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City acquires cluster sites from Podolsky brothers

From left to right: Jay Podolsky and Stuart Podolsky (Credit: Patrick McMullan)

The city is acquiring 17 “cluster sites” in Brooklyn and the Bronx from Stuart and Jay Podolsky for $173 million, according to the NYTimes. Under the terms of the deal, the city will pay for the acquisition, while nonprofit groups will own and operate the buildings after converting them to affordable housing.

Worth Noting: The city first ‘paused’ the deal after federal prosecutors were investigating whether the brothers evaded taxes.

What are Cluster Sites: Apartment buildings for the homeless. In 2016, the Mayor deemed the housing unsafe and promised to move the residents to homeless shelters.

Appraisal: The initial review by the HPD in 2017 set the total value of the properties at around $50 million. A private appraiser later hired by the city determined the value was $143 million.

The backdrop: Podolsky’s lawyer Frank Carone viewed the deal through the prism of eminent domain, which helped capture the highest potential value of the properties, the NYTimes reported. Critics are hammering the Mayor as Carone is a major donor.

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