Related Rescues Tenements
By Matt Chaban August 4, 2011 9:50 amreprints
The Related Companies is synonymous with flashy, glassy luxury apartment towers, from the sentinels of Columbus Circle to the Best Building downtown. But within this cool facade beats a caring heart.
Related will maintain three squat, brick apartment complexes as affordable housing, The Journal reports, thanks to some special subsidies from the city and perhaps an appeal to Steve Ross’ roots—the Miami Dolphins owner got his start in affordable housing.
“This was the juncture point, where Related or any private developer could make a decision to take them market,” said Marc Jahr, president of the Housing Development Corp. “They could get a ton of money in rent if they go market with these projects.”
Related’s acquisition and renovation costs for the three projects total $102 million. As part of the incentive for the developer to keep the buildings affordable, the Housing Development Corp., a quasi-public lender for affordable-housing projects, provided $71 million of tax-exempt loans.[…]
The recession has actually helped the city dissuade developers from cashing in on affordable housing. “In this soft market, the incentives for developers to go market rate on a lot of stuff has been really diminished,” said Mr. Jahr.
Next thing you know, the Dursts and Silversteins will be turning over marquee office space to nonprofits.