Morning Bulletin: Mansion Returns to Market, NYCHA Complex Loses Heat, More Vacant Apartments


Photo by Priscilla Degan in Central Park.

March 26, 2018 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 49 degrees.

Notices:
A free screening of Vice Media’s #MeToo documentary and more local events this week are on our calendar.

News:
A renowned mansion on West 71st Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West is back on the market, at a lower price. “The Upper West Side’s Milbank Mansion, once dubbed the ‘most exquisite Manhattan townhome restoration to come to market in the 21st Century’ has made its way back to the market with a couple millions shaved off its most recent $17.65 million asking price. The historic 20-foot-wide abode is now hoping to sell for $15 million.”

Residents of the Douglass Houses in the West 100’s didn’t have heat during last week’s snowstorm.

There are nearly 250,000 apartments in the city that are vacant or scarcely used — 11% of the city’s housing stock — adding to the housing crunch and helping force rents higher. They include pied-a-terres and other housing for the rich. “Early numbers from the Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Survey show the unoccupied city has ballooned by 65,406 apartments since 2014, an astonishing 35% jump in size in the three years since the last survey… Oksana Mironova, a housing analyst with the Community Service Society, says that the growth of the Vacant City tends to confirm charges made by the organizing group Picture the Homeless and others that landlords are deliberately holding apartments off the market, perhaps in order to rent them out on services like Airbnb.”

During Saturday’s enormous march against gun violence, the MTA didn’t run a single extra train, and went ahead with planned work that forced C trains to skip 72nd Street, the closest station to the start of the march. “The delays were officially acknowledged beginning at 11:10 a.m. and continued for 12 hours.” Overall it was another awful weekend for the subway:

And it’s an important week for state politics, as lawmakers are debating the budget:

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Leda says:

      The juxtaposition of those first two news items:
      The mansion on W 71st hoping to sell for $15M, and the Douglass Houses without heat during the snowstorm. Add 11% of the housing stock basically uninhabited, while the homeless population in the city isn’t dropping. The UWS-and most of the rest of NYC- has a small number of hyper-rich, and a growing number of struggling poor people. Sounds like we’re setting the stage for something out of Les Miz.

      • Unreal Estate says:

        That article makes zero sense. It’s not even incorrect, merely incoherent.

        Did you drill down far enough to see that of the wildly meaningless headline grabbing number of 250,000 vacancies, only 27,000 are held off the market unaccountably?

        No mention of mean value or mean rental price for any units, no distinction between commercial rentals, condos or co-ops, just the absurd suggesiton that part-time residents be hit with an occupancy tax. AS IF the referenced homeless could afford to be housed in the vacancies, AS IF taxpayers could, would or should be stuck with subsidizing a developer’s vacant stock.

        Nobody is an honest broker in the affordable housing lie-a-thon.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          27,000 for “unexplained reasons”…

          but also almost 75,000 seasonal or “pied-a-terres”, which also could be AirBNBs. And another 80,000 “getting renovated”, which is probably way up and might be inflated with apts being held off the regular rental market.

          the article actually is informative and makes perfect sense. it ends with:

          “More than 63,000 New Yorkers are living in homeless shelters (almost three times more than in 1987), and 30% of city households are shelling out more than half their income in rent. What they and all New Yorkers need is not simply the construction of more housing, but better means to keep rents within reach.”

          Amen.

    2. Chrigid says:

      That “exquisite” mansion has some god-awful ceiling and wall coverings, which don’t relate at all to the wood stain, which is not all that attractive.

      I don’t mean to insult the homeowners who put this all together, but using the word “exquisite” just calls attention to the problems.

    3. dannyboy says:

      “A renowned mansion… is now hoping to sell for $15 million.”

      Residents of the Douglass Houses in the West 100’s didn’t have heat during last week’s snowstorm.

      There are nearly 250,000 apartments in the city that are vacant or scarcely used — 11% of the city’s housing stock”

      Citing the Tale of Two Cities is too generous.

      This is awful and unforgivable.

    4. dannyboy says:

      “During Saturday’s enormous march against gun violence, the MTA didn’t run a single extra train, and went ahead with planned work that forced C trains to skip 72nd Street, the closest station to the start of the march.”

      Hey, how’d they know there’s a demonstration planned, huh?

    5. mr_westside says:

      ****
      “There are nearly 250,000 apartments in the city that are vacant or scarcely used — 11% of the city’s housing stock”
      ****
      Everyone is complaining about subway overcrowding, should the complainers be happy about the 11% vacancies? Gotta be several hundred thousand people not on the trains!

      ****
      “During Saturday’s enormous march against gun violence, the MTA didn’t run a single extra train, and went ahead with planned work that forced C trains to skip 72nd Street, the closest station to the start of the march.”
      ****
      The MTA organized their work schedule before the marchers set their time and place. Could have started the march at Columbus Circle where there are plenty of subway lines.

    6. jss says:

      With respect to subway work the day of the march, it is important to remember that the march was scheduled pretty recently – the subway work would have been scheduled a long time ago.

      Cancelling the subway work at the last minute would be difficult, complicated and costly – and impact systemwide.

      Does not seem fair to blame the MTA.

      On a related note, many buses had to be rerouted due to street closures. Buses were thus not accessible or reliable and spillover traffic was a mess. So if the MTA was “counting” bus ridership that day – or any similar weekend with “event” street closures, no doubt ridership would be way down….

      • AC says:

        Well said JSS!

        If the MTA worked around every demonstration or planned interruption, they’d never be done!