State tweaks housing conversion proposal for offices, hotels

first_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)The state has tweaked its proposal for the conversion of offices and hotels to housing, limiting which buildings would be eligible. But some feel that the measure still doesn’t go far enough in creating new affordable housing.Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s initial budget bill offered a temporary window for owners to override local zoning rules to turn vacant and struggling office properties into housing. Now, a series of amendments provides that only certain old office buildings and new ones in financial distress could be converted.Specifically, the measure applies to office properties that either had a certificate of occupancy as of Jan. 1, 1980, or had one as of Dec. 31, 2020, and are also bankrupt or under receivership.Two options for meeting the initial measure’s affordability requirements have also been eliminated. Hotels and offices that are converted must set aside 25 percent of residential units as affordable, through an agreement with the state’s housing regulator. In an earlier version, that threshold was 20 percent, and property owners could opt to use the property for supportive housing or pay into an affordable housing fund.The amendments also shorten by two years the time that owners have to pursue such conversions. The law would expire at the end of 2024.But some feel the measure largely incentivizes the creation of market-rate and luxury housing.“Big picture, I don’t think this is the proposal we need right now,” said Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference. “On balance, this is going to add to our supply of luxury rentals.”State Sen. Brian Kavanagh has pitched an alternative that would automatically approve certain hotels for residential use. Under a separate bill, hotels could be used to house low- to moderate-income tenants through an agreement with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.At least part of a hotel must be within 800 feet of a district that allows residential use to be converted into housing. Certificates of occupancy issued to such hotels would simultaneously be authorized for residential use. Unlike the budget measure, this bill would not expire.In an interview, Kavanagh said his bill focuses on hotels because they are likely easier to convert than office buildings. The 800-foot clause aims to allow conversions in areas with necessary services, such as transportation, and not in manufacturing zones.“We don’t want to lose hotels that we need just to create more luxury housing,” said Ted Houghton, president of Gateway Housing NYC, who advised on the Kavanagh bill. “We want to find hotels that are in real distress that can be used for affordable housing for homeless New Yorkers and those in need.”Cuomo’s new budget language includes a change similar to Kavanagh’s bill, calling for every certificate issued for hotels to allow for residential occupancy as well, in cases where the developer has an agreement with the state to set aside units as affordable.Like the rest of the budget bill, it does not define affordable housing but leaves that distinction up to the state’s Division of Homes and Community Renewal or the city’s housing agency. This provision would also expire in 2024.“These proposals speed development through what would be years of bureaucratic processes by allowing for the conversion of unprecedented vacancies in commercial spaces to highly needed affordable and supportive housing,” Freeman Klopott, a spokesperson for the state Division of the Budget, said in a statement.He noted that the 25 percent set-aside is a baseline requirement and that the budget bill leaves the door open for the state to impose further regulations.The changes to Cuomo’s amendments have created some confusion over whether hotel and office conversions would be permitted in manufacturing districts. Klopott said such conversions would be allowed. The amendments, he said, would not affect residential conversions in districts where they are already allowed.The geographical boundaries for hotels and offices eligible for conversions have also been changed. The budget bill would apply to office buildings below 60th Street in Manhattan, expanding the previous area, which was largely limited to Midtown.The amendments reverse the boundaries set for hotels in Manhattan, now excluding those between the Financial District and 110th Street. Hotels north of that or outside Manhattan are eligible for conversions, according to the amendments.The changes to the budget measure appear to ignore the concerns raised by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who complained that it supersedes local zoning and hands control to “wealthy real estate interests.”Mitch Korbey, partner and chair of Herrick’s land use and zoning group, said the discussion of recycling existing building stock, especially to create affordable housing and help the city recover, is important. But he said several issues need to be addressed by the city and state.“The question really is, how best to vet these ideas and how best to assess their impact?” said Korbey. “What does it mean for density levels if a building can just create hundreds of units in a former office building? If you can, what does that say about the ability of the local infrastructure to handle it?””Contact Message* Andrew CuomoOffice conversionscenter_img Email Address* Tags Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

This “Tiger Cub” hedge funder owns nearly 10% of Compass

first_img Tags Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink “The guy’s a walking encyclopedia,” investor Chris Shumway, a former Tiger colleague, told the Journal for the profile. “He’s not going to be an expert on everything all the time, but he tries to be an expert on the things that matter.”Housing betAs a “macro” hedge fund, Discovery has bet on broad market swings and economic trends, particularly in emerging markets.It currently has $3.6 billion in assets under management, down from $12 billion in 2013, regulatory filings show. That year, its returns were up 15 percent through the first half of the year, among the best performances by a big hedge fund, according to news reports.Discovery invested in Compass the following year, joining Salesforce’s Marc Benioff and Advance Publications in the startup’s $40 million Series B. “We keep track of highly successful entrepreneurs and [Ori] Allon was one of them,” Discovery said in a statement. Prior to founding Compass, Allon sold startups to Google and Twitter.After a rough couple of years, the fund bounced back and posted “scorching gains” of 55.5 percent in 2020, according to Institutional Investor. In January, it had gains of 6.45 percent.Today, the fund’s portfolio is dominated by tech and healthcare picks, according to WhaleWisdom, which collects data on asset managers.Discovery owns 4.5 million shares of data analysis company Palantir, for example, a stake currently valued at $107.7 million. It also holds a $61 million stake in Fiserv, a financial technology company, and a $60.7 million stake in the computing giant Intel.In its statement, Discovery said it has a track record of backing “innovative companies that are shaping the future of their respective sectors,” citing early investments in Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Alibaba Group and Ant Group.“We have strong conviction that the technology and tools that Compass is building for agents will help them grow their business and better serve their clients,” it said.Regulatory filings show that after its initial investment, Discovery increased its wager on Compass in 2018, investing $15 million in a Series F that was led by SoftBank and the Qatar Investment Authority. In conjunction with that investment, at $118 per share, Discovery also made a tender offer and bought $23 million worth of stock from prior investors.Road to IPOCompass’ early backers now stand to reap the greatest returns on its IPO. Along with Discovery, those include 406 Ventures, Joshua Kushner’s Thrive Capital and real estate playersincluding LeFrak, the Naftali Group and the Rudin family.According to Compass’ S-1, its revenue grew 56 percent in 2020 to $3.7 billion. It lost $270 million last year, down from $388 million in 2019.In a founder’s letter included in the filing, CEO Robert Reffkin pitched Compass’ vision for boosting agents’ productivity by giving them novel technology. The claim is one that rivals have challenged, arguing that Compass’ tools are elegant but not disruptive.But investors like Discovery believe otherwise. “Similar to what the Bloomberg application did for investment professionals or Adobe Create Suite did for design professionals, the Compass platform will over time transform the way agents do business,” it said.Contact E.B. Solomont compassIPOReal Estate InvestmentResidential Real Estate Full Name* Message* Share via Shortlink Hedge fund manager Robert Citrone (Getty)As an emerging markets specialist, hedge funder Robert Citrone is used to eyeing distant shores for his next investment.His bet on Compass — and by extension the U.S. housing market — hits a lot closer to home.Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management is Compass’ second-largest shareholder, with a 9.2 percent stake, according to Compass’ S-1, filed this week ahead of its impending public offering.Discovery’s investment was not previously reported, and the size of its stake is second only to SoftBank’s, which owns nearly 35 percent of the brokerage. The next biggest shareholders are co-founder Ori Allon, CEO Robert Reffkin and CTO Joseph Sirosh.A former high-school wrestler who grew up in Pittsburgh, Citrone, 56, is among a group of investors known as Tiger Cubs, who worked for hedge fund legend Julian Robertston’s Tiger Management.ADVERTISEMENTCitrone started his career as a corporate-bond analyst at Fidelity in 1990 and joined Tiger in 1995. He left in 1999 to start Discovery Capital Management, which is based in South Norwalk, Connecticut, attracting capital from investors such as George Soros and Robertson. In 2012, he and his wife, Cindy, became minority owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He made it to the Forbes billionaire’s list in 2017, with a net worth of $1.1 billion, but fell off the following year after Discovery posted a rough few years of returns.Unlike his peers who are active on Twitter, such as Third Point’s Daniel Loeb or Point72’s Steven Cohen, Citrone keeps a low profile, rarely speaking at investment conferences or making TV appearances. He’s said to favor Hawaiian shirts and Steelers gear. He has a notoriously messy office, according to a 2013 Wall Street Journal profile, but makes extremely precise bets in a number of areas.Read moreInside Compass’ S-1 filing How much Compass paid to scale up The definitive guide to Compass’ C-suite last_img read more

The influence of sunspot number and magnetic activity on the diurnal variation of the geomagnetic field at mid to high latitudes

The variations of the diurnal range of the geomagnetic field with sunspot number and with magnetic activity was studied at mid and high latitude stations in the northern hemisphere at different seasons. The effect of increasing sunspot number is small at lower latitudes and increases with geomagnetic latitude, while the effect of increasing magnetic activity is to increase the range at all latitudes, very greatly at the higher geomagnetic latitudes.

Reproductive biology of caridean decapods from the Weddell Sea

first_imgData on reproductive biology are presented for five benthic caridean shrimps from the high Antarctic (Chorismus antarcticus, Notocrangon antarcticus, Nematocarcinus lanceopes, Lebbeus antarcticus and Eualus kinzeri). The first three species were very common on the Weddell Sea shelf and upper slope, whereas only a few individuals of the other two species were caught-but these did include some ovigerous females. Our measurements include size at first maturity, fecundity (total number and mass of eggs), individual egg mass, egg length, ovary indices, maximum size encountered and documentation of the reproductive cycle in spring and summer. Egg number generally increases with female size, and the largest species (N. lanceopes) also carries the highest number of eggs. The eggs of all high Antarctic species are large, the extreme being L. antarcticus with an egg length of up to 3.3 mm. For C. antarcticus and N. antarcticus, which have wide geographic distributions, a comparison is made with older published and unpublished data from the Subantarctic (South Georgia). High Antarctic representatives of these two species grow to a larger maximum size, attain sexual maturity later in their life cycle, and produce fewer and larger eggs in relation to both carapace length and female mass, than their Subantarctic counterparts. Data presented here were collected during the European Polarstern Study (EPOS) sponsored by the European Science Foundationlast_img read more

The dynamics of heterotrophic nanoflagellates and bacterioplankton in a large ultra-oligotrophic Antarctic lake

first_imgThe abundance of both heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNAN) and bacterioplankton in a large (9km2) ultraoligotrophic Antarctic lake (Crooked Lake) were investigated from December 1992 until November 1993. HNAN abundance peaked in spring, summer and autumn, falling to lowest numbers during the winter. Numbers ranged between 0 and 50.9×104 l−1. Bacterioplankton abundance was highest during the late summer and then fell progressively towards winter and autumn (range 1.19–4.46×106 l−1) In contrast to numbers, mean cell volumes (MCV) of the bacteria reached their highest in spring, and consequently highest bacterial biomass occurred at this time. MCV ranged between 0.052 and 0.224μm3. Bacterial production measurements following the incorporation of [3H] thymidine into DNA and [14C] leucine into protein using a doubling-labelling procedure were undertaken in January, June, August, October and November. Rates varied between 2.8 and 52 ng C l1 h1. On occasions, a significant difference in production rates based on the uptake of leucine and thymidine was observed, suggesting unbalanced growth. Highest rates of production coincided with times of high dissolved organic carbon levels in the water column and lowest production with low levels of DOC. HNAN grazing rates were measured by following the uptake of fluorescently labelled bacteria and averaged 4.8 bacterial cells individual1 day1 at 2 and 4°C. Specific growth rates (h1) ranged around 0.00070–0.00077 in both the field and laboratory, giving doubling times of 37.3 and 41.0 days, respectively. These low rates of grazing and growth indicate that there is no adaptation to low temperatures in these freshwater protists. Based on these data, the gross production efficiency is 24%. HNAN removed between 0.1 and 9.7% of bacterial production per day.last_img read more

Cephalopods and mesoscale oceanography at the Antarctic Polar Front:satellite tracked predators locate pelagic trophic interactions

first_imgPredator data and exploratory fishing in the Scotia Sea have revealed the presence of cephalopod stocks in the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ). This is a vast, remote region where large epipelagic cephalopods aggregate into highly mobile schools making them difficult to locate and sample. We used satellite tagged predators and shipboard acoustics for coarse and fine scale location of cephalopod concentrations, and sampled them with commercial and scientific nets to determine the relationship between cephalopod distribution and mesoscale oceanographic features at the PFZ. Satellite tags were attached to 9 grey-headed albatrosses Diomedea chrysostoma, breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia, to monitor foraging at sea in January-March 1994. A foraging area at the PFZ, north of South Georgia, was located, an acoustic survey undertaken and a fixed station established where acoustic targets were found. A net survey was carried out with a commercial pelagic trawl, a rectangular midwater trawl 25 m2 (RMT25), a horizontal multiple plankton sampler and a neuston net. Acoustic layers were targeted and the RMT25 sampled 200 m layers to 1000 m in daylight and darkness. Cephalopods were simultaneously recovered from food samples fed to D. chrysostoma chicks at Bird Island. Two CTD transects, approximately normal to the major current flow, were undertaken across the PFZ and remote-sensed sea-surface temperature images from NOAA polar orbiting satellites were obtained aboard ship. The pelagic trawl sampled a cephalopod community that closely resembled that exploited by D. chrysostoma. The largest and most conspicuous species was the ommastrephid squid Martialia hyadesi which is the most important cephalopod prey species. Net-sampled M. hyadesi had been feeding on crustaceans and mesopelagic fish. The cephalopod community was sampled in a feature, interpreted as a warm core ring, in an area characterised by mesoscale features associated with the bathymetry of the northern end of the Northeast Georgia Rise and near a gap in the Falkland Ridge. The association of these mesoscale features with the bathymetry suggests that they may be predictable foraging locations for the cephalopods and their predators.last_img read more

Age and tectonic significance of the Lassiter Coast Intrusive Suite, Eastern Ellsworth Land, Antarctic Peninsula

first_imgDepleted mantle model ages derived from granitoids of the Lassiter Coast Intrusive Suite, sampled over a wide geographical area in eastern Ellsworth Land, Antarctica, cluster between 1000 Ma and 1200 Ma and suggest involvement of Proterozoic crust in the petrogenesis of the suite. Ion-microprobe U–Pb zircon analyses from a small intrusion at Mount Harry, situated at the English Coast, yield a concordant age of 105.2 ± 1.1 Ma, consistent with published ages from other parts of the Lassiter Coast Intrusive Suite. Significant variation in the Sr and Nd isotope composition of the granitoids, along the extrapolation of the Eastern Palmer Land Shear Zone (a proposed terrane boundary) located close to the English Coast, is not evident. However, the isotope signature at the English Coast is more homogeneous than the Lassiter Coast; this variation may relate to geographical proximity to the Pacific margin during intrusion, may reflect subtle changes in basement with a broadly similar character across the proposed terrane boundary, or suggest that any major fault structure is located further to the north, with implications for the kinematics of regional mid-Cretaceous transpression.last_img read more

Physiology, growth, and development of larval krill Euphausia superba in autumn and winter in the Lazarev Sea, Antarctica

first_imgThe physiological condition of larval Antarctic krill was investigated during austral autumn 2004 and winter 2006 in the Lazarev Sea. The condition of larvae was quantified in both seasons by determining their body length (BL), dry weight (DW), elemental and biochemical composition, stomach content analysis, and rates of metabolism and growth. Overall the larvae in autumn were in better condition under the ice than in open water, and for those under the ice, condition decreased from autumn to winter. Thus, growth rates of furcilia larvae in open water in autumn were similar to winter values under the ice (mean, 0.008 mm d(-1)), whereas autumn under-ice values were higher (0.015 mm d(-1)). Equivalent larval stages in winter had up to 30% shorter BL and 70% lower DW than in autumn. Mean respiration rates of winter larvae were 43% lower than of autumn larvae. However, their ammonium excretion rates doubled in winter from 0.03 to 0.06 mu g NH4 DW-1 h(-1), resulting in mean O:N ratios of 46 in autumn and 15 in winter. Thus, differing metabolic substrates were used between autumn and winter, which supports a degree of flexibility for overwintering of larval krill. The larvae were eating small copepods (Oithona spp.) and protozoans, as well as autotrophic food under the ice. The interplay between under-ice topography, apparent current speed under sea ice, and the swimming ability of larval krill is probably critical to whether larval krill can maintain position and exploit suitable feeding areas under the ice.last_img read more

Frost flowers in the laboratory: growth, characteristics, aerosol, and the underlying sea ice

first_imgIn the laboratory, we have investigated the growth and composition of frost flowers. Their ionic composition has shown little difference from those of field measurements. Young frost flowers grown on sea ice are saline, leading us to speculate that wicking occurs continually during their growth on sea ice. The surface area of frost flowers is only a little larger than the area of ice underneath, consistent with recent field measurements from the Arctic. Time-lapse photography has allowed us to observe the extreme mobility of freshly forming sea ice, at the stage at which the mush has become rather solid, and continuing while the flowers grow. This mobility results in new brine being expelled to the surface, which therefore remains wet. During various stages of frost flower growth, we observed their freshly formed dendritic parts rapidly diminishing in size after contacting the surface, consistent with repeated wicking. Frost flowers proved to be very stable in the presence of wind, such that no aerosol was observed when wind was blown across them in the laboratory chamber. This is consistent with recent field observations of frost flowers coexisting with wind-blown snowlast_img read more

Observations of Thermohaline Convection adjacent to Brunt Ice Shelf

first_imgObservations were made of ocean microstructure and horizontal currents adjacent to Brunt Ice Shelf in the southeastern Weddell Sea. Periods of in situ supercooled water extending as deep as 65 m were associated with ice nucleation and frazil formation at depth. Ascending ice crystals due to convection lead to increased dissipation rates. The main outflow of potentially supercooled water from deep beneath ice shelf is suggested to be in the deep channel northeast of the measurement site. Because this water is advected southward along the front, it becomes in situ supercooled, leading to suspended ice formation, thermohaline convection, and enhanced dissipation.last_img