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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: 

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