In June, a petition was filed in New York Supreme Court to prevent the construction of an eight-story hotel next door to the historic Merchant’s House Museum in the East Village. Now, Curbed reports, the proposal to build the hotel was unanimously rejected Thursday by the City Council’s subcommittee on zoning and franchises. The 186-year-old townhouse belonged to hardware merchant Seabury Tredwell, who bought the 10,000-square-foot residence for $18,000 in 1832.
Several bills were passed in New York City Council on Wednesday to help address the inconvenience and traffic chaos expected during the planned 15-month L train tunnel closure for repairs due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, slated to begin in April 2019. The legislation calls for information centers in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, complaint investigation resources, and the fast-tracking of a new electric bus fleet, Curbed reports.
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The New York City Council approved on Wednesday a package of legislation to regulate for-hire vehicles, like Uber and Lyft, making New York the first major city to cap new licenses. The legislation will stop issuing licenses to for-hire vehicles for one year, as the city studies the growing industry. And a minimum wage, which could start at $17.22 an hour, will be established for app-based drivers, which no city has done before.
Update 8/7/18: Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday signed into law a bill that cracks down on the number of illegal Airbnb listings in New York City. Taking effect in February 2019, the new law requires the company to disclose the names and addresses of its hosts. The information will be turned over to the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement.
The New York City Council passed a bill on Wednesday that requires Airbnb and other home-sharing sites to provide the names and addresses of its hosts to the city. Under state law, it remains illegal in most buildings to rent out an apartment for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is there. Just hours before the council unanimously voted for this legislation, an Airbnb host from Brooklyn, Stanley Karol, sued the city in federal court for fining him $30,000 after speaking out against the bill. “I believe that the City has sought to silence me, by not only saddling me with massive fines, but also making me feel unsafe in my own home,” Karol said.
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As part of the new city budget, New York City has committed $500 million toward a plan to construct thousands of new apartments for low-income senior citizens on vacant public housing land, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new units would also free up existing NYCHA units currently occupied by seniors for people currently on wait lists for housing.
Rendering of the Bedford Courts development planned for the Bedford-Union Armory; image: BFC Partners/Bedford Courts
Amid growing opposition, the proposed Crown Heights Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment project began its evaluation by the City Council at a hearing Tuesday on land use applications filed by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), amNewYork reports. The massive armory, once housing for the National Guard, became city property in 2013. The EDC plans to sell the property to developer BFC Partners for the creation of 56 condos, of which 20 percent would be income restricted. The remaining market rate condos would help pay for the rest of the project, which would be leased by BFC Partners and would include 330 rentals (165 affordable), office space and a recreation center. Critics say the city is setting a dangerous precedent by leasing public land for private use, especially when market-rate condos are included. The de Blasio administration has championed the recreation center and housing, but the plan has has come under fire by neighborhood advocacy groups and has had an uphill battle in achieving the City Council approval it needs.
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Advocacy group Move NY has suggested that the city impose a congestion charge on motorists driving on Manhattan’s most crowded streets. Similar proposals haven’t fared well in the state legislature–but the group cites a 1957 state law that says cities with a population of over a million can toll their own roadways and bridges. The Wall Street Journal reports that Move NY will offer the City Council’s transportation committee a new proposal today under which the city would impose a $2.75 charge on automobiles entering Manhattan’s central business district below 60th Street. The fee for trucks would be higher; for-hire vehicles including taxis would pay a congestion surcharge based on trips within the zone.
Whether you want to know or not, NYC landlords may soon be required to tell you of any past or current bedbug infestations in your building when you sign or renew a lease. As reported by the NY Post, a new city council bill would force landlords to file infestation histories with the Department of Housing and Preservation Development and to either publicly post them in the buildings or distribute them to tenants. The agency would also require all histories to be posted on their website.
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The de Blasio administration pulled the plug Monday on proposed legislation that would give the city a 20 percent cut of any air rights sales in midtown Manhattan’s Theater District, according to Crain’s. The reversal followed disputes with City Council members over a key element–a floor price for the sales. The proposal had been part of a long effort to get theater owners to up the amount they contribute to a fund used for venue maintenance and support for smaller theaters. There is now speculation as to whether the move could cast a shadow on the administration’s Midtown East rezoning plan, which is a similar policy initiative.
President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to remain in his Manhattan HQ is causing concern among businesses in the area. Business leaders and local officials spoke out Tuesday at a City Council hearing on the threat that blocked sidewalks and traffic snarls are posing to jobs, tax revenues, tourist appeal and “global reputation,” reports Crain’s. Local merchants claim they’ve taken a significant hit, and that many are considering not renewing their leases or moving elsewhere. Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District president Tom Cusack estimated that local businesses have lost $40 million in revenue since Election Day due to the security maze that the area surrounding Trump Tower has become.