Government briefs

AG data shows slide in residential plans

The number of residential projects being developed as condos or co-ops in Manhattan will remain low for the foreseeable future, new figures obtained from the New York State Attorney General’s office show. As The Real Deal reported last month, offering plans that were either submitted to or accepted by the AG’s office in the first quarter were down by more than two-thirds from the same period two years ago, meaning the number of condo projects going forward will be just a fraction of those during the run-up of the market before the credit collapse. Sponsors submitted fewer than a dozen offering plans in the first quarter of 2010, down 74 percent from 45 in the first quarter of 2008.

$700 million Harlem project underway

Construction started last month on the first phase of a $700 million multiuse development in East Harlem on the corner of 125th Street and Third Avenue. The project, spearheaded by developer 125 MEC Center in conjunction with city and state officials, will include 800 housing units, 600 of which will be for low- and middle-income families; 50,000 square feet of retail space; a 98,000-square-foot hotel; and 250,000 square feet of office space. The project, which has received funding from private investors as well as the city and state, is expected to be fully built in 2016.

Review process underway for Riverside Center

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The city has commenced its review of Extell Development’s Riverside Center project, the 2,500-unit apartment and 210,000-square-foot retail complex on the southern portion of the company’s Hudson River site, according to the Westside Independent. Extell decreased some of the building heights in response to community criticisms of the project, which also calls for a movie theater, an auto showroom, a K-8 school, a hotel and upwards of three acres worth of open space. The next step in the project’s seven-month review process is the local community board, which will make a recommendation in two months’ time.

Bedbug bill would hold landlords accountable

New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, whose district includes the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen, is hoping to draw attention to her anti-bedbug bill, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rosenthal introduced legislation to hold building owners accountable for not warning their tenants of infestation. The legislation would mandate that building owners disclose any bedbug activity within the last five years to potential renters before they move in. The bill also proposes a $750 tax credit to residents who have been afflicted with a bedbug infestation. The bedbug scourge has escalated rapidly in New York City in recent years, according to the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There were 10,985 bedbug complaints in the city during 2009, according to the department, compared to just 537 reported incidents in 2004.

Battery Park City gets Fannie approval

After an in-depth review of the neighborhood’s ground leases, mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced last month that it will back loans on homes in Battery Park City, according to Crain’s and the Web site DNAinfo. Sellers there can now breathe a sigh of relief, after a potential ground lease fee hike cast doubt on whether Fannie Mae would underwrite the loans in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. Fannie Mae reportedly has $100 million worth of loans secured on condos in the neighborhood.