Miki Naftali, Meredith Marshall talk development, death of 421a

New York /
May.May 20, 2022 12:30 PM

As industry leaders warn that the demise of a property tax break will mean fewer affordable apartments, one developer held out his Williamsburg project as Exhibit A.

Miki Naftali, chair and CEO of the Naftali Group, said his company had planned to set aside 30 percent of the rental units in the second phase of a massive project at 470 Kent Avenue as affordable. But without the 421a abatement or a replacement, his firm will move forward with a condominium project instead.

“What choice do we have?” he said during The Real Deal’s New York Showcase + Forum on Thursday. “We’re going to sell them; we’re going to make money. How does that help anybody?”

He noted that affordable housing will not be built with the tax break, which expires June 15.

“Who is going to build it? The city? The state? It’s not going to happen.”

Naftali appeared on a panel with Meredith Marshall, co-founder & managing partner of BRP Companies, who joked about suing lawmakers for “malpractice” if they allow the tax break to lapse. He said the city is also in danger of losing construction jobs to more development-friendly markets.

“Able-bodied workers are not going to hang around,” Marshall said.

Asked about opportunities to buy development sites, Naftali noted that prices are higher than they were in 2021. (His company closed on the Williamsburg site in May 2020 for a little more than $100 million.) Marshall found the silver lining of rising interest rates: Sellers feel antsy, giving him some leverage.

“I like uncertainty,” Marshall said. “If we were nervous, then we couldn’t be in the development business.”





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Jim Chanos, president and founder of Chanos & Company LP (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
    Short seller Chanos betting against data centers
    Short seller Chanos betting against data centers
    From left: Lawrence Friedland and Stanley Zabar in front of 2231 Broadway (Getty Images, Friedland Properties, iStock)
    Friedland sues Zabar family in UWS dispute
    Friedland sues Zabar family in UWS dispute
    Allure’s Joel Landau and 9036 7th Avenue in Brooklyn (Allure, Google Maps)
    Abe Leser’s ailing hospital deal revived for $160M
    Abe Leser’s ailing hospital deal revived for $160M
    Skylight Real Estate's Bennat Berger with 300 Grand Street (Skylight Real Estate, Street Easy, iStock)
    Scarcity play: Hoboken apartments fetch $56M
    Scarcity play: Hoboken apartments fetch $56M
    From left: Bert H. Dweck and Joe Sitt with 790 Madison Avenue (
    Joe Sitt, Bert Dweck settle Madison Ave dispute with fashion house
    Joe Sitt, Bert Dweck settle Madison Ave dispute with fashion house
    IBM's Arvind Krishna and One Madison Avenue (IBM, One Madison Avenue, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
    IBM CEO: Only 60% of office workers will ever return full-time
    IBM CEO: Only 60% of office workers will ever return full-time
    Marcus & Millichap Associate David Ferber in front of part of the 30-building, 319-unit portfolio concentrated in Jersey City (Marcus and Millichap, iStock)
    Hot rental market boosts NJ multifamily despite rate hikes
    Hot rental market boosts NJ multifamily despite rate hikes
    Orbach Affordable Housing Solutions' Meyer Orbach and One East River Place (Orbach Housing, Google Maps)
    Black Spruce, Orbach strike $1.8B NYC multifamily deal
    Black Spruce, Orbach strike $1.8B NYC multifamily deal
    arrow_forward_ios

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

    Loading...