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NYC developers hit with fines over donations to de Blasio nonprofit

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Plus, new restaurants for Rockefeller Center—and more intel into today’s New York Minute news roundup

Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a development that came up during an investigation into developers’ contributions to a de Blasio nonprofit.
Max Touhey

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a new roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to tips@curbed.com.

NYC developers hit with fines over de Blasio contributions

The big news of the day is that Mayor Bill de Blasio has dropped out of the presidential race—but another big de Blasio story, related to contributions from developers to a nonprofit he founded, broke overnight.

Three big New York City developers—Toll Brothers, Brookfield Properties, and Greenpoint Landing Developers—agreed to pay fines levied by the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics over contributions they made to de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York, the nonprofit he established in 2013 to advance his pet projects, such as universal pre-K. According to the New York Times, the developers agreed to pay $15,000, $30,000, and $25,000, respectively. The commission has made similar agreements with other lobbying groups, per the Times.

An executive at Toll Brothers was interviewed by DOI concerning its Pierhouse development at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which was the subject of fierce community opposition and lawsuits as it was being constructed.

The settlement comes after a probe into CONY by the city’s Department of Investigation, which found that the mayor may have, in fact, violated city conflict of interest rules by seeking donations “from an individual who had or whose organization had, a matter pending or about to be pending before any executive branch of the City.”

And in other news…

  • The Times visited New York City observation decks—One World Observatory, Top of the Rock, and the yet-to-open Edge on 30 Hudson Yards—to see which ones are worth your time. (TL;DR: All of them, depending on what you want to see.)
  • Rockefeller Center’s restaurants are getting a major makeover, according to Eater NY, with hipper spots and chains—Milk Bar, Sweetgreen, etc.—replacing eateries that have long seemed outdates.
  • The MTA will cut service on the B46 bus line, which serves Brooklyn neighborhoods like East New York and Brownsville.
  • The agency also wants to spend nearly $800 million on East Side Access, the LIRR-Grand Central connector that has been beset by construction delays and financial issues.
  • The Real Deal did a deep dive into notorious landlord Steve Croman, and the various real estate deals he’s made since getting out of prison. (If a lawsuit filed against him recently is any indication, he hasn’t changed his way all that much.)
  • Two new entrances are coming to the Flatbush Avenue side of Prospect Park.
  • Co-living company The Collective has filed plans for a new building at 1215 Fulton Street, once the site of the historic Slave Theater. The London-based company bought the site earlier this year and plans to construct a co-living building there, much to the chagrin of locals.
  • And finally, an interesting (and infuriating!) piece of infrastructure history for your Friday morning. Have a good weekend!