By Krista Carter
Despite a backlash against poor doors, a second building has been proposed on the Upper West Side with a separate entrance for tenants in affordable housing. The building is at 60th street and West End Avenue, part of the Riverside Center development along the Hudson that will eventually include five buildings.
The new building will have an entrance for market-rate tenants on West End Avenue and another entrance for affordable-housing tenants that opens into a four-acre park. The affordable section’s address will be 10 Freedom Place, while the condos will be at 1 West End Avenue. But developers Silverstein Properties are trying to stem criticism of the poor door arrangement, which is allowed under zoning rules adopted by the Bloomberg administration, by making the affordable section “first class,” as their reps said at a community board meeting last week.
Of the 363 units in the building, 247 will be market rate condos and 116 will be income-restricted. Developers can receive tax breaks and permission to build larger buildings by building some income-restricted apartments — with high-end apartments selling for $2,000 a square foot, those deals can be worth tens of millions of dollars. The exact specifications of Silverstein’s deal were not clear at the meeting.
The 41-story condo tower will sit on a limestone base that includes the affordable apartments. The condos will have all the trimmings of a luxury building, including a gym, a pool and a doorman. But the developer’s reps said that the affordable section will also have a gym and a children’s play area. And the two groups will get to mingle on a shared roofdeck, part of which can also be rented out for private parties (the community board members were concerned that the condo owners would simply pay to have private access to the deck, instead of the two groups actually spending time together). The affordable section will be run by a nonprofit.
The affordable units are expected to rent for $800 to $1,400, and they’ll be 26% larger than HPD requires — 900-square-foot one bedrooms and 1050 or 1100-square-foot two bedrooms.
The commissioner of HPD told the Wall Street Journal that this development will serve as a blueprint for these types of buildings, until the city changes the law that allows it.
“I do think we’ve made a blueprint. The blueprint is that you’ve got to have a building that signals, ‘You are welcome here. You are just as valuable as every person in this neighborhood,” said Vicki Been, commissioner of the Housing Preservation and Development Department.
West Side Rag first wrote about the Poor Door, and coined the term, here.
Photos of renderings by Krista Carter.