Rushed Development Deals

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg comes to a control room 20 stories below Central Park to help activate part of the Third Water Tunnel, which has been under construction since 1970. (Fred Mogul/WNYC)

In 2009, Michael Bloomberg said that zoning was perhaps his biggest legacy. In the final months before he leaves office, the mayor has worked furiously to complete or jump-start development deals. Charles Bagli, New York Times reporter, discusses the various projects around the city, and their lasting impact.


Charles Bagli

Comments [15]

Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

To read more about the LIBRARY real estate deals Bloomberg did not succeed in consummating and to find a link to the article that Mr. Bagli subsequently wrote for the Times about this see:

Monday, December 16, 2013
Tall Stories- Buildings Proposed To Shrink The Brooklyn Heights Library: Brooklyn Public Library Publishes Seven Luxury Building Proposals To Shrink Away Brooklyn Heights Library

Dec. 23 2013 11:41 PM
Brooklyn from Brooklyn

I don't think it's the worst thing in the world if large-scale development slows down; the notion of plopping huge buildings, with large density, down in neighborhoods that are mostly low-scale (many neighborhoods in Brooklyn) has already changed the feel to many neighborhoods (I'm thinking Ft. Greene in Brooklyn, near downtown, as a prime example). Also, many of these buildings are outfitted with supposedly "top of the line" appliances and finishes, so that many of them are marketed as "luxury" residences, and are therefore unaffordable to many New Yorkers. It would be ideal if the next mayor encouraged much more thoughtful, lower-scale, neighborhood-appropiate projects, and started a conversation about phasing out this notion of all of us requiring luxury accommodations. Give subsidies to developers who build well-constructed residences with more modest offerings, and leave the Viking stoves, pools, gyms, playrooms, and other expensive building perks out of the equation.

Nov. 27 2013 11:31 AM
shammy from nyc

As a PUBLIC RADIO station I would hope you bring that 'emotional" man on your show and allow him a voice - a small 'emotional' voice, against the giant developers - giving witness to the destruction of his home. His HOME is being destroyed [aka developed] before his eyes to give way for luxury uber-awesome, trendy and cool housing for those on the go.
You got rid of him far far too quickly!
For shame wnyc.

Nov. 27 2013 11:28 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

The legacy of development is based on profit for the developers instead of the good of the area which is being developed. Development should be limited to areas that need to be cleaned up, should be "green," should fill a real (not imagined) need, should provide low-income housing along with regular housing, should NOT congest the area, etc., but that's never going to happen as long as someone with money is going to make more money and pays the mayor and city council for their cooperation. Yecch!

Nov. 27 2013 11:26 AM
Neil from Manhattan

Can you comment on the plot of undeveloped land between 38th and 41st Streets and 1st Avenue in Murray Hill, NYC owned by Sheldon Solow?

Nov. 27 2013 11:25 AM
Greg from Yorkville

The number one driver of development is, and needs to be recognized as, increasing subway line reach. The 7 train is already paying dividends. We need to finish the full length Second Ave Subway, and need to look at other development opportunities, like extending the J Train to Governors Island and Red Hook.

Nov. 27 2013 11:24 AM
Michael D. D. White from Brooklyn Heights

On the list of rushed development deals, don't forget to consider the sell-off of NYC public libraries. Bloomberg put the consolidating shrinkage of the Central Library Plan (it involves selling off Mid-Manhattan and SIBL and ripping out the research stacks of the 42nd Street Central Reference Library) on his web site as one of his goals to achieve before leaving office.

In Brooklyn officials have said that it was their goal to sign a contract with a developer before December 31st because that's the last day of Bloomberg's term. That building is next to Forest City Ratner's property and development rights were transferred to Ratner in 1986 so a lot of benefit will go to Ratner. Similarly those officials have also been pushing hard at the end of Bloomberg's term to sell the Pacific Branch, also next to Forest City Ratner property.

Nov. 27 2013 11:23 AM
Robert from NYC

Yes Bloomberg's overstuffed turkey. From Big Apple to Overstuffed Turkey! LOL

Nov. 27 2013 11:23 AM
Bob from Westchester, NY

I love ferries, but the truth is they are usually much more expensive to operate per rider than subways. More importantly, you need more mass transit on either end of the ferry route to get the traveler to/from the ferry terminal, so for most people it is more convenient to just stay on the subway.

Nov. 27 2013 11:21 AM
Robert from NYC

So we need the biggest ferris wheel in the world? Dumb ass people. The caller called it a vanity project but aren't all of Bloomberg's projects vanity led?

Nov. 27 2013 11:21 AM
tom from astoria

Excessive development is the Bloomberg legacy. keep in mind for every 'development' BEAUTIFUL HISTORICAL NEW YORK is torn down a little. We're starting to look like HOUSTON.

Nov. 27 2013 11:21 AM
Nick from UWS

Bloomberg has ruined Columbus Circle, he has ruined a huge swath of Brooklyn, he is in the process of ruining 57th St and as a side effect Central Park...Lord preserve us from this insane tin-pot dictator getting any more of his "development" deals through and disfiguring NY with any more of his excreable crap.

Nov. 27 2013 11:20 AM
Robert from NYC

Bloomberg legacy or ego trip?! Let it be his legacy and as his legacy we will see in future (which is what legacies are for) he will be seen to have been a lousy mayor for the people. The crumbling structures will represent his crumbling legacy. He has destroyed the landscape of this city and all to fill his friends' pockets. Maybe in future we can name a garbage dump after Bloomberg as his legacy.

Nov. 27 2013 11:19 AM
jf from the futture

The United states has 7700 armed nuclear weapons. We all agree that it's capitalism or death? when did we decide that?

Nov. 27 2013 11:15 AM
Julian from Manhattan

Bloomberg is right about his legacy, and it's a shame he couldn't have been stopped in 2009. On the balance sheet, it looks great, but in terms of the under-represented New Yorkers and small businesses in many neighborhoods, it's been a tragedy in terms of their security and the loss of their ability to live and work in their traditional neighborhoods. Despite his "green" statements to the the contrary, we've also boosted our carbon footprint, since buildings use almost 3/4 of the energy used by the City, and the building bonanza he's presided over is unprecedented. Saying that his reign has been good for New York fails to address the human side of the equation. Call that old-fashioned, but then call compassion old-fashioned too.

Nov. 27 2013 10:14 AM

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