Forest City: Building Affordable Housing at Atlantic Yards ‘Turns Out Not To Be So Easy’

The Wall Street Journal highlights the disappointment so many people are feeling about the failure thus far of the Atlantic Yards project to create a single one of the 6,400 units of affordable housing developer Forest City Ratner promised during its multi-year sales pitch to the city. “They should do the affordable housing up front, now,” said Assemblyman James Brennan. “The only legitimate selling point for the entire project was the affordable housing.” It turns out that this makes Atlantic Yards more of the rule than the exception: Big real estate projects “rarely get developed as planned.” That’s the finding of a recent Regional Planning Association study. As in the case of Atlantic Yards, it’s much easier for a developer to say what the public wants to hear and then fudge, delay and renegotiate its way out of the tough stuff later on. MaryAnne Gilmartin, executive vice president at Forest City Ratner, said that the developer really did intend to make one-third of the residential units at the Downtown Brooklyn location affordable, “But it turns out not to be so easy.”
Housing Pieces Delayed [Wall Street Journal]
Photo from Ditmas Park Corner

14 Comment

  • I believe the intent all along was to put the low-income housing in Crown Heights, or another low-income neighborhood. Let’s keep it real.

  • I believe the intent all along was to put the low-income housing in Crown Heights, or another low-income neighborhood. Let’s keep it real.

  • Ratner never had the money to fund the building of the stadium alone. He expanded the project to include housing, ensuring the project funding to the level where he could build the stadium. The politicians,you know which ones, jumped on board as Ratner must have plied their campaigns with donations for the many years he has developed in Brooklyn. The housing, parking, and traffic congestion problems were things that had to be known in advance. The thing that got taken care of first was the completion the stadium. They rest of the project has kind of manana feeling to it.

  • If FCR is smart they will state that they will begin building the affordable housing tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is always in the future.

  • The plan, as I understand it, was to cross-subsidize affordable condos by selling ‘unaffordable’ condos. That no longer works so well, as financing the latter so hard now, and due to the housing crash didn’t work at all in 2008-2010 when the plan was set to go forward. How they’ll do thousands of affordable units in the next few years, I don’t know.

    • brownstoneshalfoff

      “The plan, as I understand it, was to cross-subsidize affordable condos by selling ‘unaffordable’ condos. That no longer works so well”

      But but but I thought BK was back! Listen, when Greece exits the Euro, it’ll all come crashing down.

      ***Half Peak Comps Euroding***

  • I love when they say they will build ‘affordabe” housing, because they really know what they build now is NOT really affordable to the regular working class people.

    and the best is when they they do build affordable housing, it is still triple the amount of what i pay for in my building for a much larger space.

  • Atlantic Yards will go down in the history books as the biggest bait and switch every pulled on the city of New York. Unfortunately, it had to happen here in this borough we love. . . . The ESDC should be disbanded, and its “members” thrown in jail. . . . All we Brooklynites are going to get out of this deal is that gargantuan cockroach crouched on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic. . . . And no, I am not excited to see the an all-male basketball team play. And i suspect I am not alone, since, like fifty percent of the population, I am female. . . . .

  • I hope no one is surprised by this. You could see it coming a mile away. They never intended for there to be any significant “affordable housing.” Not to mention that their upper cut off for the “affordable housing” was something like $110K. Those are not the people who need true affordable housing.

  • East New York

    “And no, I am not excited to see the an all-male basketball team play. And i suspect I am not alone, since, like fifty percent of the population, I am female”

    2011 NBA annual attendance, top five teams: 5,005,003

    Total 2011 WNBA annual attendance: 404,607