What's the Next Development Deadline?

The Midtown East development approval drama will have company before the week ends.

That's the deadline for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decide whether to sign a bill passed on the state Legislature's last day in June that would allow a whole lot of Hudson River development.

Like Midtown East, it would be another windfall for business real estate development interests.  Like Midtown East, there are concerns that the development wouldn't serve interests it is supposed to serve.

Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez today says that, among other things, the shoreline is fragile, and there are storm damage liability concens that would shift to the city and state if the area is developed. He quotes one preservationist group as saying "We don't want a wall of luxury towers separating us from Hudson River Park."

The dynamics are simpler than Midtown East, and as a result, the governor's approval of the last-minute bill may be a fait accompli:  Cuomo has appointed five board members to the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, which manages the river shoreline--the biggest NYC open space project since the construction of Central Park. 

The bill would allow the trust to sell up to 1.6 million square feet of air rights on the commercial piers, which likely would result in, among other things, condo towers.

Cuomo appointed Diana Taylor as trust chairwoman.  She is Mayor Mike Bloomberg's partner; Bloomberg himself appointed five board members to the trust, which is a city-state partnership.  City Council President Scott Stringer appointed the remaining three board members.

Gonzalez reports that City Hall, not surprisingly, strongly supports the bill, but environmental groups have urged Cuomo not to sign it.  You can read his column, first posted last night, here.

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