Grubb Properties is making a $152 million bet on affordable housing in New York — and has nine months to dig foundations and qualify for 35 years and tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks.

This is the first foray into the NYC market for the Charlotte, NC, developer

Grubb plunked down $89 million for a site in the Financial District and $63 million for one in Long Island City. It aims to build 700 units of what it terms “essential housing” for people earning between 60 percent and 140 percent of the area median income.

Grubb’s challenges: High land prices and the cost of doing business in NYC

High land prices fueled by luxury developers will test whether Grubb’s brand of affordable housing, built on innovations from more suburban markets, can be adapted to New York City. Time is of the essence: The city’s most generous property tax abatement program, known as 421a, or Affordable Housing NY, expires in June. Read more


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