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Starrett City Sale Falls Through – Residents Still Wary About New Buyers

The sale of Starrett City to real estate investor fell through this week as federal housing authorities rejected the 1.3 billion dollar offer for the 33 year old complex. Starrett City was built as a low income alternative housing system back in the 1970’s.

I remember driving by it as it rose out of the swamps and the Belt Parkway whenever we headed off Long Island. Starrett City was the first taste of New York City that you would see on the drive, the tall buildings isolated from the rest of the areas still low level building letting you know you were on the doorstep of New York City. An appetizer of bigger things to come.

This is the home of the waiters and the cab drivers that make Manhattan tick. And in this instance they have stopped a new owner and the changes that a new owner would bring. But to gain nearly 6,000 apartments for a price tag just over 1 billion dollars in New York, forgettaboutit, someone with the political juice is going to make this deal. My bet, David Bistricer did not do the groundwork to get this deal done and now pays the price of losing it. But another player in New York politics and real estate will grease the wheels and Starrett City will have a new owner in no time at all.

But many tenants and politicians said that decision was only a temporary reprieve. The longtime owner of the complex, a group led by Disque D. Deane, has made clear its desire to sell, or to pull out of the state’s Mitchell-Lama program, which subsidizes middle-class housing, as a prelude to creating a more upscale project.
Indeed, some of the same investment firms and developers that have gobbled up everything from real estate trophies in Manhattan to brick tenements in the Bronx are still circling Starrett City.
“I think we should acknowledge that a sale is inevitable,” Marie Purnell, president of the Starrett Tenants Association, said at a Congressional hearing at the complex yesterday. “However, retention of all subsidy programs should be a priority.” via New York Times.

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