Legislation Passed to Amend Loft Law

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This week, the New York State Senate and Assembly passed legislation amending the “Loft Law” to apply to several hundred additional buildings.  The bill aims to bring illegally converted residential buildings into compliance with building and fire codes, and would essentially permit the legalization of such buildings without a variance or rezoning.  The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Martin Milave Dilan (D-Bushwick) in the State Senate and Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-East Williamsburg-Bushwick and the Brooklyn Democratic Leader) in the Assembly, is awaiting signature from the Governor. Continue reading

PACE Yourself: New York State Takes Step Towards Financing Green Retrofits


Recently, New York State passed legislation that creates the mechanism for the PACE model of green financing in New York.  PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a new approach to addressing the issues of ‘first cost’ that too often prevent property owners from retrofitting their properties.

The way PACE works:
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Will Energy Usage Data Lead to Different Behavior and Alter Investment?

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As expected, the City Council passed the four pieces of legislation that together comprise the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan.  The four bills – lighting, benchmarking, NYC energy conservation code, and energy audits and retro-commission – together aim to lower the energy and water usage of existing buildings in New York City.

We have previously discussed the details of the bills, but a concept behind two of the bills could benefit from further exploration.

The benchmarking bill and submetering component of the lighting bill each aim to produce something that previously had not been readily available – data.  Information about the energy and water usage of a building and its tenants will now be accessible. Continue reading

Greener, Greater Buildings Plan Moving Faster, Closer to Reality

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In April, Mayor Bloomberg and Council Speaker Quinn announced the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan – a major package of legislation that seeks to address the greening of existing buildings.  The legislation is intended to reduce energy consumption, minimize the City’s carbon footprint, save money for building owners/occupants, and create jobs.

It is a 6-point plan that includes 4 pieces of proposed legislation and 2 new programs under PlaNYC.  The legislation will impact 22,000 buildings in NYC, totaling approximately 45% of the City’s floor area! Continue reading

Stalled Buildings Bill – Jumpstarted!

The City Council has unanimously approved the ‘Stalled Buildings Bill’.  Earlier this week, we covered the basics behind the bill.  The hundreds of stalled sites throughout the City can now enter the program and ensure, for the time being, that they can retain their permits (potentially vesting them under the old building code, the current zoning, and preventing possible landmarking issues).

On Wednesday, the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings unanimously approved the bill, sending it to the full Council.  Before voting on it, however, they made some amendments to the bill.  While it will not be easy or cheap to participate (and remain in good standing) in the stalled sites program, the benefits to developers, property owners, and their lenders is huge.  The City Council’s move to create this program will go a long way towards addressing community concerns surrounding the safety of stalled construction sites while also providing a major benefit to developers during the down market.

The updated bill – 1015A – now has a detailed list of what needs to be included in the maintenance and safety plan.  Continue reading

Stalling for Time: ‘Stalled Buildings Bill’ Soon to be Law?

In June, a bill was introduced in the City Council that aims to address the numerous stalled construction sites dotting the City’s landscape. The bill would give developers an opportunity to extend their building permits for up to 4 years, if they enter a site safety and maintenance program.
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