The City Department of Environmental Protection issues violations to 90 percent of the new restaurants it inspects for undersized grease traps or inadequate trap maintenance. One of the problems is that DEP has different standards than the Department of Buildings, so give your new restaurant tenants a heads up to check the rules. DEP also provides sample notices for residential tenants advising them not to pour grease down the drain because it can clog pipes and cause sewer backups.
Patience may be a virtue, but it seems to be hard to define. Both Winston Fisher of Fisher Brothers and Norman Sturner of Murray Hill Properties told the GreenPearl Beyond Distress conference yesterday that traditional patient money investors were back in New York and flippers with two to five year horizons were gone. But, in response to questions about buildings trading at 4 caps, Fisher said he wouldn’t buy a building that didn’t have a more positive cash flow and Sturner said he had never bought a building with any cash flow.
Liability isn’t easy to understand either. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals said the Port Authority had governmental immunity from liability in connection with the 1993 truck bomb attack. In 2005, a jury found the Authority 68 percent liable for not preventing the attack and the terrorists 32 percent liable for committing it. Only in New York. Anyway, the decision has an interesting discussion of government vs. proprietary responsibility that will have you scratching your heads. Apparently when the Port Authority analyzes all risks and chooses what to guard against, it is exercising governmental authority, but when you do the same thing, you are liable.