Nearly 100 middle-income units sit vacant at Brooklyn’s Pacific Park development

Posted On Mon, November 6, 2017 By

Posted On Mon, November 6, 2017 By In affordable housing, Brooklyn, Prospect Heights

Photo of 535 Carlton Avenue, courtesy of Max Touhey for Greenland Forest City Partners

In July 2016, the lottery opened for 298 mixed-income rentals at 535 Carlton Avenue, part of the sprawling Pacific Park complex, in Brooklyn. But now, more than a year later, about 95 units remain vacant at the Prospect Heights site, as City Limits reported. Despite over 93,000 New Yorkers applying for the nearly 300 units within just eight weeks, the applicants were rejected because they did not make enough money to qualify for those specific units. The 95 vacancies, the most expensive apartments at Pacific Park, are reserved for households that earn between 135 and 165 percent of the area median income, which translates to $74,606 and $173,415 annually. Unable to secure tenants for this income bracket, developer Greenland Forest City Partners (GFCP) placed advertisements for the units on market-rate real estate websites.

GFCP selected COOKFOX in 2014 to design two residential buildings at the 22-acre site: 550 Vanderbilt Avenue and 535 Carlton Avenue. As 6sqft previously learned from a City Limits analysis, out of the nearly 95,000 households sending in applications for the Carlton Avenue lottery, only 2,203 applicants were eligible for the 148-middle income units. Over 67,000 households applied for the 90 low-income units.

While lower-income households in search of affordable housing face much tougher odds than middle-income applicants, the middle-income applicants haven’t shown much interest in applying for the affordable units. Open market units advertised include a $3,223 per month two-bedroom, $2,680 per month one-bedroom and a $2,137 per month studio.

The building on Carlton Avenue was the first to open at Pacific Park, formerly known as Atlantic Yards. SHoP Architects also designed a 23-story building at 38 Sixth Avenue, the third residential building at the complex. In agreement with the state, GFCP planned to build 2,250 affordable units at the site by 2025.  The $4.9 billion development will deliver a total of 6,430 new units in 14 residential buildings, with 2,250 of them affordable.

Housing lotteries set aside for New Yorkers earning 130 and 165 percent of the AMI is not uncommon. A lottery recently opened for affordable units in Downtown Jamaica that range from $1,729 per month studios to $2,611 per month two-bedrooms, for residents earning between $61, 612 and $170,115 annually.

A spokesperson for Forest City New York, Ashley Cotton, told City Limits: “Unfortunately, many middle-income families desperate for good, affordable housing are unaware that they are eligible for these rent-stabilized residences.”

[Via City Limits]

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Neighborhoods : Prospect Heights

  • WIltonguy45

    So are they suppose to just give these away for free to these deadbeats that can’t make more than minimum wage? who’s fault is that? If you are illegal and can’t speak english therefore limiting your earning potential, its your fault! If you didn’t finish HS or get some kind of college degree or master a trade so you can make good money, its your fault. If you chose to sleep with every loser in the neighborhood and got knocked up at 15 and now are on every welfare program, well, that is your fault.

    The apartment complex needs to do a better job advertising, I suspect they are not really letting people know about these apartments, because I know there are plenty of middle income people who would jump on it. Sounds to me like its plan between the apartment owners and these advocates to get these units switched to bottom of the barrel housing. City officials should look into it.

  • MaRie Correia

    After going through the process myself for a middle income apartment with pacific park I don’t believe it’s the people who aren’t interested. They have given me such a hard time to prove income and denied me twice before I ultimately ended up getting approved. The process took over 8 weeks and they probed every single part of my bank account and Venmo, credit and income. They calculated by income incorrectly and I also had to have my job predict possible overtime for the up Coming year.

    In my opinion housing is making it too difficult to be approved for the middle class. The actual building management helped me through the process. They were helpful and I wouldn’t have gotten approved had they not pushed to have my application reconsidered.

    Housing made me go through a very demeaning process. It made me feel like a criminal trying to get free housing. This was a free market apartment. I do not receive assistance for rent payment. I work and make within the income guidelines. I almost had to take another apartment after they made me go through taking multiple days off, explain every single deposit to my accounts for six months and various statement letters explaining every single part of my finances. It’s housing preventing the middle income from getting approved for these apartments.

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