New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos


REAL ESTATE WEEKLY Drones could soon be used for inspecting NYC buildings by Editorial Board

Drones could soon be used for inspecting NYC buildings

council members Robert Cornegy and Ben Kallos sponsored the bill to conduct a study into the use of drones after lamenting on the 303 miles of scaffolding that crowds NYC streets.

According to Kallos, “If laid out side to side, city scaffolding would stretch from Central Park to the Canadian border. The average age of a sidewalk shed is 308 days. One is old enough to have its bar mitzvah, which is 13, and some are old enough to vote.”

REAL ESTATE WEEKLY Image defaultConstruction & DesignNew bill calls for more pay, training for construction workers by BY JACKSON CHEN

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Construction & Design
New bill calls for more pay, training for construction workers

“Paying construction workers minimum wage on affordable housing projects is only making our City’s housing crisis worse,” Kallos said.

“Moreover, no one should die in a construction accident that could have been prevented with proper training. New York City’s construction workers need to have the right to say no to a dangerous work situation.”

The bill applies to any city project receiving at least $1 million, is 100,000 s/f or more, or is a residential building with more than 50 units. Currently, companies that are working on direct city contracts are expected to pay prevailing wages for its workers..

Kallos’ bill would extend this to projects that are receiving any type of government funding.

His bill also calls for the disclosure of the government subsidies, the number of jobs created, and fines of $10,000 per day for thos companies that fail to comply.

“Anyone who believes construction workers can support their families, send their kids to college, do all the things we associate with stable middle-class lives, on $20.00 per hour is kidding themselves,” said John O’Hare, managing director of the Building Contractors Association.

“New York City has the right to make prevailing wage and apprenticeship training a condition to any financial incentive package it offers the private sector. You want the benefits, pay the wages.”

Kallos’ bill draws some similarities to the new 421-a program, now called Affordable New York.

REAL ESTATE WEEKLY Sutton Place supertall gets go-ahead by Editorial Board

Sutton Place supertall gets go-ahead

“The fight to preserve our residential communities against super-tall buildings will likely have to continue in court before a judiciary less likely to be tainted by the political process after today’s irresponsible decision by the Board of Standards and Appeals,” Kallos said in a statement. “The Board ruled in favor of a bad acting developer against a lawful rezoning that was the result of a grassroots effort by the local community and elected officials.”

Gamma Real Estate bought the site out of foreclosure after the Bauhouse Group defaulted on loans for the assemblage it created along three contiguous lots form 428-432 East 58th Street between First Avenue and Sutton Place