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Between the Bricks

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Lois Weiss





Nearly 30 percent of Manhattan properties are now protected by regulations governing landmarks and the Real Estate Board of New York predicts will stifle job creation and important economic development initiatives, increase the cost of living in New York, and further homogenize much of the borough�s neighborhoods.

A total of 11,857 buildings or 27.7 percent of Manhattan properties are designated landmarks, according to the analysis released by REBNY. In some neighborhoods, such as the Upper West Side and SoHo/Greenwich Village, of Manhattan, the level of protected properties has reached a staggering 70 percent.

End of Year Notes Dec. 29, 2012 A snowy shopping day was marred by an explosion in Soho today when manholes and a car erupted into flames. This is deja vu back to Dec. 28, 2006 when manholes also errupted in the area. These explosions are often caused by wet wires that catch on fire and built up carbon monoxide before creating enough energy to push the iron manhole covers upwards. Building owners and managers should also watch facades and drains later this week. That's because when snow thaws and then freeze as ice, it gets larger and pushes out into nooks and crannies, sometimes causing cracks in the building. That's one reason to always ensure your drains are clear of debris prior to snowfalls. --Lois

November 3, 2011

Property Tax Rates Set for Jan. Bills

Property taxes are going up for homeowners but not as much as they would have without recent City Council and Albany legislation. Those measures have now paved the way for the tax fixing resolution passed by the City Council on Thursday that has set new property tax rates for bills due in early January.

The 2.5 percent cap on property taxes will knock $100 off the taxes for an average home worth $560,352 and assessed at $21,344. But it will still go up by $100.

Additionally, sources told us that large residential buildings, stores and offices will also see taxes go up despite the cap.

The good news for consumers is that utility taxes will go down slightly so any taxes passed along should be lower. Without the cap, however, utilities would have had even lower taxes.

By state law, the city cap on what are known as the ?class shares? is supposed to be 5 percent. But each year, when budget numbers are crunched together with new assessed values, and City Council politicians see home taxes will go up in July, they vote to ask Albany to lower the cap. This usually results in a half year delay before the bills can be adjusted.

The newly adjusted tax bills will be mailed out soon by the Finance Dept. and will be due on Tuesday Jan. 3rd.

The savings for homeowners is being reapportioned to commercial buildings. A typical 8,000 square foot retail store in Queens with an average assessed value of $480,000 will see its bill rise by about $400. Due to the additional rise in assessed values, sources said a store that paid $49,500 in taxes last year would be paying about $51,000 with the new rate.

A Manhattan office building of 500,000 square feet will see its bill rise by $43,000 to about $5.2 million. Those taxes are also typically passed along to the commercial tenants through their lease terms.

The new 2001/12 rates are: Class 1 homes $18.205; Class 2 apartments $13.433; Class 3 utilities $12.473; and Class IV commercial property $10.152.

By comparison, the July bills were sent out using the 2010/11 rates of Class 1, $17.364; Class 2, $13.353; Class 3, $12.631; and Class 4, $10.312. The rates are multiplied per $1,000 of billable assessed value to get the payment.


Lois@BetweentheBricks.com ,

Green Eco Ad

For really cool environmentally friendly laundry soap, soap nuts, bath salts, vegan lip balms and other items see


Eco nuts can be used to wash all your fun toys, kayak and karate gear and other items that need that antibacterial and antimicrobial touch.

They are also excellent at making soft, fluffy towels for your home or hotel. The back to basics baby movement is also using them for diapers and pet washes.

Green Spot

Check out the Weinberg Nature Center at 455 Mamaroneck Road in Scarsdale, NY right off Exit 22 of the Hutchinson River Parkway

much older stuff below An investor group led by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. has signed a contract to buy the old Knickerbocker Hotel at 6 Times Square and the development site next door for approximately $180 million, Between The Bricks has learned. Owned by Dubai's financially troubled Istithmar which paid a total of $376 million, the properties are being foreclosed and sold by Danske Bank through Jones Lang LaSalle. The landmarked hotel at the southeast corner of Broadway and W. 42nd St is nearly vacant but for the Gap store. Ashkenazy is led by Ben Ashkenazy and Michael Alpert who also own 650 Madison Avenue and the Barney's retail condo on Madison Avenue. Sources said they won the hotly contested deal over many groups, including locals and overseas. No one returned calls and emails for comment. "You have the history of the building as office and hospitality and there are many uses," said a source familiar with their thinking. Danske inherited the Lehman Brothers loan for $290 million which had been paid down to around $220 million. The information was first reported by Lois Weiss in a Tweet on March 18, 2010 and reported as a Brief in the New York Post on March 19th. March 27, 2009


contact and some older info below



January 12, 2001

Property Tax Roll Released

The city quietly released the 2001/02 tentative assessed valuations today. Although the printed books won't be on the counter until Tuesday, January 16, owners can quickly look up their new tentative assessed values today by going to this link: http://nycserv.nyclink.org:80/nycproperty/nynav/jsp/choseassess.jsp

You must have your block and lot available. To see the new AVs, then choose the list from January 15, 2001.

If you don't have your block and lot and own an office building or a residential building that was recently for sale or had a store for rent, and have access to CoStar, you may be able to find it by choosing the "Listings" tab.

My secret, middle of the night method to get block and lots:

Call the Buildings Department BIS system at 212 312 8467 from a fax phone. Don't jump the choices here and be methodical in punching the buttons because the machine is very sensitive and will simply tell you it's "sorry you are having trouble, goodbye."

One option is to punch in the house number and street name, ask for a fax of the "overview," and the fax will come back to you with the borough block and lot number. Don't be surprised if it also tells you there are outstanding violations on the building - even if it's a vacant lot. Hey, at least you can clean those up too.

Please e mail info to: Lois@BetweenTheBricks.com

All sources are always and forever, confidential.


Giuliani drops co-op tax relief plan

A plan to completely overhall co-op and condo property taxes has been ditched by the Giuliani administration...continued


More see below

way below...

Site Update: We hope you like our latest look as much as we do. We'll be updating news, briefs and the calendar when we can, and soon launching - finally - a weekly e-mail newsletter.

We'd appreciate any and all e-mail feedback - don't be shy about letting us know about the typos so we can fix them - and of course, pretty please send news tips.

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If you would like to receive future news from Between The Bricks via e-mail, please e-mail to: Lois@BetweentheBricks.com with "subscribe" in the title.

- Lois

For a mere 50 cents, you can read the New York Post on Wednesdays, where you will find my new column

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© 2000 Lois Weiss. All Rights Reserved.