‘Times’ Not Fit For Journalism Students
Let's check in again with David Bistricer, the real-estate investor on an increasingly quixotic quest to buy Starrett City, an enormous, subsidized enclave in Brooklyn. His two previous bids for the property were rebuffed by every elected official in New York, with the possible exception of the Marriage Bureau's Commissioner of Deeds, and ultimately shot down by the federal Housing Secretary, despite his $1.3 billion offer and, on the second go-round, two influential black ministers in tow. But he's back! Now, reports the Times, Bistricer has forged an actual working relationship with one of the ministers, the Reverend Calvin O. Butts. (It's not too much of a stretch; Butts is a successful developer in his own right.) They're preparing to approach Starrett City's current owners with an undisclosed new offer. The previous offers have foundered because no one sees how Bistricer will make money on his enormous investment without drastically raising rents, so apparently the new negotiations will have an unusual twist: In a kind of reverse auction, the buyer and seller might have to agree on a lower price before the deal can go through. Why don't negotiations for things we're trying to buy ever work that way? Investor-to-Be in Starrett City Is Bargaining for New Deal [NYT] Earlier: How to Win Friends and Influence Starrett City
Here's a sign Bloomberg may not be kidding about his commitment to this PlaNYC deal. Meet his likely new Department of Transportation head, Janette Sadik-Khan. Eagle-eyed Streetsblog notes that Sadik-Khan, who has been mentioned as contender for the job but not yet announced — has just quit her job at an engineering firm in what's believed to be preparation for a mayoral announcement. The word is she'll be moving into departing commish Iris Weinshall's office as soon as May 14. Sadik-Khan seems to have beaten out the other serious contender, Michael Horodniceanu, who did a traffic-czar stint under Dinkins, in a face-off policy wonks were watching closely because the two candidates seemed to embody two opposite approaches. Horodniceanu is a cars-first traditionalist; Sadik-Khan is a mass-transit innovator. It's encouraging, then, that the person in charge of developing Bloomie's big ideas — new commuter rail into Manhattan, rapid buses, etc. — is actually into this sort of thing. And it's equally encouraging that Sadik-Khan (or at least in the only photo we could find online) looks remarkably like someone you'd see in a Decemberists ticket line. Sadik-Khan Is Next at DOT [Streetsblog]
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