City Calls for Proposals, Wants 30 Percent Affordable on Last Two Towers in BBP

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Monday, the city put out a request for proposals for the last two towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Now the city wants to make 30 percent of the possible 430 units there affordable, according to a story in The New York Times.

Apparently Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. President Regina Myer is now on board with the plan. She said even with the affordable component, the two towers on Pier 6 will “generate more than $70 million in acquisition fees and $3.5 million a year in revenue for the park.”

The two additional towers would go in where parking lots are now. They would be located between One Brooklyn Bridge, pictured above, and Atlantic Avenue.

As has been well covered here, park and housing activists are all over the map on the proposal, with some opposing any additional housing of any sort in the park. Further thoughts?

Update: While the Times said the city put out the RFP Monday, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. put out the request for proposals along with a press release today. You can see them here.

Brooklyn Development Plan Stirs Debates on Affordable Housing and Park Funding [NY Times]

32 Comment

  • Hopefully one or both of the new buildings will also have parking — the garage at One Brooklyn Bridge Park is generally pretty mobbed.

  • This may be a silly question, but if these are to be condo’s , then how could there be an affordability component? Or, does the affordability only come into play if these are built as rental apartments? Anyone?

    • lots of condos have affordable components. usually a separate kinda attached building with separate entrance/address that are rentals.

    • It means that they would be priced differently for people under a certain income: http://www.nyc.gov/html/fhnyc/html/opportunities/opportunities.shtml

      That said, we dont need anymore affordible housing in Brooklyn. We have enough low income and middle income already. DeBlasio needs to give it a rest.

      • There are plenty of places where affordable housing can and should be built in Brooklyn but this is not one of them. These sites have extraordinary revenue producing potential because of the locations and that should be the primary objective

        • i sure hope they aren’t getting those stupid tax abatements that all the awesome revenue generating new construction that’s been built since 2006 are getting.

          • I’m sure they are but just because they are abated abd deferred doesn’t mean they won’t be huge once that period runs out. Discounted future cash flows.

          • Considering that the entire point of allowing housing to be built here is to generate revenue. it wouldn’t make any sense to allow a tax abatement on the market rate only buildings. But it’s a different matter if the buildings are 30% affordable.

          • “i will pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today”

        • Totally agree. While I support the affordable housing goals, it doesn’t need to be in the top prime locations. These buildings already serve a public purpose by subsidizing a public park. I actually think the location here won’t harm the park at all since they are really around the periphery.

          What about an offsite affordable component if these new buildings must be part of the push? You should pay a million dollars for a million dollar view.

          • Ok – these buildings are not serving a “public purpose” by subsidizing a park. By that logic, any building that pays taxes in the City serves a public purpose. The buildings are making PILOT payments (Payments in Lieu of Taxes), so rather than pay property taxes that goes to the City’s general fund, that money is going directly to the entity formed to maintain the park. It’s a diversion of money. Further, tax money is being used to build the park, not payments from these buildings. Regardless what your opinion is on building in BBP, these buildings are not serving a “public purpose”.
            Technically, the City could build the park, assess the value of the properties at a higher value because the property is more valuable (b/c of the park) and get to the same place as they are right now in dollars.

  • Iames, I am not following this closely enough to know whether anything like this will be propsed for the BBP site, but there are affordable limited equity ownership models, including Mitchell-Lama and Housing Development Fund Corporations, among others.

  • I don’t lnow how the abatement laws work so I am not really sure but, davfgreene, you are right, they aren’t really necessary here and if there are no abatements, even more strongly support my view.

  • I agree that there is no point to an abatement if this is all to be market. I also think if this is going to generate enough revenues with the affordable set-aside to exceed the park’s needs AND profit whoever develops this, an abatement is probably not necessary even with the affordable component. The location is too valuable and the build too big to need the abatement as an incentive. OTOH, if the incentive is as of right under existing law, then it is factored into everyone’s pricing and it would be wrong to take it away.

    It seems to mne the options are:
    1. Full market, as is, full build — but this does nothing for either the dB admin’s goal of creating more affordable housing or the consituency that wants smaller scale development here.
    2. Full build with the 30% affordable component. It will be interesting to see what the propsoals look like.
    3. Full build at full market, with some of the extra revenues generated from skipping the 30% affordable component designated for developing affordable housing elsewhere — query whether this would generagte more total affordable units.
    4. 100% market rate but scaled back to match the revenue projections of the RFP to meet some of the density concerns.

  • As a former member of the Green Guerrillas, I can’t wait until the environmental activists get involved. The petition against this is 800+ strong after only 6 days. de Blasio is going to lose a lot of his brooklyn base with this inane plan. The entire argument for housing in the park was for revenue. His plan undercuts that argument. So why are we building houses in a public park? Not to mention the fact that the Obama administration’s climate change views make de Blasio look so out of touch. He should back pedal before this becomes a boat anchor for his campaign.
    http://www.change.org/petitions/bill-de-blasio-stop-brooklyn-bridge-park-pier-6-development-gone-awry

  • every BBP building should have more hipsters or students whose rich parents want to buy them a piece of luxury living. that’s what i call affordable living!

  • First off, my position is no more housing in the park, its got enough going on already, and then, second, housing only as a “necessary evil”

    But, as a taxpayer, while its nice that Ms Myer can get money from the affording housing component, I’d like to know what the “opportunity cost” is — if these same apt were to be sold at market rates instead? One can discount the future tax abatement expirations too…

    They that total “opportunity cost” then divide by the number of people who will be living in this affordable housing, and get the cost to the taxpayers of putting affordable housing here .. and then add on top of THAT COST the further degradation of a park… enjoyed by 100k people in ONE weekend.

  • many buildings in NYC survived Sandy despite being in areas that flooded. the technology to build such has been around for quite some time but the Greenies will use it without really knowing the facts as with most of what they do

  • Build affordable housing on one of the most valuable properties in all of New York City. Just brilliant, De Bozo.

  • Those commenting insinuating that somehow the poor/middle class don’t deserve to live in this “prime location” have just an asinine and sophomoric mindset. Please tell me why those who need affordable housing can’t get a chance to live by the park? Besides not having the income of the oligarchy who run this country.

    • Really? For the same reason that rent control, stabilization etc. should be eliminted. A lottery win for a few with the balance of the market picking up the slack. Affordable housing here would be the housing equivalent of winning Mega Millions. It also makes no economic sense to put affordable housing on some of the most valuable land in the city. The rationale for “any” housing in the park was to defray the costs of its upkeep. The more expensive the housing the more money to the park. Would you suggest housing with an “affordable component in Central Park, Prospect Park? It makes as little sense here.

      • On a purely practical level, there is no place for lower income people to shop in this neighborhood. So while the housing may be affordable, nothing else in the neighborhood is.

    • As soon as someone uses the tired old cliché “oligarchy,” I tune out.

  • If the purpose of the housing is to support the park, it is absurd and illogical to include affordable housing here. If the city is requesting 30% affordable, that means the building can be 30% smaller and provide the same support for the park with that much less mass.

    • It’s part of De Bozo’s “progressive” agenda. In fact, the guy can’t make a speech or have a press conference without throwing the word “progressive” out a half a dozen times.

      Such a contract to Ed Koch. In Congress, Koch was a liberal’s liberal. But from the first day on the job, he threw out his ideology and based his decisions on what the thought was best for New York City. Too bad De Bozo hasn’t learned a lesson.

  • The building may get built but generations will regret not having a park that is green and open. They will wonder why a mayor put queens-like towers in Brooklyn and put private housing a public park while his own park was open and clear. Hopefully the mayor will start to feel more secure in his position and take a more enlightened stance. Until then, hit the pols hard — let them know they will NEVER have your vote if they support this. And don’t let Levin or Squadron off the hook with their mealy-mouthed dithering either. Action people — it is all about action. Rebel. Expose their hypocrisy. Keep your eye on their back-room deals and broadcast your disapproval. Use Twitter BilldeBlasio #SavePier6 (and hit levin and Squadron with your tweets). Call their offices directly.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/bill-de-blasio-stop-brooklyn-bridge-park-pier-6-development-gone-awry

  • I don’t really understand the argument as to why additional housing should not be built in BBP? The only somewhat reasonable rationale i’ve heard thus far is the point that residents may make a ‘stink’ over say concerts or other organized activities in their backyard>? Other than that, what’s the problem? Has anyone bothered to look where these 2 particular buildings are to be located? They basically abut Furman Street near the entrance on Atlantic. Its not as though their location will obstruct anything. One Brooklyn Bridge is already there and these 2 footprints are relatively small. These wont be expansive type buildings taking up tremendous amounts of park space at all. Both buildings will be tall and thin.

    RE: Affordable Housing…completely ridiculous to provide affordable housing at such a desirable location. Let the market dictate who can, and can’t live here. Not the government. Hoping DeBozo is a 1 term’er.