Friday, March 7, 2008

Community group to bid for Starrett City

Community group to bid for Starrett City
The group—which includes the Christian Cultural Center and Central Labor Council—says they would keep the Brooklyn site affordable.

March 07. 2008 2:30PM
By: Daniel Massey A coalition of labor, religious and community organizations is putting together a plan to buy Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized housing complex in the nation.

The group—which includes the Christian Cultural Center, the Central Labor Council, and the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty—says their proposal ensures Starrett City, a 140-acre, 46-building complex on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, will remain affordable. They’ve met with representatives of the owners and with city, state and federal housing officials to make a case for their plan.

“The most important thing is protecting affordability and raising the quality of life for Starrett as a community,” says Rev. A. R. Bernard, founder of the Christian Cultural Center, which has 29,000 members, including 2,300 who live in Starrett City. “We’ve put together a plan that keeps the community’s best interest at heart and yet at the same time makes it attractive enough for investors to get involved.”

The group has not determined the amount of a potential bid, but says it will be well below the $1.3 billion bid that died after encountering strong community and political opposition last year. The group is lining up investors and says it will avoid the pitfalls of past bidders because all three member organizations have deep ties to the community.

Sources say other groups are also preparing bids, though their identities could not be determined.

A full story will appear on on Sunday and be published in the print edition of Crain’s on Monday.

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