Homeless New Yorkers camping out at City Hall to pressure de Blasio for more housing

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Homeless New Yorkers and activists for the city’s most vulnerable will camp out in front of City Hall on Thursday to pressure Mayor de Blasio to set aside more housing for people in need.

About 20 people will bring sleeping bags and bunk down overnight on the sidewalk by the eastern gates of City Hall, said Jennifer Flynn, the executive director of VOCAL-NY who is organizing the sleep-out.

“We’re going to try and really bring the homelessness crisis to the mayor’s doorsteps,” she said.

The group wants the mayor to pledge to give 10% of all the new construction built under his affordable housing plan to the homeless.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces a partnership with Bank of America and Citibank to create 2600 affordable housing units in New York City. ALEXANDER COHN/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces a partnership with Bank of America and Citibank to create 2600 affordable housing units in New York City.

Currently, 8% of the plans 200,000 units will be set aside for “extremely low income,” which includes homeless New Yorkers.

However, that includes units that are both newly created and preserved.

The advocates want 10% of all new units, which would bring about 1,000 homes a year, said Flynn.

“We totally support the mayor,” said Flynn.

“He’s done some great things on rental subsidies [for the homeless] but we think he can negotiate better deals with developers.”

The timing of the street sleepout is being done to coincide with the fourth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.


Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks with elected officials and developers during the groundbreaking for a new affordable senior housing development.CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Mayor Bill De Blasio speaks with elected officials and developers during the groundbreaking for a new affordable senior housing development.

“Certainly, housing is a big issue for the 99%,” said Flynn.

It will kick off with about 100 activists in Zuccotti Park – where the Occupy movement was born – who will then march to City Hall.


Former drug addict talks about life in Bronx homeless encampment
NY Daily News

A City Hall spokeswoman said the administration “has made unprecedented commitments to housing the city’s homeless population,” including 12,000 units in the affordable housing plan and 7500 NYCHA units over the next five years.

“We continue to leverage every resource possible to prevent New Yorkers from entering shelter and helping those in shelter move out,” said Ishanee Parikh.

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/homeless-folk-city-hall-bound-article-1.2363613

The Family Business: NYC Water Towers

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From most everywhere in New York City an upward tilt of the head offers an appealing view, a sight you cannot replicate anywhere else. Not the skyscrapers and spires—even though, yes, they are standouts indeed—but something more uniquely New York City: rooftop water towers.

Their likenesses and silhouettes appear in countless works of art and the towers themselves—also called tanks—have even served as canvases, too (check out The Water Tank Project, a global clean water awareness campaign supported by more than a dozen members of the real estate industry). That said, visual stimulation is just a byproduct when it comes to these structures so vital to New York City life.

“A lot of people think they are out of service or abandoned, but they serve a vital need,” said Henry Rosenwach, the 26-year-old scion of the Rosenwach family whose name is synonymous with this New York phenomenon. “Until water is gone people don’t care. It’s such a simple thing.”

Mr. Rosenwach paused and wondered aloud whether the simplicity is the cause of the disconnect, recalling a documentary in which people in Washington Square were asked to identify water towers. Half did not know what they were. “And they weren’t event tourists, they were New Yorkers. I don’t know. It’s very weird to me.”

Water towers should be more on people’s brains now, however. The first thing you should know about water towers is that they are not cooling towers, though they may share a roof. (“The term ‘cooling tower’ means a cooling tower,” the city’s Administrative Code explains in a Gertrude Stein sort of way. “Evaporative condenser or fluid cooler that is part of a recirculated water system incorporated into a building’s cooling, industrial process, refrigeration, or energy production system.”) Rooftop water towers store water for domestic use (drinking, showers, laundry) and fire suppression.

At the end of July, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) began an investigation that ultimately linked a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the Bronx to cooling towers. In August registration of cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers became mandatory for building owners, followed by an inspection with proof order.

rosenwach 23 The Family Business: NYC Water Towers

For companies like Rosenwach Tank, one of three primary water tower manufacturers and installers in New York City, that meant an uptick in calls, and a whole lot of explaining, mainly about the basics.

Rosenwach does make and service cooling tanks through a subsidiary—Cool Water Technologies—but we visited the Long Island City headquarters to meet Henry Rosenwach and talk water towers and history. Rosenwach Tank has made the iconic, mostly wooden containers for taller buildings (think elevators; over six stories) since 1896. The company installs, cleans and repairs them, too.

Accordingly, Rosenwach water towers can be found in every borough, on top of buildings of all scales, including 30 Rockefeller Plaza and newly developed 432 Park Avenue. And though neither the city nor Rosenwach Group can say exactly how many water towers there are (17,000 is the high estimate) or how many were installed by Rosenwach, you’ve undoubtedly washed your hands in their water tower-stored water.

Here’s how it works: city pipes bring city water to building basements where pump stations pump water up to the tank on the roof. The rest is all about gravity, a main reason water tanks rarely malfunction.

In fact, water tanks are so reliable, said the fifth-generation vice president of the family firm, that nobody cared about them until Superstorm Sandy (when some of the tanks ran out) and recent rooftop tank news.

Before officially joining the company in 2013 (read: career vs. short term jobs) Mr. Rosenwach spent two years at Cohen Brothers Realty where he absorbed lessons of real estate and management from Charles Cohen and other executives. “I was able to see how management saw our company, from that side of the coin. Mr. Cohen is a top-notch individual. Sitting in a room with him and the people who give him guidance taught me how to speak to people of that stature and class,” said the Vanderbilt graduate, modestly considering landlords and “fancy” corporate offices a league apart from his construction-like day-to-day.

“It’s a whole different atmosphere,” he said, from a desk in front of a display of antique tools, in a windowless office loaded with job site specs and awards plaques. “After our meeting I’m going to be on the subway, sweating and climbing tanks for the rest of the day.”

A day that started like most days, six a week, at 7 a.m. as a vice president closely linked to the CEO: Henry’s father Andrew runs overall operations (a symphony of employees and jobs, “90 percent of the city has his cell number,” said the younger Mr. Rosenwach). Andrew’s last, and perhaps only, vacation ever was the day of Henry’s college graduation. Henry—between inspections, collecting water samples, meeting clients, managing insurance—learns from him daily.

“‘Welcome to hell,’ dad says, trying to break me. There’s no job too big or small. We’re sales, marketing, you name it. We figure it all out. There’s no school for this.”

Careers at Rosenwach start on the truck: delivering materials, removing debris. Henry refers to this and other outdoor work as the “boots and jeans” side of the job. “If you don’t do that then you really don’t know how the men operate, timing, what certain things entail. Those were some fun summers.”

Henry holds a real estate salesperson license, a Real Property Administrator designation from BOMI, and recently finished two NYC Fire Department Certificate of Fitness exams: S-12 (City Wide Sprinkler Systems) and S-13 (City Wide Standpipe System). He’s working toward a variety of other certifications and licenses, and applying to NYU Stern. Andrew, who is also a licensed Master Plumber #949 and a Fire Suppression Contractor #276B, got his MBA there.

Andrew joined the business in 1975 and succeeded his father Wallace, who succeeded his father Julius, who succeeded his father Harris, who bought a barrel-making company for $55 and developed it, to say the least. Look up in nearly any direction and you’re likely seeing either a Rosenwach or Isseks Brothers (also still family-run, though less patriarchally so, since 1890) product.

Henry’s sister Alissa is an interior designer with another company, but she could easily find a place at Sitecraft, Rosenwach Group’s outdoor furniture subsidiary. Look for their wooden benches and planters at the likes of Hudson River Park and Google at 111 Eighth Avenue. The company relocated its Williamburg-based manufacturing to Somerset, N.J. two years ago (selling the site on Wythe Avenue between North 9th and 10th Streets) and plans to move all operations there in the coming months. For now, manufacturing happens in Long Island City.

Incidentally, the majority of water tanks are wooden because wood is less expensive, doesn’t freeze in winter and easy to lug upstairs in pieces.

Rosenwach also runs United Tower Maintenance, AMR Mechanical (a plumbing contractor) and Herbert Rose Building Restoration. “We make it our priority to meet all the standards and be a one-stop-shop to customers,” said Henry. That now includes annual filings of domestic water tank inspection and quality reports. Splashbox.nyc is a site created to manage building certificates and correspond directly with the DOHMH—cleaning is the domain of the DOB.

In the past ten years, said Henry, proudly citing the successes of his kin—“People still talk about my grandfather. He ran the tank game,”—tank exteriors went from black (tar) to tan DynaGrip covers (introduced by Andrew). The covers create a thicker membrane around the tank, elongating lifespan (most last about 30 years), a revolution in the industry. Andrew also updated controls and ultrasound sensors and invented the recently patented two-compartment wood tank. Maximizing space on the roof is as important as everywhere else. 

A new technology may supplant the humble water tower someday but with current and new building construction, tank replacements and their real estate holdings Rosenwach has never been busier. 

“They don’t look glamorous,” Henry momentarily conceded before retracting with examples of artists and other appreciators of the urban beauties. “Water towers are something New York can call its own. And we’re happy to be a part of it.”

Source: https://commercialobserver.com/2015/09/the-family-business-nyc-water-towers/

Minimum-wage workers cannot afford apartments in New York City

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According to a recent report by the New York real estate web site StreetEasy, it is impossible for a worker making $8.75 per hour, New York’s minimum wage, to afford an apartment—defined as spending no more than 30 percent of monthly income—in any New York City neighborhood.

The financial and cultural capital of the US has become synonymous with immense economic inequality and the astronomical cost of living. Rental costs hit a record high in July, while the average sale price of a Manhattan apartment climbed to $1.87 million, even as the city experiences epidemic levels of homelessness.

The StreetEasy report demonstrates that New Yorkers would need to earn an hourly wage of at least $38.80, roughly four times the current minimum wage, in order to afford the city’s 2015 median asking rent of $2,690. In the borough of Manhattan, where median rent is the highest, the income needed would be $44.60 an hour. The comparable number in Brooklyn would be $35.87 an hour, in Queens $29.67, in Staten Island $26.21, and in the Bronx $21.26.

Residents in Central Park South, Manhattan—one of the world’s most expensive neighborhoods—must take in at least $85.07 an hour, about nine times the current minimum wage, to meet the affordability standard. The report notes that a minimum-wage worker, even if he or she worked every hour of the day every day of the year, would be unable to afford rent in Central Park South, as well as in 46 other neighborhoods in New York City.

StreetEasy, in a separate report released last March, noted that rental prices grew at almost twice the rate of income between 2000 and 2013. Based on an estimation of median rent, a new resident of Brooklyn will spend roughly 60 percent of his or her annual income on rent in 2015, while a new resident of the Bronx, the poorest borough, would spend 52 percent. The corresponding figures for Manhattan are 48.8 percent, for Queens 41.4 percent, and for Staten Island 30.1 percent. The result is that this year no borough in New York City will have an “affordable” median rent.

The high rent-to-income ratio is particularly devastating to the one-third of New York’s almost 3.7 million private sector workers who are currently earning $11.75 an hour or less. These workers include recent college graduates, among whom there are many who still have to pay off student loans.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has won headlines for proposing a statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour, but even if this were enacted and became applicable immediately, minimum wage workers would still be unable to afford most apartments in the city. In only one New York neighborhood, Throgs Neck in the Bronx, would a worker making $15 an hour be able to keep housing costs at or below 30 percent of monthly income.

Overall, a raise in the minimum wage to $15 in New York City would not carry the same weight as it does in other regions of the country because of the high cost of living. A recent study by the Pew Research Center calculated that a $15 wage in New York City has the purchasing power equivalent to only $12.26 nationally due to the higher costs of health care, groceries and transportation.

The StreetEasy report explains that rental costs force low-wage workers to either find “several roommates to lower their personal rent burden, take on more than one job, or move out of New York City,” which would force them to incur further transportation costs—such as $300 for a monthly pass to take the Metro-North commuter railroad from Valhalla, New York, where housing costs are somewhat lower. The monthly rail ticket would not include the additional $116.50 cost of a monthly subway card. Many workers would not be able to put down these large lump sum amounts, and as a result would end up paying even higher ticket costs on a per diem basis.

Even where low-wage workers can find subsidized housing, many of these programs can choose to opt out of affordability rent restrictions after 10 years. By 2024 more than 58,000 units in the city—financed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD project-based rental assistance, or by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit—will be eligible to opt out of rent restrictions.

At the same time, what New York mayor Bill de Blasio calls “affordable” rent remains out of a minimum wage earner’s price range. The mayor has called for developers to set aside 30 percent of their units for those making as much as 130 percent of the median income, or about $2,800 per month for a family of four.

The SteetEasy figures make a mockery of de Blasio’s claim that the construction of 200,000 affordable units in the city over the next ten years will make a huge difference in living conditions.

The unaffordable housing costs reflect the immense economic and social polarization that characterizes contemporary capitalism, nowhere more intensely than in New York City. While the upper-middle class and the super-rich currently drive the demand for “market rate” and luxury housing, the great majority of the population struggles to meet monthly rent and the costs of other basic necessities.

Source: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/09/16/nmwr-s16.html

Hospitals Account for $1B in Construction Starts Through June: Report

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Maybe New York City hospitals aren’t so dead after all.

In the last few years, many experts lamented that hospitals in New York City are dying, with institutions shuttering at an average of nearly one hospital per year since 2006, as Commercial Observer previously reported.

But it seems the tide is turning with numerous New York City private and public hospitals renovating and expanding, and the medical industry accounting for more than $1 billion (or 35 percent) in construction projects initiated during the first half of this year, according to a New York Building Congress analysis of construction data from Dodge Data & Analytics released today.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s 1.2-million-square-foot complex at525 East 73rd Street, which is the largest institutional project started this year, also ranks as the third most valuable medical development in the past seven years, the report said. MSKCC’s project, which is developing alongside Hunter College, is only surpassed by New York-Presbyterian’s Koch Ambulatory Care Center and NYU Langone’s Kimmel Center, which both started construction last year.

The Building Congress report also highlighted that construction starts, or projects that commenced, for public and private institutions as a whole—such as schools, libraries, courts, hospitals and churches—through the first six months of 2015 was worth $2.9 billion. That number is up from just $796 million for the first six months of 2014. (New York City construction starts for all developments—including residential projects—was worth $26.1 billion in 2014, according to a previous Building Congress report.)

“New York City’s public and private institutions continue to demonstrate a remarkable consistency in terms of their willingness and ability to methodically invest in maintaining and upgrading their facilities for the long haul,” Building Congress President Richard Anderson said in prepared remarks. “Unlike the residential sector, which can quickly go from boom to bust and back again based on economic conditions, the institutional sector has proven to be a reliable and consistent source of construction activity year in and year out.”

The stats show that institutional construction starts have been rising in recent years. Although institutional construction starts in the first six months of 2014 was paltry, the full year saw $3.8 billion worth of new building, the report said, nearly a $1 billion jump from $2.6 billion in 2013.

Besides hospitals, money has been flowing to build education facilities as well.

Of the institutional projects started in the first half of 2015, New York City public elementary and secondary schools schools accounted for 33 percent or about $960 million worth in construction. In addition, colleges and universities accounted for 23 percent of construction starts.

Source: https://commercialobserver.com/2015/09/hospitals-account-for-1b-in-construction-starts-through-june-report/

Institutional construction projects on the rise in N.Y.C.

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Public and private institutions have dramatically increased their construction spending this year compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis from the New York Building Congress, a construction industry group.

That analysis found about $2.9 billion worth of construction projects were initiated by schools, hospitals, courts, libraries, and other such institutions through the first six months of 2015, nearly matching the $3 billion worth of projects initiated in the second half of 2014. That’s when the jump began, the report said, as in the first half of 2014, those institutions initiated only about $796 million worth of construction.

NYBC President Richard Anderson was quoted by the Wall Street Journal further explaining that institutions tend to maintain their levels of building anew and renovating through all kinds of economic conditions, since the funding is largely supported by wealthy individuals who aren’t affected by downturns in the same way most people are. Anderson added that this recent boomlet might be attributed to a strengthening wider economy and ballooning stock market, the WSJ said.

The NYBC report also noted that Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s new 1.2 million-square-foot project begun at 525 East 73rd Street is not only the largest institutional project started this year, but the third-largest medical building project from the past seven years, the Commercial Observer said. In that ranking, it’s behind only New York-Presbyterian’s Koch Ambulatory Care Center and NYU Langone’s Kimmel Center, both begun just last year, the report said.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/newyork/news/2015/09/16/institutional-construction-projects-on-the-rise-in.html

NYCHA Residents Worried de Blasio’s Housing Plan May Force Them Out of Homes

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Residents of NYCHA units are worried that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan may eventually force them out of their homes.

Over the past week, the New York City mayor’s administration has unveiled two properties where city officials are planning to launch its controversial “NextGeneration” program, reports The Real Deal.  These two New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) properties are the Holmes Towers on the Upper East Side and Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Gardens.  The “NextGeneration” program would have vacant or underutilized space in NYCHA properties to either be sold or fully maximized.  Should it be the latter, the program would have the property on a 99-year lease for the development of buildings that are half market rate and half affordable.

However, residents of the identified NYCHA properties are not happy over the news.  According to the New York Daily News, tenants have criticized the mayor’s plan and are worried that it may eventually leave them homeless.  “I think they’re trying to force us out,” said a Wyckoff Gardens resident, “How are you going to have people here paying $200, $300 rent, then you’ve got tenants in a brand new building paying $1,500, $2,000?”  In the area, two bedroom units have rentals of around $3,000 per month or more.  Under de Blasio’s “NextGeneration” program, the NYCHA reportedly plans to build 650 units on two “underutilized” parking lots in Wyckoff Gardens.  Three hundred of those units would be affordable or half market rate.

Aside from worries on potential high rental rates, tenants also felt shut out from NYCHA’s plans for the property.  A few tenants told the Daily News about robo-calls they received from NYCHA Chairwoman Shola Olatoye which mentioned that the agency “will have the opportunity to build new housing that will bring additional revenue for repairs and capital improvements in your development.”  The calls reportedly failed to mention the 650 apartment development on site and that half of the units will be rented at high rates.

Meanwhile, tenants at Holmes Towers are also unhappy over the news.  The NYCHA reportedly plans to develop a new apartment building that will house 350 to 400 units, states DNAinfo. Fifty percent of these units will be available at half market rate and will be built on top of an existing playground.  Residents reportedly found this plan “unfair” given that they will be losing play space for their children.

“What they’re doing is taking from the kids,” Unique Walker, a tenant at Holmes Towers, told DNA info.  “Where will our kids play? It’s not fair that the poor suffer so the rich can have a place to live.”

Source: http://www.realtytoday.com/articles/35285/20150915/nycha-residents-worried-de-blasios-housing-plan-force-out-homes.htm

City’s office-building boom won’t be enough to meet demand

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Manhattan is seeing a boom in office-space construction, the New York Building Congress reported recently. The organization projects just under 20 million square feet will be added between this year and 2018.

Sounds good? No, it is not enough. That is an important issue to understand as the de Blasio administration begins the process of winning approval for a major rezoning of the midtown east corridor to encourage new construction.

Let’s start with another number: 450 million, which is the total amount of office space in Manhattan. That would make the 2015-2018 increase about 4%, which means only 1% a year and a number that reflects the once-in-forever rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and the sustainable rate is much less than that.

In the meantime, the economy is booming, and the need to accommodate new workers is growing. Consider that in 2012, Cushman & Wakefield projected the city would need 92 million additional square feet by 2040, or around 3.3 million square feet a year. Two years ago, the Independent Budget Office put the need at 52 million square feet in a report evaluating the Bloomberg administration’s plan to rezone midtown east. As a result, the IBO assured the council, new buildings in midtown east wouldn’t lead to a surplus or derail leasing at the World Trade Center site or Hudson Yards.

In either case, growth is only a part of this story. The city’s office infrastructure is aging and becoming unattractive and uneconomic. The average age of office buildings in midtown east is 70 years old. No one seems to have a similar figure for all of Manhattan, but it probably isn’t that much lower. (Let me know if you have that number).

True, as you read this you may be doing so in a cubicle or open office environment with much less personal space than you ever had before, which some people speculate will reduce the demand for office space. Others believe the growth in employment will be primarily in work-at-home or group collaborations. There is also a mini-boom taking place in Long Island City and a burst of activity in Brooklyn.

More to the point are the decisions big companies have made to relocate to new, state-of-the-art office towers: Coach, SAP and the law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner are headed to Hudson Yards; News Corp. will likely move to the World Trade Center; and TD Bank will anchor SL Green’s plannedVanderbilt Tower near Grand Central Terminal.

There just isn’t any doubt New York needs many more modern office towers.

Source: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150915/BLOGS01/150919934/citys-office-building-boom-wont-be-enough

Are Too Many Pricey Rentals Being Built in Brooklyn?

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Construction continues at a breakneck pace on the many, many new developments throughout Brooklyn, including megaprojects like City Point andPacific Park, but the high number of apartments coming onto the market has some wondering: is this pace sustainable? In a report in the Wall Street Journal,some real-estate experts have suggested that there’s a “softening” of the Brooklyn market, with supply outpacing demand.

What happened? A few things: There are a lot of new developments being built in the borough, adding an unprecedented number of units to the market—more than double the number of units will be ready for occupancy in 2015 than were available in 2012. And in 2016, the number will get even higher: a whopping4,990 units are expected to be available, surpassing the recent high of 3,282 in 2008.

There’s also the issue of what types of units are coming onto the market. Developers in Brooklyn are focusing largely on luxury apartments, which, according to the WSJ, are “intensifying competition for the same pool ofmoneyed millennials, hip techies and so-called broken-hip-sters, empty nesters and baby boomers flocking to the urban core.” (Oh boy.)

This means that demand for both non-luxury units, and units that would typically be at the lower end of the price scale, is up—which, in turn, drives rents up.

With the growth in supply coming at the luxury end, the entry level is seeing more demand-fueled rent increases, said Jonathan Miller, president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel.The median rental price for Brooklyn studios soared 15.4% in July over the previous year, he said. But for luxury units at the top 10% of the market, median monthly rent edged down 3.4% to $5,347.

Apartments have also been staying on the market longer—particularly in areas like Downtown Brooklyn and Red Hook, which traditionally have not been viewed as “attractive and accessible” to renters. It’s kind of the perfect storm of issues for both renters and developers.

Predictably, Brooklyn boosters are spinning the overwhelming supply in a positive way. “The big-bang theory says the universe exploded from the center and continues expanding,” Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams told theWSJ. “The same can be said of Brooklyn.”

But other experts aren’t quite as bullish: Drew Babin, senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., noted that developers “tend to overdo it,” which could lead to trouble for developers and residents alike. “New supply can eventually kill rent growth, and you’re seeing an overhang of new supply in Brooklyn.”

UPDATE: Tucker Reed, the president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, rebutted the claims in the WSJ’s article in a statement, saying that it “paints an inaccurate picture of housing supply and demand in the borough and the city as a whole and warrants additional commentary.”

First, the demand for housing in Downtown Brooklyn exceeds available supply, as evidenced by the most elementary data points—rising rents and land values. Further, nearly all of the 6,700 units built in Downtown Brooklyn since the 2004 rezoning have been absorbed, leaving negligible current inventory for buyers and renters looking to enter the market. If anything, we suffer from a lack of available product today. While an additional 5,200 units in construction and another 7,700 units in the pipeline represent a significant increase in available housing coming online in the next three to five years in Downtown Brooklyn, there is no evidence of an imminent and significant leveling off of demand (these housing figures and more can be found in our most recent Downtown Brooklyn Real Estate Market Report). In fact, as the borough continues its ascent as a globally recognized destination, there are only a few neighborhoods in Brooklyn whose flexibility in zoning allows for significant increases in density, with the rich transit infrastructure to rationally support it. Finally, Brooklyn, like the rest of New York City, is facing a housing crisis. In a report referenced in The Wall Street Journal on June 10, 2013, Columbia University’s Center for Urban Real Estate estimates that New York City’s population will grow by 1 million residents by 2030 – 35% faster between now and 2040 than from 2000 to 2010. This would translate to 5,500 new residents a month, every month, for the next 15 years.

· Brooklyn’s Possible Housing Glut [WSJ]

Source: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2015/09/14/are_too_many_pricey_rentals_being_built_in_brooklyn.php

NYC officials want transfer station site named to Superfund list

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Dive Brief:

  • Elected officials in New York City want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to designate the Gravesend Bay Transfer Station a Superfund site, which would halt construction in the area.
  • Residents have protested the construction of the marine waste transfer station for years. One concern is that the dredging required to build the station will stir up noxious chemicals left behind by an incinerator from decades past. Also, Council member Vincent Gentile in a letter to the EPA said that in 1954, a ship carrying munitions capsized in the bay, “littering the ocean floor with potentially active shells.” Gentile believes that if the shells explode, the city runs the risk of “the chemicals left by the incinerator being disseminated throughout New York City waters.”
  • The Superfund process is complex. Multiple site assessments and placement on a National Priorities List has to happen before authorities can order the responsible parties to take action.

Dive Insight:

U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, Assembly member William Colton and Council member Mark Treyger wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported. “Disturbingly,” they wrote, “a 2012 study conducted by the New York City Department of Sanitation identified extremely high levels of metals, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and pesticides at the incinerator site. … Dredging and other activities necessitated by construction of the Southwest Brooklyn Marine Waste Transfer Station could further disturb the dangerous toxins, threatening the health and safety of the nearby area.”

The situation in New York City is reminiscent of one in Missouri. The St. Louis-area congressional delegation asked the U.S. Department of Energy to re-evaluate whether theWest Lake Landfill in Bridgeton should be added to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cleanup program, and urged the Obama administration to act.

Source: http://www.wastedive.com/news/nyc-officials-want-transfer-station-site-named-to-superfund-list/405517/