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

New York City pursuing modular housing, but for mid-rise buildings, not towers; 461 Dean dissed, defended

From the Real Deal yesterday, Affordable is going mod: City wants developers to take on prefab construction, an indication that Forest City Ratner's modular experiment, which led to the delay- and litigation-plagued 32-story 461 Dean, was too ambitious:
The city’s Department of Housing Development and Preservation on Thursday will issue a request for information and interest in building modular housing for low-income tenants and seniors. Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said on Wednesday that the city aims to “crack the code” on mid-rise multifamily development, in the hopes this will be “a new chapter for modular.”
“One thing we’ve learned is don’t try to do high rise,” she said. “That’s a nut we’ll crack later.”
How big?

One reason is that a taller building adds to the potential for "tolerance" issues--i.e., the possibility of ill-fitting connections compounding over a period of time.

 What's a mid-rise? The answers vary, with some saying five to ten floors, or four to twelve, with some New York City buildings reaching 16 floors. But even the tallest is half the size of 461 Dean.

Note that Roger Krulak, the former Forest City executive who bought the firm's modular plant (at a fire sale?) told Fast.Co Design in 2016 that he wasn't as ambitious: "Our sweet spot for modular in an urban environment is in the 10-to-18-story, 80,000-to-120,000-square-foot buildings."

Defending 461 Dean

According to the Real Deal:
A representative for Forest City declined to comment but noted that “461 Dean Street is today a productive and well-leased asset that is providing much-needed affordable housing to Brooklyn.”
That's not untrue, given that "well-leased" means 92% (as of 2/1/18). Much of the affordable housing--the low- and moderate-income units, at least, representing 60% of the 181 units--is surely much-needed.

However, last September, the developer put some affordable two-bedroom units, renting for $3,012 in the upper (of two) middle-income band, up for rent outside the lottery, since not enough takers could be found.

As to "productive," that's vague, so not untrue either. No retail unit has been leased, though, and the developer's lost big money on the project, which is why it's up for sale, and will be used for tax purposes to counter gains on other corporate dispositions.




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