Sanctioned racial segregation was abolished in the U.S. in 1964, but a recent housing decision has shown that class segregation is still alive and well in New York City. The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development recently approved a controversial request by the Extell Development Company to create two separate entrances at its 40 Riverside Boulevard building – one for its market rate tenants and another for affordable housing tenants. The so-called “poor door” plan has New Yorkers around the city up in arms (for pretty obvious reasons).
40 Riverside Boulevard is part of the Riverside South tower development located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Designed by Goldstein Hill & West Architects, the luxury condominium building features a glassy facade and will rise 33 stories in the air when complete. Of the tower’s 274 units, 55 street-facing apartments have been set aside for affordable housing. The other 219 will be market rate and overlook the waterfront on the other side.
Extell submitted 40 Riverside Boulevard to participate in the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program, and was accepted. The program allows developers to increase the size of their properties (also known as an optional floor area bonus) “in exchange for the creation or preservation of affordable housing, on-site or off-site, principally for low-income households.”
According to the New York Post, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer vowed to veto any future plans for developments with segregated entrances for market and affordable rate tenants.