery of their first boring machine and started digging in the parking lot of SpaceX’s headquarters.

Musk has described The Boring Company’s purpose as solving “the problem of soul-destroying traffic.” What began as a small project with a handful of engineers and interns has clearly evolved into something bigger. Large-scale tunnels will be necessary for Musk’s Hyperloop project to even get off the ground (or under the ground, to be more precise), and it looks like they’re making some solid progress.

And using Tesla’s electric drivetrains to power the tunnel boring machines is a near development.

Things we wish would come to NYC in our wildest dreams

TimeOutNY

Every night, as we stare out at the evening sky from behind the barred windows of our tiny basement apartment, we wish upon a star that one of these beautiful things—from mythical subway line extensions to secret Times Square detours—might one day come to New York. Sure, that star is probably a delayed flight heading to our local third world airport and, sure, there’s not the slightest chance that any of these things will ever actually materialize. But still. A New Yorker can dream.

1. Build a tunnel under Times Square that only NYC residents can use.

2. Extend the 2 train to Jacob Riis Park. We love riding the waves all summer long at the People’s Beach at Riis Park, but we hate getting there. Those buses get way too crowded, and who wants to ride their bike after getting sunburned? Extend the 2 several miles down Flatbush Avenue, and make it the true People’s Beach.

3. Have an artisanal-coffee stand at every subway platform.

4. Install a zip line between North Williamsburg and the East Village.

5. Release a simple, vetted list of reliable brokers in the city.

6. Extend the G train to Astoria. The G treks through Brooklyn, but after Greenpoint, it makes only two stops in Queens. Rude! Keep that line going up Long Island City from Court Square all the way to ever-the-next-big-thing, Astoria.

7. Have all-night happy hours for neighborhood residents.

8. Create heated sidewalks.

9. Extend the Q train to East Harlem. Are we really complaining about the Second Avenue subway line months after it finally opened? You bet. Why the MTA stopped the tracks short of East Harlem is beyond us.

10. You know what? Just give everyone a free doughnut with their subway ride.

11. Establish actual crosstown bike lanes in Manhattan.

12. Require all bars to have coat hooks.

13. Unveil Uber-like boat taxis along the East River.

14. Extend the N train to LaGuardia Airport. Just imagine a world where you don’t have to lug your duffel bag from the subway to a bus or take an overpriced cab to make your flight. That piece of heaven could be yours if the N just took a bend eastward from its last stop in Astoria.

15. Add enforced express walking lanes in midtown.

16. Refund subway fares if someone’s train is delayed.

17. Require mandatory laundry rooms in every apartment building.

18. Clean up the Hudson River and install a man-made beach along the West Side.

19. Install free hand sanitizer dispensers at every intersection.

20. Finally provide subway stations that are truly, blissfully, air-conditioned.

Tahawus: The Upper Works and Into The Backwoods

Sponsored by Adirondack.net and Tahawus: The Upper Works and Into The Backwoods – AARCH

When: Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: Tahawus , Tahawus Road Newcomb, NY 12852
Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non-members
The tour begins at 10:00 am and ends around 3:00 pm, and includes hiking on uneven ground and standing for long periods of time. On this tour, you will look at more than a century and a half of mining and settlement at this site and its progression through two mining era’s, time as a sportsman’s club, decades as ghost town, and now as a well-interpreted historic site. The fee is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

 

See our WebSite too:

Tahawus: Railroad to a Mine

CSX Woes Hurting Shippers…Wake Up Hunter Harrison

Dozens of U.S. trade groups have asked federal rail regulators to investigate CSX Corp’s “chronic service failures,” saying problems at No. 3 U.S. railroad have rippled across the North American rail network, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The letter, from the Rail Customer Coalition sent on Monday, is the latest challenge to CSX Chief Executive Hunter Harrison’s effort to ramp up productivity at the Jacksonville, Florida-based railroad and fulfill investor expectations for substantially better financial performance.

The 44 trade groups, representing chemical and agricultural companies, steel and auto makers, and beer producers and importers, among other companies, told U.S. lawmakers on House and Senate Transportation committees “chronic service failures” could degrade the nation’s broader rail network.

“This has put rail dependent business operations throughout the U.S. at risk of shutting down, caused severe bottlenecks in the delivery of key goods and services, and has put the health of our nation’s economy in jeopardy,” they said.

The shipper groups want Congress to make it easier for them to file complaints and allow other operators to use CSX track during service disruptions, according to their letter.

CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said the company has acknowledged that some customers are experiencing service issues as Harrison implements his vision for driving efficiency, known as Precision Scheduled Railroading.

The letter comes about two weeks after the Surface Transportation Board notified Harrison of complaints about CSX’s service. And an analyst survey last month found shippers have moved freight to rival Norfolk Southern Corp and truckers.

CSX’s service problems were exacerbated by an Aug 2 derailment in rural western Pennsylvania that forced the company to re-route trains. Federal safety officials are investigating the cause of the accident.

Shippers and employee sources said Harrison’s changes and cuts are causing rail cars and trains to sit idle or be re-routed across multiple states, delaying product shipments, and leading to inadequate customer service.

Crowley Maritime Corporation hauled 150 container loads by truck from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and then loaded them onto Florida East Coast Railway trains to avoid CSX’s system issues.

Current and former CSX employees say the railroad is suffering from poor communication from leadership, job cuts, and rapid changes to operations – like doubling train sizes, shutting hump yards where train cars are sorted, increasing the frequency of crew changes on a service line, and blocking overtime pay.

In Montgomery, Alabama, dwell times jumped to 60.9 hours from 35.8 hours a year earlier, and doubled in Nashville, Tennessee, to 71.9 hours. However, some of CSX’s cost-cutting moves do not appear to be dramatically affecting operating performance in other locations, based on data CSX provides to the AAR.

At CSX’s Barr Yard in Chicago, roughly seven managers now run the company’s service line, down from more than 35 managers a month ago, an employee told Reuters. The overall work force has been halved by furloughs, he said.

A Mystery

They are al the same!

Lori Greer in Portland

Maybe you can explain this to me.

I rise early to take my dog Ginny for walks before the temperatures rise.

I have a floor fan that she sleeps in front of most of the day and evening.

So, why when we are outside does she lie in the sun rather than the shade?

After all, she’s the one with the fur coat!

20170811_115706 Lunch on the patio.  Lots of shade!

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