Participatory Budgeting: The People’s Budget
along with the rest of the projects featured in the Design by Community series. Co-published with WNYC Studios. WNYC Studios WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. Residents on Staten Island's North Shore
There Went the Neighborhood
-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look at the WNYC Studios of Special Projects on Race for WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 9. Co-published with WNYC Studios and
Mouth to Ear
-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look at the tripled in recent years. The Nation and WNYC Studios partner for an eight-week series that explains WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 1. Co-published with WNYC Studios and WNYC Studios Producer of Special Projects on Race for WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co
'Brooklyn, We Go Hard'
WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 2. Co-published with WNYC Studios and WNYC Studios at WNYC News. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look
Turf Wars
Special Projects on Race for WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co WNYC Studios WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 3. Co-published with WNYC Studios and -published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look at the gentrification of Brooklyn, and the role race plays in the process.
Here's the Plan
WNYC Studios Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 4. Co-published with WNYC Studios and
Our Town
WNYC Studios Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 8. Co-published with WNYC Studios and
It's Complicated
. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look at the WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 7. Co-published with WNYC Studios and WNYC Studios Producer of Special Projects on Race for WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News
Williamsburg, What's Good?
WNYC Studios WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 5. Co-published with WNYC Studios and
Staten Island Bus Service Struggles as Rezoning Looms
WNYC Studios WNYC MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. For many Staten Islanders getting to work means far we haven't been able to find one. That's the honest truth." Co-published with WNYC Studios.
Staten Island Arts Organization Tries to Create Its Own Future
WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. Extensive private developments and an WNYC Studios draft of their recommendations will be issued in the fall. Co-published with WNYC Studios.
Two Old Theatres, One New North Shore
WNYC Studios MTA Two Old Theaters, One New North Shore Part of The Affordability Project. You may not know it, but in the 1880's, the North Shore of Staten Island was a travel hot-spot. Canadian developer Erastus Wiman wanted to get people to buy tickets to ride the ferry and the Staten Island railroad, both of which he owned. So Wiman built a baseball stadium (which still stands today) and a casino with shows that featured live elephants (brought over on the Staten Island Ferry). According to local historian Pat Salmon, there was also an electric fountain that shot water 100 feet into the air, "which was a wonder in 1886, electricity in and of itself. But then, to see this fanciful light with all these colors, it just like blew people's minds." It’s not a new idea to drive economic development through spectacle. Today, Staten Island has a giant observation wheel coming to its shore as part of a $1 billion retail, hotel and housing development. Already, existing entertainment venues are improving the economy of the North Shore. Near the ferry building is the St. George Theatre, which was shuttered for nearly 30 years until it reopened as a performing arts venue in 2004. Further down Bay Street is the Paramount Theater which is used for film and TV productions and rents out space to other businesses. The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce says that in the last nine years, the St. George Theatre has been part of a general revitalization in the area, but the pace has been slow: total business sales in downtown Staten Island are rising, but the area struggles with a retail vacancy rate of 21 percent compared to a citywide average of 8.3 percent. But cultural hubs like theaters do more than just encourage more spending in an neighborhood. According to a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania, low and moderate-income communities with access to cultural resources tend to be safer and healthier, and residents have higher levels of education compared to similar communities with fewer cultural resources. Co-published with WNYC Studios. WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. It’s a struggle to afford living in New
Trickery, Fraud and Deception
WNYC Studios WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA There Goes the Neighborhood - Episode 6. Co-published with WNYC Studios and Kids Roast Marshmallows at Maple Street Garden. In the fast moving world of Brooklyn real estate, for some it feels more like the Wild West – developers and investors looking to cash in on the gold rush don't always play by the rules. Meet Tia Strother, she's a young mother whose family has been living in Bedford-Stuyvesant for five generations. Tia tells us how horrifying it was to learn that her 90-year-old great grandmother was convinced to sign away the family home to a speculator. She did so for no money and with no lawyer present. Now the family is fighting to hang on to the house. And we visit Prospect Lefferts-Gardens to get the story of a vacant lot at 237 Maple Street. Neighbors – new and old – have spent the last five years transforming this one small piece of Brooklyn from a dumping ground to a thriving community garden. They put together a composting program and arranged visits for kids at a local pre-school; there were summer BBQs and weed picking parties. But all of that came to a halt one day in 2014 when Joseph and Michael Makhani showed up, claiming to own the lot. The only problem: their deed might be fraudulent. Now they are in court, battling it out with the gardeners, trying to establish their ownership of the property in order to build a five-story luxury apartment building. The gardeners and their lawyer have a plan to beat the Makhanis, but the cost of such a victory might be too high. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. Kai Wright is the Features Editor of The Nation and a reporting fellow of the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Rebecca Carroll is the Producer of Special Projects on Race for WNYC. Karen Frillmann is the Enterprise Editor at WNYC News. Co-published with WNYC Studios and The Nation. This new podcast takes an in-depth look at the gentrification of Brooklyn, and the role race plays in the process.
The Street Where Eric Garner Died Struggles to Recover
WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. Shop owners claim a rise in crime after WNYC Studios and cafe, another business on the block. Co-published with WNYC Studios.
Could an Outlet Mall Revive Staten Island’s Sleepy North Shore?
WNYC Studios WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. Staten Island’s North shore is missing a Oleksii Leonov Could an Outlet Mall Revive Staten Island’s Sleepy North Shore? When it comes to the economy, Staten Island’s North shore is missing a big opportunity: two million tourists ride the Staten Island Ferry every year, for a free sightseeing tour of New York Harbor. But on arrival, most of the visitors hurry onto the next ferry back to Manhattan, without spending a dime. Now, a developer is betting that outlet shopping could entice some of them to stay and drop some money into the local economy. Empire Outlets, a discount mall now under construction, will feature an H&M, a Nordstrom Rack, a Nike Factory Store, a not-yet-named boutique hotel, and Staten Island’s first Shake Shack. The $350 million, one million square foot project is slated to open in 2018. Work is already well underway with diggers and cranes now tearing up the site of a former parking lot, adjacent to the ferry terminal. “It’s pretty exciting,” said Joe Ferrara, one of the principals of BFC Partners, the developer behind the mall. “It’s gonna reap rewards into the borough and to what historically has been a very sleepy section of Staten Island.” According to the renderings, Empire Outlets will look a lot like a college campus with landscaping, benches and lawns for people to gather and enjoy the views. In 2013, city planners approved BFC’s proposal, and also New York Wheel, a 600-foot observation wheel similar to the London Eye, which is now under construction nearby. “When you combine those things together it should and can be a fantastic place for people to visit and stay,” said James Patchett, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The EDC expects 1,300 permanent jobs to be created — mostly low-wage restaurant and retail positions. “We have to make it a vital downtown area where people want to go and be, and then we can look at the opportunity for the next step of getting those higher quality jobs there,” Patchett said. The project has received close to $80 million in grants from the city and state for the construction of a storm-resistant underground parking garage and for other resiliency measures. There are risks, however, beyond coastal storms. Many malls are closing across the country as more and more shopping moves online. And while outlet centers appear to be doing better for the moment, there’s no guarantee they will continue to be spared. Ferrara said he’s confident an outlet next to a ferry line that moves 23 million passengers every year can be successful. “Every time we would go on vacation my wife would force me to go to an outlet mall,” he said. “And I just saw the hordes of people that would drive these centers and just spend tons and tons of money.” Co-published with WNYC Studios.
The Problem with Addiction Treatment: Getting People to Take It
WNYC Studios WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. Someone who has been addicted to he worked to get off heroin. And for the time being, his family said they would support him. Co-published WNYC Studios.
How Landlords Push Out Tenants for Profit
Flickr.com How Landlords Push Out Tenants For Profit The state's rent-stabilization laws are supposed to protect tenants from the pressures of the city's real estate market, and that includes limiting annual rent increases. But housing advocates say there are ways for owners to raise rents much more, and they argue some landlords' entire business plan depends on it. "There's a term we use called predatory equity," said Jaime Weisberg, Senior Campaign Analyst with the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. Here's how it works: Step 1: Look for the upside. Under stabilization, rents can only go up as much as the Rent Guidelines Board allows. And that's kept rents at those apartments relatively low. So when predatory landlords and lenders look at stabilized buildings, Weisberg said they see dollar signs, if they can bring those rents up to market rates. "They're going to look for hot markets," she said. "And honestly in New York City most markets are hot." Step 2: Get financing. Weisberg said one of the tell-tale signs of predatory equity is landlords who are "over-leveraged" — meaning they are taking on more debt than the current rents support. "Because they're not looking at the rent they're getting, they're looking at the rent they could get," she said. Often, landlords in these instances will take out a larger loan in order to pay for renovations and tenant buyouts. Step 3: Get the current tenants out. Harassing tenants is illegal, if you can prove it. Increasing the rent when they leave isn't. New York's rent laws say every time tenants move out of stabilized apartments, landlords can boost the rents by about 20 percent. If the landlords renovate, they can also increase rents. Housing activists say that creates an incentive for bad landlords to push out tenants however they can. "They'll look for all available ways to get people out," Weisberg said. "Aggressive buyouts, dangerous construction, bringing people to court. The tactics can be soft or they can be really harsh and aggressive." Step 4: Flip it. Once the apartment is vacant and the rent exceeds $2,700 a month it can be taken out of stabilization. Weisberg said that's the ultimate goal with predatory equity. "Then you can charge whatever you want. The tenant does not have the right to renew their lease," she said. "They don't have a right to all the protections they have under the rent regulation system." Housing advocates want changes to the state's rent laws so landlords aren't rewarded for emptying their apartments. ANHD wants lenders to sign on to a set of best practices. Activists are also calling for tougher penalties for predatory landlords and lenders. For example, they support a bill Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently introduced that would make it easier to criminally prosecute landlords who harass their tenants. There's legislation before New York City Council to create watch lists for predatory landlords and lenders. To hear about the allegations of "predatory equity" for one group of buildings in the East Village, click on LISTEN. Listen to The Affordability Project here. Co-published with WNYC Studios. WNYC Studios WNYC STUDIOS MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. How New York landlords use "predatory equity" to push out rent stabilized tenants.
Sunset Park: So Hot Right Now
WNYC Studios MULTIMEDIA Co-published with WNYC Studios. It's a neighborhood that's developing fast WNYC Studios
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