NYC Real Estate News

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 06:30
Permits have been filed for a four-story residential building at 3326 Reservoir Oval East in Norwood, The Bronx. Located between Holt Place and Bainbridge Avenue, the lot is near the Norwood subway station, serviced by the D train. Amarpal Grewal is listed as the owner behind the applications.
Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:48

President Joe Biden vowed he would remain in the 2024 presidential race, but two critical mistakes in the span of two hours deepened concerns about his mental acuity that threaten his campaign.

Biden, 81, saw the culmination of this week’s NATO summit as a chance to reassure allies who for two weeks had fretted about his abilities following his first debate performance against Donald Trump. Over a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and a nearly hour-long news conference, he spoke confidently on a range of complex issues from the tax code and trade policy to Russia and the Israel-Hamas war.

But with virtually no margin for error, Biden mistook two of his biggest allies for his greatest enemies.

The president drew gasps — and instant mockery online — when he mistakenly introduced Zelenskyy as Russian President Vladimir Putin at an event in the late afternoon. Then, at the opening of the press conference, he fumbled a question about Vice President Kamala Harris by saying he “wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president” if he did not have confidence in her.

The solo news conference, Biden’s first this year, was designed to show that he has the stamina and adeptness to make a case to voters they should elect him over Trump in November. His dedicated allies said they were buoyed as he took questions from 11 reporters, and displayed more humility than he has in recent days about the difficult political road ahead.

“I’m determined on running, but I think it’s important that I allay fears,” Biden said.

But with viewers hanging on his every word, early signs indicated Biden’s performance was not enough to ease the intraparty turmoil that was set off after his debate against Trump. 

Almost immediately after the press conference ended, at least three more House Democrats, including Rep. Jim Himes, the top member from his party on the Intelligence Committee, joined the growing list of lawmakers calling on Biden to step aside.

One member of a NATO delegation said after the press conference that their nation’s leader did not think Biden could survive the crisis consuming his presidency, even though the summit in Washington was generally praised by participants for its substance.

At the same time, Trump met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban — whose recent meeting with Putin in Moscow drew the ire of many NATO leaders — according to an Instagram post on the European leader’s verified account.

Biden’s performance was at times shaky and included some of the hallmarks of the tightly controlled exchanges preferred by the White House, like calling on a list of preselected reporters. But he avoided repeating some of the worst mistakes from last month’s debate.

In some ways, it was a press conference that had something for everyone.

Aides on Biden’s campaign said they believed the performance would make the case to lawmakers who had expressed alarm over the president’s path to victory.

For Trump and his allies, who want Biden to stay in the race, there was enough material to mock — but not a devastating moment that would have knocked the president from the contest. A replacement candidate could blunt some of the inroads Trump has made with young and minority voters disillusioned by Biden’s age.

Trump gleefully seized on Biden mistaking Harris for his predecessor, posting on his social media site that Biden had done a “great job.”

When asked at the end of the news conference for his response to Trump noting his flub, Biden suggested that his rival had said far worse things.

“Listen to him.” he said.

‘Finish this job’

Biden rejected the calls for him to step aside raised by multiple reporters, saying he is “the best qualified person to do the job.” He said he had not handed over the role of party standard-bearer to another Democrat “because there’s so much at stake.”

“I’ve got to finish this job,” he said.

But for one of the first times of his presidency, he conceded that “there are other people that could beat Trump too.” While he said he remained committed to running, he did allow that he might reconsider if “they came back and said there’s no way you can win.”

Biden subsequently downplayed his verbal miscues, pointing to world leaders who had praised the NATO conference as successful.

Still, even Biden acknowledged he may never be able to fully reassure Americans about his competence when asked if he would take a fresh neurological exam.

“No matter what I did, no one’s going to be satisfied,” the president said.

His misstatements followed reporting earlier Thursday by the New York Times that several longtime advisers to the president were discussing ways to persuade Biden to exit the race — and that his campaign is polling how Harris would fare against Trump if she were to take over the top of the ticket.

Spokespeople for Biden insisted his team remained behind him, but the signal that the president’s own confidants may be joining the chorus of outside lawmakers, donors, and strategists calling on him to exit the race amounted to a potentially terminal blow after a bruising week.

“I’m not in this for my legacy. I’m in this to complete the job I started,” Biden said.

The president said his schedule had been “full bore” and that he needed to pace himself, while noting his staff added lots of events to his calendar. But he said he compared favorably to Trump.

“Instead of my — every day starting at seven and going to bed at midnight, what I said was, it’d be smarter for me to pace myself a little more,” Biden said.

“Where’s Trump been? Riding around on his golf cart? Filling out his scorecard before he hits the ball?” he added.

Wary lawmakers

Top White House and campaign officials were dispatched to Capitol Hill on Thursday in a bid to shore up wary lawmakers. Many trickled out of a luncheon for Democratic senators declining to answer questions about the president posed by reporters.

The huddle came a day after two of Biden’s closest congressional allies — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – appeared to be nudging Biden toward the door.

Pelosi told MSNBC that Biden needed to decide “if he is going to run.” Axios reported that Schumer privately signaled to donors he was open to dumping Biden, though the New York senator subsequently said he backs the president.

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:33

Nearly a year after the city announced an overhaul of funding to facilities known as mental health clubhouses, Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has started rolling out contracts to nonprofits to run the facilities.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene awarded $75 million this week to three organizations to operate mental health clubhouses, facilities that offer no-cost support services to people with serious mental illnesses. The facilities do not provide medical services; rather, they serve as recreational centers that offer job training and education, health and legal counseling and social activities such as game nights and meals. 

The city awarded two $30 million contracts to New York Disaster Interfaith Services and Goodwill of Greater New York and New Jersey to operate such facilities, as well as a $15 million contract to Phoenix House. The contracts will last for nearly 10 years and begin on Aug. 1.

A representative from the city Health Department did not reply to questions from Crain’s about whether the city has awarded contracts to additional operators.

The Adams administration pledged last year to invest $30 million annually in mental health clubhouses, doubling the city’s previous investment. The plan is an attempt to triple citywide capacity; the mayor said new contracts would boost intake from 5,000 individuals to 15,000 individuals in the next two fiscal years.

But as a result of the overhaul, many smaller clubhouses were ineligible to apply for city funding, as they did not have the required 300 active members. Operators of nine of the city’s 13 existing clubhouses were unable to continue their services under the new plan, which was met with fierce opposition from the nonprofits and local elected officials.

The City Council restored $2 million to keep smaller clubhouses open in its recent fiscal year 2025 budget, which could offer some short-term relief to smaller providers. But its unclear how long they will be able to remain open with the new funding. 

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:33

MEDICAID EXPANSION: The state Department of Health asked the federal government to greenlight new regulations that would prevent kids under 6 years old from having to continuously reapply to Medicaid and Child Health Plus, the agency said Thursday. Officials submitted an 1115 waiver to alter its Medicaid program, in hopes of preventing kids from losing public health insurance coverage due to changes in family household income. If approved, the waiver will extend through 2027, and would make New York the fourth state to offer continuous coverage to children in the U.S., the agency said.

NEW PAYMENT MODEL: Northwell Health is one of 400 locations participating in a new dementia care payment model being spearheaded by the federal government, the health system announced Friday. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected hospitals to test a payment model to improve care for patients with memory conditions and provide respite services to caregivers to delay the need for care in a long-term care facility. Mount Sinai Health System was also selected to participate in the program.

ICYMI: Nearly 200 people have been infected with dengue fever in New York and New Jersey, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dengue fever, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, is common in tropical climates. Normal symptoms include fever and body aches, and more severe symptoms may require hospitalization. The CDC released a health alert last month warning of an increased risk of infection. 

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:33

The 988 mental health hotline has yielded murky results in its first two years in operation, despite millions in funding.

The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a $82 million contract on Wednesday to Vibrant Emotional Health, a Financial District-based nonprofit that administers the 988 hotline nationally. The three-year contract funds the nonprofit’s continued operation of the call, text and online chat tool, which aims to connect individuals in crisis with mental health professionals. 

State officials have also invested millions in the program. Since the launch of the hotline two years ago, Gov. Kathy Hochul has allocated $155 million to its operation, according to James Plastiras, a spokesman for the Office of Mental Health.

But despite investments, New York’s program faces continued challenges. Workforce shortages have stalled the city and state from being able to fully staff clinician roles. And a lack of public awareness campaigns have resulted in very few people knowing what the hotline is for.

Roughly a fifth of the population nationwide knows about the 988 hotline, a percentage that is far too low, according to Glenn Liebman, CEO of the Mental Health Association of New York State.

“People don’t know that there’s a trained clinician waiting for them at no cost,” Liebman said. “Until it’s 100% awareness, we’ve got a long way to go.”

The federal government rolled out the 988 mental health line in July 2022 in an effort to shorten the national 10-digit suicide lifeline and offer a non-police involved mental health crisis response system. New York City previously operated a crisis line called NYC Well, but transitioned to 988 amid the national rollout. 

The hotline has been lauded by advocates as the “gold standard” of mental health care, as it connects individuals to rapid support and follow-up crisis care.

City and state programs have logged thousands of calls in the two years following the rollout. New York state’s 988 hotline has received nearly 430,000 calls, texts and chats between May 2023 to May 2024, according to data from the Office of Mental Health. It responded to roughly 82% of those contacts within the year-long period.

The city has seen an uptick in use of the 988 hotline since the national shift. The city responded to nearly 32,000 calls, texts and chats in January 2022, prior to the 988 rollout. In August 2023, the most recent month that data is available, the city’s 988 center responded to just over 44,000 contacts, city data shows. 

The city declined to provide the number of calls, texts and chats it received to the line or a response rate indicating how many incoming calls received mental health support. 

Mental health clinicians and advocates have embraced New York’s efforts to ramp up the 988 hotline, pointing to the challenges of managing a large system. But public awareness remains a challenge that limits the number of people that this resource can serve.

The city Health Department has defended its investments in the mental health crisis line and efforts to publicize it. The city funneled nearly $11 million in funds from the state into its hotline in 2022 to hire additional staff for crisis counseling and peer services. It also launched a month-long ad campaign in October 2023 featuring televised public service announcements from Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan about the crisis resource. Ads were also featured online and on the radio, and displayed on posters in public settings, the agency said.

“As 988 use has grown significantly over time, we will continue to ensure that New Yorkers are aware that this resource is here to support them or someone they know who is in crisis,” said Patrick Gallahue, a spokesman for the agency. 

But Matt Kudish, chief executive officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in New York City, said that “significant investments” should be made to improve public awareness to a crisis response system that doesn’t involve police, to encourage people of color and marginalized groups to use the resource.

“If folks don't know to call 988, they're going to call 911,” Kudish said. “We believe strongly that there's no place for police response in a mental health crisis.”

July 12, 2023: This story has been updated with additional information about the city Health Department's public awareness campaigns for the 988 hotline, further data on the city's response to incoming calls, texts and chats, and a clarification on the city's previous crisis hotline.

Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:03
A two-bedroom flat near Castello Sforzesco, a duplex on the banks of the Naviglio Grande canal, and a three-bedroom in Milan’s historical center.
Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:02
The Chrysler Building is an icon of New York City’s skyline. But with ownership changes, a crumbling interior and newer, glitzier towers surrounding it, the building is at risk of losing that status.
Fri, 07/12/2024 - 05:00
“A lightbulb went on”: By building a stylish little A.D.U. in front of the main house, he realized, several generations could live happily together.
Thu, 07/11/2024 - 16:43
Renting a one-bedroom near two hospitals left a couple yearning for some quiet and a bigger kitchen. Here’s what they found.
Thu, 07/11/2024 - 16:35

Pfizer is moving forward with a weight-loss pill as the drugmaker seeks to crack the multibillion-dollar market for obesity medications and mount a comeback from its post-pandemic malaise.

The once-daily treatment, called danuglipron, will progress to a mid-stage study in the second half of this year, Pfizer said Thursday, having cleared a scientific hurdle in a small study. The next trial will be designed to find an ideal dose of the pill, Pfizer said, and the drug will move into the final stage of development if it succeeds.

Pfizer shares rose nearly 3% before paring back in early trading in New York.

The pill is designed as a needle-free alternative to popular weight-loss shots from Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly & Co. Pfizer has said it expects pills to eventually capture about a third of the obesity drug market, which analysts have predicted will grow to about $130 billion by the end of the decade. The pill is designed to mimic the effects of Novo’s blockbuster injectable semaglutide, sold as Wegovy and Ozempic.

Pfizer has struggled to make headway in treating obesity. Late last year, the company halted development of a twice-daily version of danuglipron after high rates of nausea and vomiting led patients to drop out of a mid-stage study of about 1,400 people. Months earlier, it abandoned another oral obesity drug that showed concerning liver effects in a trial.

The company is years behind Novo and Lilly, whose weekly Zepbound shot is poised for blockbuster sales after gaining US approval last year. Lilly also has an oral obesity treatment in the final stage of development. AstraZeneca Plc, Structure Therapeutics Inc., and other companies are also developing oral drugs.

Small study 

Pfizer studied the once-daily version of danuglipron in a trial enrolling just 20 people, according a federal registry, testing four formulations of the drug to determine which might be most effective. The company did not disclose detailed results of the study, saying only that it was moving forward with one of them.

If the pill is successful it could ease some of the pressure on Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla, who has struggled to persuade investors that the company’s pipeline of medicines can eventually arrest its post-pandemic decline. Sales fell 20% in the first quarter of 2024 as demand plummeted for its Covid-19 vaccine and pill. Pfizer’s financial forecast for this year came in well below Wall Street’s expectations and its vaccine for RSV has underperformed.

Initial reaction from analysts remains muted, however. Pfizer’s long-awaited update on its obesity pill reveals little, and in a best-case scenario the drug could only be launched in 2028, “at which stage multiple competitors might be available,” said Sam Fazeli, director of research at Bloomberg Intelligence.

“Progress here has been slower than expected and offers nothing for now to assess potential competitive positioning,” Fazeli said.