From the NY Post:
The owners of two distressed luxury condo buildings -- one in Harlem and another in Downtown Brooklyn -- are in talks with the city to unload their unsold units at fire-sale prices as affordable housing, The Post has learned.
City officials won't say where exactly the buildings are located while they are negotiating with banks that have foreclosed on the properties.
If the deals close, the units would be the first in a program pushed by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to spend $20 million to put vacant apartments on the market at a steep discount in order to expand the city's affordable-housing portfolio.
New homeowners -- who would have to meet income limits and participate in a lottery -- would get the bargain of a lifetime.
A $500,000 luxury condo might be marked down to $300,000, suggested Rafael Cestero, the city housing commissioner.
In return for the markdown, developers or bankers would get up to a $50,000 city subsidy for each apartment.
"They would have to take significant losses," Cestero said.
He added that if the prices are right, the city would be prepared to buy unfinished buildings, as well as those where at least 50 percent of the units are empty.
Whether the program works depends on bankers' hunger to get rid of their distressed properties, he said.
Notice how every time a community in Queens asks for something - new sewers, better police presence, keeping firehouses open, creating parkland, preserving history - it is told that there is no money? But hey, if a developer needs something, Bloomie can't whip out the checkbook fast enough. And Christine Quinn smiles and nods in agreement.
A classic case of an addict and his enabler.