The Daily Dirt: Another reprieve from Local Law 97?

NYC officials have provided some leeway since passage of climate rule

City Council Mulls Local Law 97 Reprieve
Mayor Erik Adams and Council member Linda Lee (Getty, Linda Lee for NYC)

The fight for relief from Local Law 97, five years later.

Since its passage in 2019, state and city officials have considered ways to soften the blow of emission caps — and the fees that come with not meeting them. 

In 2021, state legislature declined to take up a proposed workaround that would have allowed  property owners to use renewable energy credits generated outside the city to meet the caps. That would be a big deal because of the scarcity of locally available credits. 

The city finalized rules last year that gave landlords until 2026 to comply with the first set of emission caps if they show a “good faith effort” to meet the law’s requirements. It also laid out the rules for renewable energy credits, barring owners who apply for the fee reprieve by submitting a decarbonization plan from offsetting their emissions with credits. 

Crain’s reports that a City Council bill that would give a break to condo and co-op owners is gaining steam. The measure, sponsored by Council member Linda Lee, would allow such buildings to count ground floor green and open spaces on the same tax lot toward their gross floor area when calculating their allowable greenhouse gas emission under Local Law 97 (meaning, they would be permitted a higher emission threshold). 

The bill would also require the city to consider the median property value of the condo and co-op units when calculating the fines levied against non-compliant buildings. The city would also need to consider whether payment of the fines would “impact the operations of facilities critical to human life or safety.” 

Lee introduced the bill late last year. The Real Estate Board of New York supports the measure, but per Crain’s, advocates and elected officials have pushed back on further altering the law.    

What we’re thinking about: If the broker free bill passes, will landlords opt to hold open houses for apartments, and require tenants bring their own brokers? Will landlords who hire brokers be able to negotiate lower fees? Send a note to

A thing we’ve learned: A museum down the shore has a photo collection on display of Taylor Swift vacationing as a child in Stone Harbor, N.J., according to NJ Advance Media. The photos were provided by her family, along with some other Swiftie collectibles. 

Elsewhere in New York….

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— Gov. Kathy Hochul is considering banning passengers from wearing masks on the train, Gothamist reports

The governor is in talks with Mayor Eric Adams to implement at least a partial ban, following a video of masked protestors who asked passengers on a crowded train to identify themselves if they are Zionists. Hochul said a ban could deter crime. 

“We will not tolerate individuals using masks to evade responsibility for criminal or threatening behavior,” Hochul said. “My team is working on a solution, but on a subway, people should not be able to hide behind a mask to commit crimes.”

— House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries is helping allies in his home district fend off challenges from candidates backed by the DSA, Politico New York reports. Jeffries supports Assembly member Stefani Zinerman, who is facing a challenge from Eon Huntley. 

Closing Time 

Residential: The priciest residential sale Thursday was $13.4 million for a 3,800-square-foot condominium unit at 212 West 18th Street in Chelsea. Maria Elena Scotto of Douglas Elliman had the listing. 

Commercial: The largest commercial sale of the day was $9.7 million for a six-story, 16-unit apartment building at 35-16 Astoria Boulevard in Astoria. 

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $19.9 million for a 3,364-square-foot condo unit at 217 West 57th Street, in Central Park South. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group has the listing. — Matthew Elo

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