Hot and bothered: Starrett City’s AC goes down ahead of HUD inspection

Subsidized rental complex plagued by dismal inspections in recent years

New York /
Jun.June 21, 2017 09:30 AM

Plagued in recent years by wear and tear, the owners of Starrett City are facing a sticky problem at the sprawling Brooklyn housing complex just in time for its annual inspection by federal officials.

Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized residential rental project in the nation, is grappling with a major leak that shut down the cooling pipes that service the complex’s air conditioning, forcing the owners to hand out fans to tenants this week as the mercury hovered around 90.

The bad news comes as the complex is in talks with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — led by Ben Carson, who was appointed to the post by President Trump, a minority owner of Starrett City — to inspect the complex sometime this summer, the New York Daily News reported.

The complex — with 46 buildings and 5,881 apartments — is one of the country’s largest federally-subsidized developments and it’s received $491.7 million in federal funds since May 2013. It received $76.8 million in 2016 and $38.3 million so far this year, according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

But HUD inspections in recent years have been poor. A score of 90 out of 100 requires inspections every three years, but Starrett City scored 89 in 2007 and 77 in 2009. The complex scored just 70 in October 2016 at its last inspections.

Starrett City officials said the scores dropped when HUD cited “a series of minor, non-safety issues,” such as repairs that were being made to the buildings’ brick facades. The ownership — an investor group led by the family of the late Disque Deane — have reportedly pumped $30 million into improvements.

In November, The Real Deal reported the owners were in talks with four banks to land a refinancing that would replace a $531 million loan issued by Freddie Mac in 2009.

Trump holds a 4 percent stake in the complex, generating $5 million in income last year through April 15, according to his financial disclosure.

Bob Liff, a spokesman for Starrett City, said the president plays no role in managing the complex and that his father, Fred, was a limited partner when the project was built in 1974. He said the complex “responds immediately to maintenance issues as they arise.”

Eric Trump’s wedding planner, Lynne Patton, was recently appointed to run HUD’s New York City programs. She does not have housing experience.  [NYDN]E.B. Solomont


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
The bus terminal was built in the 1950s and designed to serve one fourth of the riders it sees today. (Getty)
Port Authority to raze, replace “hell on earth” bus terminal
Port Authority to raze, replace “hell on earth” bus terminal
Overall, the number of housing units that started construction last year was up 7 percent from 2019. (iStock)
Residential construction had busiest year since 2006: MBA
Residential construction had busiest year since 2006: MBA
Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
Financial disclosures show extent of Trump Org losses
Common Projects sneaker designer Peter Poopat bought the home in December. (Getty, Brown Harris Stevens)
$6.5M Fort Greene townhouse sale breaks neighborhood record
$6.5M Fort Greene townhouse sale breaks neighborhood record
Will Catsimatidis switch parties? (Getty)
Republican or Democrat? Catsimatidis picks his poison
Republican or Democrat? Catsimatidis picks his poison
Vijay Dandapani, president & CEO, Hotel Association of New York City (Getty)
Hotel owners ask NY for break on tax penalties
Hotel owners ask NY for break on tax penalties
(iStock)
Homebuilder sentiment falls for second month in a row
Homebuilder sentiment falls for second month in a row
NAR's Vince Malta (Photos via NAR; Pixabay; iStock)
NAR suspends federal political donations after Capitol attack
NAR suspends federal political donations after Capitol attack
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...