Showing posts with label Scott Stringer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott Stringer. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Scott Stringer's audit blasts City Hall for inaction in Rivington House deed lift

Here's a look at part of the report via the EVG inbox...

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a report today detailing the findings of a five-month investigation into actions taken by the City of New York that allowed Rivington House – a nursing home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan – to be sold for a $72 million profit in February 2016.

The Comptroller’s Office found that multiple City agencies and dozens of City officials were involved in deliberations about the removal of two deed restrictions that previously limited the property’s use to a not-for-profit residential health care facility.

The Comptroller’s investigation found the Rivington House property was allowed to slip away because of poor execution of City processes that were intended to elicit public opinion and protect the City’s best interests. This deal resulted in patients losing their homes, healthcare workers losing their jobs at the site, a neighborhood losing a vital community asset, and the City losing its power to ensure that the property was used for a public purpose “in perpetuity.”

Over the course of the investigation, the Comptroller’s Office reviewed more than 80,000 documents, including communications among the Rivington House sellers and buyers and City officials and interviewed Administration officials who were engaged over a two-year period with issues related to this deal.

Investigators found that, despite 48 City staff meetings and hundreds of emails and phone calls, lapses in the oversight of the deed removal process allowed Joel Landau, principal of the Allure Group, to secure the removal of the Rivington House deed restrictions at the same time that he was working to “flip” the property into luxury condominiums.

“No individual should be allowed to profit off the loss of vital community resources,” Comptroller Stringer said, “But what’s worse is that the checks and balances in place to avoid this kind of outcome were mismanaged. We have to make sure our government operates with the highest level of accountability to guarantee this never happens again.”

You can find a PDF of the full report here.

U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are also investigating the removal of the deed restriction.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Local politicos seek answers from the Blackstone Group on the Stuy Town air rights deal

News broke last week that The Blackstone Group was partnering with Canadian investment firm Ivanhoe Cambridge to buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for $5.3 billion.

As part of the new agreement with the city, Blackstone will preserve 5,000 units as affordable for the next 20 years, according to The New York Times.

Only later did more details emerge, that the deal contains an inducement: Blackstone has New York City's backing to sell the property’s unused development rights, as The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Per the Journal:

Development rights — also known as air rights — are a hotly contested jewel sought by Manhattan developers. Every property has its own allocation of air rights based on zoning, and for those buildings that haven’t used all of them, the rights can be sold to others looking to build vertically. But such sales are generally restricted to properties on the same block.

Stuyvesant Town has more than 700,000 square feet of these rights, according to people who have reviewed the property’s zoning. That is more than half the size of the Chrysler Building— roughly enough for about 1,000 rental apartments.

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer sent John Gray, global head of real estate, a letter asking for clarification on the density of the air rights Blackstone may be transferring.

Here are portions of the letter:

[W]e must express our concern regarding your intention to pursue transferring air rights from ST/PCV to the surrounding communities. This component of the agreement has not been disclosed in any detailed way either in the public documents or in our New York’s communities are keenly aware of the potential impacts associated with air rights, and any plan to radically change the zoning of a large parcel of land must include the community’s voice. ST/PCV tenants, the local community board, and the surrounding neighborhoods need and deserve a detailed description of Blackstone’s intentions including the scale, timeline and public purpose of the zoning change.

Air rights are not a commodity that can be transferred across the city at will; they are zoned onto individual properties pursuant to a larger neighborhood plan and only after full consideration of the potential impacts. The transfer of air rights from one block to another has only been permitted in connection with a clear public purpose and only when limited to the immediate vicinity of the site in question...

While ST/PCV is an iconic community endowed with substantial open space, the two superblocks that make up the complex include neither landmarks nor public parks. Further, the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the superblocks have few vacant parcels to accommodate any new density. Therefore, the public purpose of your proposal, and the boundaries within which an air rights transfer can occur, are not readily apparent.

The public reporting has indicated that only 700,000 square feet of air rights are available on the site. However, the October 2015 term sheet applies no restriction on the total density that can be transferred, and Department of City Planning data indicates that the unused air rights on the two superblocks could amount to 10.7 million square feet when community facility uses are included. While we recognize that no official number has yet to be set, the potential impacts of 10.7 million square feet of density on public transit, streets or other critical infrastructure are staggering, and the true number must be clarified and publicly disclosed.

Finally, while we appreciate that no formal agreement has been submitted, a change of this potential magnitude deserves immediate public disclosure and discussion. It is essential that these conversations begin prior to finalizing an agreement to ensure time for community consultation.

The letter was also signed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Sen. Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh.

Among the questions they are seeking answers to:

• What is the scale of density of air rights that Blackstone is intending to transfer?
• What is Blackstone’s intended timeline for public discussions, disclosures and feedback?
• What geographical constraints is Blackstone considering for receiving sites of the density?

Image via

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A look at the backlogged work orders and violations of local New York City Public Housing properties

[Photo of Scott Stringer from Monday's press conference]

According to a damning audit that City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released on Monday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) makes its residents wait for weeks, months and sometimes even years before fixing serious problems.

In addition, "NYCHA officials have repeatedly fixed the numbers in the their backlog of repair requests without actually fixing the problems," as the Daily News put it.

Per the report (find the summary here; the news release here):
The audit ... revealed that NYCHA drastically under-reported data on its maintenance backlog, failed to properly train staff to get rid of mold, mildew, and excessive moisture conditions in tenants’ apartments, and fell dramatically short when it came to meeting its own deadlines for repairs.

The audit also found that the NYCHA routinely closed non-emergency work orders if residents were not home when workers visited their apartments. In total, the audit found 55,000 backlogged repairs ... while it took the NYCHA an average of 370 days to fix safety violations.

We asked Stringer's office for the stats on NYCHA properties in the East Village and Lower East Side.

The work order backlog numbers are as of July 2014 and violations are as of September 2014:

45 Allen Street: 42 backlogged work orders, 4 outstanding building violations
Baruch Houses: 904 backlogged work orders, 55 outstanding building violations
Bracetti Plaza: 20 backlogged work orders, 2 outstanding building violations
Campos Plaza: 87 backlogged work orders, 5 outstanding building violations
First Houses: 19 backlogged work orders, 1 outstanding building violation
Gompers Houses: 147 backlogged work orders, 9 outstanding building violations
LaGuardia Houses: 275 backlogged work orders, 26 outstanding building violations
LES Consolidated: 180 backlogged work orders, 30 outstanding building violations
Meltzer Tower: 60 backlogged work orders, 1 outstanding building violation
Riis: 718 backlogged work orders, 43 outstanding building violations
• Seward Park Extension: 121 backlogged work orders, 16 outstanding violations
Smith: 468 backlogged work orders, 32 outstanding violations
Vladeck Houses: 335 backlogged work orders, 42 outstanding violations
Wald: 330 backlogged work orders, 8 outstanding violations

For their part, NYCHA officials said that Stringer was recycling old data.

Per DNAinfo:

"Reviewing old work order data from January 1, 2013 — July 31, 2014, the audit measure a long-acknowledged, well-documented issue, which the new leadership at NYCHA was brought onboard to fix," NYCHA Chief Communications Officer Jean Weinberg said in a statement.

Stringer is "recommending investing in technology to track repairs in New York City’s public housing similar to the CompStat program that the Police Department uses to map and respond to crime," per The New York Times.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snow jobs: The cost of plowing NYC streets

[Avenue A the other morning]

Because snow has been a topic of conversation this week... From the EVG inbox...

Light snow and heavy snow seasons are significantly more expensive than average snow seasons on a cost-per-inch basis, according to a new analysis released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. Since the winter of 2003, the cost of clearing New York City streets of snow and ice has averaged $1.8 million per inch, but that amount has varied considerably on a year-to-year basis.

“Snow removal costs the City millions of dollars annually, but it turns out that average winters give us the best bang for the buck on that front,” Comptroller Stringer said. “The total amount that the City pays to plow our streets grows with each storm, but counterintuitively, it’s a lot more expensive per inch when we get a little, or a lot, of snow in a season. Consider the old adage of $1 million per inch debunked.”

Find a PDF of Stringer's report here.

Friday, December 12, 2014

City Comptroller audit finds poor maintenance and shoddy oversight of the Citi Bike program

[File photo from Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg]

We get press releases! Via the EVG inbox...

New York City Bike Share (NYCBS), the operator of the Citi Bike program, failed to both adequately inspect Citi Bike equipment and ensure stations were fully functional according to an audit of NYCBS’s compliance with its contract with the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer.

“New York City Bike Share’s management of Citi Bike left too many New Yorkers in the lurch,” Comptroller Stringer said. “While Citi Bike has become part of our urban landscape, auditors found that the bike sharing program’s spotty maintenance, poorly cleaned bikes and substandard docking stations inconvenienced riders and discouraged growth in the system. Moving forward, I hope that these findings will provide a road map for ways to improve safety and performance for this critical component of our transportation network.”

The Comptroller’s audit examined maintenance of Citi Bike equipment by NYCBS during the period of May 2013 through May 2014. The Citi Bike program has a fleet of approximately 6,000 bikes and 330 stations throughout the City. Bikeshare Holdings LLC recently announced an agreement to purchase Alta Bicycle Share — the parent company of NYCBS. With a promised infusion of additional capital, Bikeshare Holdings has announced plans to improve maintenance and double the size and geographic reach of the Citi Bike system by 2017.

According to NYCBS’s own maintenance data, 28 percent of bikes system-wide were inspected in November 2013, 34 percent in December 2013 and 38 percent in January 2014, despite contract requirements that 100 percent of bikes undergo a complete maintenance check at least once per month. NYCBS cited the layoff of 16 on-street bike checkers during the winter months as a reason behind the decline in maintenance checks.

By March 2014, following the re-hiring of inspectors, inspections rose to 54 percent of the fleet and to 73 percent by April. However, a sample of the maintenance records of 25 bikes from July 2013 through December 2013 found that NYCBS completed only 60 percent (84 of 141) of required monthly maintenance checks.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1 explanation for the seemingly random tree pruning and removal around here

[St. Mark's Place]

Through the years we've received a good number of queries about random tree pruning and, worse — tree removal.

Residents have wondered why some seemingly healthy looking trees are getting cut back or removed in the neighborhood.

This audit that landed in our inbox via NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer might provide some answers.

Let's take a look:

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has mismanaged the City’s street tree pruning program responsible for maintaining approximately 650,000 street trees citywide, increasing the risk of personal injury and property damage from falling branches.

“Auditors found that Borough Forestry offices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island were paying contractors for pruning the wrong trees, for pruning that was never done and were not keeping accurate lists of trees that were properly maintained. Taxpayers deserve better management of our City’s trees,” Stringer said.

New York City’s street tree pruning program is run by the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Forestry Service, which oversees all street tree maintenance and operates an office in each borough. Private contractors that plant the street trees are responsible for maintaining them for two years. Thereafter, Parks prunes them, except for trees five inches or more in diameter, which are maintained by contractors hired by the Parks Department.

Based on a review of Parks’ operations and contracted street tree pruning services from July 1, 2012, to November 21, 2013, the Comptroller’s audit revealed weaknesses in the operations of all Borough Forestry Offices, except for Queens. The audit found that offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island had:

• Inaccurate lists, or no lists at all, of trees requiring pruning. Manhattan and Staten Island failed to give contractors specific lists of trees that needed maintenance and could not provide evidence that contractors’ work had been inspected.

• No evidence that required post-pruning inspections were performed. These inspections are meant to ensure that all contract terms are met and payments are only made for adequately pruned trees.

To read the full audit, please click here. (PDF!) And save a tree and don't print out the report...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Here's how you can apply to be a community board member

Do you like long meetings? Do you enjoy having your name or photo appear on local blogs? Do you like neighborhood block associations? Then do we have a job for you!

No, no — we kid because we love… here's your chance to be part of your local Community Board … and be "representative voices" of your community.

From the EVG inbox yesterday...

The Manhattan Borough President's Office is currently accepting applications for community board membership. Community boards represent their neighborhoods on crucial issues such as development, land use, historic preservation and city service delivery. Serving on a board is an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of sound community-based planning.

To find out more about Manhattan's community boards, learn how to apply for membership, or download an application, click here. Applications are due by February 1, 2014.


Scott M. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Borough President Scott Stringer voices concern over CB3's suspension of the L.E.S. Dwellers

As we first reported yesterday morning, neighborhood group The L.E.S. Dwellers are demanding an impartial investigation into their recent suspension by Community Board 3.

Upon their suspension, the group submitted a formal complaint to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, whose office oversees the city's Community Board governance.

Stringer responded to CB3 Chairperson Gigi Li and District Manager Susan Stetzer yesterday. A tipster shared a copy of Stringer's letter.

[Click on image to enlarge]

As he wrote, "the decision to exclude an organization ... under these circumstances does not serve the interest of community board transparency and democratic representation."

And later:

"While I understand the view that the organization may have detracted from community input by influencing certain applicants to withdraw from the Board's process, I do not believe a 'suspension' of the organization is the most effective response to such a concern. The act of suspending a community organization for lawful conduct from a program promoting community input without a fully deliberative process has implications for the transparency and fairness of community board governance. For these reasons, I ask that the Board reconsider its current policy of excluding organizations . . . to ensure that its mission of representing and responding to community concerns remains fully transparent and open to public scrutiny."

The L.E.S. Dwellers have been active in opposing new liquor licenses on the Lower East Side, including the proposed SoHo House on Ludlow Street ... and the ongoing battle with the DL on Delancey. CB3 first recognized the L.E.S. Dwellers as a block association in October 2012.

The CB3 suspension is to last the remainder of 2013.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Breaking Badly: LES Dwellers demand impartial investigation of Community Board 3 (33 comments)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Learn more about the East River Blueway Plan tonight

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Tonight at 6, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh will join with hundreds of East Side residents to unveil the East River Blueway Plan, a community-based planning roadmap to bring amenities and storm mitigation measures to the East River, from the Brooklyn Bridge to E. 38th Street.

Who: Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, Community Boards 3 & 6, Lower East Side Ecology Center, NYS Department of Coastal Resources, WXY architecture + urban design, Hundreds of East Side residents

Where: Cooper Union, Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

When: 6-8 p.m.

Stringer discussed this plan on Feb. 7 during his annual State of the Borough speech ... The Times had a piece on the project here. Gothamist had more details and renderings like the one below here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Scott Stringer has big plans for the East River

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer is giving his annual State of the Borough speech tonight ... and part of his talk will include his vision for the East River Blueway Plan, which will "reconnect residents with the riverfront," as The New York Times reported.

The plan won't be unveiled officially for a few more weeks, but the Times got a sneak peek.

Of particular interest around here:

One proposal — the most costly to execute — would elevate the bike and pedestrian path over the F.D.R. Drive at 14th Street, where the path currently narrows to four feet near the Consolidated Edison substation.

The plan calls for a new pedestrian bridge that would rise gradually from blocks away, allowing users to avoid that difficult bottleneck. The bridge would also serve as an inland sea wall that could help prevent flooding and an explosion like the one that rocked a substation during Hurricane Sandy, which contributed to the blackout across Lower Manhattan.

Read the whole article at the Times here. Gothamist has more details and renderings like the one above right here.


Avenue C and East Eighth Street on Oct. 29, before the power went... via Daniel Scott ...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tonight: Lower East Side Unity Rally against gun violence

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Tonight at 5:30, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer will lead Lower East Side residents in a solidarity march against gun violence. There have been at least five major shootings in the Lower East Side since July of 2012 – and the most recent on January 4th resulted in the death of Raphael Ward, a local high school student.

Who: Manhattan Borough President Stringer, Arlene Delgado, the mother of Raphael Ward, other elected officials, LES community members, youths who have experienced violence, residents of Community Board 3, friends and family of victims.

When: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 5:30pm

Where: Assemble at Avenue D at East 6th Street, marching to Columbia Street and Delancey Street

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Buses, rent, gardens main topics at East Village town hall with Scott Stringer

[Jacob Anderson]

By Jacob Anderson

The Manhattan Borough President addressed many issues at the town hall meeting last night at the Tompkins Square Park library branch, but did not once mention his bid for Mayor. He told the standing room-only-crowd of more than 100 people that he had no agenda for the evening.

“Basically this is open mic night in the Village,” Stringer said.

Several residents complained about the neighborhood bus routes that were cut two years ago. Stringer said he supports getting more money for public transit by bringing back the pre-1999 commuter tax for people traveling into the city to work. He said there has been resistance to that around the tri-state area.

“My name-recognition has gone up in New Jersey,” Stringer said.

“Just leave a couple of dollars so we can protect you and clean up after you,” he added. “It makes sense, Governor Christie, to help us here.”

Stringer said the effect of MTA cuts in the East Village was something that stood out to him.

“I learned more about the lack of bus service on multiple routes that I don’t think I fully engaged prior to tonight’s meeting,” he told me after the meeting.

The MTA will be restoring some bus lines, but Marcus Book of the Department of Transportation said they don’t yet know which routes will come back. (The M9 will return, according to a statement made by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver this week.)

[Via Scott Stringer's Twitter account]

Resident Brian Cooper and others said they are concerned about rent increases. Cooper said his mother lives in public housing, and that some people can’t afford to pay more than they already are. Another resident said rent was raised in 2008 under the auspices of oil costing $150 a barrel, and asked why, when oil prices dropped back down again, rent didn’t.

“To this day I am totally befuddled as to how they calculate what a reasonable rent increase could be,” Stringer said. He added that he wants a better rent guidelines system, and a “true, independent body” to oversee it.

Stringer was flanked by about a dozen representatives from various city government departments —NYPD, housing, transportation, etc. — who would chime in on specific issues, as well as by State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, and new Community Board 3 chairwoman Gigi Li.

Several gardeners apparently took a break from their weeding to show up. One asked about getting community gardens permanently protected. Both Stringer and Mendez said that they support permanent protection. Stringer added his support for people who grow their own food on neighborhood farms. He said he wants to create an agency to oversee agriculture and farmers markets for the city.

Some people expressed frustration over slow or no responses from Stringer’s office and other departments, like the NYCHA and the 9th Precinct. Stringer stayed upbeat, and told pretty much everyone with a specific complaint that his office would follow up with them. Afterwards, one man said to a member of Stringer’s staff, “Tell him he’s a nice guy. I like him.”

[Via Scott Stringer's Twitter account]

Other notes from the meeting:

• Anthony Donovan, who lives in an East 4th Street building owned by not-so-popular landlord Ben Shaoul, said that he’s being taken advantage of. Stringer’s response: “We’ve got to do better getting the bad actors to stand down.”

• Several people came out to oppose the Spectra pipeline, which is scheduled to be built in the West Village. They warned of dangerously high levels of radon gas. Stringer called himself “an intervener” on the pipeline, and said he’s working with scientists on the radon issue. When he was pushed to take a position: “I’m not going to say I oppose something that we know is going to happen.”

• Stringer said he has allocated $3 million for solar panels on school roofs.

• The award for biggest applause went to Judith Zaborowski, the co-chair of the 9th Street A-1 Block Association, who said to the panel of city employees who had occasionally fielded questions throughout the evening: “I’m not sure that you’ve even walked around this neighborhood, or have any idea about the transportation, and the bars, and the noise, and the NYU students that stay here for a year, and have no respect for those of us who are here.”

• Community gardeners will not be given a wrench to open fire hydrants to water their gardens. They can call the fire department for that.

Jacob Anderson is a freelance reporter in the East Village.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

East Village Town Hall meeting tonight

[Click to enlarge]

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer hosts (presents? chairs?) the Town Hall tonight from 6-8 at the Tompkins Square Park Library branch... neighbors are encouraged to attend ... and discuss community issues and speak directly to their local elected leaders.

Perhaps we should have a Town Hall Warmup... What do you think are some major issues facing the neighborhood? (Not a broad question at all!) Perhaps:

• Rampant development
Perceived spike in crime
• Lack of affordable housing
• Over-abundance of bars/liquor licenses/woo
• Decreasing retail diversity
• Rent hikes
• Cuts in after-school programming
• Pedestrian safety
• Potential loss of senior centers

These are broader issues, of course ... Residents will often have more specific concerns to discuss... For instance, there's always an array of topics at the 9th Precinct's Community Council meetings every month ... During the June 19 meeting, a resident complained about the noise at the 13th Step on Second Avenue... residents complained about Double Wide on East 12th Street leaving their doors open late... and, according to the minutes, "Resident complained about large bright illuminated sign from a massage parlor on St Marks."

So it's very possible someone will bring up a topic like this...

So you now have the floor to speak...Or comment.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stringer issues conditional approval for NYU's 2031 expansion plans

From the EV Grieve inbox ... a news release following Stringer's 11 a.m. press conference...

April 11, 2012, New York, NY – Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer today issued conditional approval for New York University’s (NYU) 2031 core campus expansion plan. In developing his Charter-mandated Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) recommendation, Stringer secured major commitments to and mitigations for the project, which include a significant overall density reduction; designation and preservation of public-strips as parkland; elimination of a temporary gymnasium on the site of two community playgrounds; elimination of proposed dormitories on the Bleecker Building; and an affirmation of NYU’s commitment to provide space for a K-8 school.

“Today I am proud to announce my conditional approval of one of the most significant university expansion plans in our City’s recent history,” Borough President Stringer said. “This blueprint is the culmination of an unprecedented, five-year planning process launched by my office—a model for future growth that strikes a balance between a great university’s need to grow and the importance of preserving Greenwich Village’s distinctive, historic character. There was nothing easy about this: Everyone had to give up something. No one got everything they wanted. But at the end of the day, I am pleased that we came to a resolution in the best interests of the City, Greenwich Village and the University.”

"This is a good and important step, and a recognition that universities need to grow to maintain excellence and that strong universities are important to keeping our city strong," said NYU President John Sexton. “The agreement we have reached, which comes after five years of deep involvement with the Borough President and committed efforts by him, will enable NYU to meet the long-term academic space needs of its faculty and students while being sensitive to the concerns of our surrounding community. We understand that the public review process involves many stakeholders, and we look forward to working with the City Planning Commission and the City Council to secure their support in the coming months."

There's more. Oh God, so much more. You can go here for the whole release/statement.

Reaction from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (via The Real Deal):

"This is really just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," said GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman. "A slight decrease in the size of a few buildings does not change the fact that this massive plan is fundamentally wrong for the Village, wrong for New York City, and wrong for NYU, as evidenced by the growing chorus of resolutions from NYU faculty departments opposing the plan."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Manhattan Borough President's decision on NYU’s 2031 expansion plans due tomorrow

From the EV Grieve inbox...

Tomorrow at 11 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will release his recommendation on NYU’s 2031 campus expansion plan.

Who: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
NYU President John Sexton
Community leaders

Where: 1 Centre Street South, 19th Floor

When: TOMORROW, April 11th at 11 a.m.

Mayor Bloomberg has already provided a spirited defense of the university's expansion plans, according to DNAinfo. Meanwhile, according to the Times, NYU has agreed to reduce the scale of its plans for four tall buildings in Greenwich Village by almost a fifth.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lower East Side second in the city with 19 stalled developments; plus, Scott Stringer's plan for them

[Stalled site on Eighth Street and Avenue D]

From the EV Grieve inbox ...

Challenging New York to "turn sore spots into bright spots," Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released a new report [yesterday morning], "Arrested Development: Breathing New Life into Stalled Construction Sites," which calls for a campaign to revitalize these sites — and their surrounding neighborhoods — with imaginative temporary uses.

The Borough President’s surveyed all 129 stalled construction sites in Manhattan and found that 37% had problems with litter; 60% had fencing that was in disrepair or vandalized, and half of the sites had sidewalk obstructions. New York may be living with these eyesores for several years, the study found, because even if the economy turned around today there would be a considerable lag time before construction resumed and was finally completed on all 646 of these stalled sites citywide.

His report calls for the city to to pass legislation that permits property owners and government to create temporary public spaces on private property. "New York should also streamline the approval process for private uses — such as farmers markets, cafes, and performing arts spaces — and pass legislation guaranteeing that such temporary uses will not remove previous approvals for the site."

Interesting ... though could this open the door for more douchebaggery? Stringer cited the Timeshare Backyard on Ludlow Street as a good example of this temporary usage. We only ever heard complaints (noise ... water) about this place, where, among other things, you could pay to spray a woman wearing a white T-shirt with a hose for entertainment.

But. Given the right idea... How about putting up a screen (or paint a wall) and have a weekly movie night...? Nothing mainstream. Find someone to curate the series. Show some John Cassavetes or something. You get the idea.

In any event, according to the report, Community District 3 — which includes the Lower East Side, Chinatown and the East Village — had the second-most number of stalled sites in the city with 19. (District 1, which includes Tribeca and Lower Manhattan, had the most with 20.)

Several of the stalled projects in this neighborhood are being, uh, unstalled, such as 75 First Avenue and 427 E. 12th St.

It's a comprehensive report, which you can find here...

Arrested Development: Breathing New Life Into Stalled Construction Sites

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scott Stringer: Enough with the ATMs!

The Daily News had this story yesterday:

Those grubby, no-name ATMs are multiplying like bunnies, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer says they're not only a nuisance -- they could be unsafe.

Stringer's office surveyed 950 Manhattan automatic teller machines and found that some neighborhoods -- like the East Village -- have a disproportionate number.

"It's time for the city to step up and call a halt on these attempts to cash in on our neighborhoods," Stringer said of the machines, which stores install for a fee.

The study found 242 unregulated sidewalk ATMs in Manhattan.

In the East Village, surveyors found nearly 100 on the sidewalk, five of which were on one Avenue A block. Only two in the area were affiliated with major banks.

Stringer called on the city to better regulate the cash-spewing contraptions

Just last week, EV Grieve reader Jen pointed out the three newish ATMs along First Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's. She (correctly!) calls them hideous and asks, "Why the sudden influx? They're practically all touching."

I have my theories...feel free to leave your own.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Avenue ATM (aka, how many stupid ATMs does one block need?)