The Real Deal New York

What de Blasio told builders behind closed doors

Affordable housing plan hinges on developers "building aggressively"

February 21, 2014 12:08PM

From left: Stephen Green, Bill de Blasio and Stephen Ross

From left: Stephen Green, Bill de Blasio and Stephen Ross

Now we know why developers who attended a closed-door meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week seemed encouraged by what they heard.

It seems the mayor’s ambitious plan to put 200,000 units of affordable housing on the market is going to require some equally ambitious builders. Indeed, de Blasio told the gathering he wants New York City developers to erect the biggest buildings possible, and fast, according to the New York Daily News.

“I hope people hear me loud and clear that the only way I can achieve my goals is if we are building and building aggressively,” he told developers in opening remarks to the Real Estate Board of New York, according the Daily News.

De Blasio’s speech was a reiteration of his campaign promise to allow developers to build bigger as long as they reserve a portion of the building for affordable housing, a policy known as “mandatory inclusionary zoning.” Developers and investors have been wringing their hands lately over the future of the initiative.

Stephen Ross of the Related Companies, Stephen Green of SL Green Realty and Robert Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty were in attendance. [NYDN]  Angela Hunt

  • Lane Altschuler

    I knew something was wrong when DeBlasio meeting with Real
    Estate Developers was carried on behind closed doors. If this article is correct the RE Developers
    are laughing contentedly to themselves. The supposed quote “Indeed, de Blasio told the gathering he wants New York City developers
    to erect the biggest buildings possible, and fast, according to the New York
    Daily News” this will give us taller
    building. Where will the affordable housing be? At the bottom? Taller buildings
    will continue the loss of Blue Sky to city streets and to buildings in general.

    This will continue the trend of the compromise of the sky
    plane ratio codes of the city. This was established to maintain the ability to
    see sky from the street. It is a quality of life issue. The city has been
    compromised with this as developers have been able to build higher and higher.
    When Extell built the two towers on Broadway and 100th street it was
    the beginning of a new era in the quality of life compromise. Everyone suffers.
    Thought the more wealthy citizens who can afford the higher prices of rents and
    purchase at least get to live closer to the sky. All of us will lose the benefits
    of seeing the sky as we walk the city. Not a good start Mr. B.

    • shiftinglens

      So you’d rather keep people from being able to live in the city because they lack the money to pay exorbitant rents just because you like the color of the sky?

      Could you please be more selfish?

    • we cannot be poor

      You have to build as much as you can while you can still afford it. I think in many ways this mayor is secretly brilliant. China already overbuilt while wages were low – very ant tribe of them.

      Low buildings are for Main Streets in Alabama or wherever else HGTV finds homeowners lovingly restoring industrial buildings that no longer have any industry. We need to have lots of room so Google can expand their offices and attract more talent and ancillary services like restauranteurs and retailers.

      This mayor could possibly be AWESOME and look like a regular guy doing it.

  • Lane Altschuler

    Shiftinglens. Not my point. But it begs the question where in the building would you live? Top or bottom. That might color your comment on who is selfish. There are so many questions to this issue and solutions. I’d not trust the ones concocted by politicians or Developers. We need creative solutions for this issue. Not just vertical ones. Quility of life is important. Humans derive vitamins from sunlight so I’d like my vitimins from the sky not living in canyons looking up at a patch of blue.

    • tk

      i suggest moving to montana.

    • HughGass

      Sounds like a bottom to me.

  • K2theIzo

    If you want some sun exposure, youll need to buy a penthouse. The streets will lose all sun exposure, soon we’ll need street lights to be on during day time hours.

  • YES to development

    Is affordable housing a problem in every city and state in America? What about those people who move from places with affordable housing to NYC and can’t find a satisfactory place to live while here?

    I feel screwed that I can’t afford to live in the city because the commute is hell but I don’t think that I have to force someone into letting me live in their building where everyone else is paying for being there. I’m not exactly sure what the concept of affordable housing is in terms of what the city is trying to do. Are we feeling sorry for poor people and homeless people? That I do understand but I am not sure what that has to do with putting subsidized housing in the same buildings as market residents. That seems super weird. It’s different if the big buildings are subsidizing schools and other public services but I’m still not comfortable with public housing in the same place as luxury housing. Look at how pissed the residents are at Stonehenge:

    http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/02/25/james-to-file-discrimination-complaint-against-stonehenge-management/

    It’s like the Whoopi Goldberg episode of Law and Order Criminal Intent where she raised the foster kids to be home invaders to feel that they were entitled and owed fine art so that they went into a frenzy envy when they home invaded McMansions on Staten Island.

    The rest of us in the same socio economic conditions of those who are qualified for affordable housing just live where we can afford it – it’s just real life. So shouldn’t it be about better transportation to those already affordable areas? And yeah, great if the developers want to build and develop housing in cheaper nabes for the rest of us.

    I’m not sure it is so great if kids grow up with neighbors who can afford more. I went to a high school that was a little above my speed and I see kids whose parents bought the cheapest house in the toniest neighborhood and yeah, maybe it got them into an ivy league school where they met their future spouse but it can also be a little less accurate in your worldview if you had just been regular and natural to your environment.

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