The Daily Dirt: 7 days to apply for this city tax break

Mixed-Market Housing Initiative was announced day after Christmas

NYC’s Mixed-Income Housing Tax Break Has Short Window to Apply
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)

Did you know about the Adams administration’s new tax break — and that the application deadline is next week?

If not, you’re not alone. The Daily Dirt heard from one person in the real estate industry who had been hoping for a tax break and subsidy program to build mixed-income housing in the wake of 421a’s demise, but completely missed the launch.

That can happen when the city announces something the day after Christmas.

The unveiling of the Mixed-Income Market Initiative got a lot of press, beginning with an exclusive given to the New York Times that ran Dec. 26. We ran a story on MIMI that same day, as did four other publications. Four more websites ran pieces on Dec. 27. Ten stories in two days!

But if you were out of town, busy with holiday stuff, or just relaxing, as many New Yorkers were that week, you probably missed them all. By the time you heard about the program and thought, “I should apply!” your heart surely skipped a beat when you got to this line:

“All proposals must be submitted by Feb. 15, 2024, at 4 p.m.”

That’s next week, people!

We asked the Department of Housing Preservation and Development why there’s a deadline at all. An agency spokesperson said, “We have limited resources and little time to waste.” He noted that more than 125 people registered for a pre-submission conference.

Applying for the subsidy and Article XI property tax exemptions is, as you might guess, not as simple as emailing a few paragraphs to mimi@hpd.nyc.gov.

“Participants must submit individual PDF files for each tab and individual files in the forms requested per Section II: RFEI,” the instructions say. “All PDFs must be searchable.”

Every page must show the project title, address, applicant’s name, date, and name of your favorite mayor.

Just kidding about the favorite mayor, but you will need all the other stuff. The RFEI, which stands for request for expressions of interest, is 21 pages. Appendix A is six pages. An addendum with FAQ is eight pages. Then you have Forms B-1, C-1, C-2, D-1, and E-1.

We looked at some of the forms. E-1 is a spreadsheet with 1,368 cells of data. Form D-1 says, “List below all residential and/or homeless shelter properties developed within the seven-year period preceding the deadline for submission of proposals in response to this RFP. Use additional pages as needed.”

Another form is an eight-page questionnaire, which asks for things like past misdeeds and all the 10-percent-or-more stakeholders in your corporation. If you’re a nonprofit, the city wants to know your major sources of funding over the past two years.

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Jumping through all those hoops by Feb. 15 doesn’t guarantee you anything. The tax break is discretionary, meaning the city will be selecting projects individually. Good luck, folks!

What we’re thinking about: Will the new Housing and Vacancy Survey data showing rental availability at its lowest point since 1968 prompt calls for more homes or for more tenant protections? Email eengquist@therealdeal.com.

A thing we’ve learned: Some vacant storefronts in New York City cannot be re-occupied because of the citywide rezoning of 1961. Existing stores were grandfathered, but if those spaces became vacant for two years, the new zoning kicked in. In some cases, it banned certain kinds of businesses. In others, it banned all commercial uses.

The Adams administration’s City of Yes proposes modernizing the zoning. So far, 24 community boards have voted no to the City of Yes. Only 20 have voted in favor. Their opinions are advisory; the City Council gets the final say. 

Elsewhere in New York…

— The City Council voted unanimously Thursday to reject a Brooklyn rezoning that would have allowed 150 apartments, a child care center and manufacturing space on a long-vacant industrial lot at 962 Pacific Street in Crown Heights. If the Council passes a broader rezoning as expected in about a year, the $115 million project would be viable then, assuming developer Nadine Oelsner can hang on to her financing.

The Council member who demanded the rejection, Crystal Hudson, said spot rezoning doesn’t make sense. But sources said an intermediary for Hudson offered to approve one anyway if the developer paid $5 million to $10 million into an affordable housing fund and built affordable senior housing on another site she owns.

— TREESOM3, ORG8ZM, CALLGIRL, F4RTBOX, JANKYAF, DUCKMEE and NICEBUNZ were among the custom license plate requests rejected by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, WGRZ reported. Some applications, such as for SW1FT1E, were rejected not because they were profane or suggestive but because a 1 or 0 between letters can confuse plate readers.

— The Bronx needs new housing and good jobs, and a proposed rezoning intended to produce them has been well received by the borough, The City reports. But you can’t please everybody, and that is especially true of community boards. 

The advisory boards attract civic-minded people who think of themselves as experts on traffic, education and sewage infrastructure, or who simply fear change. Bronx Community Board 11 member Mary Elkaham said of the rezoning, “What protections are going to exist for current businesses so that they’re not bullied by developers into selling their businesses and leaving the community?”

New to the Market: The priciest home to hit the market Thursday was a condominium unit at 126 East 86th Street on the Upper East Side asking $19.75 million. Corcoran Group has the listing.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $22 million for the Kushner Companies’ sale of 170 and 174 East Second Street.

Residential: The priciest residential closing Thursday was $3.7 million for a co-op unit at 832 Broadway just south of Union Square in Manhattan.