Construction was stalled for months at the Milsteins' twin-building development on the last undeveloped residential parcel in Battery Park City, now called Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green. The excuse given was high labor costs, and indeed once a deal got worked out with the unions, the condo buildings started their quick ascent. But the Milstein family had good motivation for breaking ground ASAP and letting the property sit, which the Broadsheet Daily examines in detail today.
Construction kicked off just before the rules for the prized 421-a tax abatement got tweaked. On projects begun after June 30, 2008, developers seeking the abatement must include affordable housing units within the new building. Construction on the Liberty Twins started around the third week of June, allowing the developers to get the abatement under the old rules, in exchange for the purchase of certificates that support affordable housing elsewhere?such as Staten Island and the Bronx, where the Milsteins sent their $8.5 million. As the Broadsheet notes, "Sites 23/24 are the last available in Battery Park City, so this lost opportunity to build affordable housing in this community will not occur again." Seems like these "opportunities" often get lost down in this neck of the wood, eh?
· Milstein Properties builds affordable housing [Broadsheet]
· Liberty Luxe coverage [Curbed]