City Hall

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Nightlife Advocates and Politicians Want to Dance on the Grave of NYC’s Cabaret Law

(photo: Cassidy Dawn Graves)

Yesterday, hundreds flocked to City Hall to discuss the future of nightlife in New York City at a consumer affairs oversight hearing. It was the first of its kind in over a decade to address the city’s oft-decried cabaret law, which has been in effect since 1926.

“The City licenses bars, clubs, taverns, and discos that allow dancing,” states the City of New York’s official website. “A place that is open to the public and sells food or drinks must have a Cabaret License to allow customers to dance.”

And yet, there currently are only 97 of these licenses in effect. Considering there are thousands of bar and nightclub establishments in New York City where one might feel compelled to shake their hips, there is little wonder that City Council members Rafael Espinal and Antonio Reynoso called themselves both “young Dominicans representing north Brooklyn” and “dance outlaws.” Keep Reading »

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Ralliers Try to Seduce Mayor Into Blocking East Village Dorm

Residents, activists, community groups and their elected representatives gathered at the steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon with a Valentine’s Day message for Mayor de Blasio. Their request – to convert the long vacant P.S. 64 building in the East Village into a community center and disallow owner Gregg Singer from developing it into a college dorm.

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Community Urges City Council to Reconsider Houston Street Upzoning

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

East Houston street is currently a hotbed of development, as any casual stroll down the street will reveal. Endless scaffolding, boarded-up properties, fences, and signs announcing new things to come line the sidewalks of lots previously occupied by local shops, community facilities, and residential buildings. Although a 2008 rezoning was implemented, ostensibly to preserve the existing buildings and the affordable housing that many of them contained, developers who bought up a sliver of land at 255 East Houston Street may get a special rezoning through of their own.

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With City’s Offer Expired, Sun Might Be Setting on Bushwick Inlet Park

(Photo: Matthew Caton)

(Photo: Matthew Caton)

After 60 days on the table, the city’s offer to pay the former CitiStorage site’s owner $100 million for the final parcel of the long-promised Bushwick Inlet Park has officially expired. With Norman Brodsky’s default rejection of the offer (less than half the $250 million he was hoping for) questions emerge as to whether the Williamsburg waterfront park—which was first promised in 2005 as part of a rezoning deal that allowed for more high-rise developments in the sought-after neighborhood—will ever be completely finished.

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City Council Grills Mayor’s Affordable Housing Plan, Fearing Williamsburg-Style Gentrification

(photo by Kavitha Surana)

(photo by Kavitha Surana)

City Council members pushed Mayor de Blasio’s new rezoning plan to prioritize deeper affordability during a hearing yesterday on a key pillar of his effort to add 200,000 new affordable units over 10 years. If passed, Mandatory Inclusionary Housing would require new constructions in certain neighborhoods to set aside 25-30 percent of the units as permanently affordable.

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Affordable Housing Group Is ‘Strategically Hitting’ Seven Landlords

Brandon Kielbasa and Mike Ward

Brandon Kielbasa and Mike Ward

Stabilizing NYC, a citywide coalition aimed at combatting tenant harassment and preserving affordable housing, met earlier today on the steps of City Hall to announce the list of landlords they will be targeting in an upcoming legal battle against “predatory equity.”

“We’re strategically hitting landlords who’ve been displacing thousands of tenants every year,” said Brandon Kielbasa, lead organizer at Cooper Square Committee, a tenant rights organization running since 1959.

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Broadway Triangle Developer Says Allegations of Housing Discrimination Are Anti-Semitic

Diana Reyna addresses the crowd at a City Hall rally protesting the development of the Broadway Triangle in Williamsburg. (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Diana Reyna addresses the crowd at a City Hall rally protesting the development of the Broadway Triangle in Williamsburg. (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Protesters rallied against the development of Broadway Triangle in Williamsburg, saying the proposed housing heavily favors the Hasidic Jewish population over blacks and Latinos. But the property’s developer says it’s all the opposite: opponents of the affordable units are being anti-Semitic.
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City Council Passes Bill to Make Public Transit a Less Taxing Experience

(Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

(Photo: Ilyse Liffreing)

The City Council passed a bill yesterday that would allow New Yorkers to set aside pre-tax pay for public transportation, potentially saving the average commuter hundreds of dollars a year. Just imagine how many Uber rides you could take with that, so as to avoid the miserable G train.
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