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Articles in the Opinion Category

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[1 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
One way to ensure that New York City is prepared for the future is to embrace our rich history.
New York is very fortunate to have access to a vast array of museums, some of which have been in existence since the 19th century.
Not only do our museums hold tremendous cultural and educational value, but they are also a large part of our city’s character, allure for tourism, and quality of life for its citizens.
101 years ago, Carrére and Hastings, one of New York’s oldest and most notable architecture …

REBNY Watch »

[25 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
Anyone who’s ever struggled to succeed in New York City knows the meaning of Frank Sinatra’s famous line, “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
It is this mindset which has led countless singers, actors, dancers, and other artists to our city over the years. To this day, the Ol’ Blue Eyes anthem continues to inspire new arrivals to follow their dreams in the five boroughs.
REBNY believes that it is extremely important to embrace that ideal and ensure that New York will always be a place …

REBNY Watch »

[18 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
Last week, a group of City Council Members called for increasing the size of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) in order to address the rising concerns surrounding Airbnb and other short-term rental services.
This task force is dedicated to coordinating efforts in all five boroughs to address general quality of life issues, dangerous conditions at City properties, and illegal conversions of apartments into hostels.
The Council wants to add 25 staffers to the OSE, which now consists of 12 assigned workers.
This proposal from the Council is an encouraging …

Headline, Opinion »

[18 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]
Urstadt hands mayor a dollar and a dream

By Konrad Putzier
Nine years after proposing that the city buy back Battery Park City, veteran city planners Charles Urstadt and Avrum Hyman have renewed their campaign for the deal.
On March 5, New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio received a check for $1 with a memo that read: “To buy back BPCA”
The check was from Urstadt, and the acronym referred to the Battery Park City Authority, which manages the high-rise development built on landfill in the Hudson River. According to Urstadt, all it takes to buy back the site is a …

REBNY Watch »

[11 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
There’s been a lot of activity around Grand Central Terminal lately, and not just the usual hustle bustle of rush hour commuters.
Last month, at a City Planning Commission hearing, the proposed Vanderbilt Corridor Text Amendment and SL Green’s Special Permit Application for One Vanderbilt received strong support.
The Text Amendment would permit the five blocks (from 42nd Street to 47th Street) along the Vanderbilt Avenue to be redeveloped up to a 30 FAR, either through the purchase of air rights from a landmark or through an improvement in the …

REBNY Watch »

[5 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
New York has always been a city of water, and now there’s an important initiative to establish and promote best practices at the water’s edge.
For the last fifteen years, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification has been the world’s most widely recognized and used system for rating green buildings. According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s recent rankings, New York is rated among the top ten states in the nation in terms of square feet of certified LEED space per resident. REBNY members proudly represent the …

REBNY Watch »

[27 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steve Spinola
New York City is always improving upon itself. Whether that means developing new neighborhoods, attracting new talent, constructing more efficient buildings, or renovating existing structures, New York is and has always been leading the way when it comes to embracing the future.
Governor Cuomo recently highlighted a project that is crucial to the region’s future, the importance of redesigning La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International Airports, an investment which he said would help sustain our vital transportation and foster strategic growth in New York.
We cannot underestimate the importance of air travel. Our airports are …

REBNY Watch »

[18 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Steven Spinola
There have been a few recent calls for the elimination of the 421-a tax exemption program, an important incentive that helps create affordable housing.
Eliminating the 421-a program would render Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to greatly expand the creation of more affordable housing largely impotent. The City would see a sharp drop off in the production of new housing units; a further skewing of the residential market toward condominium rather than rental production; and an accelerated tightening of housing costs for renters and buyers alike.
The 421-a program, which was …

Opinion »

[18 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Kevin Leifer, Director, Tax and Real Estate
Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C.
Recently-issued tax regulations have revamped the rules with respect to the tax treatment of expenditures to improve, repair
and maintain real property and tangible personal property used in a trade or business.
These regulations are effective for 2014 tax returns and will affect every taxpayer that owns, leases and/or uses tangible real or personal property in its business.
The good news is that the new rules may, for many taxpayers, result in increased current deductions than did the previous rules.
The new regulations introduce …

Opinion »

[18 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]

By Robert Jacobs, partner, Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman
In their quest to provide what many consider the ultimate residential amenity in Manhattan, developers are seeking Central Park views for luxury buildings on streets that do not border Central Park.
One solution is to construct buildings of enormous height that merely overshadow their neighbors facing Central Park.
However, because intervening mammoth buildings could someday block these much sought-after views, developers are seeking light and air easements from buildings bordering Central Park.
A luxury co-operative building on Central Park South was recently represented by BBWG …

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