Housing + Development

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Delicious Development: Farm On Domino Site Opens With Outdoor Dinner Parties

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Just nine months after North Brooklyn Farms dismantled its plot at Havemeyer Park, it’s returning at a new location and hosting some al fresco, farm-to-table dinners.

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Rent Guidelines Board Votes For Historic Rent Freeze; ‘Right Call,’ Says De Blasio

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Nearly two hours after the Rent Guidelines Board was scheduled to vote on whether more than 1.2 million New Yorkers would be required to pay more for their rent-regulated apartments, the board made a historical decision to freeze rent increases for one-year leases. Amidst intermittent boos and cheers, the board’s chair, Rachel Godsil, announced that for the first time ever one-year leases would see a zero percent increase in rent, while two-year leases would be subject to a 2 percent increase.

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Reactions Mixed as Albany Renews Rent Laws, With Some Tweaks

A rally earlier this week. (Photo: Sam Gillette)

A rally earlier this week. (Photo: Sam Gillette)

Minutes and hours after Albany extended rent laws for four years, elected officials were already complaining that changes to the laws don’t go far enough.

“Just when it seemed Albany couldn’t get worse, it did,” wrote State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the Lower East Side, East Village, Greenpoint and Williamsburg. “This year’s legislative session has just ended. I’m sorry to say, there’s a lot to be frustrated and disappointed about. This year offered a chance to extend and strengthen rent laws, but Albany came up short.”

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Tenants Claim ‘Potentially Life-Threatening’ Conditions at 128 Second Ave

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

After several months without gas service in their apartments, a group of rent stabilized tenants living in 128 Second Avenue have banded together to sue their landlord, Icon Realty Management. During a rally yesterday outside of New York City Housing Court, residents and elected officials pointed to a number of other “potentially life-threatening” issues that Council Member Rosie Mendez said should land the building owners in jail.

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Can This App Keep Your Landlord From Freezing You Out of Your Apartment?

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Noelle Francois (far right) at a talk at Northside Festival. (Photo Credit: Sam Gillette)

Mayor de Blasio announced today that his Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force has made its first arrest, of a landlord who, among other things, stands accused of illegally depriving rent-regulated tenants of heat even as temperatures were below freezing. The indictment of Daniel Melamed for allegedly endangering the welfare of his tenants during winter renovations of his Crown Heights building “sends a clear signal to any unscrupulous landlords that they will be next,” De Blasio said. “And we’ll spare no effort in going out – going after those who are forcing New Yorkers out of their homes illegally.”

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A Hard-Hat Tour of the William Vale Hotel, Williamsburg’s New ‘PanAm Building’

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

Last night at Luna’s first New York City gig in 10 years — an outdoor show at Northside Festival, off of McCarren Park — one of the guys pointed to a concrete tower rising near the Williamsburg waterfront and directed everyone’s attention to “the PanAm building.” Or was it the MetLife building? The behemoth rising above Wythe Avenue is actually the William Vale hotel, slated for completion early next year. Though it currently stands at less than half its expected height, it’s already pretty impressive. And it’s even more dizzying up close, as we saw during a recent hard-hat tour. From its ginormous basement ballroom to the offices overlooking the longest rooftop hotel pool in New York City, we got the inside look at Williamsburg’s new luxury hotel.

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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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Advocates of Small Business Protection Ponder Ways to ‘Take Back NYC’

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

Panelists from left to right: Kelly Anderson, Dexter Ciprian, Ton Angoti, Sherri Donovan, and Steve Null (Photo: Jaime Cone)

“Right now there are banners up all over the city that say ‘New York City: real estate capital of the world,’ and that pretty much sums up what the basic civic religion is in New York City,” said Tom Angotti, author or New York For Sale. The Hunter College professor of Urban Affairs and Planning was a panelist at a Take Back NYC public forum Thursday evening, where he and a diverse group of experts spoke on the subject of small businesses in New York and answered questions relating to a proposed bill that aims to help the city’s small businesses survive.

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Bowery Residents Say They’re Being Pushed Out By Their New Landlord

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 2.47.42 PMA group of longtime residents of the Bowery will gather on the street in front of their homes Monday to officially announce their public fight against their landlord, who also owns nine other Bowery apartment buildings. A “couple dozen” tenants from adjacent numbers 83 and 85 have come forward to say they’ve been treated unfairly ever since the buildings were acquired by Joseph Betesh, according to Sarah Ahn, volunteer organizer for a tenants’ association that recently formed to address these issues.

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Pound a Pint, Help Print This Informative Guide to the Bushwick Housing Crisis

map of vacant lots (Photo: Parsons)

map of vacant lots (Photo: Parsons)

You’d have to be living under a rock to be surprised to hear Bushwick is undergoing some explosive changes. It feels like streetscapes here are transforming faster than anywhere else in the city and many longtime residents feel they’re losing grip on their neighborhood. But Bushwick is in a strange limbo right now. While the northeast corner is bubbling over with ritzy new restaurants, bars, clothing stores, and art galleries, all increasingly patronized by German tourists and chiseled young bro dudes with man buns, for now at least the southern section closer to the graveyard has resisted these striking demographic shifts and skyrocketing rents. “We need to make moves now,” explained Drew Vanderburg, a resident of Bushwick and a graduate student at Parsons in the Design and Urban Ecologies program.

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Peter Cooper Is Back, But When Will the Astor Place Cube Return?

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

After months of hiding inside of a wooden box while his eponymous triangle was rebuilt, Peter Cooper has come out to smell the roses (or to smell a rat, depending who you ask). The Stanford White-designed statue, dedicated in 1897, was boxed up for its own protection last April but has now reemerged, even as the redesign of Peter Cooper Triangle continues around it. Meanwhile, over on Astor Place, construction of Alamo Plaza seems to have stalled, and it may be a while before we see the Astor Place cube again.

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