After Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, his immediate focus will be getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and providing direct relief to Americans. In addition to immediate actions related to COVID-19, Biden’s Day 1 housing priorities include extending the federal nationwide moratorium on residential evictions through the end of September and sending an additional $25 billion in rental assistance to states. Down the road, Biden has proposed fewer developer-friendly policies than his predecessor, including a repeal of the 1031 exchange and reform of the Opportunity Zone tax program. But overall, there is optimism among New York City real estate industry experts who see a Biden Administration as a way to restore stability and consumer confidence. With a pledge to defeat COVID-19 and send federal support to New York City, there’s hope on the horizon for the city’s recovery.
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Photos: Andy Romer Photography
From 1876 to 1882, the Statue of Liberty’s torch-holding arm was on view in Madison Square Park as a way to garner enthusiasm for the project before it arrived from France. Nearly 150 years later, the torch has returned, reimagined for a different purpose. Commissioned by the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Abigail DeVille’s “Light of Freedom“ sculpture includes a 13-foot-high torch encased in scaffolding and filled with a bell and the arms of mannequins. The work aims to reflect the current struggles New York City is facing with the pandemic, protests, and political climate while acknowledging the way in which conflict can create change.
Photo by Roy Savage
The city of Newburgh, about an hour-and-a-half drive from Manhattan, often gets a bad rap for its past crime statistics. But in recent years, shops and restaurants have been sprouting up, the arts scene is booming, preservation groups are working to save the wealth of historic mansions, and the relatively affordable housing stock is enticing buyers. Take, for example, this 1875 Victorian home. It’s over 3,500 square feet, is beautifully preserved, and overlooks the Hudson River and Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. And it’s asking just $650,000.
Plans to rezone Industry City in Sunset Park are dead after developers behind the project decided to withdraw their application on Tuesday. As Politico New York first reported, the decision to pull out of the plan, first proposed six years ago, comes as developers were unable to convince Brooklyn residents and officials, particularly Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the local representative, to support the rezoning efforts. Supporters of the rezoning said it would have brought thousands of new jobs to the city, which currently is seeing an unemployment rate of about 20 percent because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of his larger plan to invest $1.4 billion in Central Brooklyn communities, Governor Cuomo unveiled this week a 291-unit affordable housing development in Flatbush. Called the Clarkson Estates, the project will have half of its apartments set aside for “youth aging out of foster care, formerly incarcerated individuals, and formerly homeless young adults,” according to a press release. Developer CAMBA Housing Ventures will offer an extensive network of supportive services within a 30,000-square-foot space that the building is calling its “HUB.” Many of these facilities will also be open to the public.
Another proposal has been chosen for a new affordable development in East Flatbush as part of the state’s effort to revitalize neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced plans for a 322-unit complex called “Utica Crescent” that will be constructed on a lot next to the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. The project is part of the $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative that will ultimately bring 4,000 units of affordable housing, improved health and wellness options, jobs, and additional open space to underserved Brooklyn neighborhoods.
Images courtesy of CetraRuddy
Designed by CetraRuddy and RKTB Architects, Dahlia at 212 West 95th Street celebrates the Upper West Side‘s classic residential blocks of pre-war architecture while adding innovative design elements. The condo’s 38 homes and common areas are designed to be more spacious than the average Manhattan apartment, and perks unheard of in New York City include a huge 5,100-square-foot private elevated park, a fitness center with a yoga room, and a private parking garage. Plus, each apartment is situated on a corner of the building, so there’s no shortage of views and natural light. 6sqft recently offered a peek at the 20-story building’s interiors, and we’ve now chatted with architect John Cetra about this new addition to the Upper West Side, the neighborhood, and how apartment building design must be sensitive to changing times and the idea of home in the city.
A fixture on the corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue in the East Village for 100 years, Gem Spa has permanently closed. The store, considered home to New York’s best egg cream, had been struggling financially due to the gentrification of the neighborhood, as well as the loss of its cigarette and lottery licenses last year. While a fundraising effort launched last fall by current owner Parul Patel helped temporarily, the coronavirus pandemic “ultimately sealed the fate” of the institution.
Lawyers for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation announced Friday that the Chelsea Hotel’s owners did not qualify to receive a Certificate of No Harassment (CNH)–the document required for them to continue renovations to convert the dilapidated landmark into a luxury hotel with apartments. The document is required under a decades-old law to protect Single Room Occupancy residences from tenant harassment. As The Real Deal reports, The city’s allegations of harassment are the result of tenant complaints that since owners Richard Born and Ira Drukier of BD hotels began work after acquiring a stake in the property in 2016, conditions like leaky ceilings, exposed electrical wires, high lead levels, vermin and lack of heat have made living there unsafe.
Rendering courtesy of the Olnick Organization
Amidst pushback from locals and activists, the Olnick Organization has released a Plan B proposal for its Lenox Terrace expansion, reports the Post. Last week, the City Planning Commission approved an application from the complex’s owner to rezone part of the neighborhood and allow five 28-story towers with a mix of market-rate and affordable units to be built at the site. The alternate plan unveiled on Tuesday presents a scaled-down version that wouldn’t require a zoning change but also wouldn’t include any of the affordable units or public amenities in the original plan.