Skip to main content


Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Recent posts

The shift to Shanghai: global capital, "Brooklyn-washing," and Greenland Forest City Partners

At an Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting in January, Prospect Heights resident Robert Puca, a longtime project opponent, commented that the seemingly rigged outcome for the upcoming (but yet unscheduled) Site 5 project "makes a mockery of the process."

Puca wasn’t done. “What else puts a bad taste in my mouth: New York State, New York City put up a combination of $300 million in public subsidies, now it turns out 15 years later, it first went to Russian oligarch [Mikhail Prokhorov] and now it’s going to a company that’s basically owned by the government of Shanghai,” he said. “If people had known 15 years later, that government of Shanghai was going to own basically the building in my backyard, it would be a different taste in everybody’s mouth.”

Indeed, could any imagine that Greenland USA, an arm of Greenland Holding Co., which has as its largest shareholder the government of Shanghai, proposing Atlantic Yards in 2003 and getting it approved in 2006 and th…

Barclays Center gets new GM; BSE Global names new security chief

The Barclays Center has a new General Manager, Matthew Felker, moving from a relatively brief stint at the Nassau Coliseum, known as NYCB LIVE, according to an 8/13/18 press release from BSE Global, below.

Regional General Manager Steve Rosebrook, longtime manager of Barclays for AEG Facilities, is overseeing the transition. His next position has not been announced.

Also, BSE Global has named retired New York Police Department veteran Steve Powers as Vice President of Security, who will oversee security for BSE venues, teams, and employees. He spent nearly 38 years at the NYPD in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. He began his career on patrol in the 67th Precinct and was promoted seven times to his final position as Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, according to the notice.

The press releases, verbatim

BROOKLYN – BSE Global and AEG Facilities have identified new leaders for Barclays Center and NYCB LIVE, home of th…

In first-ever campaign contribution, the Brooklyn Nets boost Tish James in AG race (but real estate most likes Maloney)

The latest campaign finance filings are out in state races; Real estate spending heavily on attorney general race, City & State reported yesterday, noting that the Real Estate Board of New York’s political action committee has given:$15,000 to the campaign of NYC Public Advocate Letitia James$15,000 to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney’s campaign$5,000 to Verizon lobbyist Leecia Eve’s campaignSpecific real estate businesses, though, have focused on Maloney, who has a corporate background and may be seen as more business-friendly: he got $150,000 from limited liability companies (LLCs) linked to the Durst Organization. James got $10,000 donation from Durst.

Note that "top two contenders" is a little vague, since, while James--endorsed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic Party--is the individual leader in polls (see Siena Poll, below), most voters are undecided. The other candidate, law professor Zephyr Teachout, has refused PAC and LLC money and positioned herself as the most…

Community Service Society analysis: rents rising rapidly in inner-ring Brooklyn; affordable housing rapidly lost

Kind of mind boggling what happened in Brooklyn in 15 years. — Tom Waters (@slowboring) August 10, 2018Some new numbers crunched by Tom Waters of the Community Service Society put Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park in some more poignant context: the call for affordable housing responded to a clear crisis.

In this case affordable housing is defined as renting for less than 30 percent of 200 percent of the 2017 poverty threshold for a family of three; that means affordable housing for lower-income people, not "income-linked," "below-market" housing deemed affordable for middle-class households.

Between 2002 and 2017, the city lost more than 490,000 units of housing affordable to households with incomes below twice the federal poverty threshold.
...By analyzing apartments that turned over during the five-year periods before the 2002 and 2017 surveys, we…

FAC's de la Uz, in backing 80 Flatbush, claims benefits "created without any public subsidy"

It's been a calculated pattern. Before any key governmental meeting on 80 Flatbush, the developers orchestrate an article or op-ed.

Today's New York Daily News has an op-ed from Michelle de la Uz, executive director of the Fifth Avenue Committee, the project's affordable housing partner--right before Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meeting tomorrow at 9:30 at City Hall.

Remember, the Community Board nearly unanimously opposed the two-tower project; Borough President Eric Adams called for a decrease in height far more than bulk, and the New York City Planning Commission affirmed the project. The City Council, notably Council Member Steve Levin, will have the final say.

For housing answers, look up: We need to build bigger to create affordable units, including at 80 Flatbush, writes de la Uz, acknowledging that her position on density has evolved:
Of course, we need to be smart about where it goes: in areas near mass transit, where it’s in context with surroundings and …

HPD offers income guide re affordable housing; note yellow segment highlighting middle-income units

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development has issued a handy income guide to let people know what "band" of affordable housing, under 2018 income levels, for which they might be eligible.

The key for Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park watchers is that half the units in the two "100% affordable" buildings, 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth, are in an upper middle-income band that represents part--but not all--of the yellow segment at right. (There's also another middle-income band with a somewhat more modest range of incomes.)

Note that most of the units at 535 Carlton and 38 Sixth have already been filled, under somewhat more modest 2016 and 2017 income guidelines, when 100% of Area Median Income (AMI) for a four-person household was $90,600 and $95,400.

Now AMI is $104,300, as wealthier suburbs raise the median, so 165% of AMI pushes to the far end of the chart.

These numbers don't have any connection to the people who rallied for affordable h…

So, maybe Ratner sorta helped Mangano's defense fund

All campaign contributions are fungible, right?

Newsday reported 7/17/18, in Mangano used $900,000 from campaign fund to pay his defense attorney:
Former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, facing an October retrial on federal corruption charges, paid $900,000 from campaign funds to his criminal defense attorney during the first half of the year, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday with the state board of elections. Actually, the campaign account, Friends of Ed Mangano, has paid the law firm some $1.23 million since May 2015, as the filings show. And Mangano has raised $2.8 million just since 2014.

A curious Ratner contribution

But I want to remind people of what I wrote in May 2014: how Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, who the previous August won the nod to revamp the Nassau Coliseum, did not--according to state campaign finance records--contribute directly to the successful re-election campaign of Nassau County Executive Mangano, who favored Ratner's bid…

At 535 Carlton, two months free on a 2BR lease brings rent down to (listed) 1BR level

This is kind of a deal, at least for those renting for a year: a new, rent-stabilized two bedroom apartment at 535 Carlton with an effective rent of $2,686 a month. That's two months free on an apartment with an official rent of $3,223 a month.

Of course you have to earn six figures to qualify for this "affordable" unit. A two-person household could earn a maximum, as of 2017, of $126,060. That means annual rent payments of $32,232 would represent 25.6% of income.

(Half the units in this building, as with 38 Sixth, have rents set at 160% of Area Median Income, or AMI, with household income up to 165% of AMI. That's decidedly middle-income, and a small slice of the city's population.)

Actually, all five two-bedroom apartments available at 535 Carlton now offer two months free, and the two one-bedroom apartments available offer 1.5 months free. That's up from the previous offer, just two weeks ago, of 1.5 months and 1 month, respectively.

However, StreetEasy…