Land Use chair: landmarking undercuts affordable housing

David Greenfield says surge in special designation coincides with rising housing costs

Mar.March 07, 2014 01:02 PM

The Bloomberg administration’s landmarking flurry is partly to blame for the challenge of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 200,000 units of affordable housing goal over the next decade, according to the new chairman of City Council’s Land Use committee.

The uptick in landmarked buildings in the city’s historic districts has been shown to coincide with the rising value of homes in those neighborhoods, David Greenfield said at a Thursday Land Use hearing. Developers and others in the real estate industry have similarly complained about what they call overzealous landmarking. Some suspect the policy also aims to stifle development by restricting the scale of new structures in landmarked areas to those of existing buildings.

“None of us exists in a vacuum,” Greenfield said to Landmarks Preservation Commission chair Robert Tierney Thursday. “In the grand scheme of the city we are very focused on affordable housing … those are two competing interests.”

Historic districts made up 2 percent of New York City and 10 percent of Manhattan as of March 2013, according to a past report from the Wall Street Journal, and the Real Estate Board of New York released a report finding that of July, 27.7 percent of Manhattan had been landmarked.

Greenfield told Crain’s via email that some projects have been under consideration for landmarking for decades, calling the situation “unacceptable.” He added his view that the commission should “have a clear standard on the length of considering a project, and if they cannot meet those guidelines they should withdraw the project from consideration.” [Crain’s]Julie Strickland

Related Articles

A rendering of 165 Broome Street (Credit: Handel Architects)

Nonprofit plans affordable housing development near Essex Crossing

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

CHIP's Jay Martin 

“The landlord is just a collection agent for the city,” CHIP head argues

(Credit: iStock)

Analysis: As coronavirus spreads, here are all the active hot water violations in NYC

From left: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar (Credit: Getty Images)

Here’s how Bernie, Biden and the remaining presidential candidates would tackle housing crisis

From left: Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Candidates talk housing issues at Democratic debate

DSS commissioner Steven Banks with 148 West 124th Street (left) and 79 East 125th Street (right) (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

City will convert 14 apartment buildings into housing for homeless

A rendering of The Dime at 209 Havemeyer Street in Brooklyn (Credit: Fogarty Finger)

New city rule requires luxury rental buildings to house homeless families