The Real Deal New York

Revealed: Details on Silverstein’s “poor door” project

At Riverside Center, a roof deck and courtyard will be shared -- but not the pool
October 17, 2014 02:15PM

Silverstein Properties unveiled details about its Riverside Center project, which has a “poor door,” or a separate entrance for tenants residing in the affordable units in the building.

Silverstein, which is developing the project with El Ad Properties, said at a Community Board 7 meeting on Wednesday that the buildings at 10 Freedom Place and 1 West End Avenue will be loaded with amenities for all residents. The Freedom Place portion will be eight stories and hold 116 affordable units. Above that component is 1 West End Avenue, which will rise 41 stories and hold 247 market-rate units. The site is located between West 60th and West 61st streets.

“There’s no cheaping out on materials,” Janno Lieber, a development executive at Silverstein, told the board, as reported by DNAinfo. “There’s no sense that you’re in other than a world-class building.”

In the affordable section, one-bedrooms will average 900 square feet and two-bedrooms will average 1,100 square feet. Those rentals will ask between $800 and $1,400 per month. Affordable tenants will share a 12,000-square-foot roof deck and a 3,000-square-foot courtyard with market-rate tenants, but will not have access to the pool, the website said.

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development has received criticism for its use of the “poor door” at 40 Riverside Boulevard, as previously reported. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer

  • fr75006

    There’s no greater irony than to reside at Freedom Plaza and be reminded everyday that you are a second class citizen in the eyes of the property developer.

    • dingus

      you are not a second class citizen in the eyes of the developer. if you don’t qualify for their market rate units, that is YOUR PROBLEM. Your income is not substantial enough to qualify, and you are still able to live in a luxury building. What more could you want?

      • fr75006

        I dunno, if it’s “separate but equal” I guess that’s OK. That’s the American way, right?

        • TheWhateverMan

          You’re confused about things… Or you’re mixing things up.

          • fr75006

            Yes, I’m clearly confused why one door for all residents, regardless of means, is not sufficient.

          • TheWhateverMan

            I will almost guarantee you that the residents using the “poor door” are not complaining one bit. And it’s because they understand something you probably don’t.

          • discusted

            It is a disgrace that the Mayor approved this… The worst ..It just created a class system in this country of the Haves and Have nots… What a disgrace this whole building is

          • Marc

            It’s not a disgrace. This is government interfering with free markets in a grossly onerous way. Extortion is used to make the developer create these “affordable” units. The developer now owes that freeloader every amenity in the building? Well I guess if the city would also force that issue.
            The disgrace here is that the city gets involved with this “affordable housing” horse crap in the first place.

          • RobSuslo

            Let the city build the affordable units themselves, and they can then make one big door for everyone, but as long as they don’t (because they know that the cost of construction in no way justifies such low rents) and freeload on developers, YOU SHOULD ALL STOP COMPLAINING.

          • S R

            Very well said.

  • FlipoutNYC

    It looks like the second class citizens are in the lower floors and the upper glass portions are for regular rent tenants.

  • Flipoutnyc

    I will be happy if I get one of the apartments and will forget about the poor door. Who cares. Only stupid people complain

    • Marc

      Those stupid people are crybaby liberals with a sense of entitlement to get something they did not earn thanks to a forced redistribution of wealth by government.

  • Char4Dew

    Stay safe don’t move to a Silverstien building; now way no how.

  • poordoordistractsfromrealissue

    poor door is a distraction and misleading sensationalism from journalists. zoning requires a certain percentage of units be affordable if a developer chooses to develop past a base maximum floor area ratio. in such an instance zoning only requires that the units be located on the zoning lot. zoning does not require that the affordable (market rate cross subsidized) units be located in the same building as the market rate units. but if they are there has to be one entrance and the affordable units must be located within 65% of the floors that market rate units are located on. zoning also does not require that the affordable units and the market rate units all be condo or rental, there can be a mix. accordingly in this instance the developer chose to locate the required 20% affordable floor area in a rental building located on the same zoning lot as as the market rate condo building. This is absolutely permitted by zoning and the agreement the city made with developers when enacting the inclusionary housing zoning regulations. The developers are given flexibility in order to make the project work, so that the market rate units can subsidize the affordable units… so there is no reason to be hateful as silverstein for developing the property in compliance with the applicable regulations. He did not exploit the law. He developed a building in accordance with the wishes of the government officials that adopted the law in the first place. Officials who researched the issues for months and years to strike the appropriate balance that the market place can absorb to ensure affordable units get developed, rather than fully stifling development and seeing nothing get built. Furthermore, those who want the market to pay for affordable housing should appreciate that the development is occurring and the developer figured out a way to maximize return on the market rate condos in order to cross subsidize the affordable units. These affordable units are incredibly expensive to build and the returns are in the negative. There has to be enough profit on the market rate side to pay for the affordable units. The government is not paying for them. Albeit with some tax incentives and subsidizes. But even with those, the affordable units will not get developed unless there is enough profit on the market rate side to make the project work for investors and finance institutions providing the capital for development. Without some flexibility in the zoning regulations to allow for this sort of mixed income development one zoning lot with a market rate condo paying for the affordable rental building we would see no affordable units unless government steps in and builds the units themselves.

  • Klaus

    In Jersey City (I know it’s no Manhattan) I moved into a “luxury” apartment complex which had 20% of units for moderate income tenants. I was one such tenant; we had to be employed, earning at most 80% of the median income in the neighborhood (up to $50K). There was no separation of unit locations; the units were throughout the buildings. Access to amenities was equal – everyone was charged the same rate for parking, gym, etc. The developer maintained the moderate income unit program even after the government financing was repaid. The complex is now a condominium. It’s admirable there was a mix of professionals from wealthy to moderate income; we residents found there were great neighbors amongst all income groups (we also witnessed trashy inconsiderate neighbors amongst all income levels).