On the Market: LICH May Lose Affordable Housing; the Continuing Battle Over BBP

Manhattan House.

Manhattan House: retail space is hot.

Manhattan House has had its difficulties transitioning from a white brick rental to a super posh condo (among them, a location between Second and Third avenues) but Crain’s reports that the building’s block-long commercial space is very much in demand, having just sold for $110 million, or 30 percent more than JP Morgan Chase and Madison Capital paid in 2008.

The New York Times editorial board has come out in favor of building affordable housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The modification of the plan in no way increases the amount of housing to built at the park or decreases the funds that would have gone to its maintenance, they argue. “raising a ruckus about ‘crowding,’ property values, traffic and school capacity is just a less obvious way to try to keep poor, or poorer, people off your block, and out of your park… The Brooklyn waterfront can and should stay green without becoming a luxury enclave, because this city gem is nobody’s private backyard.”

And when it comes to parks, it can be difficult to reach consensus even on much smaller issues, like the renovation of the playground at P.S. 166, one of the city’s last remaining adventure playgrounds, as documented by The Times. The parks department has proposed modest changes to the design of an amphitheater in the park, setting off a vicious debate between parents and leading one parks department employee to scream in frustration during a meeting that the entire battle was over a six-inch step.

In other parks and recreation news, the Kingsbridge National Ice Center has scored an investment of $30 million from Michigan-based philanthropic and investment group the Kresge Foundation, Crain’s reports. The downside is that the cost of the project, pegged at $275 million when the City Council approved it, is now projected to cost $350 million.

Vacation homes in the country—bungalows, cottages and other diminutive residences can be bought for under $100,000, DNAInfo reports. Which is news to no one other than New Yorkers, who live with constant abuse from the city’s real estate market and have a hard time imagining a world in which middle class people routinely buy property.

To wit, Uma Thurman’s younger brother, Mipam, whom the Post reports tried to buy in Bed-Stuy, but kept putting in low-ball bids and was subsequently priced out of the neighborhood. So he finally took his $549,000 and went to East Flatbush, or “the Brooklyn hinterlands” as the Post refers to the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, affordable housing developer L+M Development Partners has withdrawn from Fortis and NYU’s bid to takeover LICH, The Wall Street Journal reports, raising concerns that the site has lost not only a full-service hospital, but also the promise of affordable housing in an increasingly expensive neighborhood. The Journal reports that L+M walked due to concerns that with the speed SUNY wanted to close the deal, there was not sufficient time to negotiate an affordable housing deal with the de Blasio administration. Naturally, the community is worried, particularly because Fortis has said that one of the only ways it might be viable to build affordable housing without L+M is to build more housing altogether.

Last of all, everybody is pissed that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams scheduled a meeting about the rezoning of Crown Heights’ Empire Avenue for a Friday at 6 p.m., according to DNAInfo. Observant Jews because they can’t attend a meeting on shabbos and everyone else because who wants to attend a zoning meeting on a Friday at 6 p.m. in the summer