Transforming a public housing complex on the downtown waterfront into private condominiums would be a "win-win" scenario for everyone, according to some tenants of Marine Drive Apartments who stepped up lobbying efforts Wednesday.
Advocates insist the conversion would generate tax revenue for the city, help its cash-starved public housing agency and guarantee all existing residents that they could stay without incurring additional costs.
"We know this works for everyone," said attorney George Grasser, who is working with the Queens Landing Tenant Action Group.
More than 100 residents belong to the coalition, about a fifth of Marine Drive's population.
But a Masiello administration spokesman reiterated that the complex is not currently for sale and that talk of converting the 616 units into condos is premature.
Consultants presented a plan to the Common Council's Community Development Committee that features:
A mixed-use development that would include retail and possibly offices in underutilized space.
New facilities to accommodate community events and tenant activities.
A three- or four-level parking ramp that would be used by tenants but would also be marketed to Bass Pro Shops, which plans to open a superstore in the adjacent Memorial Auditorium. Revenue could be used to help assist lower-income residents to purchase their Marine Drive units.