We are investigating housing, condos, and where we can live . . .

Across the real estate landscape of Brooklyn, condo conversion and construction have been rampant.

But now many developments, most strikingly the new glass towers along the Williamsburg waterfront, are ghost-like icons of real estate speculation.

As  projects like these stand stalled and empty, dotting the Bushwick skyline, we’d like to reverse engineer this market trend and research how to re-program condos to meet local community needs.

CAPITAL B is working with Make the Road NY’s Youth Power – Bushwick Research About Gentrification (BRAG) committee on gentrification  to map new condos in Bushwick and propose alternative ways to fill these underutilized spaces.

Over the month of July, we will be walking the streets to map condos, installing condo information stations to ask residents about their housing needs, and then making a video trailer to kick off an advocacy campaign.

Factory buildings, school houses, fire stations and office buildings have all been converted into condos.
But can we advocate to reprogram these new and old constructions to meet the needs for affordable housing, schools, healthcare facilities and open community space?

Stay posted as we track our research and production here:


Condo Listings in Bushwick

Map of Bushwick Condos

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer is asking listeners to map stalled developments in NYC.

What to do with Empty Condos

“Renters to the Rescue in The New York Times – 7/26/09

Youth Protest the construction of condos on 358 Grove St.
– 8/20/07

Plan emerges to convert luxury apartments to affordable housing

“There are hundreds of units of empty luxury apartments that developers are unable to sell or rent because of the declining housing market,” said Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn), whose district includes some of the newest high-rises in Brooklyn. “It makes sense to figure out a way to convert those empty luxury units into affordable housing for the community.”

Confronting the Condo Glut

All different parts of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long island) have all suffered from the financial crisis in relevance to new housing developments being unable to sell their luxury condos, and some of which are even unable to be finished.

Lower-Income Housing in Connecticut; Condos in Bridgeport start at $49,900

Taking place in Connecticut, unsold condos were being sold at a lower value specifically for low-moderate income families, selling for approximately $49,900 to $64,900. These apartments will be either sold or rented. The plan Connecticut used as described in the article inspired New Jersey to develop a similar program. But unfortunately they were unable to afford the cost to buy condos and rent them out to these low income families.

Business : Unsold Condos: Options in a Tough Market

With many different ideas cycling on what to do with these empty condos,  ideas for alternate solutions for unsold condos became critical. Proposed solutions included leasing, time shares, sell to a bulk buyer, using as office or retail space.

Empty Condos Can Ease Senior Housing Needs

A new  way to combine two very different programs, collaborating because of current events: The Florida legislature killed a proposed senior rental complex at the same time that Housing and Urban development was buying foreclosures to stabilize property values.

The Newest Condo Conversion: Luxury Lofts for the Homeless

Unsold condos used to house homeless in Crown Heights. Luxury Condos originally going for roughly somewhere in between  $250,000- $300,000, were being rented for $2,700 per month by the city and then used as places for the homeless providing them with shelter.

New Affordable Housing Condos

A Housing development which was burnt down in Boston during the process of its construction was built and renovated under the Demonstration Disposition; the condos were then sold to the low and moderate income first time home buyers.

Developers look past auctions to sell condo units

Extending the possibility to sell unsold units to developers/realestate brokers.  Buyers are able to sell their property after 3 years and ensure they are refunded any lost equity.

Report: South Florida Properties Sell At -43% Discount In 2008

Banks  buy out condos and sell them out as rentals to assist in the current problem.  Using their resources the Banks create more loan availability to help.

When Could Empty Condos Become Affordable Homes?

Christine Quinn, a city council speaker, proposes a program for turning condos in NYC into affordable housing.

Housing Trust Fund Program

Chapter 67 of the Laws of 1985 created the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC), a public benefit corporation which administers the Low-Income Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF).

Choosing Plan B: When Going Condo to Rental Makes Sense

Housing projects that consider rental being simply a back up plan, provide specifics for when renting out condos truely makes sense.

Empty Condos Used as Dorms

When a housing condo project languishes on the market for six months in Providence, RI, options open to the local college Johnson & Wales University to serve as dorms for roughly 300 students.

Predatory Equity – research + advocacy + info graphics

Part of Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP)’s Making Policy Public Initiative

The Second Battle for Bushwick – The Village Voice, 6/26/07