The Real Deal New York

Commission says Flatiron condo does not need to add affordable units

42 West 18th St. has become a flashpoint for how to interpret new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing rules

August 16, 2016 09:14AM

Drawings for 38-42 West 18th Street (inset from top: Carl Weisbrod and Gale Brewer)

Drawings for 38-42 West 18th Street (inset from top: Carl Weisbrod and Gale Brewer)

The New York City Planning Commission let a proposed condo project in the Flatiron District off the hook for adding affordable units under the city’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing rules.

Amid concerns that interpretation of the new MIH rules would be interpreted too broadly, the commission voted Monday that developers of the project at 42 West 18th Street did not have to make 25 to 30 percent of the units affordable in exchange for enlarging the project beyond what the current zoning allows, the New York Times reported.

Currently, the site is zoned for 40 units and at the crux of the debate is whether Acuity Capital Partners TRData LogoTINY would have to make a quarter of the units affordable if they build 62 units instead.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer argued they would, since the project was growing in size. But others disagreed, saying Acuity was transferring air rights to the project from adjacent landmark properties — a four-story tenement and five-story loft — that it is maintaining.

Following the commission’s decision, the matter now heads to the City Council.

Meanwhile, the commission on Monday gave unanimous approval to a five-building Bronx complex known as La Central, where all 992 unit are designated for low- and middle-income residents.  Under MIH, if the developer, Hudson Companies, converts La Central into market-rate apartments, 25 percent of apartments would remain affordable. [NYT] — E.B. Solomont

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