Mixing It Up

In a New York Sun article on Williamsburg’s Schaefer Landing, which will have 210 condos and 140 low-income apartments once it is finished next year, Manhattan Institute scholar Julia Vitullo-Martin asks if the rich will want to live next to the poor. (Why is that question never asked the other way around?) The thing is, people are already doing it all around town: about 30 buildings, mostly in Manhattan, have been financed by something called the 80/20 program, in which, in return for city-sponsored loans, the developer must agree to rent one-fifth of the units to people who met income guidelines. And the low-income units must be indistinguishable from the market-rate units, which is something that they won’t be at Schaefer Landing, where the 140 rentals are segregated in their own building—with 8-foot ceilings.

The piece does include a newsy tidbit, however. One of the developers of Schaefer Landing, Don Capoccia, the gay Republican who quit the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts in protest over President Bush’s policy on gay marriage, has bought a condo in his own project—at full market value, mind you.

-Matthew Schuerman