Acadia responds to criticism of City Point

February 01, 2013 09:30AM

Acadia Realty Trust defended its stance on hiring nonunion workers for its City Point megaproject and responded to a trade group’s accusation that the development exploits the community and wastes taxpayer dollars, the New York Observer reported.

“City Point will generate thousands of jobs and enhance Downtown Brooklyn’s quality of life,” Acadia spokesman Tom Montvel-Cohen told the Observer. “We are committed to maximizing local and minority contracting and employment as we create a LEED-certified development with the affordable housing, retail and entertainment options that the neighborhood well deserves.”

After regular union protests against Acadia’s use of nonunion workers for the first phase of the 1.8 million-square-foot project, Acadia recently announced that it would continue to hire at least some nonunion workers for the second phase of the project, which is expected to create roughly 3,780 jobs.

The development is being built on city-owned land and receives a government subsidy, which the spokesman emphasized was only for the affordable housing component, and not quite a subsidy because the loan “carries a market rate of interest over seven percent.”

The shift towards nonunion workers, experts say, is part of a growing trend for developers, who wish to avoid the red tape and expenses associated with hiring unions. [NYO]Hiten Samtani