Top, left to right: GAA Firehouse, James Baldwin Residence, LGBT Community Center; Bottom, left to right: Audre Lorde Residence, Women’s Liberation Center, Caffe Cino; All photos courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to calendar six individual sites related to the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in New York City. The proposed landmarks highlight both groups and individuals who have advanced the LGBT rights movement by providing structure for community and political support, as well as raising public awareness. The commission’s decision to calendar the sites comes ahead of next month’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and NYC’s annual Pride celebration. LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said on Tuesday a public hearing to discuss the sites will be held June 4.
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Photo by Jeff Reed, courtesy of NYC Council/Flickr
Following a unanimous New York City Council vote back in December, The Wu-Tang Clan was made a permanent part of New York City on Saturday when the Park Hill neighborhood of Staten Island was renamed The Wu-Tang Clan District. As CNN first reported, city officials, fans, community members, and several Wu-Tang members gathered for the unveiling of the new street sign—located at the corner of Targee Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, where the music video for “Can It All Be So Simple” was filmed—that makes it official. “I never saw this day coming,” Ghostface Killah said in a speech at the event. “I knew we were some ill MCs, but I didn’t know that it’d take it this far.”
Via New York Wheel
The city has not put forth a plan for the vacant Staten Island site of the New York Wheel, a project which was called off last year after nearly a decade of planning. According to the Staten Island Advance, the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the property, has not released any request for proposals for the site. Construction of the project, sold as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, was halted two years ago when the contractor walked off site over unpaid bills. Last October, with $450 million already invested, the project was called off.
Rendering via Department of City Planning
Update 4/23/19: The City Planning Commission voted on Monday to approve the Bay Street Corridor rezoning plan, despite opposition from Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo and local community groups, City Limits reported. As the plan now goes in front of the City Council, housing advocates will continue to push for the rezoning to include deeply affordable units.
The City Planning Commission will vote Monday on the rezoning proposal for Staten Island’s Bay Street Corridor, an area between Tompkinsville Park and Tappan Park. Ahead of the agency’s vote, questions remain about the plan’s affordable housing portion, expected to bring 1,800 new residential units to the area. According to a report from Clifford Michel of THE CITY, the rezoning sets aside affordable housing for middle-class professionals, allowing developers to build units for households earning as much as $127,000 per year for a family of three. Based on that income requirement, the “affordable” apartments would rent for more than $3,000 per month.
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220 Central Park South. Image via Vornado Realty Trust and Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
We’ve heard it before, but it’s always a shock to hear about how the city’s tax system undervalues big-ticket apartments in expensive neighborhoods. The Wall Street Journal reports that the effective tax rate on billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin’s sky mansion at 220 Central Park South comes out to about 0.22 percent–compared with about one percent in the city’s less affluent neighborhoods. The reasoning behind this is tied to a complicated city property tax system that assesses all co-ops and condos as if they were rental properties. Rental income at nearby buildings is assessed in order to estimate a condo’s value.
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Rendering of original sea wall plan via Governor Cuomo’s office
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and United States Congressman Max Rose announced today that funding has been secured for the Staten Island Levee project. The news gives the green light for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to build a long-awaited 5.3 mile sea wall that would protect waterfront communities in Staten Island from future storms.
Good news for Staten Island
Via NYC Ferry
The city will launch two new ferry routes by 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his State of the City address. Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the NYC Ferry system, providing a much faster commute to Manhattan for outer-borough New Yorkers. “It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio said. “And so we’re giving people more and better options.” With the addition of the Staten Island route, all five boroughs will be a part of the NYC Ferry system by next year.
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The project to build the would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel in Staten Island was called off in October, after nearly a decade of delays and $450 million in investment. While the proposed 630-foot New York Wheel is officially dead, parts of the ill-fated attraction will go up for auction next month, the New York Post reported. Items up for sale include the wheel’s legs, valued at $9.2 million, and drive towers, for $3.3 million.
Get your hands on the wheel
Staten Island’s New York Wheel project, SIAdvance reports, is dead. Cristyne Nicholas, a spokesperson for the project, has announced that the would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel, dreamed up to anchor the redevelopment of the borough’s North Shore, will never be a reality. “After years of planning, the developers of The New York Wheel announce, with great disappointment, that the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition,” Nicholas said. Construction on the privately-funded project that has been in the works for over half a decade was halted in May of 2017. $450 million had already been invested in the 630-foot Ferris wheel, which was originally scheduled to open in October of 2016. The total cost of the project was estimated at nearly $1 billion.
So what happened?
Update 9/7/18: The de Blasio administration on Thursday said the city will not provide any funds to help finish the New York Wheel, NY1 reported. According to an official from NYCEDC, “public funds are too scarce and valuable to be leveraged for this venture.” The New York Wheel has until Sept. 11 to determine whether its project can continue.
The New York Wheel, a project plagued by years of delays and legal battles, has one week to recommence construction or work on the Staten Island job will stop. In May, developers were given 120 days, by Sept. 5, to find funding and a new contractor for the 630-foot Ferris wheel. In court papers filed Tuesday, the New York Wheel asked for a one-week extension, until Sept. 11, to find ways to restart construction, Staten Island Advance reported.