Housing Starts:Changing New York | Benefits of Developing NYCHA Land | Preserving Affordable Housing

May 15th 2015

Image Credit: Huffington Post

  1. Past to Present: Changing New York Restaurants, museums, parks, residential buildings. These are a few of the changing features of New York City causing the cultural landscape of the city to evolve. New York in the 1970’s was a mixture of cultures, classes, and people with diverging motives for moving there, all co-existing in one city. The industrial neighborhoods, like the Meatpacking and Garment Districts were providing jobs to the burgeoning working class and artists were looking for their big break. These are just a few of the topics discussed by pro-preservationist Jeremiah Moss and development aficionado Nikolai Fedak in an interview for New York Magazine on the evolution of the city and its future. [Huffington Post – 05/11/15]
  2. Developing NYCHA Land Has Benefits, But They Drop Off in Less Affluent Neighborhoods Developing land owned by the New York City Housing Authority has the potential to generate much-needed revenue for the public housing agency while simultaneously creating more affordable housing, but those benefits drop off abruptly in less affluent neighborhoods, according to a report released today by NYU’s Furman Center. The report, “Building New or Preserving the Old,” which used financial modeling to determine what ground lease payment and/or affordability requirements NYCHA could achieve by leasing land for development in neighborhoods with different market rents, found that the effectiveness of land-lease arrangements would vary widely by to neighborhood. [Observer – 05/13/15]
  3. City Council to Take More Aggressive Role in Cataloging and Preserving Affordable Housing The City Council announced Wednesday morning the creation of a task force to help preserve existing affordable housing in the five boroughs—a monumental task that has dogged administrations for decades. The Affordable Housing Preservation Taskforce will be led by Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and will include 13 other members who will collaborate with residents, landlords and local nonprofits to help identify buildings around the city on the brink of becoming market rate. ‘As costs of living in New York City rise, it’s imperative that we proactively protect affordability in our communities and ensure that residents can make ends meet in the neighborhoods they helped build,’ Ms. Mark-Viverito said in a statement. [Crains NY – 05/13/15]
  4. Why Billionaires Don’t Pay Property Taxes in New York When a duplex condominium in New York’s new One57 supertall tower sold for $100.5 million dollars in January, it shattered all records. This condo is the most expensive single-family residence ever sold in Manhattan. Yet, at the rate that luxe residential towers are coming online in the part of Midtown known as Billionaires Row—consider the $91.5 million sale just last month—even that mondo One57 record may not last for long. [City Lab – 05/11/15]
  5. Brooklyn Rents Hit New Peak, Manhattan Pushes Higher Median rents climbed for the fourteenth consecutive month in Manhattan in April, while in Brooklyn, they reached their highest point since Douglas Elliman began collecting data for the borough, according to the brokerage’s latest rental market report. After two months of small declines, the Brooklyn median rent rose 5.6 percent to $2,961, while the average rent slipped 0.3 percent to $3,220. ‘What happened with that was we had a period of growth in year-over-year rents, and then the last couple of months rents have started to level out in Brooklyn and we saw a little bit of a decline the last two months, but really still just shy of record levels,’ said Jonathan Miller, president of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the author of the Elliman report. ‘Then this month it resumed climbing and broke the ceiling, so to speak.’ [The Real Deal – 05/14/15]
  6. State Withholds Funds From Some New York City Homeless Shelters New York state moved Tuesday night to withhold funding from some of New York City’s homeless shelters because of their poor conditions, sparking a fight over near-record homelessness in the city. In a letter Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration sent to City Hall, the state said 16 shelters were in such poor condition that it would withhold funding until matters improved. The letter from the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance said state officials had investigated the shelters in recent days. The city’s homeless population in shelters is near 57,000 and has risen significantly in recent years. [The Wall Street Journal – 05/12/15]
  7. Hundreds Rally in East New York for Community Input in City’s Rezoning Plan Hundreds of people rallied in the streets of East New York Tuesday demanding to have a voice in the city’s rezoning process. Tenant advocates, union workers, labor leaders and Brooklyn residents gathered at Highland Park to call on the city to include affordable housing, union jobs, resident participation and anti-displacement policies in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to rezone 15 neighborhoods. [DNAinfo – 05/13/15]
  8. Foreign Money Is Pouring Into U.S. Real Estate, and It’s Not Just Houses Blockbuster real estate deals are back and breaking records as cash from around the globe pours into U.S. office buildings, apartment complexes and other investment properties. Commercial real estate transactions jumped 45 percent by dollar volume in the first quarter, an increase driven by sales of multiple buildings or entire companies, according to research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc. Since then, General Electric Co. agreed to sell real estate assets to Blackstone Group LP and Wells Fargo & Co. in a deal valued at about $23 billion, the largest property purchase since the financial crisis. [Bloomberg Business – 05/13/15]
  9. Jackson Heights Rents Rising Faster Than Other Queens Neighborhoods: Report Neighborhood rents shot up by double-digits for some apartments in April despite an overall decrease in rental prices across Queens, according to a report. Two-bedroom apartments in the neighborhood saw the biggest spike in the borough, jumping 17.4 percent between March and April, a report by MNS Real Estate found. Rents in Jackson Heights overall were up nearly 8 percent, fueled by a ‘relatively small inventory’ compared to other neighborhoods, the report said.  [DNAinfo – 05/13/15]
  10. Steiner NYC Brining Wegmans to Brooklyn Navy Yard Beloved grocery store chain Wegmans is set to open a new location on Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, after the Yard’s board approved a deal for Doug Steiner’s Steiner NYC to develop the site on Tuesday. Steiner, developer of the 25-acre Steiner Studios in the Navy Yard, will spend $140 million to construct the 74,000-square-foot grocery store, along with additional retail, industrial space and parking, the New York Times reported. […] The bid from Steiner and Wegmans was chosen because the affordability of its groceries as well as its commitment to create 200 full-time jobs and 600 other jobs, more than any of the three other proposals. [The Real Deal – 05/13/15]
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