Satellite skylines across the water from Manhattan are a curious phenomenon: they appear to stay frozen in time for decades until they hit sudden, and typically large, growth spurts. As Lower Manhattan was still reeling from the tragedy of 9/11, Jersey City sprouted a forest of cranes. East of the Financial District, the current decade has ushered Downtown Brooklyn’s skyscraper renaissance, as its solitary peaks are now morphing into manmade canyons. Yet as 2015 draws to a close, Long Island City is set to command development watchers’ attention, and the region’s perpetual skyline underdog is about to undergo a complete overhaul.
As the city edges towards its 2020 population forecast, the Museum of the City of New York is delving into our decades-long struggle to shelter the poorest residents with a new exhibit on the history of affordable housing. To celebrate the exhibit’s opening, the museum hosted a panel Thursday night, where a collection of real estate executives debated whether de Blasio’s ambitious plan to build or preserve 200,000 units would make a dent in the city’s affordable housing crisis.
On the last day of July, the de Blasio administration quietly introduced a key piece of its plan to build 80,000 affordable units of housing: mandatory inclusionary zoning. The plan will require market-rate developers to set aside at least 25% of their units in each new building as affordable housing. As the city rezones several neighborhoods across the five boroughs, they’ll impose the policy along with the updated zoning—beginning with East New York.
The Citizens Budget Commission released a report earlier this week that predicted the MTA wouldn’t be able to fully repair all 467 of its subway stations until 2067, with suggestions on how the transit authority could finance repairs faster. The group suggested raising money through public-private partnerships, which can be incredibly effective. But when they’re negotiated poorly, these partnerships can cost cities and states millions.
The latest numbers from the DOB show a major increase in year-over-year filings for August, and 2015’s running total has once again surpassed 2014’s, after falling behind in July. In terms of raw numbers, New York City saw new building applications submitted for a total of 4,020 units this past August, more than tripling last year’s figure of 1,281, and putting 2015’s running total of new units at 23,165 as of 8/31, ahead of 2014’s 21,099.