NEW POOR DOOR BUILDING WILL BE ‘FIRST CLASS,’ DEVELOPER PROMISES

10 freedom place
The lobby of the income-restricted section of the building.

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.

photo facadeThe 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.

map riverside center
A map of Riverside Center, which runs from 59th to 61st and from West End Avenue to Riverside Boulevard. 10 Freedom Place is pictured in the lower right corner.

Photos of renderings by Krista Carter.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Dani says:

      Give me a poor anytime if I will be getting that great price point.

      • Sally Smile says:

        Since it’s the 1 percenters who commit all the major crimes, like banking and securities fraudsters, and ponzi schemers like Bernie Madoff and his ilk, I’m sure the middle and working class folks who live there will be quite relieved not to have to share the elevator with all of those lowlifes and criminals.

    2. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      I have been busting arse working for decades paying my market-rate rent. I would gladly take one of these subsidized luxury apartments for $800 to $1400 per month and use any door they want.

    3. Paul RL says:

      Lower my maintenence, build me a separate door, and I’ll gladly walk through it.

    4. Howard Freeman says:

      jokes aside, this says and does awful things about our urban culture, and it retards the growth of good citizenship by developers. You all are letting them off the hook way too easily.

    5. Pedestrian says:

      “separate but equal or “first class”. Developers enjoy big perks including wads of cash for “affordable housing” units but those tenants are treated like trash. Does any one really believe that separate but allegedly first class poor doors ifs really appropriate?

      • Paul RL says:

        I actually think tax breaks for developers should be done away with entirely, and with that, so should the City’s inclination to artificially create a civic fabric based on income differentiation. There is too much regulation, and it will never be fair, not even to those that are lucky enough to score the $1,800 apartment next to the same one that rents for $10,000.

    6. Scott says:

      Congratulations on stirring up this hornet’s nest, WSR! You have the bedwetting left-wingers whose parents never hugged them in a huge fit over this nothing story. BTW that “poor” lobby is nicer than my pre-war co-op lobby and by quite a lot.

    7. AC says:

      Two seperate doors for home, but when we head to work, we ALL share and squeeze into the same subway door! This is not worth discussing, but I must admit, the WSR knows how to get your panties up in a bunch!

      I’ll let the those who are really bothered by this comment.

    8. allie says:

      Poor door?
      Why not have those tenants just wear a yellow star of David or a pink triangle to enter or exit the building with their not-so-liberal neighbors?
      Disgusting!

      • Paul RL says:

        Really? Your hyperbolic comparison of a yellow Star of David and a pink triangle to a separate entrance of a building that people CHOOSE to live in is far more disgusting.