Brooklyn NYCHA complex to sell air rights in first-of-its-kind deal

Brooklyn NYCHA complex to sell air rights in first-of-its-kind deal

The Ingersoll Houses public housing complex in Fort Greene. | Max Touhey

The deal is expected to generate $25 million for repairs, but the complex has an estimated need of $159 million over the next five years

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is about to close on its first air rights deal to fund repairs at one of its Brooklyn developments, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle first reported.

The move is part of Transfer to Preserve, one of the de Blasio administration’s NYCHA 2.0 strategies to overhaul the embattled agency, which seeks to raise $1 billion for several NYCHA developments, including the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene and the Fulton Houses in Chelsea.

At the Ingersoll Houses, the deal involves transferring 90,634 square feet to a nearby planned residential tower developed by Maddd Equities and Joy Construction, in exchange for almost $25 million for repair work at the NYCHA development.

Under the deal, Madd Equities and Joy Construction would be permitted to build up to 400 units for its two towers (up from an initial 187 apartments). Of those, 25 percent will be set aside as affordable at or below 60 percent of the area median income—approximately $45,000 per an individual.

Jonathan Gouveia, senior VP for at NYCHA, told the Daily Eagle that the deal is expected to close this month.

“This is good for Fort Greene, because we’re increasing the supply of permanently affordable housing, and it’s increasing community space,” Gouveia told the newspaper. “The proceeds from the sale of the rights will go toward chipping away at the capital needs we have at Ingersoll.”

But the $25 million that will go toward repairs at the Brooklyn complex is a long way off from the $159 million NYCHA estimates the development will require over the next five years, and a staggering $300 million cumulatively over the next 10 years, according to city estimates.

A laundry list of fixes for the complex includes upgrades to the development’s shoddy heating and electric systems, interior renovations, repairing busted sidewalks, and much more.

The state of the Ingersoll Houses mirrors public housing complexes across the city, with the authority facing a staggering five-year capital need of more than $32 billion. That deficit is why the city is looking to leverage its developable assets to generate investment from private developers to pay for public housing repairs.

If the air rights transfer goes through, Ingersoll would be the first development to see such a deal and another complex, the Fulton Houses in Chelsea, could soon see a similar deal.

Curbed NY

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