Ross’s Millions

Hurry over to the Time Warner Center. There are just four condos left, and they are going for $3,300 a square foot—“Which is really cheap compared with the prices at 15 Central Park West,” Related CEO Steve Ross said at a lunch Thrusday sponsored by the New York University Real Estate Institute. Overall, the apartments at Time Warner, which his company built, went for $2,500 a square foot on average, he said.

And then, a few questions later, while discussing land prices, he turns the coin over to the other side. “I’m very concerned about the affordability of New York. Everybody can’t afford $1,200-a-square-foot apartments. If you take the land cost and the construction costs—and it’s not much cheaper in the boroughs—it is very hard to build affordable housing—and I’m not talking affordable according to the fed level, I’m talking about for working people. What’s that going to do for New York City?”

The solution? A program that he said the Real Estate Board of New York is discussing with City Hall under which the city would buy or contribute land, union wages would be reduced, and developers would get low-interest financing. With those breaks, he said developers could afford to build something to rent at $30 a square foot—or a measely $1,800 for a modest 600 square foot one-bedroom.

That’s in 2010 dollars, right?

-Matthew Schuerman