POLITICO New York Real Estate: BQX's uncertain future — Union Square zoning fight — Dining at One Vanderbilt

By Sally Goldenberg and Khorri Atkinson | 04/18/2017 09:58 AM EDT

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BACKTRACK — "De Blasio acknowledges BQX no sure thing," by POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday confirmed that the future of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, the streetcar he wants to build between Sunset Park and Astoria, is an open question. "We said from the beginning, we have to confirm the theory that like the No. 7 train extension to the West Side of Manhattan ... the receipts we got on property taxes could cover the cost," de Blasio said during his weekly interview with Errol Louis on NY1's "Road to City Hall." POLITICO New York and the Daily News reported Friday that city officials are now uncertain that the streetcar can drive neighboring property tax growth enough to underwrite its own creation. Asked about the reports, de Blasio, who embraced the developer-driven BQX proposal in his 2016 State of the City address, said while he still thinks, "we're gonna find that the original vision does work and we're gonna move forward on the existing timetable," he's also open to the possibility that the original vision won't work. Read more.

ZONED OUT — "Councilwoman Won't Vote For Tech Hub Unless City Rezones Union Square South," by DNAinfo's Allegra Hobbs: "A local councilwoman is threatening to withhold her approval of the city-backed Union Square Tech Hub — slated to replace the P.C. Richard & Son building on East 14th Street — unless the city agrees to rezone a cluster of nearby blocks preservationists fear will become an oversized 'Silicon Alley' if left unchecked. Councilwoman Rosie Mendez has allied herself with the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation's campaign to cap building heights in the corridor between University Place and Broadway, claiming she will use her vote on rezoning measures for the upcoming tech hub as leverage to make those protections a reality. ... 'Past versions of this proposal would have reduced new buildings to well below those that already exist in the neighborhood, and would not yield any incremental affordable housing. The Union Square Tech Hub stands on its own merits,' said spokeswoman Melissa Grace." Read the story here.

ON THE MENU — "Daniel Boulud to open a massive restaurant next to Grand Central," by New York Post's Steve Cuozzo: "Bonjour, 42nd Street! Marking a culinary and commercial-property coup, Daniel Boulud will launch a large restaurant at One Vanderbilt, SL Green's 1,400-foot-tall skyscraper now rising next to Grand Central Terminal. The planned, 11,000 square-foot venue adds instant additional cachet to the 1.7 million square-foot office tower that's scheduled to open by 2020. Thus far, just one tenant, TD Bank, has signed for 200,000 square feet on the Midtown tower." Read the story here.

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SHELTER SKELTER — "Hotel shelter spending grows, as cluster violations slowly decrease," by POLITICO New York's Brendan Cheney: New data on shelter hotel spending and code violations at cluster shelters highlight the challenges Mayor Bill de Blasio faces as his administration works to stop using both of those options as homeless shelters. Read the story here.

ON SECOND THOUGHT — "Second Avenue subway rent boost proves elusive for many Upper East Side landlords," by Crain's Joe Anuta: "The opening of the Second Avenue subway was expected to boost rents in formerly transit-starved areas of the Upper East Side, but the asking price for most apartments around the new stations has fallen so far this year, a Crain's analysis found." Read the story here.

IN THE WORKS — "Trinity Financial, MBD file plans for Mott Haven high-rise," by The Real Deal's Will Parker: "Trinity Financial and MBD Community Housing are getting started on a 289-unit affordable housing project in the South Bronx, a permit application filed with the city Monday shows." Read the story here.

MESS TRANSIT — "Christie again rips Amtrak, but this time fingers point in his direction," by POLITICO New Jersey's Ryan Hutchins: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Monday continued his assault on Amtrak, blaming the nation's passenger rail service for a holiday weekend incident that led to mass chaos at New York Penn Station and left 1,200 train riders trapped inside a tunnel under the Hudson River. ... This time, however, Christie may have spoken too soon. Read the story here.

ALL IN THE FAMILY — "Jared Kushner in Talks to Sell Stake in Real Estate Technology Company," by Wall Street Journal's Peter Grant: "Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump who has become a senior adviser in the White House, is in advanced talks to sell his stake in a real estate technology company to a venture-capital firm as part of his efforts to divest himself of many business ties, according to people familiar with the matter." Read the story here.

TRUMPED UP — "NYC real estate players are wasting no time backing Trump's 2020 run," by The Real Deal's Rich Bockmann: "Less than 100 days in office, President Trump is already building a war chest to defend the White House in 2020 and help fellow Republicans. And a small handful of New York's real estate players are once again eager to open their checkbooks." Read the story here.

TAXI OF TOMORROW — "City Hall open to in-app tipping proposal from Uber-backed labor group," by POLITICO New York's Dana Rubinstein: Mayor Bill de Blasio's taxi commission will soon consider requiring in-app tipping for Uber and other ride hail platforms, following a lengthy campaign driven by an Uber-backed labor group. Read the story here.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE — "Is the great Chinese Fannie and Freddie selloff finally over?" by The Real Deal's Konrad Putzier: "China had been selling off U.S. mortgage bonds at a rapid clip as it moved to shore up its currency and was no longer the largest owner of securities backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as of January 2017. But transaction data for February from the U.S. Treasury released Monday show that the selloff could be coming to an end. China added a net $12.9 billion worth of bonds that month." Read the story here.

SHORT READS:

— "Madison steps in as manager of Toledano's EV portfolio," by The Real Deal's Mark Maurer

— "City mulls ownership of hundreds of private NYC streets," by Curbed's Tanay Warerkar

— "Brooklyn Walkway to Reopen, With Less Bounce in Your Steps," by New York Times' Lisa W. Foderaro

To view online:
http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/tipsheets/politico-new-york-real-estate/2017/04/bqxs-uncertain-future-007172

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