Daily News columnist Denis Hamill, in a typically sycophantic preview, focusing on Forest City CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, wrote, "Located at Carlton Ave. and Dean St. in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, all of the 298 units are destined for low, moderate and middle-income families."
Crain's New York Business reported:
The 298-unit building now underway by Greenland Forest City Partners is known as 535 Carlton Ave. All the units will be designated as affordable. The partnership also plans to immediately begin construction on a 275-unit market-rate condo building at 550 Vanderbilt, and then in June to begin work on 30 Sixth Ave., another 100% affordable building that will contain 300 units.What it means
In total, the two affordable buildings will provide units based on a metric called area median income [AMI], which in New York City was $85,900 for a family of four in 2013.
Of the nearly 600 affordable apartments, about 30 of them will be for families earning up to 40% of AMI, about 150 will be for 60% of AMI, another roughly 30 for families earning 100%, about 90 for families earning 145% and about 300 for families earning up to 165%.
|2014 AMI is actually lower, at $83.900, but AMI when the building opens surelywill be higher|
Note that 40% of the affordable units are supposed to be low-income, but only 30% in the next two buildings would be low-income.
Also note that only 20% of the affordable units are supposed to go to the best-off cohort, earning 140%-160% of AMI, but instead 50% would go to the best-off cohort, earning as much as 165% of AMI.
Changing rent levels
There are multiple ways to make adjustments, thus bringing the developer more revenue. The first, as noted above, is to change the configuration, skewing more of the total affordable units toward middle-income households.
The second, as noted above, is to tweak the bands, raising the percentage of income for each of the cohorts, so, for example, the maximum for low-income households is 60% of AMI rather than 50%,
The third is where the rent levels are set. For the new towers, rents will be set at 37% of AMI, 57% of AMI, 80% of AMI, 130% of AMI, and 160% of AMI. Notably, the latter two figures are above the 120% of AMI and 150% of AMI originally promised.
If rents are based on 160% of AMI, and 2013 AMI is $85,900 (as reported in Crain's), that suggests a four-person household in the top cohort would pay $3,436 for a two-bedroom unit, based on 30% of income.
If rents are based on 160% of AMI, and 2014 AMI is $83,900 (as I was told by city officials), that means a four-person household would pay $3,356 for a two-bedroom units
Due to other adjustments in the calculations, the numbers are slightly different.
As I reported in BKLYNR, low-income two-bedroom units in the next Atlantic Yards towers would rent at $647 and $1,025 a month, if available in 2014, and moderate-income ones would cost $1,458. But those income “bands” make up only 35 percent of the total affordable units. Another 15 percent would rent to a middle-income cohort for which two-bedroom apartments would cost $2,405.
And fully half the units would be reserved for another middle-income group, who’d pay $1,967 for a studio, $2,470 for a one-bedroom, $2,972 for a two-bedroom, and $3,430 for a three-bedroom, according to current projections.
And those numbers surely will go up.