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

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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…

A new web site: (in Prospect Heights)

How about that: if you search on "535 Carlton," a paid ad for comes up, advertising no-fee, rent-stabilized apartments both at that building as well as a similar "100% affordable" tower, 38 Sixth.

Also, they're said to be located in Prospect Heights, not the mythical "neighborhood" or "community" of Pacific Park Brooklyn.

The web site promises "2 BEDROOMS FROM $3,223" at 535 Carlton and "2 & 3 BEDROOMS FROM $3,206" at 38 Sixth. As I've reported, developer Greenland Forest City Partners was offering 1.5 months free at 535 Carlton as an incentive for two-bedroom units.

These middle-income units, as previously explained, were not taken by applicants in the housing lottery.
Pacific Park Rentals Web Page, Aug. 9, 2018 by Norman Oder on Scribd

Conor McGregor: the cynicism mounts, as bus attack now used in promotion

On 8/6/18, USA Today published How Conor McGregor bus attack went from 'disgusting' act to promotional material for UFC, by Ben Fowlkes of the USA Today Sports site MMAjunkie. He wrote:
It’s hard to believe it was only four months ago that UFC President Dana White sat there looking shaken and upset as he described Conor McGregor’s backstage rampage at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as “the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the (UFC).”
In hype videos rolled out at a UFC news conference this past Friday, and aired again during the UFC 227 pay-per-view the next night, that “disgusting” act seems to have morphed into a compelling advertisement for the main event of UFC 229. Fowlkes suggested it was hard to take the purported outrage seriously, given that, not only has the UFC not punished McGregor, it's turning a rather ugly incident--which damaged property and people--into promotional material.

Crain's op-ed: an "insult" to justice


80 Flatbush gets approval from City Planning Commission, with no changes; City Council vote is key

The two-tower project 80 Flatbush, in a transitional block between the Central Business District of Downtown Brooklyn and low-rise Boerum Hill, on Monday got unanimous approval, albeit with some concerns expressed, at a City Planning Commission meeting.

“This is an absolutely singular site, located in the heart of my beloved Downtown Brooklyn. It is the very definition of transit-rich, on any list of the top five transit-rich sites, Atlantic Terminal is counted among them,” declared Chairwoman--and mayoral appointee to head the Department of City Planning--Marisa Lago, according to Sam Raskin's PoliticoPro report 8/6/18 (paywalled).

Thus Lago expressed the administration's consistent support for the project, as well as the dubious claim that the location for the project--aimed to include 900 apartments, 200 of them affordable, plus a replacement high school, a new school, office, retail, and cultural space--is "in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn."

The vote contrasts w…