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January 26, 2009

IF YOU CAN’T SELL ’EM, RENT ’EM

The Brooklyn Paper
By Mike McLaughlin

Activity in the luxury condo market around the block from Bruce Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards arena and highrise project paints a bleak picture for the need for more luxury housing in the area:

Sales of luxury apartments in the majestic and phallic Williamsburgh Savings Bank building are so sluggish that the owner will rent the unsold units until the economy improves — the latest proof that the real-estate market has gone to hell in a rent basket.

Brooklyn’s tallest building, once predominantly filled with dental offices and now a 190-unit tower called “One Hanson Place,” earlier this year was proudly boasting of an upper-floor apartment with wraparound views of the New York skyline that cost $6 million, but is now trying to fill the last 19 domiciles with rent ranging from $3,400 to $4,800 per month, according to the Stribling Properties Web site.

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NoLandGrab: One of the more curious details of Ratner's struggle to build Atlantic Yards has been the occasional announcement that the proportion of housing and commercial space has once again changed. When there was a boom in the price of office space, the formerly-known-as Miss Brooklyn signature skyscraper was supposed to be an office tower. As the luxury condo market soared, Ratner changed his mind and added condos. Two different plans were approved by the Public Authorities Control Board to help Ratner continue to hedge his bet, underscoring the fact that neither is truly in demand.

Predictably, none of the promised affordable housing that is being used to promote Ratner's project will get built if the arena and office space-slash-luxury condos are stalled.

Posted by lumi at January 26, 2009 5:01 AM