Year in Real Estate
There is a long road ahead—that much is certain.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create 90,000 new units of affordable housing and preserve an additional 110,000 units over the next 10 years will require the support of not only Albany and Washington, D.C., but also many of the real estate industry’s key players in addition to city resources.
William Bratton’s selection as police commissioner under Bill de Blasio will stand as perhaps the mayor-elect’s most prominent appointment. But as the clock ticks on Michael Bloomberg’s administration, two questions remain unanswered: Which projects begun under Mayor Bloomberg will unfold as planned? And who will shepherd Mr. de Blasio’s development goals?
In its final weeks in power, the Bloomberg administration is rushing to consolidate the mayor’s imposing real estate legacy. A New York Times article on Monday reported that $12 billion worth of projects were being pushed through for approval in the mayor’s twilight hours. They include grand projects like a massive Ferris wheel and outlet mall on Staten Island, America’s largest indoor ice rink in the Bronx and the Domino sugar factory redevelopment on the Brooklyn waterfront.
Midtown East Rezoning
The City Planning Commission has voted to approve the U.S. Tennis Association‘s $500 million renovation and expansion of the National Tennis Center after the USTA agreed to more than double the city parkland being lost through the project.
Flushing, Queens community members had opposed the use of a 0.68-acre strip of city parkland, but the USTA agreed to replace Read More
New York City is beginning the public review process for the proposed rezoning of Midtown East, it was announced yesterday.
“Our East Midtown plan provides zoning incentives for the development of a handful of new, state-of-the-art sustainable commercial buildings over the next 20 years,” said Amanda Burden, city planning commissioner, in a prepared statement. “This will enable this iconic district to build on its distinguished building stock and maintain a spectrum of commercial space for different business needs, including tenants seeking modern Class A offices.
Pangs of New York
Shortly into yesterday’s City Planning Commission public hearing on the special permit application for Madison Square Garden—an event that would stretch into the evening—a comparison to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was made. It was an early indication of what would be a recurring theme throughout the day.
A number of obstacles facing the Garden, from its age and inferior infrastructure to its request for special signage, were brought to the fore as Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden heard from a list of 50 speakers, ranging from State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried to former New York Knick Larry Johnson, he of the four-point play.
Martin Scorsese, who grew up on the then-mean streets of Little Italy, has joined the fight to slow the luxurious transformation of the Bowery. The director recently wrote a letter to City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden that announced his solidarity with the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors as the organization seeks revised zoning limits on the east side of the thoroughfare, a former Skid Row and, before that, theater and vaudeville destination.
The New York City Department of City Planning has approved The Howard Hughes Corporation’s plans to raze South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 and replace it with a two-level glass structure.
The commission agreed to allow the Dallas-based developer to overhaul the existing development with 120,000 square feet of retail and additional open space, including a 10,000-square-foot Read More
Farewell to All That
New York City may have brought down Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but another torrid Frenchman will not be held up by the likes of us.
The Biggest Boro
In a move that could help revive debate about the future of midtown west’s grungy office stock, Edison Properties wants to build a 407-unit residential tower in the area directly south of Penn Station, currently a no man’s land of cheap office lofts and questionable pizza joints.
The New Jersey-based developer owns a parking lot Read More
Everybody Go Downtown
Last year, New York magazine, via the magic of stats wizard Nate Silver, declared Sunnyside, Queens, the third best neighboirhood in the city. The first two were obvious–Park Slope and the Lower East Side–but the choice of the (for how much longer?) working-class neighborhood just off the 7 train was a bit of Read More
Most streets in the Financial District are a warren of glorified cow paths and back alleys that date back to the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdaam. One of the rare exceptions is Water Street, which once was at the historic water line but was built out with landfill centuries ago. Now the street spans eight Read More
Better Faster Stronger
The most talked about rezoning of the Bloomberg/Burden era has to be the 2005 transformation of Williamsburg and Greenpoint from gritty industrial backwater to haute condo clusterfuck. And yet the one that has had a far greater impact on Brooklyn, or at least its skyline, is the one undertaken a year prior in Read More
The real estate development world, which is full of complaints about government, rarely throws around the term “efficient” when speaking of the Department of City Planning. One of the biggest complaints is that most every developer embarking on a big project must go through what can be a months-long “pre-certification” process (though it can even Read More
Looks like the Bloomberg administration, currently updating the city charter, may leave its land-use approval process untouched.
Amanda Burden, chairwoman of the City Planning Commission and the administration’s empress of all things zoning, said last night that she does not want to see the seven-month review process changed.
Speaking on a panel on the land Read More
In a late September planning conference at N.Y.U., Vishaan Chakrabarti strode into the college’s Kimmell Center a healthy hour after the event began.
Taking his place onstage, the former city planning official and development executive began to speak about his favorite project: the redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station-in the planning stages for nearly two decades-an effort Read More