Surveying the destruction post Sandy
Mapping out the NY real estate and property damage left in Sandy’s wake. The destruction will cost billions to fix. The Real Deal looked at some of the hardest-hit areas to find out how much was lost
Roughly 300,000-square-feet of property — including at least 50 businesses — in this industrial-waterfront-area-turned-hipster-hub was damaged in the storm, according to Greg O’Connell, one of the area’s largest landlords. Community housing group the Red Hook Initiative estimates that damage to the neighborhood could total $50 million. The popular grocery store Fairway was among the hardest hit. O’Connell said he is offering concessions to tenants in some of his commercial buildings, including free rent and help rebuilding, on a “case-by-case basis.”
As many as 100,000 homes and businesses on Long Island were destroyed or badly damaged in the storm, according to the New York Times.
Two of the region’s barrier islands took the biggest hit.
On Fire Island, the summer vacation mainstay, 80 percent of homes were reportedly damaged and about 12 had been completely demolished or were washed out to sea.
One of the most tragic results of the storm was the widely reported fire that ripped through the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula and burned down roughly 110 homes. In addition, in other parts, such as Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park, nearly every home was impacted, says Lisa Jackson of local brokerage Rockaway Properties. The federal and city governments are expected to contribute financially, but much of the rebuilding could be left up to individual owners. Jackson predicts that some reduced-cost homes may come on the market. “There are some older people who will probably [sell and] take a significant loss just to move on,” she says. Homes that are reconstructed, meanwhile, may be built on pilings as a precaution against future storms.
Of the 183 Class A and Class B office buildings in Lower Manhattan, 49 were closed for at least a week following the storm, and 25 remained closed as of Nov. 21, according to brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle. The area also saw damage to some of its residential buildings, including 2 Gold St. and 88 Greenwich St. — which may not be habitable for months. While exact dollar estimates for the destruction in the area do not exist yet, it could be an entire year before the repairs at Boston Properties’ 4 New York Plaza are complete, according to news reports.
In New Jersey
Hoboken: In the days after the storm, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer equated the city to a bathtub filled with water. Indeed, over 1,000 commercial and residential properties were impacted by the storm, according to a spokesperson for Zimmer’s office, adding that those building stats are preliminary and the final count “could be 5,000.” One Hoboken city official estimates that Hoboken saw at least $1 billion in damage, at least 80 percent of which was incurred at residential buildings.
Jersey Shore: Sources say the vast majority of damage in the area was residential, especially in hard-hit towns like Seabright, Mantoloking, Lake Como, Seaside Heights and Belmar. According to news reports, the damage exceeded $1 billion. As of late last month, FEMA had dispensed $235 million in assistance to New Jersey residents. Still, the rebuilding efforts will be complex, as each municipality decides whether to rebuild in areas close to the ocean. “A lot of people won’t rebuild,” says Eric Anton, an executive at Brookfield Financial whose summer home in Interlaken was spared by the storm. There are a lot of people with no insurance. … The question becomes, ‘Do we rebuild in an area where this can happen again?’”