The Air Up There
big and tall
During the 1970s fiscal crisis, the city acquired significant quantities of property by way of owner abandonment and tax foreclosure, which it used in subsequent decades to subsidize affordable housing development. Virtually none of that land remains available today, however, and as we recently noted, the now-stratospheric cost of privately held land poses myriad obstacles to new affordable housing production, particularly in neighborhoods with good public schools, ready access to transportation and employment centers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today praised some of the biggest names in the real estate industry and told them he has no qualms about building large in the name of affordable housing.
“I’m looking forward to building upon on a lot of the relationships that I’ve already had the honor of having with folks in this room and getting to know people more deeply in the years ahead and working together,” Mr. de Blasio told the group, according to audio from the closed-door meeting released by his office.
Members of the well-connected Real Estate Board of New York praised Bill de Blasio this afternoon after the mayor attended a closed-door meeting with the group.
While many in the business community had been nervous about the left-leaning mayor and his plans to up taxes on the rich and force developers to build more affordable housing, members of the group’s board left today’s sit-down offering nothing but praise.
With the fate of millions of dollars in tax incentives and millions of square feet of office space in the balance, the city’s real estate industry is bracing for the impact of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s cabinet appointments. But the left-leaning Democrat who won the election last fall by attacking inequality and his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, has thus far refrained from tapping any nominees hostile to new development.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s long-time spokesman, Jamie McShane, is headed to the Real Estate Board of New York.
Mr. McShane, a former television producer who left WNBC six-and-a-half years ago to work for the council, has been tapped as the board’s senior vice president for communications, effective January 1.
City Councilman Brad Lander is looking to rein in exploding expenditures from super PAC-like groups with proposed new legislation that would slap cigarette-style warnings on their mailings, among other regulations.
The package of proposed reforms comes as outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into city races through so-called “independent expenditures,” following the Citizens United court decision, which allows near-unlimited spending, as long as the groups don’t directly co-ordinate with campaigns. Of particular concern to Mr. Lander in the real estate industry-backed “Jobs 4 NY” committee, which has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on local City Council races–sometimes in the face of candidates’ opposition.
For decades, Brooke Astor’s duplex at 778 Park was the pinnacle of New York City living. This had much to do with the society queen and her courtiers, who hosted lavish parties there, but also with the 16-room home, boasting six terraces and a renowned red-lacquered library. That was before the wallpaper began to peel Read More