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September 17, 2009

ESDC agrees to allow a project cut by one-third; affordable housing depends on availability of subsidies

Atlantic Yards Report

Forest City Ratner provided the bait, now the Empire State Developerment Corporation delivers the switch.

According to the Technical Memorandum issued by the Empire State Development Corporation in June, the Atlantic Yards project (residential version) was to be 7,961,000 square feet, including a 850,000 square foot arena.

However, according to board materials distributed today, the project would include a 675,000 square foot arena and "improvements containing at least Four Million Four Hundred Seventy Thousand (4,470,000) gross square feet (exclusive of the square footage of the Arena)."

That's a total of 5,145,000 square feet, or a little less than 65% of 7,961,000 square feet.

What about affordable housing?

That 4,470,000 gross square feet presumably could not include 1930 condos, 4500 units of mixed-income rentals (2250 subsidized "affordable" units), and an office tower.

What could be cut? Obviously, if the condo market and office market don't improve, they'd be cut. What about the rentals?

The proposed development agreement also includes "no less than Two Thousand Two Hundred Fifty (2,250) affordable housing units, subject to governmental authorities making available to Party B or its applicable successor or assign, after good faith review by the applicable administering agency, affordable housing subsidies consistent with then applicable programs rules and standards then generally available to developers of affordable housing units."
(Emphasis added)

In other words, the affordable housing gets built only if there are subsidies. And there's no proof, as I've written, that the ESDC has done due diligence to check whether such subsidies would be available.

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NoLandGrab: [Still speechless].

Posted by eric at September 17, 2009 4:11 PM