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June 10, 2007

The moving target of affordable housing, and a borough president's boost

Atlantic Yards Report

Note that, despite Markowitz's fervor for the Atlantic Yards project, his budget is way too small to boost the project, more than one-third of which would be financed by scarce--at this point, too scarce--tax-exempt bonds.

It might seem that nonprofit developers have the edge over for-profit developers because they don't have to deliver a return to shareholders. Indeed, for-profit developers are hardly clamoring to build projects that contain only affordable units.

Then again, for-profit developers often build mixed-income housing--as planned for Atlantic Yards--rather than 100% affordable housing. And for-profit developers might argue that nonprofit organizations would have trouble building at a site as complicated as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Vanderbilt Yard; indeed, the only competing bidder after Forest City Ratner had been anointed was another for-profit developer, Extell.

On the other hand, were Atlantic Yards footprint, or simply the Vanderbilt Yard, divided into several parcels, and different goals were set, for-profit and nonprofit developers might compete for different projects.

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Posted by amy at June 10, 2007 11:11 AM