News briefs

November 01, 2002 |

Architects' compensation growing despite economic slowdown. Compensation levels at architecture firms have increased 5.5% annually since 1999, outpacing a 3.9% annual compensation increase for all private-sector occupations, according to the 2002 AIA Compensation Report.

The report speculates that demand for architectural services has remained healthy thanks to low rates of inflation, which have generated favorable financing costs for construction activities.

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U.N. votes for $1 billion makeover. The United Nations is planning a $1 billion renovation of its New York City headquarters and the addition of a 30-story office tower, both of which could be completed by 2009. Officials say the 38-floor U.N. Secretariat building, which is more than 50 years old, has no sprinkler system, may contain asbestos, and contains outdated electrical and operating systems that are expensive to operate and maintain. The cash-strapped organization plans to finance the project through contributions by member states, though loans and private donations also may be involved.

Enron tower sold. The 40-story Houston office building that housed the headquarters of failed former energy giant Enron Corp. has been sold to a New York real estate firm.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez last month approved a $102 million bid by Intell Management and Investment Co. as part of the bankruptcy auction of Enron assets. The 1.2 million-sq.-ft. building cost $240 million to build, including $40 million approved by Gonzalez to complete construction after the company filed for bankruptcy last December.

The building, which was designed by New Haven, Conn.-based Cesar Pelli & Associates and built by Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction, has four fully wired trading floors and two data center floors. About 800,000 sq. ft. of the interior remains unfinished.

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