Skip to main content

Forest City Ratner executive Walsh appointed as owner representative on Rent Guidelines Board (all AY rentals rent-stabilized)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed a Forest City Ratner executive as one of the two designed owner representatives on the Rent Guidelines Board, which sets the annual increase (or not) under the Rent Stabilization Law. (Last year's contentious vote was for a 1% increase.)

Scott Walsh, a Vice President of Development who has an undergraduate degree in architecture and a master's in real estate, has actually been with Forest City only since February 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile, having spent more than a decade at TF Cornerstone.

What does this mean? Well, at minimum, it helps maintain the relationship between de Blasio and Forest City Ratner, whose leader, Bruce Ratner, has been a longtime backer.

Given that the affordable housing rentals in Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park will be subject to rent-stabilization increases, Greenland Forest City Partners surely has an interest in steady increases in annual rents. (So too do all landlords.)

Forest City's conspicuous support for rent increases would sent up a tension between the developer and allies like Bertha Lewis, longtime head of New York ACORN and now heading the Black Institute.

Then again, de Blasio might believe that an industry representative with close ties might be more amenable to negotiation, and less likely to speak in "tones verging on disgust," as I described owner representative Magda Cruz at last year's meeting.

Rent freeze?

Crain's reported that the fact that de Blasio has now appointed three of his own appointees--replacing holdovers from the Bloomberg administration--may make it easier to get a rent freeze:
Jack Freund, vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 owners of rent-regulated apartments, said the new appointments increase the likelihood that the mayor will get his way this year.
"We presume he'll try again for a rent freeze," Mr. Freund said, "with greater success."
The press release
De Blasio Administration Appoints Three Members to Rent Guidelines Board
March 12, 2015
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today made three appointments to the Rent Guidelines Board. The Mayor appointed Helen Schaub and K. Sabeel Rahman as public member representatives, and Scott Walsh as an owner representative.
The Rent Guidelines Board determines annual rent adjustments for approximately one million apartments across the city subject to the Rent Stabilization Law.
Helen Schaub, one of the public member representatives appointed today, has spent more than ten years as a community organizer with a significant focus on housing. She is currently the New York State Director of Policy and Legislation at 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East....
K. Sabeel Rahman, the second public member representative appointed today, is an Assistant Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. Rahman has a distinguished academic career spanning much of the past decade, serving as a Teaching Fellow for Law and Social Movements at Harvard Law School, and as a Teaching Fellow and Instructor at Harvard College.... 
Scott Walsh, the owner representative appointed today, is the Vice President of Development at Forest City Ratner Companies. A trained and former practicing architect with extensive neighborhood knowledge, he has consulted for a wide array of stakeholders, including for the Urban Land Institute. Previously, Walsh spent more than a decade at TF Cornerstone, most recently as a director. In this role, he was involved in all new development projects from acquisition to stabilization, and has developed and maintained pricing models for portfolio of institutional grade rental and condo apartment houses. Before becoming director, Walsh worked as an Associate within Residential Acquisitions at TF Cornerstone, and as Residential Property Manager prior to that. Walsh serves on the board of the Long Island City Partnership.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in January 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As …

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).

As…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…