Assembly member Jim Brennan releases facts highlighting the delay in Atlantic Yards affordable housing

Today, Assembly member Brennan (D, Brooklyn), released the fact sheet below outlining Forest City Ratner Companies’ (FCRC) planned delay in producing the affordable housing benefits promised to the community.  This fact sheet is released on the heels of the press conference on Friday, November 15, 2013 where Brooklyn elected officials and prominent civic groups called on FCRC to accelerate the affordable housing now and make a written commitment to that effect.

At the time the Atlantic Yards Project (“Project”) was approved in 2006, FCRC committed to completing its arena and 16 towers with 2,250 affordable apartments by 2016. However, the State of New York, through ESDC in 2009, renegotiated the timetable for the project with FCRC, so that it could delay completion until 2035, citing the economic downturn as the reason for the delay.  Today the upswing in the economy has resulted with construction in Downtown Brooklyn at an all time high, yet the construction of affordable housing at Atlantic Yards has continued to languish and the first units are not expected to be occupied before 2015.  The following facts highlight the delay in the completion of the affordable housing: 

  • The Project is comprised of two Phases and is supposed to have a total of 2,250 affordable apartments by completion.[1]
  • The Master Development Agreement (“MDA”) requires FCRC to complete three residential buildings by 2022 with only 300 affordable apartments to be completed by 2022 (Phase I).[2]
  • Phase II of the Project requires the remaining 1,950 units to be delivered by 2035, which is 87% of the total number of affordable units proposed for the entire project.[3]
  • FCRC has not announced a date for the start of the next building, or any details of its programming.
  • In the housing Memorandum of Understanding FCRC signed with ACORN, FCRC promised 50% of the affordable units would be 2- and 3-bedrooms suitable for families.[4] However, only 35 of the affordable units in B2 are 2-bedrooms (19%), and only 10 of those are targeted at families making at or below average income for the neighborhood.[5]

[1] Master Development Agreement (“MDA”), between New York State Urban Development Corp. (d/b/a Empire State Development Corp.), and Atlantic Yards Development Co., LLC, Brooklyn Arena, LLC, and AYDC Interim Developer, LLC.

[3] See MDA.

[5] Financing and Commitment Agreement between NYC Housing Development Corp. and FCRC, dated December 7, 2012.