Streams

Janet Babin

Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News

Janet Babin appears in the following:

In New Jersey, a (Rational) Fear of Trees

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WNYC

Between Sandy and the wettest June on record, New Jersey's mature trees are falling down more frequently, making residents nervous. Some are even eyeing healthy trees, singling them out to be cut.

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Opponents of NYU Expansion Get Day in Court

Thursday, July 18, 2013

WNYC

A court hearing about whether New York City officials improperly approved New York University's expansion plan focused on whether some of the land in question was park land.

Comments [1]

MTA Asks Investors to Bet Against Another Sandy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

WNYC

In the first move of its kind by any U.S. transit agency, New York's MTA is is selling a "catastrophe bond" to investors so that it gets paid if there’s a Sandy-style storm over the next 3 years.

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Ruling on Dunes a Game Changer for Jersey Shore

Monday, July 08, 2013

WNYC

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed an Appellate Court decision that awarded an elderly couple $375,000 in exchange for part of their beachfront property on Long Beach Island.

Comment

Explainer: 5 Ways Obamacare Changes Could Affect You

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

WNYC

The Obama Administration announced a delay of a key requirement of the Affordable Care Act  - which has further confused uninsured Americans looking for coverage.  How does this affect you? We answer 5 key questions.

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Summer, But Some New Jersey Towns Still Deserted

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WNYC

Parts of Ortley Beach, Mantaloking, Like a Ghost Town 7 months post Sandy.

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The Post-Sandy Recovery of New York and New Jersey's Coastlines

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day is the official start of summer for most Americans, the time when people on the coasts and inland start heading to the beach for a break. But this year the usual New York and New Jersey beach-goers will have to be resilient and ready to deal with the uncertainty of coastal communities still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Reporter Janet Babin of WNYC has been reporting on the recovery of the coastlines.

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Coastcheck: Montauk, The End

Friday, May 24, 2013

WNYC

Amy Pearl and Janet Babin have made it to "The End" of coast check - they're in Montauk and even though it is wet and cloudy, they are on the beach.

Comment

Coast Check Pre-Memorial Day

Friday, May 24, 2013

Janet Babin, WNYC reporter, has been making her way up the coast from Cape May to Montauk to see how the coastline is doing ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

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Coast Check: The South Shore of Long Island

Friday, May 24, 2013

Besides ruined docks and flooded homes and businesses, the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant dumped 2.2 billion gallons of raw and partially treated sewage into the Great South Bay, damaging it in ways not yet completely understood.

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Coast Check on the South Shore of Long Island

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WNYC's Amy Pearl and Janet Babin are making their way along the coast for a pre-Memorial Day "coastcheck" to see what's changed since Sandy hit.  They made their way to Long Island and checked in on Jones Beach then took a boat ride in the Great South Bay to Fire Island. The breach in Fire Island is a big topic of conversation. Listen as Amy Eddings, local host of "All Things Considered" checks in with Janet.   

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Sandy Changes Topography of Long Beach, LI

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Seasonal beachgoers are returning to Long Beach and they are finding a few changes since Sandy hit.  

 

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Cape May to Montauk: Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Highlands

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Janet Babin and Amy Pearl found a beach-goer in Sea Bright, NJ who was looking forward to the holiday weekend but said "It’s not going to be the same."

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Raising a Town to Save It: Highlands, New Jersey's Only Hope?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"The idea is rather simple: you know you’re in a flood plain, and wouldn't the best idea be to take the town out of a flood plain?"

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From Cape May to Montauk: Seaside Heights

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Seaside Heights is a beloved destination on the Jersey Shore. It's iconic roller coaster was just pulled out of the water last week. We checked in with reporter Janet Babin. Listen to her conversation with Amy Eddings.  

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From Cape May to Montauk: Day 1

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In Seaside Heights, boardwalk attractions Jimbo's bar, are open and ready for Memorial Day.

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NJ Supreme Court Wades Into Dune Debate

Monday, May 13, 2013

The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a case that could make it more costly for towns to build protective dunes on the beach.

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6 Months After Sandy: Real Estate Check-In

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WNYC reporter Janet Babin talks about post-Sandy real estate trends, and how recovery efforts and preparation for other storms has shaped housing prices in the area.

 

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Sandy Damage Prompts Some to Walk Away Instead of Stay

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WNYC

In some places, Sandy’s wrath is a reason to walk away from their homes as opposed to staying on and fixing them up.

 

 

 

For many Sandy’s wrath is a memory that happened six months ago.

But some home buyers and sellers are just now feeling its power surge through the real estate market in coastal areas.

 

“Not one property has closed to date in Sea Bright since the storm,” said Donna Markowitz, broker-manager at Gloria Nilson and company real estate in Keyport, New Jersey.

 

In parts of New Jersey, coastal properties are selling for much less than they were worth before the storm. 

 

Many homes that were flooded will have to be raised up to new flood elevation standards set by FEMA.  And they’ll also incur increased costs for flood and homeowner’s insurance.  Those increased expenses, combined with the uncertainty of what new regulations will be, could be spooking buyers and coaxing sellers to drop their prices.

 

“There’s the uncertainty of the [FEMA flood] zones - we don’t have anything firm yet, we don’t have firm maps or elevations,” said Steve Acropolis, the Mayor of Brick Township, New Jersey.

 

The uncertainty is causing some to walk away. 

 

In the working class town of Keyport on the Raritan Bay, two Sandy-damaged homes on the market in Keyport are on the market for about $70,000.

 

“Before Sandy, they would have been, in this market,  like a $240 to 250,000 home,” said agent Markowitz.

 

It’s a similar situation in tony Mantaloking, father south, where only one home sold on the open market since the storm struck. 

 

“It was on the market for $5.5 million before the storm.  The house was destroyed [during Sandy] and sold for $2.7 million, about half the value after the storm,” said Peter Zanowic, with Gloria Nilson and Company real estate in Bay Head, NJ.

 

 

 

According to Zillow, the online real estate site, there’s not enough data yet to determine via sale listings, if there’s a high volume of short selling going on.

 

But Zillow economist Svenja Gudell says there is added pressure on owners of homes seriously damaged by Sandy, particularly in the Garden State.

 

She said that in New Jersey, 25 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were underwater before Sandy hit, meaning they owe more on their homes than their property is worth.

 

“You’re getting the double whammy if you will,” Gudell said of those homeowners. “Not only were you underwater before, but now you’re even worse off because your home has been damaged.”

 

And some of those financially ‘underwater’ are more likely to sell at distressed property price instead of trying to cobble together a way to pay for repairs on what is already, a losing investment for them.

 

“That makes it easier for people to say: ‘It’s going to take so long for me to reach positive equity again in my home, I’m going to walk away from my home now,’ ” Gudell said.

 

This homeowner fatigue is expected to shake out overtime, experts say. 

As powerful as Sandy’s storm surge was, it’s not likely to influence buyers of shore properties a few years from now, if tradition is any guide. 

 

“The older homes that were destroyed, there will be brand new homes in there.  So the houses will be worth more, the market will rebound, and people will want to live here and spend money for it,” said Zanowic.

 

But some fear the rebuilding will force working class families away from the beach.

 

“It’s going to change the character of some towns, and I worry about young people being able to afford being on the water,” added Steve Acropolis, Mayor of Brick.

 

But in some storm-ravaged areas, like Long Beach, and on Long’s Island’s North Shore too, sales this spring have been less affected by Sandy.

 

“Waterfront [property] is a limited commodity [here] and it still commands the high numbers,” said Risa Ziegler, a licensed broker with Douglas Elliman in Huntington, Long Island.

 

The North Shore still lacks inventory, and it’s a desirable area.

 

Long Island’s South Shore sustained much more Sandy damage, and initially, home prices of flooded properties fell sharply.

 

But now, in anticipation of summer, sales are trending upwards.

 

“When Sandy first hit, I thought my career was over, I didn’t know how I’d sell another house here,” said Long Beach real estate agent Joyce Coletti.

 

But over time some started buying damaged homes on the South shore, and prices began rising, even for homes that had been gutted after storm damage.  In Long Beach, nine homes burnt after a car blew up during Sandy.

 

“I had a bidding war on burnt homes, that were burnt to the ground,” and we sold them,” added Coletti.

 

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Sandy Damage Threatens Horseshoe Crabs and Migratory Shorebirds

Friday, April 19, 2013

WNYC

The numbers of horseshoe crabs laying eggs this spring in New Jersey could be lower than normal, after Sandy destroyed more than 70-percent of the crab’s nesting grounds along the Delaware Bay.

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