Skip to main content

Average "affordable" 2 BR in first Atlantic Yards tower would rent for $1946 (1 BR: $1161), according to 2012 figures, which should rise; market 2 BR: $4403

From 12/7/12 financing commitment and agreement 
between HDC and FCR, via BrooklynSpeaks; click to enlarge
We know--as I wrote in an August 2012 article for City Limits' Brooklyn Bureau--that the two-bedroom "affordable" units in the first Atlantic Yards tower would be disproportionately geared to middle-class families, not low-income ones, with rents more than $2,700 a month.

But neither developer Forest City Ratner nor Empire State Development, the state agency overseeing Atlantic Yards, has published the full list of expected rents for the 181 affordable units in the B2 tower, scheduled to open late next year at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street.

Here it is, at right, via the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), pointing to 16 subsidized 2 BR units at $2740 a month.

The chart again reminds us that the devil's in the details, that vaunted 50% market/50% subsidized housing program more precisely includes 20% low-income and 30% moderate- and middle-income. No wonder elected officials trying to speed up the construction of affordable housing would like the housing geared more to more lower-income families.

2 BR units: too few, too costly

The subsidized 2 BR units will range from $648 to $2740 in rent, with an average of $1946. And that number's based on 2012 Area Median Income (AMI), which surely will be higher as of 2014.

Sure, $1946 is below market for a new 2 BR at that location--Forest City expects $4403 for the market-rate 2 BRs--but it's much more than what most people rallying for the affordable housing hope for. As one ACORN member testified poignantly in 2009, "The people in my building cannot afford $2,000/month rent."

As I reported in 2012, Forest City Ratner agreed to increase the number of subsidized 2 BR units from 20 to 36 under pressure from HDC, but only by disproportionately assigning those units to households in the highest affordable "band," those earning up to 160% of AMI: $132,800 for a family of four, or $119,520 for a family of three. (At that point, there were to be 17, not 16, of the most expensive subsidized 2 BR units.)

Family-sized deficit

The average subsidized 1 BR will rent for $1161, while the average subsidized studio will rent for $1078, so the clear deficit is sufficient and lower-priced family-sized units.

With 76 studios, 69 1 BRs, and 36 2 BRs, the building departs significantly from Forest City's pledge in the Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding, incorporated into the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement, that half of the affordable housing--in floor area--be devoted to 2 BR and 3 BR family-sized units.

So, while getting Forest City to increase the number from 20 to 36 was a victory of sorts for HDC, it remains well below what the developer promised.

Doing the math

Here's how I calculated the average rent, multiplying the rent level in each of the five "bands" times the number of units in each band:

  • Studio: (5 x $494) + (26 x $640) + (15 x $939) + (15 x $1437) + (15 x $1810) = $81,900/76 = $1077.63
  • 1 BR: (5 x $533) + (28 x $689) + (15 x $1187) + (16 x $1809) + (5 x $2276) = $80,086/69 = $1160.67
  • 2 BR: (1 x $648) + (9 x $835) + (5 x $1433) + (5 x $2180) + (16 x $2740) =$70,068/36 = $1946.33

Who's affordability for?

Former ACORN chief organizer Wade Rathke wrote 10/18/06, warning about the difference between affordability that reached "the pre yuppie demographic, not people who are systemically poor."

"Affordable in our vernacular means low and moderate income families and individuals," he wrote, leaving out middle-income households. Yet he thought Atlantic Yards would be a solution:
Affordable in reality, whether on the concrete corridors of Nashville or the controversial Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, may just be a “starter” place for the upscale, young demographic wannabes, rather than an answer to the crises of affordable housing that ACORN confronts daily. Unless of course there is a housing deal to actually put real lower income families in the properties which is exactly what the deal with Ratner is in the Atlantic Yards proposal with ACORN, and needs to be what we start putting together in Nashville and so many other cities.
Yes, there would be 20% low-income households in the Atlantic Yards rental units, making up 40% of the affordable housing, or 73 of 181 subsidized units. But with only ten low-income 2 BR units in the first tower, it's a stretch to call this deal a model.

Income eligibility guidelines, as of 2012

Note that AMI, which includes wealthy suburban counties, does not represent Brooklyn income, which is considerably lower.
Income "bands" for B2, first Atlantic Yards tower under construction

Comments

  1. Anonymous11:21 AM

    could you send me updates when availasble and inform me as to when applications become available

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure I will write a post when applications are available

      Delete

Post a Comment

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…

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…

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…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …