When developers build affordable-housing units within their new luxury projects to get tax breaks and zoning bonuses, it sometimes creates an uneasy mix of feelings within the building's walls. Luxury buyers get fancy finishes and SubZero, while "affordable" residents get basics and GE. Adding to the second-class-citizen vibe, sometimes the affordable portion of a building has a completely separate entrance?like at Tribeca's 101 Warren (aka the Whole Foods building), where the rental side of the building, which includes, 77 affordable units, is known as 89 Murray. But different lobbies may not be the only thing dividing the building's residents. The Downtown Express reports that one of the plans floating around for rezoning Lower Manhattan's elementary schools would cut the building in half, putting the offspring of the luxury condo owners in nearby powerhouse P.S. 234, while sending the renters half a mile away to the new Spruce Street School in the base of Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower. Going to school in a massive hunk of starchitecture sounds kind of cool, but the have-nots don't seem to agree.
"Tribeca is our neighborhood," said Ilya Mazur, who lives at 89 Murray and has a 2-year-old son. "A lot of us can see [P.S. 234] from our windows. We can hear the school. This breaks the neighborhood for us." Mazur said that unlike the families in the adjacent luxury condos at 101 Warren St., families at 89 Murray cannot afford a nanny to help make the trek over to the Spruce Street School every day if they can’t go to 234. Mazur said the renters and condo owners live in the same complex and share the same courtyard, so they should not go to separate schools.
Yup, she went there. A Department of Education spokesperson said the location of affordable housing units did not factor into the zoning, and even if it did, let's just assume the D.O.E. might not want to fess up to that.
· School zone option would cut building along income lines [Downtown Express]
· 101 Warren Street [Official Site]
· 89 Murray Street [Official SIte]