Real Estate Boondoggle Edition – Streetsblog New York City

We mentioned yesterday that our old man has Covid but is that really an excuse for him not staying up until 3am to alert us to a Times article on Penn Station that had been embargoed until that ungodly hour? Of course not. So because he missed it yesterday, we’re going to take it out today in the lead.

In a story that was indeed published at 3 a.m. Mondayreporters Matthew Haag and Dana Rubinstein reveal what many local politicians and activists like our friends at Reinvent Albany have been pointing out for months: the Cuomo-era/Hochul-backed plan to rebuild Penn Station with money from developing new offices in the region is faulty – and taxpayers will probably end up with the bag (don’t we always?).

Now, unlike the NIMBYs, we have no problem with 10 super-tall skyscrapers in Midtown (where they belong), but as Haagenstein pointed out, those towers probably won’t generate enough revenue for Cuomo’s dream- Hochul Penn Station, meaning the state will have to cover the shortfall, while Vornado’s Steven Roth counts his money.

But is it not always so? Haven’t the people of Brooklyn been told that Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards mess will result in the creation of a glorious new public park? (We are still waiting.) And are not Buffalonians be promised a revival of the city center, thanks to a new football stadium… in the suburbs? No wonder Governor Tom Suozzi’s hopeful is trying to spin Roth’s campaign donations to Hochul in Vornado’s politics with former President Trump into one big scandal (New York Post).

On the other hand, we To do need a better Penn Station, a graveyard for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. Is it asking too much of our civil servants to build better public amenities? If the state holds the bag in the end anyway, we might as well get a nice new suburban center out of it, right? We’re sure there’s more to come on this story…

In other news:

  • Speaking of missing stories, we also missed Nicole Gélinas’ bugle call for municipal control of speed cameras and to rein in the drivers who terrorize us all. (New York Post)
  • And speaking of speed cameras, daily news, the post office and gothamist yesterday covered DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez’s presser calling for action in Albany to reauthorize the New York City camera program. We did that too, but incorporated it into our broader coverage of the importance of speed cameras. If you can only send one story to your MP or Senator, please send ours.
  • Hats off to the New York Post for finally running the plates on the car involved in last week’s crash that killed NYU student Raife Milligan. Even though the Post had the driver’s abstract for its day one story, it waited to reveal the suspect is a repeat reckless driver (four speeding tickets issued by camera since late last year) – the kind that needs to be taken off the roads.
  • The Queens woman who was struck on Mother’s Day by the aggravated driver of a stolen truck has died. (New York Post)
  • Deplorable: A day after we reported in our headlines that cops arrested a woman for selling mango slices on the subway, Mayor Adams defended the arrest on the grounds that if the cops don’t act, people will barbecue in the subway. Yes, he really said that. (NYDN, NY Times, amNY)
  • An Upper East Side senior was seriously injured by a truck driver. (Upper East site, New York Post)
  • by Lincoln Anderson Sun Village gave plenty of ink to Ryder Kessler, who is running to unseat longtime Assemblyman Deborah Glick in Chelsea and the Village. Could Glick, who has been in office since 1991, be vulnerable? Street safety advocates found him an ally, but inconsistent. The post office sued her for letting campaign donations change her political positions.
  • Cars aren’t supposed to catch fire like that (New York Post) or return like this (New York Post) — but that’s exactly what happens when they run at high speeds.
  • daily news followed the Post’s scoop on the MTA’s new backdoor policy.
  • To see?! It’s not just crime that’s curtailing public transportation: Only 8% of Manhattan workers commute to their offices five days a week. (NYDN)
  • If that’s true, it seems the mayor uses the subway more than most workers in Manhattan! (New York Post)
  • Finally, on day 2 of his Covid fight, our vaxxed and boosted editor reports that he feels more or less well, like he has a mild cold. If he wasn’t contagious yet, he’d be on the ice at Aviator tonight with his 50-plus teammates. Instead of flowers, send JO.

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