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June 12, 2007

The battle over Queens West: the developer, the process, and the income mix

Atlantic Yards Report

Are you struggling to follow the affordable housing debate over Atlantic Yards and how it relates to or infoms development of affordable housing across the city?

Norman Oder has been giving readers an ongoing crash course on the issue. Here's his latest installment:

The process behind a huge affordable housing development planned for Queens West, a 24-acre site the city plans to buy from the Port Authority, presents some interesting contrasts to Atlantic Yards, as well as some potential portents.

First, the city announced plans for the project without anointing a developer, though it has had "secret talks" (in the Times's phrase) about a sole-source process regarding a nonprofit arm of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

Secondly, the city's initial plan for an all-subsidized project geared to moderate- and middle-income families was criticized for bypassing low-income families. Now the city is considering making 40 percent of the project market-rate.

It's another sign that the numbers behind an affordable housing project are constantly shifting; if costs (or pressures for profit) go up, something has to give, and it can be the amenities in the project or, most easily, the income mix, as has already occurred with Atlantic Yards.

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Posted by lumi at June 12, 2007 7:29 AM