“From coastal resiliency and sustainable green practices to the preservation of affordable housing, world-class public art, and vibrant, year-round programming in award-winning public spaces, Battery Park City leads the way in many of the measures that makes cities livable."

Raju Mann

President & CEO
  • 02/24
  • BPC People
  • Community

Preserving Housing Affordability & Certainty

by B.J. Jones, President & CEO

Read the Op-Ed Here

At the Battery Park City Authority we’re striving to develop thoughtful solutions that preserve affordability for both owners and renters who call this gem of a community home.

Buildings in Battery Park City have a unique structure in which BPCA owns the land underlying the neighborhood, while building and condominium owners pay rent for their use of it. Some Battery Park City condominium owners have raised legitimate concerns about the existing lease provisions, known as “resets,” designed to periodically increase ground rent payments made to BPCA. These resets are tied to the underlying value of the land if it were undeveloped – an unpredictable amount that would be unaffordable for many residents.

In order to address the concerns raised by condominium owners, BPCA has proposed a framework that eliminates these land value-based resets, replacing them with a ground rent that is predictable and consistent throughout the many condominiums in the neighborhood. Parity is important, because there is no reason for some buildings to pay a discounted ground rent while other buildings pay a reasonable market value.

We’re also exploring options to protect lower-income homeowners from increases they cannot afford. While Battery Park City is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in New York City, with high-end, luxury waterfront real estate, it is incumbent upon BPCA to develop responsible solutions for those who need help.

Unfortunately, representatives of condominium owners have proposed to provide such relief to everyone in the neighborhood regardless of income. Such an approach would divert funding from important public services.

These principles guide our approach in tackling these issues:

Expanding affordability and certainty for residents. To date this has been realized in our efforts to extend limits on rent increases for long-time residents at Gateway Plaza, preserve affordable rental housing for decades at Tribeca Pointe, and the prior elimination of several resets for 12 condo buildings – saving them nearly $280 million in unreasonable increases.

Balancing the neighborhood’s good with the common good across the city. As a public benefit corporation, BPCA has a responsibility to maintain Battery Park City as a world-class community, while being fiscally-responsible stewards of this public property. The latter includes our legal obligation to pass through revenues to New York City for services like police, fire, sanitation, and schools. Additionally, some of these revenues have been dedicated toward a fund established by New York City and BPCA that to date has helped subsidize affordable housing across the city.

We’re confident we’ll be able to develop a fiscally sound plan for the future of Battery Park City: one that ensures we devote the necessary resources to maintain and protect it, that our revenues benefiting the entire city remain robust, and that our community remains vibrant.

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