By Diane Pham, Wed, November 19, 2014
When completed, 520 Park Avenue will have a $130 million penthouse, the most expensive apartment ever in NYC
As the city continues to explore new avenues for the creation of affordable housing, the WSJ reports the latest idea being floated is a new “mansion tax” that would increase the amount collected on the most expensive apartment sales. Currently, homes that change hands for more than a million dollars are subject to a 1% tax, but the city wants to up this to take advantage of the red hot luxury housing market. The proposal, unsurprisingly, has met with much criticism.
More on the mansion tax here
By Dana Schulz, Fri, November 14, 2014
Green community Battery Park City via gigi_nyc via photopin cc
Yesterday, the City Council passed a bill that says New York City must cut greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. The bill, which was approved 47-0, was sponsored by Queens Councilman Costa Constantinides and is expected to be signed into law by Mayor de Blasio.
To reduce emissions, measures similar to those used for PlaNYC will be put into play, including planting trees and retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient. But we also suspect that the bill will spur a wave of new green developments.
More on the greenhouse gas plan
By Michelle Cohen, Mon, November 10, 2014
Photo courtesy of Airbnb via Facebook.
Controversial room-sharing startup Airbnb, one of the most visible players in what is being called the “sharing economy,” has recently awakened the innovation vs. regulation argument in all the usual ways–and a few new ones, including the accusation that these short-term rentals are depleting the already-scarce affordable housing stock in pricey metro areas like San Francisco and New York City.
What the latest data reveals–and what’s being done about it
By Dana Schulz, Fri, October 31, 2014
Since FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps after Superstorm Sandy, we learned that it could cost the city $5 billion to comply with the new regulations, as 60,000 additional buildings were identified as being within the flood zones. This brings the total to 84,000 buildings worth over $129 billion, according to a new report released by the Office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
What does this mean for the city?
By Michelle Cohen, Mon, October 27, 2014
Film crews on your block: Yet another thing New Yorkers love to hate, whether it’s a case of grumble-brag or a genuine inconvenience. Some people love the opportunity to watch their favorite shows being made (and maybe get a peek at their favorite stars) and argue that it boosts the local economy. Others give the whole gig a big two thumbs down.
Find out who’s filming, where and when–and how you can make the most of it.
By Dana Schulz, Mon, October 20, 2014
Following Superstorm Sandy, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) updated its flood-zone maps for the first time since 1983, more than doubling the included buildings to 70,000. Therefore, many more property owners are facing the decision of whether to stormproof their homes or pay up for insurance premiums that would go up as much as 18%. But going with the former choice is not as easy as one may think.
FEMA guidelines don’t take into account the unique makeup of New York City with its rowhouses and high-rises, so to comply with the current regulations it would cost the city more than $5 billion, according to studies produces by Crain’s. Those who would be absorbing the costs include middle-class homeowners; NYCHA, which owns more than 25% of rental units in the flood zone ;and owners of large apartment towers, which account for 61% of the 5.5 million properties in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program. All of these entities must follow the same guidelines as the plan is laid out now, but the city and a group of nonprofits are asking the agency to make changes to the insurance program.
More about the issue ahead
By Dana Schulz, Wed, October 15, 2014
A rendering of the NYU expansion plan
The battle between New York University and local residents and community preservation groups just got a little fiercer, as just yesterday the appellate court overturned a previous decision by the New York Supreme Court that prohibited the university’s $6 billion, 1.9 million-square-foot expansion plan.
NYU now has the green light to move forward with their colossal project, which includes taking over “implied park land” that has been used by the public for years. Local community groups vow to appeal the decision. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, Community Board 2, and local residents, filed the lawsuit against the school in 2012.
More on the latest ruling and what it means for NYU and the Village
By Diane Pham, Tue, September 30, 2014
New York is serious about going green and Governor Cuomo just signed into law a bill to extend—and double—the possible tax breaks given to those who install solar panels on their properties. A press release notes that the break will offer a rebate of 5 percent on either the solar panel installation cost; property taxes the year panels are installed; or $62,500—whichever is less. The new bill is meant to offset the 25 percent higher cost of installing solar systems in the city due to stringent regulations and the complexity of building sites.
Find out more on here
By Dana Schulz, Tue, September 2, 2014
There’s been a lot of controversy around preservation in New York City as of late, and through it all, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) seems to always make its voice heard. From debunking myths about affordable housing and historic districts to advocating for the Village’s next great landmark, GVSHP remains on the front lines of the field.
Founded in 1980 to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of the Village, the organization now includes the East Village, South Village, Far West Village, Noho, and Meatpacking District in its purview. Part of the reason for GVSHP’s expansion stems from the tireless efforts of its longtime Executive Director, Andrew Berman. Since 2002, he has overseen the research, educational programming, and advocacy of one of the city’s leading preservation nonprofits. We recently sat down with Andrew to learn more about his views on the current state of preservation in the city and where he hopes to take GVSHP in the future.
Read our full interview here
By Dana Schulz, Fri, August 29, 2014
When we talk about apartments in glassy towers we always emphasize the stunning views, ample natural light, and cross ventilation. But according to a study from the Urban Green Council, most residents in these all-glass buildings are not taking advantage of those attributes.
The “Seduced by the View” study surveyed 55 glassy buildings around New York City and found that on average, 59% of the window area was covered by blinds or shades. And over 75% of buildings had more than half of their window area covered. Results were similar regardless of time of day, direction the window faced, and whether the building was commercial or residential.”
More on the study here