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Lottery for 38 Sixth opens; majority of units could go to $100K+ households

The lottery for the 303-unit, 23-story 38 Sixth Avenue tower at the southeast corner of the arena block has opened, with a 60-day deadline, meaning March 14. See below. 

Though the tower is "100% affordable," with 35% low-income units, a couple of the headlines put way too much emphasis on that fraction of low-income units:
But half the units are aimed at the highest band of middle-income households, as noted in the ad and on this fact sheet (also below). That means:
  • 33 studios: $2,121/month
  • 66 1 BRs:  $2,663/month
  • 45 2 BRs:  $3,206/month
  • 8   3 BRs:  $3,695/month
More than half the units could go to households earning over $100,000, assuming that the applicants are chosen from the upper end of the income bands.

Interestingly, the rent levels are slightly lower than those set for the paired 535 Carlton tower, perhaps because the Area Median Income (AMI) has been tweaked for this year. (The corresponding 535 Carlton figures for the highest income bands are $2,137, $2,680, $3,223, and $3,716.)

Half the units will be reserved for residents of the four nearest Community Districts, while 7% of the units will go to people with disabilities and 5% to municipal employees (those categories can overlap).

Even some of the low-income apartments are too expensive for many people seeking units. As housing analyst Tom Waters tweeted yesterday, regarding the mayor's housing plan, "I agree that it's good to build new apartments for households making $49,000 a year, but can't they see that that's not a good answer to... people in neighborhoods where the median is more like $30,000?"

Features and amenities

Curbed, which was fed the scoop, published 1/11/17 Pacific Park's next affordable housing lottery will launch this week. It noted features including "white oak flooring, quartz countertops with ceramic backsplashes, and an integrated dishwasher.

The building also will include a fitness center, a yoga studio, and a children’s play area, among other amenities. The cost of the latter was not announced.

DNAinfo was initially more neutral, publishing Lottery for 303 Affordable Units in New Tower Behind Barclays Opens Friday, and noting that half the apartments are aimed at the highest income bracket. Update: the headline was altered to Rent a Studio for $532 a Month in a New Tower Behind the Barclays Center, with one commenter observing, "I am confused. The lottery is 303 affordable units. Only 14 apartments are affordable units."

When will it open?
DNAinfo noted that "GFCP expects the tower to be complete and ready for move-ins by this summer."

The lottery is part of a process that typically leads to occupancy in six months, according to a handbook produced by the New York City Housing Development Corporation. If so, occupancy should begin by July 15 or so.

The building was once supposed to open in January 2017, and the developer last November projected phased opening in the "second quarter" of this year, which barely encompasses the beginning of the summer and ends in June. That seems unlikely. Now, "summer" could mean August or September.

38 Sixth Avenue Fact Sheet by Metro US on Scribd


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