Professors earn 'stock' at Pitt business school

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Tue Feb 16 23:33:14 PST 1999

Tax abatement is only a drop in the bucket. The real subsidy is accessibility to Wall Street and Midtown office zoned districts provided by mass transit from the outer boroughs where low income workers live. In London, after WWII, Labor introduced a new law taxing the increased value of real-estate resulting from public improvement of transportation. Without mass transit, Manhattan office sites would never be able to sustain a floor area ratio (FAR) of 22 (22 sq ft of building for every sq ft of land), plus transferrable ari-rights from adjacent parcels, workers would simply be unable to get to work. The Deputy Mayor under Abe Beam, John Zucotti left city government to be th head of a zoning law firm that grossed over $2 million per lawyer until the real estate bust in 1986, the went to work for Olympia and York who later also went bankrupt becasue of bad investments in London's Canary Wharf. It is the height of hyprocrasy when real estate owners complained that making mass transit free would be socialism. The building of mass tansit in New York City is the biggest corporate socialism program in American history. For every worker from the outer boroughs who pay $6 a day communting, he or she occupies 100 sq ft of office space that pays the landlord $75/sf at the height of the market, with $50 of it being profit per year, making each worker generating $5000/yr of profit for the real estate alone.

In the 60s, there was a mini scandal at Columbia University when it was revealed theat the Head of its City Planning/Public Housing Program, Charles Abrams, chiarman of the NYC Planning Comisssion,etc, was an active slum landlord.


Henry C.K. Liu

James Baird wrote:

> >>How are the towers subsidized?
> >
> >Bigtime tax breaks. I haven't looked in a while, but last time I did,
> >had extended something like $1.5 billion in tax breaks to real estate
> >developers. The whole Times Sq redevelopment scheme was driven by
> favorable
> >zoning, eminent domain, and tax breaks. Overbuilding during the 1980s
> in
> >the Wall Street neighborhood led to tax-subsidized conversion of
> offices to
> >residential buildings. For decades, the city's development strategy has
> >been to subsidize the strong (the FIRE sector) and punish the weak
> >(manufacturing).
> >
> >Doug
> >
> The best source for this is Robert Fitch's "The Assassination of New
> York". He digs up all the dirt on NYC development policies of the past
> 60 years - including the manipulations of the Rockefeller family in
> order to salvage their dumbshit investment in Rockefeller center (on
> land, incidentally, leased from Columbia). Interesting tidbit: thte
> amount of office space vacant at the end of the eighties was almost
> precisly equal to the amount built that decade - in other words, demand
> wasn't driving the building frenzy of the eighties - subsidies were.
> Jim Baird
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