By Sabina Mollot
Richard Ravitch is looking to find an equity partner for has Waterside Plaza apartment complex on the East River.
City council member Keith Powers, whose constituency includes the 1,470-unit former Mitchell Lama complex, said ownership is in “early stage talks” with potential investors, including industry giant Brookfield.
“We know in the short-term it’s to have equity,” said Powers, who made the comments after Bloomberg reported Ravitch was looking to sell Waterside Plaza for up to $600 million.
Powers told Real Estate Weekly he spoke with management of the complex after the Bloomberg report surfaced.
“What will be the long-term? Will they have the first right of purchase? What will the relationship with Brookfield look like? Will Richard Ravitch be allowed to sell at some point? Those questions are still unanswered,” he said.
Ravitch built the complex in the 1970s as a Mitchell Lama affordable housing development. At the start of the new millenium, he began the conversion of the property to market rate, giving sitting tenants the opportunity to enter into an agreement with the owner that guaranteed them a 4.25 annual rent increase.
Today, 70 percent of the property has been converted to market rate as the former Mitchell Lama tenants have organically reduced in number.
Both Waterside Management did not respond to requests for comment and Brookfield declined to comment on the reports of a sale.
Waterside Plaza is home to 4,000 residents and famous for its annual 4th of July firework party. As of this week, a one-bedroom unit in the property was available for $3,704 per month, according to a selection of listings on Waterside’s website.