Photo by Eric Wolman
City Again Tries to Get New Yorkers to Board Ferries [GothamGazette]
Across all 5 boros, incomplete bldg projects dot landscape & create eyesores [DailyNews]
Williamsburg will soon lose two more of its beloved galleries. The Hogar Collective, which has graced Grand Street for the last eight years, is set to close shop at the end of February, and Capricious Space will lock its gates for good in mid-March. Both galleries say goodbye with group shows of their artists.
What does the future hold for these institutions? Todd Rosenbaum of The Hogar Collective told the WG that he plans to concentrate on his own art for a few months and then open a new gallery “somewhere in New York City.” Capricious will live on as a magazine, book publisher, and vagabond curatorial project.
Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg released a budget that calls for closing 20 firehouses, senior centers and layoffs for over 6,000 NYC public school teachers. The New York Times called this a “good news” budget! Another headline stated that New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez was buying a new condominium at The Rushmore on the Upper West Side. The condo is selling for a reported six million dollars. ARod made 33 million dollars last year, 9 million dollars more than the second highest paid player in major league baseball. So you may be wondering where am I going with this. When I checked out The Rushmore I discovered that they are a recipient of a 421a tax abatement. A look at the Corcoran website that is offering units at The Rushmore, shows ARod’s six million dollar condo pays about $103 a month in property tax or $1,236 a year.
I am a homeowner who pays more in property tax on my one-family, 112-year-old home. The 421a program is a topic of great debate since it expired in December 2010. The REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) has been lobbying for a return to the old program that requires no affordable housing to be built in return for this abatement that can last up to 25 years. The Independent Budget Office said in a recent New York Times article that the 421a program will cost a projected 930 million dollars in forgone tax revenues this year.
Just think what we could do with an additional 930 million dollars. We could save teachers, senior centers and firehouses, and have cash left over to build affordable housing. I’m certain that not-for-profits would do a better job than private developers at building affordable housing and they would do it for considerably less money.
Valentine’s Day Donations to Benefit the North Brooklyn Composting Project (NBCP).
Thanks to two anonymous Brooklyn donors, ioby will be running a dollar-for-dollar match campaign on Valentines Day for all Brooklyn projects.
All donations up to $200 (the cap is to encourage small donors) will be doubled, for today only. So give $5, $10, $20 and your donation will have DOUBLE the impact. We are using the money raised to give worm classes and bins to local schools this winter!