HOUSING LOTTERY OPENS FOR LATEST UWS ‘POOR DOOR’ BUILDING

10 freedom place
A rendering of the limestone base, which will include the affordable units at 10 Freedom Place, via Silverstein Properties.

A building in Riverside Center that has a separate entrance for lower-income tenants has opened its affordable housing lottery, with 116 units available. And Upper West Siders will get the priority for 50% of them. The building is receiving a 421-a tax exemption.

The affordable apartments are included in the limestone base of the building; the 41-story condo building, whose address is 1 West End Avenue, sits on top of that base. The development is on 59th Street and West End Avenue, as seen in the lower right-hand corner of the map below.

map riverside center

At the time the building was approved, city officials were under pressure to discourage developers from building separate entrances for people in affordable housing units. The year before, West Side Rag had broken the story about the separate entrances at nearby 40 Riverside Boulevard and coined the term “poor door”. Last year, the Bloomberg-era loophole that had allowed poor doors was closed by the state after the city pushed for it. After negotiations with the city, developer Silverstein Properties agreed to give access to the roof deck to residents of the affordable housing units, and added a gym and children’s play room to the affordable side of the building. Other amenities on the market-rate side will be separate. The developer promised at the time to make the affordable apartments “first class” with apartment sizes larger than city regulations demand.

The affordable units are rentals, with studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms available (click to enlarge).

affordable 10 freedom place

Learn how to apply here.

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 71 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      Does the poor door have a doorman?

      • West Sider says:

        No.

        • dannyboy says:

          I should have been tipped off by “Freedom Place”

          usually used to cover up discrimination

          • Paul says:

            You should look into how “Freedom Place” got its name. You might not be so snarky.

            • dannyboy says:

              It is the use of these phrases that make them propoganda.

              I won;t be snarky with you, even though you deserve it for being so damned snarky with me.

            • ? says:

              An, Danny. Doubling down.
              Freedom Place was so named because the apartment of Andrew Goodman’s mother overlooked it.
              Look up Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney.
              K?

            • dannyboy says:

              You have cited the reason why the phrase “Freedom Place” has been co opted by nyc developers.

              Do you believe that Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney were organizing for the rights of nyc developers to build luxury housing? That they died for these developers’ right to avarice?

              You seem to support this propaganda. I don’t.

      • Rodger Lodger says:

        Yes, but no uniform.

    2. lucette says:

      This is mega disgraceful. I guess Trump would approve this poor door

    3. HelenD says:

      Am I mistaken or is there approx a $40,000 difference in the upper income level in this chart and the previous one? I’m positive the last chart was close to $2000 for a one-bedroom with an income of $70,000.

    4. EricUWS says:

      Please stop with this Poor Door nonsense. It’s only disgraceful for onlookers – would be renters relish the opportunity to live in such a luxury building. What’s really disgraceful is the amount of homeless on the Upper West Side (and throughout the city) – how about building a shiny new shelter in the 60’s off CPW?

    5. Tom D says:

      Here we go again. Liberal UWS’ers bitching about the poor door. Give me one of those one BRs at $895 and I’ll use whatever door is made available. But I guess for you this is just not ok. How many $895 units are in the building you’re living in? That’s right, you’re probably living in a nice co op where you can’t sublet to anyone no matter what they would pay. Seems there are a bunch of UWS folk who claim to be advocates for the disadvantaged but any time something like this becomes available, you constantly bitch. Get real!

    6. Mark says:

      Those are reasonable rents, it was only a few years ago that the “market rate” for average apartments around the area could be found for similar prices.

    7. Brian says:

      The use of this “poor door” rhetoric is unacceptable. It’s juvenile and thoughtless. The world, has always been and will always be segregated by income means, as it should be. Airlines have separate entrances for first class and coach. Is this a problem? Penthouses have their own elevators. Is this a problem?

      Give us all a break. If this is what it takes to build lower income housing, so be it. Who cares?

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        a separate entrance isn’t “what it takes” to build low income housing. the city is giving de facto subsidies to the developer — that was “what it takes” to get these few units.

        it was the developer who wanted to demean people of lower income to make them go through a separate door. Common sense as well as economics means one entrance for everybody. but some people apparently don’t want to come into contact with anybody who is not a millionaire.

        so you can berate those of us who are offended by this all you want, but it has nothing to do with the economics of the matter.

        • Nathan says:

          Let’s be honest. Entering through a separate door isn’t demeaning, and any of us would be happy to live in a nice new apartment for such cheap rent.

        • Cato says:

          Well said, Bruce. Thanks.

        • Paul says:

          If the building were a rental, you could disburse the affordable units throughout.

          But the market portion is a condominium. And it makes no economic sense — for the government or the developer — to disburse rental units in with the condo units.

          So the rental component is separate.

          The way Extel handled the separate part on Riverside and 61st was a disgrace. This ones a bit better.

          But the better approach would have been to refuse to let a condo development get the tax breaks to begin with. That’s what’s happening now.
          Just use the tax receipts from the luxury developments to subsidize affordable.

        • Brian says:

          I didn’t find it demeaning last night when the concert promoters made me use a different door to get to the lower income seats at the Bruce Springsteen concert when the wealthy people who paid for the higher-income seats got to use the less crowded club floor entrances.

          • dannyboy says:

            must be nice to have all that money to pay for that Bruce Springsteen concert!

            but i don’t think that qualifies you as a spokesman for the discriminated.

        • B.B. says:

          It had nothing to do with demeaning or whatever, just that there are two different types of housing; condo (market rate) and rental (affordable).

          For a host of reasons you cannot have rental units scattered about a condo development. Am speaking of built as rental not owner’s renting out their individual units.

          Since the city and state have supposedly banned “poor doors” going forward it will be interesting to see what developers who want to build condos (which are in very high demand) will do.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            are you guys serious? almost every condo conversion on the UWS has rental units “scattered in. what does having rental units have to do with anything? my building is condo but has 34% rent stabilized units, owned by the sponsor.

            what a bunch of malarkey.

            and of course even new condos have rental units, as the independent unit owners rent them out. and the sponsor, if they don’t sell all the units, will no doubt rent them out.

            let’s get down to the bottom line: elitism. a high rise version of a gated community.

            • Independent says:

              Does your building limit access to residents and authorized guests only? How, exactly, is that different– qualitatively— from a “gated community”?

            • B.B. says:

              Conversion is not the same as new construction.

              In a non-eviction plan those who choose not to purchase are protected, especially if they are rent stabilized. Given the large number of such units on the UWS historically yes, you would likely find many such renters still living in converted condo buildings.

              New construction especially in this post Lehman fiscal crisis/housing bubble bursting world need a certain amount of sold/owner occupied units before anyone can get financing IIRC.

              As for sponsors and or owners renting out condo units, of course it happens, but again post fiscal/housing crisis many boards are clamping down on that activity. While that body cannot do much about sponsor units, they do have power over owners.

              Long story short a curious thing came out of the fiscal/housing crisis; the old school/white glove co-ops with their strict standards (especially about renting) largely emerged untouched by events. OTOH all those condos were you had large numbers of owners renting often had serious problems.

              It became clear owners weren’t just renting units out because they say took a temporary job overseas, but rather they couldn’t afford their mortgage and other payments (job loss, decrease in wages/income, etc…) so were renting out unit to at least make money to cover that nut.

      • dannyboy says:

        “The world, has always been and will always be segregated by income means, as it should be.”

        now, Brian

      • Wendy says:

        Actually most airplanes have one entrance for everyone, first class, business class and coach. So your argument kind of falls apart there.

        • B.B. says:

          Most but not all.

          Emirates first class passengers boarding in Dubai have at least on for the Airbus 380 their own private lounge and gate for boarding. The latter takes them straight to the first class section where they remain for the entire flight. Coach and other passengers board via a different gate and have nil contact or access to first class.

          While not separate gate many airlines permit first class passengers to board first often again directly from a lounge set up for such passengers.

        • Woody says:

          You need to fly more to places that don’t have one ramp leading from terminal to plane. There are sorts of ways airlines give preference to different classes of passengers.

          For example, I recently experienced a private shuttle taking 1st/Business class passengers from the tarmac to terminal while all others had to take the regular shuttle bus.

          • dannyboy says:

            comparing First Class Jet travel to other levels of Jet travel seems to me to be a little different than the door into your home.

            Enjoy that First Class jet travel, but please don’t speak for those needing Affordable housing.

    8. Paul RL says:

      This whole “poor door” controversy is ridiculous, particularly when it comes to amenities. I fly Coach because it’s all I can afford, but that doesn’t then give me the right to demand a plush seat, Champagne, and use of the First Class restroom. Why? Because my Coach seat doesn’t entitle me to those luxuries. The people that win affordable housing lotteries know they are lucky to pay below-market rents in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the City. But our nanny-state seems intent on turning even those folks into crybabies.

      • stevieboy says:

        Well said. This guy gets it.

        • Paul RL says:

          Oh please, get over yourself already. I did not lobby for the seniors to be thrown out of their homes. I stated that I was in favor of the sale of the Williams if current residents were allowed to stay during the conversion, or be appropriately compensated if they chose to move to the new SA residence. Perhaps you were too busy thinking of new ways to belittle victims of crime in the neighborhood to understand.

      • West Sider says:

        The controversy isn’t about whether people of modest means are entitled to fancy amenities. That’s a red herring. It’s about what sort of developments we should ask for in return for tens of millions in tax breaks, zoning changes, etc. If a developer gets massive breaks in return for inclusionary housing, should the city ask that affordable housing be mixed in with the market-rate units? From an urban planning standpoint, do we want neighborhoods that are islands for the uber-wealthy?

        The New Yorker had a piece on what it’s now like to walk around Riverside Boulevard: http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-poor-door-and-the-glossy-reconfiguration-of-city-life

        “Riverside Boulevard juts out of West End Avenue, horseshoe-like, and is cut off from the Hudson River piers and pedestrian walkway by the West Side Highway; it’s a place you have to intend to get to, not easily stumbled upon, and that isolation has turned it into an enclave, the bizarro inverse of the Amsterdam Houses, the project complex just across West End. It’s a weird, forsaken zone, particularly at 5 P.M. on a clear day late in January, when the sun has just set and the Hudson glows a phosphorescent blue. The wind came whipping fiercely up over the water. At the Rushmore, a luxury building two blocks north of One Riverside Park, the outline of gym-going tenants could be seen jogging on treadmills obscured by tasteful window sheers. An ad on the front of the Aldyn, the building one block over, showed a dead ringer for Christian Grey strolling along a vast, empty swimming pool…

        I almost missed the poor door, around the corner, where it was obscured by the glaringly red sign of the building’s garage. Finally spotting it, I laughed out loud. It’s not that the façade is dinky or the plain entryway dingy: on a different street, in a different neighborhood, it would be perfectly fine. But as the only entrance of its kind on any of the surrounding streets, it is distinctly marked as a thing apart, as clearly “other” as servants’ quarters.”

        • Terri says:

          Now this guy REALLY gets it.

        • Paul RL says:

          Point taken, but this is a huge, complicated issue, which is bound to create collateral controversies, not all of which are red herrings. Personally, I don’t think developers should get any tax breaks – I would rather see those tens of millions of dollars used to improve our crumbling infrastructure or to reduce our own taxes, thereby helping all of us to afford living in this increasing unaffordable city. As to the “islands of uber-wealthy in our neighborhood”, why on earth should we care? Don’t we want their spending power and tax money? If the wealthy wish only to live with themselves, then so be it if that’s what it takes to keep them in the city. The alternative is to keep trying to create a false fabric of evenly-distributed income class that the wealthy may not accept, nor do they need to. Out they’ll go. I’m sure some people would be thrilled with that prospect. But in my opinion, if that happens we eventually we end up with a Detroit, with no upper or even middle class, no tax base, lousy schools, and a bankrupt, crime-ridden city. Doesn’t anyone remember New York circa 1975? My question is, is that what we really want?

      • Independent says:

        I found that quite cogent and correct, Paul RL.

        The whole “poor door” controversy does indeed seem quite absurd. But not without its usefulness… Expressing righteous indignation about the grave “indignity” and “injustice” of “poor doors” provides a virtue-signaling opportunity for grandstanding politicians and various self-righteous, often sanctimonious types.

    9. Christine E says:

      Five high rise residential buildings and no schools in that “Top-Quality Master Plan.” Not exactly top-quality in my book.

      • B.B. says:

        If and or when any or all four buildings are built in future, then schools may become an issue. As of now it is just the one.

        Given the current moaning over a possible “glut” in luxury housing for the UWS those other properties may sit empty for some time.

    10. Sherman says:

      These apartments are not “affordable”. They are subsidized.

      Every other NYC resident is subsidizing these apartments thru lower tax revenue (due to 421-a tax exemptions) and artificially bloated market rents.

      I don’t see how its cost efficient or even morally correct to subsidize poor people to live in luxury buildings they can’t afford.

      NYC liberalism at its finest!

      • jes says:

        Sherman
        Worth remembering that we taxpayers are also subsidizing ultra-luxury buildings – such as One57 – for international billionaires.

    11. A says:

      When is the city going to stop building ‘affordable’ housing? (Please, $1125/month for a studio is hardly affordable.) It’s inflating the rental markets. If you can’t afford to live in the city, you need to move. Like people when they have families or just sicken of paying high rents. Why are we still doing this??

      • Paul says:

        We do this because, no matter how much you make, someone’s got to come in and clean your office. And someone’s got to come in and save your co-worker who’s had a heart attack.
        And those people need places to sleep.

        • Christine E says:

          Well said, Paul.

        • Sherman says:

          They can sleep in The Bronx or Staten Island.

          They don’t have a divine right to sleep in a luxury building in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.

        • Woody says:

          Why do they have to live in Manhattan’s priciest neighborhoods? It costs the same to ride the subway from the far reaches of all the boros as it does to go just one stop in Manhattan. No other system in the world operates that way.

          • dannyboy says:

            “No other system in the world operates that way.”

            That’s* what makes nyc THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD!

            *among other things

          • B.B. says:

            Don’t know how long you’ve lived in NYC/on UWS or what, but historically there were only a few “pricey” areas; along CPW and between that avenue and Columbus , then perhaps a few others scattered about.

            Unlike the UEs the UWS has long been a healthy mix of working, middle and even low income housing. The Ansonia once had a gay bath house for goodness sakes.

            The “Far West Side” where this development is located was certainly not desirable or what until the New York Central’s ROW was covered over. In fact for years after Trump put up his first complex over there it wasn’t exactly on anyone’s map as a “pricey” neighborhood.

            As for the rest of your post, again you just don’t know, do you?

            From the time you rise each morning and leave your home, and until you return to your bed each night on average you are coming into contact with more persons at the median income level than “wealthy”.

            From the staff in your office and residential buildings, staff in your office, NYPD, FDNY, nurses, teachers, etc… All such persons need and deserve a place to live. And no, that does not translate into out in the boonies somewhere either.

            Of course if many of these persons were paid wages that allowed them to live decently in NYC some of this nonsense wouldn’t matter. But then people like *YOU* would moan about your taxes or whatever going up because of “high” salaries.

            You’ve got only one tuchus, you can’t dance at two weddings. Either pay persons enough so they can afford to live in the place most grew up in, or provide them with “affordable” housing.

      • Cat@lynn says:

        A, do you honestly believe that the people who qualify for this housing packed up and left their wonderful lives somewhere else to come and live on the UWS? Look around you!

        • B.B. says:

          Don’t know what you consider “somewhere else”, but personally know several persons/households that packed up and left their “wonderful” lives elsewhere in NYC and moved into various “affordable” lottery units on the West Side.

          You’d be surprised at who fits into some of these income demographics. They are not all entirely down and out “poor”. But teachers, college professors, nurses, NYPD, various assistant level employment, artists, writers, freelancers, and so forth.

          Think my life is pretty good now, but if given a shot to move into a new construction, RS apartment in an amenity filled building for below market rent, I would take it.

          • D. Gabriello says:

            Good points! I’m an artist who won a great lottery apt and doesn’t NYC need artists living here? We need to be here for inspiration for our work and access for career growth. If all the poor artists had to move out of NYC it would be a shame for NYC culturally. As for the poor doors it is not exactly egalitarian and it makes it clear who is who which is against the spirit of this but it’s definitely still worth getting the apartment. I’m glad my building does not have a poor door.

      • B.B. says:

        Median rent for a studio apartment in NYC as of recently was: $2,616. (see: http://ny.curbed.com/2016/8/11/12428444/new-york-rental-market-reports-july-2016)

        By that number $1,126 is dirt cheap and certainly affordable to someone making at or above the median wage for NYC which is currently $50,711.

        Problem is *NOT* the affordable housing schemes (which by the way without there would be nil to any moderate or low income rental housing built in NYC), but the fact what a good number of New Yorkers need is low income housing.

        The returns on low income housing are so low versus costs involved few landlords/property owners want to be involved. Outside of a handful of non-profits, the City and federal government no one else is bothering. And the last bit has been reducing its share of funding for decades.

        Ironically the city and state created much of these problems themselves using the very same laws they are now using to create more affordable housing; rent control and stabilization.

        Those two programs since their inception have created a cooling effect on building of rental housing, especially at the low to moderate income level. New York City is probably one of the few places in the country where renters have the same rights either implied or by statue as owners.

        The main and perhaps only reason why there has been a rush of developers agreeing to the conditions of 80/20 housing (including now permanent RS)is they can make their money on the market rate side.

        The City and State for their part cannot be seen as saddling landlords with tenants who potentially will have issues remaining current with rent and aren’t entirely paying their share of costs for living in new construction. Hence you often see “affordable” rents higher than some would like.

        Finally as have said before these 80/20 schemes go by federal adjusted median income levels (AMI) for a particular area. Thus yes, rents for UWS are bound to be higher than say for parts of the Bronx because the household median income is higher.

        • dannyboy says:

          “New York City is probably one of the few places in the country where renters have the same rights either implied or by statue as owners.”

          because people should live in a home.

          • B.B. says:

            Suppose you do have a point, but OTOH when you remove some of the freedoms of a LL to rent his property as he sees fit then it shouldn’t come as a surprise many will either choose not to rent at all.

            Again there is a reason why the whole “80/20” lottery process is nearly or just as complicated as doing a board package for a co-op. The city needs to show landlords they are getting someone who will pay their rent on time and isn’t likely to cause problems.

            You have no idea how in many areas the CB preference quotas go unfilled or barely so because they cannot find enough local applicants who can pass the vetting process.

            Those who have been to Housing Court and or have a bad history with current landlord, poor credit score/history and so forth are no more likely to be chosen for one of these lottery apartments than they would a market rate unit.

    12. Just the facts says:

      “Give” me an apartment at that price and you can call me poor, very poor, extremely poor, poorest, or anything else you want. The name “poor door” was coined by those who don’t like the idea that developers have to make available “affordable” housing, not by those who benefit by the housing itself.

      • dannyboy says:

        D. Gabriello says “I’m an artist who won a great lottery apt and doesn’t NYC need artists living here? … I’m glad my building does not have a poor door.”

        and i’m sure Mr Gabriello isn’t the only one.

        Amazing how many would like to speak for others. And deny them their voice.

    13. B.B. says:

      Oh please!

      A 2BR apartment in brand new construction with amenities including access to roof deck for about $1,100 or $1500/month? Said apartments are “first class sized” and so forth as well.

      Don’t care what the door was called and or even if there was a sign above it saying “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”, I’d be quite happy.

      • dannyboy says:

        Worth Repeating:

        D. Gabriello says “I’m an artist who won a great lottery apt and doesn’t NYC need artists living here? … I’m glad my building does not have a poor door.”
        and i’m sure Mr Gabriello isn’t the only one.
        Amazing how many would like to speak for others. And deny them their voice.

        • Woody says:

          No; it’s not worth repeating. Everyone read it the first time and then when you quoted her once already. Your constantly quoting people in a voluminous amount of comments is an annoying way to contribute to a message board.