Skip to main content

Willets Point affordable housing offers more moderate-income housing than AY

The New York Times's article today on the Willets Point deal is headlined Willets Point Project Foes Reach Deal With the City; while Councilman Hiram Monserrate is now on board, there are numerous property owners who have not yet come to agreement and could be subject to eminent domain.

WCBS TV reported that small business owners say a $3 million relocation fund is an insult.

The city will now control more than half of the 62-acre site, according to Crain's. (Here's DDDB on Monserrate's former opposition to eminent domain, which he said should be taken off the table.)

Contrasts with AY

There are some notable contrasts with Atlantic Yards. The city has pursued this development plan via the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which gives the City Council a vote; City Council Member Letitia James remains opposed to AY but never had the clout that Monserrate had, given the state override of zoning.

Also, as reported last December, the city has pursued redevelopment at Willets Point before choosing a developer, aiming to avoid potential legal challenges, as with the Atlantic Yards sequence.

Affordable housing

The big lift was on affordable housing and, ACORN, Forest City Ratner's partner on Atlantic Yards, was in on this deal too. (Is there also a requirement to publicly support the project?)

While similar in percentages to the Atlantic Yards affordable housing deal, the Willets Point plan emphasizes housing for low- and moderate-income families, while the Atlantic Yards plan offers a wider range of units, including those aimed at middle income families earning more than six figures.

The Times reported:
The deal requires that 35 percent of the project’s 5,500 housing units be set aside for families who make less than $99,840 a year, or 130 percent of the city’s median income of $76,800. The original plan reserved just 20 percent of the units for families of those income levels.

It's hardly clear, as with Atlantic Yards, whether there are bonds and other public funding mechanisms to fulfill the affordable housing promises.

Note that 50% of the 4500 rentals in the Atlantic Yards plan would be affordable, and 200 of the announced 1930 condos on site would be subsidized. That's about 38 percent, but the plans are not similar.

More lower-income

The Times reported regarding Willets Point:
The future developer will have to abide by housing guidelines that will require the construction of 820 homes for families who make $38,400 a year or less, which is more housing for low-income families than was required in any of the city’s other recent redevelopment projects, including Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and Hudson Yards, on the west side of Midtown.

The rest of the homes will be distributed as follows: about 330 for families earning $38,400 to $46,080; 770 for families earning $46,080 to $99,840; and the remaining 3,500 or so priced at market value.


Note that $38,400 is 50% of the current Area Median Income (AMI) and that $46,080 is 60% of AMI. Thus, there would be 1150 units for households earning up to 60% of AMI. The top level of income would be 130% of AMI.

According to the housing chart on the Atlantic Yards web site, there would be 900 units for households earning up to 50% of AMI (in the 2006 chart, $35,450) and no units for those earning 50%-60% of AMI.

So there would be a little more low-income housing--but not as much lower-income housing.

There would be 450 units for households earning 60-100% of AMI, 450 units for households earning 101-140% of AMI, and another 450 units for households earning 141-160% of AMI.

The AY housing switch

As I reported in July 2006, the Atlantic Yards affordable housing plan changed. Originally, 900 of the 2250 affordable apartments were promised to moderate-income people earning 50%-100% of AMI.

Now, only 450 units would go to that cohort, and 900 units would be aimed at those earning above the AMI.

While the currently proposed scenario was, in fact, one of three anticipated in the Housing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that ACORN negotiated with developer Forest City Ratner in May 2005, this scenario, which would reap the highest rent, was not the one the developer initially promoted.

Density questions

While Willets Point would also have a convention center and office space, note that 5500 apartments over 62 acres is much less dense than the 6430 apartments planned for the 22-acre Atlantic Yards site. Of course, AY would be closer to a transit hub, but the contrast is still significant.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.


Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…