The Real Deal New York

Acuity Capital Partners throws money at city to avoid affordable housing commitment

Developer told council it will help pay for low-cost apartments somewhere else

September 08, 2016 07:30AM

Acuity Capital

Rendering of 42 W. 18th Street (credit: Acuity)

The developer of a Flatiron condo project is so keen to avoid building affordable apartments, it has offered to help fund them in other parts of the city.

Acuity Capital Partners, the company behind a proposed 66-unit development at 42 West 18th Street, has offered to donate 25 percent of profits from six of the apartments toward building affordable units elsewhere. It pitched the idea at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Crain’s reported.

It’s all about avoiding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy, which was introduced last year and forces developers of new projects to include affordable housing in exchange for increased square footage on a site.

The city planning commission last month agreed to let Acuity off the hook, ruling the developers did not have to make 25 to 30 percent of its units affordable. The developers had argued it wasn’t asking for more square footage, just more flexibility around the shape of buildings on the site.

As the commission has ruled the MIH won’t apply, the city council can’t force the developer to comply to the rules, but it can refuse Acuity’s application on the height and bulk of the building. [Crain’s] — Miriam Hall