Bloomberg Passes NYCHA Property Proposal to de Blasio

Residents of public housing will be relieved to know there will be no last-minute agreement between the Bloomberg Administration and a private developer to build market-rate housing on NYCHA property.

One of NYCHA's schematics for the Smith Houses.

One of NYCHA’s schematics for the Smith Houses.

This year, the housing authority floated the idea of leasing parcels alongside eight developments (five of them on the Lower East Side). The plan was opposed by tenants, local elected officials and incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio.  In a news release, the housing authority is now saying, “NYCHA and the City do not expect to move to a conditional designation on any of the sites prior the end of 2013.”  Over the summer, NYCHA asked for ideas from developers, part of a scheme to address a huge budget deficit. 

Yesterday’s press statement offered few details about the plans received:

Responses were received on November 18 and continue to be reviewed by a selection committee composed of NYCHA staff from different departments… NYCHA and the City are pleased that several well-capitalized and experienced New York City residential builders delivered proposals that both meet the Authority’s stated financial objectives, and aspire to enhance our public housing developments and neighborhoods with well-conceived and well-designed plans… Developers offered proposals for 11 of the 14 sites, at 6 of the 8 participating NYCHA developments. Taking the highest financial offer at each site, ground rent payments to NYCHA would average $37 million per year (in the aggregate). This money would be sufficient, based on financial projections, to finance the $700 to $900 million required for full exterior and interior upgrade and restoration of the more than 9,000 NYCHA homes located on the six sites. About 3,600 new rental apartments would be built, including 720 that would be permanently affordable, including affordability for NYCHA residents.NYCHA… NYCHA will release additional details at a later date…

Earlier this week, local activists put up signs outside affected developments calling on Mayor Bloomberg to “let de Blasio decide” about the land lease plan.

The sites targeted on the LES were at the Smith, La Guardia, Baruch, Campos Plaza and Meltzer Towers developments.  NYCHA has not revealed which sites developers expressed interest in leasing.