Thursday, November 28, 2013

Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes 421-a and Zoning #678










Cuomo Disguising 421-a As A Tax Incentives for Poor and Working Class, Now Called AffordableNY A Housing Program That Creates Gentrification and Pushes Out the Poor, Middle Class and Increases Homelessness by Raising Rents 
Cuomo offers tax incentives in new affordable housing proposal for low-income New Yorkers (NYDN)  The governor said he wants to replace a program designed to create apartments for poor and working class New Yorkers.   The initiative would replace the 421-a program, which expired last year, granting property tax cuts to developers who set aside subsidized affordable apartments.  Cuomo said the new program will create 2,500 units per year of affordable housing and will extend the tax incentives for 40 years.  “It is actually in my opinion a better program than the old 421a,” he continued. “This has increased the length of affordability to 40 years, and it’s actually made it more affordable for people to qualify.”  The governor did not discuss the length of the tax exemptions, the extent of the affordability mandates or other conditions imposed as eligibility requirements under the program.  “It’s important to have a program like that to encourage private development and affordable housing in New York City.”Cuomo Introduces Rebranded 421-a Tax Credit Bill InLegislature (Gothamist) * For 421a, What’sIn A Name? (YNN)
More on Gentrification Destroying Neighborhoods







Even the Lotteries for Affordable Apts Are Rigged to Get Young People to Gentrify Neighborhoods

Young singles are the big winners in NYC’s affordablehousing lottery: report (The Real Deal) The city’s affordable housing lottery between 2013 and 2015 was more likely to be won by young singles, according to data released by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. And many of those young whippersnappers have developers to thank. More than half of the 48 housing lotteries for 1,470 available units across the city between January 2013 through to the end of 2015 were one-bedrooms and studios. Just over 40 percent of the winners in those lotteries were people aged 25 to 34, and half of those people were single, DNAinfo reported. The news website found that only 4 percent of the winners were over 62 years old. Just 11 percent were under the age of 25.


A Renewal of the 421-a Program Will Kill What is Left of Affordable Housing in NYC

Cuomo urges lawmakers to pass tax break for affordable housing (NYP) Building workers and real estate developers have struck a deal on a program that gives developers tax breaks for affordable housing and Gov. Cuomo is calling on lawmakers to return to Albany early to approve it.  “The State Legislature has refused to release $2 billion in state affordable housing funds,” Cuomo said while announcing the deal late Thursday. “I urge the Legislature to come back to Albany to pass desperately needed affordable housing.”  The program, known as 421-A gives developers up to $1 billion a year in tax breaks in exchange for dedicating a percentage of apartments to tenants with lower incomes than their neighbors. The program ended in January, after Gov. Cuomo told developers he would not renew it unless they could work out a deal with unions to improve wages for construction workers and other laborers who build the housing. The Real Estate Board of New York, the Building Contructions and Trades and Cuomo announced Thursday that all sides agreed to wages averaging $60 an hour for projects with at least 300 units in Manhattan. Workers in Brooklyn and Queens would earn an average of $45 an hour. Developers would avoid paying property taxes for 35 years, up from 21 years under the old terms of the program, in exchange for maintaining the affordable units for 40 year, up from 35 years previously. The deal could fall apart if the legislature does not approve it.* * A dispute that emerged following the announcement of a deal to revive the 421-a property tax break appears to have been settled, though the final resolution to the nearly two-year-old feud over the exemption is far from certain, Politico New York writes.




Shocking NYT Cuomo Pushing For Another Tax Break for Developers 
Cuomo Strikes Deal to Revive Affordable Housing Program (NYT)  For the second time in three months, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has forged a deal with developers and union construction officials to revive a program designed to create apartments for poor and working-class New Yorkers. But will it get done? The program, known as 421-a, expired in January. It grants cuts in property taxes to developers who set aside subsidized apartments for low-, moderate- and middle-income families or individuals in their otherwise luxury projects. It is a city program governed by state legislation. As the number of homeless people in city shelters has climbed above 60,000, the creation of additional affordable housing has become a key goal for Mr. Cuomo and his political rival Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, although they have not often agreed on how to achieve it. The Cuomo administration has hoped that by reviving the 421-a program it would unlock $2 billion for the governor’s own housing program, which has been stalled for months without approval by leaders of the State Legislature. Under the new deal, builders would get the special tax benefits for a longer period — a 100 percent tax abatement for 35 years. A plan embraced by the mayor had called for a 25-year abatement followed by a phased-in return to full taxes over an additional 10 years. Details of the new deal were hashed out by state officials; members of the Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s powerful lobbying arm; and union officials. They were announced on Thursday by the board, known as Rebny, and the governor. In the proposed version of the program, subsidized apartments would have to remain affordable for 40 years.



Now the Gov Wants to Subsidized 421-A Workers to Push Gentrification?

De Blasio: Subsidized wages for construction workers are fine — if it doesn’t cost city (NYP) Mayor de Blasio said he’s fine with the state subsidizing higher wages for construction workers who build affordable housing in the five boroughs – as long as it doesn’t impact the city’s bottom line. Asked about a report in the New York Times that Gov. Cuomo was considering reviving a suspended real estate tax break program with a proposal that would see tens of millions of state tax dollars going to ensuring union-level wages, de Blasio said “God bless ’em.” “If that’s what the state thinks is the right thing to do with state money, of course we can work with that,” he said at an unrelated press conference on parks in The Bronx. “What’s not acceptable to us is to add to the cost of the city’s affordable housing program, which is already stretched very thin and trying to reach half a million people.”* De Blasio cautiously supports affordable housing tax break for developers — as long as it doesn’t drive up costs(NYDN) * In Attempt to Convince Lawmakers to Vote for Affordable Housing Project, Mayor Appears to Anger Queens Councilman(NY1) * Allies of Bronx Borough President Wonder if Politics Played Role in Lack of Funding for Orchard Beach Pavilion Repairs(NY1)
* De Blasio, who has made creating more affordable housing a priority, has faced fierce community opposition on specific projects, slowing his plans to build more units as a larger push to keep New York affordable for working class people, The Wall Street Journal writes * Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies (NYDN) * A proposal to revive the lucrative 421-a affordable housing tax credit for developers by providing government wage subsidies for the workers they hire is being blasted by business groups, nonprofit providers and economic experts, the Daily News reports. * Cuomo wants the government to pay union workers higher wages (NYP) * Why Cuomo wants you to pay unions to build luxury housing (NYP) What Andrew Cuomo did this month was like a parody of a black-and-white 1940s movie about beefing kids in the alley. Bully No. 1 has a baseball bat: “Why I oughta smash your head in!” Bully No. 2 has a knife: “I’m gonna slice you up good.” It’s a standoff, until along comes Andrew, kindly and whistling, the grown-up, the soothing Bing Crosby character. “What seems to be the trouble, boys?” says Bing Cuomo. The two bullies explain themselves. “He owes me money!” “No, he owes me money!” And that’s when you happen into the picture. Yes you, the entirely innocent New York taxpayer, the random citizen who happens to be walking by.
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes 421-a and Zoning



Cuomo Wants to Use Government Money to Revive Gentrification Causing 421-a
Cost of a good intention on 421-a fix (NYDN) At the urging of construction unions, the governor smashed the renewal of a property tax break, called 421-a, that is crucial to building housing, including affordable units, in the city.  By demanding a so-called prevailing wage rate, Cuomo threw the economics entirely out of whack. He prevailed on the state Legislature to bake into law an unusual mandate for the Real Estate Board of New York, representing developers, and the construction unions to work out wage rates both could live with. Without such an agreement, the law fated 421-a to die.  The two sides failed to reach a deal, and no wonder: financing higher wages on top of the affordable housing would bust the developers’ tight budgets, rendering many projects unbuildable. To break a months-long logjam, Cuomo now looks to dedicate potentially tens of millions of dollars of state taxpayers’ money to achieve private sector wage hikes that are acceptable to the unions.He pledges to kick in $15 an hour on wages of up to $65 for workers on large rental towers in Manhattan south of 96th St. and $50 on the booming Brooklyn-Queens waterfront.
At a time when New York desperately needs housing, affordable housing most of all, the governor has boosted the cost and put the taxpayer on the hook.




Tip of the Iceberg of Construction Corruption As One Boss Goes to Jail 
Construction official gets jail-time for safety-inspection scandal (NYP) A Manhattan construction official busted for site-safety fraud in 2014 was sentenced Tuesday to one to three years in prison for his part in a citywide scam that included sending hairdressers, cooks and bellhops — often hired off Craigslist — to impersonate licensed safety managers. Richard Marini, 62, manager of the firm Avanti Building Consultants, was allowed to cop to a charge of grand larceny in a plea bargain last October. He was one of several construction officials indicted for sending random people they hired via online postings to impersonate licensed safety managers at dozens of high-rise projects across Manhattan, including the Upper East Side, the Financial District and Gramercy Park.



Developers Get to Make Noise At Night 

A tale of two noises: De Blasio’s unequal ‘quality of life’ crusade (NYP) On Sunday, his team announced a deal to halve tourist helicopter flights. The same day, The Post reported on the jump in permits for loud overnight construction work. De Blasio’s Economic Development Corp. says the chopper deal will cut 30,000 Downtown Manhattan Heliport flights a year. No more Sunday flights either, or ones over Governor’s Island. Yet the city’s doing nothing about another ear-ache: As Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein reported in Sunday’s Post, the Buildings Department OK’d 59,895 permits last year for work between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. — a 24 percent jump from 2014. It nixed only 431 applications, for an approval rate of 99 percent. ’Copter-noise complaints make up a minuscule share (less than 1 percent) of all noise-related 311 calls. But one resident calls night-time construction work an “indescribable nightmare.” Machines make it impossible to sleep, and filing complaints “does not work,” says Isabel Madden, who lives near a project at 220 Central Park South.* Developers, DOBlove night construction, but residents not so much (Real Deal)

Developers Pay Millions to Get Tenants in the Way Out 

New York Builders Paying Huge Buyouts to Tenants in TheirWay (NYT) Tishman Speyer Properties, one of New York City’s most active real estate developers, had bought two parcels of land on the Far West Side of Manhattan to clear the way for a 2.8 million-square-foot office tower planned for Hudson Yards. Standing in the way, though, were the occupants of two apartments on the site. So this year, the developer turned to a lubricant that can be counted on to ease New York City tenants out of their rent-regulated units — a buyout, in this case, for $25 million in total to three tenants.* de Blasio's defense of donations from developers = "the ends justify the means" (which sounds like Markowitz) (AYO)


Will There Be A Son of 421-a?
The Real EstateCommunity Is Scrambling to Get the Lapsed 421a Tax Break Back (NYO) Real estate leaders, the abatement’s many vocal opponents and elected officials on both sides of the issue now must brace for the impact of another lapse. The 421a tax break involves the city’s history, its politics and its economy. The tax break started in the 1970s at a time when some worried whether anyone would want to build new housing in the city. The current impasse between REBNY and the Building Trades Council comes with some concerned the demand for new housing in the city will push everyone but the very wealthy out. Cuomo: 421a Could Become A ‘Different Program(NYO) “We would need at this point a new piece of legislation,” Cuomo said. “It might be a totally different approach and a totally different program, because you have to start with a blank piece of paper.” It’s not clear what Cuomo may have in mind for renewing the abatement or what differences he might seek. Republican Sen. Martin Golden on Thursday said in an interview he had hoped the program would be renewed within the next two weeks and not be part of the budget negotiations.


A Symbol From the 421-a Era the Poor Door Building Opens
‘Poor door’ tenants reveal luxury tower’s financial ‘apartheid’ (NYP) The controversial “poor door” at a luxury Lincoln Square tower is finally open — and creating New York-style financial apartheid. Tenants who were chosen to live in one of the 55 low-income units in Extell’s ritzy 33-story building recently started trickling in through the poor door — and many are disturbed by the glaring disparities. A tenant from the “rich” side took no issue with the separate and unequal residences, claiming, “It’s unfortunate to make it into a class warfare,” and, “It’s not us against them.”The luxury building’s “poor door” is at 40 Riverside Blvd. The main entrance is around the corner.Photo: Helayne Seidman However, the resident, who requested anonymity, admitted he had never mingled with his less-fortunate neighbors.To qualify for an “affordable” rental, a family of four must earn less than $50,000 per year, and an individual no more than $35,000. About 90,000 people applied for the 55 units.



The Daily News Ignoring the Gentrification Push Out Damage 421-a Has Done Pushes for Albany to Renew the Program 
The Daily News Also Ignores the Corruption of Silver and Silver by 421-a Developer Glenwood and their Lobbyists
Unaffordable mess:What to do now that a 421-a prevailing wage deal has fallen to pieces (NYDN Ed) With a tick of the clock Friday, a foundation of Mayor de Blasio’s affordable-housing plans imploded, jeopardizing upwards of 20,000 of the 80,000 affordable apartments he aspires to build. Now the Legislature that set the stage for this debacle must swiftly restore what too-casual deal-making destroyed. Namely, a decades-old New York City program, called 421-a, that greatly reduces property taxes for new housing development, thereby encouraging new construction that in many cases would otherwise be infeasible.

421-a Has Expired Another Death Nail for de Blasio's Affordable Housing and Zoning Plan
It’s official, the 421-a tax break meant to encourage the construction of affordable housing in NYC has expired. * Wage stalemate ruining de Blasio’s affordable-housing plan (NYP) Mayor de Blasio’s plan to preserve and build 200,000 affordable-housing units suffered a setback as labor leaders and developers failed to agree on wages for construction workers by Friday’s deadline. “Despite a good-faith effort by all parties, the Real Estate Board of New York and the [unions] were unable to come to a final agreement on the renewal of [a program] that would provide good wages to construction workers across the city,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council. It’s unclear what, if anything, Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature plan to do to ­extend the program. * 421-a Tax Break Expires as Deal Between Developersand Labor Falls Apart (DNAINFO) * The Developer-Friendly 421-A Tax Abatement Program IsDead (Gothamist)* Owner of recently closed The Usual reflects on a Prospect Heights when "it wasn't about money" (AYR* Construction-union officials said they failed to reach a deal with real estate leaders on worker wages in an agreement needed to renew the critical 421-a property-tax exemption program in New York CityThe Wall Street Journalreports: 





The Feds Just Blew Up NYC's Luxury Housing Market Bubble Feds: 421-a Luxury Buildings Hiding Dirty Money 
Feds To Track Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate..(NYT) * Feds crack down on rich foreigners’ favorite money-laundering scheme (NYP)* Millionaire, show thyself: What does the Treasury Dept.’smove mean for NYC real estate? (Raw Deal)* The 421-a property-tax exemption program that has played a central role for decades in the construction of apartment buildings across New York City appeared headed for trouble as negotiations bogged down between developers and construction unions. under the terms of a deal hashed out in last year’s state budget, the deadline for a deal is tomorrow.*  Cuomo Distances Himself From 421a Talks (YNN) * The feds just blew up the allure of New York City's high-end-condo market:anonymity  * The Times writes that the U.S. Treasury Department hastaken a good step, but should broaden a program that will demand the identities of those behind shell companies that “rich foreigners” use to buy real estate in Manhattan and Miami-Dade County

As 421-a Dies So Does the Mayor's Affordable Housing Plan
Death of Tax-Break Program Could Hamper Mayor de Blasio’s Housing Push (NYT) Mr. de Blasio said on Monday that his administration was creating housing affordable to poor and working-class New Yorkers faster than any of his predecessors. That drive may soon hit a speed bump.* On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing agenda may encounter a roadblock because it’s unlikely construction unions and real estate developers will agree on wages in time to renew the 421-a tax break, the Times reports: * In the latest sign of New York City’s booming real estate market, the total market value for all property has crossed the trillion-dollar mark for the first time in history.


Will There Be A Son of 421-a?


The Real EstateCommunity Is Scrambling to Get the Lapsed 421a Tax Break Back (NYO) Real estate leaders, the abatement’s many vocal opponents and elected officials on both sides of the issue now must brace for the impact of another lapse. The 421a tax break involves the city’s history, its politics and its economy. The tax break started in the 1970s at a time when some worried whether anyone would want to build new housing in the city. The current impasse between REBNY and the Building Trades Council comes with some concerned the demand for new housing in the city will push everyone but the very wealthy out. Cuomo: 421a Could Become A ‘Different Program(NYO) “We would need at this point a new piece of legislation,” Cuomo said. “It might be a totally different approach and a totally different program, because you have to start with a blank piece of paper.” It’s not clear what Cuomo may have in mind for renewing the abatement or what differences he might seek. Republican Sen. Martin Golden on Thursday said in an interview he had hoped the program would be renewed within the next two weeks and not be part of the budget negotiations.





421-a Too Many Making Money May Get Extended to Destroy More Neighborhoods
421-A TALKS IMPROVING, THOUGH UNCERTAIN - POLITICO New York's Negotiations over the future of the 421-a development tax break are improving after they stalled for months in the fall, multiple sources involved in and familiar with the talks said. The law governing 421-a expired in June and the state Legislature passed a renewal, with some of the same reforms Mayor Bill de Blasio was pushing. But Cuomo said that any deal must include some type of prevailing wage requirement for construction workers. The governor mandated that by Jan. 15, New York's real estate lobby and building trades union must agree on a wage plan for buildings with more than 15 units. Without a deal, the state's 421-a program, which sunset on Dec. 31, would officially lapse and the new law would be moot. he two sides have been talking regularly and are scheduled to meet again on Thursday* Town Hall on Homelessness takes aim at @Billdeblasio housing plan  * Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's on track to reach hisaffordable housing goals. (NY1)

A Possible Win for Union and Loss for de Blasio and Neighborhoods
Union win would be huge blow to de Blasio’s affordable housing plan (NYP) The city would have to come up with an additional $2.8 billion for affordable housing if unions win their fight to force developers to pay “prevailing wages” on affordable-housing projects, the Independent Budget Office said Monday. The office found that the cost of each affordable unit would increase by $45,000 if the higher wages were enacted, delivering a significant blow to Mayor de Blasio’s plan to build 80,000 new apartments. The Real Estate Board of New York said the IBO’s analysis supports the board’s stance that higher wages would either boost government spending or produce fewer units.* The New York City Independent Budget Office estimated the cost of each affordable housing unit would increase $45,000 if constructed by those earning prevailing wages, as requested by unions, the Post reports: * The Daily News applauds de Blasio’s progress on buildingor preserving affordable housing, but says that the clock should  run out on the 421-a tax break and it should be taken up by the Legislature this session: *  Bill de Blasio Struggles to Sell NYCHA Residents on His Planto Save Public Housing  *  * The de Blasio administration would have to come up with an additional $2.8 billion for affordable housing if unions win their fight to force developers to pay “prevailing wages” on affordable-housing projects, the Independent Budget Office said.







The Media Needs to Look At the Damage Silver Did to Tenants With the 421-a Program
Who suffered from New York pols' payoff cases? (Times Union) Defense for key state legislators downplays impact, but others say society, people do suffer. According to Silver's attorney, he was a "great champion" of tenants rights during a time when rents in New York City have soared. According to a 2014 study released by the Community Service Society, between 2002 and 2011, New York City lost 385,000 units of housing affordable to low-income residents — over 40 percent of units in that category. But during his trial, Silver was found to have arranged payments from developers to a law firm that handled property tax appeals for real estate companies, yielding hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for the speaker. In 2011, lobbyists for one of those developers, Glenwood Management, met with Silver to push the luxury apartment builders' agenda on the lucrative 421-a tax break program, which incentivizes the building of affordable housing, as well as rent regulations — both then close to expiring. According to testimony from one lobbyist, Richard Runes, Glenwood ended up getting largely what it wanted out of the renewal of both programs. "We knew Senate Republicans were in the pocket of the real estate industry, so that wasn't a surprise," tenant activist Michael McKee told the Times Union, describing the 2011 negotiations. "What was really surprising was that Sheldon Silver sold us out after he had positioned himself as this great defender of tenants' rights." McKee added, "They made very minor alterations at the very edges and called it a great tenant victory while they left every loophole in place so that Glenwood could get more (market-rate) units into the system."*  Despite the Crackdown, 421a Tax Benefits Still Falls in theWrong Hands (Citylimits)





How the Tax Payers Buy Apt Complexes for Wall Street Billionaires 
Who do billionaires turn to when they want to buy apartmentcomplexes? The U.S.taxpayer (Bloomberg) Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group and Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group LP are in talks with Freddie Mac to finance two transactions totaling more than $10 billion, according to people with knowledge of the negotiations. Those discussions come after the government-owned mortgage giant already agreed to back Lone Star Funds’ $7.6 billion deal to buy Home Properties Inc. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s $2.5 billion takeover of Associated Estates Realty Corp. The mortgage guarantor -- which along with its larger counterpart Fannie Mae was rescued in a $187.5 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008 -- is boosting its multifamily lending as their regulator eases restrictions on that part of their business. Cheap debt from the U.S.-backed companies is helping sustain a five-year surge in values for apartment buildings and fueling some of the biggest real estate deals since the financial crisis.
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics, 421-a 



Daily News Says More Info On Secret by Mayor Giving Blackstone's Stuy Town Deal on Air Rights and Forgiving Loan
The Daily News writes that straight accountings of deBlasio’s real estate dabblings  are needed after he did not mention the city was forgiving a loan and authorizing an air rights sale at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village: * Editorial: Fulldisclosure, please (NYDN Ed) As a huge landlord reached a deal buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, de Blasio trumpeted success in keeping almost half of the complexes affordable to the middle class. The mayor said that the city reached advantageous terms with the Blackstone Group. But what did Blackstone really get in the deal? New York “will fund a loan of up to $144 million,” de Blasio’s press release stated — without mentioning that he was actually forgiving the entire sum, plus $77 million, for a total $221 million. It turns out he added artificial sweetener: the mayor will help Blackstone get the okay to sell development rights that experts say are potentially worth $100 million to $350 million. New Yorkers need straight accountings of the costs of de Blasio real estate dabblings. Here that extends to the possible air rights bonanza. At least, the terms should have said that the bulk of any such sums would come back to taxpayers. * The Post writes that de Blasio should keep his “grubbypaws” off the city’s pension fund after the mayor suggested he may like to invest it in various subsidized housing program as part of his affordable housing program: *The recent sale of Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village highlights the differences between the massive Manhattan complex and Parkchester, its similarly-designed Bronx counterpart with much lower rents, Crain’s reports: * Blackstone-Ivanhoe Cambridge Purchase of Stuyvesant Town-Peter CooperVillage (Little Sister Chart)



Not One Borough Like de Blasio Rezoning Plan So Far 
Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan Throw An Zoning Tea Party for de Blasio





Green Shoots of Opposition to Developers in the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn 

Bill’s housingboomerang (NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio should hardly be surprised by widespread opposition to one of his key strategies for encouraging affordable housing — because, but for his current job title, he would surely be rallying the throngs in protest. From Riverdale to Morrisania, from Inwood to Hell’s Kitchen, from Williamsburg to Sheepshead Bay, most of the city’s 59 community boards have roared no to zoning changes that are critical to de Blasio’s goal of creating 80,000 apartments for low-to-middle income tenants. Although New Yorkers and elected officials clamor for affordable housing, community boards and Council members are recoiling in fear that the plan would spur development, with many rents out of reach. In the Bronx, where three in five households spend more a third of their incomes on rent, every board rejected de Blasio’s plan. Borough President Ruben Diaz — joined by six of nine Bronx Council members — also voted no on the borough board. In East New York, Brooklyn, the board roundly rejected de Blasio’s proposal to put affordable housing mandates and subsidies into action. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito says she supports the mayor’s concept but abstained on the Bronx borough board’s vote. In lieu of leadership, she blah-blahs about “a meaningful discussion about neighborhood goals, values and priorities.”


After Rejection to His Rezoning Plan: Blaz to Community Boards: Drop Dead
As public advocate and mayoral candidate, he fought the closure of Brooklyn’s bankrupt Long Island College Hospital, which was located in prime real estate, declaring at one point: “People’s health — not the profits of the real estate industry — needs to be our priority.” Two years later, the hospital is gone and a developer has the right to erect luxury housing. The builder has proposed a better deal: Permit construction of a slightly larger project in exchange for including hundreds of affordable apartments, a new school and a park. Local leaders, including Councilman Brad Lander, say no. They’ll stick with the high-priced units to keep the project as small as possible.* Faced with a community board backlash against his zoning plans for affordable housing, New York City Mayor de Blasio went to a Bronx church Sunday to pitch his plan as a needed bulwark against New York becoming a “gilded city,” the DailyNews reports:  * Faced with a neighborhood backlash against his zoning plans for affordable housing, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio went to a Bronx church to pitch his plan as a needed bulwark against New York becoming a “gilded city.” He argued that since development is inevitable, the city is better off working to make sure it doesn’t totally leave out the poor and middle class.* Re affordable housing zoning plan resistance, @BilldeBlasio says community boards inform decision but aren't decision makers*  Cuomo: City has gotten more than its fair share in housing funds (PoliticoNY) ‘They are significantly higher than as prescribed in the law’ * Gov. Cuomo: State has been 

Opposition in the Mayor Own Circle to Rezoning East New York and the Bronx Fears of Gentrification 
Anti-poverty activists allied with de Blasio are sharply criticizing his plan to rezone East New York, a low-income neighborhood at the heart of his affordable-housing initiative,the Journal reports: * The Bronx Borough Board — which includes area politicians and community leaders — became the fourth to vote against or raise concerns about zoning changes tied to de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, the DailyNews reports:  * de-Blasted: Four boroughs just roasted @BilldeBlasio's plan for affordable housing. (NYDN).*  Manhattan leaders are pushing back against two zoningchanges connected to the mayor's affordable housing plan: Staten Island Community Board 3 Latest to Vote Down City's Rezoning Plan(DNAINFO) *Mayor's East New York-Ocean Hill Rezoning PlanRejected by CB16 (DNAINFO) * LES Community Board Votes Down City's RezoningProposal (SNAINFO) * Gentrified! Watch How the South Bronx Is Transitioning Into a Super Hot Real Estate Market


It Could Be the Lack of A Union Agreement That Kills 421-a Not the Gentrification Damage the Program Does to the Neighborhoods
Months of discussions between construction union leaders and representatives of New York City’s real estate community haven’t produced an agreement on wage levels for construction using the 421-a tax abatement, and many people involved in discussions are increasingly prepared for no deal to be reached, The Wall Street Journal reports:  * As a January deadline looms, real estate industry and union leaders have yet to hammer out a deal on 421-a abatement.

NYC Real Estate Barrons' Found Their Puppet A Progressive Mayor to Gentrify East New York
The study, "The Effects of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents," written by the consulting firm Abt Associates with help from New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate, found that NYCHA tenants often wind up feeling like aliens in their own neighborhoods, surrounded by newcomers who claimed they'd just "discovered" the neighborhood. “NYCHA residents could be priced out of new private amenities and new, higher-income neighbors may not contribute to accessible community resources,” the report reads.* * New York City hired five NYCHA residents as urban “interpreters” who gathered information for a $250,000 report that concluded most New Yorkers already accept as true: gentrification doesn't help the poor,the Daily News reports de Blasio Spins Back The city's voluntary inclusionary housing program, which rewards developers who set aside apartments for low rents, yielded more than triple the number of units in fiscal year 2015 than it did previous year,Politico New York reports:





Pay to Play Brooklyn Bridge Park Apartments for Board Directors
Brooklyn Bridge Park Bigwigs Bought Condos in Disputed Pierhouse -- and city lawyers told them that was just fine. (DNAINFO) Two Brooklyn Bridge Park board members — who helped approve a luxury residential development that critics say blocks coveted views — were among the first to buy condos in the controversial tower last year, DNAinfo New York has learned. David Offensend and Henry Gutman, then-members of the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s board of directors, were quick to sign purchasing agreements for apartments at the Pierhouse in March 2014, the park confirmed Tuesday. The Pierhouse has come under fire from opponents for obstructing the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade, Brooklyn Heights’ walkway over the East River, and has sparked protests from neighbors and an unsuccessful lawsuit to halt its construction.The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation approved and oversaw the creation of the building on state land and will receive the property taxes generated there. Offensend, who stepped down from the park corporation’s Board of Directors in July, and Gutman, who remains on the board, got clearance from the city's Law Department to buy units in the tony building, which includes a screening room, a pet wash station and a "young adults study" room, according to documents filed with the state. * Activists protest de Blasio pal’s view-blocking high-rise(NYP) * Even Bloomberg's parks commissioner says Brooklyn Bridge ParkCorp broke its promise on too-tall luxury condos



The Future of 421-a
Two powerful trade organizations that control the fate of a controversial property-tax exemption known as 421-a will begin determining the program’s future as soon as late September.



Daily News Says It Against Luxury 421-a But Says Nothing About the Gentrification Push Out the Tax Break Causes


Time to end a hugetax break for wealthy property owners (NYDN Ed) Tiny property taxes for the most luxurious of luxury condominiums. A bigger tax bill for rental buildings where the have-nots live. It’s a tale of two cities — told most offensively though the towering bauble for the ultrawealthy known as One57, where a top-floor residence recently sold for a record $100 million. Outrage properly greeted the Daily News’ revelation in 2013 that One57’s developer had secured from the state Legislature clearance to claim a property tax break known as 421-a. Savings to the wealthy residents: $9.4 million a year. Still worse, the city Independent Budget Office now calculates One57 got an additional $16 million property tax discount last year, thanks to a state law that places insanely low assessed values on the city’s priciest condos and co-ops.

New Real Estate Disclosure of Shell Companies Buying Up Luxury Apts
New Disclosure Rules for Shell Companies in New York Luxury Real Estate Sales (NYT)  The changes, spurred in part by a recent investigation by The New York Times, will help remove a “veil of secrecy” in high-end sales, a city official said.





421-a is Shortchanging Affordable Housing, Causes Corruption and Closes Small Business and Blacks Out of Their Homes
421-a $905,000 an Affordable Apartment, City $190,000 Per Affordable Housing Apartments
City was shortchanged on affordable housing: report (NYP) The city was shortchanged on the number of affordable apartments created under the 421-a property-tax abatement that state lawmakers gave the developer of the luxury Midtown residential tower One57, according to a report issued Tuesday. The Independent Budget Office found that the $65.6 million in taxes forgiven to One57 over a decade could have produced roughly five times the 66 units created under the subsidy. Paying affordable-housing developers directly would have garnered the city as many as 367 units with the same amount of money, while a separate program that gives nonprofits tax breaks to operate low-rent housing could have yielded 320 units, the analysis found. The smaller number of affordable units actually created in The Bronx cost taxpayers $905,000 per apartment.

By contrast, direct funding to developers of low-income housing would have run the city $179,000 per unit, the IBO said. “The staggering cost and inefficiency of this program is precisely why the administration sought — and succeeded in — ending 421-a tax breaks for luxury condominiums,” said City Hall spokesman Wiley Norvell. “The practice was just indefensible.” At the city’s urging, Albany lawmakers made reforms to the 421-a program that the IBO said would create 13,000 more affordable apartments, but at an added cost of $3.3 billion. The reforms are set to go into effect in January, but only if the real estate industry can come to a deal on wages with the construction industry. Otherwise, the current 421-a program would be extended as is. * Some are interpreting the wording of the new rent law to actually make it more difficult for landlords to deregulate apartments when rent reaches the established threshold, much to the chagrin of those property owners. * A group of Brooklyn elected officials led by Borough President Eric Adams are set to meettonight to map out a plan to push for changes next year to the rent regulation law, though it’s highly unlikely the GOP-lead state Senate will revisit the issue. * The recently-revised 421-a tax break will cost New York City $3.3 billion over 10 years in foregone revenue, according to a new estimate from the city’s Independent Budget Office.* * Language in the new rent regulation laws may actually make it more difficult for landlords to deregulate apartments when rent reaches the established threshold, but landlords say they believe it to be a drafting error that Albany lawmakers need to fix, Gotham Gazette reports: *  Bed-Stuy is Focus of Concerns Over Fate of Community Gardens  (City Limits) The city has identified 181 small city-owned sites for potential affordable-housing development. Eighteen currently have community gardens on them. Ten of those gardens are in Bedford-Stuyvesant.* One57 is getting $66M in tax breaks for contributing $6M toaffordable housing in the Bronx: (Curbed) * * A recent report by the Independent Budget Office suggests that class-warriors have missed the real target by opposing 421-a tax abatement and should instead look at other breaks helping developers pay less in taxes, the Post writes:  * The Real Estate Board of New York spent $3 million opposing a prevailing wage provisionin the renewal of the 421a tax abatement.
 421-a Causing Rent Up Losing the Middle Class Also "Middle class families in NY are now looking forother states to live in due to the cost of living in the state..'' 
Foreign Ownership of NYC Real Estate and the Lobbyists Who Work for Them

Pols Killing Existing Affordable Housing With 421-a and Airbnb While Protecting Rent Regulations Laws for Votes
421-a Approve By the Lawmakers and Airbnb Not Stopped By the Lawmakers Destroying Affordable Housing, Not Just Vacancy Decontrol
A group of 14 Democratic state lawmakers is urging Cuomo to strictly enforce the new rent regulation law to save tens of thousands of apartments from going into the free market over the next four years. * COMBATTING GENTRIFICATION: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams writes in City & State describes four factors exacerbating the negative effects of gentrification, from landlord harassment of tenants to a fear of change: * Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would likely steer clear of the talks to finalize the 421-a tax abatement, which, without an agreement reached by labor and real-estate developers, would expire, State of Politics reports: * Major chain of NYCthree-quarter houses in financial ruin (NYDN) A co-op on West 106th Street that was nursed back to life by tenants who took it over from a deadbeat landlord decades ago has slipped back into disrepair after board members began using it as their own personal piggy bank, according to a lawsuit filed by tenants. * Board of AffordableHousing Co-Op Accused of Using Building as Piggy Bank (DNAINFO) While the building piles on debt, the president, vice president and secretary/treasure have been collecting monthly salaries of $1,600, $1,000 and $650 respectively since 2006, court papers say. The lawsuit claims the board members improperly "stacked the corporation with shareholders who are related or associated with them," used co-op fund to renovate apartments of family and friends, and failed to maintain proper finance records, among other claims. *  Cuomo ‘Sure’ Labor And Developers Will Reach Deal On 421a (YNN)

de Blasio's Market Rate Affordable Housing
De Blasio admin is touting 'affordable' apartments forseveral hundred dollars more than market rate: (DNAINFO)  — Dozens of studios that rent for $1,900 a month and one-bedrooms that will fetch more than $2,000 a month are about to be up for grabs at a Lefferts Avenue building touted by the city as affordable housing. The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development sent out a notice on Tuesday that it's now taking applications to fill 46 newly constructed apartments in the former condo building.

 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said during a City& State TV interview that he has not heard from the governor since sleeping in front of Cuomo’s office to draw attention to the 421-a tax abatement: * State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office said an auditfound some applicants who were next in line for Mitchell-Lama apartments were skipped over for those farther down the waiting list:  *  Cuomo seems to be on a base-tending campaign, which involves meeting with unions and reminding them of his position on the 421-a property tax rebate debate earlier this year, Capital New York reports:  * New York City is entering what could be the biggest building boom in a generation, as work gets under way on hundreds of residential projects in neighborhoods across the city, The Wall Street Journalreports:  * New York City is entering what could be the biggest building boom in a generation, census figures show, as work gets under way on hundreds of residential projects in neighborhoods across the city. * Prospective tenants are cutting the line at two Mitchell-Lama developments, a new audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli revealed. * Adams: Cuomo didn’t push hard enough on rent (Capital)


Talk About Pouring Oil On A Fire: Chinese $$$ Flooding NYC Real Estate Market
BIG APPLE OR BEIJING? Chinese investors are flooding New York City real estate market like never before (NYDN)So far this year, the Chinese have forked over more than $3.8 billion on Manhattan real estate, a more than threefold increase over what they spent in all of 2014, according to data from Real Capital Analytics. And outbound capital from China going into U.S. commercial real estate transactions topped $10 billion in 2014 for the first time, after 72% average annual increases since 2010, according to commercial brokerage CBRE. “Canadians used to be the No. 1 residential foreign buyers in the New York. Now, it’s the Chinese,” said real estate attorney Ross Moskowitz of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. “We have seen some domestic buyers backing away from deals because they realize they’re going to be outbid.”New York Cityhousing boom (CrainsNY) The latest census data reveal that 42,088 permits were issued to developers in the first six months of 2015, more than in any full year in five decades.






What is the Daily News Talking About That Bharara is Looking into the 421-a Tax Breaks? 
Both the Arrests By U.S. Attorney Bharara of Silver and Skelos Were Tied to the 421-a Program
The tax break cost the city $1.1 billion last year and is now the subject of an ongoing federal probe. In January 2013 Albany snuck a provision onto a budget bill that awarded the break to One57 and four other big Manhattan developments. The developers of these buildings are all big campaign donors. The tax break deal was first examined by Gov. Cuomo's Moreland Commission until he disbanded it. Now it's being looked at by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

What the Daily News Did Not Report On Was the 421-a Program has Tripled the Rent in Neighborhoods Like Crown Heights Moving Black Out
 SWEATING IT OUT: Brownsville tenants live without hot water and electricity (NYDN)   * Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn(NYT) The neighborhood has finally overcome a reputation for intolerance and violence that had plagued it since the 1991 riots between blacks and Hasidic Jews. In fact, residents credit the successful post-riot reconciliation between the two communities with being one of the drivers of Crown Heights’ rapid transformation — or gentrification, depending on one’s perspective.  Along Franklin Avenue, signs saying “Moving to Flatbush” have appeared on  many businesses in the last couple of years, and while longtime residents don’t tack up signs, there are indications they have also been leaving in large numbers as new arrivals replace them in this community of about 140,000 people.  * An Independent Budget Office report found a tax break for One57, a luxury condo tower in Midtown, will cost New York City $65.6 million in property taxes over 10 years, money that could have paid for 367 affordable apartments, theDaily News reports:



How de Blasio Historic 421-a Astoria Cove Deal Does Not Have Enough Affordable Housing 4 Tax Break 
A de Blasio 'game changer' falls short of 421-a requirements (Capital)  Astoria Cove, the premier mandatory affordable housing project of the de Blasio administration, will not qualify for a 421-a tax break under the newly passed version of the law. The Queens development, which the City Council approved with much fanfare in November, is obligated to set aside 27 percent of its units for affordable housing. But the specifics of the plan do not meet the new requirements under the revised state law, leaving its future uncertain.  The deal that developer Alma Realty struck with the Council requires that it provide 5 percent of the units at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income; 15 percent at 80 percent of the A.M.I. and 7 percent at 125 percent of the A.M.I. 


The city then agreed to subsidize another 34 affordable units—2 percent of the total—by giving the developer a extra $4.8 million.  None of the affordability requirements laid out under the 421-a deal struck in Albany last month match that model. To meet that threshold, Alma would have to offer more deeply affordable units at lower rents. It would likely lose its city subsidy. * Recent strike raises issue about 421a program extension  (NYDN) * The recently changed 421-a tax break will cost New York City $3.3 billion over 10 years in foregone revenue, in addition to current lost revenue, according to a new estimate from the city’s Independent Budget Office, Capital New York writes:


NYC Real Estate Barrons' Found Their Puppet A Progressive Mayor to Gentrify East New York
The study, "The Effects of Neighborhood Change on NYCHA Residents," written by the consulting firm Abt Associates with help from New York University's Furman Center for Real Estate, found that NYCHA tenants often wind up feeling like aliens in their own neighborhoods, surrounded by newcomers who claimed they'd just "discovered" the neighborhood. “NYCHA residents could be priced out of new private amenities and new, higher-income neighbors may not contribute to accessible community resources,” the report reads.* * New York City hired five NYCHA residents as urban “interpreters” who gathered information for a $250,000 report that concluded most New Yorkers already accept as true: gentrification doesn't help the poor,the Daily News reports de Blasio Spins Back The city's voluntary inclusionary housing program, which rewards developers who set aside apartments for low rents, yielded more than triple the number of units in fiscal year 2015 than it did previous year,Politico New York reports:


Lobbyist For the Astoria Cove Project Davidoff Spotted At City Hall
Davidoff Cashing in Again  5-building complex OK'd for Queens waterfront (CrainsNY) The City Planning Department has given a preliminary thumbs-up to a proposed residential project set to include three towers, each with as many as 32 stories, plus a pair of six-floor buildings farther inland, with a total of 1,698 apartments. "This project will take what is presently an isolated and desolate, underutilized area and transform it into a vibrant mixed-use community," said Howard Weiss, chair of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron's land-use group, who is representing the developer. Astoria Cove, south of Astoria Park on a gritty waterfront peninsula, is being developed by 2030 Astoria Developers Group, which includes Queens-based Alma Realty. The property will include 295 units of affordable housing, a public school and a supermarket, plus a waterfront park that will be open to the public. * de Blasio Performs First Marriage at City Hall(NYO) between lobbyists Sid Davidoff. and Linda Stasi, a columnist for the Daily News.Sid Davidoff, an early de Blasio backer and longtime friend whom insiders view as one of the big winners of the 2013 elections. Has gotten the following contracts in 2014 to lobby the mayor:  Telebeam Telecommunications Corporation,   New York Cosmos LLC,  Association of Water and Sewer Excavators Inc.,  Madelaine Chocolate Novelties, Inc.,   AMERICAN RECYCLING TECHNOLOGIES INC.,  Election Systems & Software, Inc.,  Touro College,  Abbott Laboratories,  Times Square District Management Association, Inc.,  Oxford Nursing Home, Inc.,   New York Community Bancorp, Inc.,   Marshall E Bloomfield ESQPalladia, Inc.,   RCN Telecom Services, LLC,  AbbVie, Inc,  2030 Astoria Developers, LLC.,   HUNTS POINT TERMINAL PRODUCE COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION INC,  Taxicab Service Association Inc.,  Master Plumbers Council of the City of New York, Inc,  American Recycling LLC,  FIGLI DI SAN GENNARO, INC. ***Here is City Hall lobbyist Davidoff telling Earl Lewis on NY1 that the mayor will be OK
Lobbyists the New Permanent Government





Broker: Homeless Hurting Real Estate . . . Not Doing to Well for the Homeless Either



The NYT Says de Blasio's  421-a Plan is A Tax Give Away to Developers
At the same time, the mayor would eliminate the 421-a tax break for luxury condominiums, a booming market that needs no support from the city, especially in Manhattan. One problem is that he would give excessively long tax breaks to developers of other apartments, if they provided more low-cost housing. Instead of the 20 to 25 years granted now, developers would get up to 35 years. That is a long time to go without paying their normal share of city taxes. Mayor Bill de Blasio and housing advocates arepushing state legislators to strengthen protections for the city’srent-stabilized tenants, arguing that poor residents are burdened by unaffordable rents, the Journal reports: * While de Blasio has made increasing affordablehousing a major priority, a coalition of activists say good retail jobs will do the most to help improve the lives of low-income residents, the Journal writes: * While de Blasio has made increasing affordable housing a major priority, a coalition of activists say good retail jobs will do the most to help improve the lives of low-income residents.* Brooklyn landlord is first property owner charged with unlawful eviction under New York campaign protecting rent-stabilizedtenants  (NYDN)

The Daily News like de Blasio 421-a Plan Ignores the Tax Give Away and Corruption Arrests in Albany
"Take, for example,the hotly contested 421-a tax break issue.  (NYDN Ed) Designed to encourage housing construction at a time when the market was in the doldrums, the law offers benefits to developers that are now too generous. Its formulas need to be rewritten — but neither the Senate nor the Assembly crafted a bill to achieve the objective. Nor did Cuomo. De Blasio stepped into the vacuum on May 7, delivering to Albany a complex plan to adjust the breaks and to use them more effectively as a catalyst for affordable housing production. The product of consultations with housing advocates and developers, de Blasio’s scheme thoughtfully balanced economics and social policy."

More on Gentrification
How Blacks the Poor and the Middle Class are Being Push Out of Brooklyn Because of Albany's Tax Breaks for Luxury Developers

Affordable Housing Invented By Elected Officials to Protect Them Against 421-a Gentrification Push Out
De Blasio short of lowest-income housing goals so far (Capital)   de Blasio’s administration has, so far, fallen considerably short of its goals for producing housing affordable to New York’s poorest residents. Between the start of 2014 and the end of March, the city says, it closed on financing for nearly 18,400 affordable apartments—some to be preserved, others to be created from scratch. Less than 15 percent of those units, or about 2,700, are for residents earning salaries considered to be “very low” and “extremely low” income. That’s well below the targets of the mayor’s ambitious housing plan, which seeks to create or preserve 200,000 apartments in a decade. The plan says 20 percent of those units should be for those two lowest-income brackets, which top out at less than $42,000 per year for a family of four—or half the area median income. So far, just 14.5 percent of the units the city has closed on since the mayor took office have met those standards. That’s worse than how former mayor Michael Bloomberg did, at least during the three-year period for which reliable data is available. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2011, there were about 38,600 affordable apartments built or preserved in New York City,according to a report from the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. Of that, 19.8 percent were affordable to families making less than 50 percent of the area median income. City and state officials--who work for the public, remember--have, in service of developer Greenland Forest City Partners, contributed to a deceptive, misleading portrayal of the affordable housing in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. They would hardly mention that subsidized units are skewed toward households earning six-figure incomes, as I described in a long article last year for BKLYN  Yesterday came a press release (also, at bottom) for the 23-story 38 Sixth Avenue, aka B3, located at the southeast corner of the arena block, Work Begins on 38 Sixth Avenue at Pacific Park Brooklyn:  Keep your eye on the ball. The project was originally supposed to be 50/50 affordable/market rentals, then approximately 35% subsidized after 1930 condos were added to the 4500 rentals.


NYT Reports On Landlords and Developers Buying Up Bed-Stuy But Ignores the Cancer (421-a) Driving the Gentrification Market
In Bed-Stuy Housing Market, Profit and Preservation Battle (NYT) A tall and slender man of 60, he has lived several blocks from the cleaners for close to a year now, during which he has watched investors and developers canvass the streets looking for properties from which they might extract significant profits. “They’re up and down here every day,” he told me, as he recounted getting approached by someone who offered him money to unearth information about the owners of a neighboring townhouse. It is standard in Bedford-Stuyvesant to see posters calling on locals to join the dubious mission of turnover. 

“If you find someone who want to sell you will get up to $20.000.00 for finder fee,” reads one, somewhat inexplicably. In response to all of this, fliers in the neighborhood recently warned older black homeowners, many living in brownstones passed down through generations, to protect themselves from getting bilked by predatory, and by implication, racist real-estate interests. (“Free leg or thigh if you sell your grandma’s deed!” one of them proclaimed. This particular enticement to fury ran under the headline “Landgrabbers Realty Corp.,” and featured a drawing of a drumstick.) It is hard to overstate the acquisition frenzy that hangs over Bedford-Stuyvesant, and to reconcile it with some of the realities that persist in the neighborhood, where the felony assault rate is more than three times what it is in Park Slope. When I met Mr. Leow and his team last week — a team that includes a young broker named Mipam Thurman, the brother of the actress Uma Thurman, who told me he had to move to Flatbush because he couldn’t afford to buy anything in Bedford-Stuyvesant — they showed me a house on Lafayette Avenue that had just gone into contract for slightly under the asking price of $1,550,000. * Anti-Gentrification Fliers Plastered Throughout Stuyvesant Heights in Bed Stuy (Brownstone) * mortgage loans denied at higher rates to blacks and hispanics in NYC than to whites  (DNAIFNO)

Who is Happy About the 421-a Extension?
Heastie on Big Ugly says: 'Once we get through the details I think the conference will be fine.' Members still need to approve the deal * No agreement on pension forfeiture * Cuomo won't go into detail about vacancy decontrol. Said taxpayers can expect "hundreds of dollars" back for the property tax rebate program * Details on luxury/vacancy decontrol in rent deal? @nygovcuomo declines, says he wants to give leaders a chance to brief their members. * .@NYGovCuomo says he is not disappointed education tax credit didn't fly in assembly. Says private schools will get support they need: $250M * Those rent-law loophole fixes better be damn good: @NYSA_Majority just traded them for 421-a luxury tax break extension. #affordablehousing * .@NYGovCuomo did not get special monitor he wanted for cases involving civilian deaths at hands of police. Will appoint special prosecutor * Cuomo, State Lawmakers Announce Framework Deal (YNN)* Schneiderman Attacks ‘Punting’ of ContentiousIssues in Albany  * Cuomo Points To AFL-CIO Opposition To de Blasio 421A Plan (YNN) *  Assembly session previously scheduled for today has been cancelled. Will be rescheduled for 9:30 am tomorrow.  * Tenant Groups Detest Rent Law Deal, Unions Praise 421-a Move (City Limits) * Alliance for Tenant Power: Gov "made empty promises & lied repeatedly" while helping the Senate Rs advance "a massive giveaway to landlord."





Last Month de Blasio Said End 421-a is Not Reformed, Well Not Reformed
de Blasio If 421-a is Not Reformed End It
The transcript of de Blasio's church remarks from this morning includes audience responses:  "This city works when it's for everyone," @BilldeBlasio says, and "gentrification has changed us."* "If Albany won't mend it, let's end it," @BilldeBlasio says of 421-a.  * .@BilldeBlasio for 1st time calling for 421a to end altogether if he doesn't get changes he wants. "End those tax breaks once and for all" * .@BilldeBlasio says $100 million condo got a tax break. "Not anymore, brothers and sisters." Friday De Blasio hints at compromise with Albany on 421-a | Capital  * Cuomo Digs at de Blasio on Real Estate Tax Plan * for first time @BilldeBlasio proposes ending #421a if Albanydoesn't get on board w/ his reforms to the abatement:  (Capital) * State lawmakers mustend tax breaks for housing developers if they won’t amend it: Bill de Blasio * Both Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver skipped out of the end of the legislative session early, and Silver declined to vote on the rent control and 421a tax abatement extensions. * New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the 421a tax credit plan passed in Albany a partial victory and noted it now required developers building in all parts of the city to include affordable housing, the Observer reports: 

How In A City of 8.3 Million People is there No Opposition to the 421-a Tax Give Aways to Developers?


























The Daily News Supports A 421-a A Program Which is Pushing Its Readers Out of the City
The Young Hipsters Who Replace Long Time Tenants Don't Read Newspapers
In Support of the de Blasio 421-a Plan the Daily News Ignores the Thousands of Affordable Housing Units the City Will Lose Because of the Gentrification Displacement the Tax Give Away Causes  Mayor de Blasio'smath adds up on 421-a housing tax break  (NYDN) he city’s Independent Budget Office seconded City Hall’s projections that more than 25,000 affordable apartments would be built or retained in the next decade under a program called 421-a, but only if the mayor prevails in getting a reform package through Albany before the program expires June 15.  Sticking with the broken status quo, the IBO found, would generate less than half that number of apartments — with a far higher cost in unpaid taxes for each one. * De Blasio's plan to extend tax break for developers would cost city $2.7 BILLION: report (NYDN) * The future of 421-a, a tax break that has saved New York City developers billions of dollars, has emerged as the thorniest end-of-session issue in Albany, twisting political alliances, alarming the city’s real-estate interests and serving as another wedge between the state’s two top Democrats. * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to extend 421-a would take a nice chunk out of the city’s coffers — an extra $2.7 billion — a new report by the Independent Budget Office found. It would also add thousands of affordable apartments in the five boroughs. * The state Senate and Assembly have each introduced bills that would require developers who benefit from 421-a tax breaks to pay their construction workers a union-like wage. The issue is at the heart of the disagreement between the mayor and the governor over extension of the program.* * With Cuomo, de Blasio and the Legislature having difficulty agreeing on 421-a tax abatement reforms, they may extend the program as is and address it in a special session or next year, The Wall Street Journalreports:  State bills would require developers benefiting from tax break to pay workers union-like wage (NYDN)  The Times Discovers That Crown Heights Is Getting Pricier ... *In Crown Heights, a Renaissance With Unease - (NYT) * Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn - NYTimes.com de Blasio Rents 3 Apartments De Blasio disclosures show rental income, three mortgages (Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio earned $225,000 as mayor, rented out three apartments in Park Slope and had three mortgages in 2014, according to annual financial disclosures released Thursday morning. Several months after moving to the Upper East Side estate last summer, he opted to rent out his Park Slope residence. The financial disclosure, which only provides a broad range of incomes, shows he took in between $15,000 and $144,000 from the three rental units.



NY Conservative Party Supports de Blasio's 431-a Extension Plan
De Blasio and Conservative Party make unlikely team in property-tax fight (NYP) The debate over a $1 billion New York City property tax abatement program has created the strangest political bedfellows of them all — the state Conservative party and the city’s progressive mayor. Conservative Party chairman Mike Long on Thursday praised Mayor de Blasio for opposing the inclusion of “prevailing wages” for construction workers as part of a 421-a tax abatement program to spur developers to build more affordable housing. * When it comes to the 421-a program, Conservative Party Chairman Tom Long praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal, which does not include prevailing wages for construction workers, the Post reports:  * Conservative Party: Don’t Pass Prevailing Wage (NYO) * In another case of politics making strange bedfellows, state Conservative Party chairman Mike Long praised de Blasio for opposing the inclusion of “prevailing wages” for construction workers as part of a 421-a tax abatement program to spur developers to build more affordable housing. * NYC Housing Preservation and Development commissioner Vicki Been remained steadfaston the agency’s commitment to build and maintain 200,000 units of affordable housing, despite the uncertain fate of 421-a and numbers that are slightly behind pace for the city’s goal.* UP4NYC Releases A Cuomo-Centric TV Spot (YNN) The group that backs a prevailing wage provision in the 421a tax abatement renewal released a TV ad on Friday that heavily features Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Friday PM Update The mayor also hinted that a compromise may be in the works in Albany over his plans to revamp the 421-a tax abatement program, Capital New Yorkreports: Crain’s Editorial Board writes that for now, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for 421-a is the best one, because forcing developers to pay a prevailing wage would ensure that no 421-a developments happen:


True News Wags the NYT On the Harm the 421-a Program Does
NYT Responds to True News Reporting That 421-a Is Destroying NYC Housing
De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s drive to build 80,000 apartments to combat income inequality has aroused fears of more gentrification and more displacement.* The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report on the effect the 2008 changes to the 421-a tax credit have had on the location of the buildings that utilize the tax exemption: *vCalls to Reform 421-a Grow As Deadline Looms(YNN) * A coalition pushing for a “prevailing wage” for building trades workers at developments getting 421a tax breaks has lined up the support of the New York State AFL-CIO, the state’s 2.5 million-member umbrella labor group.

Last Week True News Wrote:
The NYT Real Estate Ruse Distruction Blinders 
The Victims of 421-a, Gentrification, Closed Hospitals Ignored by NYT

Are the Homeless the Real Victims of the Developers, NYT?
Homeless in New York City, an Unending Crisis (NYT Ed)  Without support from political leaders, the number of people forced to live on the streets will continue to rise. 

Are the People Being Forced Out of Bushwick By Gentrification the Victims, NYT? 
Displaced, Dispersed, Disappeared: What Happens toFamilies Forced Out of Bushwick? (City Limits)

Are the Tenants Who Landlord to Push Out In Gentrifying Neighborhoods Victims, NYT?
BrooklynLandlords Accused Of Trashing Apartments Arrested (WCBS) An alleged Brooklyn slumlord and his brother were arrested Thursday morning, accused of creating appalling and squalid conditions for tenants. Joel Israel and his brother, Amram, were led in handcuffs into the courthouse in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday for their arraignment, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported. *  2 Brooklyn Landlords Accused of Making Units Unlivable AreArrested (NYT) *Brothers Joel and Aaron Israel—collectively forming JBI Management— made headlines last year for taking such drastic measures as blasting a crater-sized hole in the middle of one family's Bushwick apartment at 98 Linden Street, as well as incurring similar miseries on the occupants of other properties in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.*  NYT Calls the Speyer's Victims of Skelos. But the Real Victims Are the New Yorkers On the Short End of Speyer's and Their Real Estate Gang Tax Break Development Ripping Apart People's Lives

Do the People Who Will Die Because of Closed Hospital by Developers Victims, NYT?
Rudin's St. Vincent's site will have five individualized condo ...(NYT) * De Blasio’s proposal to reform the 421-a tax abatement program would allow some landlords whose benefits are scheduled to expire soon to keep them under certain conditions, Capital New York reports: 




de Blasio Unchanged 421-a Give Away is A Giver Away to Developers
Media Covers the Fight Not What 421-a Does to Tenants Who Live in gentrifying Neighborhoods
After meeting with legislative leaders and the governor in Albany, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said it would be “irresponsible” for state lawmakers to simply extend a controversial tax break known as 421a that he considers a “giveaway” to developers. * Cuomo Points To AFL-CIO Opposition To de Blasio 421A Plan (YNN)



The Pols Have Created A Gentrification Market Where Scam Predators Target Minorities to Flip Their Homes 




























Real Estate Shell CompaniesScheme to Defraud Owners Out of Their Homes (NYT) Relying on the secrecy of limited liability companies, white-collar thieves are targeting pockets of New York City for fraudulent deed transfers, leaving the victims groping for redress. In Bedford-Stuyvesant and other pockets of the city, white-collar criminals are employing a variety of schemes to snatch properties from their owners. Often, they use the secrecy afforded to shell companies to rent out vacated properties until they are caught or sell them to third parties. Victims are left groping for redress, unable to identify their predators or even, in some cases, to prove a crime has been committed.  Attention lately has focused on the growing use of shell companies to buy prized real estate in Manhattan and other glittering destinations for global wealth. But the stealthy practice of deed theft illustrates another way that limited liability company law used to create such entities has been twisted and stretched to conceal the ownership of real estate. This is particularly true in Brooklyn neighborhoods where profits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars from quick turnaround sales have become common.In other cases, signatures are simply forged on deeds. The thieves, meanwhile, hide behind inscrutable mazes of limited liability companies, rented post office boxes and fake addresses.  Coming amid waves of gentrification, the reports of deed theft have helped feed the unease felt in neighborhoods where longtime residents — blacks and Hispanics, the poor and middle class — are increasingly being priced out.* Real estate shell companies are defrauding New York City residents out of their homes, and a growing number of fraudulent deed transfers are often difficult to crack due to the secrecy of limited liability companies, The NewYork Times reports: 





Cuomo Calls de Blasio A Fake Progressive Giving Away Tax Payer Money to Developers
de Blasio Strikes Back Saturday
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued his harshest attack of Gov. Andrew Cuomo yet, saying Cuomo puts out distractions to stymie the city’s agenda and fails to show leadership, Newsday writes: * Cuomo said complicated issues cannot get done with “thisSenate and Assembly” in a matter of days, in response to de Blasio’s 421-a proposal and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s ethics plan, the Times Union reports: 

Cuomo raises the stakes in ongoing feud with de Blasio (NYP) Cuomo took his feud with Mayor de Blasio to a whole new level Thursday by accusing the ultra-progressive mayor of trying to engineer a “giveaway to developers.” A day after meeting with de Blasio, the governor charged that the deal the mayor made with the real-estate industry to extend the 421-a tax-abatement program to help produce more affordable housing was a windfall for developers. “A lot of people think the deal negotiated by the city is too rich for developers and not enough for workers,” Cuomo told reporters after touring the Greene County Correctional Facility near Albany on Thursday. Turning the tables on de Blasio, Cuomo said the mayor’s progressive agenda doesn’t give construction workers who build the housing “fair wages” and dismissed de Blasio’s comment that he was “frustrated” after a lobbying trip to Albany Wednesday. “

The mayor of New York is almost perpetually frustrated with Albany,” Cuomo said. “The city is a creature of the state, so the state Legislature passes laws that affect the city. So when the mayor wants to make a change, he has to go to Albany and ask Albany.” The body slams came as Cuomo supporters and labor-union leaders essentially called the mayor a hypocrite. * Cuomo suggested de Blasio waited too long to engage in the Legislature’s negotiations on the extension of mayoral control of city schools and rent regulations, the Daily News reports:  Another Clueless Story  Despite spending months trying to understand Cuomo, de Blasio’s aides concluded little that can be done to improve their relationship because of “fundamental power dynamics,” The Wall Street Journal reports:   * The Post writes that de Blasio’s cool reception in Albany shows making political speeches in Iowa and California and whining about New Yorkers not appreciating you is a poor way to get what you want from the state: “Mayor of the City of New York, frustrated with Albany?” Cuomo said, barely containing his laughter. “Now there’s a shocker.” * The latest flashpoint between the two top Democrats is 421a – the real estate development tax abatement program that expires next month. Cuomo stepped things up a notch by accusing the ultra-progressive mayor of trying to engineer a “giveaway to developers.” * Thirty-second ads slamming de Blasio for backing a rent freeze, paid for by the Rent Stabilization Association, have begun airing on NY1 and News12 in Brooklyn and the Bronx ahead of the June 24 Rent Guidelines Board vote.* Ad campaign charges de Blasio as hypocrite for backing arent freeze (NYDN) * "The UP4NYC and carpenters group statements camefrom the same email address at the PR firm, M Public Affairs." (YNN) * Labor Groups Push Cuomo’s 421a Plan (YNN) * Cuomo Digs at de Blasio on Real Estate Tax Plan,But Claims No ‘Clear Right or Wrong’ (NYO) * Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to criticize de Blasio’s proposed changes to the state’s 421-a tax break for developers, even as he claimed to be undecided on how the program should be reformed, the Observer reports:  * Affordable housing advocates are urging Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to “stand strong” against a “straight extender” of current rent regulations, even as a June 15 expiration date for the laws looms, the Times Union reports * While the 421-a tax credit has bought great benefit tocondo owners in New York,its absence has not deterred buyers on several projects built )without thecredit, Crain’s writes:  * Cuomo: Questions remain on both sides 421-a debate (Capital) * De Blasio’s Office Touts Slights Against Cuomoin TV Interview (NYO)





A Progressive Mayor Working With Developers Against Prevailing Wages? 
Has Anyone Notice the Mayor is Pushing for Renewal of 421-a With Changes for More Affordable Housing.  What About Gentrification Displacement?
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is playing it both ways on whether developers who get huge tax breaks through the 421a program to build affordable apartments in the city must pay workers prevailing wages. More here. * PLAYING IT BOTH WAYS: Mayor de Blasio dismisses idea of prevailing wage for construction workers from developers with big tax breaks  (NYDN) It's a tale of two de Blasios. The mayor is playing it both ways on whether developers who get huge tax breaks to build affordable apartments in the city must pay workers prevailing wages. * The state AFL-CIO released a statement blasting typically pro-union de Blasio for his plan to extend the 421-a tax abatement without a prevailing wage mandate for construction workers, the Times Union writes:   Butts Blasts Mayor  De Blasio brushes aside criticism from Butts (Capital)
On Tuesday the mayor brushed off a demand that developers who benefit from the big property tax dodge known as 421-a pay the workers who build their projects a prevailing wage. But behind the scenes, he was pushing to expand prevailing wage for building services employees like superintendents and doormen who work at the tax-break buildings, documents show. This apparent contradiction has emerged as de Blasio has vowed to “reform” 421-a, the city’s biggest property tax break that Albany is considering extending when it expires June 15. Flashback Bill de Blasio'sclaim that money will have no sway over his decisions as mayor will be put tothe test (NYDN 2013)  The special interests who contributed to de Blasio's campaign will be eager to see if he shows his gratitude when he starts making decisions in City Hall. * Real estate opens checkbook for de Blasio | Crain's New York (2013) * REBNY Banquet | De Blasio Real Estate * @AFLCIO presidentopposes straight extension of 421-a tax break 





Does the Daily News Really Believe That the 421-a Tax Give Away Has Increased Affordable Housing in the City? Does the Daily News Believe 421-a Increased Political Corruption?


How NY's Tax Payers Subsidized A Saudi Billionaire With 421-a Tax Brake 
A Saudi billionaire is in contract to buy a $95 millionsky-high penthouse (NYP) Fawaz Al Hokair, a retail/real-estate kingpin worth an estimated $1.37 billion, reportedly signed a contract for the lofty unit at 432 Park Ave. in 2013,the Real Deal reported.  Hokair is the founder of Fawaz Alhokair Group. Its business includes retail franchising of top Western brands through the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus, according to the Real Deal.   The law gives property owners a 10-year pass on real estate taxes—so the buyer of the $115 million penthouse would have an annual bill of under $18,000, when they would typically owe $300,000.  The Tax Breaks Go to the Developers Though Hidden Fees As if to offer some warped concept of "balance," the article notes that these tax breaks could be offset by obscenely high hidden fees tacked on to the sale agreements (the proceeds of which go to the developers, not state or city coffers). 

At 432 Park Avenuewhich will be the tallest condo in the Northern Hemisphere when it opens in 2015, full-floor penthouses are priced between $72.5 million and $95 million and will be saddled with common charges of more than $17,000 a month. On top of those costly common charges come fees like the mandatory membership in the building’s gym, known as The Club at 432 Park Avenue, which bases its charges on the size of the apartment, with larger units owing more. Then there is the $2,000 that owners are required to pay annually toward the building’s dining room, and the additional $1,200 in private dining services that owners are required to buy annually, whether or not they use the restaurant. * Exemption Gives Rich People Obscene Real Estate Tax Breaks (Gothamist) * How the Rich Geta Big Real Estate Tax Break (NYT) * The 1% Get A New Park Avenue High Rise And Tax Cuts While Homeless Suffer From Budget Cuts * Removing condos from the 421-a tax abatement program may impact first-time homebuyers disproportionately, but will likely not scare buyers away, Crain’s New Yorkwrites:  * Luxe buildings aim to please with cruise-like activities (NYP)  Breaking A crane operating atop an office tower in Midtown Manhattanstruck several adjacent buildings, sending debris falling (NYT) 10 hurt in crane accident in #Midtown #Manhattan; surrounding streets closed off * At least 10 hurt after crane smashes into Midtown building (NYP) * City's systemic shameful failure to enforce its laws. Sdhave moratorium on new laws until we can enforce the old. (NYT) * Crane Collapse in Midtown Manhattan Injures 7 and Damages Buildings (NYT) Wednesday City seeks to arrest building owners that violate safety rules (NYP)


de Blasio A Tale of Two 421-a's 
de Blaiso Spins A Black Chruch That 421-a Was Only About Tax Breaks for Luxury Buildings
Speaking at Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church, de Blasio for the first time called for ending the controversial 421-a program if he doesn’t get the overhaul he has demanded. .At the church de Blasio said $100 million condo got a tax break. "Not anymore, brothers and sisters."   What the mayor was doing to his church audience was trying to bury the 421-a lead. The mayor was right to say that gentrification has changed NYC.  But what he did not talk about at the church Sunday morning was the role 421-a has had on fueling gentrification and the effect of that fuel on the black community which have little to do with building luxury building in Manhattan.   In the last 10 years thousands of blacks have moved out of Crown Heights, Bed Stuy and Harlem replaced by young whites who took of the 421-a mortgage tax breaks in new tax break buildings being built all over those changing communities.* Loss of 330,000 Affordable Apartments Seen (City Limits) In the background of the fight over the renewal of the state's rent regulations, a new report says New York City lost 330,000 affordable housing units since 2002 that were not subsidized. *  Adams, Siegel take on tenant harassment Caribbean Life * Residents demandAdams stops pushing gentrification (New 12) Young people from around New York City rallied at Borough Hall Wednesday to demand that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams stop pushing gentrification. Demonstrators say they are being pushed out of the neighborhoods where they grew up, and they're calling on Adams to preserve their communities instead of trying to diversify their neighborhoods. They complain that Adams supports diversifying neighborhoods by "up zoning" communities of color.



As NYC Becomes A Gilded City de Blasio Promises He Will Stop It

The Mayor Who Cannot Fix Homelessness, NYCHA, Keep Hospitals Open Crime Down is Going to Stop NYC From Continuing to Become A City of the Wealthy?
The mayor tried to confuse his audience when he said “We can talk about the pros and cons of gentrification, and we can acknowledge that it’s not all good or all bad, but we do know one thing: gentrification has changed us rapidly,” he said, arguing the status quo will drive people out of their homes. “It will make this a gilded city, a city for only those wealthy enough to be here.” * Unless Albany takes action, de Blasio saidNew York will become a “gilded city, a city for only those wealthy enough to afford to be here, and we will not accept that.”

It is not the status quo which is pushing blacks out of their neighborhoods, it is the 421-a tax break program.  One of the reforms the mayor wants in the 421-a would speed up gentrification racial change.  The mayor wants to extend 421-a tax breaks to buys from 20 years to 35 years.  This change would make the 421-a in gentrifying neighborhoods more attractive to buyers.   Hey, Did You Know Crown Heights Is Gentrifying?: Gothamist *  Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Gets Its Turn - NYTimes.com  “Certainly the dominant narrative in Crown Heights over the last decade has been gentrification,” said Nick Juravich, a resident of six years who wrote the blog “I Love Franklin Avenue” until this year. ”Very rapid change has come to the neighborhood in terms of the cost of living, the price of homes and the cost of rents, while the commercial strips have changed enormously.”* Brooklyn Boom Squeezes Buyers Pushing Into Crown Heights *De Blasio Prods New York State on Housing Laws New York Times de Blasio spoke at a Harlem church Sunday and said if the state does not approve sought changes to the 421-a tax abatement program, the city should end it   *NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Developers' Tax Break: 'Mend It or End It'  Wall Street Journal (blog) * Mayor De Blasio says he would get rid of 421-a if lawmakers can't modify to ... Newsday * NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on Developers’ Tax Break: ‘Mend It or End It’(WSJ)


The Media is Covering 421-a Like A World Wide Wrestling Match
Than A Debate Over What the Program Has Done to the City

Top Cuomo aide eyed as source of 421-a logjam (CrainsNY)  Bill Mulrow, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, received over $10,000 for his unsuccessful 2001 campaign from the carpenters union, which opposes Mayor Bill de Blasio's 421-a proposal, as does Mr. Cuomo. * On 421-a, De Blasiokeeps swinging at Cuomo (Capital) * .@NYGovCuomo can "move mountains," @BilldeBlasioaka "the union's best friend," says  * De Blasio fumes: Cuomo’s not a partner on affordable housing (NYP) * Up Close: Mayor Bill de Blasio  WABC Diana Williams has an exclusive one-on-one interview with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
AG Ethics Bang on Cuomo Schneiderman decries Cuomo’s comments on ethics reform (Capital)  Attorney general says there is plenty of time to act before the legislative session ends * .@BilldeBlasio "I'm absolutely surprised that he seems 2 want 2 continue giveaways to developers without us getting affordable housing back" * Cuomo, de Blasiospar over New York Cityhousing as Celebrate Israel Parade marches (NYDN)



Developers Walk As NYC Housing Officials Heads to Jail
Ex-housing official gets three years in prison for taking $2.5M in bribes (NYP) A crooked former city housing official who hoped to avoid the clink by testifying against three pals who were eventually acquitted at trial was slapped with a three-year prison term Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court. Former Assistant Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development Wendell Walters eagerly cooperated with the feds in trying to nail three developers charged with showering him with bribes. But the accused men — Stevenson Dunn, Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman — beat their raps, and now Walters will be the only one doing time.

SUMMER OF SLAMS: Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio spar over New York City housing as Celebrate Israel Parade marches (NYDN) Cuomo not budging on 421-a (TU) Rangel Revenge on de Blasio Who's sorry now?Snubbed by Mayor de Blasio in his 2014 primary, Congressman Charlie Rangel aimsdarts at hizzoner. * * De Blasio is fed up with being publicly embarrassed by Cuomo, causing him to take a more combative tone in his interactions with Albany, the Daily New * De Blasio and Cuomo avoided one another at the parade, but speaking at the Concord Baptist church in Brooklyn beforehand, the mayor again called on the governor to provide leadership on the rent control debate, and said: “We’re not blind to petty politics. We’re not blind to the games people play.”
real estate man @BilldeBlasio disingenuous 421a plan is giveaway to entity that's pumped millions into his career @PTWalzak @JumaaneWilliams * Faux progressive @BilldeBlasio faux 421a reform plan not going well with fellow real estate flunky @NYGovCuomo Two hacks in a sack!
Bill de Blasio, Friend of Real-Estate Developers? - The New Yorker * Bill de Blasio'sclaim that money will have no sway over his decisions as mayor will be put tothe test (NYDN)  The special interests who contributed to de Blasio's campaign will be eager to see if he shows his gratitude when he starts making decisions in City Hall. * In Mayoral Race,Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (NYT)


Construction Company Gets 421-a Tax Break Despite Paying Workers Below Minimum Wage
Construction firm sued by workers claiming wage theft still saves millions under city tax break
EXCLUSIVE:Construction firm sued by workers claiming wage theft still saves millionsunder city tax break (NYDN) For years, security guards at construction sites run by Galaxy Construction say they were getting $600 paychecks for 100-hour work weeks — far less than minimum wage. They, and other workers alleging wage theft by Galaxy, sued. In 2013, Galaxy and several of its subcontractors settled the matter by agreeing to pay $753,000 in back wages. The firm was placed on a special “enhanced review” list and has since been carefully monitored by the city. None of this has stopped Galaxy from saving millions of dollars under the city’s most generous tax break, a controversial program now up for review known as 421-a. Monday Update Construction bosses rake in big bucks compared to workers (NYP)* The construction union bosses fighting de Blasio over the city’s “prevailing wage” issue all collect hefty salaries — and most don’t even reside in the city. The average salary of the top 26 executives of the New York City Building and Construction Trades Council is $191,934.


The 421-a tax break has driven out mom and pop stores and crime is up what twisted crap by the Daily News
We're living in thecity's golden age: Stop complaining about gentrification. New York is a victim of its own low crimeand strong economy. (NYDN)  The author Fedak  Website YIMBY - in their own words... With a pro-development voice and an affluent trade and consumer audience that has quadrupled over the last year, it’s easy to say “yes” to YIMBY as an advertising channel for your firm or project. YIMBY counts New York’s... most influential architects, developers, financiers and real estate executives among its 100,000 unique monthly users.  New York YIMBY is the go-to resource for cutting-edge information on new development in New York City. Covering construction and public works projects from ideation through completion, YIMBY keeps the pulse of the city’s real estate, architecture and construction trades. New York YIMBY was founded in 2011 and is now in its third year. YIMBY is the fastest growing real estate trade publication in New YorkReal New Yorkers are Catching On to the Daily News Pimping for the Real Estate Robber Barons


Lobbyists Rat Brain Meara is Forcing the Times to Make Dorego the Fall Guy for A Corruption 421-a Program
A short while later, after Glenwood contributed $25,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, Mr. Dorego met with Mr. Skelos to discuss real estate regulations and legislation affecting Glenwood, the complaint says. As the legislative session heated up, Mr. Cuomo met one day in June with representatives from two real estate groups, Mr. Dorego and Mr. Jacob, another top Glenwood executive, as well as Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos. Two weeks later, Mr. Cuomo had another meeting on rent regulations that included Mr. Dorego and the trade groups. Though it is common for the groups to meet with top officials in Albany, it was unusual, according to several Real Estate Board members, for Mr. Dorego to attend. In the end, real estate executives said, Mr. Dorego and the Real Estate Board were successful in lobbying lawmakers to renew the 421-a program. But the landlords’ association felt betrayed by their allies. The Legislature passed changes to rent laws making it more difficult to deregulate apartments, but they were more painful for landlords outside Manhattan than for companies like Glenwood, which build in Manhattan where rents are already high.
.

NYT What Real Estate Corruption of Albany . . . We Have New Leaders Who Needs Ethics Reform?
.Governor Cuomo’s Legislative Agenda Faces New and Familiar Obstacles (NYT Ed) As the legislative session nears its end, some long-sought initiatives already appear to be doomed, and new leaders may complicate the negotiations. The Times writes that the state Legislature must permanently extend the New York City mayor’s control over schools, ensure minors are not in adult prisons and close the so-called LLC loophole, among other measures Out of Albany’s Chaos (NYT Ed)  Important issues deserve attention from New York’s Legislature before the session ends. The New York Times laid out an end-of-session to-do list for the governor and state lawmakers – it includes campaign finance reform, but not ethics reform.

True News Wags the NYT On the Harm the 421-a Program Does
NYT Responds to True News Reporting That 421-a Is Destroying NYC Housing
De Blasio’s Housing Push Spurs Anxiety Among Those It’s Meant to Help (NYT) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s drive to build 80,000 apartments to combat income inequality has aroused fears of more gentrification and more displacement.* The New York City Independent Budget Office released a report on the effect the 2008 changes to the 421-a tax credit have had on the location of the buildings that utilize the tax exemption: *vCalls to Reform 421-a Grow As Deadline Looms(YNN) * A coalition pushing for a “prevailing wage” for building trades workers at developments getting 421a tax breaks has lined up the support of the New York State AFL-CIO, the state’s 2.5 million-member umbrella labor group.

Last Week True News Wrote:
The NYT Real Estate Ruse Distruction Blinders 
The Victims of 421-a, Gentrification, Closed Hospitals Ignored by NYT

Are the Homeless the Real Victims of the Developers, NYT?
Homeless in New York City, an Unending Crisis (NYT Ed)  Without support from political leaders, the number of people forced to live on the streets will continue to rise. 

Are the People Being Forced Out of Bushwick By Gentrification the Victims, NYT? 
Displaced, Dispersed, Disappeared: What Happens toFamilies Forced Out of Bushwick? (City Limits)

Are the Tenants Who Landlord to Push Out In Gentrifying Neighborhoods Victims, NYT?
BrooklynLandlords Accused Of Trashing Apartments Arrested (WCBS) An alleged Brooklyn slumlord and his brother were arrested Thursday morning, accused of creating appalling and squalid conditions for tenants. Joel Israel and his brother, Amram, were led in handcuffs into the courthouse in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday for their arraignment, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported. *  2 Brooklyn Landlords Accused of Making Units Unlivable AreArrested (NYT) *Brothers Joel and Aaron Israel—collectively forming JBI Management— made headlines last year for taking such drastic measures as blasting a crater-sized hole in the middle of one family's Bushwick apartment at 98 Linden Street, as well as incurring similar miseries on the occupants of other properties in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.*  NYT Calls the Speyer's Victims of Skelos. But the Real Victims Are the New Yorkers On the Short End of Speyer's and Their Real Estate Gang Tax Break Development Ripping Apart People's Lives

Do the People Who Will Die Because of Closed Hospital by Developers Victims, NYT?
Rudin's St. Vincent's site will have five individualized condo ...(NYT) * De Blasio’s proposal to reform the 421-a tax abatement program would allow some landlords whose benefits are scheduled to expire soon to keep them under certain conditions, Capital New York reports: 

NYT: Albany Developer Pay to Play Opportunity to Protect Tenants 
Editorial States the Real Estate Corruption Problem, Harm Done by the State's Housing Programs and Then Offers No Real Solutions
A Moment to Fix New York’s Housing Laws (NYT Ed)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo has an opportunity to provide some relief to New Yorkers living in rent-regulated  The arrests of two of the three most powerful men in state government on corruption charges, former Speaker Sheldon Silver of the Assembly and Dean Skelos, the State Senate leader, creates an opening for the third, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to be a hero. He can push through reforms of state laws to give the poor and those of modest means — perennial losers in a game rigged for and by real-estate developers, landlords and self-dealing politicians — a better shot at being able to afford to live in New York City. Helping this cause, too, are the cases Mr. Bharara has brought against Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos, which have exposed how money and favors are baldly traded in New York, and also laid bare the perfectly legal, if ethically squalid and loophole-riddled, system where corporate donors funnel huge sums to favored politicians, in return for access and attention.* Top beneficiaries of Glenwood LLCs have included Gov. Cuomo ($1.2 million), two Senate Republican Committees ($1.45 million), three Democratic committees ($780,000) and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ($215,000). A bill to close the LLC loophole passed the Assembly in the past and is expected to do so again this year, but in the state Senate it’s stuck in a committee chaired by upstate Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Batavia). Ranzenhofer has received $94,000 from Glenwood LLCs, records show. * Recent corruption scandals in Albany have been tied to the 421-a tax abatement that saves many real estate companies millions of dollars, as illustrated by looking at a few buildings in New York City, the Daily News’  * The real estate giant at the center of these scandals, Glenwood, has wielded immense clout in Albany with stealth campaign finance contributions to many outside groups in an attempt to impact elections, the Times Union’s Chris Bragg writes:  * Associated Press Covers Cuomo's Ties To The Real Estate FirmAt The Center Of The Silver And Skelos Corruption Cases



NYT Says Up to Cuomo to Protect Tenants, But Offers Nothing on 421-a 
Or on How to Stop Developer Pay to Play Albany Corruption 
Mr. Cuomo has suggested that because of all the turmoil in Albany, now is not the best time for housing reform. He seems to want to preserve the laws and the tax break as they are. That would be a poor choice, and a horribly missed opportunity. The governor should distance himself from Albany’s status quo and join Mr. de Blasio in leading a coalition of the honorable, to give some relief to more than two million New Yorkers in rent-regulated apartments, who live in constant fear of crippling rent increases and displacement from their homes.* Mayor de Blasio’s Plan Aims to Spur More Affordable Housing in New York (NYT) Housing programs and tax incentives would be overhauled to promote the construction of tens of thousands of units for poor New Yorkers, who are being priced out of the booming real estate market. * A pair of left-leaning advocacy groups criticized de Blasio’s plan to reform 421-a – a controversial real estate tax break – calling on the progressive mayor to extract more concessions from the city’s powerful real estate industry. * Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push for affordable housing is causing anxiety for many New Yorkers, in particular the people the program is designed to assist,The New York Times writes:  


How GOP Senators Get Around Federal Mail Fraud Charges
Another GOP lawyer, testifying at the 2009 trial of Skelos predecessor Joe Bruno, said he'd urged members to hand deliver their financial disclosure filings to the ethics office to sidestep possible mail-fraud violations. Postal pigeons might be next. Bruno's conviction — on Skelos-like charges of selling his office for consulting fees — was overturned on a reinterpretation of a federal statute.





Tenant Advocates vs. de Blasio 
As the 421-a Program is Exposed As the Center of Corruption in Albany the Mayor Tries to Save the Giveaway to Developers With Limit Reforms That Even the Real Estate Board Agrees With
The advocates and the mayor want the Legislature to make big changes. These include eliminating a provision in the housing laws that removes vacated apartments from regulation once the rents hit a threshold of $2,500 a month, allowing them to float as high as the gentrification tides will take them. Advocates say this provision has led to the loss of more than 300,000 affordable apartments in the city. Other changes would eliminate landlords’ ability to automatically jack up rents 20 percent when apartments are vacated, and allow landlords to impose only temporary, not permanent, surcharges to pay for major apartment improvements.  Housing advocates are also demanding the outright repeal of the tax break, called 421-a, saying it is a lavish giveaway to builders that produces far too few affordable units. Mr. de Blasio proposes instead a major overhaul. He would eliminate the break for luxury condominiums, like the $100 million penthouse on 57th Street in Manhattan, where 421-a made possible an astonishing 95 percent cut in the tax bill, while tightening it for rental projects. He would require builders across the city to rent at least 25 percent to 30 percent of a new development to the poor and working class; the current 421-a provision requires only 20 percent, and applies only in certain areas of the five boroughs. In return, landlords would receive the tax abatement for 35 years, instead of 20 to 25. Ideally, the Legislature would simply abolish 421-a, a relic of a dreary time when the city truly needed tax incentives to spur construction. But Mr. de Blasio’s measured approach has won the support of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, the industry’s lobbying arm, which should help its prospects in Albany. * De Blasio Calls for New 'Mansion Tax' and Reform toDevelopers' Tax Breaks (SNAINFO) * De Blasio's Progressive Vision: More Trickle-DownAffordable Housing (Gothmast)




The Mayor's Even Given Up A Union-Scale Wage to Save 421-a
Up4NYC, a lobbying coalition of building-trade unions and contractors, criticized the mayor's plan on the grounds that it wouldn’t require developers to pay union-scale wages. “The mayor’s plan will not provide middle-class wages to the workers employed on what will remain mostly taxpayer-subsidized luxury housing, and it will not significantly increase affordable housing production for New Yorkers who need it most,” Pat Purcell, head of the Greater NY Laborers-Employers Cooperation & Education Trust, said in a statement. On the other hand, Stephen Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, a lobbying and trade group affiliated with the city’s big developers, praised the mayor’s plan as “ambitious, yet practical,” saying in the de Blasio press release that it will “result in the creation of much more affordable and market-rate, multifamily rental housing in New York City.”



There is No Discussion Of the Corruption Connected to the 421-a Program as the Extension of the Program is Planned in Albany
Does 421-a Destroy More Affordable Housing By Fueling Gentrification Than It Builds
Affordable Housing Has Become A Band-aid On A Cancer for Elected Officials to Protect Them From What They Are Doing to Our City With Their Tax Breaks to Developers  Corruption probes affecting rent control extensions: Cuomo (NYP) Federal corruption probes of state lawmakers are making it harder to resolve major issues before the Legislature — particularly politically explosive matters such as extension of rent control for New York City, Gov. Cuomo said Friday. “If it was a different time in Albany, frankly, and Albany was a little bit more stable situation, I would normally take these negotiations to Albany and try to work it out among the parties,” Cuomo told business leaders at an Association for a Better New York breakfast. “Albany has a lot going on right now, let’s say.” He was responding to a question asked about the fate of the 421-a tax abatement program for developers and the law covering rent stabilization. Both lapse on June 15.  Tenant advocates are demanding an end to 421-a, which they claim is a giveaway to developers even though it produces units for affordable housing.  Cuomo said even those who support the program — developers and the carpenters union — are at odds over some provisions. At minimum, Cuomo promised that he and the Legislature would simply extend the current laws for both programs with few or no changes. * From Campaign 2013The Bloomberg administration’s ambitious housing plan to create or preserve 165,000 affordable units by the end of June 2014, largely through incentives to private developers, will fall short of meeting the need for affordable housing in the city. “We hardly gained anything because we lost an equal number of units from rent regulation and Mitchell Lama,” said Mr. de Blasio. “There’s over a third of the city paying more than 50% of their income for rent.” Poor Door’ in a New York Tower Opens a Fight Over Affordable Housing(NYT) As public housing becomes a relic, American cities have grown morereliant on developers, who say they can maximize their revenues and build more affordable units, by separating them from their luxury counterparts. * Real Estate Developers, Tax Breakes and Politics * BdB undecided on extending 'affordable' housing tax break (NYP)   * Sad how many of these stories we've heard: Brooklynlandlords pushing black tenants out for whites: (NYP) * The Times Union writes that the New York City real estate market needs tax breaks as much as ice cream trucks need grants to market treats to kids, so the 421-a tax break should be viewed as an integrity test

Albany Times Union Which Has Nothing to Do With City's Poor an Middle Class Losing Their Homes to Gentrification is Opposed to 421-a 
 TU Edit Board: 421-a tax abatements have outlived theirusefulness, now just a giveaway for wealthy political donors: 


Homelessness



What is the Cause of Homeless Increase? 421-a?  
“Cutting off funds for shelters, as the governor has done, is only hurting the poorest New Yorkers,” Assemblyman Social Services Committee Chairman Andrew Hevesi said. * The head of a key Assembly committee criticized Cuomo for withholding state aid for 16 city homeless shelters after the de Blasio administration missed a deadline to address serious code violations, the Daily News writes:  * * New York City will develop a plan to improve its homeless shelters by Tuesday, and officials said the state will continue providing funding to the city in the interim, Capital New York reports: 

As Pols March for Tenants
NYC Public Advocate Letitia James, Assemblyman Keith Wright and Councilman Jumaane Williams blasted state Senate Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a large pro-tenant rally in Manhattan’s Foley Square last night. * Hundreds of tenants marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a show of force to demand stronger rent laws from Albany, as their advocates called on Mayor de Blasio to push for a rent freeze, the Post reports:




The Fights Against 421-a Will Not Be Debated in the Media
Where Are the Calls to Investigate the Corruption of Political System That the 421-a Caused?  Does It Matter How Many More Will Be Arrested?
Tenant advocates are seizing upon the recent corruption charges against Silver and Skelos and Cuomo’s close ties to the real estate industry to push for stronger rent regulations and an end to the 421-a tax break for developers, Gotham Gazette reports:  * Mayor de Blasio seeks sweeping reforms to NY rent laws tosave 1 million affordable apartments (NYDN) * REBNY has endorsed de Blasio’s plan for a so-called “mansion tax” on the sale of houses, co-ops and condominiums worth more than $1.75 million, which is part of a wider political deal that would extend tax breaks for developers and create another revenue source for city housing programs.* Tenant AdvocatesUnsatisfied with De Blasio’s 421-a Proposal (City Limits) "[T]he mayor's 421a reform proposal doesn't resolve the core problem with the current 421a program - that it gives away a lot of money to developers in exchange for very little affordability, at levels unaffordable to most New Yorkers," Moses Gates, blogging for ANHD, wrote. "Specifically, the mayor's 421a reform proposal would give developers the option of a tax break for units that primarily serve residents earning 130 percent of Area Median Income. This means under this proposal NYC would be giving tax breaks to create 'affordable housing' to households earning approximately $110,000 a year, or paying approximately $2,700 a month in rent for a 2-bedroom apartment." t Tenants & Neighbors, executive director Katie Goldstein vowed to keep pushing Albany for deeper reform than the mayor seeks. "We still view 421a as a failed and wasteful program, and elected officials have settled for modest reforms before, when they should have ended it and started over to create affordable housing for low income New Yorkers," she wrote in an email. In a reference to the indictment this week of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for alleged corruption that included shaping 421-a to meet the needs of a developer, Goldstein added: "The scandals we're seeing in Albany now, which are clearly linked to 421a, will continue to create controversy and will mean increased scrutiny on its renewal this June." * Liberals Question Mayor’s Plan to ReformControversial Tax Break (NYO) *   To buy Albany Glenwood has taken full advantage of a gaping campaign finance loophole.  Corporations can’t contribute more than $5,000 per year to a politician and individuals can’t give more than $150,000 to all races combined per year, but Glenwood legally showers pols with hundreds of thousands of dollars through affiliates called limited liability corporations (LLCs). Since 2005 the company has steered more than $12.8 million to Albany pols — 95% of which came via LLCs, according to a Common Cause analysis.






Cuomo Forgot His Meeting With Glenwood
Spokesman: Cuomo forgot 2011 meetings with Glenwood execs: (TU) Yesterday in Syracuse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told Jimmy Vielkind of Capital New York he had “nothing to do” with Glenwood Management, the real estate firm whose money plays a supporting part in the federal corruption cases brought against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and current Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. “I’ve had nothing to do (with Glenwood),” Cuomo said, “except they’ve been political supporters of mine.” Indeed: Through his network of LLCs, Glenwood’s founder Leonard Litwin has been the governor’s biggest donor, as well as the most generous supporter of a host of other politicians, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. “Have they ever talked about 421-a (tax abatements) or rent control?,” Vielkind asked, mentioning the two biggest agenda items for what remains of the legislative session. Both are up for renewal in June. “No, never,” the governor said. “They never mentioned that to you or your administration?,” Vielkind doggedly continued. “No,” the governor said.’ Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the governor’s memory failed him. “The Governor did not remember off the top of his head three meetings from five years ago, two of which also included many other industry advocates,” Azzopardi said. “What is clear to everyone is that we emerged that year with the strongest rent regulation laws in decades, which included the creation of a tenant protection unit that has returned more than 37,000 unlawfully deregulated apartments to rent regulation.” * Cuomo spokesman said the governor “forgot” his 2011 meetings with executives from Glenwood Management – the luxury real estate developer that has played a role in both the Skelos and Silver scandals. Cuomo this week insisted he has had “nothing to do” with Glenwood, and “never” spoke with its officials about 421-a.Cuomo changes his tune, admits he did meet with ‘scandal’ firm(NYP) * Cuomo’s forgotten Glenwood meetings (Capital) *  Re Litwin's company: Cuomo's "claim of selectivememory...is difficult to accept." 

From Cuomo's Schedules:
April 18, 2011 2:00 PM Meeting with Charles Dorego and Richard Runes, Glenwood Management
re Rent Regulation Location: Governor’s Conference Room Staff: Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor Jim Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy *** June 3, 2011  12:45 PM Meeting re Rent Regulation  Location: ESDC Conference Room, Staff: Mylan Denerstein, Counsel to the Governor, Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor to the Governor, Jim Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy Management, Betsey Ball, Director of Legislative Affairs, Attendees: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Leonard Litwin, Glenwood Management Corp,  Charles Dorego, Glenwood Management Corp, Gary Jacob, Glenwood Management Corp, Steven Spinola, REBNY, Arnold Goldstein, RSA, Robert Mujica, Senate Staff, Jim Yates, Assembly Staff, Judy Rapfogel, Assembly Staff, Lou Ann Ciccone, Assembly Staff *** June 16, 2011  5:00 PM Meeting re Rent Regulation, Location: Governor’s Conference Room, Staff: Larry Schwartz, Senior Advisor, James Malatras, Deputy Secretary for Policy Management, Attendees:Robert Mujica, Secretary to the Senate Finance Committee, Steve Spinola, President, REBNY, Joe Strasburg,President, Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), Arnold Goldstein, Chairman of the Board, RSA,  Charles Dorego, SVP & GC, Glenwood Management Corporation (on behalf of Leonard Litwin, President of Glenwood Management and Vice Chairman of RSA, Governor and Secretary of REBNY, and Executive VP of the Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York)


Can Litwin's Glenwood Blackmail Cuomo to keep Him From Ending 421-a? @NYGovCuomo forgotten Glenwood meetings  (Capital)

True News Wrote This A Day Before the NYT


Will Real Estate Baron's Face Any Legal Charges for Corruption Albany?
Is Rob Speyer “Developer 2” in Skelos case? (Real Dean) Description of unnamed developer in federal case against Senate leader matches a top RE player. Tishman Speyer President Robert Speyer — the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the city’s most powerful industry lobby — appears to be the unnamed “Developer 2” in the criminal complaint filed yesterday in the case against Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.  The complaint, which was filed by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, seems to use the high-profile Tishman Speyer executive as an example of how Skelos and his son, who were both arrested Monday, allegedly leveraged their power for personal gain. Neither “Developer 1,” which has already been publicly reported as Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management, nor “Developer 2” has been charged with any wrongdoing. * Skelos' Corruption Mostly About Real Estate Tax Breaks and Regulations That Fuel Corruption *Skelos' Corruption Mostly About Real Estate Tax Breaks and Regulations That Fuel Corruption

According to the complaint, Adam Skelos, 32, allegedly used his father’s powerful state position to win business for the East Coast Abstract Group, a Long Island-based title insurance agency where he serves as vice president. The 43-page complaint points to a January 2011 email between Adam Skelos and his supervisor discussing an upcoming lunch meeting he had scheduled with “the president of a major commercial real estate developer based in New York, New York” that owned the Chrysler Building complex. In 2011 Tishman Speyer, the largest family-owned firm in New York City, controlled both the land under the Chrysler Building and a 10 percent stake in the complex after the Abu Dhabi government bought a 90 percent stake in the complex in 2008 for $720 million. The lunch meeting, page nine of the complaint says, was on Dean Skelos’ calendar as well and was scheduled to take place at Developer 2’s office on February 10. The younger Skelos emailed his supervisor to say the developer “wants to start giving me his work,” according to the complaint. A month later, the managing director from Developer 2’s firm wrote to Adam Skelos asking him to generate a title report for a $250 million mortgage on the Chrysler Building complex. The federal prosecutor’s office cited the back-and-forth as one of several examples of how the younger Skelos allegedly sought to monetize his father’s position. In addition to acting as president and co-CEO of his family firm — a position he shares with his father Jerry — Speyer is also chairman of REBNY. REBNY did not immediately to a request for comment. * It emerged that the Tishman Speyer development firm is the company identified as “Developer-2” in the criminal complaint against the Skeloses. The company said it is cooperating with the feds. Real Estate Lobbyists  The influence traders (Real Deal) A look at some of the biggest lobbying firms representing real estate players in City Hall and Albany.


Speyer Throws de Blasio A Party
The Affordable Housing Mayor 
 Speyer and McCray to host birthday bash for de Blasio(Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray and real estate developer Rob Speyer will host a birthday party for de Blasio at Gracie Mansion on Friday, according to an invitation obtained by Capital that's been sent to real estate folks and other municipal powerbrokers. McCray chairs the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, a city-controlled group that raises money for mayoral initiatives (and allows people with money to gain access to the mayor). Speyer chairs the fund's advisory board. He's also the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the city's main real estate lobby, and the president and co-C.E.O. of Tishman Speyer, an international real estate concern that controls, among other things, Rockefeller CenterCuomo and Litwin  Bill Samuels, a left-leaning gadfly who at one point served as the top fund-raiser for the Senate Democrats, said Cuomo should “lead by example” in returning his share of the $3.6 million Glenwood Management, which played a role in both the Silver and Skelos scandals, has spread around the Capitol over the past four years. 



Tax Break to Extell Costs NYC $65.6 Million
Tax break to Midtown luxury condo tower will cost NYC $65.6M in property taxes (NYDN) The city isn't getting much bang for its buck by awarding a huge tax break to a luxury condo tower in Midtown, the Independent Budget Office found. A tax break for One57 will cost the city $65.6 million in property taxes over 10 years, money that could have paid for 367 affordable apartments. Instead, under the deal with One57's developer, Extell Group, only 66 affordable units were built. That means taxpayers subsidized apartments at a rate of nearly $1 million per unit when affordable units on average cost $179,000 apiece. Hundreds protest tax breaks to New York City real estate developers in shadow of skyscraper for mega rich (NYDN)





Skelos Pay to Play 421-a With Glenwood and the Feds Turn Team Litwin
Lobbyists Panic As Biggest Campaign Contributor is Not A Federal Witness
During the Dec. 20, 2010, meeting, Skelos expressed thanks for Glenwood’s support of Senate Republicans.  Skelos  “directly asked” Litwin and the exec — who is cooperating with the feds — to pay title-insurance commissions to his son, then repeated the request as they were walking out, according to the criminal complaint. The exec arranged a $20,000 payment to Adam and also served as a linchpin in getting him hired by AbTech Industries as a $4,000-a-month consultant, the complaint alleges. Later, the exec “successfully pressured” AbTech to more than double Adam’s salary to $10,000 monthly when father and son threatened to block its $12 million stormwater-treatment contract with Nassau County, the feds say. In exchange, Skelos is accused of voting for legislation that benefited Glenwood financially and then leaning on Nassau officials to pay AbTech’s bills. In a secretly recorded conversation with an AbTech exec, Adam allegedly fumed that “the state is not going to do a f–king thing” for Nassau because it wasn’t paying quickly enough. * REBNY is working behind the scenes to defend the 421-a tax abatement program. * President and CEO of the New York State Association forAffordable Housing Jolie Milstein writes in the Daily News that the future of affordable housing in New York City depends on the renewal of the state’s 421-a tax program: * Corruption in NYS with Pay to Play - Real-estate developerplayed role in Skelos, Silver case 


“If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.”
The federal complaint against Skelos has caused concern in Albany because it shows Charles Dorego, senior vice president of Glenwood Management, is cooperating with the feds and he is close to many,” Capital NewYork reports Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood Management, allegedly gave Skelos' son Adam a $20,000 cash payment and steered him title insurance work. Like many big real estate firms, state policy changes on rent control and the 421-a subsidy program are worth millions to Glenwood, and it kept Dean Skelos, the Senate majority leader, quite close. What's prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone. If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.” In the past four years, Glenwood passed out at least $3.6 million to state politicians and the political committees that support them through a roster of two dozen limited liability companies. Records show it has ties to a dark money group that spent another $1 million attacking Democrats in 2012. It's hard to state definitively, because only some of the L.L.C.s can be readily associated, by address, with their parent company. The contributions flowed across party lines through both chambers of the Legislature, pooling around the men with the most power, regardless of their stated affiliations or ideologies. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has benefited the most, taking in $1.45 million for his campaign committee and the soft money account he controls at the Democratic State Committee. Glenwood is also the largest donor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Tom DiNapoli, both Democrats. State Senator John DeFrancisco, a Syracuse-area Republican who chairs the chamber's finance committee, allowed a subtle hint. “If the political donor's been giving a lot of money to everybody, maybe a question is how come one of the many get indicted and others don't,” he said. “I can't imagine.” Litwin, a centenarian, has receded from the scene in recent years, according to people who know him. That's left Dorego and the company's stable of lobbyists (which includes two former state senators, Nick Spano and Carl Andrews) to mix with politicians at fund-raisers and check in when major legislation is being drafted in nondescript rooms tucked into the Capitol's upper floors. Glenwood was also revealed in the recent complaint against former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver as one of the clients of a tax certiorari firm that paid the Democratic lawmaker undicslosed fees. Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who is prosecuting both Skelos and Silver, accelerated his investigation when he inherited the files of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption after lawmakers disbanded it in 2014. It subpoenaed major real estate developers—amid concerned entreaties from Cuomo's aides—in search of a nexus between their giving and the bills granting them subsidies.


How Litwin's Glenwood Purchased NY's Govt and Political System
Albany shivers after Bharara flips a major donor (Capital) Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood Management, allegedly gave Skelos' son Adam a $20,000 cash payment and steered him title insurance work. Like many big real estate firms, state policy changes on rent control and the 421-a subsidy program are worth millions to Glenwood, and it kept Dean Skelos, the Senate majority leader, quite close. What's prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone. “If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.” * As tenants rail against subsidy, REBNY comes out swinging (Capital)  Real estate lobby argues 421-a vital to rental development 


Glenwood the Core of 3 Men In A Room 
Glenwood is the Real Producer of Three Men In the Room . . . Glenwood's Litwin Bought NY's Govt and These Guys Sold It To Him . . . Is Bharara Going After Cuomo? Connect the Dots
Glenwood is at the core of 3-men-in-room doing Glenwood's bidding, each for their own private bilateral reasons. If Gentling could "own" the 2012 State of the State Casino address with their late-2011 funds-infusion, one can only imagine what Leonard Litwin's Glenwood, a durable big money donor "owned"? Laws? * NYC development firmtied to Skelos, Silver affairs (TU)  Glenwood Management a top greaser of political wheels. Glenwood's payments to another top lawmaker, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, played a major role in this year's other major ethics scandal. As lawmakers deal with the renewal of rent laws and real estate tax breaks in the waning days of this year's legislative session, they may feel pressure to distance themselves from the powerful firm. The complaint revealed that Dorego began cooperating only last month. Glenwood has long been among the state's biggest political donors, and has taken advantage of a loophole in state election law that allows limited liability companies to donate as much as individual donors. In fact, the federal complaint released Monday says that Skelos asked Dorego to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations, even as Skelos was allegedly pressing Dorego to steer lucrative work to Skelos' son, Adam, who also was charged Monday. Glenwood is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's biggest campaign donor and a major part of two politically generous landlord groups, the Rent Stabilization Association and the Real Estate Board of New York. In 2013, former top Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz reportedly tried to stop a subpoena from theMoreland Commission, an investigative panel convened by Cuomo, for information about REBNY's political giving and a valuable tax break related to new housing. REBNY eventually provided the information voluntarily. After Cuomo shut down Moreland in 2014, Bharara's office picked up many of its investigations — while also probing potential Cuomo administration interference and the circumstances surrounding the panel's demise in March 2014. REBNY was also among the biggest players in the Committee to Save New York, a nonprofit that spent millions early in Cuomo's tenure to push through his legislative agenda. "I think it's astonishing that Glenwood is involved in the Sheldon Silver scandal, and the Dean Skelos scandal, and is the biggest single donor to Andrew Cuomo," said Michael McKee, treasurer of the group Tenants PAC, which is perpetually at odds with the real estate industry. "It's the perfect example of how corrupt the system really is." * Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos calls the criminalcomplaint against him "a glorified press release" (NYP) * Conservative Party head urges Skelos to step down (NYP) * Dean Skelos Thwarted Reform and Maintained Power, Despitethe Odds (Gotham Gazette) * Skelos, on his flock: “They know I'm innocent, just like Iknow I'm innocent, and now we're focused on governing."  (Capital) * Another Senate Republican Calls For Skelos To Step Down (YNN) * Skelos: Criminal Complaint A ‘Press Release’ (YNN) * Gianaris: ‘It’s A Mistake’ To Keep Skelos Leader (YNN) * Astorino Dings Senate Republicans (YNN) * For you Game of Thrones fans out there: “(US Attorney Preet) Bharara is going Lord Baelish in the Five Boroughs. He knows where the bodies are buried. He’s the one burying them.”* Activists rallied outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan offices and criticized his comments that corruption cases in Albany may make it difficult to push for serious rent regulation changes, the Observerreports

Lobbyists Working for Glenwood Management
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Llc $150,000
Carl Andrews & Associates, Inc. $ 144,000
Empire Strategic Planning, Inc. $ 144,000
Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $120,000
Lieberman, Mark L. $90,000
Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000
Runes, Richard $60,000
Park Strategies $20,000



Where Was the DA or AG? Finance Commissioner Pay to Play With Love Shack Provided Glenwood in 2012?
Skelos, Son Charged With Fraud And Extortion (YNN)* Glenwood Management cooperating witness appears from complaint to be Charles Dorego. Glenwood referring calls to a criminal defense attorney. Dorego gave former Finance Commissioner Stock an apt inexchange for cut Glenwood's taxes   Developer won't be charged, Bharara says, bc agreed to assist in case. Commission paid to Adam S. for title insurance work, no work done.Bharara: Skelos met with developers and asked for money to go to his son. His son performed no work for $20K * Records show that one of those listed, Glenwood executive Charles Dorego, raised $167,500 for city campaigns in the 2013 election   AbTech Linked to Dorego and Litwin's GrandsonTwo men with close ties to the real estate company — Charles Dorego, a top Glenwood executive, and Steven Swarzman, a grandson of Glenwood's longtime principal, Leonard Litwin — have signed public records filed by the company that invested in AbTech's parent company, Abtech Holdings. Mr. Swarzman became friends with AbTech's founder in Arizona, and, impressed by the environmental sponge, became AbTech's East Coast distributor, according to a 2006 article in Newsday.
Bottle whatever it is Leonard Litwin takes to be politically potent at 100. His FBI codename must be 'Viagra.'



 Skelos, on wire, explains the duties of Senate majority leader to his son: "I'm going to control everything."  Indictment claims Adam Skelos made money from campaign contributors to his dad, Sen Dean Skelos, which had biz before state * Indictment says that in March Adam Skelos said: ethics reform measure 'is kind of getting in the way.' Bharara: Skelos met with developers and asked for money to go to his son. His son performed no work for $20K Watch: Bharara: on mulitple occassions Skelso met with developer and requested commisison for his son. developer then directed money to son. The cooperating witness (a senior exec at mega-donor Glenwood Management) has a non-prosecution agreement with Preet's office. Albany shakes. Bharara:  Dean Skelos allegedly used his power & influence as Senate Maj Ldr to illegally enrich his son, Adam, and indirectly, himself * #Corruption is deep-seeded in both chambers of the legislature and both sides of the aisle. * Is Assemblywoman Cook A Rat In Hiding Against Her Fellow Lawmakers More Likely the Prosecutors Have Failed to Clean Up Her Corruption

Albany Lawmakers Silent About Their Corrupt Leaders and Fellow Members
Skelos was not concerned w/ what was good for NY but rather "what was good for his son's bank accounts," US Atty says * Preet: "Public corruption...a problem in both chambers, a problem on both sides of the aisle...we are deadly serious" in tackling problem. * Bharara: Dean Skelos told son to cancel meetings with other lawmakers, saying "We are in dangerous times." "We have a public corruption unit that we have no intention of disbanding," Preet Bharara says, presumably in sly nod to Moreland Commission Preet: "We have a public corruption unit that we have no intention of disbanding." * There are those words again by #Preet: "Stay tuned..

Skelos said having rent regs expire every 2 years great for excitement. He meant $$$
We have a Public Corruption Unit, which we do not intend to disband." * first silver, now skelos. preet bharara continues workinghis way through the albanycorruption alphabet: * Dean Skelos has to give up his gun following today'scriminal charges:  * "It's like [expletive] Preet Bharara is listening to every [expletive] phone call," Dean Skelos's son griped to him in call recorded by feds * Skelos said having rent regs expire every 2 years great forexcitement. He meant $. (City and State) * Gotham Gazette examines how Skelos came to inherit hisleadership position from former state Sen. Joe Bruno and maintained his power by opposing reforms and cutting deals with Democrats:

Just Like Drug Dealers Burner Phones


Skelos's son used a burner phone in an effort to avoid government surveillance, complaint says: "Burners can give you a measure of anonymity, but they’re by no means untraceable.."


This is What the Speyer's Do With Their Access or Ownership With Pols Like Skelos and Silver
How Speyer Hijacked FDR's Fanny Mae Freddie Mac While Trying to Destroy Affordable Stuy Town  
Speyer Tried to Kill the Largest Affordable Housing Project in NYC. Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village
Tishman  Speyer Lost Billions In Pension Funds in 2006 when they bought Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 Billion and $1.5 billion of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds. Funds which FDR created to help the poor and middle class to buy homes. The Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds were ripped off by the Tishman Barons were according to some were intended to push people out of their homes.  Real estate experts agree that the only way Tishman could have made money with that deal was push the middle class tenants out of Stuy TownThe Biggest, Baddest Real-Estate Loan(NY Mag) Tishman Speyer’s $3.4 billion Stuyvesant Town mistake.*  True News reported that the Stuy Town developers used their political connections to get Fanny and Freddie Mac hand over to them $1.5 billion to buy the complex at a highly inflated price so the only way Tishman Speyer and BlackRock could make money was was to push out all the low rent tenants.Fannie Mae created in 1938 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal mission is to tear down barriers, lower costs, and increase the opportunities forhomeownership and affordable rental housing for all Americans * Tishman Lost Billions In Pension Funds in 2006 when they bought Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 Billion and $1.5 billion of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds. Funds which FDR created to help the poor and middle class to buy homes. The Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds were ripped off by the Tishman Barons were according to some were intended to push people out of their homes.  Real estate experts agree that the only way Tishman could have made money with that deal was push the middle class tenants out of Stuy Town. The Biggest, Baddest Real-Estate Loan(NY Mag) Tishman Speyer’s $3.4 billion Stuyvesant Town mistake


The Daily News In the Tank to Continue 421-a Forgets Facts Like Corruption and Gentrification
The Daily News owned by a developer wants to extend the 421-a housing tax program so mush that in addition to giving a false picture on the results of the program have left out the little thing about the pay to play corruption charges against the leaders of the state senate and assembly directly connected to passing the program.  The Daily News also left out the millions real estate developers contributed to the governor and other pols and shadow government lobbyists to control what goes on in Albany  * NYC buildings showconnection between Albanycorruption and real estate industry, with developers saving millions on taxes(NYDN) Glenwood saved over $2 million in taxes on its East 102nd Street building gentrifying Harlem (pushing blacks out). Prosecutors say Silver — while discussing legislation with Glenwood executives — directed them to hire a tax firm that was secretly paying him fees. In Skelos’ case, prosecutors say Skelos instructed Glenwood to subsidize the paycheck of his 32-year-old son. The 421-a exemption, dubbed “New York City’s most expensive real estate tax break” by the NYC Independent Budget Office, will cost the city $3 billion in tax revenue from fiscal 2012 through the fiscal year that ends next month.

What the Daily News Claims:
"Bill’s smart tax break makes sense to build more housing(NYDN Ed) Mayor de Blasio has proposed a generous expansion of a generous tax break for apartment-building developers, in exchange for a healthy boost to his ambition to build affordable housing." * In New York,88,000 people have applied for 55 affordable apartments in a single building (Wash Post) The first takeaway — and one not lost on the building's developer — is that the media cared a whole lot more about the "poor door" than the people who might actually walk through it. Glenwood's  45-story Liberty Plaza near Wall Street, for instance, deems only 15 of its 287 units as “affordable.” Glenwood would have paid $4 million in taxes on the property this year without 421-a. With the break, they’ll pay $353,517. Since 2006, Glenwood has saved $42.7 million at Liberty.
More About the Lack of Affordable Housing







True News Facts: 
Connecting extending 421-a to building more affordable housing is simply not true and does not explain what is going on.  de Blasio says his reforms will allow market forces to build more affordable housing.  The market forces are rising rents, driving out the middle class and blacks from Brooklyn and rising the rents for everyone.  The affordable housing built as result of this program has not not put a dent into replacing the people push out of their homes and community by 421-a.  Tax breaks to developer Forest City Ratner have displace thousands of New Yorkers and caused thousands of others to pay higher rents because of the gentrification it has caused. Less than 500 affordable housing units are being built by the Ratner and his Chinese partner, some renting at $3500. 421-a is just a ruse invented by developers and pols to show the public that they are doing something about the displacement and higher rents.
How Blacks the Poor and the Middle Class are Being Push Out of Brooklyn Because of Albany's Tax Breaks for Luxury Developers



What the Daily News Claims:
"With the June 15 expiration of a tax break called 421-a looming, more than a few of de Blasio’s allies have called on Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to kill it as a costly and unproductive giveaway to real estate interests."

True News Facts: 
Its not about the tax break to the real estate interests  Its about the market forces, such as gentrification that has displaced thousands of New York and has raised the rents of city residences. 

What the Daily News Claims:
Actually, the break has been critical to housing construction across the five boroughs — as de Blasio clearly recognized in urging Albany to supersize it. As a mayoral spokesperson put it, “We’re paying more and getting more.”

True News Facts: 
The Mayor's plan would extend the length of time apartments getting the subsidies would have to stay affordable to 35 years, up from the current 20 to 25. The issue here is that the city would still be giving out more than $1 billion a year in tax breaks to get apartments that wouldn’t be permanently affordable, where the rents will still eventually skyrocket.


The NY Media is Not Following Up the Silver Real Estate Corruption and Connections to Cuomo
Cuomo OfficialsDirected State Loan To Cuomo Donor At Center of CorruptionProbe(International Business Times) A careful review of state documents reveals that Cuomo and Silver are connected by a key figure in the scandal. Both lawmakers have a financial relationship with the same New York real estate mogul, Leonard Litwin, who has in turn relied upon them for preferential tax treatment and other government benefits. Silver is alleged to have benefited personally from Litwin’s spending -- and there is no dispute that Cuomo has benefited politically from that same largesse. Litwin contributed $1 million to Cuomo’s reelection campaign and another $500,000 to the New York Democratic Party, making him the largest political donor in the state. His money flowed through 27subsidiaries of his firm, Glenwood Management. Those subsidiaries were also clients of the real estate law firm that paid referral fees to Silver. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has alleged that Silver "induce[d] real estate developers with business before the state" to employ the law firm, which in turn made payments to Silver. The Cuomo-run New York State Housing Finance Agency, for instance, approved a $260 million state-supported low-interest loan in 2014 to finance Glenwood’s new luxury apartment building in midtown Manhattan. * Leonard Litwin, at the center of New York corruption scandals, could bringdown the entire Democrat establishment (BuffaloChronicle) Litwin contributed $1 million to Governor Cuomo’s reelection effort, and another $500,000 to the New York Democratic Party, The International Business News reports. The Cuomo-run New York Housing Finance Agency later approved a $290 million low interest loan in 2014 to finance new luxury apartment building in Midtown Manhattan. At the time the loan was being considered, NYHFA was headed by Bill Mulrow, a registered lobbyist for the Blackstone group, a massive private equity fund. Mulrow was just recently appointed to be Cuomo’s new Chief of Staff. It is rumored that abuse of power allegations against Attorney General Schneiderman are currently under federal investigation by the US Attorney’s office. Larry Schwartz called the Moreland Commissioners to stop them from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York..
Real Estate Developers, Tax Breaks and Politics





At the time the loan to Glenwood was approved, the NYHFA was headed by Cuomo appointee Bill Mulrow, an executive and registered lobbyist at Blackstone, a private equity and real estate firm. Mulrow was just appointed to be the governor’s chief of staff. According to NYHFA documents, Glenwood also has had other business with the agency. Similarly, Cuomo in 2011 signed Silver-backed legislation reauthorizing a then-expired property tax abatement for real estate developers called the 421a program. Cuomo also signed an extension of that program in 2013.


Times editorial lamenting NYC cost of housing a little like Larry Flynt doing a PSA for abstinence...
Litwin’s firm used the 421a program for its Midtown Manhattan project, according to the New York Times. Glenwood has also used the 421a tax break for some of its other properties in the city. In 2014, Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel that was examining the relationship between lawmakers and the real estate industry. The governor’s top aide at time, Larry Schwartz, called commission members to stop them from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York, of which Litwin is the lifetime “honorary chairman.” The 421a abatement, which costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues, is set to expire in 2015. The question of its renewal -- and Cuomo's support for its renewal -- is a flashpoint in this year’s legislative session in Albany. Already, some New York City lawmakers are calling for its repeal. * "Progressive" Gentrification: One Community'sStruggle Against Affordable Housing
.


Affordable Housing, Low Wages Building, Rents





How Real Estate Scam Worked in the Court
The indictment accuses Silver of steering billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the state’s largest political donor, to the firm, along with another unnamed developer. In exchange, Silver reaped referral fees. The Goldberg firm handled tax appeals for 15 buildings owned by Litwin’s organization, Glenwood Management, and its limited liability companies, prosecutors said. Court records show that in one case that landed in Shulman’s court — involving a high-rise building on York Avenue — Glenwood won a $3.4 million reduction in the building’s assessment, which is used to determine its taxes.



Even as he ruled a vast state, it was always Grand Street that was his capital. And it was the clan he met there whose code he embodies
Litwin owns a rental building, The Fairmont — the same high-rise where Lippman and his wife rented a one-bedroom apartment between 2007 and 2010, The Post found. And Lippman’s son, Russell, a Harvard-educated lawyer, rented an apartment there between 2003 and 2005, public records show. Lippman, who earned $156,000 in 2010, moved into the rent-stabilized building in 2007 shortly after he was appointed presiding justice of the Appellate Division in Manhattan and was required to live in The Bronx or Manhattan. He had lived in Westchester. Bookstaver said Lippman paid market-rate rent of $3,195 for the apartment. He said Lippman rented at the Fairmont because he needed to move quickly and knew of the building because his son had lived there. He said Lippman did not know Litwin owned the property.

Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm where Silver was “of counsel” until he was dumped last week, practically rules a special section of the court dealing with complex asbestos litigation. Critics say the firm gets the “red-carpet treatment” including a fast track, “better judges” and first dibs on jurors to hear its cases. Sherry Klein Heitler, the chief asbestos judge, as well as the top administrative judge at 60 Centre St., has handled dozens of the firm’s cases in what is called New York City Asbestos Litigation or NYCAL. Last year, at Weitz & Luxenberg’s request, Heitler reversed a 20-year rule barring punitive damages in asbestos cases, paving the way for much bigger jury awards. Of 15 mesothelioma verdicts in the last four years, Silver’s firm won $273.5 million of $313.5 million awarded by NYCAL juries. The average award for an NYCAL asbestos case — nearly $16 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014 — is reportedly two to three times larger than those in other courts nationwide. * Wayne Barrett: How Shelly Silver Made His Pal Chief Judge (Village Voice)* Four Charged in a Bribery Scheme to Gain Clients in Arraignment Court(NYT)  A worker who interviewed defendants was paid as much as $1,000 per client that he steered to three lawyers and a paralegal, prosecutors said.* The corruption charges against Silver reveal the rot that has plagued Albany and deserve more national attention for exposing the links between politicians and the asbestos-plaintiffs bar, the Journal writes:

Wayne Barrett Blows Up Silver's Gand Street Gang
Sheldon Silver'sgang (Wayne Barrett, NYDN) How the disgraced speaker put a tight network, including lifelong Lower East Side friends, in powerful places. Rudy Giuliani used to tell a story about a mob hit-man who blessed himself before each murder. It could be a metaphor for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who for two decades presented himself as the personally devout, politically principled leader of the most progressive slice of New York political life. Even if he eludes jail, as have previous indicted Albany kingpins, the criminal complaint filed against Silver marks the end of his era. When Shelly Silver met the man that the government says became his meal ticket, Dr. Robert Taub, in November of 2003, he was already looking for a new hook. Taub, who ran a Columbia University center for asbestos victims, would prove to be the perfect partner for Silver, whose personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, was the biggest asbestos litigator in New York. Silver needed a new partner because his brother, Dr. Joseph Silver, the orthopedic chief at Brooklyn's Methodist Hospital who'd been steering patients (albeit ones less lucrative than asbestos victims) to him, got cancer in 2003. After Joseph died in August 2004, the speaker began hosting a lecture in his brother's name at the hospital. * Silver, the outgoing Assembly speaker, was forced to leave the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, but that doesn’t mean his financial relationship with the firm is over, the Daily News reports: 


Lobbyists Working for Glenwood Management
Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin Llc $150,000
Carl Andrews & Associates, Inc. $ 144,000
Empire Strategic Planning, Inc. $ 144,000
Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $120,000
Lieberman, Mark L. $90,000
Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000
Runes, Richard $60,000

Park Strategies $20,000


Is the City's 421-a Housing Policy Causing an Increase in Gentrification Causing More Homelessness? 
Senate Democrats Nudge Cuomo On Homeless Youth ...(YNN, March 19th) * Miley Cyrus asks Gov. Cuomo to boost funds for homeless ...)syracuse.com, March 19th) *  De Blasio Slams Cuomo Homelessness Proposals (ObserverMarch 25th) *Cuomo and de Blasio Clash Again, This Time OverHomelessness (NYT, March 25th) Mr. de Blasio’s homeless services commissioner, Gilbert Taylor, told the Council that the administration was going to lobby officials in Albany this week about the rent subsidy issue (for the homeless) * Miley Cyrus urges Andrew Cuomo and state Legislature to boost funds for homeless (NYDN, March 19th) * #MileyCyrus appealing to #Cuomo for more funds. Housing Homeless Youth Poses Challenge for Mayor deBlasio (NYT)  * Ambitious Call for De Blasio, Cuomo to Build Supportive Housing (City Limits, March 25th) * Senate Democrats nudge Cuomo on homeless youthfunding (YNN)  *Activists and politicians laid out an aggressive nine-point plan they say de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo could implement to stem the growing homeless population by the decade’s end, the Observer reports * State Budget Expected to Provide Relief for Homeless, but Advocates Say It's Still Not Enough (NY1)




No Transparency in 421-a City Hall Deal Making 
Real estate developers are wary of changes as expirationlooms for popular tax break (CrainsNY)  Real estate executives said they are being left in the dark when it comes to the details being hashed out by the de Blasio administration for a revised 421-a program.


60% of the 421-a Tax Breaks are Located In Manhattan  


The 421-a program is up for renewal by the New York Statelegislature in June 2015. Based on the findings revealed in the maps, Municipal Arts Society urges that the program cannot be renewed as is. Albany must: Rationalize 421-a’s cost-benefit equation either by strengthening the affordability requirements or by decreasing the financial incentives; Redraw the lines of the GEA to reflect actual market conditions, based on data and statistics, rather than politics; andDramatically increase the program’s public transparency and use this data to monitor the program’s successes and failures. * Why builders need 421-a badly: Without it, projects justwon't get built (NYDN) * A budget resolution adopted by the Senate would eliminate funding for the state’s Tenant Protection Unit, created by Cuomo in 2011 to provide stricter enforcement of rent laws. Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh called the move “just crazy.”* Nearly 5,500 affordable apartments in just nine projects would never have been planned if not for a four-decade-old 421-a tax break due to end in three months, according to a report by the Real Estate Board of New York, Crain’swrites:


With the 421-a Programs Up for Renewal Not A Word In the Media About How Silver Corrupted the Program 
The Real Estate Board Of New York is spreading lots of green fertilizer!
Members of the Real Estate Board of New York and their firms doled out $21.7 million in campaign contributions in the last election cycle – accounting for more than 10 percent of the money that entered the campaign finance system. The largest recipient of the magnates largesse was Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who along with his allied committees raked in half of what REBNY doled out.  Major issues for REBNY are expected to cast a long shadow over lawmakers when they reconvene later this month. It has strong positions on several issues sunsetting in June, including the 421a and J-51 tax abatement programs as well as rent control New York City
, which developers oppose expanding.* Biz Council To BoE: Don’t Touch LLC Classification(YNN)* * Members of the Real Estate Board of New York and their firms’ political contributions collectively accounted for more than 10 percent of the money that entered state elections last cycle, Capital New York reports: 



Memo to Daily News: Pay to Play Corruption of the 421-a Program At Rick's Albany Place



Wednesday Update
The real estate lobby will press its agenda in Albany today, calling for the renewal of a major development subsidy program, warning lawmakers not to strengthen rent-control laws and arguing for the renewal of an initiative meant tot spur cleanup of contaminant sites. * Bill de Blasio Declines to Take Position onControversial Tax Break (NYO) * 
Pampering the rich:Luxury apartments get 421-a tax breaks and rent protection (NYDN) Henry Ikezi made it into the news because a housing court judge ordered him evicted for renting out the pad using Airbnb. The Hell’s Kitchen tenant had it all for $6,770 a month — sweeping views, sleek fixtures and, to top it off, protection from rent increases. What  Daily News correctly pointed out in today’s editorial is that none of the news story focused on the fact that Ikezi lives in a luxury building whose developer received a tax break to build. The weakness in the Daily News editorial is that it left out the millions in campaign contributions funneled into elected officials campaign accounts, the lobbyists consultant who elect them to design and pass give-away programs like 421-a to developers.  It is very curious why the editorial left out the arrest of Speaking Silver which can give its reader a text book lesson how the luxury developers run Albany.  
The indictment of Silver by the U.S. Attorney states that the former speaker conspired to work with law firms and developers looking for tax breaks to extort pay to play kickbacks millions for himself.  Instead of looking at Silver the Daily News blames the tenant for only getting a 1% rent stabilized increase last year. All Ikezi was take advantage of the state’s corruption produced housing program.  The Daily News can do better that the BS that the 421-a program was born in a hazy past when a middle-class family could afford a Manhattan rental. The program was born in the pay to play corrupt culture in Albany.  that developers like the Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman know well.

If the City is Building A Record Number of Affordable Housing Why Has the Number of Homeless Increased By 10%



The Daily News Won't Even Report That Bharara is Investigating Luxury Real Estate 421-a Tax Break Corruption 
Bharara probing tax deals given to luxury condo building(NYP) US Attorney Preet Bharara is investigating the massive tax breaks granted to Midtown’s luxury One57 condo building, where a mystery buyer just paid a record $100 million-plus for the duplex penthouse, sources told The Post on Sunday. The now-disbanded Moreland Commission panel on public corruption was reported to have been investigating the sweetheart tax abatements scored by developer Gary Barnett of Extell Development. Bharara took over that probe when he subpoenaed the firm’s records after Gov. Cuomo unexpectedly shut down the commission last year, sources said. The One57 tax abatements are estimated to be worth at least $35 million. One57’s tax abatements were granted under the “421-a” program, which was highlighted in last week’s criminal complaint against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is charged in a $4 million corruption scheme. He was accused of using his power over development incentives to steer business to a law firm run by his former Assembly counsel.

Developers With the Help of Albany Has Destroyed the Strong Neighborhoods of New York, Pushed the Middle Class Out and Increased Homelessness
EmptiestCo-ops and Condos. In Manh, more 421-a units owned by nonprimary than primaryresidents!!!!   Why Silver Helped Kill Moreland  New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, now under federal investigation, was also under scrutiny this year by the Moreland Commission looking into the sources of his six-figure outside income, The WallStreet Journal reports:  *Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm,Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.  Silver is "not known to have any expertise in the complex and highly specialized area of the law in which Goldberg & Iryami practices"* "properties on the Lower East Side 4 which Goldberg has sought real estate tax reductions include Silver’s own co-op"* Before the focus of US Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe emerged this week, Moreland Commission members said they had considered the speaker’s outside income a high priority up until the point that the panel was disbanded by Cuomo in a budget deal with Silver and the state Senate. The probe into Silver’s outside income sheds a rare spotlight on a small group of lawyers who specialize in challenging tax assessments in New York City’s complex property tax system.* “421-a paid for my bidet” (Real Deal) NYC tenant advocates descend upon Billionaires' Row to rally against controversial tax break


Litwin's Glenwood Has Given $800,000 to Cuomo's Campaigns 
Leonard Litwin At the Heart of the Silver Indictment Campaign Money, LLC Shows How Everyone in Corruption Albany, INC, Gets Their Cut
State’s largest campaign donor a client of Silver’s second firm(Capital) Litwin has used 27 different Limited Liability Companies controlled by Glenwood Management to contribute at least $4.3 million to political committees in New York since the beginning of 2013. Five of these L.L.C.s—Briar Hill Realty, L.L.C.; Columbus 60th Realty, L.L.C.; East 46th Realty, L.L.C.; East 81st Realty, L.L.C.; and River York Barclay, L.L.C.—are currently retaining Goldberg & Iryami for challenges to their real property tax assessments, according to data maintained by the New York City Tax Commission.* Developer Leonard Litwin, by most measures New York’s most generous campaign contributor, is a major client of Goldberg & Iryami, the firm whose payments to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are reportedly being examined by the FBI.

Mystery “Developer 1″ in Silver case said to beGlenwood’s Leonard Litwin(Real Deal) Federal charges appear to cite state's top political donorThe 100-year-old Litwin spent the most money on political donations during that time, as The Real Deal reported. Crain’s also made a connection between Litwin and the $900,000 Developer 1 paid to eight lobbying firms. The complaint also calls out another developer. Cuomo's biggest donor is also the oldest | Crain's New York ... *  Glenwood Management CEO Leonard Litwin, thebiggest contributor to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s victorious re-election campaign, was also the top donor for the state Senate races. Of the $1.5 million he donated, 79 percent helped Republicans while 9 percent helped Democrats * Developers using loophole to funnel donations to Cuomo  (RealDeal) Glenwood, Extell and others contributing money to governor via LLCs, report shows 


The Media is Covering 421-a Like A World Wide Wrestling Match
Than A Debate Over What the Program Has Done to the City

Top Cuomo aide eyed as source of 421-a logjam (CrainsNY)  Bill Mulrow, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, received over $10,000 for his unsuccessful 2001 campaign from the carpenters union, which opposes Mayor Bill de Blasio's 421-a proposal, as does Mr. Cuomo. * On 421-a, De Blasiokeeps swinging at Cuomo (Capital) * .@NYGovCuomo can "move mountains," @BilldeBlasioaka "the union's best friend," says  * De Blasio fumes: Cuomo’s not a partner on affordable housing (NYP) * Up Close: Mayor Bill de Blasio  WABC Diana Williams has an exclusive one-on-one interview with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
AG Ethics Bang on Cuomo Schneiderman decries Cuomo’s comments on ethics reform (Capital)  Attorney general says there is plenty of time to act before the legislative session ends * .@BilldeBlasio "I'm absolutely surprised that he seems 2 want 2 continue giveaways to developers without us getting affordable housing back" * Cuomo, de Blasiospar over New York Cityhousing as Celebrate Israel Parade marches (NYDN)

SUMMER OF SLAMS: Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio spar over New York City housing as Celebrate Israel Parade marches (NYDN) Cuomo not budging on 421-a (TU) Rangel Revenge on de Blasio Who's sorry now?Snubbed by Mayor de Blasio in his 2014 primary, Congressman Charlie Rangel aimsdarts at hizzoner. * * De Blasio is fed up with being publicly embarrassed by Cuomo, causing him to take a more combative tone in his interactions with Albany, the Daily New * De Blasio and Cuomo avoided one another at the parade, but speaking at the Concord Baptist church in Brooklyn beforehand, the mayor again called on the governor to provide leadership on the rent control debate, and said: “We’re not blind to petty politics. We’re not blind to the games people play.”
real estate man @BilldeBlasio disingenuous 421a plan is giveaway to entity that's pumped millions into his career @PTWalzak @JumaaneWilliams * Faux progressive @BilldeBlasio faux 421a reform plan not going well with fellow real estate flunky @NYGovCuomo Two hacks in a sack!
Bill de Blasio, Friend of Real-Estate Developers? - The New Yorker * Bill de Blasio'sclaim that money will have no sway over his decisions as mayor will be put tothe test (NYDN)  The special interests who contributed to de Blasio's campaign will be eager to see if he shows his gratitude when he starts making decisions in City Hall. * In Mayoral Race,Attacking Real Estate Industry but Taking Its Cash (NYT)




Does the Daily News Really Believe That the 421-a Tax Give Away Has Increased Affordable Housing in the City? Does the Daily News Believe 421-a Increased Political Corruption?



Question Not Asked if the 421-a Destroying Affordable Housing by Causing More Gentrification?
New Yorkers Spend 60% of Their Income On Rent

De Blasio’s 421-a dilemma (Capital) De Blasio’s ambitious housing agenda puts him on both sides of tenant advocates and on both sides of Big Real Estate, too. On one hand, he is calling for a strong rent control law—something tenant groups have cheered and the real estate industry bemoaned. On the other hand, his ambitious plan to build 80,000 affordable units, preserve 120,000 affordable units, and foster the development of 160,000 market-rate units depends on the cooperation of the real estate industry. His agenda is, in many ways, in developers' hands. And they aren't inclined to see 421-a go anywhere. Meanwhile, revisions to the 421-a program that have required the building of 20 percent as affordable units have not put enough of a dent in the housing crisis to justify the program, tenant groups believe, which means there is little middle ground for the mayor to stake out. * De Blasio hesitant to take position on 421a tax break: MayorBill de Blasio did not take a firm stand on the future… * Tenant Advocates Look to Link Rent Laws in NYC to Development Tax Break


Tenant Group: IDC's Klein is the Bag Man for 421-a Tax Deal
Activists Blast Jeffrey Klein for His Ties tothe Real Estate Industry(NYO) Alliance for Tenant Power, a liberal pro-tenants organization, is planning a series of tweets and Facebook memes blasting State Senator Jeffrey Klein, a Bronx Democrat and leader of the Independence Democratic Conference. The group is targeting Mr. Klein, a co-leader in the Senate and an ally of the Republican majority, for not supporting their priorities, including a repeal of the controversial tax break, 421-a, an end to vacancy decontrol, and an overall strengthening of rent laws. “Senator Jeff Klein has nearly 45,000 rent-stabilized apartments in his district, but too often he operates as a paid spokesman for REBNY and the real-estate industry,” said Delsenia Glover, a spokeswoman for Alliance for Tenant Power. Like other leading elected officials in the city and state, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mr. Klein has filled his campaign coffers with donations from the real estate industry. Critics of Mr. Klein, who identifies as a progressive, say he is too closely aligned with the Real Estate Board of New York, citing his robust defense of 421-a, a tax break granted to developers for building multifamily housing. he tax break cost the city about $1 billion in foregone tax revenue in 2013, according to the New York City Independent Budget Office. “Mr. @JeffKleinNY has received more than $1M from the #RealEstate industry. No wonder he’s on the Real Estate side NOT the tenant’s side,” Alliance for Tenant Power plans to tweet. “Senator @JeffKleinNY will always be on your side…if you’re a #RealEstate developer.”




Elected Officials Fund Their Re-Election Campaigns With Real Estate $$$ As New Yorkers Get Pushed Out by the Tax Breakes to Developers 

Only True News Has Connected the Dots to Show How the 421-a Tax Breaks is Fueling Gentrification and Pushing Blacks and the Poor Out of Brooklyn
The “Billionaires Row” high-rise on West 57th Street (left) was among five luxury developments that got 421-a tax breaks authorized by state lawmakers in 2013.* Developer linked to Silver case tops 2014 donor list (Capital) These donations included $1 million to Governor Andrew Cuomo, $450,000 to the New York State Democratic Committee and $19,700 to Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. This makes Litwin the largest donor to Cuomo. He was also the largest donor to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ($240,000) and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli ($180,000). He gave to each of Albany’s five legislative conferences: Senate Republicans ($1.01 million), the Independent Democratic Conference ($195,300), Assembly Democrats ($179,500), Senate Democrats ($133,000) and Assembly Republicans ($3,150). Senator Jeff Klein received $80,000 from Litwin’s holdings, more than any other individual legislator. In all, 89 state-level campaign committees received money from an LLC owned by Glenwood. * Law firm Weitz & Luxenberg mulls whether to keep paying Sheldon Silver (NYDN)


Both the NYT and Daily News Ignore the Fed Investigation of 421-a Corruption
Among the charges against Silver is that he arranged special real-estate-tax breaks in exchange for large sums funneled through a friend’s law firm.  In Program to Spur Affordable Housing, $100 Million Penthouse Gets 95% Tax Cut (NYT)  The 57th Street penthouse is a prime example in the debate over a program that offers generous tax abatements to generate apartments affordable to poor and moderate-income tenants. * Advocates,politicians push to end billion-dollar housing developer tax break (NYDN) The 421-a property tax exemption, which costs the city more than $1 billion a year, was slammed for 'returning nothing to the taxpayers.' Opponents slammed the break as a giveaway to luxury developers that results in little affordable housing while blowing a big hole in the city budget. The 421-a property tax exemption offered to builders of new housing, which dates to the 1970s, costs the city about $1.1 billion a year and is set to expire this year, unless it is renewed by Albany pols.

What Affordable Housing  . . .  de Blasio Gets Re-Elected By Giving the Developers What They Want
De Blasio and Developer Are Close, but Not on Lower-Cost Housing (NYT) Rob Speyer’s company is rushing to qualify for a tax break on a big residential complex in Queens without a key part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda: affordable units.  The relationship flowered, and Mr. Speyer, whose company owns Rockefeller Center and operates on four continents, was a host at Mayor de Blasio’s birthday party at Gracie Mansion last May. At a real estate gathering five months later, Mr. de Blasio singled out Mr. Speyer, telling the 6,200 attendees that the developer was “tremendously civically oriented.” Mr. Speyer is racing to start work on an $875 million residential complex with three high-rises and nearly 1,800 apartments in Long Island City, Queens, a neighborhood a short subway ride from Manhattan

Real estate developer Rob Speyer moved quickly to build a strong relationship with de Blasio, but the men do not seem to be on the same page on affordable housing
He must begin the foundations by June 15 to qualify for a 15-year tax abatement worth about $200 million under a tax program known as 421-a that is intended to stimulate construction and generate affordable housing. After mid-June, the program expires or could be renewed with regulations requiring developers to include a higher concentration of affordable housing. But under current rules, Mr. Speyer is one of six developers eligible for the subsidy without having to build a single low-cost unit, because of where their projects are. None of the other projects, though, is as big as Mr. Speyer’s. If Mr. Speyer’s project, on Jackson Avenue near Queens Plaza, were in Manhattan or along stretches of the East River waterfront in Brooklyn and Queens, he would have to set aside 20 percent of the units for poor and moderate-income tenants. “It’s a huge missed opportunity to create affordable housing,” said Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an advocacy group. “They’re getting an extra tax break for free. It’s unfortunate that the city hasn’t explored whatever leverage it has to get a public benefit.” Spin Alert Mr. de Blasio declined to comment, but Deputy Mayor Alicia Glenexpressed disappointment over the situation.  “This isn’t our vision for the city,” she said. “This is, in fact, a great example of why we need to change the status quo. In many ways, it’s the most overt example of the need to think through the public benefits we get when the city and the state offer tax breaks.” 
 Trio of developers paid $3 million to get projects going (CrainsNY) Albee Development, Halletts A Development Co. and SL Green Realty Corp. spent close to $3 million to get their projects off the ground. Albee Development Lobbyist Capalino, Washington Square Partners Incorporated * Halletts A Development Co Lobbyists Sheinkopf LTD, Cozen O'Connor, KENNETH FISHER, Norman Levy, P.C., SL Green Realty Corp Lobbyists Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Kasirer Consulting LLC, James F. Capalino & Associates, Inc., Goldman Harris LLC* Developers of three new projects paid lobbyists $3M in 2014 (Real Deal) * Speyer and de Blasio disagree on need for affordable housing (Real Deal)


How Speyer Hijacked FDR's Fanny Mae Freddie Mac While Trying to Destroy Affordable Stuy Town  
Tishman  Speyer Lost Billions In Pension Funds in 2006 when they bought Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.4 Billion and $1.5 billion of Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds. Funds which FDR created to help the poor and middle class to buy homes. The Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac funds were ripped off by the Tishman Barons were according to some were intended to push people out of their homes.  Real estate experts agree that the only way Tishman could have made money with that deal was push the middle class tenants out of Stuy TownThe Biggest, Baddest Real-Estate Loan(NY Mag) Tishman Speyer’s $3.4 billion Stuyvesant Town mistake.Speyer and McCray to host birthday bash for de Blasio(Capital) Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray and real estate developer Rob Speyer will host a birthday party for de Blasio at Gracie Mansion on Friday, according to an invitation obtained by Capital that's been sent to real estate folks and other municipal powerbrokers. McCray chairs the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, a city-controlled group that raises money for mayoral initiatives (and allows people with money to gain access to the mayor). Speyer chairs the fund's advisory board. He's also the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York, the city's main real estate lobby, and the president and co-C.E.O. of Tishman Speyer, an international real estate concern that controls, among other things, Rockefeller Center. * True News reported that the Stuy Town developers used their political connections to get Fanny and Freddie Mac hand over to them $1.5 billion to buy the complex at a highly inflated price so the only way Tishman Speyer and BlackRock could make money was was to push out all the low rent tenants.Fannie Mae created in 1938 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal mission is to tear down barriers, lower costs, and increase the opportunities forhomeownership and affordable rental housing for all Americans
.
South Street Seaport Another Tall Building - Stalled  
Despite Amenities, South Street Seaport Redevelopment Plans Stall Over a High-Rise(NYT) A $1.5 billion project that promises to build a school and affordable housing has run up against opposition at a time when high-rise development seems to be proceeding unchecked in ManhattanLack of transparency on Illegal Hotel Compliants Councilman wants de Blasio to combat illegal hotels(NYP) Manhattan councilman is calling on Mayor de Blasio to do more to combat illegal hotels, saying they pose a threat to tourists and neighbors alike. In a Feb. 16 letter to the city’s Department of Information Technology, Upper East Side Councilman Ben Kallos urged the agency to provide more public information on complaints about illegal hotels and apartment owners that use sites like Airbnb and requested that 311 create a specific category for people to lodge complaints.* A $1.5 billion South Street Seaport redevelopment plan has stalled because nearby residents and elected officials dislike a 494-foot-tall condo tower that is planned as part of the project, the Times reports:

The NY Media is Not Following Up the Silver Real Estate Corruption and Connections to Cuomo
Cuomo OfficialsDirected State Loan To Cuomo Donor At Center of CorruptionProbe(International Business Times) A careful review of state documents reveals that Cuomo and Silver are connected by a key figure in the scandal. Both lawmakers have a financial relationship with the same New York real estate mogul, Leonard Litwin, who has in turn relied upon them for preferential tax treatment and other government benefits. Silver is alleged to have benefited personally from Litwin’s spending -- and there is no dispute that Cuomo has benefited politically from that same largesse. Litwin contributed $1 million to Cuomo’s reelection campaign and another $500,000 to the New York Democratic Party, making him the largest political donor in the state. His money flowed through 27subsidiaries of his firm, Glenwood Management. Those subsidiaries were also clients of the real estate law firm that paid referral fees to Silver. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has alleged that Silver "induce[d] real estate developers with business before the state" to employ the law firm, which in turn made payments to Silver. The Cuomo-run New York State Housing Finance Agency, for instance, approved a $260 million state-supported low-interest loan in 2014 to finance Glenwood’s new luxury apartment building in midtown Manhattan. * Leonard Litwin, at the center of New York corruption scandals, could bringdown the entire Democrat establishment (BuffaloChronicle) Litwin contributed $1 million to Governor Cuomo’s reelection effort, and another $500,000 to the New York Democratic Party, The International Business News reports. The Cuomo-run New York Housing Finance Agency later approved a $290 million low interest loan in 2014 to finance new luxury apartment building in Midtown Manhattan. At the time the loan was being considered, NYHFA was headed by Bill Mulrow, a registered lobbyist for the Blackstone group, a massive private equity fund. Mulrow was just recently appointed to be Cuomo’s new Chief of Staff. It is rumored that abuse of power allegations against Attorney General Schneiderman are currently under federal investigation by the US Attorney’s office. Larry Schwartz called the Moreland Commissioners to stop them from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York..


At the time the loan to Glenwood was approved, the NYHFA was headed by Cuomo appointee Bill Mulrow, an executive and registered lobbyist at Blackstone, a private equity and real estate firm. Mulrow was just appointed to be the governor’s chief of staff. According to NYHFA documents, Glenwood also has had other business with the agency. Similarly, Cuomo in 2011 signed Silver-backed legislation reauthorizing a then-expired property tax abatement for real estate developers called the 421a program. Cuomo also signed an extension of that program in 2013.

Times editorial lamenting NYC cost of housing a little like Larry Flynt doing a PSA for abstinence...
Litwin’s firm used the 421a program for its Midtown Manhattan project, according to the New York Times. Glenwood has also used the 421a tax break for some of its other properties in the city. In 2014, Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel that was examining the relationship between lawmakers and the real estate industry. The governor’s top aide at time, Larry Schwartz, called commission members to stop them from subpoenaing the Real Estate Board of New York, of which Litwin is the lifetime “honorary chairman.” The 421a abatement, which costs taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenues, is set to expire in 2015. The question of its renewal -- and Cuomo's support for its renewal -- is a flashpoint in this year’s legislative session in Albany. Already, some New York City lawmakers are calling for its repeal. * "Progressive" Gentrification: One Community'sStruggle Against Affordable Housing
Albany Real Estate Corruption $$$ Game Survives 25% Empty Apartments Because of Bribery 









NYC’s EmptiestCo-ops and Condos. In Manh, more 421-a units owned by nonprimary than primaryresidents!!!! 
Why Silver Helped Kill Moreland  New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, now under federal investigation, was also under scrutiny this year by the Moreland Commission looking into the sources of his six-figure outside income, The WallStreet Journal reports: 




NYC's Industrial Real Estate Complex Causing High Rents, Results in A Brooklyn Trailer Park 
Man says he’s the first to legally live in trailer in New York City (NYP) A quirky Brooklyn mechanic claims he’s the first person to legally make a trailer his permanent home in New York City — but he had to move from a lot to the street after a land owner called him a squatter on wheels. The man, who goes by “JR,” set up his weathered yellow trailer on an empty Bushwick lot that he told The Post he leases. The 15-foot home on Bushwick Avenue near Montieth Street is hooked to a generator, two doors is roughly the size of a studio apartment. “Rent is crazy in the neighborhood. I rented the land for five months for five hundred dollars a month,” said JR, who added that he set up the deal roughly two weeks ago. * HOUSING COURT BILL DELAYED: A New York City Council bill guaranteeing tenants a lawyer in housing court has 35 sponsors and the support of key officials but hasn’t moved for over a year, Kate Pastorreports for City Limits: * New York officials are seeking more funding to provide poor people with legal services in civil proceedings, part of a national movement to establish a legal right to counsel in civil cases, The Wall Street Journal reports: * Coalition pushes wage raises, expanded housing in bid to end NYC homelessness in 5 years (NYDN) *

Preet is literally going where no man has gone before here
Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City U.S.Said to Investigate Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Speaker, OverPay(NYT) Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter. *Silver, donor under investigation are longtime friends(NYP)A lawyer whose firm made unexplained payments to Sheldon Silver is so close to the Assembly speaker that the attorney attended a young Shel’s bar mitzvah nearly 60 years ago, The Post has learned.In addition to the payments, Goldberg has donated $7,600 to Silver’s campaigns since 2001, including $1,800 in February of this year, according to campaign-finance records. * The End Of Shelly Silver? Mother Of All Albany Scandals Brewing In NY Tonight(Daily Kos) * Sheldon Silver’s latest storm(Capital) The speaker came under fire for his handling of sexual misconduct by a former aide, Michael Boxley, as well as senior member from Brooklyn, Vito Lopez. The husband of Silver's chief of staff pleaded guilty to skimming money from a charity that was fueled by state grants. And Silver fired one of his lawyers after a report that he sat on accusations of sexual harassment concerning Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat.

Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm,Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.  Silver is "not known to have any expertise in the complex and highly specialized area of the law in which Goldberg & Iryami practices"* "properties on the Lower East Side 4 which Goldberg has sought real estate tax reductions include Silver’s own co-op"Asked if the federal investigation would hinder the speaker’s legislative abilities, Whyland replied: “Absolutely not.”* Before the focus of US Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe emerged this week, Moreland Commission members said they had considered the speaker’s outside income a high priority up until the point that the panel was disbanded by Cuomo in a budget deal with Silver and the state Senate. The probe into Silver’s outside income sheds a rare spotlight on a small group of lawyers who specialize in challenging tax assessments in New York City’s complex property tax system.


Feds Investigating Silver Pay to Play Real Estate Payoff 

Silver is expected to be re-elected easily next week for his 11th term as speaker despite new questions about what he does to earn his outside income

Sheldon Silver money man dons Soviet hammer-sickle cap(NYP) Tax lawyer Jay Arthur Goldberg — under investigation for making unexplained payments to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — emerged from his house on Staten Island Wednesday wearing a military-style Russian hat with a hammer-and-sickle insignia.“I think members will stick with Shelly,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Brooklyn).
“It’s hard for me to believe Shelly would do anything that is incorrect and especially unlawful. Everybody makes mistakes.”* Sheldon Silver silent as #corruption accusations resurface 
Susanne Craig ‏@susannecraig  I asked Sheldon Silver to shed light on the $ he has been receiving from a small law firm. "Nothing to shed," he said. http://nyti.ms/1JYGDyg  * Silver told reporters that he expects to be elected as Speaker by the members of the Assembly despite the recent reports of a federal investigation into his outside income, the Observer reports:

Wednesday Silver Update Firm That Paid Sheldon Silver Is Tied to Landlord With Troubled Past(NYT)  New York City Tax Commission records show that Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm that has made unreported payments to Sheldon Silver, the New York State Assembly speaker, also represents Baruch Singer, a landlord with ties to Mr. Silver. * UNDER PRESSURE: Critics want Assembly Speaker Silver to disclose law firm side gig(NYDN) * Gov. Sidesteps Silver Questions (Updated)(YNN)



Glick: Stands By Her Man
Assembly Democrats stood by their leader, saying Bharara’s probe is a fishing expedition. “Investigation by leaking seems to be the new way of trying to discredit people without actually producing any evidence,” said Assembly member Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan). “It won’t have any particular effect in the course of the [next Assembly] session.”* Despite the recent reports of a federal investigation into Silver, who becomes the longest-serving speaker in state history next year, insiders believe that rumors of Silver’s imminent political demise may be premature, the Times Union reports:

Why Silver Helped Kill Moreland  New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, now under federal investigation, was also under scrutiny this year by the Moreland Commission looking into the sources of his six-figure outside income, The WallStreet Journal reports: 

Preet is literally going where no man has gone before here
Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City U.S.Said to Investigate Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Speaker, OverPay(NYT) Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter. *Silver, donor under investigation are longtime friends(NYP)A lawyer whose firm made unexplained payments to Sheldon Silver is so close to the Assembly speaker that the attorney attended a young Shel’s bar mitzvah nearly 60 years ago, The Post has learned.In addition to the payments, Goldberg has donated $7,600 to Silver’s campaigns since 2001, including $1,800 in February of this year, according to campaign-finance records. * The End Of Shelly Silver? Mother Of All Albany Scandals Brewing In NY Tonight(Daily Kos) * Sheldon Silver’s latest storm(Capital) The speaker came under fire for his handling of sexual misconduct by a former aide, Michael Boxley, as well as senior member from Brooklyn, Vito Lopez. The husband of Silver's chief of staff pleaded guilty to skimming money from a charity that was fueled by state grants. And Silver fired one of his lawyers after a report that he sat on accusations of sexual harassment concerning Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat.



Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm,Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.  Silver is "not known to have any expertise in the complex and highly specialized area of the law in which Goldberg & Iryami practices"* "properties on the Lower East Side 4 which Goldberg has sought real estate tax reductions include Silver’s own co-op"Asked if the federal investigation would hinder the speaker’s legislative abilities, Whyland replied: “Absolutely not.”* Before the focus of US Attorney Preet Bharara’s probe emerged this week, Moreland Commission members said they had considered the speaker’s outside income a high priority up until the point that the panel was disbanded by Cuomo in a budget deal with Silver and the state Senate. The probe into Silver’s outside income sheds a rare spotlight on a small group of lawyers who specialize in challenging tax assessments in New York City’s complex property tax system.

The New York City police officers’ actions of jeering and turning their backs on de Blasio are acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity and are squandering the department’s credibility, defacing its reputation and shredding its hard-earned respect* The news of the probe into substantial, undisclosed payments to Silver only illustrate that citizens really need to know who is paying our politicians, how much they’re getting—and in exchange for what before they receive a pay raise, the Post writes
Assembly SpeakerSheldon Silver being investigated for payments from law firm: report (NYDN)  The Manhattan Democrat reportedly received payments from Goldberg & Iryami, P.C. over nearly 10 years, prompting an investigation by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Leonard Litwin Old Real Estate Campaign Money, LLC
State’s largest campaign donor a client of Silver’s second firm(Capital) Litwin has used 27 different Limited Liability Companies controlled by Glenwood Management to contribute at least $4.3 million to political committees in New York since the beginning of 2013. Five of these L.L.C.s—Briar Hill Realty, L.L.C.; Columbus 60th Realty, L.L.C.; East 46th Realty, L.L.C.; East 81st Realty, L.L.C.; and River York Barclay, L.L.C.—are currently retaining Goldberg & Iryami for challenges to their real property tax assessments, according to data maintained by the New York City Tax Commission.Developer Leonard Litwin, by most measures New York’s most generous campaign contributor, is a major client of Goldberg & Iryami, the firm whose payments to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are reportedly being examined by the FBI. * Cuomo's biggest donor is also the oldest | Crain's New York ... 


Glenwood Management CEO Leonard Litwin, thebiggest contributor to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s victorious re-election campaign, was also the top donor for the state Senate races. Of the $1.5 million he donated, 79 percent helped Republicans while 9 percent helped Democrats * Developers using loophole to funnel donations to Cuomo (RealDeal) Glenwood, Extell and others contributing money to governor via LLCs, report shows * Governor Cuomo’s top real estate donor is Glenwood Management, with $800,000 contributed through 19 LLCs, according to ProPublica * Of the LLCs giving to Cuomo, the most generous are controlled by Glenwood Management, a real estate development company headquartered on Long Island


Headed by Leonard Litwin, a reclusive 99-year-old magnate, Glenwood has given $800,000 to Cuomo since he took office using 19 separate LLCs. Glenwood's LLCs have also given millions of dollars to other New York candidates and committees, both Democratic and Republican. His lobbyists, including former state legislators Nick Spano and Carl Andrews, rarely detail anything beyond general real estate issues in their disclosure reports. Al d'amato Park Strategies, Pitta Bishop Del Giorno & Giblin LLC $99,999, Meara, Brian R. Public Relations, Inc. $99,999, Sanzillo, Francis J. & Associates $90,000 

The Corrupt Lobbyist Behind Leonard Litwin
Oh my, that's just delicious. The last time we heard anything about former GOP state Senator Nick Spano, he was being sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion. (Sound familiar?) And I'm sure you remember former Democratic state Senator Carl Andrews from when he was being investigated by the feds and the state Inspector General for his involvement in the scandal ridden bidding process for the "racino" at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. That scandal almost brought down Andrews' BFF, newly re-elected Senator John Sampson who is facing a federal corruption trial of his own in February on charges that somehow, amazingly, have nothing to do with Aqueduct. Andrews and Sampson became buddies under the tutelage of disgraced former Brooklyn Democratic boss Clarence Norman, who himself ended up being sentenced to nine years in prison for a string of almost comically corrupt offenses like just straight up selling Brooklyn judgeships to the highest bidder.

Singer "The Gentrifier" Runs Harlem Building Into Ground and Sell It for $18 Million
The burnt out prewar building at 92 Morningside Avenue has sat vacant for more than a decade. A 2002 fire ravaged the interior and displaced the former tenants, and over the last ten years, the boarded up building has fallen further into disrepair, attracting graffiti artists and squatters, even as the neighborsstarted to see new development. Two addition fires tore through the building in March 2012, then in May of this year, owner and notorious landlord Baruch Singer sold the crumbling property for $18 million to Renaissance Realty Group* Firm That PaidSheldon Silver Is Tied to Landlord With Troubled Past (NYT) *Washington Heights tenants band together to buy building (NYDN 2012) Removed slumlord Baruch Singer with help from Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp.* A development site in the Court Square area of Long Island City is slated to hit the foreclosureauction block May 17 with an outstanding lien of $38.54 million. The residential development site, at 44-30 Purves Street, was formerly controlled by developer and landlord Baruch Singer and investor David Weiss, who financed a residential project at the site in 2006 with a $13 million mortgage-backed loan from G3-Purves Street LLC, an entity which appears to be linked to Goldman Sachs.

Speaker Sheldon Silver, His Law Firm $$$
Progressive deB Won't Battle Real Estate's Control of the City 
With no chance to pass, de Blasio passes on luxe apartment tax (NYP) Mayor de Blasio isn’t going to support a luxury tax on apartments valued at $5 million or more that are owned by absentee landlords because it doesn’t stand a chance in Albany, according to sources. “My understanding is a luxury tax for absentee landlords is not going forward,” said one source. “The absentee-landlord tax is a nonstarter.” The idea was floated in September by the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute, which estimated the city could raise $655 million a year by adding a property tax surcharge of 0.5 to 4 percent on apartments valued at $5 million or more. The teachers union on Tuesday came up with a twist on the luxury taxsuggesting out-of-state owners pay full property taxes even if they are entitled to abatements. Alternatively, the union suggested out-of-towners agree to pay New York City income taxes.* New York State Politicians Are Still For Sale(Gawker)*Teachers Union Wants City to Close Tax Loopholes for Absentee Apartment Owners(WSJ)

No Tax Breaks by Our Elected Officials for Developers are Killing Mom and Pop Stores and the City's Middle Class
Developer-friendly rezoning, not Starbucks, is what wiped out Williamsburg mom-and-pop stores
Council progressives won't try to save Mom and Pop stores because they are controlled by the real estate $$$$ and lobbyists
The real small business killer(NYDN) Sure, it's fun to hate on Starbucks, but doing so misses the bigger point. Although isolated chain stores chip away at mom-and-pop shops, the most substantial displacement of independently owned business occurred in areas that were rezoned by the city and rebuilt by private developers. In these neighborhoods, commercial turnover was less of a “slow burn” than a slash-and-burn.   When the city adds commercial space through rezoning, landlords receive an incentive to redevelop or sell their properties and replace existing commercial tenants.


 If big commercial storefronts are included in a rezoned area, national chain stores are likely to swoop in. Under Mayor Bloomberg, large areas of Brooklyn were rezoned to enhance their economic growth potential. After a 2004 rezoning, a thriving corridor of independently owned department stores and restaurants in Downtown Brooklyn was virtually erased to make way for high-end chain stores. It wasn’t the market’s invisible hand, but the very visible one of city government that ushered Armani Exchange and Nordstrom into Fulton Mall.  Such displacement is far from inevitable. The plan for Essex Crossing, a massive proposed redevelopment on the Lower East Side, guarantees space to existing Essex Market tenants at the rent they currently pay. Such guarantees should be required of all commercial redevelopment projects that undergo public review. In this way, the city could use municipal power to diversify the identity of a commercial area and preserve existing businesses. The Disappearing Mom & Pop Stores Of New York City(Business Insider)

Capital Real Estate: Walentases’ salty language for de Blasio(Capital)

. has a list of every Brooklyn church converted into condos

Manhattan is experiencing a surge in new office construction, but whether the economy will generate the office jobs to keep vacancy rates from rising remains a question.

* Led by two completed towers at the World Trade Center and the first tower to rise at Hudson Yards, Manhattan is poised to add 9 million square feet of new office space between 2013 and 2015, according to the New York Building Congress: http://goo.gl/zU2GL7

Quirky Lots Shape Building Projects(WSJ)

Developers have turned some Greenwich Village and SoHo lots into buildings with prominent designs and necessarily unusual shapes.

65-Story Tower Planned Near Grand Central Terminal(NYT)

The skyscraper, to be TD Bank’s corporate home, would be taller than the landmark Chrysler Building, under a proposal being negotiated by the de Blasio administration.

* A secret deal brokered by the state and the Hudson River Park Trust to sell air rights from Pier 40 for a massive West Village development was done back in December, DNAinfo reports: http://goo.gl/EC9TDA

Weisbrod promises neighborhood-specific zoning   
SPINOLA STEPPING DOWN -- Crain’s Andrew J. Hawkins: Steven Spinola will step down as president of the Real Estate Board of New York at the end of 2015, capping 30 years as the city’s top real estate lobbyist, his office confirmed Monday. Spinola said in a statement that he had recently extended his contract with REBNY through 2015, at which point he will step down as president, though he will continue at the organization in an advisory role. “I look forward to the next 18 months and beyond of serving the most important industry in New York,” he said. http://bit.ly/1nhdSjb
HELLO, MIDTOWN -- “TD Bank Considers NYC Expansion in New Manhattan Skyscraper,” by WSJ’s Eliot Brown and Laura Kusisto: “Canadian financial firm Toronto-Dominion Bank is eyeing an expansion in New York City and is considering becoming a principal tenant for a soaring new Midtown skyscraper across the street from Grand Central Terminal, according to multiple people briefed on the discussions. The company would take a large block of space in a tower named One Vanderbilt being planned by landlord SL Green Realty Corp. The developer is still negotiating with the city over the size of the tower. But last year SL Green said it could include 1.6 million square feet of space … The company's U.S. unit, TD Bank, has seen significant growth in recent years through acquisitions of small lenders and expansion of its retail banking.” http://goo.gl/FJyZKC
GOODBYE, MIDTOWN -- “Time Inc. to Leave Midtown After 55 Years” by WSj’s Keiko Morris: “The move by Time Inc. from its home in Midtown to downtown—announced Thursday—will be aided by a state package of $10 million in tax breaks and grants to keep the company in New York City. The magazine company signed a lease to take about 700,000 square feet of space at 225 Liberty St., a building in the Brookfield Place complex near the World Trade Center.” http://goo.gl/TJLjBs
So here's my piece in this week on the Brooklyn real-estate dynasty who's about to remake Williamsburg
DEVELOPING -- “Dumbo dynasty devours Domino, extends Brooklyn domination,” by Gabriel Sherman for New York Magazine: Bill de Blasio’s freshman staff were so forceful in their eleventh-hour work to get more affordable housing put into Two Trees’ Domino project that Jed Walentas confronted the mayor after a public event at Gracie Mansion. “They’re overplaying their hand and are going to fuck this up,” the 39-year-old developer told de Blasio, who “just listened.”
-- Jed’s father, David Walentas: “I think de Blasio’s a disaster for the city. His whole administration are amateurs and left wing. He’s never run anything and he has no ideas. All he wants to do is get his name in the paper.” http://bit.ly/1n6iMhtN

8. Study: 'Seaport City' plan for downtown doable

A study commissioned by the city has found former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Seaport City” plan for lower Manhattan’s east side “feasible.” The proposal, which the de Blasio administration said it will look into further, calls for building a Battery Park City-like development on a multipurpose levee to protect against rising sea levels. [Capital New York]
Plus: The federal government added the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard to the National Register of Historic Places. [Daily News]

THE HOUSING PLAN -- De Blasio officials talk taxes, rents, zoning -- Some key parts of Bill de Blasio’s housing policy started to come into focus yesterday, thanks to an extended interview with Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing, and Council testimony from Vicki Been, the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Our Dana Rubinstein and Ryan Hutchins break down all the news:
--No Christie-level tax subsidies -- Rubinstein and Hutchins: The de Blasio administration doesn't have any plans of trying to compete with the almost-too-good-to-be-true tax-incentive program New Jersey has used in recent months to retain and attract thousands of jobs, Glen said at a Citizens Budget Commission event. "With respect to discretionary tax incentives to retain particular industries who are already located here, that is not something that we're going to get engaged in. We're not going to be in a situation where we're negotiating against other states to retain those kinds of jobs.” http://goo.gl/kgFe9y
--Coming soon: Midtown East -- Rubinstein: Glen said the administration would reveal plans for Midtown East in the"next week or two.” But the actual process would take a while. "In real life it's going to be between a year and two before you'd actually see anything happen," she went on. "So it's not the number one thing we're working on right now, but we're going to announce a process which will then give you a time frame in which it will actually happen." http://goo.gl/l2nwlv

* Alicia Glen, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deputy for economic development and housing, said the administration will outline its take on the stalled plan to build a new generation of towers in Manhattan’s midtown east in two weeks, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/7pbrvm

* Vicki Been, commissioner of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said two programs designed to spur residential construction by smaller developers will be ready by early next year, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/5wg4VG 

* A proposal to rehabilitate Pier 40 on the Lower West Side of Manhattan must go through New York City’s land use review, putting the city at odds with the Cuomo administration, which sought a speedy state review that would bypass local community input, the Times reports: http://goo.gl/yf6Rb0

Is Hell's Kitchen Ready For This Gigantic Rectangular Tower Thing?

COMMUNITY BOARDS -- “Locals Worry Cornell Tech Tower Will Block Views of Queensboro Bridge,” by DNAinfo’s Lindsay Armstrong: “Cornell Tech will move ahead with its first residential building after Community Board 8 approved the school’s plan despite concerns from several members that the 26-story tower on Roosevelt Island would block views of the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge. On Wednesday, representatives from Cornell Tech presented designs for the campus’s first residence — a 270,000-square-foot building that will house roughly 500 graduate students, faculty and staff in 356 units. …But several board members expressed concerns about the height of the building, which will stand adjacent to the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge.” http://goo.gl/vnpAEm


* State and Hudson River Park officials have reached a tentative agreement with a developer to transfer unused development rights from a site across the West Side Highway from Pier 40 in return for more than $100 million for Pier 40 rehabilitation, the Times writes: http://goo.gl/2itVjx

* The New York City Council Finance Committee passed a resolution asking Albany to revoke Madison Square Garden’s property tax exemption, meaning the facility would owe $17.3 million a year, Crain’s reports: http://goo.gl/JXh2iK
City Council Approves Mixed-Use Overhaul of Domino Site



























































































 Etsy is getting $5 million from the state to stay in Brooklyn, even though its CEO publicly acknowledged just weeks ago that it “could only exist” in that borough.
 
Union's Agree to Two Levels of Pay  . . . Union, Developers and Lobbyists Affordable Housing Deal Makes Low Wages Legal
The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York has proposed as much as 40 percent in cost savings for the city if the de Blasio administration includes union labor in its 10-year affordable housing building plan, the Post writes: * Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to unveil his affordable housing plan, and for it to be a real success, it should make New York City a great place to live for all income levels, Nancy Biberman writes in amNewYork: *Unions May Hire Low-Wage Workers for Mayor's Affordable ...(DNAINFO) City Hall and construction unions discuss a new labor tier with workers for affordable projects. * Unions offer pay cuts for jobs in affordable-housing plan(NYP)

Flashback Problem 
Affordable Housing Goes Hand With Low Wages and Cheating
On April 14th the Daily News Exposes the Under Belly of the Small Group of Developers Who Control Affordable Housing Construction

(NYDN) Mayor de Blasio promises to build more affordable apartments in New York City, but several contractors working on these projects have been cited for wage cheating and dangerous working conditions. These big players have paid out a total of $11.1 million in back wages in the last three years, records show. Their shady track record doesn’t keep them from working on new city projects. The mayor's campaign to build more affordable apartments has a dirty little underbelly: Many of the contractors who build cheaper units have been cited repeatedly for cheating workers out of a decent wage, a Daily News investigation has found.An affordable housing project a few blocks away, builder MDG Design and subcontractor F. Rizos, settled federal wage-cheating charges in April 2013 by agreeing to pay $960,000 in back wages. Just one month later, MDG was hit with more wage-cheating charges on another city project, this time for $4.5 million in back wages, a city record. Workers not included on certified employee lists are told to hide when inspectors show up. Contractors write checks at prevailing wage rates, then make workers kick back a percentage to keep their jobs. “Over and over again, HPD goes back to the same small group of contractors that it has done business with for years,” said Robert Bonanza, head of the 17,000-member Mason Tenders District Council. “Regardless of their status with other government agencies, and regardless of the crimes they have committed against workers, HPD continues to do business as it always has.” Domingo Reyes, 46, who also has four children, said he was “promoted” to foreman but continued to get the same paycheck as the workers he oversaw. His boss instructed him to hide the cheating from inspectors by keeping some workers off the “certified” sheet submitted to the city: “We are 30 people working and there are half of the people on the sheet. This happens every day at 3 o’clock.” To date, the biggest wage cheating case in the city involves MDG Design. The $4.5 million decision ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor found MDG owed back wages from work at an HPD-funded project called Grand Street Guild. MDG has contested the finding. Despite this black eye, HPD then announced MDG’s involvement in building 55 affordable units at a city-owned warehouse at 337 Berry St. in Williamsburg. On its application for this job, MDG did not mention the pending case involving the Grand Street Guild project. Developers Oppose Landmarking Older Buildings A bill proposed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer would allow for a 30-day landmarks preservation review for older buildings set to be demolished, to the chagrin of developers, construction unions and affordable housing advocates, the Post writes:
More About Affordable Housing Problems
Real Estate, Tax Breakes and Politics



BK real estate "feels like 2005 a little bit”; new hotels TK on Schermerhorn & nr BAM "Brooklyn" surges as baby name

Sometimes the "tale of two cities" exists within the same building in NYC

LOVE TRIANGLE -- “Two developers wooing same giant tenant,” by Crain’s Daniel Geiger: “Tishman Speyer… has quickly made itself a player in the Hudson Yards neighborhood where it just closed on an over $400 million deal to buy a development site where it can build a massive 2.85 million-square-foot tower. The firm has met with Deutsche Bank to pitch to the European financial giant the opportunity to become the anchor tenant in what could be an over 80-story tower. That effort comes as the Related Cos. is trying to do much the same thing with the bank at the developer's planned Hudson Yards residential, commercial and retail complex nearby in the west side neighborhood.” http://goo.gl/gVklwW [h/t Ryan Hutchins] 

F.D.R. DEVELOPMENT -- “Rockefeller Univ. gets nod to rise over the FDR,” by Crain’s Joe Anuta: “A City Council committee approved Rockefeller University's plan to construct two new buildings on a deck over Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on Thursday — virtually ensuring that the rest of the Council would follow suit. The school got the nod from the Committee on Land Use to construct a two-story research building and a one-story conference center on a platform above the thoroughfare, as well as another building on its existing campus... It had been seeking a number of permits to do so and sweetened the deal by agreeing to a number of community benefits hashed out with the Council ahead of the vote.” http://goo.gl/Mzc8ds (h/t Ryan Hutchins)

* A $240 million project to expand Rockefeller University that includes building a platform over the F.D.R. Drive was approved by the New York City Council Land Use Committee, with full Council approval expected next week, the Times writes: http://goo.gl/ehuVK8

Tuesday Reaction to the Housing Plan
NYT de Blasio's Housing Plan To the Moon, NYP Higher Renters From Inclusionary Zoning

Mr. de Blasio’s Moon Shot(NYT Ed) If the mayor is going to keep his promise and end the city’s crisis of inequality and housing unaffordability, he must go big. And it looks as if he’s doing so.* Faint housing hope(NYP Ed) Mandating  set-aside, as the new housing plan proposes, risks driving development away altogether — a problem that NYU’s Furman Center noted last year, when its director was Vicki Been, whom de Blasio has since named to head the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

A Furman paper observed that “mandatory inclusionary zoning” might “render potential projects less profitable or completely unprofitable,” such that “the development would not be built at all.” In other words, by requiring so much subsidized housing, it could lead developers to drop marginal projects altogether. Furman also warned that developers might “try to pass the added costs on to market-rate tenants and buyers if the market allows it.” In this view, inclusionary zoning could lead to higher overall rents, fueling a need for yet more affordable housing, with the city effectively chasing its own tail. * As de Blasio announces affordable housing plan, Atlantic Yards (delay, modular, lack of neighborhood planning) remains an awkward backdrop(AYR) * Also on Inside City Hall, the city’s top housing officials touted Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s affordable housing plan that was unveiled yesterday. “I think it moves the needle … more than a little bit. It makes a big dent in the affordable housing crisis. But it is certainly not going to solve the housing crisis alone,” said Carl Weisbrod, chair of the city’s Planning Commission. * Bill de Blasio’s Housing Plan Short on Specifics, Experts Say(NYO) * Experts are saying de Blasio’s ambitious, 116-page housing plan is short on specifics, with one former congressman who served as chairman of the House’s housing subcommittee calling it “more of an outline of a plan,” the Observer reports:



In a piece titled “De Blasio’s New Plan to Create or Save 200,000 Cheap Apartments Is Going to Make a Lot of People Angry in Many Neighborhoods” 
New York‘s Chris Smith writes, “But what’s most striking about the plan [is] … that by launching such a far-reaching program, instead of focusing on a narrower list of goals, de Blasio has ensured himself hundreds of political fights trying to make it happen.” * The Daily News editorial board would likely agree with Mr. Smith’s premise. “City Hall disingenuously says that it wants to only move to build affordable housing where communities are demanding it. As de Blasio himself knows from the Atlantic Yards development, which he rightly backed against furious neighborhood resistance, there will be fights. Loud ones,” the tabloid argued.* In a New York Post column, the Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock was even more disenchanted. “In short, the de Blasio plan is built on what has long been the city’s dysfunctional dogma,” he wrote. “A real free market for the city’s housing market isn’t on the horizon at present, though. We may have to settle for not strangling private development altogether.” *  The New York Times editorial board, meanwhile, was more upbeat on the topic: “[I]f Mr. de Blasio really is going to keep his campaign promise … he is going to have to go big. And this plan is what big looks like. … The all-important details have yet to be filled in, but the mayor has locked himself in with a hard and fast number: 200,000 or bust.” * And here’s video, via NYTrue.com, of Mr. de Blasio taking questions during yesterday’s housing press conference: 


Expect Homeless Numbers To Go 
Mayor's Housing Plan Gives the Homeless Families Priority Jumping the Long Wait List for NYCHA Apartments

An aggressive new effort to move homeless families from shelters into NYCHA apartments is a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s attack on the city’s affordable housing crisis, writes our Greg B. Smith. The Housing Authority’s waiting list has grown dramatically, to 250,000 from 160,000, in a year — and the new policy will allow homeless families to effectively jump the line and grab coveted apartments when they open up. * Priority given to homeless in finding NYCHA apartments(NYDN)


He’s right too about needing more units,” the New York Post editorial board writes. “And there’s even a good case to be made for a trade-off he appears willing to accept: higher density and taller buildings coupled with more affordable units. We look forward to the details.”* Of the 200,000 units in 'a affordable housing plan, 80k are new. 120k preserved. .'s comment that affordable housing should be built w/ union labor may alarm some affordable developers, who say it's too costly. . on affordable housing: "Build high, build tall. We don't have more land, but we have air rights."* De Blasio now quotes Fiorello LaGuardia, who he calls greatest mayor in city's history, on urgency of building affordable housing. * 22 of 109 units at Lighthouse Point in St. George will be held for those making 60% of the area median income.* "We’re going to take a very hard look at where we’re able to identify sites where we can rezone or upzone," Alicia says.

Expensive Bill for de Blasio Progressive Agenda
De Blasio’s policies are driving up the cost of living in New York(Goodwin, NYP)Twice in the last week, the mayor described his ideas as the political equivalent of the Second Coming. First with his deal with the teachers union, and now with his affordable-housing plan, de Blasio promises to drive a stake through the heart of inequality and make the city more affordable.The local tab alone for his progressive vision is a whopping $13.6 billion, give or take. And where will that money come from? Open wide, dear taxpayer.


DE BLASIO’S HOUSING PLAN: After a brief delay, Mayor de Blasio is set to unveil details this morning on how he’ll create 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. De Blasio has already pushed developers to add more affordable units to their developments, but most of those agreements only added incrementally to deals he inherited from Michael Bloomberg. Today is Bill de Blasio’s first real step toward accomplishing his goal. He’s blamed “gentrification, unscrupulous landlords and the real estate lobby’s hold on government” as factors that led to a lack of affordable housing in New York City. And the plan is expected to take a broad approach, building not on one particular initiative, but many. “De Blasio is right that high rent in New York City squeezes many residents.--THE 116-PAGE PLAN, “Housing New York: A Five-Borough, Ten-Year Plan” PDF


NYT Says Council Granting City $$$ to Luxury Developers is Independence?
Sensing Slight by Mayor, City Council Asserts Its Role in Land Use Process(NYT)
A week until Mayor Bill de Blasio presents a plan for affordable housing, the administration floated an idea that would give the mayor greater control over the byzantine land-use process

*Mayor Bill de Blasio in an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose said that he intends to demand more concessions from New York City’s real estate developers, but plans to make their efforts worthwhile by sparking a housing boom, the Observer reports: http://goo.gl/wvq9Bf

 Domino City Council vote pushed back to May 14: Two Trees’ Domino Sugar redevelopment project will have to wait a...
Domino Site Deal Reached(WSJ)
The City Council has struck a deal to allow for tall towers at the former Domino Sugar refinery on the Brooklyn waterfront, the first significant land-use proposal under the new mayoral administration.
Committee approves $550M Hell’s Kitchen development(Capital)
Domino development (Berlin Rosen) just got tax breaks for that project. Does not Berlin de Blasio reps Ratner?
@stephenlevine33 $60,000 is the level for "affordability"? Brooklyn Median Income is $45,000
BK Domino deal gives early look at dynamic betw City Council & DeBlasio admin on land-use
BdB says he looks forward to "retrofitting" NYC public buildings and hiring local people to do the work. 
* The Domino Sugar Factory developer has gotten the green light from the City Council, after agreeing to rent the complex’s affordable housing units at rates based on families of four making $60,000 per year, DNAinfo reports: http://goo.gl/uhjR2D 
* The City Council also approved a 1,025-unit development in Hell’s Kitchen yesterday, after the developer agreed to include moderate-income housing and a public school, Capital New York reports: http://goo.gl/uhI5Gz 
"To become a more affordable city, we must become a denser city."--Alicia Glen via
Tony Avella is no fan of de Blasio's plan to legalize basement 'granny flats' via  


Borough President Eric Adams says the Broadway corridor is ripe for development as Mayor de Blasio prepares to roll out housing plan.

 

Will Never Be Royals?

Our Harry Siegel's column: Mayor de Blasio hasn’t done so much yet — give him time! — but he’s sure not shy about trumpeting what he has... Take his long-awaited 115-page affordable housing plan released Monday, which is more outline than roadmap. It’s a plan, the Mayor said, that will “address the crisis in inequality” and “change the face of this city forever, and for the good of our people.”


4) Bloomberg initially pledged to build 92k and preserve 73k; it ended up building ~50k, preserving the rest* . says city will use some NYCHA units to house homeless, but won't be completely overhauling eligibility rules * . says there will be variety of construction, suggests some will be union & some not.* Large swaths of Staten Island don't want affordable housing - or any increase in housing density, due to poor infrastructure as is.* Planning commissioner Carl Weisbrod says administration may consider re-rezoning areas that Bloomberg admin already rezoned.* De Blasio unveils $41.1B affordable housing plan(NYP)

 De Blasio Unveils Plan to Create More Affordable Housing for City(NYT) de Blasio unveiled a 10-year, $41.1 billion housing plan to build and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units, with $8.2 billion from the city and over $30 billion in private funds* Mayor de Blasio unveils $41B proposal to develop 200,000 units of affordable housing(NYDN) * De Blasio Unveils ‘Most Ambitious’ Affordable Housing Plan in Nation(NYO) * . unveils his 10-year, 200K-unit, $41B housing plan: (CrainsNY) The affordable housing community and the real estate industry praised de Blasio’s housing plan, which would allow more density in some areas by allowing bigger and taller buildings, and a streamlined process* Mayor Unveils 'Ambitious' 10-Year Affordable * De Blasio’s New Plan to Create or Save 200,000 Cheap Apartments Is Going to Make a Lot of People Angry (NY Mag) The City Council, for instance, has already beaten back a mayoral attempt to streamline the labyrinthine zoning approval process — because individual council members would have had to surrender power over what gets built in their districts. On the one hand, that’s the kind of grassroots democracy de Blasio celebrates; on the other, it promises headaches when he proposes building specific projects in specific neighborhoods.* De Blasio’s plan anticipates needing an additional $1.9 billion, during the next ten years, primarily from federal and state sources who aren’t exactly flush.* Council Housing Committee Chair Wants a Bolder Plan From City Hall(NYO) * . $41B housing plan to produce 7,100 jobs. That's $5.8 million/job. * No mention of modular housing, no mention of SROs, almost nothing on NYCHA, almost nothing on union labor
deception from housing plan: "The City will work with the MTA and other

 

 

 Cars out, high-rises in

Parking lots across downtown Brooklyn are being built over for large housing developments. Nearly 10 residential projects either planned or in the process of rising on Brooklyn parking lots will add about 3,800 housing units over the next two years. [Crain’s New york Business]

City Council Reaches Deal on Domino Factory Redevelopment(DNAINFO)


The Land Use Committee approved the Domino project Thursday in exchange for new affordability standards.
 
Would have ever emerged if it began as the Chinese government's taxpayer-funded plan?

Officials 'Air Rights' Plan Differences

When de Blasio administration officials met at City Hall recently to hear a pitch about spurring development in a city where affordable, vacant land is scarce, two top mayoral aides were in their element: Both had promulgated proposals to harness the unused development capacity of landmarked buildings—their "air rights"—to do so.But their prescriptions, prepared before they joined the administration, were markedly different.Vicki Been, the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, argued that landmarked buildings should be allowed to sell their air rights not only to adjacent buildings, but also to nearby properties facing wide streets.The proposal advanced by Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, was far more aggressive: It would permit the transfer of air rights clear across town, even to other boroughs. Any differences in opinion within Mayor Bill de Blasio's team should be smoothed out by May 1, when his housing policy is expected to be unveiled. To be sure, Mr. Weisbrod's report does not necessarily reflect his personal view; it was authored on behalf of a private client, Landrex, which wants to be an intermediary in the sale of air rights between landmarked buildings and buyers.(CrainsNY) Two top de Blasio officials have different views on air rights, Crain’s New York Business reports. HPD Commissioner Vicki Been has argued that “landmarked buildings should be allowed to sell their air rights not only to adjacent buildings, but also to nearby properties.” While the City Planning Commission’s Carl Weisbrod has backed “the transfer of air rights clear across town.”




Real Estate Company: Too Big to Fail  . . .    
For the Big and Connected Defrauding Clients Out of Millions is Not Stealing From Them
How Does A Construction Company Guilty of Stealing $55 Million Escape Being Tried for A Crime Ask the Manhattan DA and the Biggest Flack in New York
This New York Times correction during the midnight hours says it all about the DA and Flacks who allow those who corrupt in this town to know they will only be slapped on the wrist if caught rend handed "The article described incorrectly what Structure Tone admitted to in a corruption case. "The company acknowledged it had defrauded clients out of tens of millions of dollars; it did not say it had stolen from them." The DA who allow Structure Tone to get off without jail is Cyrus R. Vance, the flack who changed the wording in the NYT and may have had a hand in the kid glove treatment is Suri Kasirer who runs the giant Kasirer Consulting LLC lobbying firm. Building Firm Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Its Customers(NYT) Structure Tone, one of the nation’s largest construction firms, pleaded guilty to corruption charges and agreed to forfeit $55 million.  The company arranged for electrical, plumbing, drywall and other subcontractors to falsely inflate their bills for Structure Tone’s clients, investigators say, adding millions of dollars to the cost of building office space for Bank of America; Moody’s; Bloomberg; Proskauer Rose, a law firm; and other major customers between 2005 and 2009.  The plea is part of the latest scandal to erupt in the largely hidden but vastly lucrative business of designing and building the walls and guts of corporate towers in New York City, an industry in which corruption often adds to the already high cost for developers, law enforcement officials say. The continuing investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office has resulted in guilty pleas or convictions against six other companies and at least half a dozen executives.

City Council Tweaks Domino Factory Redevelopment Deal to Guarantee More Affordability



  1. In 2011, Ratner acknowledged no more subsidies. Now ally mayor, advised by ally Bertha Lewis

Affordable housing's potential downside

Will the residential and low-income housing boom sweeping the city endanger the economy by squeezing its industrial and commercial sectors? Greg David highlights the pitfalls of affordable housing on the broader economy as Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to unveil his housing initiative. [Greg David on New York]

The real estate industry is keeping a close eye on the closings currently underway at Extell's One57. While the $90M penthouse sale has yet to hit public records, a unit on the 59th floor recently closed for $30.4 million. An anonymous LLC is listed as the buyer, but the Observer traced it to George Constantin, the CEO of Heritage Realty Services.   

Upper West Side landlord, who barred residents from pool, now accused of workplace mistreatment(NYDN)



Real Estate $$$ Runs Politics In NYC
New York City real estate companies are exploiting a loophole in state election law that considers limited liability corporations as individuals, allowing them to contribute up to $150,000 through LLCs that they own for different sites, Crain’s Insider reports
Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate




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Pols  Give Tax Breaks to Lux Housing

A Reminder by the Daily News After It is Too Late to Make A Difference In the 2013 Election
The real reason why the rent is too high (NYDN)
Big developers flood politicians with cash  Both major candidates for mayor, Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, agree that an inadequate supply of affordable housing is a serious problem, and both have plans to create more. But what has not been discussed nearly enough is one of the major causes of the shortage: the way the real estate industry uses its massive campaign contributions to limit our affordable housing stock. This year, after receiving tons of money from well-placed donors, the governor and members of the state Legislature quietly gave away millions of your tax dollars to developers of luxury towers. The deal was so bad that it is being looked at by the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. The report found that four of the five developers used high contribution limits and loopholes to give more than $1.5 million to state elected officials, political parties and real estate PACs between 2008 and 2012, including at least $440,962 in 2012 alone. And Cuomo, who had to sign the legislation, was the biggest single recipient, pulling in $150,000 from the four developers in 2012.





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NYP's Goodwin Calls the Rent Guidelines Board A Coward

Does REBNY Already Own the Council?
The assumption by many New Yorkers that Bill de Blasio will be the new mayor is producing emotions that range from fear to loathing. OK, there is some euphoria, too. The socialist-leaning de Blasio is calling for a temporary freeze on rents in apartments that are home to more than a million people. That hasn’t happened in the 44 years that the Rent Guidelines Board has set the maximum allowable increases for rent-stabilized apartments, according to The Wall Street Journal.  A spokesman for the largest owners group told the Journal: “Bill is not too smart backing this. I’m not sure if this is campaign rhetoric, but he will recognize the reality if and when he takes office.” There you have it. The belief that de Blasio doesn’t mean what he says — he couldn’t be that dumb! — reflects more than a cynical view of politicians. It reflects the cowardice of people who hide behind hope. They whistle past the graveyard because they find it easier to pretend the train coming their way will spare them.



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Real Estate Corruption

Probe these giveaways (NYDN)
A luxury tower's tax breaks look more outrageous and suspicious by the day

The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.

How the Campaign Finance System Failed
New York Taxpayers and Helped Luxury Developers
How the billionaire who bought $90 million NYC penthouse will get $210,000 tax break meant for low income housing (Daily Mail)

Extell Wants to Segregate the Poor
Upper West Side condo has separate entrances for rich and poor(NYP)
 This is rich! The poor will use a separate door under plans for a new Upper West Side luxury tower — where affordable housing will be segregated from ritzy waterfront condos despite being in the.






Tax Breaks for the Rich Do Not Save the City's Middle Class
Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN)
Two developers who stood to benefit from the tax breaks gave Cuomo big donations days before his bill-signing. Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the creator of the lucrative tax relief. One 57th St. building in Manhattan was projected to save $35 million over 10 years. Between 2007 and 2011, as the median family income in the city dropped by 6.8%, the median monthly rent went up by 8.6%. Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers spent more than half their income on rent, as those not lifted up by New York’s booming, knowledge-intensive fields felt the squeeze.

Silver Builds Affordable Housing for the Residents of Qatar Not Middle Class and Poor New Yorkers

Qatar Prime Minister – New Owner of the $100 Million New York’s Most Expensive Penthouse


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Spinola A Major Player in the Jobs for New York Pac Which is Buying the Next City Council Speaker Push Silver and Cuomo to the Luxury Tax Breakes
Steven Spinola, president of the influential Real Estate Board of New York, said his group had been asking to have properties citywide that once were eligible for a decades-old 421a residential tax abatement to again qualify for the program. Spinola said City Hall and Silver’s chief counsel, James Yates, instead each asked for a list of specific properties that the organization wanted covered. Spinola delivered the list to the mayor’s office, the Assembly Democrats and the state Senate. The city had two conditions, but was otherwise fine with it, Spinola said. The PAC effort is being spearheaded by the Real Estate Board of New York, which includes some of the most influential figures and families in the industry, including Larry A. Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center, Richard S. LeFrak, Daniel R. Tishman, the Speyers and the Rudins.
 
As the Millions to Excell Has Shown Real Estate Developers Who Already Own Albany Are Buying the Next Council Speaker
In an interview, Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, indicated that the multimillion-dollar effort was a significant shift in city politics and might alter the nature of campaigning on the local level.  “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Ms. Lerner said. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.”Pro-Business PAC Rolls Out Latest Round of Endorsements ... * Real estate PAC becomes a player in race for Staten Island Council ... * Say NO to "Jobs for NY" PAC - Ede Fox * Opponents go postal over Chin's real estate PAC mailings | The ...




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Cuomo and Developers

More Pay Cuomo to Play Tax Breaks Development
Gov. Cuomo received $76,000 from real estate investors weeks before giving their property a tax break on bill (NYDN) Three partners at Fisher Brothers, which owns the New York Curb Exchange at 86 Trinity Place, each gave at least $25,000 to Cuomo weeks before he approved the tax breaks. The location is one of five Manhattan properties that was singled out for tax relief in a January bill.* Months before J. Patrick Barrett was named to Cuomo’s Moreland Commission to investigate public corruption, he threw a fundraising birthday party for friend and soon-to-be commission co-chair, Onondaga County DA William Fitzpatrick, netting him thousands in campaign cash.


Buzz: CBS Playing the LA Move For Cover of NY Tax Break That is Coming Their Way?
CBS Wined and Dined
Colbert seen as likely to keep ‘Late Show’ in New York(Capital) "The Late Show" is likely to stay in New York City when David Letterman leaves and Stephen Colbert takes over, sources familiar with Colbert's thinking told Capital today. And the rank and file at "The Colbert Report," his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff "The Late Show," and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert's transition plan told Capital.* Hello Deli Owner: 'I Haven't Watched Too Much' Colbert(WSJ)

Schumer Send Our Regards & Government $$$ to Broadway

Tax Breaks to Broadway Shows Who Shuffle Off to Upstate
The Post writes that a piece of the state budget that makes Broadway shows that rehearse in upstate theaters eligible for cash grants worth 25 percent of their costs could lead to bizarre politics if Maryland’s example is any indication: * With The Phantom of the Opera, Chuck Schumer Pushes Tax Break for Broadway(NYO) * U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is proposing a bill that would allow Broadway show backers to expense $15 million worth of costs for U.S.-based projects and provide a tax break on income that lasts until a show starts turning a profit, the Post reports:


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How Real Estate $$$ Run Politics in NYC
Cuomo On Real Estate Contributors Subpoenas
Cuomo said he has no problem with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission he convened sending subpoenas to real estate companies that have contributed to his campaign, including Extell Development, the Times Union writes:  Evan Davis, a lawyer who served as counsel to former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is spearheading the launch of a survey that will review the effectiveness and potential improvements for the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the Times Union writes: 

The Times praises the anti-corruption Moreland Commission for investigating the link between campaign contributions to state lawmakers and legislation that benefits those contributors

True News Exclusive Part I: How Luxury Developers Avoid Paying Taxes While Pushing Out the City's Middle Class
Luxury Housing Developers, Vito Lopez and Met Council's Non Profit Housings Secret World

Part I True News Exclusive
How Tax Payer Are Being Fleased out of Hundreds of Millions of Tax Dollars By Real Estate billionaires

The average New Yorker pay real estate tax on their properties as well capital gains tax when the propertifes are sold.  In recent years greedy devlopers have come up with a way not pay capital gains taxes.  The law was changed by Speaker Silver and his buddies to allow non profits who do not pay any taxes to sell capital gains tax credits to greedy developers, saving them millions. 

The Rapfogel scandal if properly investigated will expose how the biggest greedy real estate developer avoid paying any taxes on capital gains for their luxury developments.  The city has lost 6000 cops and thousands of teachers because of this lost tax revenue from developers. 

The Bloomberg Pfzer Payoff
After the 2009 election Bloomberg gave the  Pfizer site to a group run by UJO of Williamsburg and Vito Lopez as as payoff for support/ According to insiders Rapfogel's Met Council was to be a partner in the Pfizer deal. Before his removal from Albany, Lopez as Housing Chairman controlled what gets built in NYC. Lopez made his mini me Erik Martin Dilan the chairman of the Council's Housing & Buildings Committee. At one time all the city developers who wanted tax breaks or government $$$ had to go through Lopez. Lopez was the lead pol on getting the tax breaks for Extell's ONE57.  Lopez though his non profit Bushwick Senior Citizen Council is one of the cities biggest non profit developers.  What needs to be investigated are non profits like Vito's Communlife and Met Council that sell he rights to 421-a tax certificates to luxury developers and who got what money.  Century Coverage Corp gave heavily to Brooklyn candidates connected to Vito Lopez.



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The Peter Fine Cover Up Connection to Carrion and Luxury Developers Tax Breaks
“Atlantic Development and Peter played a very important role in helping us expirand our senior housing,” said William Rapfogel, CEO of the council. 

 In 2010 investigators from the city Department of Investigation and the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the Soho offices of Atlantic Development, reportedly part of an ongoing investigation of the firm’s possible use of cash to influence various projects. During the boom, Atlantic Development generated millions of dollars in revenue by selling the rights to 421-a tax certificates to developers Larry Silverstein and Joseph Moinian — a common exchange between affordable housing and luxury developers. Silverstein and Moinian, in turn, used the certificates to offset the expenses tied to luxury high-rise apartment buildings. As a top city official, mayoral hopeful Adolfo Carrion went to bat for a major developer who had arranged to provide an architect for renovations to Carrion’s Bronx home, the Daily News has learned.  Carrion provided the help to developer Peter Fine when Carrion was Bronx Borough President and the developer was wrestling to win city approval for a $300 million project of apartments and retail space, Boricua Village.

Rapfogel is in trouble because of Century Coverage Corporation contributions to pols
Peter Fine's Atlantic Development so much money to pols that common causme wrote a press release about them: CommonCause/NY Responds to Daily News Exclusive about Adolfo Carrion & Peter
Common Cause/NY Responds to Daily News Exclusive about Adolfo Carrion & Peter Fine - See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5287775&ct=12989039#sthash.2LdRIuSK.dpuf
Mr. Fine is among the most prolific political donors in New York. Since 2004, he has personally given $458,130 in donations to state and city politicians and committees. During this same period, aggregate donations from Atlantic Development Group, Mr. Fine and his wife, and Atlantic Development Group co-founder Marc Altheim and his wife total nearly $1 million. 
Mr. Fine is among the most prolific political donors in New York. Since 2004, he has personally given $458,130 in donations to state and city politicians and committees. During this same period, aggregate donations from Atlantic Development Group, Mr. Fine and his wife, and Atlantic Development Group co-founder Marc Altheim and his wife total nearly $1 million. - See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5287775&ct=12989039#sthash.2LdRIuSK.dpuf

Is Rapfogel Instant Apology Designed to Limited An Investigation Into His Housing Deals
In a statement released by his lawyer, Mr. Rapfogel apologized for unspecified “mistakes” and said, “I will do everything possible to make amends.”  "How deep does this go? It’s hard to say. The authorities might have had a better chance of flipping Rapfogel had they arrested him before this became public. In that case, they may have been able to accumulate evidence demonstrating complicity between Rapfogel and his allies in government.  It’s a little strange frankly, that we know so much about this and the man at the center has already apologized and no one is in cuffs. All of that spells money being returned and slaps on wrists as one man takes the fall. More often than not it’s the feds who use RICO statutes to go after wider conspiracies involving government corruption. But this time it’s the AG and the Comptroller both of whom have ties to the Democratic establishment." YNN

Tax Break One57 Midtown’s One57 residential tower hit with 19 civil suits(NYP)



"These developers have been subpoenaed by Moreland yet their donations helped get these candidates in tonight's debate" Sal Albanese




Extell Sponsor of One57 Also Paid City Officials and Candidates
True News Exclusive: Will Moreland Look At City Officials/ Candidates Who Got Matching Funds From Extell's One57?

Gaming the System
It was not only Vito Lopez, Marty Golden, Keith Wright, Cuomo the Albany Assembly and Senate PACs of both parties that got money from Extell Development, sponsor of One57 for tax breaks.  At least 6 citywide candidates got the loot from the buildings developers.  Extell contributions to city officials were designed to take advantage of the public matching fund program.  Most were $175 with many of the same contributors giving to more than one candidate.  The Moreland Commission is looking into the state contributions and tax reductions connections, there is no indication if the commission will look into with the city pols for their cash.  They should.  George Arzt a flack for Extell works for at least two of the candidates who got money from the developer. If you wonder why the middle class keep getting pushed out of NYC, It has to do with the same candidates who promise to save the middle class feeding off the tit of the luxury developers.


$300,000 From Excell to Cuomo
Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.


Should the Citywide Candidate Give Back Their Excell Contributions?

Christine Quinn $15,000
NYC Matching Funds $90,000 
 De Blasio $6,000
NYC Matching Funds $36,000
Daniel Garodnick $3000
NYC Matching Funds $18,000
Melinda Katz $1500 
NYC Matching Funds $9,000
Scott Stringer $3000
NYC Matching Funds $18,000
Bill Thompson $7000
NYC Matching Funds $42,000

A spokesman for Extell, George Arzt, said the event was Ms. Goren’s, and it also included her friends and other supporters outside of the real estate industry.  “This wasn’t an Extell event,” he said, although he did acknowledge that numerous Extell executives and others from the real estate industry attended. Extell is seeking zoning approval from the City Council for its mega-Riverside Center residential development, which is envisioned to hold 2,500 apartments.  Ms. Quinn has received large bundles of donations from real estate firms like the Related Cos. or Two Trees Management when they have been up for various approvals. Still, it’s notable given that the speaker,

Towering corruption (NYDN)
Commission must find the truth about Albany's tax breaks for luxury highrises
DN on 421a probe: "Next up for sworn testimony is every lobbyist & legislator who midwived this abomination" Lopez, who pushed the deal before quitting in a sexual harassment scandal. Investigators should speak to one of the victims of that harassment, Victoria Burhans, who says Lopez told her she could help pass the housing bill by sleeping with an unnamed Cuomo aide.*  Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57, as well as to Silverstein Properties, Fisher Brothers, Thor Equities and Ann/Nassau Realty — all of which were shoehorned into a discredited and discontinued provision of the 421a tax abatement program.









































































































The Quick Removal of the Poor and Middle Class From NYC

NYC Is Even More Unaffordable Than You Think, In 6 Charts(Huff Post) Rents in New York City have skyrocketed over the past decade while New Yorkers' incomes have fallen, creating a dearth of affordable housing for the people that need it most. That's the takeaway from a disheartening report released by city Comptroller Scott Stringer this week. “Some of the data is obviously chilling,” Stringer told The New York Observer.For example, while the median rent in New York City rose 75 percent between 2000 and 2012-- an increase 30 percent higher than in the rest of the country-- the median household income in the city fell about 5 percent. This has created a dire situation for those in the lower income brackets.
 



Cuomo;s Taste of One 57
Two corporations tied to Extell Development each contributed $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign the same day the Assembly passed a housing bill with tax breaks for five developers, including Extell, the Daily News reports:

A towering insult - NY Daily News

As the Daily News revealed last Tuesday, One57 is among five residential projects that were shoehorned into a real estate tax abatement program under language mysteriously written into legislation passed in Albany.  The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.* How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break - NYTimes.com
* Atlantic Yards Report: Shades of 2007? Another 421-a carve-out to ...





How Does the Media Let George Arzt Get Away With Flacking for Luxury Highrise Tax Breaks, While Running Major Campaigns?
 
EXTELL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. Media Contact: George Arzt  at 212-608-0333
Can we expect the candidates like Katz that Arzt is trying to elect this year will help him get more tax breaks for luxury highrises. Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57 *



There, four mega-developers — Extell Development; Related Companies; Tishman Speyer, a partnership of the Durst Organization, and Vornado, and Brookfield Properties — have been vying to build a huge commercial/residential minicity over the MTA railyards. Brookfield dropped out on Feb. 26.  Lynch has received $120,000 from Tishman Speyer and $22,000 from Vornado. She did not return calls.  Extell also hired some of the same companies, including Greenberg Traurig, which employs Robert Harding, a Giuliani administration deputy mayor, and Edward Wallace, a former City Council member. Extell also hired Suri Kasirer, the wife of Rudy Giuliani's former chief of staff, Bruce Teitelbaum. Working with her are Patrick Jenkins, former campaign aide to Gov. Spitzer, and Julie Greenberg, a former top aide to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.Marc Shaw, Bloomberg's former top deputy, is an inhouse lobbyist for Extell.


Another Extell Building
Extell has announced plans for another tower, 50 percent taller, half a block away, and assuming it’s allowed to build that one, too, it will shortly steal One57’s thunder. Big real estate rules this island, and it always will.

Freedom of Speech Lawsuit Against Tenants
EXCLUSIVE: Harlem homeowners hit back at 'rich, powerful' real estate developer who slapped them with $4.25M lawsuit(NYDN) Three Harlem homeowners in a city-subsidized co-op want one of the city’s most prominent real estate developers to pick on someone his own size. The lawsuit was filed by Madison Park Development Associates, headed by BFC Partners managing principal Don Capoccia, who has also had a somewhat antagonistic relationship with buyers at his Downtown Brooklyn project Toren, as well as... well, most of the people he seems to come in contact with. (Capoccia told The Real Deal in 2008. * Don Capoccia: Not afraid to do battle - The Real Deal(2008) * Donald A. Capoccia - The New York Times
* Capoccia rose as a housing developer as he donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Mayor Giuliani, Governor Pataki, and President Bush. He recently told the newsletter The Real Deal that he launched his career by using a truck full of day laborers hired from a street corner.(Village Voice)
Lobbyists for BFC Partners Mercury Public Affairs, LLC, Michael McKeon, Jonathan Greenspun, Violet Moss,The Carey Group LLC , TLM ASSOCIATES LLC

The revolving door to decay(NY World) A jail sentence for its landlord grants little reprieve for a suffering Bronx apartment building, now slated to go to auction


 __________________________________________________________________________________
de Blasio Real Estate $$$


Bill de Blasio fails to go public about all meetings with lobbyists (NYDN)
De Blasio said he would go above and beyond in reporting lobbyist contacts. But according to a Daily News review of his schedule, there have been undisclosed meets between 47 lobbyists and the candidate from January 2010 to February 2013, and at least 10 later gave to his campaign. Of the 47 undisclosed lobbyists who de Blasio met with from January 2010 to February 2013, at least 10 later donated to his campaign — a windfall worth more than $10,000 to de Blasio’s war chest. The cash included money from lobbyists for Related, a real estate giant building the Hudson Yards Project, and Extell, the developer behind the controversial One57 luxury high-rise tower on 57th St. * Cuomo Says Moreland Can Look At His Donations (Or Anyone Else’s)(YNN)



A letter Assemblyman Keith Wright signed suggests he knew more than he has acknowledged about a housing bill he sponsored at the behest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that gave five developers juicy tax breaks. Sources said last week that Wright was unaware of the details of the bill and furious with Silver for asking him to sponsor it.




Jobs for New York's next goal: Albany 2014
Real estate-backed , which spent $7M to influence City Council elex, eyes Albany in '14 




 __________________________________________________________________________________
Developers and their $$$ Run NY Politics



How Will the Pols Save the Middle Class If They Are Taking $$$ From the Developers Who Are Pushing Them Out of Their Neighborhoods?
With Cutbacks in Publishing, Manufacturing Fiance The Only Major Player Left in Local NYC Politics is Real Estate . . .  And They Are Taking Over the City Council

 Real Estate Developers Will Soon Own the Council to Block the New Mayor From Cutting Their Tax Breaks

City Council Bully
Spinola is Major Player in the Jobs for New York Pac Which is Buying the Next City Council Speaker, While the Media Sleeps

Steven Spinola, president of the influential Real Estate Board of New York, said his group had been asking to have properties citywide that once were eligible for a decades-old 421a residential tax abatement to again qualify for the program. Spinola said City Hall and Silver’s chief counsel, James Yates, instead each asked for a list of specific properties that the organization wanted covered. Spinola delivered the list to the mayor’s office, the

Assembly Democrats and the state Senate. The city had two conditions, but was otherwise fine with it, Spinola said. The PAC effort is being by the Real Estate Board of New York, which includes some of the most influential figures and families in the industry, including Larry A. Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center, Richard S. LeFrak, Daniel R. Tishman, the Speyers and the Rudins.

Good Government Groups and Progressive Silent As IE PACS Destroy the City  Public Finance System
 
As the Millions in Tax Breaks to Excell Has Shown Real Estate Developers Already Own Albany and the Governor
In an interview, Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government watchdog group, indicated that the multimillion-dollar effort was a significant shift in city politics and might alter the nature of campaigning on the local level.  “The entire point of a City Council race is to reflect the needs of the neighborhoods in a district,” Ms. Lerner said. “This undercuts the neighborhood-based nature of a district and replaces neighborhood concerns with industry concerns.”Pro-Business PAC Rolls Out Latest Round of Endorsements ... * Real estate PAC becomes a player in race for Staten Island Council ... * Say NO to "Jobs for NY" PAC - Ede Fox * Opponents go postal over Chin's real estate PAC mailings | The ..


Someone Must Inform Albany That Tax Breaks for the Rich Do Not Save the City's Middle Class

Our Elected Officials are Pushing the MC Out of Manhattan and Rising Rents in Brooklyn
Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN)Two developers who stood to benefit from the tax breaks gave Cuomo big donations days before his bill-signing. Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the creator of the lucrative tax relief. One 57th St. building in Manhattan was projected to save $35 million over 10 years. Between 2007 and 2011, as the median family income in the city dropped by 6.8%, the median monthly rent went up by 8.6%. Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers spent more than half their income on rent, as those not lifted up by New York’s booming, knowledge-intensive fields felt the squeeze.



Albany's Foreign Aide for the Rich
Silver Builds Affordable Housing for the Residents of Qatar Not Middle Class and Poor New Yorkers   Qatar Prime Minister – New Owner of the $100 Million New York’s Most Expensive Penthouse
 
Wright furious with Silver over tax break bill scandal

Wright is furious at Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for dragging him into a controversy over tax breaks awarded to five city developers, the Daily News’s Ken Lovett writes: http://nydn.us/15ZsRDH  Wright inherited the bill after Silver replaced former Assembly Housing Committee Vito Lopez, who was removed because of his sexual harassment scandal. The bill is the subject of an investigation, in which high-level politicians allegedly received money from real estate developers.* Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani Oversaw NYC's Segregation Increase
* Wright’s Quick About-Face On Spitzer(NYP)



Klien and Skelos Give Tax Break to Developer Friends
A bill opposed by the Bloomberg administration last year that made it into this year’s state budget will provide millions of dollars worth of tax benefits to a Bronx condo complex built by a politically connected developer
Late bill in state budget benefits Bronx condo complex(NYP) Tax benefits to a Bronx condo complex Harbor Pointe at Shorehaven Condominiums, built by a politically connected developer. Budget deal, was engineered in the state Senate by co-leader Jeff Klein, a Democrat whose district includes the complex.The same bill was introduced last year but didn’t make it through the Assembly after the Bloomberg administration warned it would cost taxpayers $17 million and set a dangerous precedent. But Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo said the de Blasio administration signed off on the deal. The complex was constructed by the Beechwood Organization, which calls itself the largest residential developer on Long Island. Its president, Michael Dubb, was named to the board of the New York Racing Association by Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, the other co-leader of the state Senate. * * The developer of the Brooklyn Domino Sugar factory and the mayor together have a responsibility to ensure that all construction jobs for that project provide good wages, benefits and training, Terrence Moore of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46 writes in the Daily News:  *De Blasio blindsided by Bronx condo’s tax break(NYP)
Bronx Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who sponsored the condo tax-break bill, told The Post he notified officials in the administration about it before it was passed.
 Albany's Tax Policies Pushing Blacks Out of Brooklyn Increasing Homelessness


 Silver’s actions aid clients of second firm(Capital) An examination of Silver’s record reveals he has regularly used his position as Speaker to help lower taxes for developers, several of whom have also employed his second law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, to secure lower city property tax assessments. Silver reportedly was the “anonymous benefactor who tucked” into a housing bill controversial 421a tax breaks for five luxury developments in 2013 despite fervent opposition from tenant-advocacy groups, according to the Daily News. The 421a program is meant to provide incentives for development on underused or unused land. The preliminary (and ultimately final) report of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption agreed with the Daily News' assessment, finding that the “waiver was the result of negotiations between real estate interests and the Assembly. Silver A Fake Tenant Hero ”When Silver’s Assembly has passed bills that have gained the support of tenants groups, they have often been symbolic one-house pieces of legislation that stood little chance of actual enactment. So, for example, when rent control came up for renewal in 2011, the Assembly passed a bill expanding tenant protections, even though the companion bill in the Republican-controlled Senate had little chance of passage since it was sponsored by a Democrat.





A towering insult - NY Daily News

As the Daily News revealed last Tuesday, One57 is among five residential projects that were shoehorned into a real estate tax abatement program under language mysteriously written into legislation passed in Albany.  The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.* How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break - NYTimes.com  * Atlantic Yards Report: Shades of 2007? Another 421-a carve-out to ... * EXTELL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. Media Contact: George Arzt  at 212-608-0333  Can we expect the candidates like Katz that Arzt is trying to elect this year will help him get more tax breaks for luxury highrises. Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57



.
A NY Times' Wet Dream For the Next Mayor
 Closed Down Factories and Their Jobs to Make Way for Luxury Co-Ops
Wanted: Another Green Mayor(NYT Ed) The Times longs for another environmental steward as mayor who will execute ambitious goals that make the city’s air and water cleaner and its streets and buildings greener. Candidates for mayor should promise to extend Bloomberg’s environmental record. * The New Republic gamed out whether Public Advocate Bill de Blasio or Council Speaker Christine Quinn will eventually
earn the paper’s backing. (The Times penned a piece today praising Ms.  Quinn’s environmental policies.)

Tax Breaks for the Rich Do Not Save the City's Middle Class

Two developers who stood to benefit from the tax breaks gave Cuomo big donations days before his bill-signing. Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the creator of the lucrative tax relief. One 57th St. building in Manhattan was projected to save $35 million over 10 years. Between 2007 and 2011, as the median family income in the city dropped by 6.8%, the median monthly rent went up by 8.6%. Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers spent more than half their income on rent, as those not lifted up by New York’s booming, knowledge-intensive fields felt the squeeze.* Assemblyman Keith Wright Sent Letter Acknowledging Developer Tax Breaks In Bill(NYDN) A letter Assemblyman Keith Wright signed suggests he knew more than he has acknowledged about a housing bill he sponsored at the behest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that gave five developers juicy tax breaks. Sources said last week that Wright was unaware of the details of the bill and furious with Silver for asking him to sponsor it.* 57th Street Reopened After Crane Malfunction in Midtown(NYT) * Crane Hooks the City, Again(WSJ)




Real Estate Barons Wish Bloomberg Can  Have A 4th Term
The real estate industry is already bemoaning the loss of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Brokers interviewed by the Daily News hailed the mayor’s pro-development policies, crediting him with transforming the city’s skyline. “I’m depressed at the thought that someone else will be mayor,” one broker told the paper. “I wish we could change term limits again.”* BLOOM TOWN: Real estate brokers praise Hizzoner for spurring growth — 'He has really stretched the boundaries of the city' 


Tax Breaks for the Rich Do Not Save the City's Middle Class

Sheldon Silver aided Gov. Cuomo in sneaking through tax breaks for luxury developer(NYDN)
Two developers who stood to benefit from the tax breaks gave Cuomo big donations days before his bill-signing. Several sources involved in the process identified Silver as the creator of the lucrative tax relief. One 57th St. building in Manhattan was projected to save $35 million over 10 years. Between 2007 and 2011, as the median family income in the city dropped by 6.8%, the median monthly rent went up by 8.6%. Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers spent more than half their income on rent, as those not lifted up by New York’s booming, knowledge-intensive fields felt the squeeze.
Silver Builds Affordable Housing for the Residents of Qatar Not Middle Class and Poor New Yorkers

Qatar Prime Minister – New Owner of the $100 Million New York’s Most Expensive Penthouse





Controlling the News
A significant part of the job of reporting the news has to do with providing information to the public on various aspects of the work of their government, at every level.
Scathing! Watertown Daily Times | For Cuomo, term ‘bully pulpit’ takes on a whole new meaning  Watertown Times: "The governor, who has displayed remarkably thin skin...has severely ratcheted down the flow of information..."


.

With No Review, New Skyscrapers Darken Central Park(WNYC)

__________________________________________________________________________________
How Real Estate $$$ Run Politics in NYC

Cuomo On Real Estate Contributors Subpoenas
Cuomo said he has no problem with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission he convened sending subpoenas to real estate companies that have contributed to his campaign, including Extell Development, the Times Union writes:  Evan Davis, a lawyer who served as counsel to former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is spearheading the launch of a survey that will review the effectiveness and potential improvements for the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the Times Union writes: 

The Times praises the anti-corruption Moreland Commission for investigating the link between campaign contributions to state lawmakers and legislation that benefits those contributors

True News Exclusive Part I: How Luxury Developers Avoid Paying Taxes While Pushing Out the City's Middle Class
Luxury Housing Developers, Vito Lopez and Met Council's Non Profit Housings Secret World

Part I True News Exclusive
How Tax Payer Are Being Fleased out of Hundreds of Millions of Tax Dollars By Real Estate billionaires

The average New Yorker pay real estate tax on their properties as well capital gains tax when the propertifes are sold.  In recent years greedy devlopers have come up with a way not pay capital gains taxes.  The law was changed by Speaker Silver and his buddies to allow non profits who do not pay any taxes to sell capital gains tax credits to greedy developers, saving them millions. 

The Rapfogel scandal if properly investigated will expose how the biggest greedy real estate developer avoid paying any taxes on capital gains for their luxury developments.  The city has lost 6000 cops and thousands of teachers because of this lost tax revenue from developers. 

The Bloomberg Pfzer Payoff
After the 2009 election Bloomberg gave the  Pfizer site to a group run by UJO of Williamsburg and Vito Lopez as as payoff for support/ According to insiders Rapfogel's Met Council was to be a partner in the Pfizer deal. Before his removal from Albany, Lopez as Housing Chairman controlled what gets built in NYC. Lopez made his mini me Erik Martin Dilan the chairman of the Council's Housing & Buildings Committee. At one time all the city developers who wanted tax breaks or government $$$ had to go through Lopez. Lopez was the lead pol on getting the tax breaks for Extell's ONE57.  Lopez though his non profit Bushwick Senior Citizen Council is one of the cities biggest non profit developers.  What needs to be investigated are non profits like Vito's Communlife and Met Council that sell he rights to 421-a tax certificates to luxury developers and who got what money.  Century Coverage Corp gave heavily to Brooklyn candidates connected to Vito Lopez.



.-
The Peter Fine Cover Up Connection to Carrion and Luxury Developers Tax Breaks
“Atlantic Development and Peter played a very important role in helping us expirand our senior housing,” said William Rapfogel, CEO of the council. 

 In 2010 investigators from the city Department of Investigation and the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the Soho offices of Atlantic Development, reportedly part of an ongoing investigation of the firm’s possible use of cash to influence various projects. During the boom, Atlantic Development generated millions of dollars in revenue by selling the rights to 421-a tax certificates to developers Larry Silverstein and Joseph Moinian — a common exchange between affordable housing and luxury developers. Silverstein and Moinian, in turn, used the certificates to offset the expenses tied to luxury high-rise apartment buildings. As a top city official, mayoral hopeful Adolfo Carrion went to bat for a major developer who had arranged to provide an architect for renovations to Carrion’s Bronx home, the Daily News has learned.  Carrion provided the help to developer Peter Fine when Carrion was Bronx Borough President and the developer was wrestling to win city approval for a $300 million project of apartments and retail space, Boricua Village.



Rapfogel is in trouble because of Century Coverage Corporation contributions to pols
Peter Fine's Atlantic Development so much money to pols that common causme wrote a press release about them: CommonCause/NY Responds to Daily News Exclusive about Adolfo Carrion & Peter
Common Cause/NY Responds to Daily News Exclusive about Adolfo Carrion & Peter Fine - See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5287775&ct=12989039#sthash.2LdRIuSK.dpuf
Mr. Fine is among the most prolific political donors in New York. Since 2004, he has personally given $458,130 in donations to state and city politicians and committees. During this same period, aggregate donations from Atlantic Development Group, Mr. Fine and his wife, and Atlantic Development Group co-founder Marc Altheim and his wife total nearly $1 million. 




Is Rapfogel Instant Apology Designed to Limited An Investigation Into His Housing Deals
In a statement released by his lawyer, Mr. Rapfogel apologized for unspecified “mistakes” and said, “I will do everything possible to make amends.”  "How deep does this go? It’s hard to say. The authorities might have had a better chance of flipping Rapfogel had they arrested him before this became public. In that case, they may have been able to accumulate evidence demonstrating complicity between Rapfogel and his allies in government.  It’s a little strange frankly, that we know so much about this and the man at the center has already apologized and no one is in cuffs. All of that spells money being returned and slaps on wrists as one man takes the fall. More often than not it’s the feds who use RICO statutes to go after wider conspiracies involving government corruption. But this time it’s the AG and the Comptroller both of whom have ties to the Democratic establishment." YNN



$300,000 From Excell to Cuomo

Gov. Cuomo's long-time city developer donor got more generous when it stood to get $35 million in tax breaks(NYDN) Corporations and people affiliated with Extell Development made more than $300,000 in donations to Cuomo since May 2012, around the same time the governor and lawmakers were weighing a housing bill that would save Extell millions over a decade.


Should the Citywide Candidate Give Back Their Excell Contributions?

Christine Quinn $15,000
NYC Matching Funds $90,000 
 De Blasio $6,000
NYC Matching Funds $36,000
Daniel Garodnick $3000
NYC Matching Funds $18,000
Melinda Katz $1500 
NYC Matching Funds $9,000
Scott Stringer $3000
NYC Matching Funds $18,000
Bill Thompson $7000
NYC Matching Funds $42,000

A spokesman for Extell, George Arzt, said the event was Ms. Goren’s, and it also included her friends and other supporters outside of the real estate industry.  “This wasn’t an Extell event,” he said, although he did acknowledge that numerous Extell executives and others from the real estate industry attended. Extell is seeking zoning approval from the City Council for its mega-Riverside Center residential development, which is envisioned to hold 2,500 apartments.  Ms. Quinn has received large bundles of donations from real estate firms like the Related Cos. or Two Trees Management when they have been up for various approvals. Still, it’s notable given that the speaker,

More Lopez and Assembly Real Estate Corruption Being Investigated by JCOPE
How Many Blackmail Secrets Does Vito Lopez Hold

Towering corruption (NYDN)
Commission must find the truth about Albany's tax breaks for luxury highrises
DN on 421a probe: "Next up for sworn testimony is every lobbyist & legislator who midwived this abomination" Lopez, who pushed the deal before quitting in a sexual harassment scandal. Investigators should speak to one of the victims of that harassment, Victoria Burhans, who says Lopez told her she could help pass the housing bill by sleeping with an unnamed Cuomo aide.*  Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57, as well as to Silverstein Properties, Fisher Brothers, Thor Equities and Ann/Nassau Realty — all of which were shoehorned into a discredited and discontinued provision of the 421a tax abatement program.

Cuomo;s Taste of One 57
Two corporations tied to Extell Development each contributed $50,000 to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign the same day the Assembly passed a housing bill with tax breaks for five developers, including Extell, the Daily News reports:

A towering insult - NY Daily News

As the Daily News revealed last Tuesday, One57 is among five residential projects that were shoehorned into a real estate tax abatement program under language mysteriously written into legislation passed in Albany.  The companies that will benefit, their lobbyists and PACs have donated $1.5 million to Albany campaign accounts over the past five years. The bill’s sponsors — Sen. Marty Golden and Assemblyman Keith Wright — professed ignorance.* How the Rich Get a Big Real Estate Tax Break - NYTimes.com
* Atlantic Yards Report: Shades of 2007? Another 421-a carve-out to ...





How Does the Media Let George Arzt Get Away With Flacking for Luxury Highrise Tax Breaks, While Running Major Campaigns?
 
EXTELL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY. Media Contact: George Arzt  at 212-608-0333
Can we expect the candidates like Katz that Arzt is trying to elect this year will help him get more tax breaks for luxury highrises. Subpoenas have gone to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development, sponsor of One57 *
There, four mega-developers — Extell Development; Related Companies; Tishman Speyer, a partnership of the Durst Organization, and Vornado, and Brookfield Properties — have been vying to build a huge commercial/residential minicity over the MTA railyards. Brookfield dropped out on Feb. 26.  Lynch has received $120,000 from Tishman Speyer and $22,000 from Vornado. She did not return calls.  Extell also hired some of the same companies, including Greenberg Traurig, which employs Robert Harding, a Giuliani administration deputy mayor, and Edward Wallace, a former City Council member. Extell also hired Suri Kasirer, the wife of Rudy Giuliani's former chief of staff, Bruce Teitelbaum. Working with her are Patrick Jenkins, former campaign aide to Gov. Spitzer, and Julie Greenberg, a former top aide to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.Marc Shaw, Bloomberg's former top deputy, is an inhouse lobbyist for Extell.


Another Extell Building
Extell has announced plans for another tower, 50 percent taller, half a block away, and assuming it’s allowed to build that one, too, it will shortly steal One57’s thunder. Big real estate rules this island, and it always will.

 2.5 Million in Housing Bribes
Ex-NYC housing honcho: I raked in $2.5M in bribes(NYP)A former city housing honcho said Monday he raked in $2.5 million in bribes from developers and contractors looking to access affordable housing contracts. The stunning admission from former Housing Preservation and Development Department assistant commissioner Wendell Walters came as he testified in the Brooklyn federal court bribery trial of developer Steve Dunn and his lawyer partners Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman.* Ex-Housing Official Tells of Bribes(WSJ)

Lawyers, developer acquitted in bribery case(NYP)
The feds had charged that Steve Dunn, Lee Hymowitz and Michael Freeman all took part in paying off city officials in order to win bids for lucrative affordable housing developments. A pair of lawyers and a real estate developer were acquitted of federal bribery charges of allegedly paying off New York City officials to win bids for affordable housing developments

Mr. Fine is among the most prolific political donors in New York. Since 2004, he has personally given $458,130 in donations to state and city politicians and committees. During this same period, aggregate donations from Atlantic Development Group, Mr. Fine and his wife, and Atlantic Development Group co-founder Marc Altheim and his wife total nearly $1 million. - See more at: http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5287775&ct=12989039#sthash.2LdRIuSK.dpuf



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