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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 1:48 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | City to mix luxury housing with low income projects

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...sEnabled=false

NYCHA set to lease playgrounds, community centers for luxury high-rises
The housing authority hopes to generate nearly $50 million in lease payments that will be used
to rejuvenate deteriorating housing projects and close $60 million annual deficit.




Smith Houses tenant Association President Aixa Torres opposes the NYCHA plan to build luxury apartments on playgrounds, community centers and parking lots.


By Greg B. Smith
February 5, 2013

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The housing authority is planning its very own Tale of Two Cities.

To raise much-needed cash, the agency plans to lease out land to private developers who will then build some 3 million square feet of luxury apartments smack in the middle of Manhattan housing projects.

Internal documents obtained by the Daily News show the planned 4,330 apartments in eight developments are all in hot real estate neighborhoods, including the upper East and West Sides, the lower East Side and lower Manhattan. Developers will get a sweet deal: a 99-year lease with the lease payments to the authority frozen for the first 35 years. And they’ll get a big break on property taxes because 20% of the units will be set aside as “affordable,” offered to families of four that make $50,000 or less.

But the vast majority of units — 80% — are “market rate,” and in the neighborhoods chosen by the New York City Housing Authority, that rate is astronomical. At the Baruch Houses on the lower East Side, where NYCHA seeks 175,000 square feet of new housing, rent in a private building across the street is $3,100 for a one-bedroom apartment.

The high-end units will be built on top of parking lots, community centers, playgrounds and baseball fields within NYCHA developments, according to tenant leaders and elected officials who have been briefed on the plan.

NYCHA expects to pocket $31 million to $46 million in annual lease payments, all of which will go toward fixing up deteriorating buildings. The agency currently has a backlog of 420,000 repair orders and faces a $60 million budget gap annually.

Leasing land for market-rate housing is a first for an agency that has worked with developers to build what has been called moderate-income housing, such as a Chelsea Houses tower with an income cutoff of $167,000 for a family of four. Under the new market-rate plan, however, the units have no income cap.


The middle-income Chelsea Houses serves as a model to the new redevelopment plan that will generate millions in lease revenue.



This Baruch Houses parking lot will be redeveloped into luxury towers.



NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea will spearhead the plan to revive the agency by leasing open space and playgrounds for high-end apartments.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:14 PM
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Smith Houses tenant Association President Aixa Torres opposes the NYCHA plan to build luxury apartments on playgrounds, community centers and parking lots.
Parking lots?! Go the fuck ahead already and build on them, more market housing that is very much in demand in NYC. How the flying fuck are public housing residents in New York City able to afford to use parking lots anyways? I hate to sound like a heartless conservative for once but I would be pretty upset if I was struggling to pay for a market rate tiny studio apartment in NYC when public housing residents are using my money to get free (or subsidized?) parking. This does raise a serious question I have, does the massive rent control and public housing in NYC contribute to the traffic levels that it does had by having people who pay deflated housing costs able to afford cars that most New Yorkers cannot?
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:47 PM
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How the flying fuck are public housing residents in New York City able to afford to use parking lots anyways?
Most of those NYCHA parking lots are leased out to third parties (which is illegal, but whatever). The residents take the subsidized lease, and then lease it out on the market, and obviously make a nice profit. I have a friend that used to park her car at a NYCHA lot.

But those lots are toast. They're being developed citywide, in every borough.

They were initially supposed to be lawns and gardens, but the idiotic Robert Moses converted them to parking in order to attract middle class suburbanites and maintain the income mix.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:49 PM
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How could this be controversial? Shoulda done it many years ago.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 3:57 PM
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:28 PM
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How could this be controversial? Shoulda done it many years ago.
You're right; unfortunately NYC is infested with NIMBYs, and embalm-the-city-in-amber types.

The folks living in NYCHA couldn't be luckier. They're paying almost nothing for the safest and best public housing in the country, in neighborhoods where the same sized units go for $10,000-$15,000/month. We're talking big 3 Bedroom/4 Bedroom units in the middle of Manhattan.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:32 PM
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Is this government housing though, and if anyone staying there gets richer do they get kicked out or anything?
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:38 PM
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Is this government housing though, and if anyone staying there gets richer do they get kicked out or anything?
No. NYCHA housing doesn't have a specific income limit, and you won't be kicked out based on changes in income (though your rent will change based on these variations).

By law, 50% of units have to be rented to households making at least a lower middle class salary, so there is income diversity. The lower income folks pay almost nothing and the middle class folks pay a decent rent, but well below market (most rents are based on 30% of income).
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 4:44 PM
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This sort of thing should take place throughout the city, so apartment buildings would be less likely to be ghettoized especially if the higher income people stay, although a lot more would have to be built throughout the city for there to be enough supply.

Although that would probably do nothing to change the neighbourhood ghettos with just old townhouses though.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 6:55 PM
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Low income housing next to higher income luxury buildings is nothing new. NYC mixes it all under one roof, only now will NYCHA residents benefit. Some gentrification can surely reduce crime at some of these NYCHA developments and improve the overall quality of life.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 8:49 PM
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The new housing shouldn't have income restrictions. It just reduces the supply of new market rate units. New market rate units are the only way to address affordability for the whole market, even if a few thousand units wouldn't be that significant for Manhattan.

I don't get why NY is so behind on small units. In a building where today they might build 200 units at 800 square feet each, someone could instead build 800 affordable units of 200 sf each (minus some variation for elevator count, hallways, etc.). Manhattan desperately needs housing like that. If rented for under (guessing) $1,000/mo, they'd fill instantly, with demand for dozens of similar buildings.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mhays View Post
How could this be controversial? Shoulda done it many years ago.
Parking lots is fine, but community centres and playgrounds are important for a fuctional community, so those should be preserved somehow I should think (though a highrise with a community centre podium seems fine to me).
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 8:57 PM
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They were initially supposed to be lawns and gardens, but the idiotic Robert Moses converted them to parking in order to attract middle class suburbanites and maintain the income mix.
Surface parking lots, particularly in Manhattan, are never a good thing. Those should be developed where possible. Though I do have an issue with building over community centers. The more serious proposal was to build housing between the actual towers of the projects, eliminating the "towers in the park" scenario and utilizing much needed land. They may eventually get to that. But the housing projects in New York are not as unstable as they are in other cities, even with the massive mismanagement issues. There is demand and a long waiting list to get into them, not surprising with the population and lack of more affordable housing in the City. That is a legitimate criticism that people have, the lack of more affordable housing being built. It can't only be a city for the wealthy.

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To raise much-needed cash, the agency plans to lease out land to private developers who will then build some 3 million square feet of luxury apartments smack in the middle of Manhattan housing projects.
Understand though that the housing projects are spread throughout the city. The luxury approach won't work everywhere, particularly in the far reaches of the City.
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Old Posted Feb 6, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Long before the forum existed and before I was exposed to 'urban planning' per se, I used to pour over aerials of Manhattan and wonder why those parking lots and unused open space weren't already developed into more towers. All those projects--and the city as a whole--would benefit from additional towers.

I will say I have reservations about eliminating well-used playgrounds. Perhaps they could be replaced in a more efficient form after new towers are built?
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 12:40 AM
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I will say I have reservations about eliminating well-used playgrounds. Perhaps they could be replaced in a more efficient form after new towers are built?
I don't think they're eliminating non-parking uses.

Things like playgrounds, community centers, etc. are only being built on if they can be replaced somewhere else on the property. Community space, for example, is often incorporated in the new buildings.

The article is a bit misleading, BTW. This isn't a "new" initiative, and it isn't necessarily aimed at adding luxury housing.

The initiative has been around for nearly a decade, and is aimed at raising money and infilling public housing complexes by introducing new uses. Yes, prime Manhattan complexes will get luxury housing, but other complexes have already built public, private or charter schools on these sites, yet others have built more low-income housing, and others have built retail, community or institutional space.

It's a citywide initiative, and has been slowly ramping up into more high profile locations, and more revenue-rich uses. There are some more radical ideas that are being bandied about, BTW, and that will probably be implemented once these more "surgical" sites are developed (I know because my ex-GF works at HPD, which is a sister agency to NYCHA).
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 1:42 AM
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seriously re: the enormous privilege these folks enjoy. if i won a place in a non-market housing unit anywhere on manhattan island, i'd give my notice tomorrow, dump my sf apartment and move to the city by the end of the month, no question.

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The more serious proposal was to build housing between the actual towers of the projects, eliminating the "towers in the park" scenario and utilizing much needed land. They may eventually get to that.
this is essential. the city could add tens of thousands of new units in this way, including critical new non-market units. imagine if they could fit even just 100 50-story towers into the existing housing projects city-wide, not even counting mid-rise residential bridge structures and income-generating (and neighborhood-invigorating/safety-increasing/population-servicing) ground level commercial. with units in the 350sf range, that's 75,000+ new units. the mix would depend on what the market would bear and what the partners were looking for, but if only 20% of those units were managed by nycha, you'd still be talking thousands of new places for lower income new yorkers.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 8:59 PM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1257547

As Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauds NYCHA plan to build luxury high-rises on leased open space, contenders question the plan to generate millions
The proposal would replace playgrounds and parking lots with upscale apartments, but not until after Bloomy leaves: 'Our successor in City Hall will really have to carry that program through.' Bill Thompson says he would not and Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants more transparency.





City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Thompson, both Democratic mayoral hopefuls, are not satisfied with the proposal to build upscale apartments amid deteroriating housing projects.


By Greg B. Smith AND Erin Durkin
February 7, 2013

Quote:
The Housing Authority’s plan to lease its land for luxury housing won cheers from the mayor Wednesday, but some of the contenders to succeed him weren’t so impressed. Bloomberg called NYCHA’s proposal to raise money by leasing land in eight Manhattan developments for 3 million square feet of market-rate apartments “a creative idea.” “If you want to have NYCHA buildings be improved and be great places to live, safe and clean and where things function, you’re going to have to have money from someplace,” he said.

He said the buildout of more than 3,000 upscale apartments on NYCHA land wouldn’t happen until after he leaves office in 2014: “Our successor in City Hall will really have to carry that program through.” One would-be successor — former city controller William Thompson — immediately questioned why NYCHA should “play Monopoly with financiers so they can build more high-priced apartments in the city.”

“When there’s just a desperate need for affordable housing, this is just a bonehead move,” Thompson told the Daily News. “ If he was elected, he said, “This is something I would not move forward on.”

Another mayoral wanna-be, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, attacked NYCHA, which intends to seek developers in just five weeks, for keeping its plans under wraps. “For years, we’ve encouraged NYCHA to consult with the Council and residents on a plan — which they clearly haven’t done,” Quinn said.

Quinn, Thompson and mayoral candidates City Controller John Liu and Public Advocate Bill de Blasio have vowed to replace the entire NYCHA board, including Bloomberg’s appointee, Chairman John Rhea. Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito — whose upper Manhattan district includes three affected developments — said NYCHA has given tenant leaders only vague descriptions of the luxury tower plan. Another mayoral candidate, City Comptroller John Liu, called the luxury apartment plan a “giveaway to developers with NYCHA getting a small paycheck for luxury real estate, built on the backs of current residents.”

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Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 9:10 PM
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This is too crony.

Are the buildings like totally luxurious or are they including some crappy floors for workforce housing? Why so much give-away for people who can afford to live luxuriously?

Since owners will pay the luxurious amount, the developer will collect the luxurious money, why doesn't the fake person (corporation) pay a proper tax like real human-persons have to do each year? Why wait so long to collect tax from fake person?
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2013, 9:12 PM
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I know it wouldn't happen, but I think rather than put lipstick on a pig, they should replace public housing with new mixed income, mixed use towers. They probably could accommodate higher densities on many of these sites and begin the to address some of the social issues / stigmas associated with public housing.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2013, 4:58 AM
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Just tear those monstrosities down all-together and build market-rate apartments for tax payers. Adopt a voucher-type system like Chicago for the poors. They really have subsidized parking spaces? Are you kidding me? And these people are gearing up for a fight? They live off of the tax-payers in New York and still feel entitled to live like Kings and Queens and have the nerve to be angry at NYCHA for disrupting their rent-free lives due to that little thing called budget woes? Do they think the money used to pay their rent and parking spaces drops out of thin air? Who do they think they are? Well -- they're mostly middle-school drop outs who have no clear grasp of the term budget and economics so can blame them anyway?

Idiots.

Last edited by 599GTO; Feb 8, 2013 at 5:13 AM.
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