MAYOR BLOOMBERG BREAKS GROUND AT FIRST RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN GREENPOINT-WILLIAMSBURG REZONING AREA
Brooklyn Waterfront Site Is First Development Constructed As Part of The Nation's Most Aggressive Inclusionary Zoning Program Aimed At Creating Affordable Housing
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today broke ground for the first residential development resulting from last year's rezoning of Greenpoint-Williamsburg. Phase 1 of the mixed-use, mixed-income housing development at 164 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn will consist of a market rate complex, known as Northside Piers, and a midrise-building, known as Palmer's Dock which will be affordable to residents earning as low as $21,300, up to $56,700 for a family of four. This first phase of development will result in almost 300 residential units, of which 113 will be affordable. Palmers Dock is the first building to be approved under the City's expanded inclusionary zoning program which allows greater density in exchange for providing at least 20% permanently affordable housing. This innovative program, implemented by the Administration as part of rezonings across the city including Greenpoint-Williamsburg, West Chelsea, and Hudson Yards, allows the City to harness the strength of the City's booming housing market to create more affordable housing.
"By creating innovative new strategies like inclusionary zoning to address the challenge of affordability, we are providing new housing opportunities for working New Yorkers and developing diverse, mixed-income communities, a hallmark of our great City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Today's groundbreaking is evidence that we are keeping our promises to the Greenpoint-Williamsburg community - building much-needed housing, including affordable housing, creating parks, and opening access to the waterfront. The development of Palmer's Dock is part of our Administration's New Housing Marketplace Plan, the most ambitious affordable housing plan in the nation. The plan will create housing for 500,000 people over ten years, more than the entire population of Atlanta."
Palmer's Dock is a joint venture partnership between L&M Equity Participants and Dunn Development Corp. The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) is providing $12 million worth of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is providing $6.5 million worth of Low Income Housing Tax Credits and about $8 million in other funds for Palmer's Dock. Citibank Community Development is providing a $3.7 million construction loan to the development. A separate entity formed by L&M Equity Participants, RD Management and Toll Brothers, will develop the market-rate towers, known as Northside Piers, which are receiving $300 million in acquisition and construction financing from Citibank Community Development.
"The future of Greenpoint Williamsburg starts today," said Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff. "In 15 years, this former industrial site will become a vibrant community of new housing, gorgeous parks, and public esplanades with spectacular views. It will become the most dramatic example of how New York is reclaiming and re-imagining the possibilities for our waterfront in the 21st century."
The Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning opens two miles of waterfront to create 54 acres of open space, including a continuous public esplanade and a 29-acre park, while also preventing inappropriate heavy industrial uses. The plan will spur 10,800 new units of much-needed housing, and through a powerful combination of zoning incentives, housing programs, and city-owned land, 3,500 of those units will be affordable. One year after the rezoning was enacted there are already 1,000 affordable units in the pipeline for near-term construction on the waterfront alone. That's 64% of the rezoning estimate of 1,563 affordable units on the waterfront.
The expanded inclusionary zoning program is being used to create affordable housing across the city. In Greenpoint-Williamsburg, West Chelsea and in the Hudson Yards areas of Manhattan, rezoning is expected to result in the production of a total of some 30,000 units of new housing needed for New York's growing population and 6,000 of those units will be permanently affordable. The Administration is making use of inclusionary zoning in neighborhoods across the city where it makes sense. In May 2006 HPD and the Department of City Planning announced a proposal for the first inclusionary zoning program in Queens.
HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan said "Conventional wisdom says that you can't build affordable housing in a booming housing market like New York City. But inclusionary zoning encourages the development of affordable housing when the demand for market rate housing is high, turning the usual real-estate equation on its head. It uses the strength of the City's housing market to create much needed housing at a variety of income levels, including more affordable housing. We are implementing the most aggressive inclusionary zoning program in the nation and it is a critical component of the Mayor's innovative New Housing Marketplace Plan, which will create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years."
"It's a great victory for the City and for the Greenpoint-Williamsburg community," said City Planning Commission Chair Amanda M. Burden. "On the site of a former waste transfer facility, we begin the transformation of this waterfront into a vibrant, mixed use neighborhood with a public esplanade and mixed income housing."
"As the redevelopment of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning area begins, we are thrilled about the inclusion of new parkland and open space," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Included in the new public parks will be a 2-mile continuous esplanade along the East River, bringing New Yorkers improved access to our historic and scenic waterfront. By providing developers with incentives we are ensuring that their privately-developed required open spaces will become true public parks."
"The transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront is one of the most exciting enterprises I've had the pleasure of being associated with," said DHCR Commissioner Judith A. Calogero. "It would have been easy for Mayor Bloomberg to encourage as much high-end housing on this coveted real estate as possible. Instead, by enlisting the help of Governor Pataki and leaders like Assemblyman Lopez and others, he has insured that working families and persons with disabilities will also be able to enjoy some of the same vistas that their more well-heeled neighbors have. We can be sure, with partners like L & M Equity Participants and Dunn Development, that the residents of Palmer's Dock will enjoy a superior product and an enhanced quality of life."
"We are excited to participate in this important role working to revitalize the Brooklyn waterfront. In our 200-year history, Citibank has been a leader in developing projects that have made New York one of the great cities in the world," said Steve Freiberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group, North America.
"Dunn Development Corporation builds affordable housing throughout New York City, but as someone who lived and raised a family in this neighborhood for many years I am particularly proud of our role in the development of Palmer's Dock," said Dunn Development Corp. President Martin Dunn. "By partnering with the Bloomberg administration, we were provided an opportunity to use creative programs to build much-needed affordable housing while developing a viable waterfront community."
"L&M Equity Participants, RD Management and Toll Brothers are proud to break ground on this innovative project," said L&M Equity Principal Ron Moelis. "Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and his administration, our public-private partnership will build 300 units of new housing in this first phase, over a third of which will be affordable. As part of this development, we will also create new public amenities that will begin to transform the Brooklyn waterfront. On behalf of L&M Equity Participants and RD Management, I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, Councilmember David Yassky, and Councilmember Diana Reyna for their leadership and support. We are proud to be a part of this historic moment."
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to participate in the revitalization of the northern Brooklyn waterfront made possible by the hard work of the Bloomberg administration in accomplishing this important re-zoning," said Toll Brothers, Inc. Vice President David Von Spreckelsen. "The development on this site will benefit not only those who will reside in the buildings we create, but also all those who live in or visit Williamsburg because they will now be able to gain access to and enjoy the waterfront."
Joining Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development & Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff at the groundbreaking was State Assembly member Vito Lopez, Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Shaun Donovan, Department of City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Commissioner Judith A. Calogero, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup's Global Consumer Group, North America Steve Freiberg, Dunn Development Corp. President Martin Dunn, L&M Equity Principal Ron Moelis, RD Management CEO Jay Furman and Toll Brothers Division Vice President David Von Spreckelsen.