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Thursday, May 8, 2014

De Blasio's New Housing Plan Takes Aim at "Towers in the Park"



A pdf of the plan:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/housing/assets/downloads/pdf/housing_plan.pdf

It seems that De Blasio is very much aware of the problem of affordable housing and will attempt to save rent-stabilized apartments and build new housing stock.

But I'm cautious about adding more density to certain neighborhoods and loosening zoning regulations--gifts, I believe, to Real Estate.

This caught my attention, too, on page 71:

MODIFY "TOWER-IN-THE-PARK" ZONING REGULATIONS TO BETTER ENABLE APPROPRIATE DEVELOPMENT FOR UNDERUSED LAND FOR HOUSING AND MIXED USE

From the 1940s to the 1970s, many large sites were developed under Mitchell Lama and other programs with high-rise housing in a “tower-in-the-park” configuration. These sites are governed by special zoning rules that require large expanses of open space, often occupied by open parking lots. These open areas potentially provide opportunities to site new housing, including affordable units. However, zoning restrictions would need to be eased. The City will initiate zoning changes to facilitate development on these large sites while preserving light, air and usable recreation space.

Folks, you do realize that Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is the largest "Tower-in-the-Park" area in the city?

36 comments:

Hippo said...

Clearly it is only a matter of time before the rapacious ghouls know as CW Cap set their greedy little eyes on the Oval. A nice 20-story high rise with the requisite 20% of apartments set aside for the poor, the rest market rate condos starting at $1 million. Just you wait and see. Mark my words. And be prepared for more cheap strip mall-like store fronts to be built in all the remaining buildings on the Oval. How sad that what once was a spot of peace, beauty and tranquility has been so defiled.
Hey, at least we have the Summer Concerts to look forward to...NOT!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

"A Park Runs Through It" to...
"A Mall Runs Through It"

Anonymous said...

Why do you think they're letting the buildings deteriorate at such a rapid rate? It's 80 acres of property close to the water front. They're filling the place with destructive college kids who are ruining the buildings, they'll build new ones to replace them, and Chuck Hartsell will be back in the Oval doing his best John Boehner crying routine, telling Sabina how it breaks his heart to lose affordable housing.

FU

Anonymous said...

8 :07 I wholeheartedly agree. Honestly, why wouldn't they? Say goodbye to the fountain and the parks. They'll slowly put up condos but they will not be one million. You can barely get a studio in this area for a million anymore.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye oval.
Goodbye sunbathers.
Goodbye concerts.
Goodbye oval market.
Hello to more MCI'S which will be the result of erecting new cameras for the new buildings. Don't be surprised at anything around here!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This article from Crain's suggests (actually Liz Kreuger suggests) that de Blasio's new housing plan plan may be a bit of tit for tat -- development being the tit for RE, the tat being returning home rule to NYC, giving us back the right to make our own rent regs. Here's the article:

In announcing his huge new affordable-housing plan on Monday Mayor Bill de Blasio added his voice to long-running calls by many city officials over the years to take back control of rent regulation from Albany. A state legislator who has been trying to do that for more than a decade thinks that the new mayor may have a chance.

The big difference? Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg never supported the repeal of the 1971 Urstadt Law, which gives the state Legislature power over rent regulation. Mr. de Blasio does. According to state Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, the real estate community seems to be on board with the new administration's broad push for higher density linked to creation of more affordable units.

"I don't accept history as a given," said Ms. Krueger, whose most recent "home rule" bill designed to bring power back to the city died in the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development last year. "I think it is now more likely that the mayor and the real estate industry will come to the state with a package of proposed changes."

The problem is that while the political winds have shifted in the city, in the state Senate they have not. Ms. Krueger and Michael McKee, a board member at the Metropolitan Council on Housing, point out that upstate Republican lawmakers, like state Sen. Catherine Young, R-Olean, have long voted against repealing the Urstadt Law. And the chances of them bowing to the mayor's request seem unlikely.

"The best way to bring down rents is to expand the number of housing units. It is a basic supply and demand issue," Ms. Young, who chairs the housing committee that voted against the bill last year, said in a statement to Crain's. "Changing the Urstadt Law would prove to be a disaster for the future of New York City's housing market."

If the mayor can secure the support of the real estate community for repeal, however, some observers say that that change could yet happen.

"You are always better off in Albany when you have a stronger and more diverse coalition, and having unlikely bedfellows can certainly be effective," Ms. Krueger said.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140507/REAL_ESTATE/140509881/battle-for-control-of-rent-regulation-seen-shifting#

Anonymous said...

"Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A civilization gone with the wind."

Anonymous said...

What a shame.

Anonymous said...


"You are always better off in Albany when you have a stronger and more diverse coalition, and having unlikely bedfellows can certainly be effective," Ms. Krueger said.

If you believe this tenants will never succeed. The only way to succeed is to stop playing by THEIR rules. Going up to Albany and playing their game limits tenants to parameters they set.

What is needed is Game changers. Real game changers not just ones who use the catch phrase then go up to Albany and play their game.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I have to stop reading this blog. It is so depressing! I'm not saying it isn't spot-on, but it is depressing!

Anonymous said...

OT, but I got a ballot from the TA. They nominate four people, but tell us nothing about them or why we should vote them. Two of them are already board members, but the other two are not. Isn't it customary to give a little info about nominees? Also, aren't there any other contenders whom the TA may not be so in favor of? I just don't understand how that organization works.

Anonymous said...

1:19 PM

What are you talking about? Armed revolution? What exactly are you proposing? I don't know what you mean by game changers.

Don't underestimate the power of an angry electorate. The game has already been changed. NY renters have been pushed far enough by Albany and so now we have de Blasio instead of another RE tool and if I'm reading Crain's correctly, de Blasio's new housing proposal, the one that RE likes so much, comes with a price tag that looks like repeal of Urstadt.

That would be huge. Residents of NYC can't vote out upstate Republicans in the state senate who screw us on rent regs. We can, however, vote out city pols who'd try the same thing.

But the 800 lb gorilla in the room's name didn't get mentioned in the Crain's piece. That would be Andrew Cuomo, the cipher. This year's an election year and Cuomo is gonna try to avoid the issue of rent regs entirely -- which conveniently expire next year on June 15, 2015, a non-election year. So the timing's good with de Blasio's proposal. City renters just need to hammer Cuomo that we've had enough.

Anonymous said...

Good catch STR. This is a concern, but we don't have open parking lots and our green spaces are recreational. We must remain vigilant nonetheless.

What is really scary (as pointed out on the TA FB page) is that the financial instrument accelerating our demise -- the CMBS market -- is coming back strong. With this instrument another buyer in an auction scenario can once again over-leverage the property at attractive rates, slice up the debt and sell it to a fresh pack of fools. Chilling.

Anonymous said...

3:28 here is 1 example to give you understanding of a game changer at work.

anyone robbed for their smartphone or had it stolen from them knows the industry makes billions of dollars from the thievery.

but a few "game changers" forced the immovable, all-powerful tech companies and their ceo's to change their ways.



Game-Changing Smartphone Bills Pass
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/smartphone-kill-switch_n_5290107.html

no doubt if nyc and pcvst had better politicians who were game changers albany would go the way of tech companies. no doubt tech companies have more power and influence than albany and if tech companies can be changed so to can albany.

we need stronger and better pols.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between de Blasio being amicable with people of opposing views at a business table and de Blasio celebrating his birthday with those same people. A birthday celebration crosses over into personal affection, alliance, bond of friendship. Taking it further and promoting that friendship and close bond of their personal celebration is rubbing it in our face, especailly all of us at ST PCV.
This is a big FU to ST PCV.

Anonymous said...

The game changing bill I'm talking about is repeal of Urstadt and if Liz Krueger says that de Blasio has a way to get there, we may already be close to where you want to be.

And again, the 800 lb gorilla in this particular room is Cuomo. He could make this happen.

Anonymous said...

from the Real Deal:

"City-managed rent regulation: disastrous for housing stock?
Former state housing commissioner warns against rent-hike rollbacks, freezes

Charles Urstadt, whose name is attached to the controversial 1971 law that gave Albany power over rent regulation in New York City, predicts that giving oversight back to the City Council—as Mayor Bill de Blasio and others would like—would prove disastrous for the city's housing stock.

"If they repealed the Urstadt Law, New York City would look like Havana," he said.
Mr. de Blasio called for the repeal of the so-called Urstadt Law in the administration's housing plan released Monday. But the former state housing official for whom the law is named argued that giving control to a progressive and tenant-friendly council, with the support of the mayor, would only result in rent hike roll-backs or freezes even as costs for building owners rise.

"The costs of operating the apartments will continue to rise, since water prices are going up astronomically, along with increases in real estate taxes, labor costs and insurance costs," said Mr. Urstadt, chairman at a Connecticut real estate firm who served as the state's housing commissioner under the Nelson Rockefeller administration.
Those costs could drive down the appetite for new construction, along with incentives to make repairs to buildings, causing the city's housing stock to deteriorate or depressing sales markets and forcing a rash of foreclosures, he argued. In the event of tax liens being put on the property, the city could even end up in the housing business.

"Look at city's record as a landlord with the (New York City Housing Authority)," he said. "It's not very good."

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140509/REAL_ESTATE/140509828/urstadt-warns-nyc-could-become-havana

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Tough.

Anonymous said...

It's time to get organized! The TA are only volunteers and can only do so much. We need to rally every weekend at the rental office. Who is with me???

Stuy Town Reporter said...

The sound of a pin dropping?

Anonymous said...

maybe the rally - of which no one seems to physically show up for - should be in the form of social media.

ideas?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

People should continue, or get involved with, what's happening. Yes, and social media/the internet is powerful. A lot of CWCapital promo is put out on social media, and so people can respond in a comment section. Those honest Yelp reviews are also wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Some parole have a hard enough time figuring out the difference between a post and a comment, you think they're going to know how to use a hashtag lol?

Anonymous said...

May 9, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Too bad. I did it last summer and would do it again, but not with just 3 or 4 others. We'd only need about 30-40 people to commit to it. That way the same few people aren't stuck out there 8 hours a day Sat and Sun, so that we could put rotate people in for a few hours and then out for the day.

Too bad if it doesn't happens. 4-5 people a weekend constantly in front of the leasing office and 2 or 3 covering the back would really gum up their works. Just handing out printed flyers with angry posts from new tenants on Yelp to kids walking in is enough. Some of them will ask questions and want to talk which is even better. BTW. ST-PCV already has a rep. Last year a group of kids told us the broker just gave them an address to meet him at and then when they got to the leasing office were unpleasantly surprised was for ST-PCV because they had friends living unhappily here. We talked to them for only about 2 minutes and they left.

You may feel awkward at first handing out flyers and talking to strangers, but you'll get good at it quickly. Also, we became good friends with some of the other protestors.

Social media is critical in addition, but not as a replacement.

Anonymous said...

Everyone on Twitter should be posting links to STR, the TA Facebook page, Yelp reviews, etc. and include the hashtags #StuyTown and #PCVST.

Anonymous said...

Some places to comment on ST PCV articles in the press

WSJ
NYTimes
NYPost
NYDailyNews
Huffington Post
Here are a dozen past articles on Huffpo
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/stuy-town/

and all other places their articles are distributed to by the AP and published. and articles STR publishes here eg in Crains, Capital NY, etc

Anonymous said...

to the prior poster: IF YOU DON'T THINK PEOPLE are intelligent enough to post , use twitter, FB and Yelp with hashtags, then TEACH THEM.

Not really that complicated. w.t.f.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the postcards, it's 2014, get on Twitter. It's free.

Anonymous said...

You want a game changer, here's a game changer.

The latest iteration of Pedro Espada is Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx). Klein is the leader of a breakaway faction of Democrats that have for the last 2 years controlled the State Senate with the Republican Party, thus preventing any positive movement in our direction on rent regulation. The other so-called Independent Democratic Conference (Republicans in sheep's clothing) are Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), David Carlucci (D-Rockland) and David Valesky (D-Syracuse.

Democrats are mounting a primary challenge to Klein and their candidate is Oliver Koppell. This is good news for us in ST-PCV because Tenants PAC has been pushing Koppell to challenge pro-landlord d-bag Klein for his seat. Klein is a strong fundraiser though, and has the support of a number of fellow Bronx pols. Koppell will get campaign money from the Dem Party, but tenants in ST-PCV and across the city should think about sending Koppell money too. It's a good investment.

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/oliver-koppell-launches-democratic-primary-challenge-state-sen-jeff-klein-blog-entry-1.1779722

Anonymous said...

4:11 PM: I distinctly remember reading (though I can't remember where) that Koppell is against rent stabilization. Why should we feed the beast?

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of 1 star out of 5 reviews on Yelp for Stuy Town. There are *useful* buttons under each review that can be clicked.

Anonymous said...



The battle of the hallways continues: today an elderly woman tripped on the stroller, which was next to the bike , next to the scooter. Was very bad. Stpcv. Do something. She's phoning her lawyer. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

"The battle of the hallways continues: today an elderly woman tripped on the stroller, which was next to the bike , next to the scooter. Was very bad. Stpcv. Do something. She's phoning her lawyer. Sigh..."

I wish the victim of this accident a speedy recovery, butI hope she sues their fucking asses off - both the stupid tenants who left the stroller there and the landlord for violating FDNY laws and putting people in danger by their negligence.

Anonymous said...

FDNY notified - many times - nothing done.

Surely CR won't bother cleaning the hallways if the FD doesn't give a rat's ass.

Anonymous said...

A simple Google search would have told you that your memory isn't what it used to be, May 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM.

http://100percentbronx.blogspot.com/2012/03/council-passes-bill-sponsored-by.html

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140331/BLOGS04/140339993/tenants-group-would-back-senate-leaders-challenger#

http://www.nyccfb.info/public/voter-guide/general_2005/cd_profile/CD11_Koppell_459.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/13/nyregion/court-ruling-undercuts-rent-control.html

http://www.nytimes.com/1994/10/04/nyregion/high-court-blocks-rent-control-evictions.html

Anonymous said...

You want another possible game changer?

The Working Families Party supported Andrew Cuomo in his first run for gov but hates the way he's tacked right in his first term. So they are considering nominating their own candidate to run for governor this year. If nothing else they would force Cuomo to address a whole host of issues, including rent regulation/Urstadt, that would likely have otherwise gone unaddressed.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/nyregion/cuomo-works-to-mend-fences-with-liberals.html?hp