Greenwich Village, Policy, Polls

POLL: Will the NYU Expansion Plan Move Ahead?

By Dana Schulz, Wed, February 25, 2015

After years of contention, we learned yesterday that opponents of the controversial NYU expansion plan would receive their final day in court to try to block the massive redevelopment. While Villagers have long been known as preservation pioneers (Jane Jacobs’ successful fight against Robert Moses’ destructive plans for the area is probably the best-known example), NYU has become one of the most powerful landholders in the city. So, we want to know what you think the outcome of the fierce debate will be.

Images: NYU buildings on Washington Square via DSC_0418 via photopin (license) (L); Local activists hold a rally against the NYU 2031 plan, via GVSHP

Greenwich Village, Major Developments, Policy

NYU Expansion Plan Opponents Will Get Final Day in Court

By Dana Schulz, Tue, February 24, 2015

NYU Expansion Plan, NYU 2031

A rendering of the expansion plan

In 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 community groups vowed to appeal the decision. And they most certainly kept their word.

In a press release sent today by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), we’ve learned that the New York State Court of Appeals agreed to hear an appeal by GVSHP, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, actor Mark Ruffalo, and other local concerned parties.

More info here

Policy, real estate trends

Inside the apartment. Image via Airbnb

If you were questioning how truly serious the city is about its beef against Airbnb, look no further than this landmark ruling to evict a rent-stabilized tenant from his ultra-luxe 450 West 42nd Street building. The Post reports that Henry Ikezi was just given the boot by a Manhattan Housing Court judge for posting his 46th-floor Hell’s Kitchen apartment on the site for $649 per night, about triple what he was paying at $6,670 per month. The home’s market value is upwards of $9,000.

More on the landmark case here

City Living, maps, Policy

NYC Climate Change Map, rising sea levels, New York City Panel on Climate Change

Homes damaged from Hurricane Sandy flooding © 6sqft

Or at least that’s what a report released today by the New York City Panel on Climate Change says. Looking at the next century, the startling analysis finds that average temperatures could rise 4.1 to 5.7 degrees by the 2050s and as much as 8.8 degrees by the 2080s; yearly heat waves will triple in occurance; there will be many more days over 90 and 100 degrees; annual precipitation will increase by 5 to 13 percent by the ’80s; the Northeast will see more intense hurricanes with extreme winds; and sea levels are expected to rise 18 to 39 inches by the ’80s and 22 to 50 inches by 2100, meaning the amount of land within FEMA’s proposed flood insurance rate maps will double, covering 99 square miles of the city.

But don’t start planning your exodus just yet. The Mayor’s Office is well aware that their findings “underscore the urgency of not only mitigating our contributions to climate change, but adapting our city to its risks.”

More on the report and see the full map

Policy, Transportation

nyc subway, metrocard, nyc subway station

Image via nycsubway.org

The MTA’s $15 billion 2015-2019 Capital Plan funding gap may sound like a staggering amount, but the current debt that the agency carries ($34.1 billion to be exact) is apparently bigger than that of Cuba, Syria and Jamaica’s total debt. In fact, according to a new Straphangers campaign, more than 30 nations have less debt than the MTA.

Read more

City Living, Policy

Airbnb, Housing, Tourism, Hotel

Photo courtesy of Airbnb via Facebook

Airbnb has been under constant scrutiny in recent months, whether for its potential threat to the affordable housing market or the fallout for bed and breakfasts forced to shutter in the wake of the battle. Now, new research from Capital New York shows that more than 58 percent of New York City’s Airbnb listings could be illegal, as they are for “entire apartments or houses, meaning no one else would be present during a stay.”

According to a state multiple dwelling law that was introduced in 2010, it’s illegal to lease homes (excluding one- and two-family homes) for less than 30 days when the owner or tenant isn’t present. But Capital found that of the 15,977 apartments listings on Airbnb, only one cites a requirement for a stay longer than a month. While the data isn’t conclusive on how many listings could be exempt from the law, more than 10,000 listings are in Manhattan where single-family residences are less likely.

More on the findings ahead


Construction contractors

It’s not going to be a good day for up to 50 city building inspectors and contractors, as well as two mob associates, who are expected to be charged today in “one of the biggest corruption crackdowns in years.” After a year-long investigation into projects that have been fast-tracked and received certificates of occupancies in return for cash, the Department of Investigation (DOI) and the Manhattan district attorney plan to charge 12 crooked city inspectors and nearly 40 contractors, according to the Daily News. Early this morning, the charged parties surrendered to authorities

More details on the charges

maps, Policy, Transportation

Map Revealed for de Blasio’s City-Wide Ferry System

By Dana Schulz, Wed, February 4, 2015

While there were plenty of highlights in Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City address yesterday–from affordable housing to raising the minimum wage–it was undoubtedly the announcement of a city-wide ferry system that really got New Yorkers talking.

De Blasio said that the ferry service will open in 2017, with pricing on par with the Metrocard, as a way to accommodate the growing population of New York. It will serve neighborhoods including the Lower East Side, Astoria, the Rockaways, Sunset Park, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bay Ridge, Red Hook, and Soundview, among others. A new map released today shows the entirety of the system, breaking down existing ferry lines, those planned for 2017 and 2018, and those proposed.

More details and the full interactive map ahead

Policy, real estate trends

mayor bill de blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio just wrapped up his State of the City address, and in addition to focusing in like a laser beam on affordable housing, the mayor also unveiled a number of additional improvements that certainly had us sitting up straight in our seats. In his address, De Blasio emphasized that his plan would look to creating denser, economically diverse affordable residential communities for not only low-income New Yorkers, but also for chronically homeless vets, seniors and artists. “While the state of our city is strong, we face a profound challenge,” de Blasio said during his speech. “If we fail to be a city for everyone, we risk losing what makes New York, New York…Nothing more clearly expresses the inequality gap—the opportunity gap—than the soaring cost of housing.” The mayor also spoke about the administration’s plan to raise minimum wage and expand public transit, which would include adding more Bus Rapid Transit lines to the outer boroughs, and, most notably, a brand new city-wide ferry system that would serve areas such as the Lower East Side, the Rockaways and Red Hook for the same cost as a subway ride. Keep reading for more highlights.

Highlights from de Blasio’s speech here

Policy, real estate trends

7,279 NYC Homes Are Valued at More Than $5 Million

By Dana Schulz, Tue, February 3, 2015

Upper East Side

The Upper East Side, where the most $5 million + homes are located, via CityRealty

If you think that statistic is jaw-dropping, consider this, too–those 7,279 homes valued at more than $5 million amount to a total fair market value of $65.2 billion, according to data from the city’s Independent Budget Office. The Wall Street Journal requested the data to take a closer look at the proposal to impose higher property taxes on pied-à-terre owners, and the findings show that “the city’s most expensive homes would generate less money from a higher tax surcharge than what its advocates have suggested.”

More details here


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