Snapshots of government-related real estate news
Penn South housing to stay affordable
Albany lawmakers renewed a tax break for middle-income co-op Penn South, which stretches from West 23rd Street to West 29th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues in Chelsea. The bill exempts the 2,820-unit development from property taxes for 50 years. Some Penn South tenants pay as little as $350 per month for a studio apartment, and maintenance charges are low, DNAinfo reported. The legislation, sponsored by Chelsea Assemblyman Dick Gottfried and Manhattan State Sen. Brad Hoylman, both Democrats, will enable almost 3,000 households in the 15-tower complex to afford to remain in their homes. The tax exemption now requires City Council approval.
Board approves Tappan Zee Bridge loans
New York State’s Environmental Facilities Corp. approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to use $511 million of loans from clean-water funds to help pay for the new Tappan Zee Bridge, a $3.9 billion project. The plan awaits the approval of the Thruway Authority and the Public Authorities Control Board. The money would fund the removal of the existing bridge, river dredging and a pedestrian and bike path on the bridge. The loans would also pay for efforts to protect the Hudson River and marine life, the AP reported.
Second Avenue subway delays threaten debut date
Delays on two sub-projects for the Second Avenue subway may push back the subway line’s December 2016 opening date. Equipment rooms at the 72nd Street station are two to three months behind schedule, and there have been issues getting permanent electricity in all stations, according to an engineering consultant’s report. The MTA told DNAinfo that speedier equipment manufacturing for the 96th Street and 72nd Street stations will make up for the electricity delays. MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz insisted that the subway is still slated for a December 2016 debut.
World’s Fair Pavilion receives restoration funds
The new city budget allotted $5.8 million for restoration work on the New York State Pavilion from the 1964 World’s Fair, and its adjacent structure, the Tent of Tomorrow. The mayor’s office contributed $4.2 million, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz gave $979,000, and the City Council added $628,000. The funding follows two engineering studies that assessed the condition of the Pavilion, the New York Times reported. Complete restoration of the Philip Johnson–designed structures, including elevator access to the top of the towers, would cost an estimated $52 million.
City may OK flood protection barriers on streets
The city Department of Transportation is looking to create a new set of permits allowing flood protection barriers on public streets and sidewalks. The proposal was prompted by the flooding that swamped Lower Manhattan during Superstorm Sandy, according to Crain’s. The permits would allow the installation of permanent footings on sidewalks or building facades; landlords would fit temporary barriers into the footings two days before a storm and remove the barriers within a day after water recedes. The department will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed permits on Aug. 7.