Monday, September 30, 2019

State Assembly and Governor Cuomo extends deadline for voters party affiliation change.

Voter form

Crains New York

New York is relaxing party enrollment deadlines to make it easier to cast a ballot in primary elections.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Thursday giving voters until Feb. 14 to enroll in a party to vote in the April presidential primary or the June congressional and state primary.

Under the old laws, voters had to sign up for a party up to a year before a primary if they wanted to participate.

Office of City Planning doles rezone permit to auto dealership for mixed use residential building


 On September 25, 2019, City Planning unanimously approved an application to rezone the property located at 44-01 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. The applicant, 44-01 Northern Boulevard, LLC (also known as Major World), seeks to change the zoning from a manufacturing district to allow for a ten-story mixed-use residential development. The site is currently an Auto World sales site, showroom and garage.

The application proposes approximately 335 residential units with approximately 100 units dedicated to permanently affordable housing, 36,000 square feet of ground floor retail and approximately 156 parking spaces (36 commercial spaces and 120 residential accessory parking spaces). Thirty percent of the units will be at 80 percent area median income. The applicant seeks to continue operating his automobile dealership on the first floor but would discontinue running a garage.

The building features two portions of varying heights situated directly north of Northern Boulevard, south of 34th Avenue, east of 44th Street and west of 45th Street. The ten-story portion of the building runs along Northern Boulevard and extends down parts of 44th street and 45th Street. The four-story portion will continue along 44th Street.

Directly north of the lot, continuing down 44th and 45th street and along 34th Ave, there are several five and six-story elevator buildings.  Across Northern Boulevard to the south are multiple car dealerships, including another Major World and a City Buick GMC. Directly east, on the corner of 45th Street and Northern Boulevard, is a 2-story, 45,448 square foot commercial building. Located west and across 44th Street is the Hyundai of Long Island car dealership and several attached and semi-detached multifamily buildings.

Woodside community strikes back at tower development by elevated train tracks

Sunnyside Post

A 17-story, 90-unit apartment complex is planned to go up on Roosevelt Avenue and members of Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee oppose it—saying the building would be out of character with the area and put additional pressure on nearby infrastructure.

The developer, Peng Li of HW LIC One LLC., plans to build two structures on the corner of 51st Street and Roosevelt Avenue—with one being a 17-story mixed-use building and another a four-story school building.

The development is slated to go where the blue-colored J & Sons Supply building once stood, flush against the elevated 7 line. The building was recently demolished.

Li needs the Board of Standards & Appeals to grant him a special permit before he can move forward with the project. The site is located in the flight path of LaGuardia Airport and the proposed building is 190 feet tall—exceeding the permitted height in the flight path by 50 feet.

The community board gets to weigh in on Li’s application with a non-binding recommendation.

Disgraceful City Council member wants to make cameo appearance on TV show about a disgraced city council member

Sunnyside Post

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has expressed his desire to feature in NBC’s new comedy series, Sunnyside, which is set to air this Thursday.

Van Bramer told AM New York that he’d be interested in making his acting debut in the new show, which centers around a disgraced former council member played by Kal Penn.

The new series, which was also created by Penn, follows Penn’s character, Garrett Modi, after he is thrown out of office for a public intoxication arrest.

Van Bramer told AM New York that he offered his services to the show, but said that it was being filmed in Los Angeles which made it unlikely that he would feature. They told him that they would consider him if they ever decided to film in the area.

“If they do come to Sunnyside to shoot some scenes, they will keep me in mind,” Van Bramer told AMNY. “I don’t have my SAG [Screen Actors Guild] card just yet, but we’re hoping for one.”

The series is being filmed in Universal Studios Hollywood, although Sunnyside is the focal point of the show and Van Bramer said that the local residents were very excited about its release.

“The whole neighborhood is thrilled, tickled a little bit to see our beloved Sunnyside become a national sensation, we hope,” Van Bramer told AMNY. “It’s also going to be fun to watch and see how the neighborhood is showcased,” he added.

The Council Member reached out to Penn over Twitter in May when the show was announced to offer his congratulations, however, his tweet went unanswered.

The comments for this are hysterical as usual, especially this gem from ChrisCuomoIsARobot:

Jimmy can play himself: a bumbling cynical politician who goes to wherever the wind is blowing; a true fraud out for himself who does not care about anyone not living on his own street. Cynthia Nixon can make a guest appearance as Jimmy’s female counterpart. They can hold hands and sing “kumbaya” while Jimmy leads another “march” across the street. They can lecture us about how terrible we are. Yes, this show will sink!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Mayor de Blasio blew off Maspeth High School cheating scandal

NY Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio was personally alerted to evidence of grade-fixing and fraud at Maspeth High School in mid-August, but ignored pleas to remove the school’s allegedly crooked leaders before the new school year, The Post has learned.
“It was like I had witnessed a crime,” said City Councilman Robert Holden, who demanded to speak with the mayor after meeting whistle-blowing teachers with documents showing a culture of cheating at the highly rated school.
“I wanted him to put it on the fast track. I wanted him to step into this and get those people out,” the Queens lawmaker told The Post.
But the mayor did not act with urgency, Holden charged, prompting him to go public and to meet with acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan, who has launched an investigation.
Maspeth HS, awarded a National Blue Ribbon in 2018 for a near-perfect graduation rate, enforces an unwritten “no-fail policy,” even when kids do little or no work, eight teachers have told The Post.
Assistant principals strong-armed faculty members into passing students no matter what, they said. Some teachers helped kids cheat on Regents exams or fixed wrong answers. Failing grades were changed to a passing 65, which kids call the “Maspeth Minimum.”
Even chronically truant, drug-addled students got diplomas — some of them pushed out the door months early, as former student Thomas Creighton and his parents came forward to confirm. But last week his father, Daniel Creighton, said the family had not heard from any investigators.
“If that doesn’t prove there’s no urgency, I don’t know what does,” Holden said. “Not only did they steal city money meant to provide services, but they stole the education from these students.” 

 A de Blasio story is not complete without another display of his vulgar arrogance:

 After two weeks, when no investigators had contacted him, Holden emailed de Blasio on Aug. 13, a day after the mayor returned from Iowa for his now-defunct presidential campaign.
The subject line: “Need to talk.”
The mayor called back the following evening. Holden went over the litany of alleged misconduct at Maspeth HS, including grade-fixing, Regents rigging, fake classes to give students credits toward graduation, and intimidation of teachers who didn’t play ball.
“They’re gangsters,” Holden said he told the mayor. “They should not be in there one more day.”
But de Blasio seemed more concerned about Holden, a fellow Democrat, going to the press.
“It’s good that you gave it to me, but if you want to be on my team you have to play like a team member,” Holden quoted him as saying.
The mayor noted that Holden was fortunate to speak with him. “You have your district. I have to run the whole city. I’m the big leagues.” he said, according to Holden.

Friday, September 27, 2019

The impeachment of President Trump has begun

New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

Ms. Pelosi’s declaration, after months of reticence by Democrats who had feared the political consequences of impeaching a president many of them long ago concluded was unfit for office, was a stunning turn that set the stage for a history-making and exceedingly bitter confrontation between the Democrat-led House and a defiant president who has thumbed his nose at institutional norms.

“The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the Constitution,” Ms. Pelosi said in a brief speech invoking the nation’s founding principles. Mr. Trump, she added, “must be held accountable — no one is above the law.”
She said the president’s conduct revealed his “betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.”

Ms. Pelosi’s decision to push forward with the most severe action that Congress can take against a sitting president could usher in a remarkable new chapter in American life, touching off a constitutional and political showdown with the potential to cleave an already divided nation, reshape 

Mr. Trump’s presidency and the country’s politics, and carry heavy risks both for him and for the Democrats who have decided to weigh his removal. 

CBS News

This is the complaint sent by a whistleblower in the intelligence community to the community's inspector general, about an "urgent concern" that "the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. The interference, the whistleblower wrote, includes "pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President's main domestic political rivals." 
The complaint is central to the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats.


August 12, 2019 
The Honorable Richard Burr
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate 

The Honorable Adam Schiff
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives

Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff: 

I am reporting an "urgent concern" in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment. 
In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President's main domestic political rivals. The President's personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well. 
  • Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business. It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
  • I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues' accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly. 
I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute "a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order" that "does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters," consistent with the definition of an "urgent concern" in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G). I am therefore fulfilling my duty to report this information, through proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities.  

Impunity City

Like Trump likes to say, I am not a fan of this president. But this "whistleblower"'s account is basically based on gossip.

 Being that this a CIA agent they are relying on for impeachment, this guy is less a whistleblower and more like a whistlemole.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Idling construction vehicles in the middle of the night in Flushing

Mr. Patel,

Senator Liu's Facebook staff told me to reach out to you regarding idling construction vehicles at 36-23 172 St. Friday, August 9 it began at 5:00 AM and went on for the rest of the day. Today, Monday, August 12 it began at 2:00 AM and has continued since.

At 2:00 this morning 2 dump trucks parked on 172 Street between 39 Ave and Crocheron Ave and idled on and off until 7:00 AM when construction began at the above address. At one point one of the trucks idled for over 60 minutes. 

Attached are video and the license plate of the vehicle that was idling for 60 minutes.

Reports have been filed with 311 for idling vehicle noise and odor from idling vehicle, but these reports do no good when an inspector comes and the problem isn't occurring at that time.
 Mr. Patel,
I happened to run into the inspector from the DEP yesterday, and he assisted me with filing idling complaints for these vehicles. 

A Citizens Complaint has been filed for the incident on the morning of 8/12/19, report 2019-4534. As this happened again this morning, reports 2019-4540 and 2019-4534 have also been filed. While the above reports take care of the idling violation, these trucks also block private driveways and park in fire hydrants in addition to being noisy in the middle of the night.
 Mr. Patel,

Unsurprisingly, you never followed up on this complaint. Trucks continue to arrive to this site at all hours of the night: 12:30 AM, 2:00 AM, 4:00 AM. And now I find myself absolutely unable to enjoy my weekend because someone approved a Saturday work permit (permit 421679142). Trucks have been racing up and down 172 Street since 5:30 this morning, beeping, honking horns constantly, grinding their gears. Calls to 311 do nothing because they come days after the problem is gone, only for it to return again during the night.

This is not Manhattan. This is a quiet, residential street in Flushing; there is absolutely no need for approval of a Saturday work permit. None. Stop destroying neighborhoods and communities and do something about this.

Patel is State Senator John Liu's deputy chief of staff.

Friday, September 20, 2019

New York's derelict mayor ends his farcical presidential run

Welcome back ya bum


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Sunnyside Yard development meeting gets condemned by protesters

Queens Eagle

A public meeting Monday on the controversial Sunnyside Yard planning process featured plenty of community engagement, including dramatic opposition from opponents of proposed mega-development six times larger than Manhattan’s Hudson Yards.
The early portion of the Monday meeting, the third public hearing on the massive development plan, remained calm and organized as attendees milled about information stations. 
But members of Queens Neighborhoods United and other organizations that oppose the project soon took over the room, denouncing the plan to elevate the 180-acre yard from a sprawling network of train tracks to a brand new neighborhood, complete with housing, transportation and stores. Some activists stood atop cafeteria tables to address the attendees.
“These are plans made by property developers, plans for property developers,” said Rutgers University Professor James DeFilippis. 
“We don’t trust this process,” opponents chanted, while others shouted “Let us in,” outside the cafeteria as they tried to enter the meeting.
“#EDC employees didnt know what to do w/ themselves as we took over the #SunnysideYards public EDC meeting. They presented nothing new, nothing solid. #SSY will cost more than the $22 billion and take longer than the 100 years they're projecting. That's our money & public land!,” QNU later wrote on Twitter.
Even before the first public meeting regarding Sunnyside Yard in October 2018, community members raised concerns about displacement and accelerated gentrification related to the neighborhood-building initiative.
“I haven’t come across anyone in Queens who thinks this is a good idea,” steering committee member Melissa Orlando, executive director of Access Queens, told The New York Times last year. Orlando, whose organization advocates for better public transportation, said the project could increase congestion.
A line of people snaked around the schoolyard of Aviation High School in Sunnyside ahead of the meeting, as representatives from a host of city agencies and the New York City Economic Development Corporation prepared to explain the draft of the master plan.
“I’d like to see the creation of the things they say they want to create, essentially liveable neighborhoods, better connections across Queens, transit infrastructure, mixed-income housing, mixed-use development, and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods,” Gideon Shapiro, a historian of urban planning and architecture, told the Eagle.

Queens restaurants have a rat influx issue

Queens Eagle

Queens eateries feature some of the best food in New York City — plenty of unwanted guests, too.

The borough’s restaurants saw the biggest jump in mice- and roach-related health code violations in recent years, with 3,138 reported violations in 2018. That total is 70.5 percent higher than in 2017, according to a new report by the apartment-finding website RentHop.

Though only 7.1 percent of Queens restaurants earned B and C inspection grades from the Department of Health as of September 2019, the borough still saw the biggest jump in mice- and roach-related health code violations between 2017 and 2018. As of September 2019, a total of 2,399 mice- and roach-related health code violations have been reported at Queens restaurants.

Four Queens restaurants make the list of the 10 worst pest offenders in the city from 2016 to September 2019. Three are in South Richmond Hill — Greenwood Quality Bakery, Nest Restaurant & Bar and Golden Punjab Indian Restaurant — and one, Hong Kong House, is in Astoria.
Ozone Park is the worst in Queens in terms of restaurants with B and C grades. Nine out of 50 restaurants in the neighborhood, or 18 percent of eateries, have earned a B or C grade. Springfield Gardens also showed a high rate of B/C-grade restaurants.

LLC's are now required to reveal their identities in New York

Jacobson, Skoufis, Zebrowski 9-16-19 Newburgh

Daily Freeman

People who control limited liability corporations (LLCs) that own residential rental properties in New York state can no longer hide their identities.

Sen. James Skoufis, D-Woodbury, and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, D-New City, announced this week that their legislation requiring the disclosure of such LLC operators' names has been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Under the new law, which takes effect immediately, LLCs that own residential properties containing one to four units "will now be required to share the names and contact information for all owners, managers and agents associated with the company at the time of a real estate transaction,” the legislators said in a prepared statement.

“Currently, it is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the true ownership of anonymous LLCs, leaving municipalities with no person to hold responsible for code violations, illegal building or fines,” the statement continued.

Until now, a limited liability corporation buying, say, a residential property at 1234 Main St., had been allowed to identify itself only vaguely, such as 1234 Main Street LLC.

Skoufis, whose Senate district includes parts of Ulster, Orange and Rockland counties, said the new law “will rip the mask off of these anonymous LLCs that continue to purchase massive amounts of real estate in the Hudson Valley."

“Neighbors have a fundamental right to know who owns the home next door to them,” Skoufis said. 

“Likewise, municipalities are desperate for this disclosure when they seek to hold property owners accountable for ... violations."


Councilman Reynoso bill proposal raises fines on home illegal conversions and loft studios

Crains New York

Councilman Antonio Reynoso isn't interested in preaching to the converted. 

The Brooklyn lawmaker will introduce a bill next week that will jack up penalties on landlords who allow their buildings to be used for purposes contrary to their approved occupancy and zoning—a proposal aimed at illegal renovation of manufacturing buildings to loft residences and houses to multifamily residences. The legislation comes just months after the state Legislature voted to allow factory and warehouse buildings in swaths of Lower Manhattan, North Brooklyn and Western 
Queens inhabited continuously through 2015 and 2016 to become lawful dwellings under the 37-year-old Loft Law.

Critics complain that Albany's repeated expansions of the 1982 statute have tacitly encouraged people to illegally convert industrial spaces to residences, by signaling to them that the state will intervene to protect their homes. Reynoso himself raised fears that this has also contributed to the erosion of blue-collar jobs and businesses.
"Landlords are currently exploiting the weak protections in place for manufacturing spaces and see the low penalties for converting them to residential as the cost of doing business," the councilman said in a statement sent to Crain's. "We must ensure that protections are in place to preserve our manufacturing spaces and the workers who depend on them."

At present, the city fine for "immediately hazardous violations" is set at $1,000 to $25,000. Reynoso's bill would establish a new minimum penalty of $10,000.

Monday, September 16, 2019

The borough tower jails approval is nigh and all it took was to knock off a few stories

Queens Eagle

 Negotiations around the city’s initiative to build new jails in four boroughs have determined that all of the facilities will be smaller than currently proposed, though talks continue around the specific heights, sources close to the deal-making told the Eagle.

The plan to close Rikers Island by replacing the isolated jail complex with four new borough-based detention towers is heading toward a City Council vote next month — and it’s on its way to passing the 26-vote threshold necessary to set the plan in motion, according to City Hall and City Council sources.

A critical issue in rallying support for the plan is reducing the jails’ heights, which vary borough to borough. The Mayor’s Office has already conceded reductions, resulting in more council support, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. 

“Council leadership, members and the administration have invested many hours working on a plan that the majority of the council could get behind,” a City Hall source told the Eagle. “Talks absolutely continue, but the fruitful efforts up to this point are leaving those involved feeling very good about the project.”

With just weeks left until the full-council vote on the unprecedented four-site land-use measure, the Brooklyn Eagle reached out to all 51 councilmembers to get their preliminary stances on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan.

Already, 18 councilmembers have told the Eagle that they plan on voting yes, or that they are leaning toward voting yes. Nine councilmembers said they are leaning toward or have decided on a “no” vote, while 16 said they remain undecided. The remaining 11 members of the council did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Three former councilmembers told the Eagle that the jail plan will likely pass, though it may take some back-room deal-making. The former councilmembers requested anonymity so as to not alienate former colleagues. 

“It’s going to happen. They’re going to posture and do things and maybe some will vote no,” said one. “It doesn’t get this far and not go through.”

“It will get done, but there will be a lot of tweaks,” said political consultant George Arzt. He believes a compromise between City Hall and the council on the height of the proposed facilities will enable councilmembers to save face with constituents opposed to the plan. 

“The administration has enough of an opening with the reduced jail population to cut the height of the buildings, and I think that is the most significant factor in getting this done,” Arzt said. “That allows councilmembers to say, ‘They wanted X, but we did Y, and we got this done for our constituents.’”

Council Speaker Corey Johnson has not explicitly stated how he will vote on the final proposal, but he lent his support to the plan when it was announced last summer by the de Blasio administration. He also co-wrote an op-ed in April with former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman outlining why he believes the borough-based jails land-use proposal — called ULURP — is essential to closing Rikers. In the op-ed, Johnson and Lippman list changes they would like to see, “such as finding non-jail, hospital-based alternatives for people with serious mental health diagnoses,” as well as investment in communities “hit hard by the inequities of the criminal justice system.”

The speaker’s support of the plan is pivotal when it comes to a full-council vote.

Queens Eagle

Yesterday, the Queens Daily Eagle generated some conversations in City Hall after contacting all 51 city councilmembers — in conjunction with sibling publication, the Brooklyn Eagle —  to find out where the legislators stand on the controversial land use application for building four new jails, one in each borough except Staten Island.

The Queens jail, part of a stated proposal for closing the detention centers on Rikers Island, would rise 270-feet and house a maximum of 1,150 detainees behind the Queens Criminal Courthouse in Kew Gardens. Queens’ 15 councilmembers differ on the proposal.

Three Queens councilmembers flat-out say they will vote against the plan. Democrat Paul Vallone, nominal Democrat Robert Holden (he won his seat on the GOP line) and Republican Eric Ulrich all told the Eagle they will vote no on the plan to create four “borough-based” jails. 

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer leans toward opposing the jail for different reasons than his conservative colleagues. Van Bramer has aligned himself with the progressive wing of the party and the No New Jails coalition, which calls on the city to divest from jails and invest in social services, housing and education for low-income people of color disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system.

Of the 11 remaining Queens councilmembers (including Antonio Reynoso, whose district is mostly in Brooklyn), six say they are firm yes votes. The six supporters are Councilmembers Karen Koslowitz, Daniel Dromm, Rory Lancman, Francisco Moya, Adrienne Adams and Reynoso.
Meanwhile, Councilmembers Donovan Richards and Costa Constantinides say they are leaning yes, but have not decided yet. 

Councilmembers Barry Grodenchik and I. Daneek Miller say they are undecided. Councilmember 
 Peter Koo has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

Each of the supporters premised their vote on changes ultimately being made to the height and scope of the project.

Koslowitz, for example, said she supports the plan — so long as the city reduces the height. Several councilmembers signalled that they would vote in lockstep with Koslowitz, who is taking a stand in favor of a politically unpopular project.

 Councilmember Daniel Dromm told the Eagle he is “definitely supporting [Koslowitz’s] principled, moral stance" to support the Kew Gardens jail, despite "NIMBY pushback in her district.”

"I really admire her” for standing up, even though the plan is unpopular among her constituents, he added.

To cap this shitshow off, a few words from Speaker Cojo the dancing clown:

  The plan that the mayor has put forward is an essential step in the path to close the Rikers jail complex. Conversations with communities have already led to initial reductions in the height and density of the planned facilities and more thoughtful plans regarding the treatment of incarcerated women. Moving forward, we expect to see more work from the administration to improve the plan—such as finding non-jail, hospital-based alternatives for people with serious mental health diagnoses—and to address neighborhood concerns.

"Non-jail hospital based alternatives" In other words, a hospital.

Happy Birthday, Neir's Tavern

Queens Eagle

A Woodhaven watering hole will be celebrating its 190th anniversary on Oct. 5 — making it older than more than half the states in the country.

Neir’s Tavern has been around since 1829, beginning the same year that Andrew Jackson became president. Called the Old Blue Pump House at its inception, it became Neir’s when Louis Neir bought it in 1898. He added a bowling alley and hotel, and even ran the place as a speakeasy during Prohibition.

Neir’s changed hands several times up until 2009, when Loy Gordon, an FDNY lieutenant and the current owner, bought the bar along with some friends to save it from closure.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

What housing crisis?

I thought we had a housing crisis in this city but apparently not. This was originally row houses that later on a couple of those row houses was turned into a church and now this is what it is. Meanwhile, on francis Lewis Blvd by the hmart only a few blocks away, there Is office space for rent and right up the block from this is a couple of more office spaces that are vacant. One of these offices actually just moved from up the block to over here leaving their old office space vacant. Also, there is more office spaces/small bank going on up the block and across the street from this as well. Why does the government say we are in a crisis then knocks down houses that can be used? Who approves this to go on?

Saturday, September 14, 2019

25% 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.

Apologies for my miscalculation readers. 

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.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

City orders South Jamaica hoarder to remove mountains of trash in front of her house after over ten years of neighbors complaints went ignored

PIX News

 The house on 118th Avenue in Jamaica, Queens is well known in the surrounding area.

The front and back yards are filled with trash bags, household items and old stuff.
Neighbors say they have been complaining about it and reporting conditions to the city for more than a decade and a half.

This week, after a recent inspection the Department of Buildings issued a vacate order.

“The home at 154-22 118th Avenue has been a long standing problem,” said NYC Council Member Adrienne Adams. “My team has appealed to various city agencies and have made a recent push to attack this problem collectively. By law we must respect the rights of the homeowner but we are looking into all options to remediate this problem. This home is not just a blight to the community but serves as a potential danger to the residents nearby and must be addressed immediately.”
Councilmember Adams office says the resident and the city will clean up the property on Friday.
Records with the Department of Buildings Show violations going back to 2001 and fines of more than $300,000.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Frank Charles Park still remains in bad shape

  Hi Crappy, it was three years ago when I sent you an expose on Frank Charles Park and the lousy jog the National Park Service(NPS} does there . I also wrote to NPS and the local papers and contacted the local politicians about the conditions there.Well nothing has changed, we see the same dead trees and dead branches directly above where people walk and sit. The bathroom only takes one man and one woman at a time in a park that has a playground, tennis courts, ball fields, picnic tables and a beach. The beach accumulates trash everyday from the tides and from some beach goers and needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. The beach has serious erosion and picnic tables there are unusable.

  Why have these conditions been allowed to continue for so long? The NPS says they are underfunded and understaffed. The politicians say they know there are problems and will see what they can do. Why can't obvious safety problems like dead trees be at least addressed? If someone is killed or injured and sues for millions of dollars where is the money going to come from ,us the people who pay taxes. Howard Beach is a nice community and I'm sure people pay plenty of taxes and this is New York the biggest city in the USA so why are we not getting treated better by our government?

  The National Park Service has shown they cannot operate a community park at the standards the NYC Parks can and should turn over control of the park to the city.NYC Parks are usually well maintained and they are have more experience with operating a park and have created many beautiful parks within the city.

 Hope it doesn't take someone dying before something is done but sadly that seems to be.