The Daily Dirt: Developers can now “fast track” some housing projects

“Green Fast Track” goes live

<p>From left: Eric Adams and Dan Garodnick (Getty)</p>

From left: Eric Adams and Dan Garodnick (Getty)

Developers of certain housing projects can now avoid lengthy environmental review. 

Back in December, the Adams administration announced plans to exempt some housing from the City Environmental Quality Review process. Those changes were adopted and officially went into effect on Monday. 

Under the new rules, projects qualify if they:

— use all-electric heating 

— are located away from and be located away from “vulnerable coastal areas,” major roads and areas with industrial emissions.

— have fewer than 175 units and non-residential space that is less than 20,000 square feet (if located in a low-density district) or fewer than 250 units (if within medium- or high-density areas) and non-residential space smaller than 35,000 square feet.  

The city has determined, after a review of 1,000 projects, that housing developments of this size do not result in significant adverse impacts. Such a finding enabled the city to include these projects as “type II” actions, which are exempt from environmental assessment statements and environmental impact statements. 

The city estimates that the so-called Green Fast Track could cut up to two years off of project timelines, and save projects, on average, $100,000. If the program had been in place over the last 10 years, 12,000 new homes could have been built more quickly, according to the administration. 

The mayor announced the official launch of the program on Monday, in a press release that included quotes of praise from 21 different people, up slightly from the 19 testimonials included in the release in December. 

There’s something about combing through a press release with large blocks of quotes that makes me feel like I’m slowly leaving my body, but I did like Building Congress CEO Carlo Scissura’s Kermit the Frog reference. More muppets in press releases, please. 

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A thing we’ve learned: There is a Star Trek-themed cruise. The 2025 trip celebrates the 30th anniversary of “Star Trek: Voyager.” 

Elsewhere in New York…

— Mayor Eric Adams named Louis Molina the new head of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Politico New York reports. Molina previously served as commissioner of the Department of Correction and most recently was assistant deputy mayor for public safety. 

— The Department of Health issued another ticket against the mayor related to rat sightings at a Brooklyn apartment he owns, the New York Daily News reports. This is the fifth rat-related summons Adams has received.  

This Gothamist story does a good job of not sensationalizing the fact that the Joro spider, a harmless arachnid native to East Asia, will appear in New York and New Jersey this summer. But if you are averse to spiders, you may have the same takeaway as I did: The spider’s legs are as long as a human hand, and the spiderlings travel on the wind. So, spiders will fall from the sky this summer, no big deal. 

Closing Time 

Residential: The priciest residential sale on Monday was $11.5 million for a 4,350-square-foot townhouse at 60 Bank Street in the West Village. Leslie J. Garfield had the listing. 

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $15.7 million for a 54,400-square-foot mixed-use building at 85-05 Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst. The property consists of 35 residential condos and eight commercial units. 

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $19.8 million for a 3,400-square-foot condominium at 150 Charles Street in the West Village. Peter Zaitzeff and Jared Freedman of Serhant have the listing. Breaking Ground: The largest new building application filed was for a 104,500-square-foot, mixed-use multifamily building at 21-11 31st Street in Long Island City. Murat Mutlu of INOA – International Office of Architects filed the permit. — Matthew Elo

Correction: An earlier version of this story did not specify that square footage restrictions apply to non-residential space.