Skip to main content

As plans for B3 emerge, rising rents; most units for $100K+ households; $20M more in tax-exempt bonds; disconnect with Final SEIS

Rendering of 38 6th Avenue,
On Monday, March 30, I attended the extremely brief hearing held by the New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYC HDC) on planned tax-exempt funding for numerous projects, including B3, the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park tower known as 38 Dean Street.

The 243-foot, 23-story tower, also known as 38 6th Avenue, will be built at the southeast corner of the arena block, on land once occupied by several row houses, including the one that housed Freddy's Bar and Backroom. It's designed by SHoP Architects--also responsible for the arena and two other arena block towers, one under construction.

B3 will include 303 subsidized units, though the affordability deserves scrutiny. Most two-bedroom units will cost over $3,000, and well over half the units will go to households earning more than $100,000.

Subsidized units are skewed toward middle-income households rather than, as long promised, spread more broadly.

A small revelation

Attending the hearing were three Forest City staffers and a p.r. person, three people from NYC HDC, and one representative of another developer. Since no one was there to testify, the meeting ended as soon as it formally opened.


But it was useful in a couple of ways.

For one thing, in the few weeks between NYC HDC's announcement (excerpted above) that $75 million in tax-exempt funding was expected for this 100% affordable building, the fact sheet distributed at the meeting (left, click to enlarge, also reproduced at bottom) indicated that $95 million would be sought.

I followed up by asking why, and was told, "The total loan amount has increased closer to $95M due to income from the commercial space and increased 2015 AMI [Area Median Income] rents."

Note that NYC HDC had told me they would provide information about the tower before the meeting, but did not do so.

Increased rents

Indeed, rents are increasing--a good jump from the 2014 Area Median 
Income, but less so from the 2013 AMI.

Note that the "Area" in question includes not just New York City's five boroughs but also wealthy suburbs, which means a significant disconnect with the Brooklyn median income.

(The Brooklyn median income is $46,085, but for a household of 2.73 people, not 4 people, so it deserves an adjustment upward for four.)
The 2013 AMI = $85,900 for four-person household
The 2014 AMI = $83,900
The 2015 AMI = $86,300
Income maximums for new residents

Based on the new AMI, here are the income maximums for residents in the building. Note that the bands are higher than those promised in the Affordable Housing Memorandum Forest City Ratner signed with ACORN, thus still qualifying as affordable--as long as residents pay 30% or less of income for rent--but to better-off households.



Incomes at which rents will be set

The rents will be calculated at a discount from the maximum income; residents will pay 30% of the figures in the table below.


Potential rent, number of units

Below is my calculation of the rents for each unit, taking 30% of the figures in each box above and dividing by 12 monthly payment. The number of units per band is an estimate, since, as footnoted, some units may have more people, and they will pay a higher rent.

But it's clear that the building is skewed to Band 5--middle-income households.


From the Final SEIS

It's curious that the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Final SEIS), issued by Empire State Development in June, assumed that the income range in the affordable housing would follow those long used for the project--with low-income bands maxing at 50%, and middle income bands at 160%--rather than the higher figure already agreed to by NYC HDC in May regarding the next two towers. (see letter at bottom here).

Planned configuration in B3 and B14, the two new all-affordable towers

Also, only 20% of the affordable units--not 50%--were supposed to be in Band 5, and 40% of the units--not 30%--were supposed to be in the two low-income bands.
From Final SEIS, Executive Summary

The fact sheet for B3 (aka 38 6th Avenue)


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.


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…

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 …