Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

How Hudson Yards connects to Harlem

What an amazing story: “Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project [Hudson Yards] was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.” The far West Side of lower Manhattan, not far from Tribeca, the Village, and Chelsea, is hardly known for its poverty, but creative subsidy seekers carved out an “area” that connected the Hudson Yards site, gerrymander style, through midtown and Central Park to public housing projects in Harlem. And presto: access to benefits meant to revive high-unemployment urban areas. [Kriston Capps, CityLab]

Reader David Link writes:

It’s only bad if you think the point of the Poverty/Industrial Complex is designed to alleviate poverty, rather than just being a set of white collar jobs programs. This gerrymander is a visual example of the usual, multiple links between poverty/social justice/community improvement rhetoric and the people who ultimately benefit. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like a good step for New York, and the only excess cost is to those who aren’t skeptical enough to accept the rhetoric.

Buying a home? Feds want to know your identity

Another valued little piece of financial privacy being lost: in the name of enforcing money laundering and know your customer regulations, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has expanded a program the effect of which is to require disclosure of your identity if you buy a home in some parts of country [Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle]

Related: British financial regulators adopt new approach of “shifting the burden of proof onto foreign investors; they must now prove their wealth is legitimate.” [Jeffrey Miron, Cato]

Investigative series: NYC home seizures

Kings County Politics investigates a series of cases in which New York City has seized the properties of Brooklyn homeowners after procedurally or substantively dubious findings of distressed condition or tax/water arrears. In some cases the city then hands the property over to politically connected developers. “Public Advocate Letitia James [has] called for a temporary freeze of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD) Third-Party Transfer (TPT) program” to address the concerns. [Stephen Witt and Kelly Mena, Kings County Politics]

Mississippi: drawing digital lines on satellite map requires surveyor’s license

The state of Mississippi insists that a company called Vizaline, by selling a program that uses satellite imagery to translate “metes and bounds” language into polygonal lines on a map, is practicing land surveying without a license, and should be made to shut down and refund all money it has earned in the state. Attorneys from the Institute for Justice say that virtual land measurement is not only not part of an occupation subject to licensure, but is a form of expression and communication and subject to First Amendment protections. [Cyrus Farivar, ArsTechnica]

Land use and development roundup

NYC: 5Pointz building owner must pay graffiti artists

To quote John K. Ross’s summary for Short Circuit:

In 2002, owner of dilapidated industrial property in Queens, N.Y. entrusts its care to a group of artists, who improve its condition and cover it in graffiti, turning it into a tourist attraction and cultural site. In 2013, the owner, who plans to demolish the warehouses and build luxury condos, whitewashes over the art. District court: Which violated the Visual Artists Rights Act; pay $6.75 mil in damages to 21 artists. If the owner had waited a few more months while he got his building permits in order, he’d have been assessed a far more modest penalty.

More: Alan Feuer, New York Times, ABA Journal. More on the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 here.

Environment roundup

November 15 roundup