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EDC helps advance redevelopment process.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is making it possible for many public and private organizations to remain in New York City by enabling them to expand and significantly upgrade their properties.

A case in point is the College of Aeronautics, which has reinforced its commitment to New York City with its recent decision to purchase and renovate its facilities after having leased them for more than 50 years from the City of New York.

Last December, the College of Aeronautics handed over a check for $3.75 million to EDC President Clay B. Lifflander to purchase its Jackson Heights, Queens site. The College's Board of Directors had been considering renegotiating its current lease, which was due to expire in the year 2000, when the EDC suggested the College consider purchasing the building instead.

The College had planned to renovate the property to bring it up to current code, particularly the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to improve its computer facilities even if it had continued leasing the property. However, now that the College owns the property, it is embarking on a $7 million upgrade of the building - an 85,000 square-foot gut renovation - to a state-of-the-art aeronautics education facility. The College also has a conceptual master plan for a campus-wide expansion.

The components of the current project include a new 5,500 square foot library, computer labs, a kitchen/cafeteria, offices and classrooms. More than one third of the space will be devoted to laboratory facilities, including avionics, jet engine labs and a Federal Aeronautics Administration (FAA) certified flight simulator.

The existing building is open 16 to 17 hours a day for classes and college operations. So an 8,000 square-foot temporary building will be erected to enable proper phasing of the work and prevent disruptions. Even the temporary facility will have to meet FAA requirements.

Design services are being provided by Nadaskay Kopelson of Morristown, NJ. Construction is scheduled to begin this Summer and is slated for completion by mid-1997. York Hunter is providing construction management services for the project.

A Catalyst for Redevelopment

As the city's primary vehicle for economic development services, the EDC's mission is to serve as a catalyst for public and private initiatives that promote the long-term economic vitality of New York City. In order to fulfill that mission, EDC offers a number of important financing, leasing, construction management and other economic development services and initiatives that can have a significant impact on an owner's ability to redevelop property to meet today's market demands.

EDC administers the programs of the New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA), which issues double and triple tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds to assist eligible commercial, industrial and nonprofit corporations to finance business expansion within the city's five boroughs. The organizations may also qualify for abatements on their sales, real estate and mortgage recording taxes.

An eligible project must create or retain permanent jobs in New York City and must need IDA financing in order to move forward. Bond proceeds must be used for acquiring land and/or a building, constructing a new facility, renovating an existing facility, or purchasing machinery or equipment.

For companies seeking to start up, relocate or expand within the five boroughs, EDC sells and leases vacant city-owned property throughout the city. EDC's other real estate services include conducting planning and feasibility studies, performing financial analyses, guiding projects through necessary public approvals and packaging city programs and incentives.

The EDC has come to play an instrumental role in advancing the process of redeveloping older properties. To keep companies from relocating to newer facilities in other states we must be capable of upgrading properties to accommodate today's state-of-the-art technologies. It is an increasingly important aspect of our real estate marketplace - one that clearly requires the kind of attention and assistance the EDC is providing.
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Title Annotation:Architecture Design & Construction; New York City Economic Development Corp.
Author:Colao, Ken
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 17, 1995
Words:642
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