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Chelsea Co-op Residents Debate When to Go Market Rate

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The political affiliations of residents at affordable Chelsea co-op Penn South don't exactly break down along red/blue lines. It's more like blue and darker blue. But all it takes to expose the divides in even the most politically consistent of co-ops is a debate about when to take the building market rate. Penn South, built in 1962, needs about $80 million in repairs, the Times explains. The city is happy to help out, but only on the condition that residents wait eight more years to sell their apartments at market rate, which they were previously going to be allowed to do in 2022. Fans and foes of the proposal are trading the usual sell-out/old fogey jabs. Time for the showdown!

Which will happen, in the form of a vote on the city's proposal, tomorrow. But early exit polling suggests it will sail through, making all the name-calling rather harmless. Still, we've come out of this in possession of a few new facts about Penn South. For example: one-bedroom apartments in the co-op start at $40,000, and the waiting list is 6,000-people long (and, before you rush to the phone, closed). And because crews completing the $80 million in repairs will be breaking down walls, the co-op has been running antihoarding workshops to encourage some of the, er, longer-term residents to clean the hell up. ("Some elderly tenants have been spotted in their pajamas reclaiming items from dumpsters at 2 a.m.") Can non-residents attend?
· In Chelsea, a Rift a Defiantly Low-Priced Co-op [NYT]
· Penn South coverage Curbed]