421a is gone, but not forgotten: Cuomo

Governor still expecting REBNY and unions to agree to a deal

Cuomo Banks LaBarbera
From left: Andrew Cuomo, REBNY's John Banks, and CTCGNY's Gary LaBarbera

Developers and constructions unions may have failed once – or many times – to arrive at a deal to save 421a, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t given up on them.

“421-a itself is dead,” top aide Bill Mulrow said, according to Crain’s, “We tried to see if there was a way to revive 421-a, but the question is whether there will be some successor tax-abatement program that allows rental housing to be built here.”

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Mulrow warned that as rental development continues to flag, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Construction Trades Council of Greater New York will finally be forced to agree on prevailing wage requirements, the sticking point that led to the breakdown in negotiations late last year.

“That will end soon, and somewhere in there I think the developers, REBNY, and the construction trades will find some common ground, because we have to do it,” Mulrow said.

The tax abatement is widely considered essential to funding the building of rental properties in New York, given the city’s high land prices. Experts have argued that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recently-passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing plan depends on the existence of a tax abatement. [Crain’s]Ariel Stulberg