The Real Deal New York

Six real estate ideas for de Blasio

December 15, 2013 11:00AM

 Mayor Bloomberg’s most enduring gift to New York City’s real estate industry may be rezoning much of the five boroughs. But when Bill de Blasio takes office in January, there are at least six things he can do to build a better NYC, according to Crain’s.

First, de Blasio could auction vacant city land. There are at least 5,171 city-owned vacant lots – totaling roughly 152 million square feet — across the five boroughs, worth approximately $1.1 billion, according to city records.

Second, Dan Biederman, co-founder of the Grand Central Partnership, the 34th Street Partnership and Bryant Park Corp., suggests that the newly elected mayor could remove the Parks Department from the city’s operating budget and shift it to private revenue streams. “I don’t think Bill [de Blasio] would be opposed to this,” Biederman said.

Another idea from Tucker Reed of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is for the de Blasio administration to repurpose elegant but old government buildings to better generate revenue. Old government buildings could become urban campuses for entrepreneurs, startups or retail stores. Reed recommends the Brooklyn municipal buildings at 210 Joralemon Street and 65 Court Street, and the U.S. Post Office and courthouse at 271 Cadman Plaza East.

Two other ideas are for de Blasio to connect NYC’s various greenways into a unified system spanning multiple boroughs and developing a new convention center at the Sunnyside, Queens rail yards.

Finally, de Blasio could develop the most valuable police car impound lot in America just across the street from the Javits Center at Pier 76 – a prime waterfront location. [Crain’s]Christopher Cameron