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Shelter, Affordable Housing Tower Coming to West 25th Street

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Two new housing plans, one for middle-income earners and another for folks less fortunate, have some Chelsea residents along West 25th Street a little on edge. The New York City Housing Authority proposes to construct a 168-unit, 21-story building on a parking lot at the Elliott Chelsea Houses, at Ninth Avenue and 25th Street, right next door to the Heywood condominium. Architecture firm GF55 Partners is designing, and renders show lots of brick with some metallic touches and balconies up top.

This project is part of Mayor Bloomberg's 2007 New Housing Marketplace Plan, where under-utilized City-owned land will be developed to provide affordable housing for middle-class families. The various zoning changes needed to allow the scheme to go ahead are on the City Planning calendar later this month. If the plan gets a thumbs up, then current Elliott Chelsea residents will lose 15 parking slots, but they get to keep the dumpster, which will be relocated. Phew!

A couple blocks east at 127 West 25th Street there's an entirely different plan. The Bowery Residents' Committee, a group that has been offering assistance to the homeless since 1971, has been McNally'd right off the former boulevard of broken dreams. Following a long search for new space, BRC just signed a 33-year lease for the full 12-floor building, which sits across the street from a site where Extell plans to build a 29-story hotel.

The BRC plan calls for a "vertical campus" that will place out-patient services, a 200-bed shelter, offices and vocational training under one roof. The District Manager of Community Board 4 hopes to lower the bed count, saying, "We're not going to be able to get rid of them, but maybe we can make it more palatable for the area if we can bring them in to discuss it." Way to put out the welcome mat!
· Projects - Elliott Chelsea [GF55 Partners]
· Homeless Shelter Divides Chelsea [WSJ]

243 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY