More than 8,000 rental units are coming on the market across New York City at a pace not seen in years, yet at a time of some weakness in the market. In the process, these new building are redefining what rental housing is, according to this Sunday’s New York Times. Partly responsible for this surge in rental has been developers in Manhattan and Brooklyn “doing well by doing good.” Taking advantage of the 421 Program (that expired in January, 2016), developers receive breaks on their property taxes if they construct an 80-20 building, 80% market rate and 20% below market or “affordable” rents. The famous architected new buildings embrace the theory that young renters, who sometimes live and work under one roof and have all their groceries delivered, might not set foot outside that much. The buildings include 20,000 to 30,000 square feet of amenities: Olympic size pools, a fitness center run by a company that arranges out of building exercises at places like Mount Kilimanjaro, famous NY rooftop restaurants, a bowling alley and movie screening room. The question is not will they rent? Its will renters ever leave?
February 10, 2016