New York City Converts Failed Luxury Condo Development Into Homeless Shelter

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ByLoSellHi, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. The city is paying $90 a night to rent rooms for homeless people.

    I can build homeless condos and charge half that and make buku $$$. Where do I sign up?

    City turns upscale building in Crown Heights into homeless shelter

    BY Ben Chapman and Elizabeth Hays

    Thursday, June 4th 2009, 4:00 AM

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    [​IMG]Homeless people are now living in spacious units at 1040 East New York Ave.

    Read more:

    Granite countertops. Terraces. Marble bathrooms. Walk-in closets.

    The homeless are livin' large in Brooklyn.

    The city is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to rent luxury condos in a Crown Heights building for homeless families, the Daily News has learned.

    "It's like a hotel. It's the nicest place I've ever lived in," said Nelson Delgado, 36, who moved into a swanky two-bedroom, two-bath pad two weeks ago.

    "It's beautiful," added Delgado, an out-of-work truck driver from Miami who's living with his son Jeff, 17. "The closet in the main room is so big you could put a twin bed in there."


    Raymond, another resident who moved in more than a week ago with his wife and two young daughters, said he is still trying to get over his good luck.

    "When I first saw it, I was like, 'Damn, everything is brand new,'" said Raymond, who wouldn't give his last name. "It has marble counters and marble floors in the bathrooms, too. I like the big kitchen. That's my favorite."

    City officials said the condos - which couldn't attract buyers in the fizzled housing market - are part of an effort to help an "unprecedented" number of homeless families who have ended up on the street because of the tough economy.

    Units priced at $350,000

    It appears to be the first time a faltering upscale building has found a new purpose as a shelter, said Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York.

    Neighbors were furious the 67-unit building on East New York Ave., where apartments were supposed to sell for $250,000 to $350,000, has been turned into a shelter.

    "I'm a hardworking taxpayer, and I don't think homeless people should be living better than me," fumed Desmond John, 35, a window salesman who wanted to rent one of the fancy apartments. "They said it's not for rent. It's a shelter. I was shocked."

    Luxury brokerage firm HQ Marketing Partners started promoting the condos last summer - with the hook that buyers could custom design the units.

    When the market started to tank in the fall - and his gamble on a fringe neighborhood didn't pay off - developer Avi Shriki said he had to come up with a Plan B.

    "When the market went south, we knew we had to do something different," said Shriki, 44. "With the market being the way it is you have to be creative."

    This spring, Shriki signed a 10-year contract with the Bushwick Economic Development Group to turn the building into a homeless shelter.

    Shriki wouldn't say how much he gets paid - but he said he jumped at the chance to get people in his building.

    "At least we still own the building and we are paying our mortgage, so that's good," said Shriki. "The outcome is not as bad as some people I know who had to surrender the whole building to the bank."

    City pays $90 a night

    The city is paying Bushwick Economic Development Corp. $90 a night for each of the apartments, about $2,700 a month - a figure that also covers social services, housing help and job counseling designed to get families back on their feet.

    The nonprofit declined to comment.

    City officials defended the move, calling it a creative use of a building that otherwise could have become an empty blight.

    "This is a case of innovation and outside-the-box thinking that benefits all those involved," said Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman Heather Janik.

    Shelter residents said it's not their fault they landed in such swanky digs.

    "People are saying we don't deserve to live here," said an 18-year-old man who gave his name only as "Boss," who moved into a two-bedroom apartment with his mom last week.

    "Just because a person fell out doesn't mean they don't deserve a place to stay," he said.

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  2. MattF


    When you need to rent your place out...

    Would you rather that or another foreclosed, abandoned, empty, rotting building?
  3. I would pay more then these bums to live in this building. How come NY has exclusive deal to rent them out far below market.
  4. MattF


    Well all I can say is pure genius if the condo owners approached the city with this idea.

    Or, someone's about to get promoted on the government side if they thought outside the box to come up with this deal idea.

    Right now better to get something for things and/or break even and just hold on to them longer term, then to lose because "no one's buying".
  5. Neodude


    So $2,700 dollars a month of my tax dollars is going to house wellfare leeches in luxury apartments... This unbelievable!

    If you live in NYC call Bloomberg's office immediately, I know I will. All our taxes are going up in order to continue supporting idiotic policies such as these. This kind of spending and the public services unions are the reason NYC has a budget deficit. There are plenty of projects in the rest of the city where people could be housed for 1/4 of the cost.

    NYC is turning into a communist shit-hole. I can't believe I pay a few grand extra a year to support such waste... Texas is looking better and better every minute.

    Departments responsible for the waste!

    Robert V. Hess
    Department of Homeless Services

    Michael Hyman
    Acting Commissioner
    Department of Finance
  6. OUTRAGEOUS! But then, it's easy to spend somebody else's money.
  7. second.
    it is a genius idea, and it opens up a whole new method of helping hundreds of thousands of GOOD people who have been kicked out of their homes because of The Crisis.

    i think it's great.
    the city gets the building on the cheap, refinances the debt under TARP with citibank or whatever failed mortgage holder, the building can only appreciate, and the people who live there for as long as they need until they get back on their feet retain some dignity.

    any one of you jerks been homeless?

    i have. it's a humbling, humiliating, hungering experience that makes you appreciate how damn good we have it in north america compared to, oh, the other two/thirds, or about 4B people in this world that would gladly replace us right now.
  8. Neodude



    The city doesn't own the building. Its paying the condo developer outrageous rent. If the city bought the place below market value, then I wouldn't be so upset, but in this case they are subsidizing a developer and wasting MY tax money. Tell me what incentive do these homeless have to look for a job and get their own place? NONE!

  9. Neodude



    The city doesn't own the building. Its paying the condo developer outrageous rent. If the city bought the place below market value, then I wouldn't be so upset, but in this case they are subsidizing a developer and wasting MY tax money. Tell me what incentive do these homeless have to look for a job and get their own place? NONE!

    PS. And to answer your question, I have been humbled before by poverty, but I don't agree in wasteful spending like this.

  10. ok, then suggest an alternative for housing the new mass of homeless in nyc. i'm curious to know what your solution would be...
    #10     Jun 6, 2009