Upper West Side Development Is Putting In a Separate Entrance for Poor Tenants

Categories: Upper West Side

ExtellCorp_ClientChoice2.jpg
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One of Extell's other developments on the Upper West Side
Dear big developers: Not every tax break is worth a bad headline. Extell Development Company is building a 274-unit luxury condo building in the Upper West Side, with plans to put in a separate door for people living in its planned below-market-rate units. The reason? It's a workaround enabled by the city's Inclusionary Housing law to help Extel collect on some major tax breaks and building allowances. Local residents are upset and have gotten their elected officials to jump into the ring.

Of the 274 units in the building, 55 will be below-market-rate housing, meaning only those earning less than 60 percent of the neighborhood's median income will be eligible for leases. That's about $51,000 for a family of four for the Upper West Side--about the same as the median income for the city as a whole.

The building's affordable units would occupy floors two through six, attached to the building but legally as a separate entity. That separate entity allows Extell to cash in millions in affordances for technically having an entire building devoted to affordable housing. To add insult to injury, zoning law requires that a separate building have a separate entrance.

Neighbors are crying wolf when it comes to Extell's blueprints, accusing the developer of demeaning potential tenants with the second entrance.

"This 'separate but equal' arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side," Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal told West Side Rag. "A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off."

Members of Community Board 7, which represents the area around the planned development at Riverside Drive and 61st Street, have penned a letter to the city Departments of Planning and Housing Preservation and Development urging them to scrutinize Extell Development's designs on the site.

It reads in part: "We urge that HPD carefully consider appropriate safeguards to avoid a situation inwhich the Affordable Housing tenants are relegated to the status of second class citizens."

Here is CB7's letter in full:

159079133-40-Rsd-Letter

Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.


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16 comments
Carol Lipton
Carol Lipton

Oh, snap! They forgot the separate drinking fountains!

Conrad Centeno
Conrad Centeno

Will they have an elevator marked "Colored Only"?

David Russell
David Russell

I'm surprised they're providing a door, or is it a trapdoor?

Rapheal Crump
Rapheal Crump

over development in NYC. they better get used to this... there are too many condos being built in the first place

Jenn Maskell
Jenn Maskell

You only have to go down the back alley, make a left by the crack dealer, climb over 2 dumpsters and you're in.

James Encephalomaniac
James Encephalomaniac

Extell.. those bastards blocked my view, and tore down the previous building in incredibly negligent and unsafe fashion.

Luis Orozco
Luis Orozco

The rich are out of control. Can we hunt them for sport?

anonymous
anonymous

@Jenny Jimmy Desmond 

agreed.  

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