Government briefs: TRD’s roundup of regulatory news

A rendering of the new Pier A
A rendering of the new Pier A

Revamped Pier A set to open in 2014

After years of delays and cost overruns, plans were unveiled last month for an overhaul of a long-vacant historic structure at Pier A in Lower Manhattan, DNAInfo reported. The landmarked, three-story building first opened in 1886 as the headquarters for the New York Harbor Police and Department of Docks. After completing repairs to the building’s shell and core by June, the Battery Park City Authority said it will turn the building over to a group of developers including the Poulakakos family, who will spend $18 million to create an oyster bar, upscale 100-seat restaurant, catering hall and tourist-information center at the site. The developers also unveiled renderings for a pedestrian plaza surrounding the building. Danny McDonald, a Poulakakos partner, said the complex is slated to open by May 2014.

Architecture firms reimagine Penn Station

The nonprofit Municipal Art Society of New York has asked four high-profile design firms to come up with new designs for Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, the New York Times reported. Designs created by the firms — Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SHoP Architects and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill — will be unveiled to the public May 29. “We’re really trying to unlock people’s imaginations about the very real potential of a new arena and of a new Penn Station,” Vin Cipolla, the society’s president, told the Times. With Madison Square Garden’s 50-year special permit expired, the arena’s owners in December filed an application to continue to operate an arena on the site in perpetuity. That request is now going through the city’s land-use review process, with a final decision by the City Council expected this summer. But Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and others have recommended that the permit be restricted to a 10-year term.

Federal regulators take heat for botched foreclosure review

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Private consultants and federal regulators are facing criticism for creating red tape that delayed relief to homeowners in foreclosure, the New York Times reported. Regulators from the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency designed a flawed review of troubled loans, which private consultants then carried out, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. Consultants, who were ordered by regulators to scrutinize whether homeowners had been wrongfully evicted, ran up more than $2 billion in fees despite reviewing only a small number of foreclosed loans, the report said.

HPD issues RFP for Bronx site

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has issued a request for proposals for one of the largest remaining development sites in the Bronx, Crain’s reported. The 185,000-square-foot site, composed of two parcels near the Hub shopping district in Melrose, is zoned for more than 1 million square feet of development. Submissions, which must include affordable housing, are due July 3. The city at one point owned more than 46 acres of land in the Bronx, after taking over abandoned properties in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, many of those properties have been developed. The Melrose site includes “some of the last large city-owned lots in the South Bronx,” city Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Mathew Wambua said in a statement.


Compiled by Sanna Chu

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