Affordability Found In The Financial District at 118 Fulton Street

Glimmering tower of affordability?

The words “affordability” and “financial district” don’t exactly conjure images of compatibility. But sure enough, affordable housing does exist in the FiDi (the cool way to say “financial district”), and we used the DOB’s new active construction website to locate the site, also known as 19 Dutch. Don’t get us wrong, the new DOB construction website is terrific, but for working the beat, not so much. It has problems with Chrome and frequently crashes, and a navigation feature would be nice. Construction on the project is nearing completion, with the facade installation just about done. The real question, however, is affordability.

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Big Apple Construction Visualized With Impressive Graphical Interface

A bird’s eye view of NYC construction.

The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday on a fascinating new website, NYC Active Major Construction. Developed by the DOB (Department of Buildings), the website is essentially a map overlayed with every major construction site or alteration, with additional links (to the DOB’s website) on individual construction projects.

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From Hole In The Ground To 15 Story Tower, 505 West 43rd Nearing Completion

1980s street view of 505 W 43rd. Image from

The West Side Line travels from New York’s Penn Station, north to points such as Albany and beyond. Of course, this rail system is mostly beneath the surface, although bits and pieces are visible from the street level. Or at least they used to be. Slowly but surely the West Side Line’s visibility is slowly being erased as the real estate boom gobbles up every last piece of available space in New York; hole in the ground be damned. The image below, from Google Maps, shows the construction site approximately 2-3 years ago. A remnant from the past, the exposed West Side Line was still visible from the ground level. That kind of thing just doesn’t fly any more in New York.

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5-33 48th Avenue Residential Conversion Continues…Since 2003

5-53 48th Ave, LIC.

There’s no way this project is the longest conversion in the history of NYC construction, but so far, 5-33 48th Ave. is a nearly 15 year conversion project. The original DOB (Department of Buildings) residential conversion application was submitted way back in 2003, five owners (or at least 5 deed transfers), or over $50 million in loans ago. For some reason, this project has been marred by an apparent lack of progress until recently, as RentCement’s LIC adventures continue.

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Strict 4 Year Rule Applied in J-51 Case To Determine Base Date Rent

59th Street Bridge , LIC in the background.

Here is the legal question: What is the base date rent when an apartment is improperly deregulated in 2003 during the J-51 tax benefit period, a tenant moves into that apartment in August 2005, files an overcharge complaint with the DHCR (Division of Homes and Community Renewal) on November 2, 2009, and there is no colorable indicia of fraud? The answer, according the the Appellate Division for the First Department, published today in Matter of Regina Metro. Co., LLC v New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), is a strict interpretation of CPLR (Civil Practice Law and Rules) 213-a, Rent Stabilization Law 26-516(a)(2) (preclusion of rental history review before the base date), and Rent Stabilization Code 2526.1(a)(2)(ii) (preclusion restated).

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420 Gets Big In Long Island City, Block 420 That Is…

Lot 420!

There’s a lot of 420 in Long Island City, and there’s also block 420 in Long Island City. You know what else goes down on block 420? Maybe some 420, but definitely Gotham Center. The first tower has been smokin’ lonely on block 420 since 2 Gotham Center’s completion in 2011. But not any more, as the Gotham Center project nears completion. In the next part of our Jackson Avenue update, we checked out One and Three Gotham Center, aka 1 and 3 Three Gotham Center, aka 28-07 Jackson Avenue. Let’s take a look!

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5 Pointz Builds in Geographic Exclusion Area Without 421-a Tax Benefit. Damn!

Jackson Ave looking towards the Citibank Building.

Jackson Avenue, Long Island City. Once such a quiet and sleepy neighborhood until the mid-to-late 80s. That’s right around when One Court Square, aka the Citibank building, was completed. There it stood for years, with only Citylights (aka 4-74 48th Ave.) to keep it company. That all changed in the mid-2000s, when a spate of development, which continues unabated, flooded LIC with dozens of tall, mixed use buildings. RentCement toured Jackson Avenue, where part one of our series on Long Island City focuses on a major, in-progress developments: 5 Pointz.

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Visit the Hunter’s Point South Park Extension

Midtown view from Hunter’s Point South Park

South Park isn’t just in Colorado. New York City also has its own South Park, Hunter’s Point South Park to be exact. Although Hunter’s Point South Park has been around since August of 2013, the new extension, which opened on June 27th, offers amazing views of Manhattan, while providing much needed storm protection for the area. Let’s take a look!

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DoB Approves 383 Himrod Street Expansion and Loss of Cornice History

An architectural crime.

There’s an alarming trend happening in New York, and that’s the loss of our historical cornices. Cornices are those decorative horizontal features that adorn the prewar facade/roof corner. The latest tragedy at 383 Himrod Street serves as a grim reminder of the architectural consequences when cornices are removed for the sake of adding an extra story.

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