Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray on Friday opened the free ticket giveaway for festivities at Gracie Mansion this Halloween. From Friday, October 26 to Sunday, October 28, guests will be able to tour the historic home decked out in a haunted theme and enjoy activities like face painting, story-telling, a magic show, and arts and crafts. Expect both tricks and treats from the couple at this annual spooky celebration.
Bill de Blasio
Brooklyn Heights Promenade via Wikimedia
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade could close for six years while the city rehabilitates a 1.5 mile stretch of the crumbling Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), transportation officials announced Thursday. According to Politico, the city’s transportation department unveiled two plans for revamping the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO section of the BQE, which supports the promenade. The options include a quicker, six-year plan to divert cars to an elevated highway next to the Promenade or replace the BQE lane by lane, which could take up to eight years.
Shuttered since 1982, the Greenpoint Hospital will soon be home to a new mixed-use development with roughly 500 units of affordable housing, as well as a shelter for 200 homeless New Yorkers. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced on Thursday it will work with St. Nicks Alliance, Hudson Companies Incorporated, and Project Renewal on the project, with the design led by Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP) and Architecture Outfit. The 3.4-acre site, located at 288 Jackson Street, will include two newly constructed buildings and two rehabilitated historic buildings.
Rendering via NYCEDC
The long-delayed plan to bring a light-rail trolley between Brooklyn and Queens has been revived, following the completion of a two-year feasibility study, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. But the proposal differs from the original idea for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) the mayor had first released in 2016. The cost of the revised project has jumped to $2.7 billion from $2.5 billion, the number of miles on the route has dropped from 16 miles to 11 miles and the city expects the cars to run by 2029, instead of the original projection of 2024.
Photo of Governors Island via simplethrill on Flickr
The city has launched the public review process for rezoning Governors Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. A notice announcing the first public hearing for the plan was posted by the city, a critical part of the environmental review process (h/t Crain’s). The rezoning would create 4.5 million square feet of commercial, academic and cultural development, part of an endeavor to turn the 172-acre island into a 24/7 community.
Image of Rikers Island via Wikimedia
Four new borough-based jails have been proposed for New York City as part of a plan to close Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The proposed facilities, which include building sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, will contain about 1,500 beds each and offer on-site support services. The new jails would include space for educational programming, recreation, therapeutic services and staff parking. There will also be community facilities and street-level retail space, providing amenities to the surrounding neighborhood.
Via NYC Ferry
A new ferry route connecting the South Bronx and Wall Street launched on Wednesday, the first-ever ferry service between the two boroughs in the 21st century. The new route starts at Clason Point Park in Soundview and makes stops at East 90th Street, East 34th Street and ends at Wall Street’s Pier 11. The entire trip takes about 45 minutes. “The new Soundview ferry will cut commute times in half for thousands of Bronxites,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Our all-of-the-above approach to transit gives New Yorkers reliable options to get where they need to go.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio in June announced the city would help landlords create and renovate legal basement and cellar apartments in Brooklyn. This includes making the apartments up to code by ensuring proper safety requirements and windows, among other modifications. As a part of the pilot program, homeowners can apply for the basement pilot program through a city-approved, community-based organization. “This program will increase the stock of affordable housing in East New York, provide additional income to homeowners, and ensure tenant safety,” de Blasio said. The deadline for the basement conversion program is August 15 (h/t City Limits).
Photo via rhythmicdiaspora on Flickr
Despite spending over $300 million on system repairs over the last year, the New York City subway is showing little improvement, with its on-time rate just around 65 percent during the weekday, the New York Times reported. Last summer, after a train derailed at 125th street and left 30 people injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And while the MTA and its chair, Joseph Lhota, unveiled an $800 million action plan to fix the subway, and new NYC Transit Chief Andy Byford later laid out an aggressive plan to modernize the system, the subway’s “summer of hell” seems far from over.
New York City financed more than 32,000 affordable homes in the last fiscal year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. This breaks the record set by former Mayor Ed Koch in 1989 and sets a record for most new construction with 9,140 affordable homes. But with the additional units come additional costs: The city’s investment in the housing plan grew from $1 billion in fiscal year 2017 to $1.6 billion this year.