Though controversy has surrounded the City Point development in Brooklyn since its inception, the development’s first residential tower is rising under the radar as the tussles subside, at least temporarily, and the commercial real estate industry readies for a major boost for the Downtown Brooklyn area.
The residential portion of the project’s second phase has risen Read More
Acadia Strategic Opportunity Fund II, a subsidiary of Acadia Realty Trust, has agreed to sell Fordham Place, a 262,000-square-foot mixed-use property in the Bronx, to Retail Properties of America for $133.9 million.
The transaction is the second between the two parties this month. Earlier, Retail Properties of America, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, acquired Pelham Manor Shopping Plaza from Acadia for $58.5 million.
New York City is the number one retail location in the world. Retailers from around the world flock to open flagship stores throughout the Big Apple. Apple’s store on Fifth Avenue, with its familiar cube, has the highest revenue of all Apple stores. Then there are the flagships of Uniqlo, Zara, Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman and a cast of others. Nevertheless, when you ask prominent owners of commercial real estate as well as local and national retailers, the general consensus is that the outer boroughs of New York City are severely under-retailed.
Eastern Consolidated’s Barbara Byrne Denham reported in May 2012 that retail sales per capita ratios for the outer boroughs were far below the national average. Brooklyn was 39 percent below, Queens was 40 percent below and the Bronx came in a whopping 60 percent below.
Developers of the City Point project in Brooklyn want to set the record straight following a unionized protest and a fiery letter from the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York claiming that the project exploits the community and burns taxpayer dollars.
In addition, some industry experts agree that less union work is simply a wave of the future that began decades ago.
While a spokesperson for developer Acadia Realty Trust expressed reluctance to get into a full-on spat over the issue, he defended his firm’s stance on the project, countering critics who said the project abuses taxpayer dollars. He claimed that the project benefits from a single government subsidy — and that it is essential for the affordable housing component.
“City Point will generate thousands of jobs and enhance Downtown Brooklyn’s quality of life,” said Tom Montvel-Cohen, with Acadia Realty Trust. “We are committed to maximizing local and minority contracting and employment as we create a LEED-certified development with the affordable housing, retail and entertainment options that the neighborhood well deserves.”
Gary LaBarbara has an axe to grind with developers at City Point before they dig any deeper into Downtown Brooklyn.
In a move that could exacerbate friction that’s already occurring at the community level, the president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of New York thrashed the builders of the development project, claiming that they are “failing” to meet the needs of the community by instead catering to private interests.
“City Point is receiving vast amounts of public subsidies ranging from tax exempt bond financing to property tax abatements,” Mr. LaBarbera wrote in an op-ed that appeared in Real Estate Weekly yesterday. “But on a score central to responsible economic development for everyday New Yorkers — creating good jobs that strengthen local communities — City Point is failing.”