The week is young but already it's shaping up as one of the most consequential weeks in the history of NYC real estate ever.
Consequential, mostly, for what won't be happening.
Namely, rent stabilization is here to stay and Walmart is staying out.
First, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by some Manhattanites seeking to overturn the state's rent stabilization rules. That means that over one million New Yorkers who live in rent stabilized homes are no longer in danger that their rents will skyrocket. It's hard to overstate what a big deal this is. This city's middle class is already dying but rent stabilization is one of the few things propping it up. Had the court heard the case and overturned the law, the havoc this would wreck on the city's middle class would have been devastating. Mercifully it won't happen. Personally, I was surprised: this Supreme Court is the most conservative in almost a hundred years and has shown no hesitancy in overturning laws that it finds ideologically distasteful. This has been the most pro-business, pro-rich, anti-worker, anti-poor Supreme Court ever so the fact that they decided to leave these rules intact is quite pleasant. For once, this Supreme Court made me happy -- as it should for the whole city.
Second, the stench of Walmart is probably guaranteed not to waft into this city anytime soon. The retail giant has been busted for bribery in Mexico. This scandal is just in the nascent stage and it's hard to know how big it'll get or what the fallout will be. However, the argument that Walmart is good for this city is now harder and harder to make. Why should this city give the green light for a criminal organization to set up shop in our town and destroy small businesses? Even it's proponents can't defend the company. And, boy, the proponents should try hard. A few times that I've blogged about Walmart, I got "comments" from "readers" saying how great Walmart is for NYC. These were probably paid hacks spouting some company generated talking points. I wonder if such "comments" will be forthcoming now.
So this has been an historic and historically good week for real estate in NYC. Homeowners and small business owners got a break. Let the good times roll!!