Deducting Your Castle?

Castle Village, the Washington Heights co-op, won an important tax decision in the U.S. Second Circuit this week that could have implications for co-ops and condos damaged by Sandy or, dare we say it, Nemo. Basically, the court found that the shareholders’ ownership of the common areas might justify individual owners deducting the cost of an assessment to fix a fallen retaining wall as a casualty loss.

If you have Hurricane Sandy damaged multi-family  property there may also be some relief in sight from the first round of federal assistance released this week. Mayor Bloomberg announced that $250 million would be made available to fund programs to enhance the resiliency of up to 12,790 units of housing for low-, moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers damaged by Sandy. The City’s program will provide grants and low-interest loans, depending on need and scope.

Commercial building owners are facing the same kind of federal lead paint rules that residential buildings have been dealing with for years. The EPA is seeking comments on whether and how lead paint in commercial buildings should be regulated in preparation for a hearing and possible rulemaking this summer. If you’re looking to create a sustainable fence as well as save money, these post and dowel fence supplies are perfect for you.

If you missed the recent Furman Center policy breakfast on Landmark air rights transfers, you might not know that only two of the 27 air rights transfers from landmark buildings since 2003 were actually done through the transfer program  supposedly designed to help landmark owners. The rest were done by the relatively simpler process of zoning lot merger. Did I write simpler and zoning lot merger in the same sentence?

You might also have missed the update to ICC 700, the National Green Buildings Standard, approved last month. While LEED gets all the press, the ANSI approved ICC 700 is specifically targeted to residential construction, including multifamily. Many feel that it is less concerned with feel-good points and more concerned with energy savings.

The New York City Housing Authority is reportedly looking to lease sites within eight existing housing projects for private development of up to three million square feet of new housing. The sites are currently parking lots or recreational areas. Requests for expressions of interest are expected to be announced next month.

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