Saturday, February 11, 2017

In Pacific Park hype, comparing "affordable" units to $2,591 average is not a wise move

There are more than a few things wrong with this CNN Tech article, headlined This Brooklyn apartment building fits together like puzzle pieces and, naturally, tweeted by Pacific Park Brooklyn.

Let's just start with the lead:
In New York City, finding an affordable Brooklyn apartment is notoriously difficult.
On average, a 750-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment rents for $2,591 per month.
But inside Brooklyn's 461 Dean -- the world's tallest modular building -- half of the 363 rental apartments fall well below market rate. One bedrooms, which range from 578- to 735-square-feet, start at $600 a month.
That has a lot less to do with modular than with subsidies.

Note that, while one-bedroom apartments in Brooklyn at large do rent for $2,591, according to the linked report from MNS, a more apt market comparison would have been Downtown Brooklyn ($3,055), which has the most comparable new units, then Fort Greene ($2,808) or Park Slope ($2,550).

But let's follow the logic of purported alternatives to one-bedroom monthly rents of $2,591. How much do affordable one-bedroom units at 461 Dean rent for? As shown in the graphic below, some rent for $2,504. (Again, subsidies.) That's not a major difference.

461 Dean affordable rents,  5 of 70 one-bedrooms at $2,504
The more important comparison

More importantly, let's compare that purported $2,591 monthly rent to the rent levels for the two "100% affordable" buildings opening soon.

Combining both buildings, 127 of 260 total one-bedroom units would rent for more than $2,591. As noted below, at 38 Sixth, 66 of 131 one-bedrooms will rent at $2,663, and, at 535 Carlton, 61 of 129 one-bedrooms will rent at $2,680.

38 Sixth affordable rents,  66 of 131 one-bedrooms at $2,663

535 Carlton affordable rents, 61 of 129 one-bedrooms at $2,680

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