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Greenpoint Landing, Williamsburg Get City Funding to Build Affordable Units

By Serena Dai | June 16, 2014 4:29pm | Updated on June 16, 2014 6:40pm
 The city announced it would help with financing on Greenpoint Landings.
The city announced it would help with financing on Greenpoint Landings.
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Handel Architects

WILLIAMSBURG — Affordable housing will be funded at two new developments in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, including the controversial Greenpoint Landing project, after the city approved financing for them on Monday.

New York City Housing Development Corporation announced that it issued some $373 million in bonds and $89 million in subordinate financing for projects across the city — some of which will go toward completing Greenpoint Landing's 93-unit low-income housing building and 98-unit mixed-use building.

Subordinate financing is a type of funding where the lender provides a loan in exchange for debt and/or ownership of the property, with the debt being higher risk than for other investors.

Developer Greenpoint Landing Associates had previously agreed to include senior-specific housing in the 20-acre, 10-tower development if it received government funding.

The waterfront development caused an uproar in the neighborhood when it first debuted more than a year ago, as residents decried the buildings as "monstrosities" that would destroy waterfront access and not properly provide for low-income residents.

Developers already had the right to build high-rises due to 2005 waterfront zoning and ultimately agreed to contribute $5.5 million to the Newtown Barge Park, up from $2.5 million, after local opposition.

The city's funds will also help finance Williamsburg Apartments, a long-stalled all-affordable development at city-owned lots at 33 Ten Eyck St. that will provide 53 units for low-income residents.

Yuco Real Estate Company was first approved to develop the project after a bidding process in 2007.

The project stalled because developers had a difficult time finding investors for project due to the layout of site, which was a series of plots that were small and not connected, according to NYCHDC.

Yuco later reconfigured the development to allow for bigger units. More than half of the 53 units will be 2-bedrooms, and all the units will be permanently affordable, NYCHDC said.

A representative for Yuco Real Estate said the company did not want to comment on the current status of Williamsburg Apartments.

NYCHDC also announced financing for 14 other affordable housing developments in The Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan, all part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to create or preserve 200,000 affordable homes in the next 10 years.

"Each of these projects speaks to the core principles and values of the plan," NYCHDC President Gary Rodney said in a statement.

The cost of the multimillion dollar developments is still in negotiation, and the total amount the government is financing for specific projects will be made public once the financing is finalized, according to NYCHDC.

The process is expected to be completed by the end of the month.