Life Isn't Fare On The UES: Second Avenue Subway Reportedly Far Over-Budget, Far Behind Schedule, and Far From Reality

Upper East Side Subway ConstructionSomeday, it's going to happen. A clean, modern subway train is going to pull up, right on time, at a station below Second Avenue on the Upper East Side. And when that day comes, Upper East Siders of all stripes are going to be happy. Upper East Side green condos will be that much greener, given their newfound proximity to mass transit; Upper East Side residents will see their commutes made simpler, quicker and less excruciatingly packed; Upper East Side condominiums will appreciate in value. The sun will shine every day and every man, woman and child will get a pony. The first three outcomes of the long-awaited, currently in-progress Second Avenue Subway are actually pretty reasonable -- more mass transit access will mean a better Upper East Side, and more valuable Upper East Side apartments. But, in news that's both saddening and sadly unsurprising, it looks like UES residents are going to have to wait a little bit longer for the Second Avenue Subway. And by "little bit" we mean "two years."For all the things to recommend about Upper East Side apartments -- and there are plenty, starting with their relative affordability in comparison to other Manhattan condo listings -- subway access isn't currently one of them. Sure, the 4/5/6 trains on Lexington Avenue run pretty well, but they're the only trains on the Upper East Side, and can get excruciatingly crowded (and sluggish) come rush hour. So it's safe to say that few Upper East Siders were cheering today's news that the Second Avenue Subway is both behind schedule and over-cost -- and not likely to arrive in time for its original 2016 launch. In fact, it doesn't appear likely even to be very close. "The Second Avenue Subway may have avoided significant construction mishaps this year, but the troubled project is still far behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, lawmakers warned yesterday," the Post's Michael Blaustein and Michelle Kaske write. "Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said the Federal Transit Administration estimates that the first phase of the "T" train running between East 96th and 63rd streets will cost $420 million more than the MTA's $4.5 billion price tag, and wrap up two years later than the agency's 2016 target date." New York Post commenters being New York Post commenters, the brief article is followed by a host of comments blaming everyone -- from the mild, corporate, high-handed technocrat mayor some commenters obviously have confused a cruel pharaoh, to unions to (somehow/naturally) Barack Obama. Which, while obviously pretty dumb, is easy enough to understand, emotionally -- waiting for the subway is something no New Yorker enjoys, and being told that it will be eight years before the train arrives is a test of patience on a massive scale. (Not to mention terrible news for the businesses along Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, which have suffered from a loss of business during the construction) The good news is this: the longest we've ever waited for the 4/5/6 is maybe 20 minutes, and that was late at night.

NYC Daily Real Estate Blog