The much-maligned Trump Soho can’t seem to get it right. Just two months after a construction worker died after a catastrophic on-site fall, which grounded the condo project for weeks, work was again stopped by the city over the weekend after yet another accident. Glass panels came crashing down the condo-hotel on Saturday, “knocked loose by a chain attached to construction equipment on the 26th floor,” according to the New York Sun. Unsurprisingly, critics of the project are quick to pounce on this recent snafu. “It seems like no matter what happens, [the project] at most just gets a temporary delay. But the city just lets them continue ahead. You'd think in light of the recent fatal accident, the developers and construction company would be extra safe and extra careful,” says Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which is challenging Trump Soho on the grounds that the permits to build it shouldn’t have been issued by the city in the first place. “This project never should have been allowed in the first place, and if they cannot run their construction site safely, it should be shut down.” In response to the incident, Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to tighten construction safety and oversight on developers, but until all construction on Trump Soho stops for good, its vehement opponents are unlikely to be satisfied. — S. Jhoanna RobledoNew accident stops work at Trump SoHo tower as wind wreaks havoc [NYDN]
Earlier:Building Collapse at Trump Soho
Stribling's Luxury Market report has bad news for buyers, at least if you’re the type who needs three bedrooms and a library on Park. Prices aren’t expected to drop anytime soon, says Kirk Henckels, director of Stribling Private Brokerage (the luxe firm’s ultraluxe arm), who spoke to us today. Already, there have been four closed sales above $20 million this year — writer Georgia Shreve’s duplex penthouse at 1060 Fifth Avenue that sold for $46 million is one of the more memorable deals, given that it still needs work. And nine more blockbusters are in the offing. (Last year, we had eleven total!) “We’re already ahead of pace,” Henckels says. The under–$20 million market’s also percolating. “There’s just so little [available]. One came on yesterday, and it’s priced significantly higher than one across the street that went for $17 million last year — and it won’t last long.” Why all the action, despite continued ambivalence about the economy’s future? Though some buyers, spooked by talks of a slowdown, may have left the game, plenty are still on the lookout for their next mansion, Henckels says.
Some of the city's biggest brokerage firms released their fourth-quarter reports on the Manhattan real-estate market this week. And the news? Holdouts hoping for a slump won't get their reward quite yet. The breakdown:
• While other cities sink into subprime hell, the borough remains stubbornly bullish, buoyed in part by tight inventory, especially in co-ops. If you're still looking to buy, an apartment in the borough will set you back an average of nearly $1.44 million, 18 percent more than what you would've paid the year before. (That's according to valuations guru Jonathan Miller's Prudential Douglas Elliman survey; Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens' numbers come in slightly under at $1.43 million.)
• Prices were up pretty much across the board, with large spaces being the most in demand. (No surprise, they saw the most gains; according to Miller, three-bedrooms spiked an impressive 39.8 percent in value over the same period the previous year.)