Just when everyone thought that the Domino development was completely in the clear (and that we were another day closer to finally having something built on top of Havemeyer Park), Mayor “Red” Bill de Blasio is stepping in with some objections. The new administration isn’t opposed to the project itself, but wants there to be more affordable housing for families, which developer Jed Walentas says is unfeasible. Little did we know that this would turn out to be the first fight in an eventual rich person coup to reinstall Mike Bloomberg as mayor.
At issue in the argument is the fact that the de Blasio administration wants more of the 30 percent of affordable units (660 out of 2300) to be two- or three-bedroom apartments, as opposed to studios and one-bedrooms, in exchange for zoning changes Two Trees needs to build their proposed development. Considering the pattern in every affordable housing bonanza involves there being more studios and one-bedrooms, it’s easy to see the de Blasio administration’s point.
Walentas has countered that he can’t afford to do the affordable housing that way, and has even threatened to go back to the old plan that had been proposed before he bought the site. If all of this fighting between the mayor and developers seems foreign to you, well, let’s not forget that we just had twelve years of an administration that just gave real estate free rein.
In all likelihood, this isn’t the end of the Domino development, like the Times handwringing story leans towards. It’s just something called “negotiating,” which two sides with conflicting views of a situation and mutual interests do sometimes, so as to reach an agreement that makes them both equally miserable.
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