The Real Deal New York

Government Briefs

November 27, 2007

City Council passes green legislation
The City Council passed legislation last month that would require any major building construction or renovation paid for with city capital funds to adhere to “green standards.” The environmental standards include using renewable energy sources and conserving materials, according to the New York Times.

Trump Riverside Place lawsuit dismissed
Donald Trump’s lawsuit against his partners in the record Riverside Place sale this spring was dismissed by the state Supreme Court last month. The dismissal legally thwarted Trump’s attempt to keep the general partners that control the West Side site from selling it and placing the $1.76 billion in proceeds into a tax-free 1031 exchange, according to the Slatin Report.

City to start building second biggest park
The city has taken its first steps toward building its second largest park, in Staten Island. Mayor Bloomberg announced plans last month for a $6 million, 28-acre park, dubbed Owl Hollow Fields, with construction to begin next year. It’s an initial step toward developing a 2,200-acre park over the former Fresh Kills landfill that will be second only to the Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park in area, and nearly two-and-a-half times the size of Central Park.

MTA approves Ratner bid for Atlantic rail yards
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority last month approved developer and New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner’s plans for building a basketball arena over the Atlantic Avenue rail yards in Downtown Brooklyn. Ratner will reportedly pay $100 million for the 8.3-acre site, with the rest of the money for development of the arena and several residential buildings coming from the city and the state. The arena is expected to open by fall 2008.

Lower Manhattan transit hubs under way
Construction on the $2.2 billion World Trade Center transportation hub, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, began last month and is expected to be completed in 2009. The station will connect PATH trains, subways, and will also be equipped to one day receive Long Island Rail Road trains and a rail link from Kennedy Airport. Building also got under way on the new Fulton Street Transit Center, a $750 million project which will connect 12 subway lines.

Deutsche Bank building demolition starts
Demolition started last month on the Deutsche Bank building at 130 Liberty Street near Ground Zero. The first phase comprises preparatory work. The second phase will be the actual floor-by-floor deconstruction and is scheduled to start early next year, Crain’s reported. The building has been empty since September 11, when it was severely damaged.

Judge to co-op: Couples same as spouses
A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled last month that a couple who charged an Upper West Side co-op board discriminated against them because they weren’t married can go ahead with their lawsuit against the board. The board would not allow the male plaintiff to be listed as a co-purchaser because he was not financially qualified. The judge ruled that because married partners are treated by the board as a single economic unit, an unmarried couple should be as well, the Daily News reported.

Woodlawn, Whitestone limits on building floated
The city is considering a rezoning for Woodlawn in the Bronx that would limit future development in much of the neighborhood to single- and two-family detached homes, ensuring the area remains essentially a bedroom community, the Daily News reported. In Whitestone in northern Queens, more than 8,000 properties may be subject to new city zoning rules that could include barring property owners from building two houses on lots where only one is now standing. The proposal is part of a larger overall zoning initiative covering blocks in 15 Queens neighborhoods, the New York Sun reported.

Largest phase of new Queens West park started
Government officials and developers broke ground last month on the second phase of Gantry Plaza State Park on the edge of Long Island City overlooking the East River. The second phase will include 12 acres of parkland, a playing field and a 1.25-mile waterfront esplanade. The entire Queens West development, covering 74 acres, will have a total of around 23 acres of public park amid its 20 buildings and approximately 10,000 apartment units.

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