Jamaica is rising fast. The 26 story Alvista Tower is complete. Nearing completion is “The Crossing”, a 30 story residential tower. This building, among many others, is the latest development in fast changing Jamaica, where years of rezoning and redevelopment efforts have fallen flat. That’s all in the past now, as the fact that Jamaica is served by numerous subways, the LIRR, and countless buses has not gone unnoticed by the real estate boom. Let’s take a look at The Crossing and its affordability.
There are no fewer than 5 byzantine regulatory agreements signed between the owner and various New York City and State regulatory agencies. We’re going to focus on the regulatory agreement that discusses the affordable housing program. Is it affordable? Perhaps, but The Crossing has a lot of expensive apartments as well. Let’s take a look at the affordability breakdown, which consists of 90 permanently affordable 60% of AMI (Area Median Income, or the middle-ground of everyone’s yearly salary in the 5 boroughs and surrounding wealthy counties) units, 15 permanently affordable 130% of AMI units, 85 non-permanently affordable 130% of AMI units, 49 non-permanently affordable 145% of AMI units, and 299 non-permanently affordable 165% of AMI units (539 total apartment units).
Some interesting points from the regulatory agreement
The affordability of the apartments are governed by an “Occupancy Restriction Period” that governs how long the apartments remain under the affordability program, and how the units can deregulate.
- The 90 units with the deeper 60% AMI seem to be permanently affordable. We hesitate to say the units are permanently affordable because the regulatory agreement has an entire narrative dedicated to deregulation of these units. The 15 units with the 130% AMI have a stronger argument for permanency since the agreement actually uses the word “permanent” in reference to these apartments.
- The restrictions on the other apartment units can have a clearer pathway to deregulation. 40 years seems to be the limit.
- All apartment units are rent stabilized until the restriction period ends. Apartments cannot deregulate for any reason before the restriction period ends. Even then, the affordable units cannot deregulate if the tenant is still in occupancy after the restriction period ends, but can deregulate after a vacancy. Does this include “permanent” units? A housing issue for our progeny to litigate.
- The units can be converted into co-ops or condos after the restriction period.