Council member crushes plan for Inwood affordable housing

Ydanis Rodriguez said a rezoning was not in the community's best interest

TRD New York /
Aug.August 16, 2016 08:12 AM

Dealing a blow to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, City Council member Ydanis Rodriguez decisively opposed a proposed residential development in Inwood that would have created over 100 market rate apartments.

The proposed building, which could rise as high as 17 stories on the corner of Broadway and Sherman Avenue, was the first private application under the newly-passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy, which requires at least one-fifth of units built through a city-issued rezoning to be rented to below-market-rate tenants.

On Monday, Rodriguez said it was not in the community’s best interest to rezone the area. “Gentrification has been happening in northern Manhattan for the last 20 years. We have a crisis on our hands that began under previous administrations,” he said, according to Politico.

At the site of The Broadway-Sherman development, city officials agreed to pay subsidies to developers Washington Square Partners and Acadia Realty Trust, who agreed to rent half of the 355 apartments at less than market rate. The 369,000-square-foot building was to be about 20 percent larger than it would be without a rezoning, Politico reported. (Without an agreement with the city, the developers can still construct a 14-story market-rate building. According to documents submitted for an environmental review, the developers have also pushed for a 17-story building with 413 apartments, 124 of which would be affordable.)

“We believe a project with 50 percent affordable housing would better serve this community than a project that is 100 percent luxury,” said de Blasio spokesperson Austin Finan.

Rodriguez has been waffling on the project. Last week, Rodriguez canceled a committee vote on the project. He later continued negotiating with City Hall and the developers, but sources told Politico he began asking for costly perks. The project is scheduled for a City Council vote today. The council is expected to reject the plan. [Politico] E.B. Solomont

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