Extell and Carlyle Development companies have come up with a revised plan for a new affordable housing development at 40 Riverside Boulevard, which has been in the works since last year. Last summer, the developers had withdrawn their initial application.
The development, which would be an 80/20 project (80 percent market housing and 20 percent affordable housing) would add a 33-story building between 61st and 62nd streets to the 75-acre, 5-building Riverside South Large Scale Development Project.
According to the proposal, approximately 55 out of 219 units will be affordable, meaning that rent would not exceed 60 percent of median area income, which according to city statistics for a four-person household, would be just over $51,000.
But, the community board has raised several questions about the site, the largest of which is, will the affordable housing residents be treated as second-class citizens?
“Under some circumstances, when affordable and market rate are interspersed it’s not an issue. Here there’s at least the potential of unequal treatment,” said Mark Diller, the chair of Community Board 7. “We are not prescribing a particular solution we just want to make sure there is protection and that everyone is treated fairly and equally.”
Like many 80/20 units, 40 Riverside would have a separate entrance, roof, elevator and even heating system. As a result, said Diller, the city could potentially regularly fix the elevator or heating system for the market-rate residents, but not affordable housing residents.
Last year, when the plan was initially proposed, Gale Brewer expressed concern over the actual affordable units being built, and over residents being treated equally.
“We may have to have a fight with another developer,” Brewer said at the time.
Last week, Brewer said, “I always prefer that units be scattered like the Trump buildings, That’s a big concern for me. The integration of the units is important to me. The Trump buildings are profitable, people live together and I have never heard of any issues regarding one apartment versus another. Why can’t it be done elsewhere?”
Extell and Carlyle are awaiting approval from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development.
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