From the Wall Street Journal:
The real-estate industry has been waging war on what it sees as an overzealous push by preservationists to landmark large swaths of the city.
Now, landlords are hopeful they will find a new ally in new Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mr. de Blasio, a Park Slope liberal with a populist touch, is perhaps an unlikely figure to pull back on protecting the brownstones and quaint churches that dot neighborhoods throughout the city.
But real-estate lobbyists and developers are hoping they can win Mr. de Blasio's support by linking landmarks to his core issues. They argue that preservation is undermining the creation of affordable housing and jobs, key campaign promises.
"What I am concerned about is that we're taking out of development and redevelopment a very large portion of the city. You've got a big chunk of the city that's just off limits," said Richard Anderson, president of the New York Building Congress, which would like to see a freeze on the creation of new historic districts while the process is re-examined.
Preservationists are equally prepared for a fight, saying that with the 50th anniversary of the city's 1965 law approaching, they will ensure it isn't weakened. The industry "is trying to weaken the law, they're trying to weaken the landmarks process, and we're counting on the new mayor and the new commission to hold the line," said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
Mr. de Blasio cares about both preservation and development, a spokesman said.