Thursday, February 20, 2014

de Blasio speaks to REBNY, promises "to use height and density to the maximum feasible extent"

Various news organizations have reported on Mayor Bill de Blasio's closed-door speech to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), where, according to Politicker:
I’m looking forward to building upon on a lot of the relationships that I’ve already had the honor of having with folks in this room and getting to know people more deeply in the years ahead and working together,” Mr. de Blasio told the group, according to audio fromthe closed-door meeting released by his office.
“I think we’ve made clear already–with the people we’ve named and with the approach we’re taking–how central this industry is to the vision that I’m bringing forward,” he continued. “And I hope people, as we get to know each other in these new dynamics, I hope people hear me loud and clear that the only way I can achieve my goals is if we are building and building aggressively. I’m deadly serious about 200,000 units of affordable housing.”
Mr. de Blasio went on to say achieving his goal will also take “a willingness to use height and density to the maximum feasible extent. This is something I’ve said in our previous meetings I don’t have a hang-up about. I think it’s necessary to do what I’m here to do.”
Sure, it's important to use height and density to get affordability, but it's not accurate to say, as Capital New York reported, that his "embrace of height and density, while potentially jarring to some of his supporters, are in keeping with his history."

In 2007 Council Member de Blasio was saying, “I will support a certain level of height and density, because it’s the only way to get affordability

So, how to sort out the rules for height and density? “There’s all sorts of eye of the beholder dynamics,” he replied.

He had a different constituency then.

REBNY as partner

The Daily News reported:
De Blasio’s visit was well-received among the group, who burst into applause at the end of his remarks.
“I think he’s trying to combat the perception that the business community, and especially the real estate industry, is scared of him. It’s in everybody’s interest that we work together,” said one REBNY member.
That person said he sensed de Blasio was telling the group, “We haven’t figured anything out yet and we want to work with you guys to figure things out.”

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