February 2015
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Archive for February, 2015

MAS Focus 2015: Our Initiatives for the Upcoming Year

MAS Focus 2015 outlines our planning, policy, and civic engagement initiatives for the upcoming year. It also includes profiles on specific initiatives, details on our signature awards and events, and the MAS Watchlist.

From advocating for a new Penn Station, to commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Landmarks Law, to connecting urban entrepreneurs across the city, find out how you can get involved with our work!

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South Street Seaport Deserves a New Plan


In a letter to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen (PDF), MAS came out in opposition to the current Howard Hughes proposal for a 494-foot residential tower at the South Street Seaport. MAS believes that the proposal–which places the new tower east of the FDR Drive and within the local flood plain–is in conflict with the City’s commitment to increase the resiliency of Lower Manhattan in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Our Executive Director Margaret Newman wrote, “MAS has a decades-long history in discussions about the future of the Seaport and, although we cannot support this proposal, we believe there is great potential for a public/private partnership solution to the Seaport’s needs. We are eager to work with both the City and Howard Hughes on a new plan for this area, New York’s first ‘financial district.'”

Read the letter (PDF) »»

Read more in Crain’s New York »»

Gale Brewer’s State of the Borough

Congratulations to Gale Brewer for her innovative, forward-looking State of the Borough format, continuing her track record of community-centric planning in Manhattan. We look forward to working with her on her efforts toward a smart development approach to housing and land use, including in East Midtown, where Gale Brewer continues to be an invaluable steward of the East Midtown Steering Committee. We also applaud her for her continued efforts to support small local businesses, the backbone of our city.

What did the Mayor Miss?


Mayor de Blasio spent much of his State of the City address to discuss his administration’s housing goals.

The Mayor reiterated his goal to build or preserve 200,000 affordable units—plus an additional 160,000 market-rate units—by 2024, and proposed a number of innovative ways to meet these ambitious goals. Some highlights include:

  • Converting the Sunnyside Yards train depot into an 11,250-unit affordable housing community
  • Requiring mandatory inclusionary zoning for all new major developments in neighborhoods such as East New York, West Flushing, and Long Island City
  • Building thousands more affordable units in the Rockaways and the South Bronx, and connecting them to other parts of the city through a public ferry service

Watch List: MAS Watchlist 2015

MAS Watchlist 2015 identifies the citywide, neighborhood, and local issues that will have the most impact on our city’s built environment this year: from the Mayor’s campaign for affordable housing to the luxury supertowers piercing our skyline, New York is the epicenter of a global battle over the future of our cities.


Tomorrow, join us as we watch Mayor de Blasio deliver the State of the City. And follow us at @MASNYC as we use this year’s watch list (PDF) to score his speech.

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