NYCHA jockeying

DOMESTIC DISPUTE — Cuomo delivers funds for NYCHA, gives outside entities control over money, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that the New York City Housing Authority is in a state of emergency, and he empowered organizations outside of City Hall’s purview to play a role in fixing the agency’s developments. The announcement, in front of several hundred tenants and Democratic politicians in an East Harlem housing complex Monday afternoon, comes as the city-run authority faces increased scrutiny from the federal government and the prospect of a separate federal monitor, depending on the results of an investigation into lapsed lead paint inspections. It also comes as Cuomo is running for reelection in a race heavily dependent upon African American voters in New York City. He has visited public housing buildings four times since March 12, and last week his primary opponent, actor Cynthia Nixon, toured one in Brooklyn.“ Read the story here.

— De Blasio says Cuomo’s now responsible for subway, housing woes, by Sally: “Mayor Bill de Blasio has a simple message about the local impact of the $168.3 billion state budget: Now that the governor has secured funding he was seeking for subways and public housing, he is responsible for some of New York City’s most intractable problems. In his first public comments since the budget deal was struck over the weekend, de Blasio repeatedly said Gov. Andrew Cuomo is on the hook for system-wide repairs at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Housing Authority. Cuomo allocated $418 million for the MTA, which runs the city’s subways and is effectively controlled by the state. In doing so, he forced the mayor’s hand to match the funding and now has $836 million to spend on the outdated, deteriorating system.“ Read the story here.

MARKET WATCH — Report finds Manhattan residential sales market plummets amid tax uncertainty, by Sally: "Manhattan’s residential real estate market plummeted during the beginning of 2018, with the lowest number of sales since 2012 and the biggest annual drop in nine years, according to a report from brokerage Douglas Elliman. The report, which evaluated the first three months of the year, found a nearly 25 percent drop in sales volume from last year. The analysis blamed the sharp decline on uncertainty over the effects of the recent federal tax law and a rise in mortgage rates. During the first three months of the year, Manhattan had 2,180 residential sales with a median price of $1,077,500, down 2 percent from the same time last year. Price per square foot fell close to 19 percent to $1,697, and average sales prices decreased 8 percent $1.9 million." Read the story here.

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AIR STRIKE — City obtains $1M judgment against illegal hotel operators, by POLITICO’s Janaki Chadha: "Two illegal hotel operators who marketed units through platforms such as Airbnb will be required to pay $1 million in penalties, according to a judgment the city announced Monday." Read the story here.

BIG DEAL — "A&E closes on $287M purchase of Stonehenge Village," by The Real Deal’s Mark Maurer: “As the city’s multifamily market gains steam, A&E Real Estate Holdings has resumed tackling monster deals.” Read the story here.

WHAT’S IN STORE — "Real Estate Board, Brokers Outraged About Vacancy Tax Talks," by Commercial Observer’s Liam La Guerre: “As Mayor Bill de Blasio jumps on the ‘vacancy tax’ bandwagon, the Real Estate Board of New York and brokers are crying out in opposition.” Read the story here.

LUXE IN FLUX — Luxury market continues strong momentum, Olshan reports, by Sally: "Despite inclement weather and a volatile stock market, New York luxury residential deals last week matched the rate set in 2015, when the industry was at its peak, Olshan Realty reported. There were 26 contracts signed at $4 million or more last week, according to the firm’s weekly analysis." Read the report here.

— "Brooklyn luxury market saw 11 contracts signed last week," by The Real Deal’s Eddie Small: “There were 11 contracts signed last week in Brooklyn’s luxury real estate market, split between five condominiums and six houses.” Read the story here.

— "Stunning Greenwich Village townhouse of former Urban Outfitters CEO gets hefty pricechop," by Curbed New York’s Tanay Warerkar: “Former Urban Outfitters CEO Glen Senk and his husband Keith Johnson are still trying to sell their Greenwich Village townhouse two years after first listing it on the market. At that time, the stunning Anglo-Italianate townhouse was on the market for $17 million. A little less than two years later, the ask has now come down to $12.8 million.” Read the story here.

LOWERING THE BAR — "In a Changing South Bronx, Residents See New Jail as Step Backward," by The New York Times’ Ashley Southall: “In the shadow of the Bruckner Expressway in the South Bronx, behind a metal fence topped with barbed wire, is a tow pound with a pivotal role in the city’s campaign to close the notorious jail complex on Rikers Island. The city plans to build a jail on the lot it owns at Concord Avenue and East 141st Street, in a residential and industrial area of the Mott Haven neighborhood. … But opposition is brewing among residents in the once-blighted neighborhood, who say the city’s plan is an unwelcome step backward for the South Bronx as it works to shed its synonymity with urban decay.” Read the story here.

MESS TRANSIT — Cuomo defends a small step toward congestion pricing, by POLITICO’s Jimmy Vielkind and Dana Rubinstein: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday praised plans to charge for-hire vehicles and taxis a new fee for trips in the core of Manhattan, which he called a first step toward a larger system of congestion pricing whose legislative prospects are still dim. Advocates say it’s a very small step.” Read the story here.

PENN OVER-HALL — ICYMI — "Vornado and Related Venture Hoping to Create Research Center at Farley Building," by The Wall Street Journal’s Keiko Morris: “The venture behind the commercial redevelopment of the old Farley Post Office Building in Midtown Manhattan is focusing on a modern and high-tech use of the 105-year-old structure as its long-delayed makeover into a grand train hall gains traction.” Read the story here.

ENTITLED — "Conflict of interest seen in title insurance reg rollback," by Crain’s Joe Anuta: “A state lawmaker who stood to lose money from a new title insurance regulation co-sponsored a bill to undo the reform, public records show. State Sen. Susan Serino’s husband, Mark, earned $5,000 to $20,000 from Poughkeepsie-based Real Property Abstract and Title Services in 2016, according to financial disclosures filed with the Joint Commision on Public Ethics. Several months later that company and all other title insurers in the state were hit with a ban on gift-giving. Industry representatives said the policy could cripple business, and state Sen. James Seward agreed, introducing a bill in July to defang the new rules.” Read the story here.

TRUMP DUMP — "Premium Merchant Funding Leaving Trump Building for 16K Sf at 55 Water," by Commercial Observer’s Lauren Elkies Schram: “A financial institution for small businesses, Premium Merchant Funding, has sub-subleased 15,965 square feet from foreign exchange trading firm Forex Capital Markets in the Financial District, Commercial Observer has learned.” Read the story here.

BRICK CITY — Yale Fox, founder of the rental-building rating website Rentlogic, and DSA Property Group CEO Arik Lifshitz were featured on the latest episode of The Brick Underground Podcast released Monday. They shared tips for renters on the apartment hunt, negotiating lease renewals and how to handle apartment issues with landlords. Listen to the episode here.


— "Wealthy NYC congresswoman earns big money through firm that boots tenants struggling to pay rent," by New York Daily News’ James Fanelli

— "IEX keeps growing with move into new WTC tower," by New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo

— "In Bushwick, a seven-story residential building will rise around shuttered restaurant," by Curbed’s Ameena Walker

— "Developer Teddy Li planning 116-key hotel in Long Island City," by The Real Deal’s Eddie Small