The former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, announced a new philanthropic project on Monday aimed at investing and empowering the country’s cities. The $200 million program, called the American Cities Initiative, will help mayors push for policies that deal with climate change, gun violence, public health and immigration. As the New York Times reported, a major component of Bloomberg’s project will be a “Mayors Challenge,” which will award six-and seven-figure grants to mayors who draft interesting policy proposals.
Since initially hitting the market last summer, Donald Trump‘s childhood home in Jamaica Estates, Queens has seen quite the runaround. After a price chop from $1.65 to $1.2 million, the listing was pulled in November to head to the auction block, but shortly thereafter Manhattan real estate mogul Michael Davis bought the Tudor-style home sight-unseen for just under $1.4 million. He then flipped it for $2.14 million, nearly twice what he paid and double the neighborhood average. Mansion Global now has the scoop that the mystery buyer, whose identity was shielded behind the LLC “Trump Birth House,” will rent it out for between $3,500 and $4,000 a month, on par with similarly sized homes in the neighborhood.
***Update 7/16/2017: Just one day after it was announced that Donald Trump’s childhood home would be placed on the rental market, DNA Info reports that the Queens property has already found a tenant. Real estate agent Jason Friedman of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage told the website that “a long-term lease, for at least a year” was signed “almost immediately” after the home was listed, although for how much is not clear. Friedman shared only that the rent was more than the $3,500 reported yesterday. No word yet on who has scooped up the property.
Photo of Lynne Patton and President Trump courtesy of Patton’s Instagram
President Trump appointed family friend Lynne Patton on Wednesday to oversee New York’s federal housing programs, despite her clear lack of housing experience. Patton, who formerly arranged tournaments at Trump’s golf courses and planned Eric Trump’s wedding, will head up the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, and will oversee the distribution of billions of taxpayer dollars. As reported by the Daily News, Patton’s relationship with the Trump family dates back to 2009 when she first began as their event planner.
Despite winning the presidential election last fall, Donald Trump’s New York City properties have hit a losing streak. Trump-branded hotels and condos throughout the city have seen a sharp decline in event bookings and property values. And at the 55-story Trump Palace at 200 East 69th Street, one of the tallest towers in the neighborhood, the average unit sits on the market for 107 days, 35 percent longer than the average luxury unit. To combat declining property values, an apartment owner at Trump Palace has written a letter asking neighbors to come together and remove the name “Trump” from the building, as the Hollywood Reporter discovered.
Waterfront Alliance’s ‘Harbor Scorecard’ says if your NYC neighborhood is at risk for severe flooding, Fri, June 2, 2017
This week marked the beginning of hurricane season and experts predict storms will be worse than usual, especially following President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Thursday. To better inform New Yorkers about the risks of rising sea level and storm surges, the Waterfront Alliance, a nonprofit that works to protect waterfronts, released a Harbor Scorecard, as reported by the Brooklyn Eagle. The interactive scorecard lets users view each neighborhood by its waterfront safety and coastal resiliency. The group found that more than 400,000 New Yorkers face a 50 percent risk of a major flood by 2060.
Photo of Trump SoHo via Trump Hotels
Trump SoHo, a $450 million, 46-story hotel condominium at 246 Spring Street, has suffered from a sharp decline in corporate event bookings and an increase in staff layoffs. Documents reviewed by WYNC show the once $700-per-night hotel now offers rooms for under $400 a night, less than most of the city’s five- and even four-star rated accommodations. Plus, managers plan on laying off 12 room attendants out of the hotel’s 80 total housekeeping staff and removing turn-down service. While last year the hotel booked 29 large corporate events between January and mid-May, this year just 11 events were booked, with fewer well-known names.
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As his administration finalizes its budget plan, Governor Cuomo wrote a letter Sunday to President Trump asking for emergency federal funds to lessen what he called Penn Station’s “summer of agony,” reports the Daily News. With six weeks of infrastructure repairs coming to the transit hub this July and August, the governor said the station’s daily flow of 600,000 passengers will face a 20 percent reduction in service during peak hours while Amtrak shuts down some of its tracks, which will then have a ripple effect on the subway system and regional transit.
Congress budget deal will reimburse NYC for Trump Tower security in ‘protection package’ split with Florida, Tue, May 2, 2017
Congress agreed to a budget deal Sunday night that allocates money to pay New York City back for funds spent on protecting Trump Tower, reports the New York Daily News. The bipartisan agreement creates a $68 million “protection package,” which will reportedly be split with Florida, where Trump’s Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago mansion serves as his vacation home.
As 6sqft reported recently, President Trump may include two major New York transportation projects in his proposed budget cuts, including the Gateway Program that would build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River and a program which extends the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan to East Harlem. The Gateway Program, which would add a much-needed second rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and upgrade aging rail infrastructure in New York and New Jersey, has been relying on the federal government for half of its estimated $24 billion cost. WNYC reports that even if the funding is pulled, the agency may look to funding from a public-private partnership.
Earlier this year, President Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, hired two NY-based developers to head an infrastructure commission, which oversees spending on his proposed $1 trillion plan to improve the country’s bridges and roads. Despite this clear connection to the Big Apple, the president refuses to say whether he will include two major transportation projects for the city, both of which his proposed budget defunds, as the New York Times reported. As of now, Trump has proposed eliminating a program that would build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River and a program which extends the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan to East Harlem.
The uncertain political climate and anti-immigrant rhetoric following Donald Trump’s election caused a drop in tourism to New York from many countries, and notably, from Mexico. In an effort to repair its relationship, New York City and Mexico City renewed a city-to-city partnership this week to foster tourism between the two places. As Crain’s learned, NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency, collaborated with Mexico City’s Ministry of Tourism, to share best practices in tourism marketing and provide reciprocal promotional support. In Mexico City, billboards and bus shelters will declare “New York City- Le da la bienvenida al mundo,” which means “welcoming the world.”
With a federal budget proposal that strips significant funding to the Environmental Protection Agency, it’s not so shocking that President Trump and his son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, both own buildings that rank as the least energy-efficient in New York City. The Daily News shared a new report from ALIGN, a coalition of labor and environmental activists, which found that Trump Tower uses more energy than 93 percent of the city’s large residential buildings. Worse, the Trump Organization’s Mayfair condo uses more than 98 percent. The report also revealed that a Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue (controversial for even more reasons as of late) uses more energy than 85 percent of large office buildings.
Despite the fact that Donald Trump received only 18 percent of presidential votes citywide, he’s getting a surprising show of NYC support when it comes to his $20 billion border wall. Crain’s reports that 11 New York-based firms, including contractors, architects, and “little-known small businesses,” have expressed interest in the project, seemingly undeterred by legislation proposed last month that would bar the city from signing contracts with companies involved in the wall. Though some of these applicants support Trump’s true intentions, others have taken a more creative approach, using the submission process as a way to support immigration and co-existence.
While the President has yet to visit Trump Tower since his inauguration, the price of protecting the First Lady and 10-year-old Barron costs the city an average of $136,000 per day, according to the NYPD. Congress offered only $7 million to reimburse the city for the $24 million the police department said they have spent protecting the building between the period of Trump’s election and his inauguration. However, as Crain’s learned, that payment is not guaranteed, and NYC may have to compete with New Jersey and Florida, both places the president frequents, for the money.
New York’s top elected officials, aware of the political leanings of their constituents, continue to be outspoken in their opposition to President Trump and his administration. As Crain’s reports, City Comptroller Scott Stringer serves as one of New York’s most vocal assailants on Trump, with 50 percent of his press releases written this month attacking the president’s policy proposals. In a report released this week, Stringer analyzed Trump’s proposed federal income tax law and found that it disproportionately benefits the highest-income earners in New York. If adopted, 40 percent of all single parents would see their taxes go up, compared to 90 percent of millionaires who would see a reduction, according to Stringer.