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Testimony In Opposition of Hardship Application to Demolish 429 East 64 Street and 430 East 65 Street of the City and Suburban First Avenue Estate

Testimony In Opposition of Hardship Application to Demolish 429 East 64 Street and 430 East 65 Street of the City and Suburban First Avenue Estate

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Published by Micah Kellner

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Published by: Micah Kellner on Jan 24, 2012
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01/24/2012

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MICAH Z. KELLNER65
th
Assembly District
THE ASSEMBLYSTATE OF NEW YORKALBANY
COMMITTEESBanksCitiesCorporations, Authorities and CommissionsConsumer Affairs and ProtectionRacing and WageringSteering
Statement of Assembly Member Micah Z. KellnerIn Opposition of Hardship Application to Demolish429 East 64 Street and 430 East 65 Street of theCity and Suburban First Avenue EstateLandmarks Preservation Commission – January 24, 2012
My name is Micah Z. Kellner and I represent the 65th
 
Assembly District in Manhattan, including parts of the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island. Thank you to Chair Tierney andto the Commissioners of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for theopportunity to testify today regarding the Hardship Application submitted by the owner of 429East 64
th
Street and 430 East 65
th
Street. I urge the LPC to deny this application. If granted, theowner will proceed with their ultimate plans for the demolition of these buildings that are anintegral part of the landmarked City and Suburban First Avenue Estate.After reviewing all the information presented in the expert reports and testimony being submitted by the owner as well as the individuals and groups in opposition, I believe that the LPC willreach the conclusion that the information provided in the application does not support therequired criteria for granting an economic hardship.This owner continuously has fought the designation of these two buildings as landmarks. Thismatter finally was concluded after a protracted legal battle by the June 24, 2010 decision of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department upholding the LPC’s 2006designation. Even before the court’s ruling, the owner attempted to undermine this designation by requesting the two comparative economic feasibility studies, dated February 9, 2009 and May1, 2010. The timing of these reports clearly demonstrates that the owner’s intent is and alwayshas been to reverse the LPC’s 2006 determination which found these buildings essential to thehistorical fabric of the First Avenue Estate, which exemplifies the cultural and social evolutionof tenement housing in New York City.In considering this economic hardship application the LPC must decide if the subject buildingsare “Capable of earning a reasonable return.” As you are well aware, this is defined as “Havingthe capacity, under reasonably efficient and prudent management of earning a reasonable return.”(N.Y. ADC. LAW § 25-302: NY Code – Section 25-302: Definitions). Under this definition, theowner’s claim that a 6% return on investment can not be achieved flies in the face of the realityof the current rental market in the City and especially on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
654 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-
5676
, FAX (518) 455-
5282
1365 First Avenue, New York, NY 10021
(212) 860-4906, FAX (917) 432-2983E-mail: KellnerM@assembly.state.ny.us

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