Council member wants to take up office-to-resi conversions debate

first_img Full Name* Message* Email Address*center_img City Council member Justin Brannan (Getty, Justin Brannan via Facebook)With various state-level proposals on the table, a City Council member wants to take the issue of office-to-housing conversions back to City Hall.Brooklyn Council member Justin Brannan plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that would create a task force to study the feasibility of converting vacant office space into affordable housing. Real estate groups, along with state officials, have voiced support for such an idea, but have disagreed over the best way of implementing it.Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a proposal in his executive budget that would override the city’s zoning rules to allow for hotel and office conversions that set aside 25 percent of apartments as affordable. Housing groups have panned that proposal for incentivizing more market-rate than affordable housing. The Senate has put forth a different measure that would permit the state to purchase distressed hotels and office buildings and convert them into housing exclusively for low-income and homeless New Yorkers.Brannan, who also floated the idea of conversions last year, said the issue should be discussed at the city level to determine the specific challenges of moving forward with a plan.“I think this falls somewhere between, ‘This is a great idea but it would never work,’ and a panacea,” he said. He noted that the focus would be office conversions, in anticipation of demand returning for hotels once tourism picks back up.Other cities, including Washington, D.C., have explored ways to incentivize commercial conversions. In August 2019, a task force concluded that there were opportunities in D.C. but that such conversions were “not the most efficient way to address the city’s pressing housing needs.” It recommended offering subsidies and zoning incentives instead.Conversions of older office buildings are already permitted in certain parts of New York City. The state also previously employed tax breaks to encourage office-to-residential changes in use, including the 421g program, which helped fuel the transformation of commercial buildings in Lower Manhattan in the 1990s. None of the state proposals under consideration include tax incentives.Mayor Bill de Blasio has criticized the governor’s plan, calling it a giveaway to the real estate industry. Several mayoral hopefuls have backed the idea of hotel and office conversions in general. During a forum last week, Andrew Yang projected that he could build roughly 5,000 housing units by investing $250 million in such projects.Brannan’s proposed task force would be headed by the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and would include the head of the Department of Buildings, the City Council Speaker and Public Advocate. The group would be required to report its recommendations and findings within 270 days of the bill’s passage.Contact Kathryn Brenzellast_img read more

Donna The Buffalo To Team With Peter Rowan, Ben & Jerry’s Founder For ‘Stampede’ Tour

first_imgTwo legends of the folk-rock music scene will join forces this fall, as Donna the Buffalo will team with Peter Rowan for a hearty fall tour. As Rowan said in a statement, “At last, it comes around again; making music with Donna the Buffalo, one of my favorites.”David Grisman and Peter Rowan Joined String Cheese At VibesDubbed “The Stampede”, the tour’s mission is to raise awareness to the inappropriate use of corporate finances in politics. The bands will be joined by Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. In the statement, Cohen said, “Since 2000, special interest groups have poured over $11 billion into federal elections. The absurd level of money in politics from corporations and billionaires is raping and corrupting our democracy. The Stampede is a demonstration of public outrage and its working.”The groups will be selling “Stamp Money Out Of Politics” stamps at each show, with a suggested donation of 5 dollars. The tour kicks off on November 11th at the Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA, and runs through December 4th in Chicago, IL. The full schedule can be seen below:11/11: Ardmore Music Hall – Ardmore, PA11/12: Highline Ballroom – New York, NY11/13: German House – Rochester, NY11/14: Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT11/15: Spruce Peak – Stowe, VT11/18: Ziggy’s By The Sea – Wilmington, NC11/19: Ziggy’s – Winston-Salem, NC11/20 – Neighborhood Theatre — Charlotte, NC12/02: Mainstage 444 – Morgantown, WV12/03: Kent Stage – Kent, OH12/04: Old Town School Of Folk – Chicago, ILlast_img read more

Atletico Madrid eyeing move for Manchester City defender Otamendi

first_img For now, Otamendi has a deal at the Etihad Stadium until 2022, but Pep Guardiola’s admitted he’s not happy: “When he plays he’s happy, when he doesn’t, he’s not. But it’s not just Otamendi, it’s the same for all players. I don’t know what I can do. I am honest with myself and with my players.  03/05/2019 It will not be easy to bring Otamendi in from City, with a number of clubs keen on him and the Premier League side likely to demand a big fee.  Also keen on the City man are River Plate, West Ham and Valencia… Barça have even been linked in the past. It won’t be easy to get a deal done.  With Lucas Hernandez’s move to Bayern Munich confirmed and Diego Godin set to move to Inter, Atletico are obliged to move in the market.  IN SPORT.ES Another problem for Atletico is finances. City signed Otamendi for 45 million euros and when he renewed his deal in Manchester he became one of the best paid players in the Premier League. Atletico and the player would have to come to an agreement on his wages, therefore.  Lluís Bou El Atlético de Madrid se fija en Otamendi The first to arrive will be Felipe, the Porto centre-back who will cost 25 million euros. But despite that signing, the Rojiblanco will still need more bodies, which is where Otamendi, who previously played in Spain with Valencia, comes into the picture.  According to Diario AS, Andrea Berta, Atletico’s sporting director, has already began talks with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes.  Upd. at 21:47 Atletico Madrid need to strengthen in defence and Diego Simeone has asked for the signing of Manchester City and Argentine centre-back Nicolas Otamendi.  CEST “Of course, when he doesn’t play he isn’t happy. But we know we can count on Nico at any moment and in any situation because he is an incredible professional and is always readyy. I am delighted with him. I understand him but I can’t say anything else.”last_img read more