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Fragile Bird

US Politics: The Accountability Problem

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1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Actually, I did bat an eye.  I don't have a problem at all with "gentrification" which is a stupid bugbear that means not a whole lot of anything (and something different to everyone, it seems).  Making a city or a neighborhood nicer and safer is NOT a bad thing.  What is a bad thing is not having a mixed use neighborhood with affordable housing stock for different income levels.  This is a city.  Things are going to change.  And it's NYC, so embrace change.  I don't have a lot of sympathy for the "but what about the local businesses" stuff.  They absolutely still exist.  They change and morph and all the rest, and are subject to both macro and micro forces (the whinging to to me is like the myth of the family farm).  But the housing stock crisis is real.  So I would personally focus on making sure there are places for real people to live within the city and not so much on bemoaning some concept of "gentrification."

This entire statement makes me want to smash my head into my keyboard, so I'm just going to say that you should maybe do some research on the topic before stating those opinions around real New Yorkers. 

 

Edited by Relic

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3 minutes ago, Relic said:

This entire statement makes me want to smash my head into my keyboard, so I'm just going to say that you should maybe do some research on the topic before stating those opinions around real New Yorkers. 

 

Likewise, I'm sure.  

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53 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Likewise, I'm sure.  

It's especially good coming from someone who hasn't lived in New York for like 12 years telling you off. that's the kind of internet warrior that we really need. 

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16 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

It's especially good coming from someone who hasn't lived in New York for like 12 years telling you off. that's the kind of internet warrior that we really need. 

I have a sense of humor about these things.  You see, I've concluded I'm not real.  I have lived in NYC for 20 years, so I can't be a "real American."  I grew up in Virgina, but outside of DC, so I couldn't be a "real Virginian," and I definitely wasn't "really from DC."  QED, I am a remarkably unhinged AI who is a real pain in the a$$!

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Just now, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I have a sense of humor about these things.  You see, I've concluded I'm not real.  I have lived in NYC for 20 years, so I can't be a "real American."  I grew up in Virgina, but outside of DC, so I couldn't be a "real Virginian," and I definitely wasn't "really from DC."  QED, I am a remarkably unhinged AI who is a real pain in the a$$!

No lies detected

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11 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

I have a sense of humor about these things.  You see, I've concluded I'm not real.  I have lived in NYC for 20 years, so I can't be a "real American."  I grew up in Virgina, but outside of DC, so I couldn't be a "real Virginian," and I definitely wasn't "really from DC."  QED, I am a remarkably unhinged AI who is a real pain in the a$$!

This is basically my life to some degree (NY suburbs (kind of) -> NOVA -> London -> NYC).

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23 minutes ago, Mexal said:

This is basically my life to some degree (NY suburbs (kind of) -> NOVA -> London -> NYC).

Lived in Europe = can’t be a real Merikan!  

I, otoh, hail from the Midwest and thus get my real Merikan card double stamped. But on the other other hand I’m a liberal Jew so I only get half a card to start.

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5 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Lived in Europe = can’t be a real Merikan!  

I, otoh, hail from the Midwest and thus get my real Merikan card double stamped. But on the other other hand I’m a liberal Jew so I only get half a card to start.

So @Mexal and I are unreal, and you're maybe a Cyborg?

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12 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

So @Mexal and I are unreal, and you're maybe a Cyborg?

I see you as being more like the electric gremlin from the sequel after it gets trapped in the T.V. That way you get to stay in NYC.

And I’m a chosen cyborg, thank you very much.  

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21 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

I see you as being more like the electric gremlin from the sequel after it gets trapped in the T.V. That way you get to stay in NYC.

And I’m a chosen cyborg, thank you very much.  

Ok, fine, you got me.  They fed me after midnight.

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Tom Suozzi, Moderate Democrat On Powerful Economic Committee, Backs Green New Deal
Nearly 70 House Democrats now back the resolution.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tom-suozzi-green-new-deal_us_5c61967ce4b0eec79b265a24

Quote

 

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.) is backing the Green New Deal.

On Monday the moderate Long Island Democrat told HuffPost he plans to add his name to the nearly 70 House Democrats co-sponsoring the sweeping resolution that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) released last Thursday. 

“Rep. Suozzi supports the Green New Deal,” said Jay Bhargava, Suozzi’s press secretary. 

Suozzi’s support is notable because he occupies a seat on the influential House Committee on Ways and Means, the oldest congressional decision-making panel, with jurisdiction over taxation, international trade agreements and social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits. 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Ormond said:

Thanks for your very informative post. I was in New York City for the first time in around 20 years for the Names Society conference the first week in January and I really enjoyed learning about the lack of alleys and the scaffolding issue.  A law requiring facades to be inspected sounds like a good idea to me -- it's good to know that's what going on with most of the scaffolds.

Can you expand a little on Point 6 above? The online definitions of "pied a terre" I found all say it is a "small" second home, so "massive" would seem to be a contradiction in terms. And does KYC stand for "Know Your Customer"?  I suppose what you are talking about here are extreme luxury condominium buildings where buying the condo is somehow part of money laundering. Who exactly are the buyers here and how does buying a luxury condo on the south side of Central Park allow them to "launder" ill gotten gains? 

Although @Mlle. Zabzie has already responded, I thought I'd clarify a little more about what she meant by "massive pied a terres". 

Her intent wasn't to suggest that the pied a terres themselves are massive, but that the buildings (specifically the ones being constructed in Midtown like the Central Park Tower and 220 Central Park South) themselves are massive. The Central Park Tower will be the 2nd tallest building in NYC upon its completion.  220 Central Park South will be the 10th tallest. 

The pied a terres she's referring to are part of some or many of the condos that will be marketed for sale. These are generally found on the top floors, and in the most expensive condos, but are mostly referred to as "half-apartment units" on official construction plans and city documents. 

They're marketed as pied a terres because a condo buyer can lease out both the main condo and the pied a terre separately for additional income. 

And real estate is ripe for money laundering because real estate is pretty much the last bastion of "no questions asked" cash purchases. The laundering process is also a many-tiered system, where,  for example, an offshore REIT can make a cash purchase of a building, renovate that building using construction companies tied into dirty money, and then turn around and sell the building for a tidy, and legitimate, profit. This is in addition to the legitimate rent cash flow they can report during the renovations.

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4 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Actually, I did bat an eye.  I don't have a problem at all with "gentrification" which is a stupid bugbear that means not a whole lot of anything (and something different to everyone, it seems).  Making a city or a neighborhood nicer and safer is NOT a bad thing.  What is a bad thing is not having a mixed use neighborhood with affordable housing stock for different income levels.

Gentrification is the conversion of affordable housing stock to unaffordable housing stock. How can you recognise that lack of affordable housing stock is a problem without objecting to the process that brings it about? A better way to make a neighbourhood nicer and safer would be to increase the incomes of the current residents, rather than pushing them out and replacing them with people who are already well-off.

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11 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

Although @Mlle. Zabzie has already responded, I thought I'd clarify a little more about what she meant by "massive pied a terres". 

Her intent wasn't to suggest that the pied a terres themselves are massive, but that the buildings (specifically the ones being constructed in Midtown like the Central Park Tower and 220 Central Park South) themselves are massive. The Central Park Tower will be the 2nd tallest building in NYC upon its completion.  220 Central Park South will be the 10th tallest. 

The pied a terres she's referring to are part of some or many of the condos that will be marketed for sale. These are generally found on the top floors, and in the most expensive condos, but are mostly referred to as "half-apartment units" on official construction plans and city documents. 

They're marketed as pied a terres because a condo buyer can lease out both the main condo and the pied a terre separately for additional income. 

And real estate is ripe for money laundering because real estate is pretty much the last bastion of "no questions asked" cash purchases. The laundering process is also a many-tiered system, where,  for example, an offshore REIT can make a cash purchase of a building, renovate that building using construction companies tied into dirty money, and then turn around and sell the building for a tidy, and legitimate, profit. This is in addition to the legitimate rent cash flow they can report during the renovations.

Thanks for both of your responses. I stayed in the Sheraton Times Square when I was in New York in January and walked up to the southern part of Central Park on Sunday afternoon when I had a few hours to kill. I well remember seeing the extremely tall new construction of what must have been the Central Park Tower. The pictures of what it's supposed to look like when finished actually look rather scary to me with that huge "overhang" in the upper stories. I can see how many New Yorkers would think that building is "overkill" for its neighborhood. 

https://newyorkyimby.com/2018/10/sales-launch-for-extells-central-park-tower-at-217-west-57th-street-in-midtown-manhattan.html

 

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Lived in Europe = can’t be a real Merikan!  

I, otoh, hail from the Midwest and thus get my real Merikan card double stamped. But on the other other hand I’m a liberal Jew so I only get half a card to start.

 

2 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

So @Mexal and I are unreal, and you're maybe a Cyborg?

My recent research indicates Tywin is what Nazis would call a "Purring Jew".

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1 hour ago, Ormond said:

Thanks for both of your responses. I stayed in the Sheraton Times Square when I was in New York in January and walked up to the southern part of Central Park on Sunday afternoon when I had a few hours to kill. I well remember seeing the extremely tall new construction of what must have been the Central Park Tower. The pictures of what it's supposed to look like when finished actually look rather scary to me with that huge "overhang" in the upper stories. I can see how many New Yorkers would think that building is "overkill" for its neighborhood. 

https://newyorkyimby.com/2018/10/sales-launch-for-extells-central-park-tower-at-217-west-57th-street-in-midtown-manhattan.html

 

It's funny you point out noticing that "overhang", as even seemingly small "architectural features" like that tie in to skyrocketing rents and even money laundering in NYC that @Mlle. Zabziedescribes.

Iirc, the Central Park Tower will contain about 1.6 million square feet of floor area. The NYC Zoning Resolution limits development intensity primarily through maximum allowable Floor Area Ratio, which is the total square footage of a building divided by its lot area, and to a lesser extent through building step backs from property lines required above certain heights. The maximum FAR permitted by right by NYC's zoning resolution is 21.6, and that only applies in certain areas under specific conditions. So, in order to develop a building of this magnitude, the developers had to buy the air rights of, and I think in some cases, bought outright, the zoning lots adjoining the lot on which the tower sits. This allows them to utilize the lot area of the adjacent, under-developed lots in order to build a more dense building. You can see how this could be problematic when the condos for sale in the tower will average around $22 million per condo, compared to utilizing that excess density to construct affordable housing (and that may have displaced existing housing...I can't recall whether any buildings were razed to make room for the tower).

Then we get into your "overhang". This is a little trick developers, and especially developers in NYC, use to build a taller building (taller building = higher rents), without running into the maximum FAR limit. The building at its base covers almost the entire lot area, but its floor-by-floor footprint diminishes as it gets taller. They also pull other tricks, like making floors devoted to maintenance equipment or lobbies especially tall when measured floor-to-ceiling, compared to other floors. So the building is marketed as a 135 story building, but has only 99 "habitable" floors.

And that's where the money-laundering ties in, because a more expensive condo means you can launder more money in a single go (the penthouse at 220 Central Park South just recently sold for $238 million, iirc - NOT saying that this money was being laundered, just using it as an example of out-of-control property values).

Edited by The Great Unwashed

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40 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

...You can see how this could be problematic when the condos for sale in the tower will average around $22 million per condo...

...(the penthouse at 220 Central Park South just recently sold for $238 million, iirc - NOT saying that this money was being laundered, just using it as an example of out-of-control property values).

Holy shit, Batman! Those numbers are just unreal!

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2 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Holy shit, Batman! Those numbers are just unreal!

Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, is the purchaser on that one.

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4 hours ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

grew up in Virgina, but outside of DC, so I couldn't be a "real Virginian," 

As a someone who grew up in real Virginia, correct.  :P

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