HPD Hearing on Friday about Tax Breaks & Domino Development

by GWAPP on

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will hold a public hearing to discuss a rule amendment to Section 421-a of the Real Property Tax Law (“421-a Program”). The proposed amendment specifically addresses the “Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Exclusion Area,” which includes the controversial Domino Sugar development.

421-a is a tax break developers receive if their project is a “new construction of multiple dwellings on lots which were vacant, predominantly vacant or improved with a non-conforming use three years prior to the start of construction.” Construction in the exclusion area (like the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Waterfront Exclusion Area) is only eligible if “they receive governmental assistance, contain 20% affordable units, or the owner participates in the 421-a Affordable Housing Production Program.”

© 2013 Ryan Watson. Street View from Kent Avenue.

In regards to the Domino Sugar waterfront development: The current 421-a rules would require the waterfront section to include at least 20% affordable housing. But Jed Walentas and Two Trees would prefer to build most of the affordable housing away from the waterfront on the inland parcel (that is currently serving as the pop-up Havemeyer Park) to maximize waterfront profits. Two Trees needs HPD to amend 421-a, so that their waterfront and inland properties sites are a single “covered project.” (source, source)

Public Hearing Information
Friday, Oct. 4th, 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
100 Gold Street, 9th Floor, Room 9-P10, Manhattan
Official Meeting Notice [PDF]

If you wish to testify at the hearing, please notify Ms. Toribio (212) 863-7698) by October 4, 2013.

Prior to the hearing, you may submit written comments about the proposed rule electronically through NYC RULES by October 4, 2013.

Two Trees stance on affordable housing (March 2013):
The previous developer agreed to building 660 units of affordable housing, however Walentas (of Two Trees) maintained that current law only mandates that 400 units be devoted to affordable housing. Walentas added that he hoped city officials would “figure out a way to hold them to 660.” Affordable housing units would be fully integrated into the market-rate units, 300 of which would be “frontloaded” into the off-waterfront building at “Site E.” (source)

© SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations. Domino Waterfront Park Plan.



The Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks & Planning, Inc. ("GWAPP") is a not-for-profit group, 501(c)(3), comprised of individuals, community organizations, religious institutions, and concerned citizens from the Greenpoint-Williamsburg communities dedicated to the development of parks and public access on the Greenpoint waterfront.