Skip to main content

Featured Post

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

As de Blasio cruises to re-election, new subsidies to build condos and co-ops (remember AY pledge?)

Yesterday's election, in New York City at least, seemingly means more of the same, with all the key incumbents re-elected, with little drama. As the New York Times put it, in De Blasio Coasts to Re-election, as Second-Term Challenges Await:
Yet Mr. de Blasio’s ability to deliver on his agenda may have far more to do with the winds blowing out of Washington and Albany than with circumstances in the five boroughs.
Federal budget cuts — threatened by President Trump and the Republican-led Congress, especially to social programs, health care and public housing — could cause serious problems and exacerbate social ills, forcing Mr. de Blasio to do financial triage. That could potentially drain money from signature programs, like his promise to accelerate and expand a push to build and preserve affordable housing.
Similarly, Jarrett Murphy wrote in City Limits, The Election Changed Nothing in NYC. But Change is Coming All the Same.:
The city’s population is growing. While the 2006 PlaNYC project of 9 million residents by 2030 looks to have been about 10 years too early, that growth is still projected to be steady. That underlies the discussions about density and rezoning, and the adequacy of services like transit and parks as well. And Census 2020 will establish where those new people are, and trigger some reshifting of district lines.

A huge hit could be on its way from the federal government. Two of Mayor de Blasio’s deputy mayors and his budget director will hold a briefing on Wednesday on the potential impact of the Congressional Republican tax plan on city finances.
New funding for affordable condos

According to a paywalled Politico article by Sally Goldenberg and Gloria Pazmino, summarized in the morning Playbook newsletter, Mayor Bill de Blasio has some housing announcements coming:
The upcoming details, which sources shared with POLITICO, focus on how the mayor will grow his initial housing plan by 50 percent. De Blasio will devote resources to a new program called "Open Door" for the construction of about 1,300 co-ops and condos for first-time homebuyers, according to the sources. Another new initiative, "Home Fix," would assist struggling homeowners with repairs. To maximize the use of a depleting stock of available land, the city plans to build housing for cash-strapped senior citizens on underused public lots.
(Emphasis added)

That's interesting. As I wrote in May 2015:
The promise to build 600 to 1000 for-sale affordable units at or near the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park site has always been murky.

Now there are some more details, thanks to a recently unveiled LLC agreement between original developer Forest City Ratner and new joint venture partner/overseer Greenland Holdings.

First, the total looks to be 600 rather than 1000. That's unsurprising. Second, beyond the 200 units already pledged to be on-site, which would be the responsibility of Greenland Forest City Partners, the other 400 units would be solely Forest City's responsibility.
Since then, there's been radio silence about affordable condos, which were said, according to the 2005 Housing Memorandum of Understanding, "It is currently contemplated that a majority of the affordable for-sale units will be sold to families in the upper affordable income tiers."

So that means households earning six figures, as with those rentals that are so hard to find takers for. That said, presumably for political and public relations purposes, some slice of de Blasio's condos would go to more moderate-income households.

But if the city will be assisting only 1,300 co-ops and condos, every developer--and, heck, nonprofit organization--will be vying for those scarce subsidies. Stay tuned to see whether Greenland Forest City can garner subsidies for onsite units, or Forest City--which does not have land available nearby, as far as I know--can garner subsidies for offsite ones.

From today's tabloids