Manhattan construction worker who fell to death is 7th NYC site fatality of 2015

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The construction worker who fell to his death from an Upper East Side building under renovation was the seventh hardhat to be killed in the city this year — a number on pace to beat the city’s eight construction site fatalities in 2014, officials said.

Juan Cerezo, 30, of the Bronx, was working on the 14th floor facade of the Sherman Towers on E. 76th St. near First Ave. at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when he plummeted onto a second-floor scaffolding. He died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to officials.

The city Department of Buildings put a stop-work order on the building as investigators figure out just how Cerezo fell. It was not immediately clear if his work required that he wear a safety harness, officials said.

Four complaints have been filed against the building’s renovation this year, two for the second-floor scaffolding breaking or not being up to code, according to city records.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/construction-worker-7th-nyc-site-fatality-2015-article-1.2346989

New York City is becoming one giant construction site as building permits rise by 156% in just one year

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It’s official. New York City is in the midst of an historic building boom – and the proof is in the numbers.

The Department of Buildings agreed to the construction of 52,618 residential units over the last fiscal year, a massive 156% increase from the previous fiscal year and a 749% increase from the post-recession low of 2010, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by the New York Building Congress.

Developers were particularly active in Brooklyn, where the DOB issued permits for 23,326 residential units over this past year, accounting for almost half of all approved permits, compared to just  just 7,181 last fiscal year.

“The Building Congress has long believed that New York City needs to produce at least 20,000 new housing units each year to keep pace with demand and a growing population,” said New York Building Congress President Richard Anderson. “But we never thought we would see a year in which that many units would be authorized in one borough alone. The current strength of the Brooklyn market is quite remarkable.”

So, what’s driving this wave of new construction?

Sky-rocketing condo prices certainly have a lot to do with it but experts said the sudden urgency could also be attributed to the June 15 expiration of the 421-a tax abatement program, which waived property tax on newly constructed apartment buildings for periods of 10 to 25 years in exchange for providing some affordable housing.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Construction levels are going through the roof

Developers realized that, even if the program were to be reauthorized, it would probably be in a form that was considerably less developer-friendly. By rushing to get their permits approved, they made sure their projects could still get the abatement.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for affordable housing advocates.

Construction began on a total 8,483 units of affordable housing over the last fiscal year, an 80% increase from the same period in 2013, according to an analysis of New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development data.

“Mayor de Blasio has declared that he will create 80,000 new units of affordable housing over the next decade, and he’s off to a strong start,” said Anderson. “In order to sustain and build upon it, his administration, with the help of Albany, will need to find a way to entice developers to include an even greater percentage of affordable units in their market-driven development projects.”

 

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/real-estate/new-york-city-giant-construction-site-article-1.2312972

de Blasio moves controversial ramp at 91st Street

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After more than a year of relentless protest, Mayor Bill de Blasio has agreed to move a controversial access ramp to the East 91st Street marine garbage facility.

The original ramp, already under construction, bisects the grounds of Asphalt Green, a popular recreational facility that serves nearly 40,000 children a year. While few locals are happy about the garbage transfer station’s siting on the Upper East Side, residents took particular umbrage with the idea of hundreds of garbage trucks rattling through Asphalt Green every day, just feet away from a children’s playground.

“We were always very cognizant of the fact that we are in an area that is highly trafficked,” Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said by phone on Friday.”To the extent that we can mitigate that and stay true to the values of the the solid waste management plan, in terms of borough equity, we wanted to do that.”

In May, Garcia made a recommendation to de Blasio regarding the ramp. She would not disclose what she said, but warned the new ramp, located just a block north, would cost roughly $25 million and could tie up traffic on the F.D.R. Drive indefinitely.

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Asphalt Green launched an aggressive campaign to get the ramp moved. In the past year the nonprofit has lobbied elected officials, taken out a full-page ad in The New York Times, even organized a Zumba dance/protest in front of City Hall.

Facility officials today applauded the mayor’s decision.

“Today the families of Asphalt Green can breathe a huge sigh of relief,” said Andrew Nussbaum, chairman of Asphalt Green. “On behalf of our one million annual visitors and the … children we serve in our City’s public schools, we thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Garcia for this important decision that will make our streets and community safer.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Liz Krueger, Comptroller Scott Stringer and a host of City Council members have urged the mayor to move the ramp.

City Hall will announce the move on Friday afternoon. The ramp switch will not delay the opening of 91st Street, city officials said, as the original ramp will be used until the new one is completed. The new ramp will be wider, allowing sanitation trucks equipped with plows to traverse back and forth.

“It will be another period of construction in that neighborhood,” Garcia said, adding the new ramp will likely be completed by 2019 or 2020.”We have to go in and we have to do some more engineering.”

The ramp decision will not be the end of protest over the 91st Street station though it takes a good deal of steam out of the opposition. The station is part of the city’s solid waste management plan, forged under the Bloomberg administration and supported by de Blasio and Garcia.

The purpose is to more equitably distribute waste throughout the city before it is shipped off to landfills and incinerators in other parts of New York and other states. Currently the bulk of trash is housed in sections of north Brooklyn, southeast Queens and the South Bronx.

Residents of the Upper East Side have fought bitterly over the construction of the transfer station though each day its ultimate completion grows more inevitable.

“I think this will make some people happy,” Garcia said. “I don’t think it will make everyone happy.”

Source: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/07/8573154/de-blasio-moves-controversial-ramp-e-91st-street

New Mixed-Income Housing on the Lower East Side

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For nearly half a century, the view south from the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets has been of vacant parking lots behind chain-link fences, carving a desolate hole in the otherwise vibrant neighborhood. But this month, construction finally began on a $1 billion redevelopment project that will reshape the Lower East Side.

With financing secured, developers can now begin work on Essex Crossing, a 1.65 million-square-foot project that will eventually add 1,000 units of housing to the area, half of which will be permanently affordable. The first development phase will deliver 556 mixed-income units, a new home for the historic Essex Street Market, a movie theater, a bowling alley, a museum and a new shopping corridor along Broome Street.

“The whole neighborhood is going to be completely different,” said Gigi Li, the chairwoman of Community Board 3.

The community and the city spent years hammering out an agreement for the site, finally reaching one in 2013, settling a bitter dispute that started when the area was bulldozed in 1967, displacing nearly 2,000 residents in the name of urban renewal. Over the years, various attempts to redevelop the site, known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, fizzled as vying neighborhood factions sparred over how it should be rebuilt, with some groups calling for only affordable housing and others demanding none. The final agreement provides a mix of retail, housing, offices, a park and space for a new public school. In September 2013, the city chose Delancey Street Associates, an umbrella group of three separate developers, to rebuild the site now called Essex Crossing. “You have this important population that is just cut off from the rest of the Lower East Side by the size and scale of those parking lots — this just reconnects the fabric,” said Margaret Anadu, a managing director in the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, which is the project’s equity partner, investing $200 million in the development.

Many of the nine parcels are spread out along the south side of Delancey Street from west of Essex Street to the Williamsburg Bridge. On Essex Street, north of Delancey, three existing buildings will also be redeveloped, including the original Essex Street Market building, which will be demolished after its new home opens.

For many New Yorkers, the most striking change will be the new retail, a continuous three-block stretch of shopping along Delancey and Broome Streets between Essex and Clinton Streets. The new Essex Street Market will be housed on the ground floor of a 24-story building that will also include part of the Market Line, a mix of shops and restaurants descending below grade and on the second floor. The complex will also house a Regal Cinemas multiplex and a rooftop farm. On a separate parcel on Essex and Broome Streets, the bowling alley Splitsville Luxury Lanes will open along with a 15,000-square-foot museum, which currently has no occupant. The original tenant, the Pittsburgh-based Andy Warhol Museum, bowed out this spring.

“It’s almost like a little city within a city,” said Faith Hope Consolo, the chairwoman of Douglas Elliman’s retail leasing and sales division.

For the Essex Street Market vendors, the wait for a new home has been tense, as foot traffic has dwindled in the aging market building. “There’s the myth of misunderstanding that the market is closed,” said Anne T. Saxelby, the chairwoman of the Essex Street Market Vendor Association and an owner of Saxelby Cheesemongers. The market, which was founded by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia in 1940, has been in continuous operation for 75 years.

At its new location, the market will double in size, providing vendors with options to expand, stay open later and prepare food on-site, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which operates the market. “It’s cool now, it’s going to be incredible later,” said Donald A. Capoccia, a principal of BFC Partners, which is developing the Essex Crossing site withL & M Development Partners and Taconic Investment Partners.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/realestate/new-mixed-income-housing-onthe-lower-east-side.html?_r=1

De Blasio position assailed at Brooklyn Bridge Park hearing

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A controversial plan to build two towers inside Brooklyn Bridge Park pitted the de Blasio administration against elected officials and residents in an area where he has long enjoyed political support during a heated community meeting Thursday night.

Deputy mayor Alicia Glen, who oversees housing and economic development, spoke at the raucous public hearing inside the auditorium of St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights.

She touted the project—which has sparked widespread anger in the neighborhood—saying it would provide affordable housing in an area where it “is desperately needed.”

She also disputed calls for a formal environmental review of the plan, which would delay construction. “We will wind up in exactly the same place,” she added during her public remarks, which were often met with jeers form the audience.

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“We have an opportunity tonight here to not only cement the success of this park, but to do so in a way that is even more responsible to the needs of New Yorkers today,” she said.

The Empire State Development, an Albany entity, held the meeting to solicit feedback before it votes on the plan to erect 31- and 15-story residential towers in Pier 6 of the park.

The buildings would fund the upkeep of the park, according to city officials.

The opposition ranges from complaints that the neighborhood needs a new school to concerns that the towers would block waterfront views. Many in attendance simply said they do not want any housing in the park.

“It is important to note that broad opposition to luxury housing at Pier 6 has existed for years, long before the potential addition of affordable housing,” State Senator Daniel Squadron said. “The luxury-housing funding model perpetuates imbalances in park access and decision-making, and is inconsistent with the principle of open space that is protected, owned and maintained by the public, and democratically accessible to all. This is one reason that I urge the boards to reject the proposed amendments and push for alternatives.”

He also said the administration has yet to propose an additional school “to address this overcrowding crisis.”

Councilman Brad Lander called for a formal city study of the environmental impact of the plan.

Proponents of the towers characterized the opposition as a knee-jerk reaction to affordable housing.

Kathy Wylde, president of the business group Partnership for New York City, called the opposition “selfish.”

“They got a beautiful amenity in this park that was predicated on these developments that would pay for it and they accept the amenity and now they want to stop the developments. It’s crazy,” she said after the meeting.

“Unfortunately there is an elitist element in this community that simply doesn’t believe in more affordable housing,” Josh Gold, a political operative with the Hotel Trades Council, said after the hearing.

Source: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/07/8573131/de-blasio-position-assailed-brooklyn-bridge-park-hearing

De Blasio plan would link affordable housing, rezoning

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Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to unveil a new aspect of his affordable housing plan in the coming weeks—a mandate that developers build a specific number of units for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers when they seek formal city approval to rezone land for their projects.

The plan, outlined to Capital in advance of its rollout by administration and City Council officials, would require builders to set aside 25 percent of their units for affordable housing. The average unit would be rented to residents earning 60 percent of the area median income—a calculation that currently equals $46,620 for a family of three.

The policy, known as “mandatory inclusionary zoning” or “mandatory inclusionary housing,” would come with a second option—reserving 30 percent of all units at an average of 80 percent of the area median income, or $62,150 for a family of three.

The Department of City Planning, in concert with the local City Council member for a given development, would decide which option to choose—not the builder, the officials said.

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“This affordable housing will be mandatory and it will be permanent,” de Blasio said in an email. “These are hard, new requirements that for the very first time set a floor for the affordable housing communities are owed in new development. We look forward to working with neighborhoods, elected officials and the Council to enact the strongest affordable housing requirements in the nation.”

The mandate would have no impact on whether developers qualify for the 421-a tax break, which also requires at least 25 percent of affordable housing in each project and provides a range of affordability levels for builders to select.

In conjunction with one of the two mandatory inclusionary options, the local Council member would also be empowered to allow a moderate-income affordable choice that does not entail a direct subsidy from the city. That alternative, according to the officials, would be restricted to middle-income areas.

The policy needs approval from the Council, with input from all 59 community boards.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and a handful of members endorsed the plan.

“I fully support mandatory inclusionary housing as a critical new policy tool for creating affordable housing and building inclusive communities,” Mark-Viverito said in an email. “We have a long process ahead of us before the Council has to act and we will be listening very carefully, but after years of work on the part of many, this proposal is truly a defining moment in how we grow and develop as a City.”

By all accounts, mandatory inclusionary zoning will not be the primary driver of affordable housing creation, though when he was running for office, de Blasio estimated it would spur development on 50,000 units. At the time, the figure was viewed with broad skepticism.

In total, the mayor hopes to build 80,000 new units of affordable housing and preserve another 120,000 units by 2024—10 years from when he took office. He has so far created and preserved more than 20,000, in large part due to hundreds of millions of dollars in city subsidies for developers.

The new policy comes as de Blasio prepares to rezone large swaths of the city, beginning with the East New York section of Brooklyn.

He plans to formally begin the process for both that rezoning and the citywide policy in September.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has promised to finance 1,200 new affordable apartments during the first two years of East New York’s rezoning. In addition, the agency would require that all development receiving a city construction loan create housing that is predominantly affordable to families who earn less than 60 percent of the area median income. At least 25 percent of those units financed by H.P.D. would have to be reserved for families earning less than 40 percent, or $31,080 for a family of three, the officials said.

The administration anticipates at least half of all new residential units in that neighborhood will be affordable, when factoring in subsidies and this new program, if it’s approved.

The East New York rezoning has faced some opposition within the community.

Councilman Rafael Espinal, who represents most of the area, said in an email, “My goal has always been to make sure affordable housing in East New York and Cypress Hills is created for the residents that live here today. For years, we have been fighting to create policies to ensure that housing build in our neighborhoods is affordable and mandatory inclusionary zoning is a critical new tool to ensure permanent affordability and a tool which I welcome in areas set to be rezoned.”

Espinal has expressed concern that the affordable housing in his district will not be cheap enough for residents and is pressing the administration to require even lower-cost apartments.

Since taking office last year, de Blasio has required affordable housing in exchange for a rezoning from one developer, Alma Realty, which plans to build a facility called Astoria Cove in Queens.

As Capital previously reported, Alma, whose finances have long been questioned, is not planning to provide enough affordable housing to qualify for the 421-a tax break, the terms of which were revised in June and take effect in January, pending a final labor deal.

Source: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/07/8573130/de-blasio-plan-would-link-affordable-housing-rezoning

Capital Real Estate: LICH controversy heats up

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LICH, TAKE TWO—”40-story tower on LICH site could prove contentious,” by Capital’s Sally Goldenberg and Dan Goldberg: “A redevelopment plan for the site of Long Island College Hospital, the future of which became a campaign issue in Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 election, is being shaped by a new coalition announced on Friday. But Brad Lander, a City Councilman involved in that coalition, is already questioning the developer’s plans for a 40-story tower on the site. Fortis Property Group, which is in the process of buying the land housing LICH, announced it has joined with local residents and elected officials to map out possibilities for the site.”http://bit.ly/1D39u4b

—”Community Board Rejects Balconies in LICH Condo Conversion Plan,” by DNAinfo’s Nikhita Venugopal: “A plan to modify and restore Long Island College Hospital’s landmarked Polhemus Building met with overall approval from a Community Board 6 committee Thursday night—except a part that would add balconies for each new condo.” http://dnain.fo/1geOQ7g

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NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH—”New Mixed-Income Housing on the Lower East Side,” by Times’ Ronda Kaysen: “For nearly half a century, the view south from the corner of Essex and Delancey Streets has been of vacant parking lots behind chain-link fences, carving a desolate hole in the otherwise vibrant neighborhood. But this month, construction finally began on a $1 billion redevelopment project that will reshape the Lower East Side. With financing secured, developers can now begin work on Essex Crossing, a 1.65 million-square-foot project that will eventually add 1,000 units of housing to the area, half of which will be permanently affordable.”http://nyti.ms/1Ou83MW

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EYE ON ASTORIA—”Two more massive projects planned for Astoria,” by Crain’s Joe Anuta: “Two large-scale developments are being planned for more than seven areas of Queens waterfront,Crain’s has learned. And along with two other massive projects—known as Halletts Point and Astoria Cove—the mixed-use complexes are set to transform part of a gritty peninsula west of Astoria into a new community along the East River.http://bit.ly/1gePLor

BIG DEALS—”Blackstone sells ex-NYT offices to Columbia Property Trust for $516M,” by Real Deal’s Tess Hofmann: “Blackstone Group sold the office portion of the former New York Times building for $516 million to Columbia Property Trust, just four years after purchasing it for $160 million. The property is a 12-story office condo at 229 West 43rd Street in the Times Square area, in the historic building that housed the New York Times headquarters from 1913 to 2007. Since its purchase, Blackstone has spent $105 million on renovations and signed major tenants including Yahoo, which is leasing five floors.” http://bit.ly/1geNIR1

—”Boston firm seeks $1B-plus construction loan for its luxury condo towers—it’s an opportune time,” by Crain’s Daniel Geiger: “A Boston-based real estate investment firm is negotiating a construction loan totaling at least $1 billion with Wells Fargo and other major lenders. GID is seeking the financing for three luxury residential towers at Riverside Center, west of Columbus Circle, according to sources. The company purchased the development sites earlier this year in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for more than $400 million. The interest among lenders, sources said, comes despite concerns in recent months over a glut in luxury development.”http://bit.ly/1geOXQm

SHELL GAME—”Russian Billionaire Sells Time Warner Center Penthouse for $50.1M,” by Observer’s Morgan Halberg: “A penthouse at 25 Columbus Circle has sold for $50.9 million. Which, while no record in this day and age of steroidal sales, is still pretty impressive. City records show that the seller is Southerdown Inc., which as the New York Times reported in its “Towers of Secrecy” series earlier this year is none other than Russian financier Andrei Vavilov. The buyer, meanwhile, remains mysterious, at least for now, having the considerably less colorful name for its shell company: Columbus Family LLC.” http://bit.ly/1geNiu3

SENIOR SWAGGER—”Luxe living planned for seniors on the Upper East Side,” by Post’s Lois Weiss: “Merchants Hospitality has bought five buildings on the Upper East Side that it plans to co-develop into a luxurious Maplewood Senior Living facility, The Post has learned. The 213,000-square-foot tower designed by Handel Architects will include gardens and an indoor pool. The buildings at 1802, 1804-06, 1808 and 1810 Second Ave. and 303-305 E. 93rd St. were purchased for $111 million in an all-cash deal from five separate sellers.” http://bit.ly/1geMHIT

TRANSIT TRIBULATIONS—”Aging Infrastructure Plagues Nation’s Busiest Rail Corridor,” by Times Emma G. Fitzsimmons and David W. Chen: “…In a sign of the problems plaguing New Jersey Transit, the agency preemptively announced on Sunday that its Monday morning service would be delayed because of ‘power issues’ and repairs on Amtrak’s overhead power lines. …

“The delays are not just miserable for the passengers stuck on the trains; they have a ripple effect, sending more traffic onto roads and wasting hours for commuters who could be working. The shutdown of the corridor for one day could cost the country $100 million in added congestion, productivity losses and other effects, according to a report from the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission, a group established by Congress to improve the network.” http://nyti.ms/1geEQeh

—”Cuomo’s Plan to Close M.T.A. Funding Gap Revives Familiar Debate,” by Times’ Matt Flegenheimer: “For decades, it has been New York’s great underground contradiction: The sprawling transit system—the municipal feature perhaps most likely to spawn complaints from city residents about their government—is operated by the state. And for at least as long, elected officials have moved aggressively to characterize mass transit troubles as someone else’s responsibility. …

“It was against this historical backdrop that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, last week delivered a long-awaited update on the agency’s five-year capital plan, reinvigorating familiar debates about the proper scope of the city’s role in its own transit destiny.”http://nyti.ms/1geJKbi

—”Can Staten Island’s Infrastructure Keep Up With Its Development?” by YIMBY’s Rebecca Baird-Remba: “All of this new construction will help revitalize the most transit-accessible part of Staten Island. It’s already the slowest-growing and least densely populated borough, and the extra tax revenue and tourist dollars could be used to fix some of its underlying transit issues. But if these buildings are successful, they’ll illuminate many of the pressing problems Staten Islanders have been complained about for years: traffic, badly maintained roads, and slow express buses.”http://bit.ly/1Ovk9Fn

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WIFI WOES—”When the Firm Is Wired but the Office Isn’t,” by WSJ’s Keiko Morris: “By now, it is a given in New York City that many companies in the tech and advertising sectors prefer older loft buildings in nontraditional office neighborhoods, where they offer millennial workers must-haves such as coffee bars and Ping-Pong tables. But finding all that in a building with robust Internet options can be tricky to pull off. Internet capacity can vary widely from building to building, especially in neighborhoods populated with the funky loft spaces coveted by creative firms, technology consultants and brokers said.” http://on.wsj.com/1geKKMt

MARKET TRENDS—”The Housing Market Still Isn’t Rational,” by Robert J. Shiller: In a Times column, Yale professor Shiller argues the real estate market is less rational than the stock market and is therefore not guided by the efficient market hypothesis, which holds that investors cannot beat the stock market because stocks always trade at their fair value. “Developers and builders will, one way or another, exploit overpricing, increasing effective supply, in that way bringing real estate prices down. …

“The bottom line is that there is no reason to assume that the real estate market is even close to efficient. You may want to buy a house if you love it and can afford it. But remember that you cannot safely rely on ‘comparable sales’ to judge that the price is fair. The market isn’t efficient enough for that.” http://nyti.ms/1D391Pk

SPACE SAVER—”Making More Space in a One-Bedroom Apartment,” by Times’ Michelle Higgins: “Can’t find a decent two-bedroom at a price you can afford? Try searching for a one-bedroom big enough to turn into two. That’s what some buyers are doing as soaring prices and a scarcity of listings in New York City make it tough to jump to the next apartment size up. Plus-size one-bedrooms—the kind that would allow, say, a couple expecting a baby to put up a wall to create another bedroom—are increasingly sought-after, brokers say, as less expensive alternatives to existing two-bedrooms.”http://nyti.ms/1D38Nbc

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PARKS AND REC—”Brooklyn Bridge Park Opening New Vistas,” by Times’ Lisa W. Foderaro: “…In recent months, Brooklyn Bridge Park has faced its share of travails, which at times seemed to eclipse the actual parkland. … In August, however, attention will return to the innovative landscapes that have made the park, which is built on a series of piers, one of the most popular and publicized spaces in New York. Two new sections—at opposite ends—are set to open, filling in gaps with new lawns, flower gardens, winding waterfront paths and education centers.” http://nyti.ms/1geJdpH

—”False premises on Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6,” by Regina Meyer for Crain’s:Meyer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park, argues in an op-ed against Crain’s editor Jeremy Smerd, who previously questioned tax breaks the park had received. “Our proposal is far from a special developer arrangement. The park’s commercial sites fund the park through payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) and rent. Rent levels were determined through a highly competitive selection process, based on PILOT levels equivalent to taxes owed by any developer in the city.” http://bit.ly/1geLEbZ

—On July 13, Smerd wrote “Given the investment the city and state are making on the water, I believe a developer could have made a profit on those condos without the tax break. But it’s too late. The ship has sailed. What the park needs now is legislation that would allow it to collect more revenue from existing tenants. Without that—or a generous benefactor—development appears inevitable.” http://bit.ly/1geMiWE

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SLOW ART START—”Ground Zero Arts Center to Shrink Further,” by Times’ Robin Pogrebin: “The Performing Arts Center planned for the former World Trade Center site was dealt a serious blow on Thursday when the corporation in charge of downtown redevelopment insisted that the project come in at no more than $200 million — about half the original estimated cost. … The arts center—which originally was to contain the Signature Theater and the Joyce Theater—has been curtailed and delayed.” http://nyti.ms/1gePpxO

DOWNTOWN DREAMS—”Lower Manhattan Development Corp. submits project wish list for Downtown,” by Real Deal’s Rich Bockmann: “The $50 million sum received in a settlement over a botched cleanup at Ground Zero should go toward completing the final leg of Hudson River Park and improving open spaces on Water Street, among other projects, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation said Thursday. At a public board meeting, LMDC administrators submitted a list of 10 projects they’d like to fund with federal money, hammered out in a settlement with construction firm Lend Lease back in March. Other groups are expected to submit proposals, and the LMDC board of directors will vote on how to dole the money. A public hearing is scheduled for September.” http://bit.ly/1OvjMuE

LEADING E.D.C.—”De Blasio appoints 10 to E.D.C. board,” by Capital’s Laura Nahmias and Sally Goldenberg: “Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday appointed 10 new members to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, including several with significant ties to the mayor’s office. Six of the 10 raised money for or donated to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign, record show. The appointments follow de Blasio’s recent announcement of Maria Torres-Springer as the new president of the agency, which guides the city’s economic development agenda. She replaced Kyle Kimball, a Bloomberg administration holdover.” http://bit.ly/1geDvnC

INDUSTRY MOVES—”Elliman taps Leslie Wilson for key new development role,” by Real Deal’s E.B. Solomont: “Leslie Wilson, a former senior vice president at the Related Cos., will now oversee new development marketing efforts at Douglas Elliman, The Real Deal has learned. Wilson, who was one of Related’s top salespeople, started Monday as senior executive vice president and managing director of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. She will be the top deputy to Susan de França, president and CEO of the brokerage’s new development division.”

Source: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2015/07/8572832/capital-real-estate-lich-controversy-heats#