Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • Envisioning a Community Farm for Our Neighborhood, and Yours

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    The Brooklyn lot in question

    Our needs for housing, food security, health, and green open spaces are all critical. Therefore, city policies and planning must not pit these needs against each other. 

    Seldom considered are the health benefits provided by greenery. Connection with nature has been shown to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels, and positively impact the nervous system. Green vegetation in open social

  • Separating Fact and Fiction About the Special Flushing Waterfront District

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    Rendering of the Special Flushing Waterfront District

    There are several myths and mischaracterizations about the Special Flushing Waterfront District (SFWD) that we as owners want to set the record straight about. Here are several key facts about the project.

    SFWD does not provide an advantage to obtain building height.
    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have already provided Letters of No Objection to allow height increases for the Special Flushing Waterfront District. SFWD only provides a consolidation

  • How Development Should Be Decided in New York City

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    City Council (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)

    We are at a critical turning point in New York City’s history. Large-scale development projects, pushed by big real estate interests and the business class after September 11, 2001, did not give New Yorkers the promised security to avoid the Great Recession, or the next crisis, COVID-19. Meanwhile, a lack of investments in social programs shredded the social safety net New Yorkers were told would save them if they lost their jobs or homes.

    If there is any time to insist on accountability before approving massive

  • Special Flushing Waterfront District: A Massive Giveaway?

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    Flushing Special Waterfront District protestors

    Most Flushing community stakeholders, including at least one Community Board 7 member, learned from a December YIMBY article that a massive waterfront rezoning and special district application had been certified by the City Planning Commission, initiating the seven-month ...

  • 'There’s a real schism here': Developers, Electeds & Community Stakeholders Discuss Future of Harlem

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    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Following years-long demographic shifts of Harlem — which has been the center of pressing concerns over race, resident displacement, and loss of historical black culture — developers are eager to jump on the new opportunities for residential and commercial development while residents are wary of how their neighborhoods will change. 

    Elected officials, meanwhile, have emphasized different priorities for development, and, in many instances, expressed caution about growth. At a Thursday

  • Real Estate Invests in Ruben Diaz Jr.

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    Ruben Diaz Jr., third from the right (photo: Office of Ruben Diaz Jr. )

    Just as development has defined the Bronx borough presidency of Ruben Diaz Jr., money from the real estate industry has buttressed his political career. Though he has faced virtually no competition in three campaigns for borough president, the real estate donations have flowed in, helping Diaz Jr. prepare for an already-simmering run for mayor.

    Over the course of his three campaigns for Bronx borough president, 37.7% of donations to Diaz Jr.’s campaign accounts at the $1,000-level or higher come

  • For Ruben Diaz Jr., a Booming Bronx and Plan to Run on Development

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    Ruben Diaz Jr. (photo: Diaz Jr.'s office)

    Development in the Bronx has defined Ruben Diaz Jr.’s borough presidency, now in its tenth year and coinciding with record economic expansion across the city and country coming out of the Great Recession. And Diaz Jr. has defined his borough presidency –– and plans to build his upcoming run for Mayor –– around economic and housing development.

    The Bronx has seen $18.96 billion poured into development since 2009, the majority of which has gone to residential units, according to the borough president’s ...

  • The Mayor's Mistaken Attempt to Supersize Buildings

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    (Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Nearly every day it seems, a new record is broken for a tallest new residential structure in our city. Whether it is Downtown Brooklyn’s first 1,000+ foot tall tower, Queens’ tallest tower in Long Island City,