Saturday, September 14, 2019

75% of condos in recently built luxury towers remain vacant

New York Times

Picture an empty apartment — there are thousands in Manhattan’s new towers — and fill it with the city’s chattiest real estate developers. How do you quiet the room?

Ask about their sales.

Among the more than 16,200 condo units across 682 new buildings completed in New York City since 2013, one in four remain unsold, or roughly 4,100 apartments — most of them in luxury buildings, according to a new analysis by the listing website StreetEasy.

“I think we’re being really conservative,” said Grant Long, the website’s senior economist, noting that the study looked specifically at ground-up new construction that has begun to close contracts. 

Sales in buildings converted to condos, a relatively small segment, were not counted, because they are harder to reliably track. And there are thousands more units in under-construction buildings that have not begun closings but suffer from the same market dynamics.

Projects have not stalled as they did in the post-recession market of 2008, and new buildings are still on the rise, but there are signs that some developers are nearing a turning point. Already the prices at several new towers have been reduced, either directly or through concessions like waived common charges and transfer taxes, and some may soon be forced to cut deeper. Tactics from past cycles could also be making a comeback: bulk sales of unsold units to investors, condos converting to rentals en masse, and multimillion-dollar “rent-to-own” options for sprawling apartments — a four-bedroom, yours for just $22,500 a month.

The slowdown is uneven and some projects are faring better than others, but for well-heeled buyers there is no shortage of discounts and sweeteners to be had.

The analysis, a compilation of both public and proprietary listing and building data, is one of the most sobering looks yet at the city’s flagging condo market, which peaked about three years ago amid a glut of inventory. Now the market could face new obstacles, from growing fears of a recession, to changes in tax law and political instability heading into an election year.

For an industry accustomed to selling apartments years ahead of completion and skilled at concealing the pace of sales when the market falters, further headwinds could force more drastic measures.

Moreover, a growing share of condos sold in recent years have been quietly re-listed as rentals by investors who bought them and are reluctant to put them back on the market. Of the 12,133 new condos sold between January 2013 and August 2019, 38 percent have appeared on StreetEasy as rentals.

And Billionaire's row, Hudson Yards and Pacific Park are not even done yet.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Skipper de Blasio drops anchor on Stringer and spends 43 million for five more ferries

NY Post

The de Blasio administration plans to ram through another $43 million in ferry purchases for its money-pit fleet — in the face of objections from the city’s fiscal watchdog, The Post has learned.

The push comes just months after City Hall forged full speed ahead with another $84.5 million purchase over the worries of City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

It swells the total amount sunk into the program to $637 million.

The decision “to deem another City tax-payer funded vessel purchase registered without providing exhaustive data, metrics, reports, etc. to demonstrate the success of the citywide ferry program and justify the ballooning costs of this initiative is disappointing,” Stringer wrote in a letter Friday to the Economic Development Corp., a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

The $43 million covers the purchase of five new boats, according to purchase documents submitted to the Comptroller’s Office.

It marks the second time this year that City Hall has exercised veto power to torpedo Stringer’s attempts at oversight of the ferry system.

The East River system is among Mayor de Blasio’s biggest transit initiatives, despite carrying only a fraction of the New Yorkers who use the subways, buses or CitiBike.

Just 18,000 people rode the ferries on an average weekday during the spring, with those trips subsidized at a rate of $10.73 per ticket.

Here's an obnoxious example of those people who use the gilded commute.

NY Post

On Friday nights, revelers are turning a commuter ferry into a DJ-helmed dance party.
Helicopters buzz overhead as the East River churn bumps riders — businessmen and women just off work and metallic jacket-clad partiers alike — while beats blast from the boat’s stern.

“You see guys with suits on, chugging a beer and just dancing,” says NYC Ferry captain Ben Nedrick, as he steers the boat along the Lower East Side route.
From his booth on the boat’s upper deck, he watches as DJ Sheri Barclay mixes music for the weekly Rooftop Sounds Pop-Up.

The other week, Nedrick, 23, handed the wheel to his co-captain so he could join in the fun, breakdancing in his uniform as a soca jam played, to his passengers’ delight. There’s an almost palpable sense of cutting loose, especially on a hot summer night.

“It’s got that kind of lawlessness to it,” concedes Barclay, 36, the manager of online radio station KPISS.FM, which streams from an RV in Bushwick.

The dance parties did, in fact, begin illicitly.

“Last year, I threw my birthday on the ferry without their permission,” says creative director Franz Aliquo, 43. He and his guests rode for one round and finished all the booze on the boat before getting kicked off. This spring, he says, the ferry company reached out to him.

“They hit me up to be like, ‘You did it last year, and it was pretty dope,’ ” says Franz, who picks the DJs, and organized the events as a labor of love.
Now, the happy hours have the blessing of the ferry — and that of its concession stand, which sells a rotating variety of beer ($7), wine ($8) and snacks on-board all boats. (Passengers aren’t allowed to BYOB.)

“It gives a good vibe,” marketing coordinator Tiffani Samaroo tells The Post. She says the transit service is planning a host of other events it hopes will increase ridership, though only the Friday night 6:30 to 8 p.m. “happy hour” will have a DJ.

There’s no cover charge, just the price of passage: $2.75, the same as a subway ride — but you can’t use a MetroCard. NYC Ferry currently operates six routes and a summer shuttle to Governors Island.

 Remember, the city and you the taxpayer do not get a dime from the booze sold on these ferries. All monies go to the contractor, Hornblower.

The city will pay for sidewalk damage caused by full grown trees

Eyewitness News

New York City officials are getting at the root of the problem when it comes to cracked sidewalks.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city will now pick up the tab to repair sidewalks damaged by city-owned trees, and the city will also ramp up sidewalk repairs under the "Trees and Sidewalks" program to address 5,500 priority sites over the next three years.

Previously, homeowners were responsible for fixing the damage under threat of fines.

"We're not just fixing broken sidewalks, we're fixing a broken system," de Blasio said. "We tripled funding for tree related sidewalk repair, but homeowners were still on the hook for problems they didn't create. As a homeowner, I know how frustrating that is. Now, if a street tree causes damage, we're taking care of it."
The city will stop imposing liens on one-, two- and three-family properties that have sidewalk damage caused solely by city trees, and while the DOT and the Parks Department will still inspect for dangerous sidewalk conditions, the city -- not the homeowner -- will be responsible for fixing them if they are exclusively tree related.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Monday, September 9, 2019

Mazeau St. overpass, the next day

 Since filling in for the original Crappy, the Mazeau St. post got the most clicks I have ever seen for a post in one day, so I thought I see the blight for myself.

 So far so good...

 Until I found their spot, this must be the master bedroom
 And finally the basement.

 Looks like the young couple cleaned up the place just a little bit. Didn't see them though, maybe they went for a stroll in Juniper Park.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Homeless couple occupying and defecating on LIE overpass in Maspeth.

 Crappy I have a real crap story for you.All summer a homeless man and woman had set up camp on   the LIE  pedestrian overpass at Mazeau Maspeth.They had a pitbull that was scaring people and there were fights with other dogs.The 104 Pct. community affairs officers talked them into surrendering the dog to a rescue group and tried talking them into moving to a shelter.They wanted to remain together so they declined the offer.In July a woman was robbed of her money and phone on Mazeau Street near the overpass at 2:30 in the afternoon  but could not identify  the robbers just that it was a man and woman.We later found out the woman on the overpass has an arrest record in Florida.

In the begining of August the garbage and vodka bottles and other trash was accumulating on the overpass but the best was the crap.They had been crapping on the overpass along the fence and also throwing down to the ground level their plastic bags of crap.The temps had been in the 90's and the crap was cooking in the heat and a home was close by.
   I called 311 on 8/5 and they said that NYCDOT will handle it.A few days later I get an emai saying it's not their job and I should call NYSDOT.Calls were made to local politicians Finally on 8/21 Dept.of Homeless Services long with Sanitation Dept.cleaned the garbage and crap and offered the couple shelter.
  They were gone one week and then came back and set up camp at the same location and yes the crap is flying again.
This overpass is used by people of all ages and they don't feel safe crossing with these two living there.What the city will do we don't know.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

City Council members expressing (feigning?) ambivalence about borough tower jails

NY Daily News

City Council members griped Thursday that they’re flying blind as they consider Mayor de Blasio’s plan to replace Rikers Island — which besides costing $8.7 billion would also mark a big change in the city’s approach to criminal justice.

De Blasio administration officials are offering too little information about when and how inmates would be moved from Rikers to the four new jails, in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, said City Councilman Keith Powers (D-Manhattan), who leads the council’s Criminal Justice Committee.

“There are communities here obviously concerned about what the plans are in their district," Powers said before more than 300 people at the first City Council hearing on de Blasio’s plan.

“I think it’s a little unfair for us not to have information about what phasing will be like and what the plan will look like .... We’re here at a land use hearing to talk about this and we don’t have clarity on which of these districts will get the facilities in what order.”

“I think it’s a little unfair for us not to have information about what phasing will be like and what the plan will look like,” said Powers.

Another council member wondered why the plan’s estimated $8.7 billion cost was staying level even though de Blasio administration officials have lowered the new jails’ estimated population from 6,000 to 4,000.

“Now that the population has been reduced to 4,000, what is the updated estimated cost of construction? Is there any particular reason why that figure remains the same (now) that the population has decreased?" asked Council member Adrienne Adams (D-Brooklyn), chair of the Landmarks, Public Sitting, and Maritime Uses subcommittee

 Jamie Torres-Springer, first deputy commissioner of city Department of Design and Construction, had no answer to Adams’ question. “The estimate that informed that budget is based on the place that we’re at,” TorresSpringer said, explaining that the official design has not yet been conceptualized.

As with the tower jails building process, city council is also taking a design-build approach to voting on it.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Homeowner spitefully makes his home uglier and scarier after neighbors complain about his creepy mannequin in his front yard


 Imagine looking out your window and seeing this staring at your home.

It's a mannequin, wearing a Halloween mask, covered in fake blood, waiting next to a phone with "311" written on it in red paint.

"It's scary. I'm scared to come home. I try not to come home alone, I try not to come home alone with my child. I'm fearful," said one of the Kew Gardens Hills homeowner, who asked we conceal her identity for this story.

She says the gruesome mannequin is the final straw in a dispute that has gone on for almost a year.
It began when their neighbor, Shlomo Klopfer, first hung a single sign reading "dead end" on his fence, facing their home:
"So I asked him about it. I said my daughter can read and she doesn't need seeing dead end," said her husband, who also asked we conceal his identity.

Which he got very aggressive at and said, 'F you. Not only will I not take it down, I'll add more signs,'" she said.

A promise that Klopfer made good on. We counted nearly two dozen signs hanging on his fence

"I love the signs. I love this and I'll build another," said Klopfer.

Klopfer says his neighbor has called 311 on him 3,000 times, which she disputes. According to the Department of Buildings website, there are 28 complaints listed for his address dating back to 1997, all while he was living there. Half of the complaints were placed prior to 2010, when the neighbors moved in.

"You see the phone there? 311? She can call from this phone," said Klopfer.

This story was from 2 months ago. Considering the NYPD's feeble response, imagine what it looks like now.