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Rent reforms lead small landlords to sell stabilized buildings

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Plus, who is and isn’t taking real estate cash in key upcoming races—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

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.

Small landlords try to sell in wake of rent reforms

Last June, Albany passed sweeping rent reforms that signaled a sea change in New York City real estate. Under the new laws, a landlord’s ability to raise rents and pass on renovation costs to tenants were severely curtailed.

In the wake of those changes, some small and mid-sized landlords—particularly families who might own one or two buildings with rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartments—have sold or are trying to sell their properties, the Commercial Observer reports. But owners find themselves in a world where their buildings are worth 30 to 50 percent less than they were a year ago, the Observer notes. Purchase prices for stabilized apartment buildings have dropped so dramatically that some landlords might not want to sell at all.

And in other news...

  • Mayor Bill de Blasio is throwing his weight behind a measure that would exempt affordable co-ops from a law that requires owners register them with the city.
  • In races across the city, it has become de rigueur for candidates to refuse the real estate industry’s money. But others continue to take it, perhaps to signal they’re business friendly. The Real Deal looked at who is and isn’t accepting developer dough in key upcoming races.
  • The MTA plans to spend at least $100 million to renovate a group of Queens subway stations, but the costly work doesn’t include elevators or ramps and advocates are calling the work a blatant breach of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Production designer Mark Friedberg reflects on how he transformed New York into Gotham in Todd Phillips’s Joker.
  • Two Bronx City Council members aim to rename East 161st street “Jeter Street” after Yankee legend Derek Jeter.
  • Last week, Politico reported that a draft report by the expert panel studying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway indicates that it won’t make a recommendation for how to repair a crumbling section of the road. Carlo Scissura, the head of that expert panel, tells the Brooklyn Eagle that the report is likely to change and encouraged New Yorkers to “wait for the final report before drawing conclusions.”