The city included the wrong document in an agreement with a developer on a massive, $386 million waterfront development in Brooklyn, according to court records. And now he has a legal loophole he can drive a truck through.
Developer David Bistricer, who is building 770 apartments in three towers on Commercial Street in Greenpoint, has allegedly refused to let the clerical error be corrected, forcing the city to file a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit to fix it.
The project, part of a building boom in Greenpoint, was announced nearly a decade ago but only recently broke ground.
The city claims it negotiated the inclusion of 200 permanent affordable housing units in exchange for $2 million in taxpayer cash and $8 million worth of air rights from a city-owned plot adjacent to Bistricer’s Waterview at Greenpoint LLC site. The developer is slated to build Box Street Park on the plot, which is currently used by the MTA.
The deal was supposed to give the city housing with “deeper affordability,” and allowed Waterview to more than double the square footage. That increased affordability is “valued at more than $6 million,” the city said in its legal filing.
As the city and Waterview hashed out final details of the agreement in May, a staffer with the Department of Housing and Preservation Development included an incorrect list of affordable rents and qualifying incomes to be offered to tenants.
For example, the city intended for at least 10 of the affordable units to rent for as little as $732 to $1,067 depending on size. But the lowest rent listed in the faulty document is $1,529, court records show.
Eligible incomes also drastically changed. The city wanted incomes ranging from $40,000 and up for a family of three to qualify. The lowest eligible earnings for a family of three listed on the erroneous paperwork is about $81,000.
If the mistake goes uncorrected, “134 of the 200 affordable housing units would be offered at different (and significantly higher) rents with different (and significantly higher) income restrictions,” the city claims.
Possibly the biggest joke about this scandal is that the greedhead got away with only offering 10 apartments for lower income earners (and not specifically low income earners)