Hudson’s affordable project in Hell’s Kitchen earns approval

David Kramer’s 112-unit development to include commercial space for MTA

Hudson Companies' David Kramer with 806 9th Avenue (Hudson Companies, City of New York)
Hudson Companies' David Kramer with 806 9th Avenue (Hudson Companies, City of New York)

An affordable housing project in Hell’s Kitchen can finally break ground after gaining approval from the City Council.

Hudson Companies got the green light to develop the 112-unit building at 806 Ninth Avenue, Crain’s reported. The project, dubbed the Lirio, is being built on a parking lot used by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The Lirio — that’s Spanish for lily, not to be confused with the Tennessee-based AI startup — will have 59 housing units with supportive services for people with mental illness or substance abuse issues, prioritizing those who have HIV or AIDS. Another 44 units will go to households earning from 30 percent to 120 percent of the area median income, and eight will be for formerly homeless individuals.

The nine-story, 129,000-square-foot development will include 30,000 square feet of commercial space for the MTA. It will also include 7,000 square feet for retail.

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In 2019, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development tapped Hudson to develop the site, which was identified through the city’s Western Rail Yard plan, better known as Hudson Yards. Hudson’s proposal was made in tandem with Housing Works, a nonprofit dedicated to combating homelessness and AIDS.

The city first eyed redeveloping the site in 2009 when the City Council approved the Hudson Yards plan (the big rezoning was in 2005). Guidelines at the time required all units at the site to be permanently affordable for those earning below 165 percent of the area median income. But HPD didn’t issue a request for proposals until 2018.

Hudson is one of the city’s largest affordable housing builders and one of its most active developers overall. The firm is helmed by David Kramer, who took the reins in 2011 and set a course to build large-scale projects.

Last year, the company filed plans for a 311-unit mixed-use building in East Williamsburg. The 18-story, 457,000-square-foot building would be at the site of the former Greenpoint Hospital.

The project will be 100 percent affordable. City Council member Lincoln Restler recently introduced a bill that would give nonprofits priority over firms such as Hudson on developing city-owned land. His rationale is that it would produce more affordable housing.

— Holden Walter-Warner