With roots in the Civil Rights movement and a long history of helping marginalized people gain collective control of land, community land trusts (CLTs) are experiencing a wave of growth across the five boroughs of New York City. A land trust is a non-profit entity that removes land from the speculative marketplace and treats it as a common resource. The board of the land trust manages parcels owned by the trust on behalf of a particular community, present and future, and in accordance with a mission set out in its by-laws. The board typically uses the mechanism of a long-term ground lease to make buildings on the land available on an affordable basis to residential, commercial, and/or industrial owners, who are subject to conditions (such as perpetual affordability or environmental conservation) that align with the land trust’s mission. In addition to combating real estate speculation and displacement, CLTs may also be a means of establishing transformative politics which aims to dismantle established economic, political, and societal inequalities.
- The property research team conducted ground-level research in three of the borough’s Industrial Business Zones – Zerega, Bathgate, and Eastchester – to identify potential properties for the CLT to acquire.
- The site analysis team undertook programming and financial analysis for for three particular target sites: 1932 Arthur Avenue, 2005 Sedgwick Avenue, and 4006 Third Avenue in the Bathgate Industrial business zone. They produced development pro formas and zoning analysis for these sites.
- The policy team drew on research and key informant interviews to investigate successful non-residential CLTs and other mission-driven mixed use development organizations. This team also assessed the policy environment in New York City and State to strategize around new policy and legislation that can support the CLT movement.