Property Grunt

Monday, October 12, 2009

Return of the Foot Clan

Just an excuse to squeeze in a clip from TMNT.

On June 28, 2008, I did a piece on the Vornado development or lack thereof at Harlem located at 125th street. My observations did not go unnoticed and was picked up by Curbed.

Then on April 26, 2009 Curbed reported that Vornado decided to put the kibosh on that project.

I recently noticed a minor yet significant change at the site.

October 2009

Do you see it?

Here is the picture from June 2008.

Do you see it now?

Last weekend I spotted a two man crew repainting the letters with blue paint which got me wondering why would they do that? The site does not belong to the New York College of Podiatric Medicine any more.
These are my theories.

1. They sold the building back to the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and the school either plan on moving back or expanding their campus.

2. Because of the valuable exposure, the New York College of Podiatric Medicine paid some extra coin to ensure that the name of their venerable institution of tootsie maintenance is well advertised at the original location.

3. Vornado just wants to keep up appearances.

I say number 2. There is no market for any type of development on this site. However, Vornado probably paid an arm and a leg for the site so instead of cutting it loose in this buyer's market, they are going to hold onto it for as long as they can or at least until the next cycle which won't be for awhile. In the meantime they need to generate a cash flow to at least cover the costs of maintaining the property.

A clear indication of a recovery is when they knock this site down.