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December 7, 2008

As city housing agency considers bonds for Albee Square tower, FUREE promises a protest

newalbee.jpg

Atlantic Yards Report

The now-demolished Albee Square Mall site in Downtown Brooklyn is slated to become the CityPoint tower, and the image at right from the CityPoint web site presumably illustrates the target audience.
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FUREE protest

However, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE), a fierce critic of plans emanating from the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning, has called (below) for members to protest the plan, stating, "The developers who bought the historic Albee Square Mall and evicted all the small businesses there are now asking the City for $400 million for the 60 story luxury tower they want to build."

Actually, it's $400 million in low-interest financing, not a $400 million grant. Such bonds, which can carry an interest rate of some 175 basis points less--e.g., 4.25% vs. 6%--are attractive to borrowers. The federal government, which takes the hit on lost interest, limits each state's allocation.

FUREE argues that the building should include 50% low-income affordable housing. (Atlantic Yards, btw, was initially promoted as 50% affordable, given 20% low-income rentals, and 30% middle- and moderate-income rentals among the 4500 rentals, but the addition of 1930 condos--at least 1730 market-rate--would bring the affordability ratio down.)

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Posted by amy at December 7, 2008 9:05 AM