Back in January, The American Prospect was all about The Post-Boom City. I just got around to it. In her essay "Gentrification Hangover," writer Alyssa Katz discusses "how New York could create affordable housing from its empty glass condo buildings and failed takeover projects."
"Commuters arriving in Brooklyn via the Manhattan Bridge are greeted with a shiny vision of New York City's future that never came to be: condo buildings with names like the Oro, the Toren, and Forté, towering monuments to real-estate developers' credit-bubble hubris..."
"On the opposite sidewalk of Flatbush Avenue one drizzly fall evening, more than a hundred demonstrators, members of the Right to the City Coalition, drew attention to another possibility: A city starved for affordable housing could find it in the glassy confines of failed luxury dreams..."
"New York City made the Scarface mistake: It got high on its own supply."
photo by Lori Nix
Remember back in October 2007, when New York offered its "Doomsday Primer"? They commissioned artist Lori Nix to do these photographed dioramas of abandoned condo towers and Wall Street offices, and we fantasized about the "condo-pocalypse."
Who imagined we would be there in just a couple years? The article in American Prospect might give us hope, but Katz has some words of warning:
"Bloomberg is unlikely to concede that his coddling of luxury developers has only deepened the city's perpetual housing crisis. Nor has his administration rid housing-subsidy programs of their fatal flaw: They eventually expire. Most of the affordable housing New York City has been building under Bloomberg won't be affordable anymore by 2030. Even the condos the city hopes to turn into middle-income residences will eventually revert to top-shelf prices."