The Daily Dirt: Groups pitch building emissions compromise Inbox

New York /
Mar.March 12, 2021 08:37 PM

As budget talks heat up, some groups have floated different options for Local Law 97 compliance.

Before I get into these options, here’s a quick — and, admittedly, oversimplified — refresher: Local Law 97 puts in place stringent building emission caps that start to kick in in three years. Those who don’t comply may be subject to fines. The real estate industry has sought relief from these requirements in the form of an option to buy renewable energy credits generated outside NYC to offset emissions, an idea that was included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget offered.

The Building and Construction Trades Council and 32BJ SEIU largely back the proposed workaround for the law but have offered up possible compromises: cap the number of energy credits that can be used to offset emissions; limit the application of the credits to building emissions related to electricity; or find other ways to invest in energy efficiency onsite. The unions also suggested only permitting the use of out-of-state credits until an “adequate amount of renewable power” is flowing into the city.

Meanwhile, planning and environmental groups want the issue removed from the budget process entirely. Instead, those groups — which include the Regional Plan Association and the Urban Green Council — prefer that the city create another option for compliance, such as the ability for property owners to invest in a fund that would pay for energy efficiency and electrification upgrades in affordable housing. They also pitched limiting the number of renewable energy credits that could be purchased based on a percentage of the building’s greenhouse emissions that are above the annual limit.

The groups agree that building owners need another route to comply with the city law.

“We get it. There are buildings that no matter what they do, can’t comply,” said John Mandyck, CEO of the Urban Green Council. “The worst thing we can do is just issue fines. Fines are just a lose-lose proposition.”

“We don’t need fines; we need carbon reduction,” he added.

The state Assembly and Senate are working on their own budget proposals, and some legislators have already indicated that they do not support Cuomo’s workaround. It is unclear how budget negotiations will play out, as more officials — including U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand— call for his resignation.

What we’re thinking about: Well, love is dead, my friends, but as with everything, there is a real estate angle. What will become of real estate and other investments shared by Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez? Send a note to [email protected].

CLOSING TIME

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Friday was for a condo unit at 24 Leonard Street in Tribeca at $11.2 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an self-storage building at 134-31 Montauk Street in Jamaica at $36.4 million.

BREAKING GROUND

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 324-square-foot garage at 143-47 229th Street in Brookville. Hershel Guidanian filed the permit application.

NEW TO THE MARKET

The priciest residence to hit the market was for a condop unit at 19 East 61st Street in Lenox Hill at $27.5 million. Douglas Elliman has the listing.
—Research by Orion Jones

A thing we’ve learned…

Only one governor in New York’s history has ever been impeached. Democratic Gov. William Sulzer was impeached in 1913, 10 months into his term. He was charged with filing false campaign receipts and withholding evidence. According to the Wall Street Journal, there has been speculation among historians that his expulsion was related to his soured relationship with Tammany Hall.

Elsewhere in New York

— Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that he isn’t “part of the political club,” as part of broader criticism he leveled against elected officials calling for his resignation. This is a real thing the governor said during a press conference on Friday, despite also noting that he has been “in the public eye” since he ran the campaign of his father — a three-term governor — at age 23. He was also once married to a Kennedy.

— City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on Friday joined the chorus of politicians calling on Cuomo to resign. “Previously, I expressed my support for the investigation being led by Attorney General Letitia James. I still believe that independent investigation must continue,” he said in a statement. “But I also believe that the number and the nature of the allegations against Gov. Cuomo has made it impossible for him to govern. Gov. Cuomo should resign.”

— Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced on Friday that he will not seek re-election. The decision wasn’t really a surprise, since he hasn’t raised any money for a campaign. Taking what seems like a pretty obvious swing at another elected official, Vance told the New Yorker, “There’s nothing worse than a politician who doesn’t know when to leave.”


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