Thursday, November 04, 2010

Makeover on the way for Tivoli Towers



Last February, the Brooklyn Historical Society opened "Tivoli: A Place We Call Home," a multimedia exhibition curated by Delphine Fawundu on Tivoli Towers at 49 Crown Street, the area's largest building. The exhibit told the story of the 35-year old apartment complex and focused on the challenges faced by residents whose units were falling into disrepair on account of the landlord's neglect. Talks were initiated to sell the 33-story, 320 unit building, but this raised concern that the Mitchell-Lama protections that kept rents affordable would be lost and residents would be forced out.

Over the past few days, however, the big NYC papers have reported a surprising resolution to the situation: Laurence Gluck, a controversial real estate mogul with a record of clashing with tenants groups and affordable housing advocates, has purchased the building in partnership with the city. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle ran a good explanatory article today about the structure and consequences of the deal, which will keep the building the Mitchell-Lama program until 2040 and only allow rents to rise according to a city-structured formula. Given Gluck's checkered history of trying to drive low-paying tenants from his buildings in order to flip units for market rates, housing advocates may still be wary, but with the city involved and Mitchell-Lama participation secured for the next 30 years, it seems safe to call this a victory for affordable housing and a hedge against displacement on Franklin Avenue.

4 comments:

  1. On paper this sounds great! A real triumph for affordable housing. Let's hope that the landlord really has good intentions, and that "the city involved" will mean the city will be working to protect the rights of tenants, which, as you know, hasn't always been the case. Hopefully, a strong tenant association is also in place.

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  2. Thanks for posting this...(btw...it is 49 Crown Street.)

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  3. Yikes, thanks - just changed it.

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  4. Thanks for the post! It's good to see the advocates of affordable housing (& Mitchell Lama) succeeding in our community.

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