Brewer’s plan would spare slew of buildings from wrecking ball

Proposal floated to require Landmarks' OK for demolition of any structure at least 50 years old

From left: Gale Brewer and Manhattan
From left: Gale Brewer and Manhattan

Requiring review of demolition plans for New York City’s older structures, as one politician has proposed, would affect nearly 80 percent of all buildings — a figure that has the real estate industry worried.

Developers, construction unions and advocates for affordable housing are reportedly concerned a law giving the Landmarks Preservation final say on redevelopment of all buildings 50 years old or older, presented by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, would hurt residential construction.

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The proposal means 80 percent of New York City buildings could be considered for protected status, according to city data reported by Crain’s. The figure is even higher in Manhattan, where about 90 percent of buildings are more than 50 years old, according to the article. Upping the proposed blanket threshold wouldn’t help either, the article said — more than half of Manhattan’s buildings would be affected even if the limit was lifted to 100 years old.

Landmarks wouldn’t even the staff to review all applications for demolition, Diane Jackier, the director of community and government affairs for the commission, told Crain’s. Nonetheless, the proposal is likely be get serious consideration, according to Crain’s. [Crain’s] — Angela Hunt