A developer has passed a key hurdle to building 77 new units of affordable housing at the former Park 79 Hotel, obtaining financing that will allow the building to be gut-renovated.
The building at 117 West 79th Street had been cited by the city for allegedly operating as an illegal hotel. But it was sold in 2018 to Fairstead, a developer and real estate investor that says it’s aim is to be socially responsible. Fairstead partnered with the nonprofit Project Find to turn the building into affordable housing for seniors, a development first revealed by West Side Rag last year.
“This will be permanent housing for independent seniors, with two full-time activity/resident coordinators and a full-time, on-site superintendent,” wrote David Gillcrist, Executive Director of Project FIND, in a statement to the local block association last year. “The majority of the units will be reserved for what’s called a ‘community preference,’ which means that the seniors eligible to move in must already live in the area.”
Residents nearby had been concerned it would become a homeless shelter — right now, the conversion of another nearby hotel into a shelter has become extremely controversial.
Throughout the city, there is a shortage of affordable housing for seniors.
The developer is looking to make the building environmentally friendly, according to NY YIMBY.
“Fairstead has selected CTA Architects to oversee gut renovation of the property, to deliver a fully electric building that does not rely on the use of fossil fuels to heat or power the property. Other sustainable retrofits include energy-efficient lighting and kitchen appliances and high-quality ventilation. The renovation will also include the addition of meeting rooms, a communal kitchen, and a community space with indoor and outdoor areas.”