The Broadsheet – Lower Manhattan’s Local Newspaper
Get Rich or Get Out
Analysis By Housing Group Cites Declining Affordability in Lower Manhattan
Independence Plaza in Tribeca
A leading housing advocacy organization has completed an exhaustive look at threats to affordability in every community in the five boroughs, and has found that Lower Manhattan ranks among the ten most at-risk neighborhoods by one key metric, while also placing in the 20 most-endangered by another.
The Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD), an umbrella organization of 100 non-profit affordable housing and economic development groups that serve low- and moderate-income residents in all five boroughs of the City, has published the 2021 edition of its annual roundup, “How Is Affordable Housing Threatened In Your Neighborhood.” For this report, Lower Manhattan was defined as the catchment of Community Board 1, a collection of neighborhoods encompassing 1.5 square miles, bounded roughly by Canal, Baxter, and Pearl Streets, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
ANHD’s analysis finds that Lower Manhattan housing affordability is threatened in several keys respects. The first is the number of apartments where rents are regulated by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program (which offers developers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on affordable housing), but where such protections are slated to lapse in the next five years. The total for Lower Manhattan is 440 such units, which is the sixth-highest rank for any community throughout the five boroughs. Moreover, this transition appears to be gathering momentum. The ANHD’s corresponding report for 2017 noted that just 251 apartments in Lower Manhattan were, at that time, facing such an expiration in the five-year period that ends in 2022.
The second metric is the number of newly built dwellings issued certificates of occupancy (which legally deems an apartment habitable) in the previous 12 months. The total for this indicator is 449 apartments. The fact that these two figures match almost precisely may be less than coincidental. Rather, it is likely an illustration that new housing in Lower Manhattan is steadily displacing older units, where rents are legally constrained. The same report finds that 33.9 percent of Lower Manhattan households are “rent burdened,” meaning that they spend more than one-third of their gross monthly income on rent.
ANHD’s report for 2021 also documents that there are only 105 households in Lower Manhattan still benefitting from the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) initiatives. These programs prevent increases in rent for qualifying elderly or disabled residents of rent-stabilized apartments, and compensate the landlord with a property tax credit that covers the difference between the lower, frozen rent and the higher, stabilized rent.
More broadly, the analysis finds that there are still 8,897 rent-stabilized apartments in Lower Manhattan, although this number appears likely to decline rapidly between now and 2030, as tax abatements for buildings erected in the late 1990s and early 2000s lapse, thus extinguishing the rent protections that they required.
City Bestows Richer Subsidies and a Longer Contract on Passenger Boat Service
City Hall is poised to increase its already-lavish support of the NYC Ferry service by tens of millions of dollars. In a story first reported by the City, a nonprofit, digital news platform, the board of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) on December 14 approved up to $62 million in additional subsidies for the ferry service, which the administration of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio launched in 2017 as one of its signature initiatives.
NYC Ferry is the company designated by the EDC (a non-profit entity that negotiates strategic partnerships on behalf of City Hall, designed to harness private-sector resources to public projects, and thus foster economic growth) to operate the system, which includes eight routes, connecting all five boroughs, for the same price as a subway or bus ride. To read more…
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Ethical and respectable gentleman, an IT Wizard, seeks a living/work space in BPC. Can be a Computer help to you and your business, or will guarantee $1,500 for rental. Reciprocal would be great!
Please contact: 914-588-5284
20+ years experience
Providing Companion and Home Health Aide Care to clients with dementia.Help with grooming, dressing and wheelchair assistance. Able to escort client to parks and engage in conversations of desired topics and interests of client. Reliable & Honest
78 year old refined intellectual gentleman having a passion for cruises and travel seeking a male or female caregiver/companion in exchange for all expense paid venture on the ocean. Only requirement is relationship comfort between us and ability to help with physical care regarding the limitations and restrictions of COPD.
Lower Manhattan Rentals Increase in Price, While Condo Sales Drift
A new study from the online real estate database company, StreetEasy, shows that the cost for renting an apartment in three Lower Manhattan neighborhoods spiraled during the fourth quarter of 2021, while the fluctuation in purchase prices was more complicated.
For tenants, median asking rents jumped (relative to the same period one year earlier) by 38.7 percent in the Financial District (to $4,300), 20.8 percent in Tribeca (to $7,700) and 13.1 percent in Battery Park City (to $4,441) per month.
For those wishing to purchase a condominium or cooperative, the picture was more mixed. In Tribeca, the median asking price climbed by 12.5 percent (to $4.49 million), but the median closing prices rose by a more modest 6.6 percent ($3.3 million). In FiDi, the median ask rose by 7.2 percent (to $1.28 million), but median closing prices actually fell by 0.2 percent, to $1.27 million. And in Battery Park City, the median asking price dropped by 8.8 percent (to $1 million), while the median closing price dipped by 13.8 percent (to $844,500).
In Claude Lanzmann’s seminal nine-and-a-half-hour film SHOAH, he chose not to use any images of the Holocaust, telling the story instead solely through the words of witnesses. By contrast, art historian Georges Didi-Huberman and contemporary artist Gerhard Richter have both emphasized the power of images to reflect and educate—the former in his book Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from Auschwitz, and the latter in a series of paintings titled “Birkenau.” Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Fritz Ascher Society for a lecture exploring the tension between these different perspectives on images, words, and the Holocaust with German art historian and curator Eckhart Gillen. Gillen will ground the discussion in the example of Boris Lurie, the subject of the Museum’s special exhibition Boris Lurie: Nothing To Do But To Try, who used art to access his buried memories before he was able to address them with words. Free; suggested $10 donation
Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for a virtual walking tour of Venice, Italy, home to the one of the oldest Jewish ghettos in the world. Established in 1516, the Venetian Ghetto became a model for other Jewish ghettos elsewhere. The Ghetto was home to the world’s first “skyscrapers” and the first-ever production of William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, noted for its antisemitic themes. On our walking tour, we will explore the neighborhood’s establishment; the history of Napoleon’s march on Venice in 1797, when restrictions on the city’s Jewish residents were lifted; and the Nazi occupation of Venice in 1943. $36
Wednesday Webinar. Eight-part series on retirement planning. These programs are designed to introduce you to the many possible sources of retirement income and resources, including social security, medicare, pension options including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts and annuities, as well as the complex issues faced when planning for loved ones with wills and/or trusts. Today: The Importance of Retirement Planning. Gerri Walsh reviews the importance of compound interest and the many tax-deferred opportunities that help individuals plan for a comfortable and stress-free retirement. Free
Ring in the Year of the Tiger at Brookfield Place! Experience a multi-day celebration that includes a live ice carving, kids crafts and more! Discover ice sculptures by New York City-based art collective, Okamoto Studio, on the Waterfront Plaza. In celebration of the Lunar New Year there will be a live ice carving and display all weekend long. Free
Elly Gotz was born in 1928 in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania. When he was 13 years old, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and Elly and his family were forced into a ghetto. When the ghetto was later liquidated, Elly was transported to the Dachau concentration camp, where he labored in an underground factory for a German company named Moll. After being liberated in 1945, Elly and his family lived in Germany, desperate to emigrate. In the spring of 1947, they were accepted to Norway as refugees, and later that year they were able to immigrate to Zimbabwe to join extended family members. Elly eventually moved to Johannesburg and then Toronto, where he established several businesses and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. In 2017, at the age of 89, he fulfilled another dream by going skydiving. Join the Museum for a Stories Survive program with Elly Gotz exploring his remarkable journey of survival and rebuilding. Free; suggested $10 donation,
Is design art? In the hands of Han Feng, it sure is. The Hangzhou-born clothing designer first brought her fashion work into the performing arts with costumes for Anthony Minghella’s Madame Butterfly at the English National Opera and the Met Opera. Her bespoke couture designs meld Chinese motifs and craftmanship with a bold, modern sensibility. Her passion for the connections between design and art has now led her to open a gallery in Shanghai and to support emerging artists through a residency in New York. Join us online, as Han Feng discusses inspiration, designs and art with her longtime friend, Nancy Berliner, Senior Curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Free
Online film streaming. A man in his seventies is evicted from his Manhattan apartment in Harry and Tonto (1974, Paul Mazursky), and then embarks on a cross-country odyssey with his beloved cat Tonto. Registration required Free
Light up your best “après-ski” look and strut your stuff at our cold weather family-friendly silent dance party. Three live DJs from QuietEvents will illuminate the night as they pump beats through illuminated headphones to get you moving. Headphones are free, ID required, RSVP highly recommended. Free
Eyes to the Sky
January 24 – February 4, 2022
Halfway to spring, be mesmerized by winter stars, captivated by crescent moon, planets
Winter skies are the most inviting to naked eye stargazers, and for including children when the brightest stars in the heavens appear in early evening, before bedtime.
The mighty constellation, Orion the Hunter, floats above the southeast horizon as darkness gathers, by about 6pm. Fiercely twinkling Sirius the Dog Star rises around 5:30pm and appears above obstructed views by 6:30pm. Sirius, the brightest star in Earth’s skies, throws off magnificent flashes of full-spectrum colors. The constellation Canis major, aka the Great Dog, and Orion trace an arc from east-southeast to west-southwest, where they set at about 1:30am. See the brightest stars arrive in the south by about 9pm and over the Hudson River during the nighttime hours.
Groundhog Day, February 2, marks the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.
New American Opera Now in Performance at Museum of Jewish Heritage
The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene is now presenting the New York City Opera’s production of “The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place) for eight performances, through February 6.
The story, which also inspired Vittorio De Sica’s acclaimed 1970 film adaptation, traces the genteel (but ultimately lethal) isolation of an extended family who wall themselves off from the rise of Benito Mussolini, and Italy’s subsequent embrace of Nazi Germany, which makes anti-Semitism the official policy of the country their clan had lived in for centuries.
Hundreds of Local Storefronts Remain Rented to Corporate Brands, While Small Businesses Struggle, and Landlords Warehouse Empty Space
A new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a public policy think tank that uses data-driven research to bring attention to overlooked issues, documents that the proliferation of chain stores in Lower Manhattan has decreased slightly during the past 12 months, while the same tally for the City as whole ticked upward.
For small businesses, the outlook appears to be bleaker. To read more…
Annual Food Fest Puts Lavish Meals within Reach of Thrifty Epicures
New York’s annual food celebration, Restaurant Week continues for five weeks, until Saturday (February 13).
For those disinclined to venture above Canal Street, the goods news is that of all the 481 establishments participating throughout the City this year, more than five percent are located in Lower Manhattan.
The Bowling Green Greenmarket brings fresh offerings from local farms to Lower Manhattan’s historic Bowling Green plaza. Twice a week year-round stop by to load up on the season’s freshest fruit, crisp vegetables, beautiful plants, and freshly baked loaves of bread, quiches, and pot pies.
Fulton Street cobblestones between South and Front Sts. across from McNally Jackson Bookstore.
Locally grown produce from Rogowski Farm, Breezy Hill Orchard, and other farmers and small-batch specialty food products, sold directly by their producers. Producers vary from week to week.
SNAP/EBT/P-EBT, Debit/Credit, and Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks accepted at all farmers markets.
TODAY IN HISTORY
The crew of Columbia:
Michael P. Anderson, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1959)
David M. Brown, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1956)
Kalpana Chawla, Indian-American engineer and astronaut (b. 1961)
Laurel Clark, American captain, surgeon, and astronaut (b. 1961)
Rick Husband, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1957)
William C. McCool, American commander, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1961)
Ilan Ramon, Israeli colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1954)
Columbia was the first space shuttle to fly in space in April 1981 and completed 27 missions before the disaster of February 1. On its 28th flight, Columbia left Earth for the last time on Jan. 16, 2003.
1327 – The teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.
1662 – The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.
1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, the Black Maria in West Orange, New Jersey.
1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1964 – The Beatles have their first number one hit in the United States with “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.
Click here to see them perform
1968 – The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form Penn Central Transportation.
1979 – Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran after nearly 15 years of exile.
2002 – Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors.
2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during the reentry of mission STS-107 into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
2013 – The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, is opened to the public.
2021 – A coup d’état in Myanmar removes Aung San Suu Kyi from power and restores military rule.
1964 – The Beatles have their first number one hit in the United States with “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.