Monday, January 10, 2005

W. Side plan OK'd with financing change, more affordable housing

Subject: Crains: W. Side plan OK'd with financing change, more affordable housing
Date: 1/10/2005 4:23:49 PM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

This article seems to be a mischaracterization of some of the details I've been hearing all day. Instead of the HY commercial paper being backed by the TFA, the financing for the No. 7 subway will be paid through the regular city revenue streams... forcing the council to make conscious political decisions to fund the No. 7 subway instead of schools, hospitals, firehouses and the MTA. The council will control the short-term financing for the first 12-14 years until the PILOTs kick in. With the city debt burden hitting 17 cents on the dollar, and with GO bonds getting close to the limit, other more worthwhile priorities will suffer.

Apparently Quinn has paid off the Trammel Crow developers on the 44th/11th Ave. site where they can build up to 800 units. While 600 of those units would be "affordable" (and that could be affordable for those making $75,000), it is believed part of the plan would give them a bonus worth millions.

Some details are still sketchy. More later.


January 10, 2005

W. Side plan OK'd with financing change, more affordable housing

New York’s City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg reached agreement on
rezoning Manhattan’s far West Side. The agreement calls for 28% of all the
residential units to be affordable housing, up from an originally proposed
19%. In addition, commercial space will be decreased by more than 1.75
million square feet, and the financing plan was restructured in an effort
to save the city up to $1 billion.

The council’s land use committee is set to approve the plan today. City
Councilwoman Christine Quinn praised the revisions, saying that
neighborhoods like the Hell's Kitchen area and Clinton will retain their
low density. On 11th Avenue alone, there will be a 1 million-square-foot,
or 14%, reduction in new development.

The revised agreement on financing calls for “earlier interest payments, a
more favorable credit rating, and improved debt management,” according to
the council.

Community Board 4 said it is still disappointed at the large scale of the
proposed development, which “will flood our neighborhood with cars and air
pollution, and will cast enormous shadows on the few open spaces in the
area.” It also criticized the plan’s tax increment financing scheme, which
has been called risky.

However, the community board did praise the creation of the Hudson Yards
Development Corp., which will include a board representative, as well as
the stipulation that no Hudson Yards funds may be spent west of Eleventh
Avenue—i.e., on a West Side stadium.

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