In the News: Fining the floating billboard

Two city councilmen – from the UWS and Bay Ridge – will introduce a bill this week that would increase the fine for companies that advertise from barges floating in the city’s waterways. The new tab would be $100,000, up from the current penalty of $25,000 per day. Of course, that does not really solve the problem that no agency enforces the current penalty either. According to The Gothamist, the legislation is aimed at Ballyhoo, the company reportedly charging brands $55,000 for four weeks of a looped 30-second spot on the boat.

The Frenchette staff played an unlikely role in reporting the man accused of kicking a woman in the head on the subway, The Post reports. He was a dishwasher at the restaurant (but no longer). If I were you, I would resist the temptation to watch the video, which of course went viral – I am already sorry I did. Not only is it so depressing, but the guy who shot it never goes to help the woman, nor does anyone else on the train. He just keeps filming as she rubs her head.

Fox5 has this video of the Downtown Alliance’s Prismatica installation at the Seaport.

ULURP will start next week for the borough-based jails across the city, including those scheduled for Manhattan at 125 White Street. The environmental impact statement for the project calls for a 450-foot building with beds for approximately 1,430 people. Watch here for the CB1 schedule. –Curbed

After a year renting in northern Tribeca, Christie Brinkley has decamped for the West Village, Architectural Digest reports. We didn’t cut it.

UES councilman Ben Kallos came to CB1 to do a presentation on this a couple months ago (and CB1 supported with suggestions). I have yet to digest but would love to see some comments here if someone has some knowledge. The gist: developers stick in empty floors of mechanicals – called voids – in the middle of buildings so they can build higher, sticking us with too-tall towers (and skirting zoning regs). The city is trying to force them to remove those extra floors. Here’s a story from City Limits and from Crain’s.



  1. Good article from the NYT on voids:

    “Although current city regulations cap the number of stories a building can have, depending on where it is located and more specifically the size of its lot, it sets no limit on the height of any particular floor. In essence, this is like telling a child that she must respect bedtime while giving her no indication that at 7:45 she has to go into her room.

    “Developers have taken advantage of this loophole to maximize profits, claiming that certain floors need to be as high as 40 or 50 or 100 feet, or more, to contain building mechanicals. In truth, what developers are doing is adding volume — the void is just empty space — to raise the height of a building and create more apartments on higher floors, with cinematic views […]

    “The West 66th Street project, whose developer, Extell, brought us One57 and the advent of Billionaire’s Row on 57th Street, was set to have a void, previously approved by the city’s buildings department, of 161 feet. As Chuck Weinstock, a lawyer for the Landmark West group, put it: ‘You could slide the Unisphere into a void that height and still have 20 feet left for mechanical equipment. Grand Central would leave you 30 feet. The Guggenheim would also work — and you could stack the Frick on top of it.'”

  2. That said, certain areas of NYC do have height limits on buildings in terms of number of linear feet tall.

  3. Thank you for the warning not to watch the assault video. The two photos were enough. How cruel for the other passenger to keep filming and not see if the woman was ok.
    Clearly the assailant needs a lot of help and needs to not be walking around.
    What is it with people and their phone taping situations and not helping?
    Last year a couple filmed a toddler standing over her passed out mother in a Walmart for about 5 MINUTES! Very sad.