With the L train shutdown approximately two years away, developers are already beginning to look to other parts of Brooklyn for prospective properties. Some of the most popular locations that they have been scouting are evidently along the G, J, M, and Z trains, which service neighborhoods such as South Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Greenpoint.
However, to claim that developers are discovering these neighborhoods would be misleading. Rather, they are finding that they can charge far more than they used to be able to because people who plan on being in Williamsburg for more than a few years are reluctant to purchase luxury units because of the impending … read more
The Urban Land Institute Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance recently published a study, Harvesting the Value of Water, that focuses on how green stormwater management systems should be of prime interest to private developers. What they found was that there are several strategies that developers can employ to improve local water quality, better manage stormwater runoff, reduce pressure on city sewer systems, and mitigate the effects of either flooding or drought, all while adding value to their properties and reducing expenses. While the benefits to the community are manifest, this study also provided … read more
New York City is the most expensive place in the world to build, a new study by Turner & Townsend found. One source of comparison was the extension of the Second Avenue subway line, which cost a total of $807 million per track mile. A similar expansion for the London Tube cost less than one sixth of that amount ($124 million per track mile).
Though the report was able to identify two of the main culprits behind the rising costs, labor costs and the relative difficulty of building in such a vertical city, they were short on answers for how to properly address them.
Crain’s New York has more.
The board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority approved … read more
Rail stations are becoming a major focus for developers. While this may seem like common sense to many of us in New York City, it wasn’t always the case. Properties within walking distance of commuter rails, while not undesirable, were not nearly as highly valued in many suburban communities as they are in cities. This is because most suburbanites have historically not considered proximity to mass transit to be a major selling point since they have typically driven from their homes to the train station.
As more suburbanites, particularly millennials, are relying solely on mass transit, bicycles or ride-sharing to commute, this has changed. Furthermore, it has opened up … read more
A new, all-men’s homeless shelter is opening in Crown Heights thanks to a Brooklyn judge who has dismissed legal challenges from locals who want to see the shelter opened elsewhere. Though the action has been thrown out, the petitioners in the case can count a few victories. The dismissal was contingent upon the city creating a security plan for the shelter, agreeing to house only men over the age of 62, and providing additional resources to patrol the Bedford-Atlantic Shelter, which has been a chronic source of delinquent behavior that exists just a few blocks away from the new shelter.
Many in Crown Heights and similar communities feel as though the mayor’s plan to … read more
A question on the LandlordsNY forum a few months ago generated a lot of responses. A landlord had discovered a leak coming into the basement. When he went to investigate the source of the leak in the unit directly above, he found seven people (plus grandchildren) in a two-bedroom apartment and what appeared to be a restaurant prep station in the kitchen. While they were not terrible tenants, the landlord had to deal with frequent leaks into the basement because the tenants didn’t use a shower curtain. That was annoying, especially since so many people were regularly using the shower. The commercial kitchen in the residential unit, meanwhile, he … read more
Offering the newest and most trendy amenities is vital for landlords who are hoping to secure a place in the luxury market. One of the newest ideas for an amenity comes from a three-year-old startup named Hello Alfred. The service offers personal assistants (Alfreds) to both individual tenants and entire buildings. These Alfreds take care of minor chores such as dropping off dry cleaning, making sure the fridge is stocked, and facilitating the cleaning of units by communicating with outside vendors. Tenants can also pay more for premium services.
Hello Alfred is not simply a jobs board for personal assistants. Hello Afred hires the Alfreds as employees, and each Alfred … read more
One of the more frequent topics that comes up on the LandlordsNY Forum is tenant screening. While it’s obvious that having a reliable means of screening is vital to prevent bad tenants from moving into one of your units, sometimes there is no way of predicting such behavior. Conversely, just because a tenant may have made mistakes in the past does not guarantee that they will be difficult in the future.
While the best solution would probably be a crystal ball, this technology is unfortunately still a few years away. The good news, however, is that the next best thing has already been invented. It is a free service (for landlords) that takes the risk out of renting, and it’s called … read more
What we have here is another Cinderella post. No, it’s not a reference to the character from the fairy tale; it’s a reference to the hair metal band responsible for one of the most memorable power ballads from the late eighties, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” However, while the song is about the heartache that comes after a relationship has ended, this post is about your tenants and how they will become enraged should you take away even something minor.
When you remove a service or a perk that could be considered an ancillary service, no matter how insignificant you may feel it to be, your tenants will notice. More importantly, they … read more
In previous posts we’ve mentioned that LED bulbs are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, and that more efficiency leads to a reduction in energy costs. However, this is not the only way that landlords and property managers can reduce the amount of energy that they use and, consequently, the amount they must pay for their utilities.
Even though LED bulbs use only a fraction of the energy that incandescent bulbs expend, every second that they are on costs property owners money. While many tenants are responsible in their own apartments when it comes to turning off the lights in rooms that are not in use, the lighting in common areas is usually none of their … read more
The market for offices in Westchester County is improving. The overall vacancy rate in the first quarter of 2017 declined by 3.1 percent from the first quarter of last year, and now stands at 21.7 percent. The decrease is most notable along the I-287 corridor, which runs from Port Chester, through White Plains, and then crosses the Hudson River as the Tappan Zee Bridge.
What is fueling the increased interest in the suburban county seems to be conversions. Many of the former office spaces are being repurposed and are becoming research facilities, particularly for the medical and space industries.
The Wall Street Journal has more.
The New York City … read more
Intro 1218, which was proposed by City Councilman Vincent Gentile, has unanimously passed. The bill imposes stiff penalties on landlords for illegal conversions, which is when a landlord alters the interior of a building to house more individuals than allowed by the certificate of occupancy. Should the bill become law, each unit beyond legal capacity, the landlord will be fined $15,000. If the fine is unpaid, the property could be subject to a lien sale. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law.
While illegal conversions often exploit poor immigrants and create extremely hazardous conditions for residents and firefighters alike, some have argued that … read more
Someone just shared this with me. It's an interactive map that shows how much the average rent is for every subway stop in the city.
ReThink Studios, a New York City think tank, is proposing a novel means of easing the woes of commuters who use the Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit. According to ReThink, the Gateway Tunnel Project is flawed because it leaves Penn Station at the center of a vast infrastructure system. By design, this produces a massive traffic snarl at the heart of the system. The daily delays are a necessary consequent of this flaw, one that has been addressed and fixed in major metropolises like Philadelphia, London, and Paris.
While ReThink is entirely on board with creating another tunnel under the Hudson River, they argue that Penn Station should become just another … read more
A New York judge ruled in favor of a landlord by denying a Manhattan couple's request for a rent rollback. They claimed that their apartment had been illegally deregulated, and that their $7,250 a month penthouse apartment was still subject to rent stabilization law. The case was being watched closely by advocates for both tenants and landlords because the landlord was receiving a tax abatement from a program designed to encourage the conversion of from office space into residential space.
In the decision dated last week, Justice Shlomo Hagler of New York County Supreme Court ruled that the landlord had property deregulated the unit at 85 John Street because the luxury … read more
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