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To solve NYC’s housing crisis, city wants to legalize basement apartments and ADUs

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Plus, Union Square is getting a Target—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

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

ADUs for NYC?

As New York City struggles to address its affordable housing and homelessness crises, the de Blasio administration plans to take creative steps to up the number of low-cost apartments in the five boroughs. The latest: Legalizing basement apartments and even accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—also known as granny or in-law flats—throughout the city, which Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to address in his State of the City speech tonight.

According to The City, the mayor will announce a program that will help homeowners legally add these types of units to their property. It’ll require zoning changes (to address parking concerns) and a buy-in from the city’s Department of Buildings, but the de Blasio administration believes the relaxed rules could add as many as 10,000 new units to the city’s housing stock.

The proposal follows a pilot program in East New York, which launched last year and sought to help homeowners legally convert their basements into rentable dwellings. But, according to the City, the program is “barely off the ground”—the 40 homes that would ultimately participate have yet to be chosen.

And in other news…

  • The Food Emporium at Union Square will be replaced by a Target in 2023. (Lest you forget, there’s already a Target on 14th Street and Avenue A.)
  • Manhattan’s Community Board 7 “voted in favor of a resolution calling on the Department of Transportation to assess alternative uses of curbside space in the neighborhood”—in theory, paving the way to study if the area actually needs free parking. (Car owners, predictably, are not happy.)
  • Moinian Group’s long-dormant project at 220 11th Avenue—once slated to have a Zaha Hadid design, but now a glassy office building—is finally getting off the ground.
  • The Strand is coming to the Upper West Side.
  • A Forest Hills house that was once owned by Humphrey Bogart’s cousin is for sale.
  • And Lewis Hamilton has chopped the price of his 443 Greenwich penthouse by $5 million.
  • And finally, street signs bearing the name of the Verrazzano Bridge are finally being replaced with ones that have the correct spelling—that’s two Zs, not one.