Greenwich Village, Major Developments, Policy

NYU Expansion Plan, NYU 2031

Last October, the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited NYU’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot Greenwich Village expansion plan. But in Feburary, opponents of the plan (including community groups like GVSHP, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, local residents, NYU Faculty against the Sexton Plan, and even actor Mark Ruffalo) announced that the New York State Court of Appeals would hear their case one final time. According to DNAinfo, though, today the state’s highest court ruled in favor of NYU, giving the expansion plan the final go ahead.

Find out more about the ruling

affordable housing, Policy

rent stabilization NYC

In a historic decision made last night, the Rent Guidelines Board voted 7-2 last night to freeze rents for the first time on one-year leases for New York City’s more than one million rent-stabilized apartments. The board, entirely appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, also moved to increase rents on two-year leases by just two percent, the lowest in the board’s 46-year existence. The decision follows last week’s lackluster vote at the state level to only extend but not strengthen rent regulations. “Cuomo betrayed us, the RGB can save us,” tenants chanted at the meeting.

Find out more here

affordable housing, Policy

Thanks to a provision added to the newly extended and altered 421-a tax abatement passed last week, developers looking to segregate their wealthy tenants from their affordable rate renters will have to think again. According to The Post, Mayor de Blasio inserted a reform into the tax program plan that would ban the practice in which developers build a separate entrance for folks occupying the cheaper, below market-rate apartments in their buildings—better known as “poor doors.”

More on the move here

affordable housing, Policy

nycha, ingersoll houses, affordable housing, projects, de blasio

Photo via Wiki Commons

For many New Yorkers, public housing is the only affordable way to live in the city, but despite an ever-growing waiting list, thousands of these homes are sitting empty, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal about an audit of NYCHA by Comptroller Scott Stringer. At a release of the findings yesterday at the Raymond V. Ingersoll Houses in Brooklyn, Stringer said: “Even though 270,000 New Yorkers are on the waiting list for housing, desperate to put a roof above their heads, we found that NYCHA is sitting on over 2,000 apartments they identify as vacant.” The audit shows that 1,366 apartments are empty awaiting repairs, and 967 are between tenants.

More audit findings ahead

Policy, Urban Design

Potential sites for the Under the Elevated project, via Design Trust for Public Space

The High Line may have revolutionized the adaptive reuse of the space atop elevated platforms, but what about that dead, dark space underneath? A new report from the Design Trust for Public Space in partnership with the Department of Transportation finds that the city has 700 miles of unused space under bridges, highways, and elevated subway tracks, much of which can be “transformed into valuable community assets such as small public parks, retail space and places for manufacturers to set up shop,” according to Crain’s.

Read more

Art, Long Island City, Policy

5POINTZ, 5POINTZ mecca, 5POINTZ long island city

Photo via Garrett Ziegler/Flickr

It’s been 19 months since the 5Pointz graffiti mecca was secretly whitewashed overnight by the developers who have since razed the site to make way for the two residential towers that will replace it. Then, to pour salt in the wound, this past November G&M Realty announced that they planned to use the iconic 5Pointz name for their new project, infuriating the artists whose work adorned the building and leading them to launch a petition to stop the title.

Now, the plot has thickened. Nine graffiti artists filed a lawsuit on Friday “seeking unspecified damages from the owner who whitewashed away their artwork,” reports the Daily News. The plaintiffs claim they’re owed financial compensation as they were not given the opportunity to retrieve their work, much of which could have ended up in museums or the artists’ personal collections. The lost collection amounts to more than 350 graffiti pieces.

More details here

City Living, Policy, Transportation

NYC Households Spend $130 a Month Funding the MTA

By Dana Schulz, Wed, May 27, 2015

metro card nyc

Today’s dose of disheartening news about the MTA comes via the Daily News, who reports that the debt-ridden city agency collects $4.8 billion a year from city taxpayers through taxes, fees, and the city budget. This comes out to $130 a month for the average New York household, even more than the cost of a monthly Metrocard, according to a new report by Comptroller Scott Stringer. Keep in mind this is in addition to the $5.3 billion they collect from fares and tolls.

Find out more here

Midtown, New Developments, Policy, Polls

Yesterday we reported that Community Board Five’s Sunshine Task Force is calling for “an immediate, temporary moratorium on any new construction of 600 feet or taller that is not already undergoing public review, particularly with those threatening to cast shadows over Central Park in an area bounded by 53rd Street and Central Park South, and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.” The resolution comes after months of fierce debate over the shadows being cast on the park from an influx of supertall towers just to its south. Local residents feel that this is destroying the park’s character and that a lack of transparency is leading to out-of-scale development. But as it stands now, those putting up these sky-high towers are doing so as of right, which leads us to this week’s poll.

Images: “The Accidental Skyline” via MAS (L); 111 West 57th Street via Property Markets Group (R)

Midtown, New Developments, Policy

accidental skyline, supertalls, park shadows

Those looking to build a behemoth along Central Park may have to look elsewhere. The Manhattan Community Board Five’s Sunshine Task Force has voted in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate, temporary moratorium on any new construction of 600 feet or taller that is not already undergoing public review, particularly with those threatening to cast shadows over Central Park in an area bounded by 53rd Street and Central Park South, and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The board voiced their concerns and outlined the ban in a policy brief (via DNA Info) which made its way to the desks of the Department of City Planning and the mayor last week.

FInd out more here

affordable housing, Policy

Mayor de Blasio is expected to announce today the rollout of a ten-year plan to improve the city’s debt-and-disrepair-riddled public housing. According to the New York Times, plan items include–perhaps most notably–the leasing of land within a number of housing complexes to developers; other items include the transference of some New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) employees (and the $90 million a year it costs the agency to pay them) to other city agencies and increased rents as well as higher parking fees for residents.

Find out how the mayor plans to shore up the city’s public housing


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