Bill de Blasio rested the entirety of his campaign on a progressive agenda, but now the city's landlords and anti-preservationists are resting their hopes on him. Seem strange? Let's start with some context. The preserve-or-develop battle has flared up in particularly fine fashion of late, and given contentious battlegrounds like Tin Pan Alley (pictured at left, recently purchased by scandal-plagued developer Yair Levy, who has hopes for redevelopment) and pre-rezoning Midtown East (with sites like these at risk).
According to the Journal, pro-real estate advocates like New York Building Congress and REBBY plan to woo the liberal mayor by tying landmarks to other issues he professes to champion, like affordable housing and job creation, which could be boosted by constructing anew rather than keeping the old. Folks in this camp want to freeze or at least hold back on the creation of historic districts, but preservationists retort that these arguments are really just shielding the actual goal: to keep erecting high-end residential units that amass ridiculous profits. Well, hard to argue with that. But will de Blasio be swayed?
· Linking Landmarks to de Blasio's Agenda [WSJ]
· Debate on the Merits of Landmarking Rages On [Curbed]
· Preservation Watch archive [Curbed]