Lander, Palma, Yassky Struggle to Hold Coalition

A heated debate is taking place at City Hall today as two competing factions–one led by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the other by Bronx Democrat Annabel Palma and Brooklyn Democrat David Yassky–fight to bring as many City Council members as they can to their sides of the 421-a residential tax break debate. (A source says that Quinn is winning, but that Palma and Yassky still have loyalists.)

As part of the lobbying effort by the affordable housing coalition that supports the Palma-Yassky bill, Brad Lander, the director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, produced, virtually overnight, a 15-page color report (PDF) showing 54 recently built or under-construction buildings located outside of Quinn’s exclusion zone with condos selling for between $350,000 and $2 million, with most in the high six figures.

Since 421-a applies to new buildings, these will be grandfathered into the program no matter what happens. Lander’s point: neighborhoods like Borough Park, Forest Hills and Hamilton Heights, which are well outside Quinn’s zone, are well-established by now, and Quinn’s bill would still reward developers even when they build market-rate apartments in more gentrified places like these.

- Matthew Schuerman