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Thousands of Hastily Approved Buildings Will Rise in NYC

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In April and May, the two months leading up to the June 15 expiration of the 421-a tax abatement policy, more permits were approved for new construction in New York City than in the entirety of 2013. A spokesman for the Real Estate Board of New York told the Journal that the surge "proves the importance of the program," whose tenure was extended for four years on Tuesday, given that lawmakers and industry heads can come to an agreement over wage requirements for construction workers in a six month period. The Journal reports that permits for 5,546 apartments and houses were filed in April, a number which outshines any month's in at least the last four years. A majority of the filings were for larger residential projects in Brooklyn and Manhattan. An additional 12,555 permits were filed in May. The uptick is a response to the looming threat of the expiring abatement; so long as developers had approved building plans and began at least some work on the site prior to 421-a's expiration, they qualified for the tax abatement.
In addition to tentatively extending 421-a, Albany's "Big Ugly" bill—so called that by Cuomo because it rolls a lot of contentious issues into one piece of governance—also extends rent regulations for four years and increases the threshold of vacant apartments that can be deregulated from $2,500 to $2,700, amongst other issues. NYDN points out that de Blasio's proposed mansion tax, which would lay a 1% tax on the sale of homes over $1.75 million, and a 1.5% tax on the sale of homes over $5 million, was omitted from the bill.
· As Tax Break Sunsets, Developers Rush In [WSJ]
· Cuomo calls rent regulation extension deal 'the best reform package in history' as pols pass 'Big Ugly' bill [NYDN]
· New York's Great 421-a Debate: The Uncertain Future of Trading Affordable Housing for Tax Breaks [Curbed]
· New York's Rent Regulations Will Be Extended For 4 Years [Curbed]
· De Blasio Says New York 'Can't Be a City of Just Penthouses' [Curbed]