Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-65617 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 14:29:00 GMT Evergrande debt: Collapse could have domino effect on China properties http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-09-20_EvergrandedebtCollapsecouldhavedominoeffectonChinaproperties.html While the struggling developers are tiny individually, compared to Evergrande, they make up about 10%-15% of the total market on aggregate, Zeng said. She warned that a collapse could result in a "systemic" spillover to other parts of the economy.

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Some economists have warned that the collapse of Evergrande could become China's "Lehman moment" -- a reference to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis, which triggered the 2008 global financial crisis.

However, Capital Economics senior global economist Simon MacAdam described that narrative as "wide of the mark."

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iehi-feed-65616 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 13:34:38 GMT Dow futures skid nearly 2% Monday as fear of market contagion from China's Evergrande intensifies http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-09-20_Dowfuturesskidnearly2MondayasfearofmarketcontagionfromChinasEver.html iehi-feed-65614 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:20:20 GMT Growing number of U.S. suburbs now dominated by renters http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-09-17_GrowingnumberofUSsuburbsnowdominatedbyrenters.html Of the nearly 5 million residents who moved to suburbs surrounding the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, almost 80% were renters, the analysis found. And while the ranks of suburban homeowners grew 3% between 2010 and 2019, suburban renters jumped 22% over that period. 

Overall, roughly a quarter of the more than 1,100 suburbs near the nation's 50 largest metro areas are renter-dominated, according to Rent Cafe. Some 21 million people rented their homes in the suburbs as of 2019, up from 17 million a decade ago.

Millennials and members of Generation Z account for most suburban renters, Census data show. Rent Cafe notes that 55% of suburban renters are younger than 45, with median household earnings of around $50,000.

Meanwhile, the pandemic is expected to further fuel the shift away from suburban homeownership in favor of renting. Remote work opportunities have generated more interest in suburban areas within striking distance of cities.

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iehi-feed-65610 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 13:18:42 GMT Was The Great Pandemic Migration To Miami Overhyped? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-08-08_WasTheGreatPandemicMigrationToMiamiOverhyped.html The Miami metro netted a loss of 42,100 people in 2020, 11% more net move-outs than in 2019, the CBRE analysis found. 

More New Yorkers did move to Florida than normal. The post office data logged 25,843 moves to Miami/Fort Lauderdale from the New York/Jersey City area in 2020. The year prior, when there was no pandemic, there'd been 20,794 similar moves.

Willett said the bump in NY-to-Miami movers represented "a meaningful increase, not just a small increase, but when you look at the grand scheme of migration into and out of South Florida, the flows from places like New York are still a very small portion of the moves to begin with."

... By far, young single urbanites made the most moves, while a demographic "GenXUrban" -- with kids, cars and mortgage payments -- made the fewest.

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iehi-feed-65608 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 15:59:08 GMT Soaring Post-COVID Home Prices and the Fed http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-08-01_SoaringPostCOVIDHomePricesandtheFed.html So what can the Fed do about any of this? Officials, including Mr. Bullard, have suggested that it might make sense for the Fed to slow its monthly purchases of Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities soon, and quickly, to avoid giving housing an unneeded boost by keeping mortgages so cheap.

Discussions about how and when the Fed will taper off its buying are ongoing, but most economists expect bond-buying to slow late this year or early next. That should nudge mortgage rates higher and slow the booming market a little.

But borrowing costs are likely to remain low by historical standards for years to come. Longer-term interest rates have fallen even as the Fed considers dialing back bond purchases, because investors have grown more glum about the global growth outlook. And the Fed is unlikely to lift its policy interest rate -- its more powerful tool -- away from rock bottom anytime soon.

Ideally, officials would like to see the economy return to full employment before lifting rates, and most don't expect that moment to arrive until 2023. They're unlikely to speed up the plan just to cool off housing. Fed officials have for decades maintained that bubbles are difficult to spot in real time and that monetary policy is the wrong tool to pop them.

For now, your local housing market boom is probably going to be left to its own devices -- meaning that while first time home buyers may end up paying more, they will also have an easier time financing it.

And they'll have an easier time ending up underwater whenever this boom reverses...

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iehi-feed-65606 Sat, 17 Jul 2021 16:11:21 GMT Going back to the office or permanent remote: the future of WFH http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-07-17_GoingbacktotheofficeorpermanentremotethefutureofWFH.html iehi-feed-65603 Fri, 02 Jul 2021 23:13:41 GMT Manhattan Residential Real Estate Finally Bounces Back - But Not Quite "Normal" http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-07-02_ManhattanResidentialRealEstateFinallyBouncesBackButNotQuiteNorma.html Buyers over the last few months gravitated toward co-ops, a housing type that had seemed to lose some favor in recent years. Co-ops accounted for 49 percent of all deals, versus 37 percent for existing condos, according to Corcoran. And in the frenzy of the post-pandemic market, downtown seems to have benefited at the expense of uptown, according to Compass, which reported that neighborhoods like Chelsea, SoHo and the East Village accounted for 31 percent of all deals.

For Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan, a senior managing director at Compass, one of the spring's most heartening developments was improvement in the financial district, a neighborhood that became a veritable ghost town during the pandemic with the emptying out of office buildings. Median prices there soared 33 percent in a year, the largest increase of any neighborhood, she said.

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Prices [generally], though, may have a ways to go. The price per square foot for resale apartments, which is a useful indicator because it controls for the apartment size, Mr. Miller said, actually declined this spring over a year ago, to $1,408 from $1,461, or 3.6 percent.

"Prices are still not at parity with a year ago," he said. The overall discount that buyers are paying on list prices is at 6.4 percent, which is better than 2020 but still higher than the decade average of 4.9 percent. "There still is a Covid discount out there," Mr. Miller said, "but it's easing."

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iehi-feed-65602 Fri, 02 Jul 2021 13:41:37 GMT Office Vacancies Soar in New York, a Dire Sign for the City's Recovery http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-07-02_OfficeVacanciesSoarinNewYorkaDireSignfortheCitysRecovery.html Across Manhattan, home to the two largest business districts in the country, 18.7 percent of all office space is available for lease, a jump from more than 15 percent at the end of 2020 and more than double the rate from before the pandemic, according to Newmark, a real estate services company... Some neighborhoods are faring worse, such as Downtown Manhattan, where 21 percent of offices have no tenants, Newmark said.

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There are signs that the situation in New York could get worse. A third of leases at large Manhattan buildings will expire over the next three years, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate services company, and companies have made clear they will need significantly less space.

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About 14 million square feet of office space is under construction in New York City, which is equal to about double the size of Orlando, Fla.

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iehi-feed-65595 Wed, 28 Apr 2021 22:15:30 GMT Ground Lease On Times Square Hotel Once Valued at $126M Sells For $4M http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-04-28_GroundLeaseOnTimesSquareHotelOnceValuedat126MSellsFor4M.html After years of sliding valuations and multiple auctions, the Gallivant Times Square Hotel has sold for a fraction of its previous value.

Special servicer LNR Partners sold the ground lease of the 334-room hotel at 234 West 48th St. to an LLC controlled by Mehran Kohansieh for $4M, according to records filed with the city last week.

Kohansieh also goes by Mike Kohan and owns Kohan Retail Investment Group. He told Bisnow that the company, which owns aging malls around the country, plans to keep the property as a hotel and "revitalize" it. LNR Partners acquired the ground lease for $9.5M after foreclosing on its previous owner, Investcorp.

The sale, announced with limited details by brokerage JLL last month, concludes years of mounting debt and several rebrands. CMBS tracking firm Trepp's remittance data suggests the liquidation proceeds for LNR were $2.5M. That sum "was completely eaten away by expenses," Trepp wrote in a report Tuesday, which noted the hotel was appraised at $126M at securitization in 2006.

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iehi-feed-65594 Mon, 26 Apr 2021 13:45:42 GMT Stow Your Outrage About a Capital Gains Tax Hike http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-04-26_StowYourOutrageAboutaCapitalGainsTaxHike.html ... there have been three recent, real-world opportunities to observe the impact of a capital gains tax hike -- in 1987, 1988 and 2013. In each case, equities (with the exception of momentum stocks) stumbled before the hikes were enacted but outperformed afterward.

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the fruits of the market's boom have been narrowly enjoyed. The wealthiest 1% of Americans reported about 75% of all long-term capital gains in 2019, according to the Tax Policy Center, with the wealthiest 0.1% -- the cohort with annual incomes above $3.8 million -- hauling in more than half of all capital gains.

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iehi-feed-65592 Mon, 19 Apr 2021 00:53:50 GMT Homeless encampment outside of the Fed forces Powell to reckon with uneven recovery http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-04-18_HomelessencampmentoutsideoftheFedforcesPowelltoreckonwithunevenr.html The Fed has several tools to protect the economy, and Powell deployed them with full force last year. But that kind of intervention aids some parts of the economy more than others.

Slashing interest rates and backstopping corporate debt, for example, helped direct money into the financial system. Some of the biggest beneficiaries were wealthier Americans who hold investments. As a stark sign of how the rich got richer in the past 12 months, the number of billionaires on Forbes's 35th-annual ranking grew by nearly a third, swelling by 660.

Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist and now a senior fellow at the Jain Family Institute, said the inequality stems from the limitations of the Fed's monetary policy tool kit. Low interest rates or asset purchases influence the macroeconomy as a whole. In the Fed's efforts to quicken the recovery, Sahm said that "some of the problems they're trying to solve, they make a little bit worse."

"It's not intentional," she added. "They don't like [Tesla's] Elon [Musk] more than the worker at Walmart. But the reality is that their tools make him better off more quickly than the worker."

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The Fed uses a wide dashboard of metrics to monitor the labor market. And recently, pressure has grown to drill down beyond the aggregate unemployment rate, which was 6 percent in March. Economists note that the overall figure doesn't account for major disparities in the jobless rate between White, Black, Hispanic and Asian workers.

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iehi-feed-65587 Mon, 29 Mar 2021 22:45:47 GMT Remote Work Is Here to Stay. Manhattan May Never Be the Same. http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-03-29_RemoteWorkIsHeretoStayManhattanMayNeverBetheSame.html ``"Going back to the office with 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time, I think there is zero chance of that," Daniel Pinto, JPMorgan's co-president and chief operating officer, said in an interview in February on CNBC. "As for everyone working from home all the time, there is also zero chance of that.''

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The loss of workers has caused the market value of commercial properties that include office buildings to plunge nearly 16 percent during the pandemic, triggering a sharp decline in tax revenue that pays for essential city services, from schools to sanitation.

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New York is set to receive significant federal assistance from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package: $5.95 billion in direct aid and another $4 billion for schools, a City Hall spokeswoman said. While that addresses immediate needs, the city still faces an estimated $5 billion budget deficit next year and similar deficits in the following years, and a changing work culture could hobble New York's recovery.

The amount of office space in Manhattan on the market has risen in recent months to 101 million square feet, roughly 37 percent higher than a year ago and more than all the combined downtown office space in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas. "This trend has shown little signs of slowing down," said Victor Rodriguez, director of analytics at CoStar, a real estate company.

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Only 15 percent of workers have returned to offices in New York City and the surrounding suburbs, up slightly from 10 percent last summer, according to Kastle Systems, a security company that analyzes employee access-card swipes in more than 2,500 office buildings nationwide. Only San Francisco has a lower rate.

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At least one industry, however, is charging in the opposite direction. Led by some of the world's largest companies, the technology sector has expanded its footprint in New York during the pandemic. Facebook has added 1 million square feet of Manhattan office space, and Apple added two floors in a Midtown Manhattan building.

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iehi-feed-65578 Fri, 05 Mar 2021 19:52:28 GMT NYC's Financial District faces office glut as tenant exits loom http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-03-05_NYCsFinancialDistrictfacesofficeglutastenantexitsloom.html New York's Financial District is suffering as a glut of office space builds with the pandemic keeping workers home. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the latest high-profile tenant to look for an exit from the neighborhood, a historic part of lower Manhattan that is home to the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve.

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"The sublet spaces currently on offer at deeply discounted rates is a veritable flood of biblical proportions, with more likely to come online soon," said Ruth Colp-Haber, chief executive officer of brokerage Wharton Property Advisors.

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"What's happening in this market and in other downturns in the real estate market is flight to quality," Engelhardt said. "Tenants in this market, especially post-pandemic, are looking for healthier, newer, inspired spaces to encourage their staff to return to the office."

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iehi-feed-65576 Wed, 03 Mar 2021 14:14:53 GMT Berlin's Rent Controls Are Proving to Be the Disaster We Feared http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-03-03_BerlinsRentControlsAreProvingtoBetheDisasterWeFeared.html In the regulated market, the supply of apartments basically froze. Unsurprisingly, those tenants fortunate enough to already live in a rent-controlled flat are staying put. And whenever somebody does move out -- when moving to another city, for example -- the landlord tends to sell the unit rather than re-let it.

At the same time, listings in the unregulated market increased only marginally faster than in other cities. Tenants in those apartments are also discouraged from moving -- after all, where to? -- and anyway the supply of fresh housing is still constrained by construction schedules.

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These data confirm what economists had warned about -- and what's been observed in other cities that dabbled in rent controls, such as San Francisco or Cambridge, Massachusetts. The caps represent a windfall to one group of tenants: those, whether rich or poor, who are already ensconced in regulated apartments. Simultaneously, they hurt all other groups -- especially young people and those coming from other cities -- by all but shutting them out of the market.

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The biggest question is whether this episode of left-wing populism has damaged confidence in Berlin's real-estate market permanently. If investors fear that local property rights will be put at risk in every election, they might stop building houses in the city at all.

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iehi-feed-65575 Tue, 02 Mar 2021 18:27:23 GMT CBRE bets $200m on flexible offices post-COVID with 35% stake in Industrious http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-03-02_CBREbets200monflexibleofficespostCOVIDwith35stakeinIndustrious.html CBRE has acquired a 35% stake in US flexible workspace provider Industrious in a move to significantly expand its presence in the rapidly growing industry.

As part of the deal, the global advisory firm paid about $200m in cash and agreed to merge its flexible space brand Hana into Industrious, which has more than 100 locations in 50 US cities.

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The deal stemmed from CBRE's belief in the rise of agile workspace products, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. It cited a survey it carried out showing that 86% of CBRE's occupier clients plan to incorporate flexible office space into their real estate strategies. About 82% said they will favour buildings that offer a flex-office component.

Sulentic said: "Our investment in Industrious is consistent with our view that flexible office space is playing an increasingly central role in companies' occupancy strategies and aligns us with an exceptional operator and an outstanding leadership team that is executing a great strategy.

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iehi-feed-65571 Tue, 23 Feb 2021 02:24:40 GMT Trump's Tax Returns Aren't the Only Crucial Records Prosecutors Will Get After SCOTUS Decision http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-02-22_TrumpsTaxReturnsArenttheOnlyCrucialRecordsProsecutorsWillGetAfte.html The United States Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., to obtain eight years of Mr. Trump's federal income tax returns and other records from his accountants. The decision capped a long-running legal battle over prosecutors' access to the information.

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Among other things, the [NY Times-leaked] records revealed that Mr. Trump had paid just $750 in federal income taxes in his first year as president and no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years. They also showed he had written off $26 million in "consulting fees" as a business expense between 2010 and 2018, some of which appear to have been paid to his older daughter, Ivanka Trump, while she was a salaried employee of the Trump Organization.

The legitimacy of the fees, which reduced Mr. Trump's taxable income, has since become a subject of Mr. Vance's investigation, as well as a separate civil inquiry by Letitia James, the New York attorney general. Ms. James and Mr. Vance are Democrats, and Mr. Trump has sought to portray the multiple inquiries as politically motivated, while denying any wrongdoing.

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The tax returns represent a self-reported accounting of revenues and expenses, and often lack the specificity required to know, for instance, if legal costs related to hush-money payments were claimed as a tax write-off, or if money from Russia ever moved through Mr. Trump's bank accounts. The absence of that level of detail underscores the potential value of other records that Mr. Vance won access to with Monday's Supreme Court decision.

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More broadly, the tax records showed how the public disclosures he filed as a candidate and then as president offered a distorted view of his overall finances by reporting glowing numbers for his golf courses, hotels and other businesses based on the gross revenues they collected each year. The actual bottom line, after losses and expenses, was much gloomier: In 2018, while Mr. Trump's public filings showed $434.9 million in revenue, his tax returns declared a total of $47.4 million in losses.

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iehi-feed-65567 Tue, 09 Feb 2021 16:33:51 GMT Is this the end of WeWork? http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-02-09_IsthistheendofWeWork.html ... because the exponential growth was built on WeWork signing long, expensive leases on space it rents out in a multitude of short-term deals, the company has exposed itself to a near-ruinous level of risk. As a broadly positive report from market intelligence firm CBInsights noted in January 2019: "WeWork's big selling point of office space flexibility is also one of the greatest threats to the long-term stability of its business. Members can pick up and leave if they want to, leaving WeWork on the hook."

That risk has become existential after a year in which a large proportion of the company's members have picked up and left: figures provided by WeWork show that its total membership fell by 11 per cent in the third quarter of 2020 alone.

That was made possible by another flaw in WeWork's strategy: its over-reliance on the freelancers and startups whose year-long contracts can be broken after six months rather than larger corporates -- otherwise known as enterprise clients -- who had to keep paying for unused office space right through the pandemic. (WeWork says it was "able to offer concessions to the overwhelming majority of member businesses that have requested one".) During the pandemic, the company has been accused of "profound hypocrisy" over its appointment of debt collectors to pursue customers at the same time as the shared offices provider is negotiating with its own landlords over its liabilities.

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Papadakos believes that close to 100 per cent of clients with a handful of desks have now gone, taking with them a large chunk of WeWork's income for the year. The average renter had six months left when the UK entered its first lockdown, he says. "As that came to an end they didn't renew. Income will be down by about a third." WeWork company did not provide projections of its financial performance for the full year, but said that global income for the third quarter of 2020 was down by 13 per cent, from $934m to $811m.

That was before countries around the world started locking down all over again. In its 2019 accounts, WeWork made a point of saying that Covid-19 was likely to have a negative impact on its 2020 results. "WeWork Inc as a whole, including its operations in the United Kingdom, is facing a period of uncertainty and expects there will be a material impact on the global demand for our space-as-a-service offering in the short-term, which may adversely affect the 2020 results for the company," it wrote.

Papadakos begs to differ. "It's not Covid that's the problem, but the expansion itself," he says. "[WeWork] was losing money before because they were trying to think like a tech firm in a real estate business." In other words, WeWork was posing as a high-growth company in order to attract investment and making bullish statements about strategy, when in fact it was operating in a low-growth sector.

Paradoxically, the risks it took with strategy could mean it doesn't survive to see the wave of the growth its segment of the real estate sector is expected to see in the wake of the pandemic.

Ben Munn, global flexible space lead at commercial real estate firm JLL, says the shared-office sector will boom as corporates reassess their property needs after more than a year of having employees based almost entirely at home. "Undoubtedly the last year has demonstrated that companies don't need an office for all the work they need to do," he says. "When demand comes back it will be for great space on flexible terms and with a level of choice for employees that has not necessarily been there before. The flexible world is really well positioned to provide that."

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iehi-feed-65566 Tue, 09 Feb 2021 01:36:00 GMT There's a New Bidding War For the NYC Studio Next Door http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-02-08_TheresaNewBiddingWarFortheNYCStudioNextDoor.html iehi-feed-65564 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 16:14:37 GMT The Downside to Life in a Supertall Tower: Leaks, Creaks, Breaks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-02-04_TheDownsidetoLifeinaSupertallTowerLeaksCreaksBreaks.html After the first incident, water seeped into Ms. Abramovich's apartment several floors below the leak, causing an estimated $500,000 in damage, she said.

Others have made similar claims. The anonymous buyer of unit 84B cited a "catastrophic water flood" that caused major damage to the 83rd to 86th floors in 2016 as grounds to back out of the deal. The would-be buyer, who was in contract for a $46.25 million apartment, was a member of the Beckmann family, the owners of the Jose Cuervo tequila brand, according to sources familiar with the suit. The case was settled quietly the next year.

Many of the mechanical issues cited at 432 Park are occurring at other supertall residential towers, according to several engineers who have worked on the buildings.

All buildings sway in the wind, but at exceptional heights, those forces are stronger. A management email explained that "a high-wind condition" stopped an elevator and caused a resident to be "entrapped" on the evening of Oct. 31, 2019 for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Wind sway can cause the cables in the elevator shaft to slap around and lead to slowdowns or shutdowns, according to an engineer who asked not to be named, because he has worked on other towers in New York with similar issues.

One of the most common complaints in supertall buildings is noise, said Luke Leung, a director at the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. He has heard metal partitions between walls groan as buildings sway, and the ghostly whistle of rushing air in doorways and elevator shafts.

Residents at 432 Park complained of creaking, banging and clicking noises in their apartments, and a trash chute "that sounds like a bomb" when garbage is tossed, according to notes from a 2019 owners' meeting.

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iehi-feed-65563 Wed, 03 Feb 2021 17:55:55 GMT Knotel Files for Bankruptcy as Pandemic Strains Office Rentals http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2021-02-03_KnotelFilesforBankruptcyasPandemicStrainsOfficeRentals.html Knotel Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware after the WeWork rival succumbed to work-from-home pressures driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Knotel, which manages and rents short-term office space, saw customers cancel contracts, skip payments and ask for reduced rents after stay at home orders began last year, causing its revenue to plunge, Jureller said. Knotel listed both liabilities and assets of $1 billion to $10 billion, according to the petition.

Founded in 2015, Knotel had more than 4 million square feet (1.22 million square meters) of leased workspace under management in early 2020 and more than 300 customers across the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America, according to the Jureller declaration. Covid-19 has cast doubt on the business model of Knotel and other flexible office space and co-working companies that rely on people working near each other.

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