September 27, 2023

New York seeks proposals transforming Chelsea prison into affordable housing

New York State is moving forward with a plan to transform a former prison in Chelsea into affordable housing. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced a request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop the Bayview Correctional Facility at 550 West 20th Street into a residential development with affordable and supportive housing. The proposals for the 100,000-square-foot site near the High Line must have a minimum of 60 supportive housing units and 15 short-term transitional residences, according to the RFP.
September 25, 2023

NYPD ‘robocop’ now patrols Times Square subway station

Late-night commuters fear not! A 420-pound, 5-foot-2-inch-tall robot is now patrolling the Times Square subway station overnight. During a press conference held at the 42nd Street subway station last Friday, Mayor Eric Adams announced a two-month pilot program to test the robocop, officially known as the Knightscope K5 Autonomous Security Robot. The robot will patrol the 42nd Street station from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m., recording video to be viewed in case of an emergency or crime, according to the mayor.
September 21, 2023

Mayor Adams unveils sweeping plan to create 100K new housing units across NYC

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday unveiled major reforms to New York City's zoning code to make it easier to build more housing across every neighborhood. The "City of Yes for Housing Opportunity" plan could create 100,000 new apartments over the next 15 years by updating restrictive zoning rules. This could mean allowing new homes above commercial businesses and on campuses, accessory dwelling units, office-to-residential conversions, and other proposals to create "a little more housing in every neighborhood."
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September 19, 2023

All NYC businesses required to containerize trash

Roughly 20 million pounds of trash will be tucked away in containers instead of in trash bags piled up on New York City sidewalks next year. As part of the latest effort to curb the city's rat problem, all businesses will be required to put garbage in lidded containers beginning next March, Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday. About 25 percent of the city's businesses, including restaurants and grocery stores as well as chain businesses, are currently mandated to containerize trash; when the newest proposed rule takes effect, the requirement will apply to 100 percent of businesses.
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September 14, 2023

NYC unveils new trash can that will replace ‘iconic’ green mesh bins

Say goodbye to New York City's old green wire mesh trash cans and say hello to a new, shiny litter bin ready for a rat-free future. The city's Department of Sanitation this week started replacing the iconic green bins with modernized cans made up of three parts: a concrete base to prevent it from falling over, a hinged metal lid, and a removable, lightweight plastic basket for sanitation workers to empty, according to the New York Times. The new bins fix a fundamental flaw in the dated wire mesh design: holes for rats to get inside.
September 13, 2023

Adams proposes giving building owners more time to comply with Local Law 97

With the enforcement of a law capping carbon emissions quickly approaching, Mayor Eric Adams is proposing giving property owners more time to comply. The mayor on Tuesday announced the "Getting 97 Done" plan to facilitate compliance with Local Law 97, which requires buildings 25,000 square feet or bigger to meet new greenhouse gas emissions limits by 2024. Adams' proposed rules allow owners to miss the deadline to retrofit their buildings if they make a "good faith effort" to comply with the law.
September 12, 2023

Work on Hudson River rail tunnel project could begin next month

Work is finally moving forward on a project that will replace a dilapidated, century-old rail tunnel connecting New York City and New Jersey. The Gateway Development Commission on Monday awarded the first contracts for construction on the New Jersey side of the $16.1 billion two-track Hudson Tunnel Project (HTP), with the first phase of the transformative plan expected to break ground as soon as October. The tunnel project is the main component of the $30 billion plan, the country's largest public works project currently underway.
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September 12, 2023

City Planning approves zoning changes to make it easier for NYC to go green

New York City is taking steps to accelerate climate-friendly projects. The City Planning Commission on Monday voted to approve the City of Yes for Carbon Neutrality, a set of 17 citywide zoning changes that will help the five boroughs reach carbon neutrality goals by removing barriers to greener energy, transportation, buildings, and water and waste systems. The changes will help NYC reach its target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
September 11, 2023

Trump name to be removed from Bronx golf course following deal with casino operator

Donald Trump's name will no longer be associated with a Bronx golf course after the multi-million-dollar lease held by the former president's company was sold to a group looking to secure one of New York City's three casino licenses. As first reported by the New York Post, casino giant Bally's Corporation purchased the operating license to Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point for an undisclosed amount, securing control of the property after the city tried and failed to take over the golf course from the Trump Organization.
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September 11, 2023

NYC’s Atlantic Avenue rezoning plan calls for 4,000 new homes and more open space

The city wants to bring 4,000 new apartments to a stretch of Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue currently home to vacant lots and auto shops. The Department of City Planning last week released the Atlantic Avenue Mixed-Use Plan, a preliminary rezoning framework for 13 blocks of an industrially zoned area that runs through Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Fort Greene, and Bed-Stuy. The rezoning would allow for higher destiny residential and commercial use, with the potential for up to 1,550 income-restricted homes. Following additional community meetings and an environmental review, the proposal could enter the public review process in the spring of next year.
details here
September 8, 2023

‘QueensLink’ proposal to extend M train picks up steam

A proposal to reactivate an abandoned railway and create the first north-to-south subway line in Queens is picking up steam. A coalition of New York City public officials and transit advocacy groups rallied in front of City Hall on Wednesday in favor of QueensLink, a plan to extend the M train from Rego Park to the Rockaways as a way to reduce travel time for borough residents who face some of the longest commutes in the country. While the plan has attracted more supporters in recent months, Mayor Eric Adams last year came out in favor of a competing plan to turn the defunct tracks into a public park.
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September 6, 2023

NYC property tax has risen disproportionately for working-class homeowners, report finds

Property tax in New York City has risen since the pandemic, with most of the burden placed on working and middle-class homeowners, according to a report. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Wednesday released a new report that found property tax bills have continued to increase, despite property values decreasing for a large number of condos, co-ops, and rental apartments across the city. According to DiNapoli, the way the city calculates property taxes makes lower-valued properties pay a higher property tax, putting a bigger burden on lower-income New Yorkers and less on the wealthy.
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September 5, 2023

New York City begins crackdown on short-term rentals

Could this be the end of Airbnb in New York City? The city on Tuesday officially kicked off enforcement of new regulations on short-term rentals, preventing property owners from renting their homes for less than 30 days unless registered and verified by the city. Hosts who fail to do so may face fines of up to $5,000, while Airbnb could face fines of up to $1,500 for transactions on unverified rentals.
Learn more about the future of airbnb's in nyc
September 1, 2023

NYC transit system still widely inaccessible despite recent improvements

While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has picked up the pace of making New York City's public transit system more accessible, the agency still has a long way to go before it can be totally accessible. Gov. Kathy Hochul and the MTA on Thursday announced the completion of the project making Grand Street L subway station fully accessible, marking the fourth station across the five boroughs that have been made fully accessible this year. Despite the agency's recent efforts, the city's transit system is still incredibly difficult for riders with disabilities to navigate because a majority of stations lack elevators, ramps, and other accessible features.
August 31, 2023

New York to prioritize ‘pro-housing’ localities for $650M in funding

New York is moving forward with a plan to spur housing development across the state. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday officially launched the Pro-Housing Communities Program, an effort that will prioritize up to $650 million in funding to localities across New York that are committed to creating housing. As part of the initiative, certified Pro-Housing Communities will have priority over other localities when applying for funding through the program, which has begun accepting applications.
read more about hochul's initiative
August 29, 2023

NYC Council approves five-year permit for Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden will remain above Penn Station, but for not as long as its owners want. Two New York City Council committees on Monday voted to renew the arena's special permit for five years, which would be the shortest operating permit given to the Garden if approved by the full Council next month. MSG owner James Dolan had hoped to secure a permanent extension of the operating permit which expired earlier this year.
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August 25, 2023

Tap-to-pay OMNY system finally comes to the Roosevelt Island Tram

New Yorkers are now able to tap to pay to board the Roosevelt Island Tramway. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday announced the tram, which takes riders 250 feet above the East River between Manhattan's east side and Roosevelt Island in just four minutes, is the first non-MTA-operated service to accept OMNY. To pay the fare, riders can now tap their credit cards or mobile devices at the 59th Street and 2nd Avenue tram station in Manhattan and at Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island.
August 25, 2023

13,000+ rent-stabilized units in NYC have been vacant for multiple years

Upwards of 13,000 rent-stabilized homes in New York City have sat vacant over the past two years, according to a new report. Out of 42,275 rent-stabilized apartments listed in April 2022, many of which were marked as "newly vacant," 13,362 units remained empty for two consecutive years, up from 12,300 in 2021, according to the report by the city's Independent Budget Office. These data points are making officials question whether the units are vacant due to tenants moving in and out or whether they have been "warehoused," or deliberately taken off the market, according to Gothamist.
August 22, 2023

Feds approve asylum seeker shelter at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field

Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field will be home to New York City's latest migrant shelter. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced a deal was reached for the federal government to provide New York State with a proposed lease of the former naval air station in Marine Park. The governor said the new Humanitarian Emergency Relief and Response Center (HERRC) will be able to house up to 2,000 single adult asylum seekers. While the governor initially requested that the federal government pick up the bill for constructing and staffing the shelter, the state agreed to cover the expenses, according to Gothamist.
August 22, 2023

Pedestrian, public space upgrades slated for Broadway near Union Square

New York City wants to better connect the Flatiron District and Union Square. As part of an expansion of the city's "Broadway Vision" plan, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced plans to upgrade public space on Broadway from East 21st Street to East 17th Street, including bike lanes, pedestrian space, and expanded outdoor dining. The Department of Transportation will launch public outreach for the expansion this week, gathering feedback on the improvements, specifically, a new two-way bike boulevard.
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August 17, 2023

Adams announces Midtown South rezoning, plan to convert offices to housing

New housing will be allowed in parts of Midtown Manhattan for the first time in decades under a plan announced by Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday. The mayor wants to update zoning rules to allow for the construction of new apartments in a 42-block area stretching from 23rd Street to 40th Street and from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, which is currently designated for manufacturing use. The start of the rezoning effort joins another proposal from the Adams administration to facilitate and expedite office-to-housing conversions across every borough, as the city continues to face a housing shortage.
August 17, 2023

Plan to bring Van Cortlandt Park’s Tibbetts Brook above ground moves forward

A plan to unearth parts of a body of water in the Bronx that has been covered for more than a century is moving forward. The New York City Public Design Commission on Monday unanimously approved the preliminary design plan for the Tibbetts Brook Daylight and Greenway Project in Van Cortlandt Park, a project that will help remove the brook's clean water from the sewer system and ultimately reduce flooding and sewage overflow into the Harlem River. The $133 million project could face delays due to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the land that is part of the construction project, according to the City.
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August 16, 2023

Avoid rodent run-ins–or rat out your landlord–with NYC’s newest interactive rat map

The mayor's notorious war on rats is heating up. Along with the recent appointment of Kathleen Corradi as the city's $155K/year rat czar, New Yorkers have some new tools in our digital rat-fighting arsenal in the form of an updated interactive map and a revamped rat information portal. Adding firepower to the battle are a handful of super-military-sounding RMZs (Rat Mitigation Zones), complete with training academies to help neighborhood combatants put up their best fight. And Harlem recently hosted an Anti-Rat Day of Action.
New rat map, this way
August 16, 2023

Two Bronx parks with fascinating NYC history may become landmarks

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar two Bronx parks with unique New York City history for possible landmark status. The Joseph Rodman Drake Park and Enslaved African Burial Ground is a colonial-era burial ground that includes the long-forgotten site of a cemetery for enslaved people. The Old Croton Aqueduct Walk is a popular walking path on top of the famous aqueduct that brought the city its first direct source of water in 1842.