Government briefs

State pushes back bond sale at WTC site

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Christopher Ward

The planned construction of 4 World Trade Center saw a setback last month when the state entity funding the project delayed a $900 million bond offering. Crain’s reported that the Liberty Development Corp., an arm of New York’s Empire State Development Corp., which had planned to issue the debt for Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority, decided to wait until the economy improves to sell the bonds. But Christopher Ward, executive director of the Port Authority, told The Real Deal that the 4 World Trade Center bonds need to be sold by the end of this year for construction to be completed by 2013.

City turns a brownfield green

The PlaNYC Brownfield Cleanup Program last month started the cleanup and redevelopment of a vacant lot at 456 Grand Street in South Williamsburg, the first of 11 new cleanup projects, the city announced. Mayor Michael Bloomberg started the cleanup initiative — the first city-funded program of its kind in the nation — last year to rehabilitate land considered unusable for development because of environmental contamination. Once the cleanup of the South Williamsburg site is finished, Triangle Court LLC will build a $15 million, six-story residential building with ground-floor retail space.

State and fed fund waterfront study

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East River waterfront rendering

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The city has received $475,000 in federal and state funding to study how much it would cost to develop a public waterfront on a stretch of land near the East River that is currently closed, the news website DNAinfo reported. The area from 38th to 60th streets would be turned into a public waterfront if the study shows sufficient benefit. Under the plan, the former Con Edison pier that sits between 38th and 41st streets could be turned into a public park and the United Nations could potentially erect an office building in the playground on First Avenue at 41st Street. The city’s Economic Development Corporation issued a request for proposals for the waterfront study last month, and the Municipal Art Society is planning a conference for architects to test possible designs this summer.

Cuomo negotiating with legislature on rent reg bill

The State Assembly passed a bill last month to expand and extend the state’s rent-regulation laws, which are slated to expire June 15. The bill would extend rent regulation until 2016, raise the threshold for rent deregulation, and cut the rent increases that take place each year. As The Real Deal reported last month, Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver called the impending expiration a “housing emergency.” The New York Times reported that Dean Skelos, the Senate Republican leader, rejected the extension when it was brought up in budget talks, and a similar bill in the Senate is not expected to pass. Governor Andrew Cuomo is said to be working on a bill that could pass in both houses.

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Coney Island’s Scream Zone

City invests in Coney Island roller coasters

Mayor Bloomberg and other city officials last month helped launch Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Scream Zone, on 6.9 acres of land purchased by the city. The development includes a 10-year lease with Central Amusement International, which also operates Luna Park, the amusement park added to Coney Island last year. The two parks cost the city more than $6.6 million, and Central Amusement International about $12 million.

Compiled by Kaitlin Ugolik