- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - A project to build 2,250 affordable housing units near the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn is expected to be completed 10 years ahead of schedule under an agreement reached between city and state officials and the developer.

The deal announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio is part of the $4.9 billion, 22-acre Atlantic Yards project that includes the area that opened in 2012. It comes after 11 years of delays and lawsuits.

The housing is now set to be completed by 2025, a decade earlier than the previous timetable. Construction on the first buildings - with at least 590 units - is scheduled to begin in December. The state will oversee the project.

“We are determined to jumpstart affordable housing at Atlantic Yards,” de Blasio said in the announcement. “The agreement means two 100 percent affordable buildings will go in the ground starting next year, with units serving a more diverse range of families.”

MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of the development company, Forest City Ratner Companies, said the announcement heralds “a new day for the Atlantic Yards project.”

“We recognize the critical need to bring affordable housing to market,” she said. “… We are excited to move forward with a great partner, an aggressive building schedule and stronger community alignment.”

Plans call for additional rental units that won’t be considered affordable housing, a reconfigured train yard and subway stop, business and retail space and eight acres of open space.

Under the deal, the developer will pay damages for any housing units not completed by the 2025 deadline.

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