Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Density's Child

New Domino: So Crazy Right Now (I would also have accepted Domino's Bug A Boo and All the Single Ladies Want to Live in New Domino)
Articles and posts regarding CPC Resources' Monday morning's press tour of the old Domino Sugar refinery are making their way to the Internets. I focused on the board's concerns over the density and scale of the project (New Domino: Same Plan), while Sarah "The Real Deal" Ryley has a closer look at New Domino's response to permanent affordability and more facts and figures regarding affordability at different AMI Levels.

About Curbed. Along with Brownstoner, they do a decent job framing real estate issues in ways that most New Yorkers can appreciate and understand (The Real Deal's Ryley is frankly at a whole 'nother level on this beat, along with Eliot Brown at The Observer) . I must take issue with their Invaders poster, which, while well composed, is using the wrong metaphor. Anyone who was on the tour on Monday cleary understands how much the place resembles a zombie horror movie. In fact, throughout the tour, I kept glancing at CPCR's Michael Lappin and Susan Pollock to see whether they were actually trying to eat me or merely just chewing the fat.
"Susan! So is it correct that you are now going to be considering permanent affordability for 660 units of affordable... No! Susan what are you doing to the Daily News' Erin Durkin!!...please, no!! Eat Andy Campbell!! He's so young and flavorful!!...... aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!"

There have already been some reactions around the web to the New Domino Tour: Sugar in the Raw. Brooklyn 11211 notes that the transportation concerns for the site remain unresolved and that CPC Resources are unlikely to make improvements without the MTA, while Phil DePaolo argues that the units are not affordable enough for Williamsburg residents. He is excerpted below:

One of the things that kept bugging me about this proposal was the income levels for the 150 Home ownership units that some housing groups and politicians are calling a hit! The problem is like the rental units the IZ program has detailed provisions about the income levels of the units and the requirement of permanent affordability. CPCR has stated the home ownership units would remain affordable for 15 years....
The 150 for sale housing units for families earning 99,840 dollars are already at 125% of AMI to start. This income level is supposed to be the cap under the City’s Inclusionary housing program. At 80% of ami these units should initially be offered at a little over $57,000 dollars. So if CPCR really wants to, “Follow those rules for the project's 660 affordable apartments. They should lower the starting ami to the levels required by the City’s IZ program. To find a way to worm out of this would highlight the need for this developer to make maximum profit on even so called affordable housing.

Ryley gives Susan Pollock the last word on the project for now, and I will to. Here's Susan excerpted from The Real Deal on the expense of renovating Old Domino:

"It's nothing you can use, you have to take it apart very carefully because the equipment is so massive and so much a part of the structure of the building that, if you take the equipment down, the walls may collapse. So you have to brace all the walls as you're doing the work, and cut up the machinery very carefully, and lift it up from the roof in pieces," she said. "It's phenomenally expensive," Pollock said.

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