Policy

January 5, 2024

Self-filtering floating pool pilot to be installed in NYC this summer

New York City will test the waters of a self-filtering floating pool this summer. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams on Friday committed $16 million to the nonprofit +POOL, which has worked for over a decade to build a swimming pool in the East River. The group plans to launch a pilot pool to demonstrate and test +POOL's unique filtration system this summer, with the hopes of opening to swimmers in 2025. The news comes as part of a larger proposal from the governor to expand access to swimming across the state.
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January 5, 2024

City seeks proposals for sports center at Brooklyn Bridge plaza in Dumbo

New York City is looking to reopen nearly 100,000 square feet of open space at the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in 15 years. As first reported by Streetsblog, NYC Parks this week released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking contractors to operate a seasonal outdoor activity center for up to six years at the two-lot Anchorage Plaza, located on Old Fulton Street and Washington Street and connected by a ramp known as "Ash Alley" underneath the bridge. According to the RFP, the Parks Department seeks proposals for "parks appropriate" activities, including paddle ball, public art or performances, a dog run, and food and drink vendors.
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January 3, 2024

NYC wants artists to spice up sidewalk sheds and construction fencing

New York City is seeking artists to help beautify sections of unattractive sidewalk sheds and construction fencing throughout the five boroughs. The city's Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) has issued an open call for artists for 2024 through 2025 as part of its City Canvas program, which installs temporary, large-scale artworks on protective structures to make them more visually appealing.
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January 3, 2024

Citi Bike prices are increasing this month

Citi Bike is hiking its prices this month. The popular bike-sharing service operated by Lyft is rolling out its new pricing system in phases in January, with the price of an annual membership jumping from $205 to $219.99 a year starting on January 29. Other increases, including unlock fees, e-bike charges, and extra-time fees, take effect Thursday, January 4.
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January 2, 2024

7 historic places in NYC recommended for state and national designation

Gov. Kathy Hochul last week announced the 36 properties and places in New York nominated for potential placement on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The seven New York City recommendations include Bushwick's historic William Ulmer Brewery, the city's first cast-iron office building, and a new historic district in Central Harlem that illustrates the neighborhood's development as a Black working-class residential neighborhood.
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January 2, 2024

NYC bans street vendors from all city bridges

Starting Wednesday, vendors selling New York City-themed souvenirs and cheap eats will be banned from all 789 of the city's bridges. Mayor Eric Adams last week announced new rules prohibiting vending on pedestrian walkways and bike lanes of bridges, as well as their approaches, will go into effect on January 3. Proposed this fall by the mayor, the vending ban specifically targets the overcrowded Brooklyn Bridge, which has seen a surge in both illegal vendors and pedestrians in recent years, creating safety issues on the jam-packed crossing.
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December 27, 2023

NYC rental subsidy aims to build more affordable housing in wealthy neighborhoods

The city on Tuesday announced plans to subsidize mixed-income rental projects in neighborhoods with few low-cost homes as a way to jumpstart development following the end of the 421-a tax exemption. The new program, called the Mixed Income Market Initiative (MIMI), would make public money available for the first time to projects with both affordable and market-rate units, with the goal of incentivizing developers to build more affordable homes using revenue generated from the market-rate apartments.
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December 21, 2023

NYC Council approves bill limiting criminal background checks by landlords

The New York City Council on Wednesday passed legislation limiting the use of criminal background checks by landlords when screening tenants. Sponsored by Council Member Keith Powers, "The Fair Chance for Housing Act" amends the city's Human Rights Law to prohibit landlords, owners, and real estate brokers from rejecting applicants based on past convictions. However, landlords can consider misdemeanor convictions from the last three years and felony convictions within five years. Other exemptions to the bill include certain sex crimes and one- or two-family homes where the owner also lives.
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December 20, 2023

East Midtown Greenway opens, with nearly 3 acres of public open space on the waterfront

New York City has taken a major step forward in its effort to expand the greenway network. The city's Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and NYC Parks on Tuesday officially opened the East Midtown Greenway and the second phase of the Andrew Haswell Green Park, delivering nearly three acres of public open space, a new pedestrian walkway, a pedestrian bridge, landscaping, and a separated bike lane stretching from East 53rd Street to East 60th Street along the East River. The $197.6 million investment fills a significant gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
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December 19, 2023

Paul Rudolph’s Modulightor Building is now an NYC landmark

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to landmark the Modulightor Building, an iconic building in Midtown East designed by renowned modernist architect Paul Rudolph. Located at 246 East 58th Street, the building was built between 1989 and 1993 to house the Modulightor lighting company founded by Rudolph with German physicist Ernst Wagner. According to the commission, the building stands out for its special character and its historical and aesthetic significance in New York City.
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December 19, 2023

After 20 years, Pacific Park faces foreclosure and an uncertain future

As the massive Brooklyn megadevelopment once known as Atlantic Yards reaches its 20th anniversary, news of the project's progress has been scarce. But recent changes affecting the development anchored by Barclays Center may put the 22-acre site–now known as Pacific Park–back in the spotlight. As The Real Deal reported in a wrap-up of its progress over the past two decades, current developer Greenland USA has defaulted on nearly $350 million in loans attached to the project's second phase. With foreclosure imminent, an auction, scheduled for next month, may mean a new developer will be responsible for fulfilling crucial affordable housing agreements and inherit penalties for unbuilt units.
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December 18, 2023

Vacant hotel near JFK Airport to become 300+ permanently affordable apartments

An empty hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens will be converted into a permanently affordable housing development with 300 apartments. Slate Property Group, RiseBoro Community Partnership, and the city's Housing Development Corporation on Monday announced the acquisition of the former JFK Hilton Hotel for $64 million, the first step in converting the vacant hotel into homes for low-income households and formerly homeless New Yorkers. Construction is expected to kick off next month.
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December 14, 2023

NYC’s worst landlord has 3,293 open violations across 306 apartments

New York City's worst landlord broke the city's record for most open housing violations two years in a row. NYC Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams on Wednesday released the 2023 "Worst Landlord Watchlist," an annual list exposing the city's most negligent property owners and ranking them by the number of hazardous housing violations in their buildings. Johnathan Santana took the number one spot for the second year in a row, breaking last year's record of 2,980 violations with a whopping 3,293 open violations across 306 separate apartments.
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December 14, 2023

NYC unveils new protected bike lane on 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen

The city on Wednesday unveiled the first phase of safety upgrades to a stretch of 10th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. Installed between West 38th Street and West 52nd Street, a new 10-foot wide northbound bike lane will more safely accommodate the growing number of cyclists, e-bike riders, and micro-mobility device users. Additional improvements include new concrete pedestrian islands, new bike corrals, and redesigned intersections to slow down drivers when turning.
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December 13, 2023

New York to spend $50M restoring single-room occupancy units

New York is paying landlords to renovate and repair single-room occupancy (SRO) apartments as a way to provide housing for vulnerable New Yorkers. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced $50 million will be spent to rehabilitate up to 500 existing SROs across the state. Units in SRO buildings usually include one room with a sink and stove and access to a shared bathroom. A common type of housing in New York City until the second half of the 20th century, SROs cost less than the average apartment and appeal to low-income renters or those struggling with homelessness.
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December 12, 2023

Long-forgotten Bronx burial site of enslaved people designated as a landmark

A Bronx park with unique New York City history is now a landmark. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to designate Joseph Rodman Drake Park and Enslaved People's Burial Ground, a colonial-era burial ground in Hunts Point that contains the long-forgotten site of a cemetery for enslaved people, as an individual landmark.
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December 12, 2023

Office-to-residential conversions could significantly lower NYC’s carbon emissions: report

New York City could drastically decrease its carbon footprint if the eligibility for office-to-residential conversions is expanded, according to a new report. In the study "Office to Residential Conversions: The Carbon Story," sustainable development consultant Arup found updating zoning rules to allow for more office buildings to become apartments could cut carbon emissions by 54 percent by 2050.
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December 7, 2023

Hochul unveils plan to bring 2,800 homes to underused Creedmoor campus in eastern Queens

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday released the Creedmoor Community Master Plan, a proposal to redevelop 58 acres of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens into a mixed-use community with over 2,800 homes, green space, bike infrastructure, retail, and amenities. State-owned Creedmoor has operated as a mental health center since 1912 and hit its peak patient population of 7,000 in 1959. Today, a majority of the campus sits vacant. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Empire State Development (ESD), along with the Metropolitan Urban Design Workshop, developed the master plan over six months.
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December 6, 2023

See plan to replace former Harlem prison next to Central Park with 105 affordable homes

A plan to replace a former Harlem prison with affordable housing is moving forward. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday unveiled Seneca, the winning proposal for a project that will transform the Lincoln Correctional Facility at West 110th Street, which shuttered in 2019, into 105 affordable homes for purchase. The governor selected a team led by Infinite Horizons, L+M Development Partners, Urbane, and Lemor Development Group to develop the roughly $90 million project, which will go through a public review process before final approval.
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December 5, 2023

NYC to launch public e-bike charging stations for delivery workers

Just a few days after New York City saw its 18th death caused by an electric bike battery this year, Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced a new pilot program that will let some delivery workers charge their bikes outside. As part of the program, launching early next year, a variety of technologies to charge lithium-ion batteries will be tested at public docks across the city. Technologies include battery-swapping networks and secure e-bike parking docks with fast charging to docked e-bikes.
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December 5, 2023

MTA installs new turnstiles designed to stop fare evasion

The traditional turnstiles at a subway station in Queens have been fully replaced with new wide-aisle fare gates, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Monday. Designed to increase accessibility and prevent fare evasion, the new fare gates were deployed at the Sutphin Boulevard Archer Avenue-JFK Airport subway station in Jamaica. The fare gates replace the emergency exit gate at the end of the station; more than half of all fare evasion occurs through these emergency gates, according to the MTA.
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December 5, 2023

PATH begins tap-and-go fare payment pilot

Contactless fare payment has finally made it to New Jersey. Starting Tuesday, five turnstiles at two PATH stations will accept tap-and-go payments as part of a test of the new Total Access PATH Payment (TAPP) system, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced. While TAPP is designed by the same company behind the MTA's OMNY, the two systems are not compatible.
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December 1, 2023

NYC to improve safety conditions at 2,000 intersections per year

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday launched an initiative that will boost New York City's ongoing efforts to improve traffic safety by doubling the number of intersections that receive safety enhancements to at least 2,000 per year. Visibility improvements will be made to a minimum of 1,000 intersections per year using an effective method known as daylighting. The initiative comes after a tow truck driver killed a 7-year-old at an "undaylighted" intersection in Brooklyn last month.
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November 30, 2023

Drivers will likely pay $15 to enter certain parts of Manhattan as part of congestion pricing plan

Drivers entering certain parts of Manhattan could be charged a $15 toll as part of New York City's congestion pricing program, the first of its kind in the nation. As first reported by the New York Times, the Traffic Mobility Review Board released a report on Thursday detailing the pricing structure for the tolls for the Central Business District Tolling Program, which covers an area of Manhattan from 60th Street to the Battery. The program aims to alleviate traffic, encourage the use of public transit, and reduce pollution, all while generating $1 billion in annual revenue for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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November 29, 2023

NYC reopens scaled-down Corona Plaza street market

The popular street market at Corona Plaza in Queens is returning with far fewer vendors and more regulations after being shut down by the city this summer. Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced plans to restore the marketplace at 103rd Street and Roosevelt Avenue with just 14 vendors compared to the more than 80 merchants located there before the shutdown in July. The city said regulating the community vending area became necessary after complaints over public safety and cleanliness increased fivefold in one year.
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