NEW YORK | Various News About Our City and Q&A



Hey lads, I’ve got a question I would like your opinions on.
What do you think the impact of a Trump victory at the election would be to the current building boom in the city. Would it slow it down? Stop it? Do nothing?
It would for sure lead to less investor confidence in the country as a whole wouldn’t it?
I don’'t want to start a discussion about politics I am just curious to know what you guys think the effect could be.


Cuomo reaches a deal to revive lucrative real estate tax break

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has brokered an agreement between the city’s real estate lobby and the building trades union to revive 421-a, a controversial property tax break for developers that the city and many in the industry believe is essential for the construction of rental housing.

"The deal reached today between these parties provides more affordability for tenants and fairer wages for workers than under the original proposal,” said Cuomo. “While I would prefer even more affordability in the 421-a program, this agreement marks a major step forward for New Yorkers.”

The deal was reached between the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Real Estate Board of New York. Key to the agreement is a wage floor for certain construction projects. The revamped program would require average wages of $60 an hour including benefits for construction workers on Manhattan projects containing 300 or more rental units. The average wage for similar sized projects along waterfront Brooklyn and Queens communities would be $45 an hour.

“We applaud Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration for bringing all parties together to finalize an agreement on an important public policy that will allow for the development of critical affordable housing, and establishes wage standards for construction workers in New York,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council.

Cuomo had previously signed a 2015 law that extended the tax break and increased the amount of affordable housing that would be required in exchange for receiving it. But he held off putting it into place until developers and the construction trades union agreed on how much laborers would be paid at sites getting the tax break. The two sides were originally supposed to reach a pact by January, but negotiations stalled and dragged on until Thursday’s announcement.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement that will permit the production of new rental housing in New York City, including a substantial share of affordable units, while also ensuring good wages for construction workers,” said Rob Speyer, president and CEO of Tishman Speyer and chair of REBNY. “We would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this critical issue.”

The plan would grant property tax relief to an entire building for 35 years, whereas the benefit in the 2015 law only lasted for 25 years for the market-rate apartments of a project. Income restrictions on affordable apartments, meanwhile, would be extended to 40 years, and developers would be required to set aside the units for lower-income New Yorkers, though the governor’s office declined to provide specifics. These changes mean the agreement must be approved by the state Senate and Assembly. Affordable housing advocates hope that the agreement clears the path for legislators to sign off on other initiatives that have been held up because of the impasse, including $2 billion in statewide affordable housing funds.

"We urge state officials to quickly take this next step, which would so greatly benefit families and our economy,” said Jolie Milstein, president of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, an affordable housing trade group.

If passed by the legislature, the deal brokered by the governor could help the de Blasio administration stay on track to reach its goal of building 80,000 units of affordable housing.


I don’t think it would influence it much. Economy right now is doing pretty well, and if it improves, thats good news. I’d say international affairs will have a strong impact. If capital stops flowing, that will stall office construction. But in terms of residential, the city has a huge demand, and that will be need to be addressed. Also, see above. 421a is in the game now.


Great news on 421a!


I can’t wait to watch the 90th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tomorrow! I love the various shots of the city!

What a parade! What a city!


Great news!

The 11 buildings that were saved:

Graybar Building
125 Park Avenue
Yale Club
Minnie E. Young Residence
Martin Erdmann Residence
18-20 East 50th Street
18 East 41st Street
New York Marriott East Side
The Benjamin Hotel
The Hotel Lexington
400 Madison Avenue

I understand the need for modern space, but there are plenty of areas (Hudson Yards, downtown) that can be redeveloped. These buildings are beautiful and a part of our heritage.

If only we could have somehow saved the Drake!

I am worried about the Hotel Roosevelt.


This is absolutely needed!!

The scaffolding went up six years ago in front of a rundown apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. It was supposed to be temporary, to keep loose bricks and debris from raining down.

Only it has never come down.

Instead, needed building repairs went undone and the covered steel-and-wood frame has become a daily nuisance — like the guest who never left. It is not just an eyesore, but also a magnet for trash, pigeons and their droppings and patrons from a bar next door who treat it like their private porch and leave behind chicken bones, cigarette butts and dirty napkins.

“It’s really disgusting,” said Jane Foss, 74, a retired nurse who lives in the scaffolded building on Second Avenue. “And there’s nothing you can do about it.’’

Lingering scaffolding has become an annoying visitor across New York City, fueled in part by the city’s aging building stock and a construction boom that has created an abundance of residential and commercial spaces. In many neighborhoods, the metal-and-wooden structures have become a despised fixture, contributing to sidewalk congestion and trash problems, hurting local businesses and attracting homeless people seeking shelter and drug dealers and others up to no good.

Now a new City Council bill aims to target the ubiquitous scaffolding, requiring that the structures be taken down within six months of going up, or sooner when no work is being done. The bill seeks to rectify a glaring weakness: While the city knows when scaffolding goes up, critics say it does a poor job of ensuring that it has not been kept up for an unreasonable length of time. City officials say scaffolding ensures public safety and must remain as long as buildings need work.

Robert Feiner, 53, an advertising sales consultant who is on the board of his co-op on East 74th Street in Manhattan, said the building across the street had scaffolding up for at least four years for work on its facade. The scaffolding finally came down last summer.

“Unless you’re building the Taj Mahal and using hand tools, it shouldn’t take that long for facade work,” he said, adding that during that time, a nearby high-rise tower was built from the ground up.

The city began requiring scaffolding as part of a 1980 city law that established regular inspections of the facades of buildings. The City Council passed the law after Grace Gold, a Barnard College student, was killed in 1979 by a piece of terra cotta that fell from an apartment house built in 1912 at 115th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.

Today, scaffolds, which are also known as sidewalk sheds, have proliferated. A total of 6,667 permits were issued for new structures in 2015, up from 1,016 in 1990, according to city building records. The largest number of permits, 2,938, was for projects in Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn with 2,069 and Queens with 889.

Currently, the city’s Buildings Department does not set a specific deadline for owners to make repairs and take down sidewalk sheds, and can issue violations only if the work is not completed. City building officials said they did not have the legal authority to do the work for a private building owner, except in an emergency situation when the building is in danger of collapsing.

In Lower Manhattan, where there has been a flurry of construction, sidewalk sheds have become a sore spot. Anthony Notaro, the chairman of the community board that represents the area, said he knew of at least a dozen scaffolds that had been up for more than two years, in some cases with no visible building work being done. “People know now what route to take to stay out of the rain because the sheds have been up for so long,” he said.

The new bill will be introduced Tuesday by Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side. If passed, it would give a building owner three months, with the possibility of a three-month extension, to make repairs to a facade so that scaffolding can be removed in a timely manner. If the work is not completed in that time, the city will step in to do it, and charge the owner for the work. The proposal would allow exceptions for factors such as bad weather, permit delays or in cases where removing scaffolding would be deemed dangerous to public safety.

“A specific timeline for landlords to get the work done will finally work toward holding someone accountable for scaffolding that goes up and never comes down,” Mr. Kallos said.

While the bill is likely to draw support from many residents and businesses, it faces strong opposition from many building owners. Carl Hum, a senior vice president for the Real Estate Board of New York, a leading real estate trade group with more than 17,000 members, said the proposal was “ill conceived and should be reconsidered.”

Frank Ricci, the director of governmental affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 building owners and managers, said that owners sometimes do not have the money on hand to make costly repairs.

“Nobody wants to leave up sidewalk sheds for longer than they have to,” Mr. Ricci said. “The bottom line is sometimes it’s cheaper, and safer, to leave up the sidewalk sheds than to do the repairs because the repairs can go into millions of dollars.”

Kenneth J. Buettner, the president of York Scaffold Equipment Corporation in Long Island City, Queens, said scaffolding that stays up for many years was the exception. “Unfortunately, there are times when sidewalk sheds remain in place for protracted periods of time because owners are dallying either intentionally or because of internal problems,’’ he said.

Building owners often have no choice but to leave up sidewalk sheds, even when there is no construction going on. Under city law, a shed is required for any building whose facade could pose a danger. Timothy Hogan, the deputy commissioner of enforcement for the buildings department, said that when building workers went out to inspect all 7,700 buildings with sidewalk sheds during a one-time sweep in January, they found that less than 2 percent could be taken down.

The department requires building owners to obtain a permit to erect a sidewalk shed and to renew the permit annually until work is completed. The department will inspect the sheds for safety when it receives complaints or in special cases such as when a car hits a shed. It will give owners 48 hours to make needed repairs, and if the owners do not comply, it will have the repairs done at the owners’ expense.

Joseph Soldevere, a spokesman for the Buildings Department, said that the department was reviewing Mr. Kallos’s proposal. “While the councilman’s bill is well intentioned, this is a tough problem,” he said.

Mr. Kallos said he sponsored the bill because he had received many complaints about scaffolds. He passes under them every day to get to his own home, and his “pet peeve” is getting dripped on by water — or something worse. “I was irritated by the fact that everywhere I went in the city, there was scaffolding,” Mr. Kallos said. “It’s one thing to put it up for safety, it’s another to just leave it up without doing any work.”

The sidewalk sheds can also cover signs for local stores or drive away foot traffic. At Eva’s Garden Florist on the Upper East Side, which sits on a block covered by scaffolding, some of the flower displays have withered away because the scaffolding blocks out the sunlight. Nick Vlahos, 49, the owner, said he had also lost potential customers who did not like to walk under scaffolding. “Business goes down and it’s a nuisance,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.”

Ms. Foss, the Second Avenue resident, said she hoped the bill, if passed, could finally get rid of the scaffolding at her doorstep. The financially troubled building was acquired by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 2003, and assigned to an interim owner, Neighborhood Restore, while the department looks for someone to buy and rehabilitate it.

“Would you want to live under scaffolding?” she said. “It’s been up for six years and it’s time for it to come down.”


Mapping the Shadows of New York City: Every Building, Every Block


103 injured in train derailment at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal

A train has derailed at a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train station in Brooklyn, New York reportedly injuring at least 100 people and damaging the station.

Early reports said 20 people received minor injuries in the crash, however the FDNY tweeted that there were “103 injuries reported at scene of Atlantic Terminal LIRR train derailment, all non-life-threatening.” People were seen being taken from the station on stretchers.

103 injuries reported at scene of Atlantic Terminal LIRR train derailment, all non-life-threatening


Unfortunately there might be deaths aswell. This happens way too often in New York. First Hoboken and now this? Safety measures definitely have to be revised. Also does anyone know what caused the hoboken crash? So sad


I think it was the electronics on the train. Something with the breaks not properly working.



Re: 33 Thomas - Spy thiller


It looks like the Hyperloop is coming to New York! This is a screenshot from the Hyperloop video. Also, I didn’t know where else to post this


Snow Storm Today. 1/7/16


This might make for a good YIMBY front page article :wink:

Some charts:

Credit: trd for all charts


Thought this video was a great analysis of the 57th st supertall corridor

Here’s an interesting screenshot from the video… it shows that the 57th street towers will be significantly more visible than the Empire State building, which we kinda all knew, but it’s nice to be able to put an objective number on it: