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Riverside Center Reveals Affordable Housing Details

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Representatives of the Dermot Company and the Carlyle Group gave a presentation to Community Board 7 last night regarding the first Riverside Center building, Riverside Parcel 2 (probably not the final name), which is set to begin construction in November. The presentation focused mainly on the affordable housing aspect, and the fact that the bottom four floors would house a Pre-K through 8th grade school. The Community Board voted fourteen to three, with one abstention, to approve the plans. The building will contain 616 total units (172 studios, 306 1BRs, 112 2BRs, and 25 3BRs), with 127 of them designated for permanent affordable housing. That comes out to 20.6 percent of the total units, a number which is significant because at least 20 percent is required to qualify for the 80/20 tax abatement program.

The 80/20 Program also stipulates that the units designated as affordable housing must be given to households with incomes at 50 percent or less of the local Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for family size. Additional rules include that affordable housing units must exists on at least 65 percent of the floors and that no more than 33 percent of any one floor can be designated as affordable housing.

Since the 80/20 program does not include rules about the quality of the materials used in affordable apartments versus market rate apartments, the non-affordable units will include more costly finishes (which is pretty standard.) Although the Community Board was mostly in favor of that aspect of the project, two of the three who voted against objected to the differences between the renderings they had already approved and the current renderings. The third maintained that he had been against the project from the start due to the "density."
· Riverside Center coverage [Curbed]
· What On Earth Is a Tax Abatement? [Curbed]