Stellar adds low-rent units to get Park Slope project approved

City Council members consent after developer increases affordable housing  

Stellar Management's Larry Gluck; renderings of plans for 341 10th Street (Getty, Stellar Management)
Stellar Management's Larry Gluck; renderings of plans for 341 10th Street (Getty, Stellar Management)

Some affordable housing sugar has helped Stellar Management get Park Slope to take its new-development medicine.

The developer and landlord quelled local opposition to its proposed rezoning in the pricey neighborhood by agreeing to create more affordable housing than is required by the city’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing law.

The company plans to build two 18-story structures at 341 10th Street, between Fourth and Fifth avenues, totaling 245,000 square feet and 305 apartments, after the City Council this week agreed to rezone the site. Stellar had filed its application a year ago.

Renderings of plans for 341 10th Street (Stellar Management)

Of the 305 units, 162 will be income-restricted, according to Stellar, more than double the number required by the state’s multifamily tax break, 421a. Stellar got footings in the ground before 421a expired in June 2022 and can take advantage of the state’s newly extended completion deadline, 2031.

The development will also include a publicly accessible 15,000-square-foot green space with play areas and a community garden, according to a Stellar representative. It has yet to land construction financing, and building at the site is complicated by two subway lines which emerge from underground near the property.

Renderings of plans for 341 10th Street (Stellar Management)
Renderings of plans for 341 10th Street (Stellar Management)

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Local council members Alexa Avilés and Shahana Hanif, the Prospect Towers Tenant Association, the Fifth Avenue Committee, and the Department of City Planning helped facilitate the rezoning, according to Stellar’s Benjamin Rubenstein.

Although rezoning proposals are voted on by the full City Council, local council members typically decide their fate under a Council custom known as member deference. Stellar’s site involves two Council districts.

Some 154 apartments already on the property will be preserved as affordable under Article XI, a tax exemption for HDFC-owned new construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing. The new buildings will be staffed by 32BJ union workers, according to Stellar.

Once complete, the site will have a total of 316 income-restricted units, of which 287 will be affordable to households at a blended area median income of 68 percent. Of those, 196 will be for households at or below 50 percent of AMI. “Stellar Management is firmly committed to offering affordable housing solutions in New York City,” said Rubenstein.

In many districts, developers have no choice to boost affordability because their projects do not pencil out without rezonings that hinge on approval from progressive Council members. But even progressives are subject to not-in-my-backyard pressure from constituents: Hanif in 2022 cut a proposed 48-unit project at 153 Ninth Street in half, citing the potential impact on industrial businesses across the street.

Stellar’s project site is half a block from the Fourth Avenue corridor upzoned in the 2000s by the Bloomberg administration, when Bill de Blasio and David Yassky were the local City Council members. Developers have since built a flurry of projects and more are on the way.

Steps away from Stellar’s project, at 262 Ninth Street, at the corner of Fourth Avenue, Ranco Capital is leasing the 72 units in an 11-story project named Deermar. At 65 Fourth Avenue, a 10-story, 30-unit building by Yisroel Greenfeld just topped out.

Stellar Management, a developer and at times controversial landlord, has a portfolio spanning upwards of 100 multifamily buildings and 2 million square feet of offices in New York City and Miami. In 2019, the firm was found to have overcharged tenants at one of its Upper West Side properties.

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