Politicians vow to outlaw “poor doors”

The backlash to Extell's separate entrance for low-income residents is spurring lawmakers into action

40 Riverside Boulevard
40 Riverside Boulevard

WEEKENDEDITION The so-called “poor door” at Extell’s 40 Riverside Boulevard development on the Upper West Side has been a divisive issue to say the least. Many feel that a separate entrance for residents of affordable units is classist and in bad taste. Others say that you get what you pay for. But now some city officials have vowed to never allow another “poor door” to be approved.

“This developer must go back, seal the one door and make it so that all residents go through the same door,” Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, who represents the area, told the New York Post.

“What’s next, is there going to be two water fountains?” she added.

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Inclusionary zoning regulations — which gives developers bonuses for building affordable units — have long allowed for those affordable units to be in a separate building.

But in 2009, the regulations changed to allow for the separation to be done on the same site. Meaning that Extell’s separate entrance for low income residents is perfectly in line with existing zoning law, according to Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer.

But now the de Blasio administration is looking to change that law to prevent future developments from segregating rich and poor.

“The previous administration changed the law to enable this kind of development. We fundamentally disagree with that approach, and we are in the process of changing it to reflect our values and priorities,” de Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell said. [NYP]Christopher Cameron