NYC Real Estate News

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:33

New York physicians’ average compensation dropped to about $340,000 per year in 2023, a 2% dip from 2022, according to new data from medical news site Medscape.

The data, released this morning, surveyed 7,000 full-time physicians on their compensation last year, including base salaries, incentive bonuses and other income such as profit-sharing contributions. It shows that the state’s average earnings lag behind that of the mid-Atlantic region, where doctors make an average of $351,000 per year. The region trails the rest of the U.S.

Jon McKenna, the executive editor for reports at Medscape, attributed the decline to New York’s surplus of doctors. The state is a “center of medicine” and therefore doesn’t have to offer salaries as competitive as rural states looking to attract talent do, he said.

“A relative undersupply of doctors puts [rural states] in the driver’s seat on compensation,” he said. In the Midwest, for example, doctors earn $404,000 per year on average. McKenna added that a slight decline could be due to a dip in bonuses, not base salaries.

The Medscape data also shows that the gap between specialty and primary care physicians continues to widen. In New York, primary care doctors made $264,000 annually on average, while specialists earned $365,000. Nationally, specialists made 44% more than primary care physicians. Orthopedic specialists and surgeons make the most of any specialist, at $558,000 on average.

By contrast, the pay gap between Black physicians and physicians of other racial and ethnic groups shrunk. Black doctors made an average of $332,000 annually across the country, a 7% increase.

Though all doctors’ average pay ticked up by 3% over the previous report, McKenna noted that inflation and cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates have left some physicians feeling dissatisfied with their pay. Of the 7,000 physicians Medscape surveyed, 61% reported they felt physicians generally are underpaid, and 39% said they have picked up extra work. Going forward, McKenna said, he expects more of the same as reimbursement rates and inflation continue to fluctuate.

Medscape was developed in 1995. It is owned, along with WebMD, by California-based company Internet Brands. Medscape has been conducting a yearly survey of physician compensation since 2011.

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:33

Some lawmakers have come up with a proposal to help reduce the administrative costs of a home care program that wracked up a roughly $9 billion tab for the state last year.

During recent budget discussions, the Assembly put forth a proposal to reduce administrative costs related to the consumer-directed personal assistance program, which allows older New Yorkers and people with disabilities to hire their own caregivers to help with activities such as personal hygiene and cooking. Such caregivers could be family members as opposed to home health aides, for example. Caregivers get paid by administrative agencies that contract with the state.

The plan would appoint a single entity to manage payroll and home care hours for the state’s entire personal care aide workforce. That job currently falls on roughly 600 to 700 nonprofits and businesses — a fact that home care advocates say will put more than 7,000 administrative workers out of a job.

The proposal is the latest attempt by state officials to reduce costs in the program. Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed restrictions on it in her executive budget proposal in an attempt to curtail costs of the program, which state officials say have skyrocketed 1,200% over the last decade. The Assembly and the state Senate rejected the bulk of Hochul’s proposed restrictions in their one-house budget proposals, but cuts are still on the table. The personal-assistance program has proved popular with New Yorkers, with 250,000 enrolling last year – up from the roughly 1,000 that enrolled when it launched in the 1990s.

“We have to deal with the explosion of the program,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents parts of Westchester and serves as chair of the health committee. She added that it’s still not certain if the suggested plan will be included in the final budget.

Lawmakers are grappling with the impacts this proposal could have on small agencies that provide consumer-directed care – the bulk of which could go out of business if it goes through, Paulin said. She added that there are discussions about support for independent living centers that serve New Yorkers with disabilities, many of which manage payroll for personal care aides.

It’s not clear how the state would execute the plan. After the Assembly proposed to cut back to a single fiscal intermediary, the governor’s office put forth language offering a no-bid contract to Alpharetta, Georgia-based financial services firm Public Partnerships, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

But Paulin said the current discussions have suggested a bidding process to select the right vendor.

A spokesperson from the governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Hochul’s stance on the proposal, nor whether a no-bid contract was on the table.

Not all lawmakers are backing the proposal. Sen. Gustavo Rivera, who represents parts of the Bronx and also chairs the health committee, said he is wary about awarding a contract to a single entity, as New York doesn’t have a good track record of doling out sole-source contracts to big companies to run big parts of the health care system. “I’m not a fan.”

The deadline for the final state budget, which was supposed to be final by April 1, has been extended to April 15.

Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:05
Interior designer Jessica Schuster offers advice on how to set up a home bar.
Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:04
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Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:02
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Fri, 04/12/2024 - 05:02
A two-level penthouse on the Athens Riviera, an industrial-flavored loft with Acropolis views, and a custom-built villa just south of central Athens.
Fri, 04/12/2024 - 04:42
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Thu, 04/11/2024 - 17:39

MTA chief Janno Lieber will join Crain’s Editor-in-Chief Cory Schouten on April 17 for an interview on the state of the subway, congestion pricing and more.

We are asking our audience to participate in the conversation by submitting questions ahead of time. Fill out the form below to share your thoughts with us.

Tickets are still available; buy yours here.

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 16:47

Fierce pushback against potential limits on tenant protections is contributing to dragged-out negotiations on a potential housing deal in the state budget, according to people familiar with negotiations.

Some formerly intractable issues now appear at least partly resolved, including a replacement for the 421-a tax break for affordable housing construction, lifting New York City’s cap on residential density and creating incentives for office-to-residential conversions, according to several lawmakers and others following the negotiations. Talks are taking place behind closed doors, led by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly.

Notably, according to people familiar with talks, Hochul has gotten behind a version of “good cause eviction”: the policy that would limit rent increases and require landlords to justify attempts to force out tenants. But Hochul, in line with the real estate industry, has proposed scaling back the policy in several ways: making it apply only in New York City while allowing upstate localities to “opt in,” exempting higher-rent apartments, and limiting allowable rent increases at either 10% or 5% plus the rate of inflation. (The existing Senate proposal called for a stricter 3% rent-hike limit.)

One “good cause” proposal from Hochul’s office would limit the eviction protections to apartments that rent for less than about $3,700 for a studio or $5,900 for a four-bedroom. Also at issue is whether to exempt new buildings within a few years of their construction to ensure new development isn’t deterred — Hochul’s office has proposed as high as a 30-year exemption, according to two people — and whether landlords should be exempted if they own fewer than a certain number of buildings.

Public discord erupted this week over those potential limits to good cause, as well as another proposal on the table: changing New York’s 2019 rent law to allow landlords who renovate stabilized apartments to further raise rents on tenants. Landlords are currently barred from recouping more than $15,000 of those renovation costs, but Hochul has proposed raising it as high as $75,000 or $100,000, according to Cea Weaver, a leader of the tenant group Housing Justice for All.

“I think it’s totally unnecessary and an overcorrection for a small number of distressed apartments,” said Weaver, whose group protested at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

Both Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie have confirmed that they are discussing changes to the so-called Individual Apartment Improvement cap. But Weaver’s organization is marshaling its own letter from 49 rank-and-file Democratic lawmakers opposed to the change, signaling that legislative leaders will need to persuade their own members to get on board with a deal that includes a higher dollar limit.

“It’s going to be hard for members to vote for all of this as it’s currently described,” one state senator said Thursday.

On the other hand, there appears to be little resistance to some other housing policies, like lifting the cap on floor-area ratio in New York City in order to allow bigger apartment buildings — although lawmakers are pushing for affordability requirements to be included. Also likely to pass are measures to legalize basement apartments and create a tax break to incentivize office-to-residential conversions — both of which have been strongly supported by Mayor Eric Adams.

As for the all-important replacement for the 421-a tax break, labor unions have said little publicly in recent days amid negotiations with state officials and the Real Estate Board of New York over wage standards for eligible projects. Given that unions loudly rejected REBNY’s earlier offers last month, the recent silence might be a positive sign, noted one labor official.

Instead of pay levels, the biggest unresolved question now involves geography: which neighborhoods in the city will be subject to each of the new wage standards, another person familiar with negotiations said Thursday.

“We’re at the 30-yard line,” the person said. Rank-and-file lawmakers still have little clarity about other terms of the 421-a replacement, such as the allowable rents that landlords could charge after receiving the tax break.

If a deal is ultimately reached, several people said it will likely be one that disappoints many Democratic lawmakers who wanted full-throated tenant protections and no changes to the 2019 rent laws.

“We’re all going to be a little unhappy about something,” said Manhattan Assemblyman Harvey Epstein. “But the question is, how unhappy will we be?”

Thu, 04/11/2024 - 16:46

New York City’s first-ever professional soccer stadium in Queens is moving forward. The City Council on Thursday voted to approve a sweeping 23-acre mixed-use development in Willets Point that will bring a seven-story soccer stadium for the NYC Football Club (NYCFC), 2,500 affordable housing units, a school, and a hotel to the neighborhood, once known [...]

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