A real estate development company looking to score million in tax breaks by building affordable units inside a luxury apartment complex has come under fire for its proposal to install two separate entrances — one for its rich tenants, the other for its poor.
In an effort to secure tax breaks and other building allowances as part of New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program, Extell Development Company has offered to set aside some 55 Affordable Housing units for low-income families inside the 274-unit luxury tower it is constructing in the Upper West Side.
The “catch” being that 40 Riverside Boulevard will feature two distinct entrances — one for affluent residents on the building’s Hudson-river facing façade, and the other in a back alley for Affordable Housing tenants.
“This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-UWS) told West Side Rag. “A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off. The developer must follow the spirit as well the letter of the law when building affordable housing, and this plan is clearly not what was intended by the community.”
Extell, which says it is following zoning laws, begs to differ.
In a statement released to CBS New York, the company said it is working for the betterment of the community by “filling a neighborhood need by adding high quality affordable residences in a beautiful neighborhood.”