The City Council Wednesday gave final approval to the $580 million Staten Island Wheel and Empire Outlets Mall project, apparently coming up with about $51 million in City subsidies to partly compensate developer BFC Partners for agreeing to use 100 percent union labor. The Staten Island Advance provided minute to minute coverage of the wheeling and dealing all day, giving an unusually detailed account of what it takes to get approvals to build in New York.
The Council also gave final approval to the 127 block East Elmhurst rezoning, limiting density on side streets in the name of preserving the character of the neighborhood and legalizing some mixed uses on the avenues.
That is not likely to raise property values in East Elmhurst, which, according to city assessments, have dropped about 20 percent since 2008. We know because in another fun use of city data, a blogger named Chris Walker created an interactive map showing the change in residential assessments from 2008 to 2012 for every City zip code. The biggest increase, 175 percent, appears to be in Williamsburg, followed by the garment district at 107 percent. Assessments in Woodhaven are down 23.5 percent.
The battle to keep flood insurance affordable while promoting rational redevelopment in flood zones is heating up in Washington. NAHB is looking for examples of premium increases, so if your flood insurance rates have zoomed since Sandy please send us details to pass along.
Have a drink and talk about the market with our friends at CHIP and other ABO members at 6 p.m. November 14th in The Morgan Library. RSVP at 212 838-7442.