Of all the developments currently under construction in New York City, none have been in the making for longer than Essex Crossing, which is rising on the site of several long-vacant lots on the Lower East Side. With the master-plan’s first new buildings just about fully complete, YIMBY sat down with Charles Bendit of Taconic, and asked the co-CEO ten questions about the New York City real estate market.
Last year, YIMBY’s pipeline report showed a dramatic decrease in new building filings, with 2015’s multi-family count of 32,702 units falling precipitously, to 19,356 in 2016. Fortunately, the hemorrhaging of pipeline additions has nearly come to a complete stop, and 2017 saw filings for 19,180 multi-family units, a drop of under one percent. The full report, covering all 2,030 new building applications filed last year, is downloadable in Excel format at the following link.
When “White Christmas” was written in 1942, Irving Berlin had good reason to yearn for the snows “just like the ones [he] used to know.” Measurements of the white stuff in Manhattan had been slumping since the late 1800s, with the 15-year rolling median of 35.5 inches from 1884 falling to a mere 15.6 inches by the year of the song’s release, and then plunging further, to only 13.4 inches in 1998-99. What has followed is nothing short of a holiday miracle: in the subsequent eighteen years, snowfall has increased in an unprecedented fashion across much of the Northeastern seaboard, with the rolling median at Central Park now reaching 40 inches. With New York City’s median recent snowfalls tripling in a matter of two decades and surpassing totals at the end of the Little Ice Age at the same time that temperatures have continued to warm, it is time for the city’s inhabitants to ask why exactly this is happening, and consider the practical implications that a rapidly-shifting climate will have on real estate.
Last month, YIMBY broke the story for a major site to be developed at 115 River Road, in Edgewater, New Jersey. While we initially reported the address at 615 River Road, that was incorrect; however, the developer of 615 River Road has now filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, alleging that a series of “corrupt transactions” led to the Borough’s vote to seize the property by eminent domain back in September, in a secret a bid to transfer the lot to developer Fred Daibes, who is behind 115 River Road.
New York City has a problem. As local politicians have consolidated their grip on power over the past several decades, many have become increasingly prone to serving specific groups of constituents instead of overarching ideals, noble, or otherwise. The Five Boroughs are no stranger to this kind of issue, with periods of historical stagnancy well-documented. But with electoral participation at staggeringly delegitimizing lows, local leaders like Gale Brewer will easily cruise to re-election. Amidst a backdrop of surging NIMBYism that is now more than glad to co-opt the tactics of Fake News, the outlook for the next few years on election day is rather bleak, as the politics of New York’s inward-looking regressive leaders will put up far greater barriers to entry than any potential wall along the Mexican border.