Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lander in WSJ on affordable housing: “I’m concerned that in some cases the pressure to maximize units means development without good planning.”

From the Wall Street Journal yesterday (but posted the night before), Old Politics Hamper City’s New Approach on Affordable Housing: De Blasio’s Effort to Smooth Approvals for Developers Also Runs Into Roadblocks:
The planned site of Astoria Cove, the first major development project to be shaped from early stages by Mayor Bill de Blasio , sits on a peninsula jutting into the East River, just out of reach of Gracie Mansion.
...Mr. de Blasio has promised to generate 80,000 units of affordable housing, many by requiring developers to include lower-rent apartments in exchange for permission to build taller towers. But almost a year into his administration, carving a smooth path for big, new development projects has proved challenging.
The 2.2-million-square-foot project is at risk of being voted down by the City Council’s land-use committee, which must vote by Wednesday on it, according to City Council officials and the developer. The full council is expected to follow the committee’s lead.
...even if Astoria Cove moves forward, real-estate executives and lobbyists said they were unsettled by its thorny path to approval.
The city wants 20% affordable (of 1700-plus units_ with no extra subsidies. Housing advocates want 50% affordability.

Part of the disagreement may be because the city has cut the council out of previous deals, such as bypassing Council Member Stephen Levin on the New Domino deal and pushing for towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which Levin and neighboring Council Member Brad Lander, who's a de Blasio ally.

The article ends with a quote from Lander expressing concern about housing at Brooklyn Bridge Park and Long Island College Hospital sites without considering issues like transportation and schools: “I’m concerned that in some cases the pressure to maximize units means development without good planning.”

Wasn't that same criticism lodged against Atlantic Yards (albeit regarding other planning issues, like open space)?

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