Cabrera seeks amnesty for small businesses


Councilman Fernando Cabrera — one of several people seeking to succeed Ruben Diaz Jr., as Bronx borough president — wants amnesty for small businesses that received summonses during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Small businesses deemed ‘non-essential’ were forced to close for an indefinite period of time, forfeiting income, destroying local businesses and neighborhood jobs,” Cabrera said, in a release. “This didn’t stop the city from issuing summonses for various violations that might not have been the fault of the business owner. With tremendous loss of revenue, many cannot pay the fines that have been assessed, just adding to the destruction of this critical sector in the five boroughs.”

Cabrera added he has submitted legislation to the council forgiving summonses issued during the pandemic, and issuing refunds to fines already paid.

It’s not clear what the chances are such legislation would be approved by the city council — let alone Mayor Bill de Blasio — especially as the city continues to face deficits as high as $3.8 billion for the coming fiscal year.


Closings, median sales up in the Bronx

Home prices continue to rise in the Bronx — as do new listings — according to a new report by the New York State Association of Realtors.

The borough reported 226 new listings in January — up 16 percent from the year before — while overall closed sales inched up 5 percent. The median sales price of sold homes in the Bronx in January was $470,000, up nearly 15 percent from what it was the year before.

Statewide, new listings were down nearly 16 percent while the median sales price jumped more than 20 percent to $355,000.

The biggest surge in sales came in Schuyler County, home of Watkins Glen, where the 17 closings there in January represented a 113 percent spike. Median sales price also jumped in Schuyler 60 percent to $196,000.

Hamilton County — the least populated county east of the Mississippi River — boasted the biggest rise in median sales price, with 12 homes selling for $210,000, or 86 percent more than the year before.

Brooklyn sales were up 36 percent to 187 closings in January, but median sales prices inched up 6 percent to $620,000. Home sales in Queens were flat, but median sales prices rose there by 9 percent to $654,500.

Sales on Staten Island were up 27 percent in January, while median sales prices grew by nearly 8 percent to $585,000.


Average Bronx rents top $2,000 in January

Two-bedroom apartments are becoming more and more popular in Riverdale, with rents climbing nearly 4 percent in January.

That’s based on a new report from MNS Real Estate showing average rents growing from $2,812 to $2,911.

Overall, average rental prices in the Bronx moved up just 2 percent, but that was enough to cross  the $2,000 mark. Using a typical model of tenants making 40 times monthly rent, that means anyone looking for a new apartment in the borough would have to be boasting combined income of at least $80,000 annually.

Rent growth in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens was slower, but not by much, according to the report.

One-bedroom units in Mott Haven climbed 9 percent to $2,631 monthly.

Originally published March 4, 2021