Convictions in fatal gas explosion; green roof mandate kicks in

A daily roundup of New York real estate news, deals and more for November 15, 2019

TRD New York /
Nov.November 15, 2019 01:40 PM

Every weekday The Real Deal rounds up New York’s biggest real estate news. We update this page throughout the day, starting at 9 a.m. Please send any tips or deals to [email protected]

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Video produced by Sabrina He

 

The three defendants charged in a fatal East Village gas explosion four years ago were convicted Friday. The blast killed two people and leveled three buildings, leading to the discovery of an illegal gas hookup. Landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and unlicensed plumber Athanasios “Jerry” Ioannidis were found guilty of manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and other charges. [NYP]

 

Starting today, new and renovated roofs must be eco-friendly. Local Laws 92 and 94 took effect, requiring all new buildings — and existing ones undergoing major roof renovations — to have a solar photovoltaic system, a green roof system, or a combination that covers 100 percent of any applicable roof, the Department of Buildings announced.

 

The City Council moved Thursday to add transparency to the selection process for the city’s subsidized housing. It passed a bill to compel the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to annually report changes or challenges to the system, and another measure to require the agency to divulge the race, ethnicity, income and household size of applicants who win housing lotteries. [Crain’s]

 

WeWork bonds fell thanks to anxieties over a delayed payment. A $3 billion portion of SoftBank’s $9.5 billion rescue package for the beleaguered co-working startup was supposed to arrive last Wednesday. The startup’s junk bonds fell and risk value shot up after TRD reported the news of the delay Thursday. [Reuters]

 

“Diller Island” no more. The long-delayed floating island project on the West Side, set to open in spring 2021, will be called Little Island. The $250 million project was at the center of a 2014 dispute between Douglas Durst and the project’s funder, Barry Diller. [Crain’s]

 

Corcoran’s president of sales is stepping down. Bill Cunningham, who had a brief stint as president of Trump Realty in 2014, was later Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman’s top deputy and confidante. The shakeup comes just two months after a major data leak that revealed agent splits. [TRD]

 

Service workers will get prevailing wage at affordable developments. The City Council passed the bill, which will not apply to complexes where at least 50 percent of tenants are formerly homeless, disabled or receiving on-site social or health services. But there may be an upside: Council Speaker Corey Johnson said the city may be willing to kick in more subsidy into those deals. [Crain’s]

 

Douglas Durst and the owner of a prime Long Island City site are locked in a dispute. Durst, who holds the debt and has unsuccessfully attempted to foreclose on the property for a decade, has paid $10.5 million in property taxes and mechanic’s liens. MaryAnne Gilmartin’s L&L MAG has plans to develop the waterfront site. [TRD]

 

Jeffery Epstein’s estate executors are looking for an alternative to litigation. A fund will be established to compensate victims of abuse. While the size of the fund is unknown, Epstein’s estate has been valued at $577 million, including a townhouse that could be worth $100 million. [WSJ]

 

A Chelsea co-op is facing pricey rent increases and evictions. Shareholders at 101 West 23rd Street saw their rents triple when building was subject to a rent reset on the land it leases. Facing evictions, 11 of the shareholders are embroiled in a lawsuit alleging foul play that allowed the situation to develop. The owners of the land and 85 percent of the shares, E&M Management, say they are not the owners — although property records show they are. [TRD]

 

Playboy has left its exclusive Manhattan club. The West 42 Street venue had been operating with Merchants Hospitality since September 2018. But that all came to an end as Playboy terminated its agreement for the club to use its name, logo, Bunny costumes and art. [TRD]


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