CITY LAND --REBNY Issues New Report on Landmarking and Housing Production

REBNY report shows that housing production, particularly affordable housing, is drastically lower in landmarked areas in the five boroughs. In 2013, the Real Estate Board of New York conducted a study which showed that nearly 28 percent of Manhattan is landmarked and that fewer than 2 percent of new housing units built in Manhattan over a ten-year time period (2003-2012) were constructed on landmarked properties. On July 1, 2014, REBNY released a new report which analyzed properties and new housing activity in the other four boroughs over the same time period. REBNY found that although there are not as many landmark designations as in Manhattan, the creation of housing and affordable housing is also “sharply curtailed on landmarked properties located in those boroughs.”

REBNY found that 3.64 percent of the City as a whole is landmarked either as individual landmarks, or more commonly, as part of historic districts. REBNY’s report shows Manhattan having the highest proportion of landmarked properties at 27.71 percent and Staten Island having the smallest proportion of landmarked properties of .32 percent. The percentage of properties that are landmarked is much higher is certain neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. REBNY’s report attributes the high percentages to the result of the “proliferation of historic districts throughout the City.” REBNY also notes that designation of historic districts are becoming increasingly prevalent in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan with 79 percent of properties designated from 2003 to 2013 being from the outer boroughs. REBNY stated that if the landmarking practices of the last ten years continue it will only be a matter of time before the landmark percentages in the other boroughs approach those of Manhattan.

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