As is their wont, the de Blasio administration is trying to take a developer-friendly megaproject conceived under the previous administration and rework it to include more affordable housing. The city declined to appeal a lawsuit threatening the Willets Point megaproject in Queens this week, leaving developers Related Companies and Sterling Equities to appeal it themselves, and the indication is that the city will continue to withhold support until Related and Sterling commit to additional (i.e. any) affordable housing. "The deal as it stood did not actually mandate any affordable housing actually be built," said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. "We really wanted to see significant improvements that would mean that the public would also see a healthy mix of affordable and market-rate housing, delivered on a real time frame. We hope that this team will continue to work toward that goal with us."
The developers, on the other hand, claim that affordable housing is not economic viable (as is developers' wont). "We support the administration's efforts on affordable housing and are committed to significantly accelerating the housing portion of this plan," said a spokesperson. "But those efforts need to be backed by a financially viable model. We look forward to working with the administration over the next few months."
· New York City Declines to Fight in Court for Complex Near Citi Field [NYT]
· De Blasio in stunning about-face on Willets Point project [Crain's]
· Willets Point coverage [Curbed]