The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The New Building on Lincoln

From the presentation by developer Tom Anderson at Tuesday's CB9 meeting, it looks like ground could break by mid-winter on the new 130+ unit 9-story building on the vacant L-shaped lot that lovingly spoons the buildings at the NW corner of Flatbush and Lincoln. What just a few years ago was going to be glass skyscraper condo has now been scaled back to a modest rent-stabilized building. In order to qualify for HDC financing, Tom has to make 20% of the flats affordable to means-tested folks. The rest, quite surprising to some of us following the deal, would come in around 10% below market to start. His estimate was from $1,800 - $2,500, studios to two-bedrooms, which caused frequent Q commenter Babs to question his research. $2,500 for a two-bedroom? Sure, a few will pay that, but right now $1,800 - $2K for a 2BD is apparently more common for places near or on the park.

I spoke with Tom for a bit and he seems like a nice enough guy. Been in Brooklyn for 30 years, has a good reputation for his other projects. Some don't like the design, but I think it's more than fair for a City financed building.  Anyway, here's some closeups of the pics he brought to the meeting:

And yes, as you can see by the above pictures, the primary materials for the project will be balsa wood and tongue depressors. You gotta love all that roof action, though. Mid-Aztec-Ruiny details and a lovely silken faux cabana.

There will be 80some spaces for parking underground. Two big retail spots, one at 33 Lincoln the other on Flatbush. Giant community space. All he needs is for HDC to float a bond, and he's golden. If he fails to get the financing, he falls back on Plan B, though he doesn't really have a Plan B other than find someone to invest. Btw, that's my Plan B too. About my life.

Whaddya think?


Alex said...

Excellent news.

Anonymous said...

Good there will be some available but $2500 for a 2bd is hardly under market.

Anonymous said...

I think it's so ugly I could cry, and I'm not joking. It's awful.

Me said...

$1,800 - $2,500, studios to two-bedrooms is NOT rent stabilized nor counts as affordable housing. I live in a pretty big 2-bedroom, non rent stabilized building and I pay significantly less than the lowest quoted price for a studio. How is $1,800 for a studio considered affordable? Maybe by Manhattan standards, but in our 'hood????

Bob Marvin said...

"Me" is right, in that the allowable rents aren't affordable by local standards. It appears that these rents DO fit whatever standard HPD has established though and we will have the 20% of lower income housing. While this might be an imperfect solution IMO it's better than a hole in the ground and an improvement over the originally proposed 23 story luxury tower. I also don't agree that it's SO ugly, although such aesthetics are pretty subjective. IMO it's a serviceable apartment building and far better than the multitude of bland new buildings on 4th Avenue because it will have retail space, rather than a blank walls, facing the street.

Alex said...

Well said, Bob.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

There was talk that this would be affordable housing, but it turns out that was just for the 20%. The rest is basically market rate with some kind of theoretical discount. Remember, this is a new construction rental so there's not a lot of other real estate to compare it to nearby. Apparently, some people really like new buildings and will pay a bit of a premium. Or so they say.

The fact that it is rent stabilized is not to be confused with affordability in the short run. Rent increases will be fixed annually by the same process that's used for other stabilized apartments in the City. So while one's rental might be cheaper now, it could soar way past this new building in the future, making any longterm tenant of 33 Lincoln Road seem like a genius for getting in early.

There's no pleasing everyone, obviously. I sort of feel that people have used Lincoln Road as some sort of stand-in for the state of the neighborhood. It needn't be...things are moving in a dependable capitalist slope with zigs here and zags there, and I've tried to take note of both with an eye to the longrun. Change hasn't been as drastic as elsewhere, and we still have an opportunity to be a place that old-timers and newcomers can call home in relative harmony. But there is a tremendous gulf between the haves and have-nots, and cultural chasms wide as canyons. And I use the plural on purpose!

tc said...

Unfortunately, once a rent hits $2,500 it becomes destabilized - so the first rent increases for the 2BR (after first lease) puts them at market rate. In 1997 the maximum was $2K and raised to $2,500 in 2011 - so don't count on these apartments to be rent stabilized for long.

babs said...

Not so - the $2500 ceiling applies to existing rent-stabilized properties. This is a different rent stabilization program covering new construction that developers opt into for a certain number of years in exchange for tax breaks (which owners of older rent stabilized properties do not get). Beginning rents are market rate, but subsequent increaes are governed by rent stabilization limits - until the tax breaks expire when everything is no longer stabilized. Some buildings that have used this program include 180 Montague St in Brooklyn Heights, a luxury doorman building, that was rent stabilized until a few years ago - and nothing in that building has been under $2500 since well before then.

These apartments will rent - $2500 for a two bedroom with these amenities and this location will be seen as a deal to people from other neighborhoods, and even some current area residents may pay that price - this high-quality new construction is something we don't have in rental apartments here. And the influx of (relatively) moneyed types is likely to bring a corresponding uptick in local shopping and dining options. I'm happy that there will be some affordable units; I'm just a bit disappointed that there aren't more as there is a great need for them here.

JDB said...

I think the split of 20% affordable and 80% stabilized is a good deal for the neighborhood. Although the building is not the most attractive thing I have ever seen, it is certainly not among the worst. The amenities and proximity to the park and subway certainly make this building worth the rents that will be charged. Older buildings on Ocean next to the park are charging similar rents without any of the amenities that this new building will have.