A rendering of Riverside Center.

The community board will discuss plans for more than 200 affordable housing units in the Upper West Side’s Riverside Center development at a meeting Wednesday night. Riverside Center is a five-tower development located along the Hudson River between 59th and 61st Street. The development has received various government benefits, including tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits. They are also seeking 421-A tax exemptions (though that program is currently halted because it expired without being renewed by the state).

The developer listed as a contact on the three applications is with a firm called GID Development Group, an international developer. The three buildings being discussed have not yet been constructed.

The meeting is on Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. at 250 West 87th Street, just off Broadway.

Documents submitted with the proposals indicate that the new buildings will be 33, 36 and 37 stories and have rental units on the lower portions of the buildings with condos at the top. Market-rate and affordable rentals will be mixed together in the building, unlike 40 Riverside Boulevard next door, where lower-income tenants have a separate entrance. Tenants in the affordable units will also have access to amenities for a fee.

The first Riverside Center building at 21 West End Avenue has just begun renting out market-rate apartments. A lottery for affordable apartments in that building took place last year.

See the applications below. The lotteries for these apartments are not yet open, but we will notify you when they are.

We have info about the latest Upper West Side affordable housing lottery here.

Building 1 CB Submission by westsiderag on Scribd

Building 3 CB Submission by westsiderag on Scribd

Building 4 CB Submission by westsiderag on Scribd

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Mad Donna says:

      Please stop insulting our intelligence with all the bogus “affordable housing” lingo. It’s a big fat joke!! And yippee!! How awesomely generous of these foreign developers to offer a measily 200 of them. How come no one ever posts how many units will be market rate? The ratio is completely unfair. And for all we know, those lotteries are rigged too!!

      • jezbel says:

        I agree – for the size and scope of those buildings and that “complex” 200 units for “affordable housing” in not much. And I would guess the size of those units will be typically tiny in addition. I’ve never met a single person who has ever hit the lottery in one of these housing complexes. That’s absurd. Take applications, do interviews and give people the housing they need. According to the NYTimes real estate section the price of rental units has come down this year from last year. There is a “glut” of available apartments. (But of course rents here are always high). Will these be condo, co-op or rentals? I hate the high profile. It will be destroying the view for thousands of existing apartments.

        • B,.B. says:

          By law IIRC the affordable units must be just the same as market rate. This goes for square footage, appliances, fittings, and so forth.

          In short there isn’t supposed to be a difference between an low income or affordable studio and one that is market rate. Know someone who won of these units (Brooklyn) and he has everything market rate tenants do, including a nice Bosch washer and dryer.

          As for the number of units offered, well it is called “80/20” for a reason. De Blasio and City Council have tried pushing the numbers to 75/25 or whatever, but developers pushed back and IIRC in a few cases backed out of deals.

          Even with the various subsidies, tax benefits and other goodies market rate tenants in these buildings pay more to subsidize the low income/affordable households. Above a certain ratio the numbers simply do not work. Main way to increase the number of affordable units is to allow greater density/ larger building

          • West Sider says:

            We’re pretty sure you’re incorrect that the affordable units have to be the exact same as the market rate rentals. But if you have a link to the law that says that, please let us know. WSR

            • B.B. says:

              Could have sworn over the years read various articles saying the affordable units had to be the same as market rate. However if the staff a WSR has the inside track, then I stand corrected.

    2. dannyboy says:

      “Market-rate and affordable rentals will be mixed together in the building, unlike 40 Riverside Boulevard next door, where lower-income tenants have a separate entrance. Tenants in the affordable units will also have access to amenities for a fee.”

      This part sounds like the values of the Developers has evolved. At least, I hope so.

      • Nathan says:

        I believe a different developer is behind these buildings. Though it seems somewhat likely the negative publicity from the “poor door” development has caused other developers to back away from the idea.

      • GF says:

        Don’t be so gullible dannyboy. Looks like you just arrive in nyc. don’t worry you will soon learn how things work around here. in the meantime keep dreaming and hoping. free to do both.

        • dannyboy says:

          ” Looks like you just arrive in nyc.” GF
          4 GENERATIONS AGO.

          If you had read the Comment JUST ABOVE YOURS, it may have quelled some of your jaded cynicism. “Though it seems somewhat likely the negative publicity from the “poor door” development has caused other developers to back away from the idea.”

          And that is the purpose of open discussion, to create change for the better.

          Or stay beat and at the same time try to shut my discussion down.

    3. JS says:

      Regarding new affordable units it is not clear if the “affordability” is time-limited, ie 20 years?
      Do units revert to market?

      It would be important to know but is rarely specified in media coverage. The NY Times almost never discusses this issue

      • dannyboy says:

        It’s those “tricks and traps” that are meant to getyou.

      • B.B. says:

        Varies by type of program and or agreement with the City.


        Current mayoral administration has pushed for making more affordable units permanent. IIRC that is part of the mandatory inclusion rules in the recently passed housing bill.

        Much of the “affordable” housing is smoke and mirrors. That is the units have rents set that are moderate or low, then depend upon the apartments being in and remaining under RS to keep them that way.

        This is really no different than someone who moved into a RS apartment twenty or thirty years ago with a dirt cheap rent. Even with legally allowed increases the rent today is likely well below market rate, and they have the protections of RS laws.

        Interesting thing is while these 80/20 “affordable” units require an annual recertification of income, IIRC a tenant once in whose income rises well above the original range cannot be removed. For the RS units *think* the only way to remove someone under that situation would be via luxury decontrol.

    4. Junior says:

      200 units? Big whoop. Like they are doing us a favor.
      Meanwhile we pay for it in incentives snd give backs.

    5. Rob says:

      These so-called “lotteries” for affordable housing are a joke and the people who administer the eligibility for them don’t respect unemployed native New Yorkers down on their luck who have a few bucks in their pocket but can’t find a job. Consideration needs to be given to people born and raised in the city who, because of the times, can’t afford the outlandish market rents demanded these days by landlords but who nevertheless need affordable housing just as much, if not more, than someone with a steady, yet below average, income. Maybe there should be a so-called “lottery” for out-of-work people who saved their money when they worked but through no fault of their own can’t find a decent place to live.

      • B.B. says:

        Such situations probably would be better served by residence hotels.

        Back in their day places like the Barbizon and others were actually quite nice, not the awful “welfare hotels” or flop houses many became by the 1970’s.