Real Estate and Politics
The Witkoff Group, Marathon Development and Lighthouse Group LLC–along with three unions–paid 87 percent of the $30,000 raised for an inauguration party for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York Daily News reported.
The developers, which often require city approval for their projects, backed the Jan. 30 inauguration party through contributions made to Ms. Mark-Viverito’s inauguration committee. She spent $27,000 on the party of the $30,000 she raised. Of the money spent, $26,500 came from the developers and “living wage” lobbying unions.
The Mysteries of Brooklyn
Who would want to live on the shores of a Superfund site? Maybe the better question is, who would want to own a place on one?
Toll Brothers killed their plan to build a new housing complex on the Gowanus Canal two years ago when the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency decreed the canal was toxic, despite protests and counter-proposals from the Bloomberg administration. That is why the news earlier this month that the Lighthouse Group was going to develop the site was so surprising. But part of the developer’s secret appears to be hundreds more units and renting them rather than selling them.
In 2004, just as Brooklyn was becoming a thing, McMansion developers Toll Brothers set their sites on an unusual location in the middle of the borough: the banks of the Gowanus Canal, one of the most heavily polluted corners of the city. After the public review process concluded, the plan was impeded by an unprecedented obstacle: the EPA announced it was adding the Gowanus canal to its Superfund list. And that’s when the Toll Brothers decided to scrap the plans.
But yesterday, Browstoner revealed a new development in the story, hearing that a rather unknown firm, The Lightstone Group, has intentions to take over the Toll Brothers site and build 700 new apartments there.