New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved plans this week by real estate developer Extell for their new building on 40 Riverside Boulevard. The 33-story tower will have 219 units, 55 of which will be designated for low-income renters. Sounds good all around, but there’s one little quirk in the plan that’s making city residents angry.
Because of NYC’s Inclusionary Housing Program, by including low-income apartments in the building Extell can build bigger than is normally allowed–and Extell gets a nice tax break to boot. But the company has drawn fire for its proposal to include two main entrances to the building–one leading to the standard-price units and another–built on “a back alley”–servicing the low-income units. David von Spreckelsen, SVP of Toll Brothers (whose towers on North 5th Street in Brooklyn employ a similar arrangement), is quoted as saying: “I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.” There are many in the city who disagree, but it looks like the Department of Housing Preservation and Development isn’t one of them.