Long Island City, New York September 17, 2010 -
Reuters US Online Report Domestic News
Sep 16, 2010 18:24 EDT
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several real estate powerhouses said they will bid for the first phase of what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says is the city's biggest affordable housing project in 35 years.
Friday is the deadline for bids on two sites in Long Island City, located in the borough of Queens, where 1,000 new homes will be built. At least 60 percent of those new homes will be set aside for middle- and lower-income people.
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Competitors for the waterfront Hunter's Point South project who said they will bid were: AvalonBay Communities Inc, Douglaston Development/Levine Builders, and a venture between The Durst Organization and Jonathan Rose Companies.
Spokesman for the Related Cos and L+M Development Partners, which Crain's New York Business said would also submit a bid, were not immediately available.
The project, which includes shops, a park and a school, is a centerpiece of Bloomberg's effort to ensure that working families can still afford to live in the city.
Before the real estate market downturn, some of the biggest developers concentrated on luxury housing only to see demand falter for some of their projects. Working-class housing now looks like a safer bet. Public subsidies for the new Queens project are expected to include tax-exempt bonds.
Jeffrey Levine, chairman of Douglaston Development/Levine Builders, said by telephone that "The subsidies and the market create a very good formula for a low risk."
The blend of grants and municipal debt each developer seeks could help drive the city's choice of builder, he added.
Hal Fetner, chief executive officer of Durst Fetner Residential said in a statement: "The Hunter's Point South Site provides a unique opportunity to combine superior design in a highly visible location with a significant commitment to affordability and sustainability."
(Additional reporting by Ilaina Jonas)
(Reporting by Joan Gralla)
Source: Reuters US Online Report Domestic News