LandlordsNY Briefing for January 31st

The Mayor’s Office released their rezoning plan for the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus yesterday. The plan affects approximately 80 blocks that sit between two of the borough’s more upscale neighborhoods, Boerum Hill and Park Slope, and will allow for significantly more residential development in a neighborhood that has long been characterized by its low-rise and industrial aesthetic. Additionally, the plan would create a public shoreline on both sides of the Gowanus Canal—a longstanding posterchild for industrial pollution.

While some are hopeful that the plan will create more affordable and market-rate housing, there will likely be very vocal opposition, as the plan will fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood. While the changes along Fourth Avenue will not be particularly significant, as the plan will cap building height at 17 stories (the current cap is between 12 to 14 stories), the changes in other parts of the neighborhood will be stark. The plan allows for the construction of 22-story buildings along the canal and buildings as tall as 30 stories on some specific sites (such as the corner of Smith Street and 5th Street).

Crain’s New York has more.


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is in New York City today to make a major statement about HUD’s relationship with the New York City Housing Authority. While it is unlikely that Secretary Carson will announce that the agency is taking over NYCHA, it does seem as though the HUD will take a more hands-on approach. One thing is certain, though: The ratings will be huge.

The New York Daily News has more.


In a Landlords New York Minute – A (Very) Brief Look Around the World

Chinese trade negotiators have proposed a summit between President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump, emerging bond markets had their best month since 2016, India’s unemployment rate is the highest it has been since 1973, and Canadian GDP contracted by 0.1 percent in November (but expanded at an annual rate of 1.7 percent). Midwestern cities are experiencing the effects of a polar vortex that is forcing temperatures to plummet to as low as minus 23 Fahrenheit (Minneapolis), workers who had contracts with the federal government during the 35-day partial shutdown will not receive any backpay, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described a plan to make Election Day a federal holiday (which would likely increase voter participation rates) as a “power grab” by Democrats. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will slow rate increases over the course of the year, markets are now focusing their attention on the process of ‘quantitative tightening’ (which is the process by which the Federal Reserve begins to gradually let go of the bonds it purchased during the Great Recession and should not be confused with "The Tighten Up"), and the Trump administration has changed the process for immigrants seeking an H-1B visa (workers who possess a master’s degree or higher). The Marcal paper plant in northern New Jersey caught fire yesterday, the Willoughby Square Park deal in Downtown Brooklyn is officially dead, and the Manhattan condo and co-op markets saw declines in four of the past five years.

White collar robots are coming for your job (at some point in the future), a team of scientists recently created a robot that can play Jenga, another team of scientists taught a robot not to touch people’s stuff, and another team of researchers taught a robot to imagine itself. An English study has found that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices, the residue of a British beer from around 400 BCE has been unearthed, a talking hot dog announced school closings in one South Dakota school district, and today is Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday.

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