De Blasio refuses to discuss potential end of 421a

Developers and labor unions have just three days to reach a deal
January 12, 2016 11:07AM

As negotiators race to salvage the 421a tax abatement, Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t even speak about the possibility they’ll fail to strike an accord.

The mayor refused to answer questions on the possibility at a press conference Monday, calling them “hypotheticals.”

The mayor said the Real Estate Board of New York – which represents developers – and the Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents builder unions – still have plenty of time to agree on wage requirements for projects built under 421a.

“Four days is a long time in this work,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Observer ”This is not the first time 421a has been on the brink. I think there’s a lot of reasons why it can be saved here.”

The press conference was organized to highlight the 40,000 units of below-market-rate housing built or preserved with city funds since de Blasio entered office in Jan. 2014.

Officials acknowledged that plans for many of those units were filed by developers seeking to get building permits in place before the tax abatement’s possible expiration.

Landowners should be worried if negotiators can’t agree by the Jan. 15 deadline. The Real Deal examined the 421a program late last year and found the city’s real estate players are its main beneficiaries. [NYO]Ariel Stulberg