By Sally Goldenberg | 10/11/2017 09:59 AM EDT
TODAY IN REAL ESTATE — The City Council will hold a hearing on Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to rezone of a 96-block swath of East Harlem, which would make way for an estimated 6,000 new apartments, of which the city projects at least 1,500 would be affordable to low- and middle-income tenants. The project would be the third residential rezoning of a neighborhood since de Blasio took office, following East New York last year and Downtown Far Rockaway this year. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem and leaves office Dec. 31 due to term limits, is likely to approve of the plan after she negotiates for her priorities with City Hall. She recently succeeded in getting the administration to agree to allow the Council to cap building height limits at 215 feet or 175 feet along Park Avenue and sections of Lexington, Third and Second avenues. She plans to make remarks about the rezoning at noon in City Hall's Council Chambers. (The hearing is slated to begin at 11 a.m.)
The city's rezonings have been controversial and expensive. They have also been slow to materialize , in part because the administration delayed several of them to ease primary reelections for several Council members whose districts are slated for redevelopment. Nevertheless, they are, in the view of the administration, a necessary step in ensuring new development is not entirely market-rate in a city starving for affordable housing. Whenever a building of more than 10 units is constructed in a rezoned neighborhood, the developer must set aside at least one quarter of the new units for rent-regulated tenants or, in the cases of buildings with 11 to 25 units, pay into a housing fund run by the city. The administration believes this is the only way to control gentrification; residents on fixed incomes have expressed fear that the influx of market-rate housing will drive up prices and cause displacement. In a sign that some of that concern is driven by professional activists, the East New York rezoning hardly came up at a town hall meeting the mayor recently hosted there, while protesters showed up to register dissension at a similar meeting in East Harlem several weeks ago. Read the agenda here.
ZONED OUT — "Ethnic tensions emerge at Broadway Triangle rezoning hearing," by POLITICO New York's Conor Skelding: It was not long before suspicion and hostility between the Hasidic Jewish population of Williamsburg and the Brooklyn neighborhood's black and Latino residents bubbled to the surface of a City Council hearing on a controversial development proposed for a site that lies almost squarely between two neighborhoods with a history of conflict. The project developer, Rabsky Group, has plans for a 1,146-unit development at a site formerly occupied by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, within Broadway Triangle. Rabsky is requesting a rezoning from "heavy industrial" to "residential," and would have to set aside 287 units as rent-regulated under the mayor's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program. A lawyer for Rabsky, Ray Levin, said it would be the "largest private application to date under the MIH program." Read the story here.
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INFOGRAPHIC: Mortgage Interest and Real Estate Deductions: The mortgage interest deduction has become a key part of the conversation around tax reform. Our infographic breaks down the projected values by income class of both the mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions for 2017. Download now.
MESS TRANSIT — "Before Derailments at Penn Station, Competing Priorities Led to Disrepair," by The New York Times' Michael LaForgia: "Amtrak officials knew for years that they would have to replace large sections of deteriorating track in Pennsylvania Station in New York City. As engineering crews applied short-term fixes to rows of rotted ties, crumbling concrete and eroded steel, some of their managers repeatedly warned of the growing need to address underlying problems." Read the story here.
— "Majority of New York City's bridges are functionally obsolete," by Curbed's Zoe Rosenberg: "It isn't only New York's subway and rail tunnels that need some love, the city's bridges are also in need of repair. A new report by State Comptroller Thomas Di Napoli finds that 76 percent of bridges in New York City are functionally obsolete and don't meet current design standards for the amount of traffic they carry, meaning they have shoulder or lane widths inadequate to current standards, low clearance, or low load-carrying capacity." Read the story here.
ON THE MARKET — "Isaac Chetrit quietly shopping Sixth Avenue development site," by The Real Deal's Mark Maurer: "Isaac Chetrit and Ray Yadidi are quietly shopping their development site along a prime strip of Sixth Avenue in Midtown's Garment District, The Real Deal has learned." Read the story here.
DUG IN — "NYC Developer Races Against Rules That Would Cut Tower in Half," by Bloomberg's Oshrat Carmiel: "Laboring in a hole in the ground on Manhattan's East 58th Street, Gamma Real Estate's construction crews don't quit for the weekend. They've been working Saturdays since June, trying to outrun New York City's bureaucracy. Gamma is excavating for a planned 799-foot (244-meter) condominium tower near the corner of Sutton Place, and is racing to finish the foundation before a potential rezoning can disrupt its plans." Read the story here.
HOUSE OF CARDS — "Should we be worried that foreclosure are near recession levels?" by Crain's Joe Anuta: "Reports last week that the number of home foreclosures in New York City had returned to levels last seen at the onset of the Great Recession left many housing experts scratching their heads. Economic indicators suggest the opposite should be happening. ...
"Even so, data from PropertyShark, using information directly from state Supreme Court documents, showed 859 first-time foreclosure auctions during the third quarter. Those numbers are similar to those seen in 2009, right after the housing market imploded, and have flummoxed local housing experts. But rather than another bubble, the increase likely comes from a backlog of old cases that are only now inching toward a sale." Read the story here.
LAND GRAB — "SoHo Gets Something New," by The New York Times' C.J. Hughes: "SoHo is not an easy place to build. ... Then how might one explain the creation of 150 Wooster Street, a ground-up condo from the developer KUB Capital? ... The process, which played out over more than three years and required multiple city approvals, began with an almost obsessive focus on acquiring the building's site, which is on a paving-stone-lined block near West Houston Street." Read the story here.
SHELTER SKELTER — "City reserves 57 rooms of Row NYC Hotel for homeless housing," by New York Post's Lois Weiss: "The Row NYC Hotel near Times Square may soon be getting a new nickname: The Skid Row Hotel. That's because the city has confirmed that it has reserved 57 rooms — or 4 percent of the 1,331 rooms at the former Milford Plaza at 700 Eighth Ave. — for homeless families in its Turning the Tide on Homelessness housing program." Read the story here.
— "Reservations Canceled at Kew Gardens Hotel Housing Homeless Men, Guests Say," by DNAinfo's Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska: "Several guests who booked rooms at a hotel and luxury apartment tower in Kew Gardens where the city controversially began renting dozens of rooms to homeless people last month had their reservations abruptly cancelled, DNAinfo New York has learned." Read the story here.
— "Sunnyside Hotel Shelter Opening 'Blindsided' the Community, Angry Pols Say," by DNAinfo's Jeanmarie Evelly: "Local leaders are slamming the Department of Homeless Services for its use of a former Hunters Point Avenue hotel as a shelter, saying elected officials were only notified of the plan hours before the site opened its doors to homeless families." Read the story here.
HOLY ALLIANCE — "For Some Struggling Malls, Churches Offer Second Life," by The Wall Street Journal's Esther Fung: "As retailers consolidate and shrink the number and sizes of their stores, retail center landlords, especially in weaker markets, are being forced to consider a wider range of prospective tenants that might not fit the conventional retail mold. Among them: houses of worship." Read the story here.
— "Metro Loft Management completes $315M refi at FiDi conversion," by The Real Deal's Will Parker
— "Sutton, SL Green turn to familiar face for $225M refi at 650 Fifth," by The Real Deal's Konrad Putzier
— "EDC closes 220K sf deal at One Liberty Plaza," by The Real Deal's Rich Bockmann
— "Your next apartment credit check could be done through the blockchain," by Crain's Joe Anuta
— "Two Bridges Tower Developer Promises Flood Protections for Nearby Buildings," by DNAinfo's Allegra Hobbs
— "ESPN to debut glimmering NYC studios next spring," by New York Post's Steve Cuozzo
— "Dueling Hip-Hop Museums Battle to Become The First," by DNAinfo's Kate Pastor
— "Grand Central Terminal will host its first-ever film festival," by Curbed's Ameena Walker
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