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Old Posted Feb 6, 2015, 2:12 AM
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De Blasio Heralds Sunnyside Yards as Next Stuy-Town, Unveils Other Housing Details

By Kim Velsey

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at the State of the City address this morning that he intends to build 11,250 affordable housing units at Sunnyside Yards—the same as the number as at Stuy-Town and Peter Cooper Village. At 200 acres, Sunnyside Yards is one of the largest undeveloped parcels in New York City, but one that presents myriad difficulties to developers as it remains an active rail yard in use by several train companies.

Mr. de Blasio compared the Sunnyside Yards plan to post-war affordable housing projects like Starrett City and Co-op City and said that it would be a “a game-changer” with enough affordable housing for “over 30,000 New Yorkers.” And unlike Stuy-Town, he said, “we’re going to make sure that affordable housing at Sunnyside Yards stays affordable.”

Mr. de Blasio said that rail tracks could be placed underground such that housing could be built on top—a process which is being undertaken at Hudson Yards, but in that case with the financial backing of developers eager to cash in on commercial rents—though he admitted that “some parts could more easily handle larger buildings being built there and some could not.”

It was yet another ambitious facet in Mr. de Blasio’s very ambitious affordable housing plan to build or preserve 200,000 units within the next decade and comes with surprisingly precise details given the nascent stage of the process.

The city is partnering with Amtrak, which owns the yards, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to conduct a feasibility study, Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for housing and economic development, told reporters after the mayor’s speech, which she called the first step in seeing if such a project could be completed.

The governor’s office, meanwhile, was critical of the announcement, writing in a statement that “the MTA uses Sunnyside Yards as an important facility for our transportation system, and it is not available for any other use in the near term. The State and the MTA are studying several potential future uses of the site from a long term planning prospective.”

e Real Estate Board (the powerful developers) are ready to build, and will push to get this done on both fronts.

Bold de Blasio adds 160,000 units to housing ‘to do’ list

By Dan Orlando
February 3, 2014

The Real Estate Board of New York yesterday (Tuesday) applauded Mayor de Blasio’s call to strengthen his affordable housing plan by a further 160,000 units.

Calling the decision “bold,ˮ REBNY president Steve Spinola said the mayor’s call for an additional 160,000 market-rate units, above and beyond the 200,000 affordable units the administration plans to build or preserve over the next decade, “will go a long way to keeping New York the greatest city in the world in which to live, work, and raise a family.”

De Blasio began his campaign by promising the original 200,000 units of affordable living space, but Tuesday’s demand for a new wave of market rate properties is an answer to the dwindling supply and surging prices that face the city’s residential marketplace.

“Building more new market rate and affordable housing, and preserving and enhancing our current inventory of affordable housing is the only way to address our decades-long housing shortage,” said Spinola.

During his address, de Blasio warned, “If we fail to be a city for everyone, we risk losing what makes New York, New York. And nothing more clearly expresses the inequality gap — the opportunity gap — than the soaring cost of housing.ˮ

Kathryn Wylde, president & CEO of the Partnership for New York City, commented, “The high volume of affordable housing production achieved during the Koch era was the result of robust public-private partnerships.

“A collaborative approach is even more important today since city government has little inventory of cheap land and construction costs have skyrocketed. While it was not explicit in the Mayor’s speech, I trust his administration understands that forging partnerships with the development and financial industries is the only way to accomplish his housing goals.”

At the time of the most recent census (2012), the median household income amongst Manhattan residence stood at just under $67,000 per year. The average rents for the borough eclipsed $3,000 per month.

Up against slightly more modest rents, Brooklyn and Queens saw median household incomes of $44,850 and $54,373 respectively.

The highest household income belonged to the suburban Staten Island, which barely eclipsed $70,000 per year.

“Without such bold initiatives, the City’s housing market will tighten further and become even more expensive,” said Spinola. “Our industry stands ready to work with the mayor and other stakeholders to put shovels in the ground and cranes in the sky to tackle this important goal.”
NEW YORK. World's capital.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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