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Bronx Fights for Spot on Map | Real Estate Family’s Legacy | New Affordable Housing in East New York

Housing Starts | April 8th 2014

(credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

  1. Bronx neighborhood fights for its spot on the map. For years, this perpetually overlooked neighborhood in the north Bronx has been mislabeled on city and online maps - when it is not left out entirely - and called the wrong name by outsiders who are confused, misinformed or just lost. Now residents and local officials have set out to get Allerton its cartographic due [The New York Times – 04/06/14]
  2. How one family passes it on, and on… Most real estate families have difficulty keeping property empires in one piece through the third generation. The Rudins are working on generation number five. These days, as the family prepares to open its first major development in more than 10 years-the residential conversion of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital-siblings Samantha Rudin Earls and Michael Rudin are being groomed for future leadership. [The Wall Street Journal – 04/06/14]
  3. Shovels hit the ground for affordable housing in East New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday joined developers and community members to break ground on a major new project in East New York that will create hundreds of apartments of affordable housing and space for community organizations. Livonia Commons, Phase I of a multi-phase project, the Livonia Avenue Initiative, will include 278 units in four buildings built on vacant, formerly city-owned land. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle – 04/07/14]
  4. Manhattan boro president seeks more landmarks.  Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer plans to introduce legislation that would require the city Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider any building older than 50 years for review, whenever a developer files permits to demolish it, she announced Friday. The proposed legislation would require the commission to take 30 days for public review before deciding whether or not to consider a building for landmark status. Separately, it would also codify a provision that prohibits owners of buildings under consideration for such protected status from gaining demolition permits. [Crain’s New York – 04/04/14]
  5. NYCHA units see spike in crime that outpaces city, leaving residents in fear.  In the sometimes separate world of public housing, a realistic fear of crime lingers over 400,000 tenants - and it’s getting worse. Many of the working people and elderly who make up the vast majority of New York City Housing Authority residents live in a constant state of hyper-awareness to avoid becoming a victim. Records obtained exclusively by the Daily News reveal that in the last five years, public housing tenants have been battered by a stubbornly resilient spike in crime. NYCHA’s 334 projects saw a 31% spike in major crime to an eight-year high, while the rest of the city experienced a 3.3% increase, the records show. [New York Daily News – 04/06/14]
  6. New York City residential construction boomed in 2013. Employment in New York City’s construction sector hit a five-year peak in 2013, while spending on residential construction was the highest in decades, according to a report from the New York Building Congress. Overall, construction spending hit $29.3 billion last year, up 6 percent from $27.7 billion 2012. Residential spending in particular surged, rising 36 percent to $7.3 billion from $5.3 billion the previous year, even when accounting for inflation [The Real Deal – 04/07/14]
  7. The future of Chicago’s most infamous public housing project. Little remains of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, a mid-century public housing complex once home to as many as 15,000 people. The poorly maintained high rises, rife with gang violence, were eventually demolished (the final one came down in 2011). Today, only low-rise units and dozens of acres of vacant land remain. The Chicago Housing Authority hopes to see it all redeveloped soon. Last year, the CHA launched its ‘Plan Forward: Communities That Work,’ which aims to replace or rehab 25,000 subsidized housing units in the city by 2015, a goal originally set for 2010. Part of that plan includes redeveloping Cabrini-Green and the Near North Side. [The Atlantic Cities – 04/07/14]
  8. Housing recovery is all for the ‘haves.’ Demand is high, prices are higher, but the housing numbers this spring are just not adding up. Mortgage origination volumes hit their lowest recorded level since at least 2000, according to a report released Monday from Black Knight Financial Services. The biggest volume drop is in refinances, which have fallen steadily since rates rose a full percentage point in June, but that’s not the full picture. It is really about who qualifies for a loan and who does not. [CNBC – 04/07/14]
  9. Shortage of low-income housing pushes tenants into dangerous situations. The pending ouster of poor and disabled residents from an office building that officials said was illegally converted to apartments and left to deteriorate is drawing renewed attention to the squalid conditions many Angelenos endure for affordable rents. [Los Angeles TImes – 04/07/14]
  10. Developer makes a killing in Bushwick. Nearly two years after picking up a building site in a foreclosure auction and then erecting a five-story, 127-unit luxury apartment building, Read Property Group has sold it for $58 million even before leasing begins. The sale is seen as a milestone for the area. [Crain’s New York – 04/07/14]
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