At 16 stories tall, “The Dime” is already the unrivaled tower near Marcy Avenue and Broadway. The unfinished tower already eclipses the 13 story “The Williams”, an early forerunner in the north-meet-south-meet-Marcy-meet-Broadway netherworld of Williamsburg. With another 7 stories to go, The Dime will be the tallest residential building in Williamsburg that’s not along the shorefront. Far removed from the troubles of the L train, the luxurious The Dime offers amenities galore, quick transportation access, and views that will probably be the best in the Williamsburg netherworld. But is it affordable? If you don’t have a lot of dimes, chances are The Dime is just another sprouting luxury building. Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Before we even ask whether there are affordable units, we have to settle on the correct address. The Dime’s existence came into being through the merger of several lots. When that happens, it’s best to stay away from using an address to search for affordability, and stick with the BBL – borough, block and lot. Here, its Brooklyn (Borough 3) | Block 2447 | Lot 35. Thank you NYC DoiTT map.
Like any new residential development in NYC, our overall question is that of affordability. The Dime is not affordable, at least in the statutory context. But how do we know that? There are several ways an owner can convey affordability to tenants: 1) out of the kindness of their hearts, 2) through rent stabilization in the pre-1974 construction context, 3) though inclusionary housing, or 4) other affordable housing programs (such as tax benefit programs, LIHTC programs). I think we can immediately rule out possibilities 1 and 2.
That leaves us with 3 and 4. If inclusionary housing was a possibility, we would know it nearly immediately with ZOLA, or NYC’s Zoning and Landuse map. Just click the inlcusionary housing overlay options on the left navigation panel, which clearly shows The Dime’s lot is not zoned for inclusionary housing. But hey, NYC maps shouldn’t be the be all and end all of housing analysis. The real answer is always in ACRIS, which would contain a regulatory agreement of some kind with a governing agency. Here, there is no such regulatory agreement at all.
Our last hope is that perhaps The Dime is affordable through a tax abatement or exemption, such as 421-a. The answer to that question would come from at least two sources, the Department of Finance’s benefit portal, or from the property tax bill itself. Again, no hints of affordability.
So there you have it. The Dime will not have any affordability component whatsoever. But it will integrate a landmarked structure (the original “Dime” bank) into the finished product, a characteristic we’re seeing more and more these days as the real estate boom runs into our historic structures. At least there’s that, right?