Not the Mega Millions, but apartment lottery offers pretty good jackpot

By Michael Stoler | September 08, 2009 02:36PM

While millions of people are purchasing tickets every day to win the Mega Millions lottery, thousands of New Yorkers are sending in applications to win the opportunity to own or rent a brand new apartment in central Harlem.

Because of the efforts of a public-private partnership, 22 individuals or families will be able to own a home in one of two 22-unit condominiums under construction at 261 West 112th Street and 2100 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.    

The condo units are offered for sale through the Cornerstone Program of New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and range in price from $239,500 for a studio to $328,500 for a two-bedroom.

On the rental front, 37 affordable housing apartments — from studios to three-bedrooms — are up for grabs in two buildings under construction at 1465 and 1473 Fifth Avenue between 118th and 119th streets.

Current Manhattan Community Board 10 residents will receive preference for 50 percent of the units while New York City municipal employees will get first dibs on 5 percent of them.

Besides the Mega Millions lottery, there is hardly a better lottery to win than ownership or rental of a brand new apartment in New York City.

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.