New Buildings Commissioner

Rick Chandler,  Assistant VP for Facilities at Hunter College and a Buildings Department veteran, was named Buildings Commissioner yesterday afternoon. It was the last major appointment of a de Blasio cabinet member involved in housing and construction, and reportedly after several other candidates refused the job.

DHCR issued a new lease renewal form and rent stabilization rider this week, required for all leases offered after October 1st. Owners can use the old or new forms until then.

ABO members have until August 8th to enroll in the Fall electric and gas group contract being organized by the ABO FS Energy Program. FS Energy has saved 300 buildings almost $13 million on energy costs, with rates averaging 16 percent below Con Ed on electricity. One 102 unit east side building, for example, saved more than $10,000 last year. Check out this website or call program manager Thom Devlin at (646) 284-5230  for more information. Anyone with no ESCO contract or contracts expiring over the next few month is eligible. ABO members are already enjoying the benefits on over 1,000 units. Are you?

Mayor de Blasio and other elected officials were out this week reminding workers to call in sick July 30th, or at least that they could under the City’s new paid sick leave law. Employers were supposed to notify all workers April 1st that they are entitled to paid leave if the company has five employees or more or unpaid leave if fewer, effective beginning the 30th. Did you comply?

Brooklyn. It is happening despite the City’s plans according to new reports. Mayor de Blasio, Wednesday, announced new investments  in linking downtown parks, creating a cultural business improvement district,  and creating street retail in city owned buildings. The same day, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership happily reported on the area’s tremendous growth since major rezoning in 2004.  Ironically, the growth was not the kind intended: the planners projected 4.5 million square feet of new class A office space and got 250,000. They projected 1,000 new housing units and got 5,000, with another 7,800 in the pipeline.

Finally, the perfect beach read for developers. The Furman Institute this week issued a report on The Price of Resiliency. Unfortunately, the shore looks like a bad bet with 5,000 apartment buildings in the 100 year flood plain, stuck between the rock of regulated or government subsidized rents and the hard place of rising federal flood insurance premiums. One proposed solution to rising waters–eliminating ground floor apartments–is unlikely to be popular with owners or housing advocates the report notes.

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