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Friday, February 21, 2014

We, and New York City, are Screwed

We've already pointed out the pal relationship between the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and our politicians, and here's the smackdown:

 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sky-limit-affordable-housing-mayor-de-blasio-article-1.1620714

Get ready for even taller skyscrapers and more densely packed neighborhoods.

Mayor de Blasio told a closed-door meeting of real estate barons Wednesday that he has no “hangup” about allowing them to supersize their developments if it means creating more affordable housing.

“As we get to know each other . . . I hope people hear me loud and clear that the only way I can achieve my goals is if we are building and building aggressively,” he said.

“I’m deadly serious about 200,000 units of affordable housing.”

Leaving no doubt what he meant, de Blasio said reaching his housing goals would require erecting the biggest buildings possible.

He called it a “willingness to use height and density to the maximum feasible extent. This is something I’ve said in our previous meetings I don’t have a hangup about. I think it’s necessary to do what I’m here to do.”

De Blasio made his remarks to the executive board of the Real Estate Board of New York, known as REBNY, where he was warmly received.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

de Blasio didn't allow the press in to the meeting to cover his selling out of tenants in NYC. He tried to cover it up. In office less than 2 months and de Blasio broke his campaign promise to us for which we all voted for him.

Anonymous said...

There are a few comments on the Glass Steagall thread that are important for this post.

1. REBNY hired and paid for the attorneys who fought against Stuyvesant Town on the Roberts case.

2. The woman with Garodnick in the photo is the head of REBNY who hired the attorneys to fight against Stuyvesant Town.

There are links to news articles with more details on this in the previous thread.

There is no doubting REBNY and the politicians and the lawyers made one of their many backroom closed door deals to undo the Judge's ruling that was righteously in favor of tenants. They made this deal to keep the STPCV property income high for the land lords and to screw the tenants out of the Judge's ruling.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

It's pretty depressing, isn't it?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

De Blasio has to do something for the middle class in New York, and soon. I get it that he envisions 80% luxury high-rises offering 20% "affordable" apartments, but he's going to destroy the city if this will be the standard. How will New Yorkers of moderate means live in a city where everything is priced for the wealthy, who will eventually comprise 80% of the population in neighborhoods? If he is so concerned about affordable housing, he should be doing everything he can to save the affordable housing that still remains in the city. No need to build high-rises all over the place. And you know that the non-wealthy tenants in those high-rises will have separate entrances so as not to offend the rich.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio is treating middle class people like a poor lower class. He is pushing down the middle and lower class.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to pack up and leave New York. The corrupt politicians and their puppet masters, the real estate cabal, have set out to destroy it and drive out the middle class and this grinning jackass, DeBlasio, is now showing that he is just another bought and paid for typical New York pol.

Anonymous said...

You get what you vote for....

Anonymous said...

Didn't take long for our new "progressive" mayor to show his true colors. I have written several times here that DeBlasio took the second most money from real estate interests among the candidates in the Dem. primary for Mayor. Yet many in STPCV voted for him. Would any of you have voted for a candidate who claimed to be pro abortion rights who took a lot of money from pro life groups?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I think it's time to pack up and leave New York<<

No way. That's what the REBNY would want.

Anonymous said...

The problem is the candidates who don't take money from REBNY are viciously attacked by REBNY by heavy spending on negative false ads including a lot of spending against tenants by Brookfield, Garodnick's TA purchase partner.

"REBNY-backed PAC goes on the attack. Jobs for New York targets City Council candidates in series of disparaging mailers"

Jobs For New York, the Real Estate Board of New York-supported political action committee, went negative last month, spending nearly $480,000 on literature denouncing 22 candidates in City Council races, the latest campaign finance filings reveal.

The PAC, which counts the Related Companies, Brookfield Office Properties and Fisher Brothers among its major donors, raised $6.8 million in contributions this year and spent $3.4 million as of Sept. 1, the city’s Campaign Finance Board reported.

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2013/09/03/rebny-backed-pac-goes-on-the-attack/

Anonymous said...

We don't need to pack it up and leave. They do!

Anonymous said...

De Blasio vows to fix inequality, still citing the "inequality crisis" at the same time immediately upon taking office declares NYC will be dominantly homes for the wealthy 1% of population with minimal amount of homes built for the un-wealthy 99% of the population?
So NYC will be only wealthy 1%'ers with token amounts of affordable housing? How quickly De Blasio ignores 99% of the population

He should want more people living here building the economy not fewer-but-wealthier who are really part timers.

What he only wants NYC to house the wealthy? Who is this guy?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_inequality_in_the_United_States


media[3] reported that the top wealthiest 1% possess 40% of the nation’s wealth; the bottom 80% own 7%. The gap between the top 10% and the middle class is over 1,000%; that increases another 1000% for the top 1%. The average employee "needs to work more than a month to earn what the CEO earns in one hour."[4] Although different from income inequality, the two are related. In Inequality for All—a 2013 documentary with Robert Reich in which he argued that income inequality is the defining issue for the United States—Reich states that 95% of economic gains went to the top 1% net worth (HNWI) since 2009 when the recovery allegedly started

Anonymous said...

De Blasio proved within the first weeks of office he is not a progressive. He is not on the side of tenants. Here is why we saw it coming and what he should have done:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/07/is-new-yorks-new-mayor-de-blasio-really-a-lefty/

Anonymous said...

De Blasio Broke His Vows

Taking Office, de Blasio Vows to Fix Inequity

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/02/nyregion/bill-de-blasio-inauguration.html?_r=0


In his inaugural address, Mayor de Blasio described social inequality as a “quiet crisis” on a par with the other urban cataclysms of the city’s last half-century, from fiscal collapse to crime waves to terrorist attacks, and said income disparity was a struggle no less urgent to confront.

“We are called to put an end to economic and social inequalities that threaten to unravel the city we love,” he said to about 5,000 people at the ceremony, many beneath blankets on a numbingly cold day.

The photo says it all as he is hailed by the guy who repealed Glass Steagall turning banks into the biggest screwers of society.

Anonymous said...

No question De Blasio is awful for tenants, working families, the 99%. But Lhota would have been even worse. Unimaginably. Last election gave tenants no good choices. We had to rid of the worse of the worst, Quinn and Lhota, so we are left with the best of the worst De Blasio but he is still amongst the worst for tenants and working families.

Anonymous said...

Yes we and the city are really screwed. The "Public Advocate" Tish James who's job it is to represent and advocate for the public in matters with the City declared to reporters she "defers to the Mayor" and does what he says and thinks what he thinks.

The people of NYC have no Public Advocate.

http://vimeo.com/86711990

2 minute video.
Thank you to the hard working press who are revealing all of this for us "people".

Anonymous said...

WHO IS PAYING PAUL WEISS RIFKIN WHARTON GARRISON to "represent" PCVST Tenants?

The TA hired Paul Weiss law firm (after the prior firm the TA hired was caught taking a $50million dollar kickback). They say the TA is not paying Paul Weiss, and Paul Weiss says it is not pro bono.

Does anyone know who is paying Paul Weiss to work for the TA on behalf of tenants?

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2010/02/stuytown.html


Stuy Town Tenants Hire Paul Weiss

With vulture funds circling the 80-acre property, the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association has turned to Paul Weiss to advise them on the bidding process for both developments.

The firm will represent tenants without seeking compensation from them, providing counsel on offers from competing groups seeking to take over management of the complex from Tishman. A Paul Weiss spokeswoman told The Am Law Daily that the matter was not pro bono, but declined to comment on how the firm would be paid.

Bloomberg reports the tenants association could also mount its own bid to take control of the 11,200-unit facility, and Paul Weiss will represent the group on this effort as well.

"We believe that the tenants are the key to a successful solution to the ownership of this iconic housing complex--and we are looking forward to helping them achieve their goals," said Paul Weiss real estate partner Meredith Kane in a statement released by the tenants association. (Kane was in an all-day meeting on Tuesday and not immediately available for comment.)

How did the firm land the assignment? According to The New York Observer, the firm is connected to the tenants association through city councilman Daniel Garodnick, who lives in Peter Cooper Village and played a leading role when tenants submitted a $4 billion bid in 2006 seeking control of the complex."

This article from 2010 still holds true.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: TOXIC CONTAMINATION AT FIRST AVE LOOP CONSTRUCTION

After weeks (upon months) of illegal construction activity that was without regard to safety of tenants and mostly without permits, excavating abruptly over a week ago.

PAL Environmental Services Emergency Response Team came in yesterday dressed in bio-Hazard suits, duct tape at the seams, and full masks.

They "contained" the toxic contaminated area, the ENTIRE area of contamination which is the entire site, with plastic to contain the contamination of the soil that was caused by the excavation.

Tenants have tried to get a report or honest account of the contamination incident. Tenants have reported on record the illegal excavation without permits.

This happened over a week ago. No one is being forthcoming on the incident.

The contamination incident halted construction for over a week. These guys wouldn't halt construction unless it was really very bad for workers to work on the site.

Although a carefully crafted statement might come our way from any of the parties who have so far not mentioned the incident (DOB, Garodnick, TA) - it is safe to assume any crafted statement is a cover up.

How safe will the buildings be when the construction is reckless and other work on the property has already been deemed "shoddy"?

Anonymous said...

We are not alone. This isn't just a PCVST or rent regulated issue. Fighting the misuse and over development of property, land, and skyline is a city wide fight with allies of all income brackets.

Many are standing up to protect NYC quality of life, parks, sunlight, property and skyline against over development of housing for millionaires where only the developers profit and the city, well truth is they don't bring revenue to NYC.

TODAYS NEWS

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/21/nyregion/a-packed-forum-for-a-rising-concern-new-skyscrapers-near-central-park.html

and

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/23/arts/design/seeing-a-need-for-oversight-of-new-yorks-lordly-towers.html

Anonymous said...

There are no checks n balances , as I have said before!!! Oh, STR answered "LOL" ( rudely) when I said we are on our way to being another Detroit ! We need checks n balances to run a city properly. This is just the beginning. Strap yourself in for a wild ride during the next 4 years.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>UPDATE: TOXIC CONTAMINATION AT FIRST AVE LOOP CONSTRUCTION<<

Is there any confirmation of this?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Oh, STR answered "LOL" ( rudely) when I said we are on our way to being another Detroit !<<

Well, if de Blasio is in league with the REBNY, it's hardly going to be Detroit, is it?

Anonymous said...

PAL Environmental Services confirmed a "soil contamination problem" and "tank problem" before they were told not to speak to tenants.

Anonymous said...


The PAL trucks were there today too.
The plastic tarp covering the contaminated soil is still there too.

Anonymous said...

Stuy Town Big Dig blog has photos of a pipe with hole torn in it on Feb 12th and a worker taking a soil test on Feb 13th.

Something definitely went wrong and is contaminated.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Here are the photos:

http://www.stuytownbigdig.com/5hrfqpki32qa9h5mk4l6ri53833vpv

Anonymous said...

CW may have exposed contaminated soil from the gas tanks that were on parts of this property prior to the building of STPCV. NY DEP has conducted air and soil testing a number of times over the years and I believe concluded that there was soil contamination is certain parts of STPCV which did not rise to the surface or affect the water supply and therefore posed no health risk . Looks like the "geniuses" at CW have exposed some contaminated soil. For those investigating this construction, the results of these studies are a matter of public record. Also Town & Village newspaper did some reporting on this in the past so you might want to ask them to check their archives

Anonymous said...

It doesn't take a "genius" to figure out that there were NO manufactured gas sites in the vicinity of 274-278 1st Avenue, but you could have easily found that out with a 5 second Google search to this link; http://www.coned.com/publicissues/manufactured_gas_plants.asp instead of posting false and inaccurate speculation that just makes you look foolish.

Anonymous said...

I wonder when Garodnick will come out and talk about the contaminated soil uncovered by the Big Dig? Of course, he will take credit for having discovered it and will give CW one of "talkings to," while smirking quietly and winking at them.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know who is paying Paul Weiss to work for the TA on behalf of tenants?"

I raised this question at one of the house meetings a few years ago. The answer I got is that Paul, Weiss will get paid out of the deal. What exactly that means I still don't understand.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio is a boob and we were all had.

Anonymous said...

2:28 there is no need for your rudeness to 10:40 and you are the one who is inaccurate.

10:40 thanks for the information of which none was false and all was directionally informative.

Anonymous said...

Garodnick, all at the meeting had the chance to mention it at their meeting on the 18th. This happened last week and yet no mention at the meeting and no mention in the Town & Village article yesterday. We don't need anymore too-little-too-late renditions of what 3:06 described quite eloquently.

Anonymous said...


Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village's Environmental Issues

http://gothamist.com/2006/09/26/i_have_seen_tha.php

Anonymous said...



Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village's Environmental Issues

http://gothamist.com/2006/09/26/i_have_seen_tha.php


http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2001-07-01/a-deadly-legacy-of-poisons-from-the-past

Excerpt
"At bottom, I don't think people that live here have been paying sufficient attention to this, and I am concerned that Met Life and Con Ed have significant interests in keeping this quiet. I think if it received some media attention there would be better public debate about what should be done to clean up the mess that exists just a few feet below the surface of these properties, to ensure that whatever is done is done safely and with the best interests of the community in mind. Here is a summary. [FYI, this apparently is disclosed in the bid book created in connection with the sale (hard to imagine how it couldn't be); the only recent mention I've seen of it is in the last paragraph of Janny Scott's NYT article the other day, but she didn't say anything other than to note it's disclosed in the bid materials.]

This entire issue stems from the fact that Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village were built on what used to be manufactured gas plants. A fair amount has been written about former manufactured gas plants (FMGPs) generally, such as the following BusinessWeek article:

The NY State Dep't of Environmental Conservation has a website on the topic of FMGPs; this provides very helpful background, I think.

With respect to Con Ed, they have various information sheets that are publicly available on their website (I think these are required pursuant to the voluntary cleanup agreements). These describe, in general terms, what FMGPs are, and what Con Ed is required to do about them pursuant to the agreements.

* Con Ed's fact sheet on FMGPs generally can be found here
* There is Con Ed's FAQ page (PDF)
* Also, I believe Con Ed is required to have a "Community Involvement Plan," and it can be found at the following link

With reference to the Community Involvement Plan (third bullet above), at the Peter Cooper site where I live, we are now at "Stage 4," i.e., the testing to date has led to the conclusion that contamination is present, and remedial action is required. Over the past 6-8 months there has been "remedial investigation," i.e., investigation of how they will go about remediating."

Anonymous said...

http://www.coned.com/publicissues/MGP/Stuyvesant_FormerMGPSitesOct2009.pdf

Anonymous said...

I'll repeat the fact that you so easily want to ignore. There were NO gas manufacturing sites located on or near 275-278 1st Avenue. There was one on 20th St, one near 14th and Ave C and one near 16 Stuy Oval. I guess it could be possible for contamination to migrate, but before you make unfounded accusations, you should inquire to the regulatory agencies (DEP, DOH) who oversee such contamination problems. That would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

9:37 The First Ave Loop was tested, is contaminated. Read the link 8:45 gave us all.

Anonymous said...

Even a report that was paid for by Con Ed to report on Con Ed couldn't completely cover up that the ground is contaminated including the First Ave Loop.

Are there any reports by independent parties? Let's face it, regulating and reporting on oneself is a joke (re: banks!). Are there any independent reports on Stuy Town soil?

Is that even possible in our heavily paid for NYC system where the pols and the city agencies are paid for by REBNY?

Anonymous said...

9:37 what are you afraid of and why are you trying so hard to stop anyone from questioning and exploring ANY and ALL possibilities of contamination on the First Ave Loop?

Anonymous said...

We need someone with the courage to DEMAND the billionaires Fortress Investment Group, BlackRock, Tishman, restore the Park, clean the soil, roll back and reimburse 100% of overcharges, etc!

Anonymous said...

Anon at 937AM
Aside from the extreme rudeness of your response to my initial post about a POSSIBLE source of the contamination,substantively I point out that I suggested it was a possibility (not a certainty) and gave people some information about how to get details of prior studies to aid in their research. And even if there was no gas plant on the EXACT site of the current excavation, there were a number of gas plants nearby and anyone with a scintilla of knowledge and common sense knows that contamination can seep in soil

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Okay, no more back and forth squabbling, please. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

DeBlasio is a liar, fraud and con artist. It's true that Lhota would have been no better, but at least Lhota didn't represent himself as being a "man of the people" like DeBlasio did.

Garodnick is worse than useless.

Anonymous said...

4:14 SO TRUE!