You know the words, so sing along: A middle-class housing enclave, routinely described with superlatives and recently put up for sale, has just fetched a mind-blowing offer. Tenants are worried that the buyer will deregulate, and politicians say there will be no redevelopment at the site without a “lengthy public review”; meanwhile, the whole thing proceeds with the momentum of a giant rock rolling toward Indiana Jones.
This time, the complex is the 46-tower Starrett City, in Brooklyn’s Jamaica Bay, and the purse behind the $1 billion-plus offer is Berkshire LLC, a private-equity firm. The jaw-dropping move is an apparent attempt to stem a bidding war: Starrett’s current owners, led by the awesomely named Disque Dean, already received a half dozen offers and were about to force a secret second round. If the sale happens, Berkshire will have priced its new property at around $220,000 per apartment, enough to make the tenants nervous. But there’s one big, un-Stuy-like difference here: The state holds a huge mortgage on Starrett, and Spitzer has already said he wants it to stay subsidized. Let’s just hope Shelly Silver doesn’t want otherwise.