Ever since the city’s 421-a tax exemption program expired in January, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) have been negotiating under what terms to extend and/or modify the program. Both groups took part in what the city believes were “secret talks” with Governor Cuomo over the summer, after which he released his proposal to revise 421-a with wage subsidies for construction workers. REBNY was concerned about this stipulation, claiming it would increase construction costs by up to 30 percent, but a press release sent yesterday evening reports that they’ve reached an agreement with the Trades Council to move ahead with Cuomo’s version of the plan, which, in addition to setting a $60 hourly wage for qualifying projects in Manhattan and $45 in Brooklyn and Queens, extends the tax breaks up to 35 years (up from de Blasio’s proposed 25 years) and mandates newly created affordable units be kept in place for 40 years.
555Ten, an Extell building that would be affected by the 421-a changes
As 6sqft reported last week, Governor Cuomo, developers, and unions have been engaging in closed-door talks to bring forth his revision of the city’s 421-a program that includes wage subsidies and an extension of the previous 25-year tax break up to 45 years. Glaringly (but not surprisingly) absent from the negotiations is Mayor de Blasio, but he’s now taking matters into his own hands, at least when it comes to those under-construction buildings that got in to the program before it expired in January. According to the Times, the de Blasio administration introduced a new policy that says these projects must include housing for some of the 60,000 New Yorkers currently living in homeless shelters, but developers, particularly Extell’s Gary Barnett, are not happy about the changes.
The city’s hotly debated 421-a tax abatement program expired in January after a 44-year run. CityRealty reports that the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development has seen the number of applications for tax exemption decrease by 45 percent from that time to September 2016, costing the city $1.2 billion this fiscal year. Over the summer, the Governor presented a revised version of the program that would offer wage subsidies to construction workers, but this drew concern from the Real Estate Board of New York, who say the proposal would cause construction costs to rise by up to 30 percent. Now, Politico reports that Cuomo, developers, and unions have been engaging in closed-door negotiations to bring his plan forward and extend the previous 25-year tax break up to 45 years (REBNY and the Mayor had presented a 35-year extension last summer).
The latest lottery through the city’s affordable housing portal is for two units in a brand-new Greenpoint building. Located at 126 India Street in the heart of the neighborhood–just a couple blocks from the Grenenpoint Avenue G train station, three blocks from the waterfront, and right near all the hot spots like Ovenly, Troost, and the Water Table–the eight-unit building has high ceilings, heated floors in the bathrooms, washers/dryers, and high-end appliances. The two apartments up for grabs are a $904/month studio and a $1,039/month one-bedroom.
On this past January 1, the 421-a tax abatement program expired after 44 years in existence. Any new construction permitted before January will still benefit from the program, but many want to know what the expiration of this program mean for new construction? And how will the projects still under the 421-a umbrella use their reduced tax status to promote their buildings? While some experts feel that shutting down the abatement was an action long overdue, many others believe that the program’s end has prompted “a self-created recession.”
When it comes to affordable housing, the Bronx is booming. 6sqft previously reported that proposals were being heard to bring 1,665 affordable apartments to the site of the Bronx Zoo-bordering Lambert Houses, which would double the development’s current affordable housing units, triple the existing retail space, create a new public school, and help to better integrate the community into the surrounding neighborhood. As reported by the Times, Phipps Houses, the complex’s nonprofit owner and developer, has moved ahead on plans to demolish the existing 14 buildings and build taller towers, a project that’s gotten a $600 million price tag.
Rockaway Beach is having a rebirth of sorts as more and more New Yorkers head for its waters on the hottest of days. On top of new restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, surf clubs and other hipster hotspots popping up along its main drags, now comes an opportunity to live in a brand-new construction at 9306 Shore Front Parkway, just steps from the sand. Per the NYC Housing Connect, households of up to six earning 40, 50 or 150 percent of the area median income can now apply for 63 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments priced between $494 and $2120.
This may be your opportunity to live in one of northern Brooklyn’s most transformative new developments. Starting today, both low- and middle-income New Yorkers can apply for 102 newly-built affordable units at Five Blue Slip, one of Greenpoint Landing‘s three affordable buildings slated for completion by the end of next year. Available apartments range from studios to two-bedrooms priced between $368 and $1065, and households of one to four individuals earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income are eligible to apply.
The city’s 421-a program, which expired in January, provides tax breaks of up to 25 years to new residential buildings that reserve at least 20 percent of units as affordable. Proponents of the program feel it offers a much-needed incentive to build low- and moderate-income housing, but those not in favor think it gives unfair tax breaks to the wealthiest developers. The latter camp may be gaining steam, as a new report from ProPublica, outlined in Gothamist, says that nearly two thirds of the 6,400 rental buildings where landlords received tax reductions through 421-a didn’t have required rent stabilization paperwork on file, meaning they could raise rents as much as they chose. ProPublica compiled this data in both an interactive map and searchable database.
Former juvenile jail in Hunts Point will be replaced with $300M mixed-use affordable housing complex, Thu, October 27, 2016
Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design
The Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (later renamed Bridges Juvenile Center) was built in 1957 in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, quickly gaining a reputation for its poor conditions–the Daily News once described it as “vermin-infested” and said it “held about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning.” It was closed in 2011, at which time urban revitalization consultant Majora Carter began her quest to have the site transformed into a mixed-use housing complex. The city eventually stepped in, and today officials announced plans for the Peninsula, an affordable housing development that will rise on the five-acre site and offer 740 apartments, 52,000 square feet of open and recreational space, 49,000 square feet of light industrial space, 48,000 square feet for community facilities like health care providers, 21,000 square feet of retail, and 15,000 square feet of artist space, reports the Wall Street Journal.