But was this really done right? No less than a week after the ground breaking of Hallets Point affordable housing, the developer said that most of the project is effectively on hold because of the expiration of the tax break known as 421-a, according to reports.
Jonathan Durst, the president of The Durst Organization, was quoted in a NY1 article saying, “We’re cleared with 421-a on the first phase, but if 421-a becomes unavailable, those remaining four or five phases won’t be built.”
The 421-a tax break creates a real estate tax break and property tax break in exchange for providing a significant amount of affordable housing.
Jordan Barowitz, vice president and director of external affairs for The Durst Organization, confirmed Durst’s statement saying that the first phase of the project is under an old 80/20 housing program, which the Housing Finance Agency offers as a tax exempt financing to multi-family rental developments in which at least 20 percent of the units are set aside for very low-income residents by using funds raised through the sale of bonds.
Barowitz explained that the project can not go through until this issue is fixed because there is currently no plan covering the next few phases.
Another affordable housing project that was supposed to be under the 421-a tax break is Astoria Cove. While there have been rumors that the Astoria Cove project is no longer in the works, Alma Realty – the developers of the project – say that the project is still moving forward and the land will continue to be used for Astoria Cove. There is still no date on when the project will be completed.