Downtown Shocker: Catsimatidis Puts Myrtle Build on Hold!

Buried deep in this week’s New York Magazine cover story entitled “The Stench of ’89” is this bombshell:

Billionaire and likely mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, whose Red Apple Group is developing a two-block complex on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, is putting the brakes on the project until the lending situation shakes itself out.

Holy moly! At least the two neighboring projects—BFC’s condo project at 150 Myrtle and Avalon Bay’s rental development at 157 Myrtle—appear to be proceeding at full speed. Think there will be other announcements like this in the Downtown area in the coming weeks?
The Stench of ’89 [New York Magazine]

0 Comment

  • Its the Fat Lady singing..

    First Ratner and his financiers at Goldman Sachs get cold feet, now this guy!

  • Of course there will be more announcements like this. The credit crunch is still unfolding and housing prices around the country are in freefall.

  • Would you guys please hold off until The What can unload his vitriol?

  • I think they should turn it into a park, a little Ft Greene pk.

  • what is the area around 150 myrtle like ?

    i submitted an application and i am curios

    as to if it is a decent spot

  • Hey, the big picture is all well and good, but this is a disaster locally for the residents of Ingersoll and Whitman. I know the road to riches is paved with other people’s money, but is The Big Cat really reliant on lenders to get this project done?

    More likely IMO, he’s taken the temperature of the market and decided not to bring hundreds of apartments on-line in a glut. Or else, his lack of experience with residential development is proving to be a liability, or both.

  • why disaster for Ingersoll and Whitman?

  • Here’s hoping the looming 421a expiration induces developers to move forward and get foundations in by June, stoking the glut and bringing housing prices down to affordable levels.

    Remember, if a project does not have a foundation in by that time, bye bye tax benefits. That means owners of development sites will have to sell them for less to make up the difference. But if you already overpaid for the land, you’re hosed.

  • 10:28, Catsimatidis tore down all the local shopping, including the supermarket, laundry and “pharmacy” (or whatever you call those chain general merchandise stores). It was one thing to deal with this for a couple years until the new buildings up and tenanted with new stores. But if the residents of the developments are going to be without retail for — let’s say five years based on some recent reports on the state of the market — that is a disaster.

  • There is major turmoil in the credit markets. All commercial and construction lending has come to a halt. Atlantic Yards may not be built. The government is losing tax revenue from falling house prices and less consumer spending. If this happens government can’t give subsidies to developers. In the coming weeks this issue will pick up steam. Developers would rather walk away now than get hurt down the road.

    The What (See Electric Shock Therapy Works)

    Someday this war is gonna end……

    Company Default Risk Rises as U.S., Japan, U.K. Signal Slowdown

  • Thanks for clarifying 10:40. Yes that is certainly a bit of an inconvenience.

  • Not nearly vitriolic enough to be The What.

  • There goes Admirals Row!! The City will have to put a supermarket in now.

  • So he’s just going to leave the huge site vacant and blighted? Sigh. The time to make a decision like this is pre-demolition.

  • oh MAN, is he also going to leave that completely intrusive sidewalk shed sitting there for FIVE years?? It narrows the sidewalk on that part of Myrtle to the point of uselessness. One side effect that you may not be thinking of: people in wheelchairs are unable to use the sidewalk (and the bus stop seen in the bottom right of this photo).

    My other question is: if the flatbush & myrtle developments down the street are finished before Cat. decides to go forward on this project, who in their right mind will move into them?

  • If this is true – dumb dumb dumb…. the guy is a billionaire (allegedly) of course he can secure financing and with interest rates low and 421a expiring there is no better time to build then now – its still going to take 2-3 years to complete and by then the shakeout will be over.

  • Yes, this is definitely the kind of insightful and forward-thinking guy we want as mayor.

  • 11:15 – Interest rates aren’t low for business lending. That’s the point.

  • Actually they are low – however Banks are reluctant to lend. But given the guys capital, some Bank/Fin Institution will be willing to lend to him and if he were smart he’d take it. Whatever the extra capital requirements are now the overall picture will be worse in the future when Interest rates are a point or two higher and no 421(a)

  • 11:34, you have no idea. Commercial lending rates, if they even exist, are not cheap right now and they’re not getting any cheaper – there’s no liquidity. I’m sure if you could line up cheap rates for him, he would take it.

  • Is this how he’ll conduct business for the city if elected mayor? How long will I have to live around the corner from this blight? There should be penalties for demolishing perfectly viable businesses without rebuilding.

  • Whoever is representing those poor people in the projects should be thrown out of office and placed in jail. How did the city allow a billionaire to eliminate all the essential services like easy access to food, medicine, laundry, and sidewalk space? Now, he gets to decide when he will restore those services. If I had a lawyer and he did not represent me properly and I lost my case based on his/her incompetence, I would be able to sue for malpractice. What is the charge against a incompetant politician? Do anyone know their names? PLEASE POST THEIR NAMES AND OFFICE NUMBERS.

  • This is a flipping tactic. Mark my words people. He probably has already sold this site to another developer.

  • Story is incorrect – financing has been secured

  • Well 12:29 actually raises an interesting point…despite what the article says and despite the hysteria on this thread….the key question is IS WORK STILL GOING ON AT THE SITE? Is there anyone who lives close to the site who can confirm whether or not work is being done? I have not been by there for a couple weeks, but I could have sworn that excavation was moving forward (albeit slowly).

  • 12:29,12:44 = developer’s asswipes!

  • HYSTERIA…hysteria is not the word to use when you think about what this developer, with the blessing of the city and a few shady politicians have done to the local services of hundreds of people. PEOPLE DAMMIT

  • 12:44 is definately an ASSWIPE.

  • So, Rea Apple Group, which owns the Gristedes chain, tore down the existing supermarket?


  • “Story is incorrect – financing has been secured”

    Please provide your source.

  • Plus you have shills like Brownstoner hyping this shit up. Build Build Faster Faster Pussycat. These places will be future Homeless Shelters.

    Atlantic Yards is cooked also. LMMFAO see Credit Markets.

    The What (Just Getting Started)

    Someday the building is gonna end…..

  • “Think there will be other announcements like this in the Downtown area in the coming weeks?”

    No bombshell. I don’t know about the coming weeks but I do know that the global financial system is on life support. The most efficient solution is to pull the plug and let Armageddon run it’s course. For more information, visit the following site.

  • “why disaster for Ingersoll and Whitman?”

    Seriously, I’d call it a break. It’s degentrificational.

  • “But if the residents of the developments are going to be without retail for — let’s say five years based on some recent reports on the state of the market — that is a disaster.”

    Mom and Pop (style retail) will have their back. The nabe doesn’t need a supermall.

  • First I am a resident of University Towers which is directly adjacent to the Red Apple project. They are digging right now at 2pm on 2/6. This project is not on hold.

    Second, I have no idea why the Ingersoll and Whitman Tenants need another supermarket so bad when there is a fully stocked nice medium sized local supermarket on the corner of Myrtle and Carlton.

    Third is that there are multiple phases to this build, and some are well underway. They have probably only put part of the overall project on hold.

    The article is not completely clear on the subject and nothing is certain until Catsimatidis issues his own statement.

  • 12:54 – why does wondering if work is going on (which it apparently is) make someone an “developer’s asswipes”???

  • I posted at 12:44 and I used the word “hysteria” to describe the previous posts on the thread, which some people apparently took offense to. The point of my original post was that before we talk about impeaching Catsimatidis (before he even runs for mayor) and other elected officials, let’s find out whether the project is on hold or not (thus the request to find out if they are still digging…thanks 1:56!). Ingersoll and Whitman are not the only folks that have a vested interest in the project…I lived in University Towers for 10 years and recently bought at ORO (i’m temporarily in Prospect Heights until ORO is complete). There are a lot of people in the myrtle-ashland corridor with a vested interest in making sure that the project gets completed from both and essential services and general asthetics perspective.

  • Over on Wired New York, a poster named “ASCHWARZ” just posted the following:

    “I don’t think this NY Mag article is accurate.

    The Catsimatidis Mrytle project is fully financed and will include mandatory affordable units per recent HPD negotiations. Maybe by “delay” they mean a few months for steel or whatever, but the project has financing and there is also city money involved for the affordable units.”

  • Why would anyone vote for a developer for mayor? Wouldn’t that be like putting oil CEOs in charge of energy policy? Like putting a wall street CEO in charge of the Fed? Like putting the governor of New Jersey in charge of the EPA? That’s crazy!

  • “Over on Wired New York, a poster named “ASCHWARZ” just posted the following:”

    Anybody have a REAL source?

  • Mr. What — I believe the proper phrasing would be “Faster, Pussycat! Build! Build!”

  • Of course, it has hit the Northeast.

    Example in Providence which is now official WAY overbuilt.

    Rhode Island had very slow new housing numbers for decades. It really did not experience suburban sprawl post-WWII.

    In fact, the population is lower than during the 1920’s and there were actually too many housing units in Providence for the population for a long time.

    Then this latest boom happened and with Providence within commuting distance of Boston and the population changing it became an attractive Northeast city for lots of aging boomers. Not just boomers came of course…it has excellent private education for spoiled kids, Brown and RISD, Johnson and W(h)ales, etc. and the city has lots of gorgeous, historic houses and buildings…is known for it’s great restaurants and has a very vibrant club scene. For a city its size it also has an active theater scene…provincial but it keeps the locals happy. Suddenly housing pressure happened for the first time in our lifetime and prices went crazy.

    Anyway, the developers went WILD, simply wild thinking the city needed new high rises and in a few years threw up huge apartment towers in downtown (Down City) Providence. Along with these new hotels, a new mall, and lots of high-end chain steakhouses and the like.

    So, the latest news?: the Westin’s HUGE luxury tower has sold 5 whole units…that’s FIVE units only and the building is big enough to stand out in parts of the NYC skyline! Certainly would stand out in Brooklyn! Now, two other big towers are almost complete. Crazy…

    I think developers were hoping on the Boston commuters since the train’s right near these buildings.

    It is like we’re watching a slideshow in a class called Financial Failure 101. All the dumbest things have unfolded in predictable ways like a case study. Hhhh…

    And now we’re seeing it Brooklyn. Gosh, all these developers got on the band wagon so late! Oh, well…Money see. Money do.

  • ashwartz likely knows more about the project than the author of the nymag article. i’m not joking.

    7:18 – small difference between brooklyn and providence – one is next to manhattan, the other is not next to manhattan.

    someone may want to go observe the level of activity at this work site, and also ask the nymag writer how he/she is getting to his/her statement. then see where you come out.

  • Once again, BrooklynLove proves to be an idiotic booster with no grasp of the facts.


    “Supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis is putting his massive Myrtle Avenue project on hold because of troubles with financing that could affect other Brooklyn projects, he confirmed to the Eagle…

    He said the $500 million in bonds needed to construct the project is not available…

    He wouldn’t name specific projects, but did acknowledge that other large housing developments in the vicinity of Downtown Brooklyn, also counting on bond financing, could be put on hold.

  • Cat’s reference to “other large housing developments in the vicinity of Downtown Brooklyn, also counting on bond financing, could be put on hold…” sounds like Atlantic Yards, no?

  • ok, anon. believe what you want.