Tag Archives: community benefits agreements

Matthew Goldstein: NYC Needs Real Estate Development

Matthew Goldstein

Chairman Matthew Goldstein used a discussion about community benefits agreements (CBAs) at the charter revision commission’s June 24 Land Use forum in Queens to voice his conviction that real estate development and growth are essential to New York City’s economic future. He did not use the session to reveal which issues his commission will place on November’s ballot.

CBAs are “side deals” by which a real estate developer may agree to provide a public benefit to a community group, e.g., jobs, loans, unrelated contracts, in return for its support of a project. They are unregulated private agreements, negotiated by private parties outside of the ULURP framework, and can substantially increase a project’s cost. Continue reading

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Charter Revision: What to Expect in May

Kingsbridge Armory

The populist image conveyed by the charter revision commission’s April public hearings will fade in May when invited “consultants, ” commission members, and staff publicly dissect the legalistic, technical, and detailed language of the City Charter at a series of “issue forums.” What are some of the technical issues the experts will examine?

According to commission chair Matthew Goldstein, one prominent goal of this year’s commission will be to find ways to improve “efficiency” in city government. Almost certainly, this will involve identifying procedural and structural changes that can create a more development-friendly environment and help future mayors control key land use decisions. Such changes would seek to prevent recurrence of events such as Mayor Bloomberg’s recent loss to the City Council on the Kingsbridge Armory Mall project in The Bronx, where a dispute over wage rates caused the Council to reject the initiative. Continue reading

Press Coverage of Charter Revision Hearing

NYC Charter Revision Commission

Next-day coverage of the first public hearing of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission was less than global. The most analytic piece may have appeared on silive, the news blog of the Staten Island Advance.

“Surprise sprung by Charter chair; L.I. attorney named to direct panel and Staten Island secession vet tabbed as research director,” was the silive lede. The story, by Peter N. Spencer, discussed the implications of charter chairman Matthew Goldstein’s choice of executive director Lorna B. Goodman and research director Joseph P. Viteritti for key commission staff roles. Continue reading