Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced plans yesterday to buy 24 acres of Queens waterfront property for a towering development, which would be the largest middle-income housing complex built in New York City in more than 30 years.
Under the proposal, the city would bring as many 5,000 new rental units to a largely industrial area of Long Island City, where chic restaurants are just beginning to appear amid low-slung factories and three-family homes.
The new apartments, Mr. Bloomberg said, would be for families of four earning between $60,000 and $145,000 a year, who would pay $1,200 to $2,500 a month in rent.
This would be a lot more than the 2250 affordable rental units promised for the Atlantic Yards project, which would have more than 6000 total units. However, about half of those rental units would be available to families earning under $60,000.
Cost per unit
The Times reported that the new project would be more cost-effective at producing affordable housing than preserving Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village:
Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff had said it was a matter of efficient use of public dollars: preserving the historic units would have cost about $107,000 per unit. In contrast, he said yesterday, the units in the new Queens development would be built for about $54,000 each in city funds.
“So we can get two units here for every one there,” he said at the press conference announcing the deal, “plus we get a major increase in the housing stock.”
So, would the affordable units at the Atlantic Yards project cost $54,000 per unit? $107,000? Somewhere in between? Of course the numbers would have to be adjusted because of the range of incomes promised for Atlantic Yards. Still, it's time to look more closely.