Subsidy aids Blackrock’s move to Hudson Yards
Financial behemoth Blackrock is planning to pick up stakes in Midtown, move to the wilds of Hudson Yards and net itself $25 million in state tax credits for its efforts. With the move, Blackrock will further shift the center of gravity for the city’s corporate elite westward, according to the New York Times. The firm, which manages $5 trillion in assets, has agreed to keep 2,672 jobs in Manhattan and add another 700 — a windfall of $35,714 for each position created. Critics call the subsidy unnecessary, especially considering the hundreds of millions the city has spent to spur development in the nascent neighborhood. “Given the city’s very generous Hudson Yards property tax discount already in place, it is mysterious why the state would be considering a further subsidy,” said James Parrott, an economist with government watchdog group the Fiscal Policy Institute. Blackrock will join a number of other big firms at Hudson Yards, including Coach, Time Warner, Wells Fargo Securities and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Brooklyn Bridge Park towers seen rising on shaky ground
The latest skirmish in the 10-year battle over planned residential towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park is a fight over soil composition, the Brooklyn Eagle reported. Sheldon Weinbaum, an engineering professor at CUNY, who lives next to the proposed towers, claimed at a recent community meeting that building on a site that has a combination of unstable tidal wetlands and bedrock too deep to reach could render the towers unstable. As an example, Weinbaum cited the Brooklyn Bridge, which relied on a caisson filled with 3,000 tons of concrete when efforts to reach bedrock fell short. But the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation’s David Lowin argued that waterfront building is commonplace in New York and that the city’s construction code is robust enough to ensure safety.
State eyes development over a waterfront Bronx rail yard
The state is seeking developers to build a massive mixed-use project over a nearly 13-acre rail yard in the South Bronx, Crain’s New York Business reported. With property costs rising elsewhere, the state is hoping it will make financial sense for developers to deck over the rail yard between Bedford Park and Kingsbridge and build a waterfront development with a substantial residential component. Borough President Ruben Diaz, who pitched a similar idea, said the plan could create 1,000 new units. The site is now used to transfer freight between trains and trucks, a role the state wants to see continue.
Airbnb to work with city on new short-term rental rules
In a radical shifting of gears, Airbnb is now working with New York City on the details of implementing a new law designed to rein in some of the short-term apartment rentals that are the bread and butter of the company’s business, according to the Wall Street Journal. The effort comes in the wake of the company’s decision to abandon suits it brought against the city and the state over laws they had passed that fine hosts up to $7,500 for advertising short-term rentals in apartments where the owner is not present. Rather than intending to target the rental giant, the law provides another tool “to use against those seeking to turn permanent homes into illegal, short-term stay hotels,” said a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio. Depending on how the measure is implemented, it has the potential to sharply curtail the company’s business in its largest single market. But the city made it clear that Airbnb itself will not be hit with the fines.