The Daily Dirt: Affordable housing hiccups

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

Jan.January 16, 2020 01:00 PM
From left: Council member Rafael Espinal, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council member Antonio Reynoso (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

From left: Council member Rafael Espinal, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council member Antonio Reynoso (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

The mayor’s mandatory inclusionary housing program has had a really bad two months.

In December, a state judge annulled the Inwood rezoning. Last week, negotiations to rezone Bushwick fell apart. Southern Boulevard in the Bronx now appears imperiled.

For those keeping count: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has rezoned six neighborhoods. He has only two years left of his mayoralty to rezone the other nine neighborhoods on his wish list (not counting Inwood, where he is appealing the judge’s ruling). The odds are stacked against the mayor to fully deliver on what was once regarded as the centerpiece of his affordable housing program.

Bushwick and Southern Boulevard share a common element: The local council members don’t support what the administration envisions for these areas. Without their support, these rezoning proposals are essentially dead on arrival thanks to member deference — that pesky custom of the City Council to fall in line with the local council member on land-use issues. For years there’s been talk of ending this practice and reforming the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, but neither has come to fruition.

A meeting with REBNY became really tense when a jilted former contractor sent an email.

On Wednesday, Stratus Data Systems sent a cease-and-desist letter to rival Perchwell, REBNY and data vendors of REBNY’s residential listings service, E.B. Solomont reports.

REBNY tapped Perchwell in December to operate its RLS’ back-end system. The trade group had convened a meeting Wednesday to discuss the transition from Stratus to Perchwell when the former sent the email.

“It was a disaster,” one attendee told TRD.

Stratus claims REBNY may be violating a licensing agreement that bars any third party from using Stratus’ data and software. REBNY says the transition between the two systems will be “seamless,” but Stratus says Perchwell is wrongfully using its “metadata, data dictionary and definitions” to build out its Elastic Listing System. REBNY denies that it’s in violation of any agreement.

What we’re thinking about: Will the NYCHA infill projects ever get off the ground? Send a note to [email protected]


Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Wednesday was for a condo unit at 90 Morton Street in the West Village, at $4.9 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for a medical office at 180-05 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica, at $20.5 million.


The largest new building filing of the day was for a 13,213-square-foot residential building at 824 60th Street in Borough Park. Simon Lee filed the permit application.


The priciest residential listing to hit the market Wednesday was for a penthouse unit at 41 Great Jones Street in Noho, at $15 million. Cameron Culver has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

Back in 2015, Netflix partnered with SoftBank to bring the streaming service to Japan. That’s why SoftBank’s logo appears in the credits of the Netflix show “Midnight Diner.”

Elsewhere in New York

— A West Point cadet started a GoFundMe campaign to bring porn star Diamond Foxxx to the academy’s winter banquet, the New York Post reports. Foxxx apparently agreed to be his date if he paid for her travel and hotel room. Alas, the cadet’s dreams were dashed — higher-ups urged him to take down the page, and he complied.

— As mayor, Michael Bloomberg vetoed a bill that eventually became the basis of the city’s sick-leave policy. It turns out Bloomberg LP’s Midtown headquarters violated the policy by requiring some employees to present a doctor’s note after calling in sick one or two days, The City reports.

— Remember Bridgegate? Well, the U.S. Supreme Court might dismiss fraud convictions against former Chris Christie appointees Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni for their role in the scandal, WNYC reports.

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