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Thread: One Housing Woe Gives Way to Another

  1. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
    Actually it would be newcomers who would do the best if rent regulation were eliminated. A large number of the old timers, who can only afford to live in NY because they pay a ridiculously low rent would be forced out. This would create, for the first time in modern history, a fairly lose rental market (it a reasonable vacancy rate). This would bring down marginal rents (the rent someone would have to pay for a newly rented apt), significantly. So those newcomers could do much better than they could now.

    Basically we'd be trading a lot of retirees for starting professionals.
    First off, I'd like to say that PricedOut takes all of this better than I do, because I can't even tolerate the LES most nights. Is that what "starting professionals" look like?

    Secondly, I think your argument is absurd, MikeW. Do you really think that only retirees benefit from rent regulation?

    In this magical city you describe, where everyone is a fresh-scrubbed young professional paying maximum rent, are there any teachers? Police officers? EMTs? Fire fighters? Social workers? Editors? Advertising employees? Musicians? Artists? Nurses? Doctors? Lawyers? Anyone who earns under a six-figure salary, which means most people? Not all rent-regulation stories end with Carly Simon as the punchline.

    I'm sorry, but the overwhelming resentment in MikeW's posts makes everything sound more like sour grapes and less like logic. It really makes me wonder if MikeW could even afford this utopia he describes.

  2. #107
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The fallacy is the entrenched belief that if Rent Stabilization / Rent Control were dropped and all of a sudden every apartment in NYC became de-regulated and therefore available to rent within a year or two (since no one would be entitled to a long term tenancy) that the result would be all the rents in NYC would drop to some (unspecified) affordable amount.

    The article about Boston belies that.

    And look at Santa Monica -- another place where rent de-regulation was put into effect a few years back and where rents went UP almost immediately.
    Last edited by lofter1; November 16th, 2007 at 10:12 AM. Reason: spelling

  3. #108
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
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    Question

    Lately I keep questioning if the high cost of living in New York is worth it.

    There are a lot of things to do, but if youre using nearly all of your income on rent whats the use?

  4. #109

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    Schade,
    Because I have a young child I usually head out to dinner by 6:00 (we take her with us), so I probably am not as assaulted by the newbies as you might be (I generally see alot of tourists at that time). BUT obviously I'm on the same page. I can't even imagine how my daughter might live in New York post-graduation, and at this point I can't imagine recommending it.

  5. #110

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    I said marginal, not average. Average rents would probably rise people with ridiculous deals would have to deal with reality. But what would come down would be the rents on newly rented apartments.

    Right now, if you want to rent an apt in NYC, and especially Manhattan, all your going to get in market rate. Rent regulation not only doesn't help in this situation, it actuallly hurts, because it suppresses supply. If all the old timers had to pay market, a large number would move, freeing up apartments and loosening the market.

    As I said the ones who would get hurt would be the old timers.

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Mike W: Your scenario ^ is NOT what happened in Boston ...

  6. #111

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    What proves you definitively wrong is that every other city in the country has housing for all these people. Go to Dallas, Vegas, Charleston, etc, etc, and you can find housing at a fraction of the cost of NY.

    It's NYC, with it's screwed up rent regulation that has the most disfunctional housing market in the country. It is rent regulation, and NYC other regulatory boondoggles, that have directly caused NYC housing problems. The the problems with exist in perpetuity till NYC gets rid of it's regulations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Schadenfrau View Post
    First off, I'd like to say that PricedOut takes all of this better than I do, because I can't even tolerate the LES most nights. Is that what "starting professionals" look like?

    Secondly, I think your argument is absurd, MikeW. Do you really think that only retirees benefit from rent regulation?

    In this magical city you describe, where everyone is a fresh-scrubbed young professional paying maximum rent, are there any teachers? Police officers? EMTs? Fire fighters? Social workers? Editors? Advertising employees? Musicians? Artists? Nurses? Doctors? Lawyers? Anyone who earns under a six-figure salary, which means most people? Not all rent-regulation stories end with Carly Simon as the punchline.

    I'm sorry, but the overwhelming resentment in MikeW's posts makes everything sound more like sour grapes and less like logic. It really makes me wonder if MikeW could even afford this utopia he describes.

  7. #112
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Hmmmm ^ perhaps because Mnahattan and most of NYC (including Queens, Brooklyn, Staten ISland) are ISLANDS -- even the Bronx is landlocked -- so there is no excess of land upon which to spread, as there is in Dallas & Vegas

  8. #113
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeW View Post

    It's NYC, with it's screwed up rent regulation that has the most disfunctional housing market in the country. It is rent regulation, and NYC other regulatory boondoggles, that have directly caused NYC housing problems. The the problems with exist in perpetuity till NYC gets rid of it's regulations.
    You keep saying that so I know you believe it.

    What do you have to honestly back up your position?

  9. #114
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Other saga of woe ...

    Landlord Eviction Trick Backfires, Investigators Say

    NY TIMES
    By Sewell Chan
    November 16, 2007

    Landlord-tenant hostility is nothing new in New York City, but investigators said today that a Brooklyn landlord, Oludola Johnson, took things to a new and illegal level.

    On Sept. 4, Mr. Johnson, who owns a three-story apartment building at 714 St. Mark’s Avenue in Crown Heights, attached a fraudulent, altered copy of a city marshal’s eviction notice to the apartment door of one of his tenants and then changed the locks on the door, according to the city’s Department of Investigation.

    The notice looked like the genuine article: It said “MARSHAL’S LEGAL POSSESSION” and carried the name, badge number and office address of Norman Katz, one of the city’s 44 marshals. The notice said that Mr. Katz had transferred “legal possession” of the apartment from the tenant to Mr. Johnson.

    But Mr. Johnson ran into a problem, officials said: his tenant — who had admitted to being behind on her rent — saw her landlord put up the notice. Her suspicions aroused, she removed the notice from the door and brought it to Mr. Katz’s office. Mr. Katz’s staff told her he had never issued such a notice. In fact, Mr. Katz had nothing to do with the matter.

    It turns out, officials said, that Mr. Johnson had altered a copy of an eviction notice that Mr. Katz had issued more than a year earlier — on May 26, 2006 — and left on the door of another tenant in building. (Warrants of eviction are issued by Housing Court and enforced by the marshals.)

    Mr. Johnson, 36, of Brooklyn, was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument (one felony count and one misdemeanor count) and unlawful eviction, a misdemeanor. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

    As of this afternoon, Mr. Johnson was still in custody and had not been arraigned. No number could be found for him through directory assistance. There was no answer at a telephone number in Brooklyn that has been associated with Mr. Johnson in public records.

    (C) NY Times

  10. #115
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Somebody who really made a difference ...

    Clara Fox, Tireless Advocate for Subsidized Housing,
    Is Dead at 90


    Clara Fox

    NY TIMES
    By DENNIS HEVESI
    November 16, 2007

    Clara Fox, an advocate of subsidized housing for poor and moderate-income people and the founder of the Settlement Housing Fund, a nonprofit organization that now houses 2,200 families in 44 buildings in New York City, died on Nov. 9 in Manhattan.

    She was 90 and lived in Manhattan Plaza, the twin-towered complex on West 42nd Street that she helped save from bankruptcy in the mid-1970s.

    The cause was kidney failure, said Carol Lamberg, the current director of the Settlement Housing Fund, who succeeded Mrs. Fox in January 1983.

    Mrs. Fox formed the Settlement Housing Fund in 1969 by bringing together housing experts from 35 settlement houses, the neighborhood agencies created in the first decades of the 20th century to aid newly arriving immigrants. And though she retired from the organization as its founding executive director, she never stopped advocating for affordable housing.

    Until her death, she remained co-chairwoman of the New York Housing Conference, a coalition of more than 70 organizations representing developers, bankers, architects, housing advocates and owners of nonprofit buildings. Among other activities, the group, an affiliate of the National Housing Conference, lobbies the government on housing policy.

    Clara originated the idea of combining low- and moderate-income housing with social programs,” said Conrad Egan, the president of the national conference. When rental buildings were converted to cooperatives in the 1960s under a New York State subsidy program, Mr. Egan said, Mrs. Fox was the first to train former renters in how to manage co-ops.

    Ms. Lamberg said: “Clara was one of the first people who advocated for low-income cooperatives. She was also one of the first to bring together social agencies and housing groups to work for better housing. Now there are all kinds of nonprofit groups that create and sustain affordable housing. She had a lasting effect.”

    Clara Leon was born in the Bronx on May 10, 1917, a daughter of Ralph and Lillian Frankel Leon. She graduated from the University of Chicago, then earned a master’s degree in sociology there. Her marriage to William Fox ended in divorce in 1950. She is survived by her daughter, Roberta Fox, of Manhattan, and a sister, Florence Blank, of the Bronx.

    In the early 1960s, Mrs. Fox, who had been the director of a private nursery school, became New York City’s first coordinator of Head Start, the federally sponsored program that provided eight weeks of education and social enrichment for prekindergarten children from poor families. After leaving Head Start in 1965, Mrs. Fox was asked to become housing coordinator for United Neighborhood Houses, the organization of 35 settlement houses that four years later established the Settlement Housing Fund.

    “Clara was very proud of putting together the plan that saved Manhattan Plaza,” Ms. Lamberg said.

    Built by a major developer in the mid-1970s, Manhattan Plaza, a complex of 1,688 apartments in two towers between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, was supposed to house middle-income renters. By the time the buildings were completed, Times Square was squalid and inflation was in the double digits. With few renters, Manhattan Plaza faced default.

    The city wanted to turn it into a low-income project, a plan opposed by Broadway theater owners. Mrs. Fox led a committee that came up with an alternative: Manhattan Plaza would house performing artists, theater workers and community residents receiving federal rent subsidies. Those who could afford it — later to include Mrs. Fox — would pay market-rate rents.

    In 1983, because of her work on the plan, Mrs. Fox was named an honorary member of Actors’ Equity, the professional actors’ and stage managers’ union.

    On her retirement from the Settlement Housing Fund, Mrs. Fox told The New York Times: “The thing I feel strongest about is the incredible indifference that seems to exist in government about what’s happening to subsidized housing. We have done worse than any other social program, and what we hear from Congressional representatives is there is no constituency in Washington for low-income housing.”

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  11. #116
    Senior Member NewYorkDoc's Avatar
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    We need more people like her. What a hero to New York.

  12. #117
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Talk about a woeful situation ...

    Holiday Jeers



    Annie Tritt for The New York Times
    74 Grand Street

    Big Deal


    NY TIMES
    By JOSH BARBANEL

    December 23, 2007

    It is that time of year again, when owners of co-ops and condominiums set aside their petty grievances and complaints about each other. They stifle, for the moment, plans for board coups and toast one another at the annual Christmas party in the lobby.

    But perhaps all good unit owners and shareholders should pause a moment to reflect on the fate of the shareholders at 74 Grand Street, a 25-foot-wide co-op building in SoHo, which has landmark status.

    During the summer of 2004, Caroline Hunt, a business consultant, bought a loft apartment there for nearly $1.6 million. Construction crews had torn down an old one-story building next door, and as she was closing, a foundation wall next to her building was being removed.

    At the time, Ms. Hunt ran a company that planned business conferences aboard cruise ships and had moved to New York from London. She had her belongings shipped in and set about having the full-floor apartment renovated. The building has four units and an antique furniture store.

    But that September, on the day she planned to move in, she got a phone call that changed everything. “There was a loud noise, a bang, and my renovators ran out screaming,” she said.

    The facade of her building sagged more than 24 inches toward the construction site, and the Department of Buildings soon sealed off the building. More than three years later, Ms. Hunt and her neighbors — including a lawyer, an artist and a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — have scattered. Their fate remains in the hands of the courts as lawsuits wend their way through the legal system.

    “I never even slept in the place,” Ms. Hunt said. She has since lived in a succession of temporary apartments, with her beloved piano in storage most of the time. She continues to pay maintenance to cover legal fees and taxes, but has negotiated a suspension of payments on her mortgage.

    The co-op blames the construction work for undermining the foundation, breaking through a stone and concrete platform that was shared by both buildings when they were put up about a century ago in what is now the cast-iron district of SoHo.

    But the building has had a slight lean since the 1930’s, and the owners next door say that the wooden pilings pounded into the soil beneath the foundation platform under both buildings had rotted long ago.

    The co-op’s insurance companies refused to cover the collapse, and the co-op is suing them. The co-op is also suing the owners of the building next door, and the contractors, architects and engineers on the project. The owners next door at 72 Grand Street, in turn, have filed suit demanding that the co-op remove the sagging portion of its building.

    One positive factor is that property values have soared so much in the last few years that both the co-op and the lot next door are worth far more than they were when the building was sealed. Though a trial is tentatively scheduled next year, the case could drag on for years, lawyers say.

    Maxwell K. Hearn, the co-op’s president and a curator in the Metropolitan Museum’s department of Asian Art, would not discuss the details of what happened. “It is a very complicated case; a lot of different parties are involved,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Ms. Hunt said, one co-op owner has moved to Hong Kong, and the others have not been inclined to spend the holidays together. “This girl has never had a Christmas party,” she said.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

    ***

    74 Grand in better days (thanks to Pith's 74 Grand gallery & gothamist):


    Copyright © jcn

    And how it looks now ...



    74 grand at wooster

  13. #118
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Building Collapse Betting Pool: Leaning Tower's Last Gasps

    September 14, 2009, by Pete









    Get ready for the demise of Soho's 74 Grand Street, the granddaddy of our fair city's leaning towers and one that's been on its last legs since 2004. That was when some big rains and a rather un-neighborly neighbor undermined its foundation. The cast-iron beauty at Wooster and Grand trembled and tilted, driving its inhabitants into the streets. For nearly five years the building has been empty, covered in black netting and propped up on the west by some major steel girders. The erector set may not be as intricate as the one downtown, but it has served its purpose by keeping the bricks and iron from tumbling. Now, suddenly, the safety netting has come down. An execution is in the air.

    According to a flier advertising a public hearing on the matter (seen in the gallery), the plan is to demolish the building and cart off the cast iron facade into safe storage, where it will await "future reinstallation." What's to come remains unknown, but Community Board 2 will be tracking the proposal. Any progress here will be welcome. This ramshackle intersection, still looking like the grittier Soho of yore, has a new batch of condos slated to go up on the parking lot across the street. However, that plan seems to be in a holding pattern, so change may not come anytime soon. And there's still nothing in the works for the source of these Grand Street miseries, the derelict hole next door to 74 Grand Street. On certain corners progress moves at its own slow pace.

    74 Grand Street coverage [Curbed]

    http://curbed.com/archives/2009/09/1...last_gasps.php

  14. #119
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Scrapping Soho?

    LPC ponders plans to demolish cast-iron building

    The Architect's Newspaper
    By Matt Chaban
    October 7, 2009

    “Someone has stolen my building!”

    So declared Beverley Moss Spratt, the former chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in a 1974 front page story in the Times upon learning that what remained of the facade of the first cast-iron building ever constructed in the city had been stolen from a lot on Chambers Street and sold for scrap. The episode haunts the commission, which is why it approached 74 Grand Street so cautiously during a September 22 hearing.

    In 2004, excavation work was underway at neighboring 72 Grand Street, on the corner of Wooster Street. According to neighbors, the work was far from adequate, especially given the area’s silty soil. Then it rained for almost two weeks. The foundation at 74 Grand buckled. The five-story loft building slid a full 13.5 inches out of alignment, leading to emergency shoring and evacuation. It has sat vacant ever since. But it continues to stir.

    Over the past five years, 74 Grand has continued to settle, now overhanging the adjacent lot by about two feet. And it has begun to bring much of the block with it, pulling a one-story building at 76 Grand more than a foot out of alignment, while another loft building at 78 Grand has shifted up to 7 inches, with similar concerns now mounting at 80 Grand.

    On September 8, the Department of Buildings determined that 74 Grand must now be demolished, but because it is located in the Soho Cast Iron Historic District, the demolition must be approved by the commission. Furthermore, the owners of 74 Grand are responsible for the work, but the cooperative of owners that were forced out of the building want nothing to do with it any longer, so there are as yet no plans for the building’s reconstruction. Instead, the owners want to demolish the building and store the facade until it can be sold to someone else and the site rebuilt.

    But both the storage and the sale worry the preservation commission. “I’m not opposed to demolition, I believe it is unavoidable,” Commissioner Fred Bland said. “My point is storage. It’s got to be protected.” Some commissioners debated putting a lien on the property or creating stiff fines to ensure that nothing happens to the facade, and to make it clear to the next owner that the commission expects the building to be rebuilt as is.

    Another issue raised by the neighbors is that the demolition of 74 Grand presents an enticing development opportunity, because two vacant lots will sit next to the nondescript building at 76 Grand. “We want to make sure this facade isn’t patched into some monstrosity,” Stella Sands of 78 Grand, told the commission.

    And then there is the issue of ensuring that the demolition of 74 Grand does not further the collapse of its neighbors. Though no definitive plan has been devised, the commission’s counsel said the owners of 74 Grand have agreed to safe storage and demolition, which would be paid for with the proceeds from a pending settlement with 72 Grand. Still, some commissioners remained unconvinced, with the demolition approved by a vote of 6-3.

    Copyright © The Architect's Newspaper, LLC.

  15. #120

    Post One Housing Woe Gives Way to Another

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Scrapping Soho?


    So declared Beverley Moss Spratt, the former chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in a 1974 front page story in the Times upon learning that what remained of the facade of the first cast-iron building ever constructed in the city had been stolen from a lot on Chambers Street and sold for scrap. The episode haunts the commission, which is why it approached 74 Grand Street so cautiously during a September 22 hearing.
    Sometime about 1985, on the corner of Grand & Green Streets a guy was selling fragments of a cast-iron facade on the street corner; he set the few pieces he had for sale along the sidewalk against a brick wall. I bought a cast-iron corbel and a few other pieces for about 30 dollars.

    I now use the cast-iron corbel (mounted on a wood base) as a decorative book end; reading that article, I can only wonder if that cast-iron corbel could be part of what remained of the "facade of the first cast-iron building ever constructed in the city".

    Also, I will look to see if I can find/post that "1974 Front Page Story". Any help on finding that article would be appreciated.

    Cheers

    [img=http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/7376/img5922b.jpg]

    [img=http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/2232/img5929y.jpg]
    Last edited by infoshare; October 10th, 2009 at 10:15 AM.

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