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Staten Islanders turn on Trump, Shaoul’s LES condo rises, and more

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Brandon Maxwell - Front Row - February 2017 - New York Fashion Week: The Shows Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows

Welcome to Curbed Cuts, a tri-weekly digest connecting the dots between shelter, structure, parks, transportation, and more.

Staten Island’s change of heart

New York native Donald Trump is losing hold in the single borough that overwhelmingly backed him in the 2016 presidential election, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows. According to the poll, cited by DNAinfo, 57 percent of Staten Islanders surveyed said they disapprove of the job Trump is doing in the White House, with 40 percent saying they still back him. Four percent were unsure of how they felt.

The numbers reflect a shift in thinking from the same survey conducted in February, when 57 percent of Staten Islanders said they approved of Trump and 36 percent said they did not.

The poll’s methodology used random digit dialers to call 1,019 New York City residents between May 10 and May 16. The answers were then statistically weighed to account for deviations. The survey, it’s important to note, was only conducted in English and Spanish.

However surprising, the Staten Island guy who put a giant T for Trump on his front lawn during the lead up to the election remains steady in his devotion to the 45th president. “My support for Donald Trump has not wavered, if anything it increased in the light of all of this resistance for nothing but resistance sake,” Sam Pirozzolo told DNA.

Katz’s new neighbor cometh

196 Orchard.

Developer Ben Shaoul’s Lower East Side condo on the corner of Orchard and Houston streets is on the rise. The development, by no means a small player in the gentrification of the Lower East Side, is coming to the former site of low-rise strip of restaurants once beloved by community members and drunk midnight revelers alike that border Katz’s Deli.

Sales launched at the 94-unit building in September with prices starting at just over $1 million for a 550-square-foot studio. A rep for the building, while declining to comment on how many condos are in contract, notes that the average price per square foot for in-contract condos in the building is a staggering $2,308 per square foot. (With the ultimate in yuppie amenities, an Equinox gym, in its base, this figure is almost unsurprising.) Closings are poised to begin in the first quarter of 2018.

Con Ed’s unsavory situation

Con Ed’s Farragut Substation in Dumbo—the same one that spewed 30,700 gallons of oil into the East River last week—has a long history of similar mishaps. Although the May 7 spill caused by a transformer failure was by the far the most severe of its kind, DNAinfo reports that the substation has leaked 179 times before according to Department of Environmental Conservation data.

The substation at 89 John Street has previously spewed 8,400 gallons of oil and antifreeze into the surrounding soil and East River. By the numbers, that makes the substation the leakiest, worst neighbor among its Con Ed substation peers in the city.

Sunday’s spill was made up of a synthetic mineral oil that’s classified as non-toxic by the Department of Environmental Conservation (but let’s be real, this isn’t the Crayola kind of non-toxic).

The breach has jolted environmentalists into action. John Lipscomb with waterway watchdog group Riverkeeper is urging state regulators and Con Ed to insert impermeable barriers around the transformers that would catch any oil before it runs into the oil, should something similar occur again. Given the site’s history, it seems likely it will.