In the News: Could BMCC Get Developed?

••• The Broadsheet looks into the future of the Borough of Manhattan Community College, or more precisely, the land that it sits on. Related Companies has tried offering BMCC space elsewhere in exchange for the land, to no avail, but that property is so valuable that the interest is unlikely to end there. Community Board 1, meanwhile, is gearing up to get the lot zoned (which it isn’t at all right now). Considering that BMCC can’t really leave Manhattan—it’s part of the name, after all—and  there aren’t a ton of huge lots left, I’d wager that if anything ends up happening here it’ll involve building a new campus in the same spot, but with residential towers on top.

••• “Tax bills on New York City commercial property have soared under Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to city data. The average tax bill, without abatements, is set to jump to $111,023 in fiscal 2017, which ends June 30, from $85,841 in fiscal 2013, the last full fiscal year former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in office, the data show. The annual increases have been driven largely by increases in assessments of the value of properties, as well as a small increase in the tax rate for commercial properties. […] A former city official familiar with the city’s tax system said mayors can largely raise property value assessments for commercial properties at will.” —Wall Street Journal

••• Related: West Village restaurant Annisa will close after 17 years. Among the reasons cited by owner Anita Lo: “Her real estate taxes had gone up by $80,000 in the last two years, at least doubling. That increase and the rising minimum wage, which she nonetheless believes is an important step forward for the restaurant business, have made it impossible for her to keep up with costs.” —New York Times

••• “Typewriter Row was a New York destination from the 1880s until around 1930, said Michael A. Brown, a typewriter expert who self-published the book Typewriter Row: A Walking Tour of Lower Broadway in 2003. […] But Typewriter Row, which stretched for eight blocks, from Park Place past City Hall up to Leonard Street, was not known for actually making the machines. Models from companies like Hammond, Remington and L. C. Smith were just shown and sold there.” —New York Times

••• “An edict from the Department of Environmental Protection had jeopardized a section of the East River Esplanade from Catherine Slip to Pike Slip. The agency planned to build a new water main and would not allow park construction to take place within 30 feet of the piping. The Economic Development Corp., which is overseeing the esplanade project, said the decision was forcing it scrap plans for a turf field. Now DEP has had a change of heart.” —The Lo-Down

••• “Wolfgang Puck’s Cut in the Financial District now offers a Monday through Saturday three-course, prix-fixe lunch for $39, as well as Sunday brunch” with an $18 egg sandwich. —Eater