Starrett City Associates

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Not to be confused with the Starrett Corporation, which built the Starrett City complex.

Starrett City Associates is a group of investors, led by Disque Deane, that owned the Starrett City housing complex in Brooklyn, New York until 2008. The firm is best known for unsuccessfully defending a landmark civil rights lawsuit that concerned "reverse discrimination" and racial quotas in the housing complex, and for controversy during the sale of the development in the mid-2000s.[1]


Starrett City was constructed from 1972 to 1975, as part of the Fresh Creek Urban Renewal Act to develop the area now known as Spring Creek, Brooklyn.[1][2] At the time it was built, Starrett City was the largest housing development in the nation,[3] and remains the largest federally subsidized apartment complex.[1]

Discrimination Charges[edit]

In 1980, the NAACP initiated a class-action suit against Starrett City Associates and charged that the owner of the housing complex attempted to maintain racial quotas by selective approval of tenants based on racial and ethnic profiles. The quotas caused minority applicants to wait longer than white applicants for spaces in the complex. Starrett City Associates argued that the quotas were necessary to maintain racial balance. In other words, if the quotas had not been in place, the population would have been disproportionately non-white.

The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal was also named as a defendant in the suit because it had oversight of the public money spent to build the project and allowed the quotas to exist.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States in the fall of 1988 [4] and the high court ruled against Starrett.

In 1990, Starrett proposed to make apartments available to Soviet Jews who came to the United States in order to "keep the development racially and ethnically integrated," in the words of a spokesperson (The New York Times, 24 July 1990).

Sale of Starrett City[edit]

In early 2007, Starrett City Associates attempted to sell Starrett City for $1.3 billion to Clipper Equity LLC, a partnership of David Bistricer and Sam Levinson. The sale was ultimately unsuccessful due to public opposition.

A renewed effort to sell the property began in June 2008.

See Starrett City for a more detailed discussion.


  1. ^ a b c Kenneth T. Jackson; Lisa Keller; Nancy Flood (1 December 2010). The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition. Yale University Press. p. 1223. ISBN 978-0-300-18257-6. 
  2. ^ AKRF, Inc., Eng-Wong Taub & Associates, Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc. (February 4, 2009). "FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT for GATEWAY ESTATES II". New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ U.S. v. Starrett City Associates
  4. ^ United States Department of Justice, Supreme Court Brief No. 88-82

External links[edit]