Protesters demand East New York politician return donations from RE interests

Bluestone Group, which wants to redevelop Arlington Village, donated $1K to Rafael Espinal

New York /
Apr.April 08, 2016 06:00 PM

City Council member Rafael Espinal is feeling the heat from some of his constituents ahead of the City Council’s expected vote on the East New York rezoning plan this month.

Protesters rallied outside Espinal’s office Thursday, armed with $100 bills depicting his face, and demanded he give back donations from real estate interests.

For this year’s campaign season, landowners, real estate lawyers and developers donated around $7,000, according to New York City Campaign Finance Board data, DNAinfo reported.

Bluestone Group, which is looking to redevelop a two-story, 210-unit complex called Arlington Village, donated $1,000, DNAinfo reported. A group of investors led by Eli Tabak of the Bluestone Group acquired the complex for $30 million in March 2015, and are looking to redevelop it as affordable housing, The Real Deal reported.

“Developers have no influence on my negotiations surrounding the rezoning — the only people influencing me are those who live in the community today — my neighbors, small business owners, and local community groups,” said Espinal.

East New York is the first of 15 neighborhoods that would be rezoned under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan. The rezoning is expected to generate 6,492 new apartments and 1.3 million square feet of retail, office space and community facilities in the 190-block area of East New York, Cypress Hill and Ocean Hill neighborhoods.

Last month, New York Communities for Change, a union-backed group that says it represents around 1,000 East New York residents, was pressuring Espinal to push for buildings constructed under the rezoning on Atlantic Avenue and Pitkin Avenue to be 50 percent affordable for low-income tenants, Crain’s reported.

According to an analysis by City Comptroller Scott Stringer last year, affordable housing units created under the rezoning would be unaffordable for 55 percent of East New York’s residents. [DNAinfo]Dusica Sue Malesevic


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Union Square and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

City drops bid to require special permits for Union Square hotels

City drops bid to require special permits for Union Square hotels
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

Real estate braces for new restrictions as virus cases surge

Real estate braces for new restrictions as virus cases surge
MayorBill de Blasio and Queens Democratic Council member Costa Constantinides (Getty)

De Blasio signs bill capping emissions at rent-regulated buildings

De Blasio signs bill capping emissions at rent-regulated buildings
President elect Joseph Biden with Mitch McConell, President Trump and Nancy Pelosi (Getty)

Lame-duck Congress will resume stimulus package talks

Lame-duck Congress will resume stimulus package talks
From left: Related chairman Stephen Ross, LeFrak CEO Richard LeFrak and President Donald Trump (Getty)

Four things Biden could do for New York real estate that Trump didn’t

Four things Biden could do for New York real estate that Trump didn’t
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's Andrew Berman (Photos via Getty; iStock; Neighbor2Neighbor Greenwich Village)

Move over, artists: Soho rezoning blueprint calls for more apartments, legal retail

Move over, artists: Soho rezoning blueprint calls for more apartments, legal retail
City’s new Open Storefronts program will allow shop owners to sell their wares on sidewalks (Getty)

NYC to allow store owners to sell wares on sidewalks

NYC to allow store owners to sell wares on sidewalks
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (iStock)

Manhattan theaters sue Cuomo, de Blasio over Covid restrictions

Manhattan theaters sue Cuomo, de Blasio over Covid restrictions
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...