Judge lets Eichner’s Crown Heights project near Botanic Garden advance

Two rezonings, held up by the same judge for similar reasons, can now both move forward. But in one case, a developer will need to figure out the logistics of holding an outdoor hearing. Brooklyn Judge Katherine Levine on Thursday lifted her temporary restraining order blocking the rezoning of a former spice factory at 960 Franklin Avenue, where Ian Bruce Eichner’s Continuum Company wants to build two 30-plus story rental towers. The move allows the

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DA targets tuition paid for Trump CFO’s grandkids

Tuition paid to a Manhattan private school is the latest target in New York prosecutors’ probe of former president Donald Trump and his real estate firm. The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance subpoenaed Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School over tuition payments made for two grandchildren of Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, the Wall Street Journal reported. The children’s mother, Jennifer Weisselberg, told the Journal that checks signed by either Allen Weisselberg

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Willets Point redevelopment finally moves ahead

Plans for Willets Point are actually moving forward. After years of uncertainty, the first phase of the massive redevelopment was approved by the Queens Borough Board on Monday, the Queens Post reported. The approval was granted with only minor conditions, a sign that the City Council could do the same at the end of the process. The initial phase of the proposed redevelopment includes construction of 1,100 affordable apartments, public open space and an elementary

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City Council bill would tighten screws on Airbnb

Putting a New York City apartment up for rent could get tougher. City Council member Ben Kallos introduced a bill Wednesday that would require apartments rented through home-sharing sites such as Airbnb to be registered with the city, the Wall Street Journal reported. The bill aims to reduce the number of illegal short-term rentals and increase the stock of permanent housing in the city, the publication reported. It also hopes to reduce competition for the

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New York’s rent relief site goes live — without applications

It’s live: After a month-long wait, information about New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program appeared on the website for the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The page includes details on eligibility for the program, benefits and the necessary application materials, but skips a key detail: when the program will actually launch. The site says applications will be accepted “soon.” The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which runs the program, had previously said

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What do Brooklyn homes cost? Don’t ask these candidates

Only in a New Yorker’s wildest dreams does a home in Brooklyn cost $100,000. Someone had better wake up Shaun Donovan and Ray McGuire. When the two mayoral candidates were asked to estimate the median sale price of a Brooklyn home, that’s what they guessed. The correct answer is $900,000. With New York City’s expensive housing a key issue in the race, the New York Times editorial board posed the question to candidates. “In Brooklyn,

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City expands free legal services for tenants, fearing eviction rush

New York renters will have another lifeline when the statewide eviction moratorium sunsets. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday signed a bill expanding the city’s Right to Counsel program, which offers free legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction. The legislation accelerates the program’s rollout before the state and federal eviction bans end. De Blasio and the City Council first deployed Right to Counsel in 2017 in certain ZIP codes with the goal of covering

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Governors Island rezoning inches closer to final vote

The rezoning of Governors Island is nearing a final vote, albeit with a few tweaks and limitations on new development. The City Council’s land use subcommittee on Tuesday voted in favor of the proposal, which will pave the way for nearly 4 million square feet of development, including university space, hotels, offices, biotech and research facilities, and retail across 34 acres on the island’s southern end. The subcommittee also approved a series of amendments that

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Big year seen for hotel openings, despite few visitors

Tourists have yet to come back to New York City, but new hotels are projected to open en masse this year. Close to 80 hotels with more than 13,000 rooms — the most in many years — plan to welcome their first guests in New York City in 2021, according to the data firm STR, the Wall Street Journal reported. The pandemic has led to construction delays, forcing owners to push back their openings. But

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Federal guidelines could complicate state’s rent relief rollout

Washington dished out a new set of guidelines for state-issued rent relief funds last week — specifications that could throw a wrench in New York’s distribution plan for a program that has yet to go live. It is unclear how the state will need to revise its program based on the new guidelines, if at all. However, some property owners are concerned that the federal rules don’t explicitly require renters who receive funds to hand

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