City Council

Policy

Via CityRealty

A package of legislation being introduced in the City Council on Wednesday aims to make renting in New York City more affordable. The bills, drafted by Council Members Keith Powers and Carlina Rivera, would limit broker fees and security deposits each to one month’s rent, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bills come after a report by City Comptroller Scott Stringer released last summer found that New Yorkers paid over $507 million in security deposits in 2016.

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Long Island City, Policy

Amazon will fight efforts to unionize by NYC workforce

By Devin Gannon, Thu, January 31, 2019

amazon, long island city, amazon nyc

A rendering of One Court Square in LIC, where Amazon will temporarily move this year; via NYCEDC

During a heated City Council hearing on Wednesday, Amazon said it will oppose efforts by its New York City workforce to unionize. Speaker Corey Johnson asked Brian Huseman, the public policy vice president for Amazon, if the company would allow workers to unionize while remaining neutral during the process. Huseman responded, “No, sir,” establishing a tense tone for the rest of the hearing, the Daily News reported.

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Policy

NYC affordable housing

Via Wikimedia

Real estate developers would be required to disclose prior relationships with politicians before signing any deals with the city under a new bill being introduced Wednesday by Council Member Ben Kallos. The legislation would also make developers reveal their ownership interests and their Minority Women Business Enterprise status. “Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayer’s dime,” Kallos said in an email.

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Brooklyn, Policy

Via Flickr

The New York City Council last week unanimously voted to co-name streets in honor of three NYC music icons, Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan, and folk singer Woody Guthrie, Gothamist reported. If the bills are signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, the block in Brooklyn where B.I.G. grew up will be called Christopher Wallace Way, after the rapper’s birth name, Staten Island’s Vanderbilt Avenue and Targee Street will be known as the Wu-Tang Clan District, and Woodie Guthrie Way will be found on Mermaid Avenue, marking where the singer lived in Coney Island.

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Long Island City, Policy

NYC Council to grill city leaders on Amazon deal

By Devin Gannon, Fri, November 30, 2018

Via CityRealty

Citing concerns about the closed-door deal that drove Amazon to choose Long Island City as home for its second headquarters, the New York City Council announced it will host three hearings to question both city leaders and company exeuctives. Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the first hearing will take place on Dec. 12 to look at how the deal happened, as the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. “One of the major perversions of this is that was all done behind closed doors, with nondisclosure agreements, and without the public or elected officials who weren’t including feeling like they had any say,” Johnson told the WSJ.

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Brooklyn, Downtown Brooklyn, Major Developments, Rentals

Rendering of the 986-foot tower (left) and revised 840-foot tower (right) via Alloy Development and Luxigon

The New York City Council voted on Wednesday to approve 80 Flatbush, a five-building mixed-use development planned for Downtown Brooklyn, Curbed NY reported. The approval comes after negotiations last week between Alloy Development and Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the area, which led to a shorter, less-dense complex. After the developers agreed to cut the height of two buildings, one from 986 feet to 840 feet and another from 560 to 510 feet, the Council’s subcommittee on zoning voted in favor of the project.

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East Village, Historic Homes, Hotels

merchant's house museum, nyc museums, east village

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.

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Transportation

L train, nyc subway, mta

Via Wikimedia

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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Policy, Transportation

NYC Council passes one-year cap on Uber and Lyft

By Devin Gannon, Thu, August 9, 2018

Via joiseyshowaa on Flickr

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.

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affordable housing, Policy, real estate trends

Via CityRealty

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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