New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

The Real Deal

The Real Deal NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030? by Erin Hudson

NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030?

Last week, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos introduced a bill mandating evaluation of the system in 2030. The idea is to prevent it from becoming warped over time, as has occurred since the last major change was made four decades ago.

The law would create a commission appointed by the mayor and speaker to analyze the system in terms of “equity, efficiency, transparency, ease of administration, and compliance.” It would be required to hold two public hearings and issue a report with an analysis and recommendations by November 2030. The process would repeat every 15 years.

The Real Deal Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds by Decca Muldowney

Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds

The city is cracking down on that scourge of New York City: unsafe sidewalk sheds.

While sidewalk sheds are meant to protect pedestrians from falling debris at construction sites, a spate of accidents in which sidewalk sheds have done more harm than good, Council member Ben Kallos has introduced a bill to tighten safety regulations. Kallos’ told Gothamist that his office has found seven sidewalk shed incidents in which pedestrians were injured since 2017.

The Real Deal A community group claimed victory over Gamma’s Sutton Place tower. It might be short-lived by Kathryn Brenzel

A community group claimed victory over Gamma’s Sutton Place tower. It might be short-lived

To the relief of an Upper East Side community group, Gamma Real Estate’s tower won’t violate new zoning rules until at least next year. But there’s no guarantee that the developer won’t build beyond that.

The Real Deal Gamma gets green light to build Sutton Place condo tower by Kathryn Brenzel

Gamma gets green light to build Sutton Place condo tower

“The city has been complicit in ignoring the law in order to help a developer beat the community,” Council member Ben Kallos, who helped lead the charge for the rezoning, said in a statement. “If [Jonathan] Kalikow’s behavior is any indication of what the city is prepared to let developers get away with, then no law on the books will prevent developers from abusing the system and winning, until the courts step in.”

The Real Deal Pols and community groups sue DDG to block UES project by Editorial Board

Pols and community groups sue DDG to block UES project

Carnegie Hill Neighbors, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District, City Council member Ben Kallos and State Sen. Liz Krueger filed the lawsuit. The courts will allow construction to continue while the case proceeds.

Work on the project, currently at the 16th story, is expected to be finished by early next year. [Crain’s] – Eddie Small

The Real Deal With or Without Grandfather Clause, Gamma Says 800-Foot Tower is Happening by Kathryn Brenzel

With or Without Grandfather Clause, Gamma Says 800-Foot Tower is Happening

Last week, the City Planning Commission approved a controversial rezoning of 10 blocks in Sutton Place but included a clause that would exempt Gamma’s project from the change. Local Council member Ben Kallos, who is a co-sponsor of the rezoning application, is pushing to have the grandfather clause removed before the full council votes on the measure. The rezoning will impose “tower on a base” standards in the area, which means that 45 to 50 percent of a building would need to be built below 150 feet.

Kallos said the grandfather clause might be a “red herring” for extending the rezoning process for another two weeks or so. A change to the application, like removing the clause, would send the measure back to City Planning for review, giving Gamma more time to complete the foundation.

The Real Deal City Planning Clears the Way for Sutton Place Tower. But Can it Survive the City Council? by Kathryn Brenzel

City Planning Clears the Way for Sutton Place Tower. But Can it Survive the City Council?

The application now heads to the City Council, where chances don’t look great for Gamma to escape the zoning change. Local Council member Ben Kallos, who backed the a local community group’s efforts to rezone the area, indicated that he plans to remove the grandfathering clause from the application. The City Council tends to defer to the local council member when it comes to land use applications. The council is expected to vote on the zoning change by the end of the month.

The Real Deal NYCHA’s private lifeline by Konrad Putzier

NYCHA’s private lifeline

Local City Council member Ben Kallos claimed Fetner plans to cluster the affordable apartments on lower floors and reserve the upper flowers for higher-paying tenants. But representatives for Fetner and NYCHA deny that.

Kallos said he would support the infill program only if it was fully affordable and argued that the $25 million Fetner paid the agency for the land was far too low. “It would be a violation of anyone’s fiduciary duty at a company to sell off all of your assets, leaving you without the money you need to maintain your existing properties and no plan to get out of it,” he said. “There are some apartments in my district that cost $25 million,” the council member added.

The Real Deal The latest fight to build a supertall on Sutton Place heats up by Kathryn Brenzel

The latest fight to build a supertall on Sutton Place heats up

Meanwhile, ERFA proposed its rezoning plan to limit the heights of buildings and create a new inclusionary housing zone that would allow developers to build up to 350 feet if they include affordable units in their projects. The proposal has garnered the support of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council members Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos and state Sen. Liz Krueger, but it has not yet received the crucial approval from City Planning.

Kallos, who helped co-found ERFA, said the group is made up of more than 2,000 people across 45 buildings in the area. The Council member said the rezoning effort is spurred by the fact that construction in his district is rampant and residents are seeing very little affordable housing created in the area.

 "You can literally walk anywhere in my district and see one construction site from another construction site,” said Kallos, who told TRD that he wanted to step in to prevent “another 432 Park Avenue” from towering over the city. “People in my district are getting development fatigue.”

 

The Real Deal Community Group Pushes to Cap Sutton Place Building Heights at 25 Stories by Miriam Hall

Community Group Pushes to Cap Sutton Place Building Heights at 25 Stories

A Sutton Place community group working to curb supertalls in the neighborhood has formally submitted a rezoning proposal to the Department of City Planning. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick support the proposal.