Policy

Policy, real estate trends

NYC affordable housing

Following two years of rent freezes, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board will take a final vote on Tuesday to determine whether or not rents will be increased by at least one percent. Earlier this year in April, the board voted to increase rents by one to three percent for one-year leases and four percent for two-year leases in a preliminary vote. According to the Wall Street Journal, the board released a study that showed landlord costs rose in the past year, a shift that landlords say warrants an increase in rents on new leases that take effect on or after Oct. 1.

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Policy

Rikers, Rikers Island, NYC

In April, Mayor de Blasio announced his support of closing the jail complex on Rikers Island after protests and calls from activists and public officials. In a proposal released Thursday, the mayor says closing Rikers will take at least ten years and will require a big decline in the number of inmates there, a drop in crime rates and significant funding. As the New York Times reported, according to the city’s 51-page report, in order to close Rikers within a decade, the population at the complex needs to drop to 5,000. Currently, the daily population is about 9,400, much lower than the average of 20,000 inmates the prison held during the 1990s.

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Policy, Transportation

This week, Governor Cuomo called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to provide Long Island Rail Road riders a discounted fare for “enduring the inconvenience of a disrupted commute.” In response, the MTA said on Tuesday that the LIRR will offer fare discounts to commuters during Penn Station’s major repairs set to begin this July. The discount will average roughly 25 percent for those traveling to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Hunters Point Avenue in Queens. Plus, according to Crain’s, commuters will receive free morning rush hour subway transfers from those two stations. Starting this week, discounted monthly tickets can be purchased at station vending machines.

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Bay Ridge, History, Policy

General Lee Avenue, Robert E. Lee house Brooklyn, Fort Hamilton

General Lee Avenue and Robert E. Lee’s former home on Fort Hamilton, via Jeremy Bender/Business Insider

When four Confederate statues were removed in New Orleans last month, many sided with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan, but others felt it was an attempt to erase history. Nevertheless, the monuments all came down, prompting national elected officials to take notice–even here in NYC. As 6sqft previously explained, there exists a General Lee Avenue and a Stonewall Jackson Drive in Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton, the city’s last remaining active-duty military base, and a group of local politicians has sent a letter to Army Secretary Robert Speer asking that they both be renamed, with Colin Powell and Harriet Tubman suggested as possible replacements (h/t Gothamist).

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Policy, Transportation

G train, NYC subway

Republican mayoral candidate, Paul Massey, unveiled a transit infrastructure plan Monday, that included an idea to create a G train loop that would travel to Manhattan to help commuters during the 15 month-L train shutdown next year. Although little details have been revealed, his plan would presumably travel through Midtown on the F train route, loop back into Queens on routes used by the M and R train and then reconnect with the G at the Court Square stop in Long Island City. While a notable idea, according to Crain’s the MTA looked over Massey’s plan and said its implementation would be impossible.

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Featured Story

Architecture, Events, Features, Giveaways, Policy, Urban Design

Cities for Tomorrow is back for its fourth year, and 6sqft has teamed up with the New York Times to give one lucky reader a free pass (worth $995!) to the event taking place July 10th–11th in Midtown Manhattan. Join creative visionaries and leaders in the real estate, urban planning, and political fields such as Momofuku founder David Chang, former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld, NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer, and filmmaker Barry Jenkins as they discuss topics ranging from the new power of private money to the future of bricks-and-mortar retail, from cities’ impact on the national climate agenda to the realities of leading during a time of partisan politics, from the promises and pitfalls of smart technology to fresh approaches to entrepreneurship.

HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter here. If you’ve already signed up, simply leave a comment below telling us what topic off this year’s agenda interests you the most. The deadline to enter is 11:59PM, Thursday, June 29th, and we will email the winner on Friday, June 30th. Good luck!

Those interested in purchasing a ticket can register here and get 20 percent off the admission price.

Architecture, Design, More Top Stories, Policy

The 172-acre Governors Island first opened as a publicly accessible outdoor space in 2005, but it’s still open just 120 days per year, with the city spending over 10 years trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this teeming-with-potential site. Just last year a new 40-acre park and playground opened, and the area is now ready for its next major revitalization. As Crain’s reports, the Trust for Governors Island will roll out a plan to create a 24/7 community with even more public parks, nonprofit tenants related to the site’s maritime history, restaurants, and five million square feet of new commercial, office, and education space.

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Policy, Red Hook

Red Hook, Brooklyn, Hurricane Sandy, storm protections

Flooding during Hurricane Sandy left many residents of Red Hook without basic services for weeks. While many had hoped the city’s $100 million initiative would help protect the Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood from a 100-year flood event, a new feasibility study shows the plan would actually only protect it from a 10-year flood event. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city plans on scaling back the flood-protection system in Red Hook because of its high costs, and the study revealed a larger project could cost about $300 to $500 million more.

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Policy

Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a plan to add 100,000 new jobs to the city’s economy over the next 10 years, particularly positions that pay over $50,000 a year, with the intention of shoring up an increasingly hard-to-maintain middle class lifestyle, the Wall Street Journal reports. The city would contribute more than $1.35 billion toward job creation in already promising job sectors, what the mayor referred to as “good-paying jobs,” that pay or lead to being paid at least $50,000 a year. The mayor said at a news conference Thursday, “the job here is to lift the floor for everyone in this city, to make sure that a middle-class lifestyle really is available to everybody.”

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affordable housing, Policy, Top Stories

Lynne Patton, Donald Trump, HUD

Photo of Lynne Patton and President Trump courtesy of Patton’s Instagram

President Trump appointed family friend Lynne Patton on Wednesday to oversee New York’s federal housing programs, despite her clear lack of housing experience. Patton, who formerly arranged tournaments at Trump’s golf courses and planned Eric Trump’s wedding, will head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, and will oversee the distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars. As reported by the Daily News, Patton’s relationship with the Trump family dates back to 2009 when she first began as their event planner.

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City Living, Green Design, Policy

Prospect Park, Prospect Park Alliance, grilling spots NYC

After a few days of extreme heat, Mayor de Blasio launched a $106 million initiative on Wednesday to protect New Yorkers from the risks of dangerously high temperatures this summer. The Cool Neighborhoods program aims to lessen the effects of the “urban heat island effect,” a problem that occurs in New York City due to its abundance of heat-holding asphalt and concrete and lack of greenery. According to Gothamist, to reduce heat-related health risks and deaths, the city plans on planting more trees on streets and in parks, supporting forest restoration efforts and painting roofs of homes in vulnerable areas with reflective white paints.

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Financial District, Policy

one world trade center, lower manhattan, skidmore ownings and merrill

An architect from Georgia sued architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) on Wednesday for allegedly stealing his design for One World Trade Center. Jeehoon Park says the firm has unfairly taken credit for the tower, a design he says he developed in 1999 as a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology, as the New York Post reported. At 1,776 feet high, One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest in the world.

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Policy, Transportation

Penn Station, Cuomo, MTA

With six weeks of infrastructure repairs at Penn Station beginning in July, the “summer of hell” for commuters is quickly approaching. In response, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has finally announced its plan to deal with Amtrak’s plan to close some of the station’s 21 tracks for renovations. As Crain’s reported, the MTA will shift three nighttime trains to rush hour and add about 36 cars, while also offering transit alternatives like ferry and bus services. The shutdown will force the MTA to cancel or divert 15-weekday trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., affecting nearly 9,600 LIRR morning commuters,  set to begin July 10.

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Policy

airbnb, airbnb logo, short term rentals

In an attempt to crack down on illegal short-term rentals, Mayor de Blasio’s budget for the fiscal year 2018 allocates $1.6 million to expand the city’s Office of Special Enforcement, the department that inspects and fines landlords who rent entire apartments for fewer than 30 days. Adding to these efforts, an anti-Airbnb coalition made up of public officials and housing organizations/unions created a hotline for New York City tenants to report any illegal rentals, as reported by the Daily News. Beginning today, ShareBetter will start receiving actionable complaints.

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Policy, Transportation

BQX, Brooklyn Queens Connector, mayor de blasio streetcar

When a leaked memo about the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) surfaced a couple months ago, it painted a less-than-optimistic picture of the proposed $2.5 billion streetcar due to major construction challenges and doubts that Mayor de Blasio’s plan to self-fund the project through taxes from higher real estate values would pan out. Despite these concerns, however, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 endorsed the 16-mile streetcar project today, according to a press release from Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector.

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