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May 25, 2008

Affordable housing DOA

The Brooklyn Paper
by Mike McLaughlin

Here is a story that reminds us: although a developer might tell you that he's providing affordable housing, they only get built when, and if, public funds are available to pay for them.

The leaner, meaner real-estate market has forced one of the city’s major developers to eliminate more than 200 affordable housing units from his 660-apartment complex in Downtown Brooklyn.

John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain and possible mayoral candidate, told The Brooklyn Paper that he is moving ahead with his project, which was halted in February, and that it is now no longer the mixed-income community he originally proposed.


He also couldn’t scrounge up the city and state affordable housing bonds, so he cast off those politically popular below-market-rate units.

The loss of those subsidized apartments provides a cautionary tale for other mega-developments, like Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards, where thousands of affordable units have been indefinitely delayed, that promises of below-market-rate housing are only as strong as the availability of taxpayer subsidies.


Posted by steve at May 25, 2008 8:45 AM