Skip to Content
Morning Spew

The ‘Affordable’ Apartments at Brooklyn’s Futuristic Sinister Stalagmite Ain’t Cheap

You think anyone can just walk into Mordor?

9:03 AM EDT on April 11, 2023

(Kidfly182 / Wikimedia)

The tallest tower in Brooklyn, upon which the Eye of Sauron will soon be unveiled, is finally opening. 

Studios at the SHoP-designed, 1,066-foot building start at just under $1 million, while a nice penthouse will cost you $6 million—a perfect vantage point for you to do that weird hand thing that the filthy rich like to do.

For lesser gods, there are market-rate rentals, which range from $3,750/month for a studio to three-bedroom apartments at $11,825/month. Their view may not be as nice, but everyone below will still look like ants—ants you can crush.

Mortals who beat the odds might be able to live in the 120 "affordable" units that Barad-dûr—I mean, the Brooklyn Tower—was required to offer, because the developers received a 421-a tax exemption from the state.

Back in 2016, when JDS Development took the tax break to build the tower, there were no clear guidelines for how deeply affordable these apartments needed to be (the City could have pushed for more, but didn't). The developer just had to set aside apartments for people making 130 percent of the area median income and below (up to $138,840 for two people), and then they could decide their "affordability"—how much of the "below" they included. 

Now that the Brooklyn Tower's lottery has now gone up on the City's Housing Connect website, let's see those income requirements:

(Housing Connect website)

Ah, well then. We've reached out to JDS Development to see why they chose to focus on New Yorkers earning six figures. We're guessing it has something to do with squeezing as much profit as humanly possible out of Mordor on DeKalb.

The 421-a tax break exemption the Brooklyn Tower received, which mandated these affordable apartments, expired last year, meaning no new buildings that begin construction right now qualify for the millions in tax breaks. Governor Kathy Hochul wants to revive it as part of the now-stalled state budget talks, possibly with a lower maximum AMI—but affordable housing advocates want it gone completely. It's not hard to see why

Some links to stack on top of one another until they form an affront to god: 

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Give us your email address to keep reading two more articles for free

Subscribe to Hell Gate for just 69 cents!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Hell Gate

In Another Secret Court Hearing, Adams Administration Again Asks to Wriggle Out of Right-to-Shelter Duties

And after a closed-door court conference Tuesday, the presiding judge mysteriously recused herself from the case.

September 26, 2023

NYC’s Biggest Nonprofit Newsrooms Face Massive Layoffs, Salary Cuts

Mismanagement and an over-reliance on mega-donors leaves journalists paying the price.

September 26, 2023

New York’s Finest: Automate This

The NYPD robots are stupid and creepy, but at least a robot can't steal its ex-wife's car keys.

September 26, 2023

Eric Adams, Freemason

Nothing like some fraternity on a Tuesday.

September 26, 2023

They Want to Clean Up Their Block. The NYPD Won’t Give Them a Permit.

“There’s been violence, and I’m not comfortable shutting down any street in that neighborhood for a block party,” a local cop told the neighborhood group.

September 25, 2023
See all posts