Saturday, October 12, 2013
Domino plan has affordable units off-site
From The Brooklyn Paper:
The developer of the Domino Sugar Factory plans to put nearly a third of the below-market-rate housing for a massive Williamsburg luxury complex on a site across the street and uphill from the rest of the waterfront development, which some neighbors say would be a good thing if it means the cheaper apartments are available faster.
“To have both market-rent tenants and low-income tenants living together is the way all housing should be built, but more importantly, to have 250 affordable housing units available in the immediate future for a population so desperately in need is a must,” said Debra Medina, a spokeswoman for the community group Los Sures, at a Department of Housing Preservation and Development hearing about the proposal on Friday.
The developer Two Trees Management Co. went before the agency to argue that all of the parcels that are part of the development should be seen as one big parcel in order to allow putting more than one fifth of the project’s so-called affordable housing in the first high-rise, which is planned for the Havermeyer Park plot on Kent Avenue between S. Third and S. Fourth streets, rather than spreading the budget units evenly throughout the towers, the remaining five of which sits along the East River and will be built later. The move would make 200 of the first skyscraper’s 400 units below-market-rate.
Not everyone is on board with the plan, though. Some say the Two Trees proposal could mean big money in the long-term for the developer while below-market-rate tenants end up cut off from amenities.
“It could allow the shifting of all the affordable housing to the inland site to maximize the profit for the developer and allow the sale of individual parcels, presumably on the waterfront, without requiring any affordable housing on these sites,” said neighbor and Domino opponent Stephanie Eisenberg.
Other nearby riverside developments, including Greenpoint Landing and the Edge, have come under fire for what critics describe as a separate-but-equal approach to so-called affordable housing for arrangements that place cheaper units on lower floors and make low-income tenants use separate entrances, but Two Trees wants to distance itself from all that.