ABO Awards Luncheon January 29, 2013

After Sandy blew out the ABO annual dinner we’ll be hearing from DOB Commissioner Robert LiMandri at our January 29th luncheon, and awarding him and David Von Spreckelsen of Toll Brothers the 2012 awards they were set to receive in November. Invitations will be out right after the New Year. Plan to join us.

The City Council this week announced hearings and legislation to review the lessons of Sandy and amend the building code in response to the storm. The immediate legislative proposals are to update the FEMA flood plain maps and to require all Zone A construction to meet the standards formerly required only in Zone V — the most exposed waterfront.

If you still want to build in Zone A, Brooklyn Bridge Park just issued an RFP for construction of 130 residential units and retail space in the park at John Street. The area was four feet under water during Sandy.

Condo developers who were slapped with suits under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act when buyers wanted to get out of contracts during the recession won a victory on appeal to the Second Circuit this week. Related Cos. argued successfully that the requirement to describe the block and lot of a condo during presales was a technicality that shouldn’t apply because the City didn’t assign condominium tax lots until construction was complete. Thousands of prospective purchasers used the technicality to back out of contracts in 2008 and 2009. Purchaser attorneys say they will attempt to appeal to the Supreme Court.

If you are wondering just who controls the State Senate these days, no one else knows either. The Republicans picked up a 31st seat this week, which, with the announced support of Democrat Simcha Felder, give them a majority. Democrats plan to appeal. Meanwhile, the Independent Democratic Conference is sharing power with the Republicans, but their legislative agendas have yet to be worked out. It will be well into January before things shake out.

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