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.
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.
Technology and urbanity have a long and tempestuous relationship, with the former’s advancement over the past century having had an occasionally deleterious effect on the latter. This has been most evident when periods of previously unimaginable progress have yielded inventions like the automobile, which in turn led to the temporary collapse of many inner cities. Now, as online retail continues to outpace brick and mortar shopping, technology has once again laid siege to the fabric of New York City, threatening the time-honored local bodega, and potentially undermining a segment of local retail that has value far beyond its shelves.
Even after City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito organized two years of community meetings on the future of East Harlem, tenants and activists are lining up to protest the city’s proposed rezoning of 95 blocks in the neighborhood.
The City Council is trying to drag the Board of Standards and Appeals—the agency that decides zoning changes for many New York City developments—into the 21st century. The council’s Government Operations committee spent yesterday afternoon discussing bills that would force the agency to post zoning applications and decisions publicly, create a map of those decisions, and keep community boards and council members in the loop on applications.