The Regional Plan Association has announced that its president Bob Yaro is retiring and will be succeeded by its executive director Tom Wright. Yaro has been with the association for 25 years and served as its president since 2001.Â â€œI have been privileged over the last quarter century to guide RPA and help address some of the New York metropolitan regionâ€™s most pressing challenges,â€ Yaro said in a statement. â€œWhile I will miss working with the extraordinarily talented researchers and policy experts at RPA on a daily basis, I am thrilled to be leaving the organization in the hands of someone as accomplished and visionary as Tom Wright.”Â
All the topÂ names in New York City architecture are vying for a piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but whether any of their designs will be realized still remains to be seen. As community groups try to blockÂ Mayor de Blasioâ€™s controversial plans to bring affordable housing to Michael Van Valkenburgh‘sÂ celebrated park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has unveiled 14 design proposals for two coveted development sites on Pier 6. Those proposals were unveiled just hours before a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting that was packed with community members voicing their strong opposition to any new development in the park.
Between June and August, aÂ New York City subway platform is a pretty awful place to find yourself. Over those summer months, the subway has all the smells, crowds, and delays you’re used Â to with the unwelcome addition of a shockingly stubborn heat that couldn’t care less that you’re on your way to a job interview.
With tens of millions of dollars,Â New York City hopes to jumpstartÂ a transformation of Brooklynâ€™s Sunset Park neighborhood into a hub for artists and tech companies. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city is spendingÂ $100 million to transform part of the Brooklyn Army Terminalâ€”an old navy-supply hubâ€”into space for light manufacturing. That investment is just one piece of the millions of dollars flowing into the neighborhood from real estate investors.
While the money will be significant, giving new life to Sunset Park’s industrial corridor will take more than artisanal pickles and startups. It will takeÂ great public space and significant improvements to the neighborhood’s streetscape.Â At this point, however, it’s not clear if that type of investment is in the cards.
The New York Times has published a blockbuster storyÂ on the Cuomo administrationâ€™s repeated efforts to undermine the anti-corruption commission that the governor set up himself. According to the Times,Â the Cuomo administration blocked efforts by the commission to subpoena the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) over â€œits political donations, its materials related to a valuable tax break for new housing, and its communications with public officials, including phone calls with lawmakers.” The commission also planned to noteÂ emails fromÂ Extell Development Company, which mentioned how a loophole could be used to funnel money to Cuomo through LLC’s. Ultimately, the loophole was mentioned, but Extell was not.
There’s aÂ game of musical chairs and commissioners happeningÂ in New York CityÂ politics right now. With former Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) chair Meenakshi Srinivasan now heading the Landmarks Preservation CommissionÂ (LPC),Â Mayor de Blasio has nominated Margery Perlmutter to fill the vacant role. Perlmutterâ€”who would go to the BSA fromÂ theÂ LPC where she is a commissionerâ€”is a registered architect and a lawyer who focuses on land-use issues. The mayor also announced two new picks for LPC commissioners including Adi Shamir Baron, the former executive director of the Van Alen Institute, and John Gustafsson, chairman of the Board of the Historic House Trust of New York City.