On the Market: Should the City Help Upper Middle Class Families Stay in New York?

Wallyg/flickr.

Wallyg/flickr.

Should the city be helping families that make nearly $200,000 a year afford to live in Manhattan? Capital New York looks at city councilmember Helen Rosenthal’s move to shift the affordable housing make-up of TF Cornerstone’s new Hell’s Kitchen development to include more units for upper-middle class families at the expense of low-income units. Why help the upper middle class when they can very well afford decent housing in the other four boroughs? Because, Ms. Rosenthal argues, “then we will become simply a community of market rate and NYCHA. Right? So the very wealthy, the very poor. And I believe that, you know, we want to get away from that model. We don’t want to be the very wealthy and the very poor. We want to have a prosperous middle class.”

Especially now that not so far away, the first residents have already started moving into One57. The New York Times checks in at the development, reporting that in addition to the oft-absent oligarchs there will also be some very wealthy U.S. families. Among them, a couple of empty nesters from New Jersey who somehow managed to afford a $30.7 million apartment despite being an interior decorator and an ophthalmologist. Of course, a lot of buyers are busy customizing their pads. And, apparently, selecting furniture. As Sotheby’s Nikki Field tells The Times, “They also need to fully furnish the homes — it isn’t like they will move furniture from other locations.”

The original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park will be closed for five months for an overhaul, DNAinfo reports. During the renovations, people will be forced to find food at one of the many other nearby restaurants and the park will no longer be filled by lines of hungry tourists.

De Blasio has appointed three new members to three new members to the City Planning Commission—Larisa Ortiz, Cheryl Cohen Effron and Bomee Jung and one, Marcie Kesner, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission,
according to Crain’s. All picks, which still need to be approved by the City Council, replace Bloomberg-era holdovers. Meanwhile, the mayor has yet to find a new Department of Buildings commissioner, more than six months into his term.

The latest amenity in high-end homes is highly-processed, filtered, treated air, The Wall Street Journal reports. Frightened of particles and the growing prevalence of asthma, more and more homeowners are investing in pricey air filtration systems. Of course, one does a lot of breathing outside the home, too, so there’s that.

The city “closed” Rockaway Beach this weekend for a sand replenishment program, putting up red flags to alert sunbathers that there were no lifeguards. But The New York Daily News reports that this doesn’t seem to have stopped many people from swimming.

Empire State Development is moving forward with a plan to sell 1.5 million square feet of Monynihan Station air rights, Crain’s reports. The state’s economic development arm has tapped Massey Knakal to handle the sale, which is expected to generate more than $100 million that will be funneled into transforming the old Farley post office into a train station.

Delayed! Battery Park’s $16 million sea-themed carousel won’t open until 2015, DNAinfo reports. The Battery Park Conservancy blames the delays on Hurricane Sandy and bad winter weather this year, so we’ll all just have to keep waiting to see if the ride lives up to its promise to “give visitors the sense of freely gliding through the ocean, rather than just rotating on a typical carousel.”