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NEW YORK CITY-Clipper Equities’ $1.3-billion bid for Spring Creek, the massive apartment complex better known as Starrett City, has been scuttled once again. The Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is holding to its belief–the same conviction that struck down Clipper’s bid this past March–that the affordability of the more than 5,800 apartments would be jeopardized by the sale, say various published reports.

At the beginning of March, Clipper’s original bid was rejected after much public opposition by both tenants and government officials. HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson blocked the sale due to concerns about the complex remaining affordable and called for a re-bid. During the press conference to announce the decision, Jackson said that for Clipper, “the door is not opened; the door is actually closed,” for maintaining its winning bid.

The HUD chief said that, after looking at the facts of the deal, visiting the low- to middle-income housing project and failing to see a definite explanation from Clipper on how it plans to keep Starrett City affordable, he opted to block the deal.

“We are concerned the sale will rapidly change the Starrett City community,” Jackson stated. “We are concerned it will be dug open, paved and changed. We cannot stand witness to the loss of open space where tenants walk and their children play. Starrett City is a community of people, a way of life. The tenants don’t want this transaction and it would be the worst kind of theft to steal all of that from them.”

A response from Clipper spokespeople concerning this latest rebuff was not available at deadline.

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