Saturday, December 01, 2012

Daily News: 17 of 209 footprint renters moving into first Atlantic Yards tower

I'm late on this article posted by the Daily News two nights ago, Handful of renters displaced by Atlantic Yards set to move into new pre-fabricated apartment building: Some tenants still furious they were forced to move seven years later:
For a handful of Prospect Heights residents, moving into the first Atlantic Yards apartment building will be a homecoming of sorts.
Seven years ago, 17 renters living in the footprint of the development site accepted a unique deal from Forest City Ratner. In return for moving, the tenants got apartments nearby at the same rent they were paying - covered by FCR.
...During the contentious takeover of the 22-acre site, 209 renters living in the area were offered the relocation agreement or a cash payment averaging $85,000, according to an FCR official.
I'm surprised at the ratio, and how few people will be moving in.

I suspect a good number either didn't think the project would be built or, as noted by one interviewee below, weren't given offers that fully protected them:
David Sheets, 51, stayed in his 479 Dean St. apartment until 2010 when he took a buyout and was forced to move.
He never considered the relocation offer, noting that many were designed to expire after a few years.
“I did not want them determining where I was going to live,” he said. “I wanted them out of my life. I didn't want to be on the same planet with these people let alone having them suggesting where or not I was living.”
"Critics... are questioning"

The article closes:
Half of the first building's 363 apartments will be subsidized with city affordable housing bonds.
But critics of the project are questioning that setup, pointing out that 17 of those units will be set aside for renters earning between $104,580 and $119,520.
The issue isn't that 17 of the units would be set aside for such moderate-income families. It's that (likely) 17 of the 36 two-bedroom units would be set aside in this way, rather than being distributed evenly across the five affordable housing "bands."

I guess I'm one of the unnamed "critics," but not merely "critics" should be questioning this; project supporters and any outside observers familiar with the previous promises can legitimately raise questions.

1 comment:

  1. A goodly number of those 209 tenants (that number came from DDDB's census) were market rate tenants. Just about all those tenants lived in buildings whose landlords sold to Ratner. When their leases ended, Ratner simply did not renew. So they got bupkis.

    It is also interesting that the Daily News found 2 of the supposed 17. First, where did they get that 17 number from? Ratner I presume. And there are only about 4 or 5 former footprint tenants whose whereabouts I know. The rest dispersed without a trace. My guess is that Forest City Ratner delivered Karl and Paul's contact info to Ruven Blau.

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