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Upper West Side Board Is Crafting an Anti-Poor Door Proposal

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The Upper West Side is at the center of the poor door debate, thanks to Extell's 40 Riverside Boulevard, and now members of the neighborhood's Community Board 7 are keen on making it the place where poor doors have come to die. Page Ayres Cowley, co-chair of CB7's land use committee announced at a public meeting this week that an anti-poor door proposal is in the works. Once agreed on by the full board, which most likely will happen, the board could submit the proposal to the City Council or a city agency. "This would be the first time that we would have the opportunity to comment and reverse this trend that started with the past administration," Cowley said.

The inclusionary housing program under the Bloomberg administration grants developers certain bonuses, such as building taller, if affordable housing is offered at the site or within a half mile of the site. A change to the program in 2009 made it possible for developers to put the affordable units "in an attached segment of the building." Now developers who have chosen to separate the entrances for affordable and market rate units—and note provide the affordable units with the same finishes or amenities—are coming under fire. The most notorious examples have been near Riverside Park facing the Hudson River in the Upper West Side.

The window door of opportunity for a new policy comes not from Extell's infamous 40 Riverside Boulevard poor door that gained national attention this summer when the city approved it, nor Extell's already built poor door at West 61st Street as part of the original Trump developments, as Helen Rosenthal told City and State. Rather, the action is now several blocks south at 1 West End Avenue or Riverside Center South. The poor door there is at a separate address, 10 Freedom Place.

The not yet formed proposal comes after Larry Silverstein and El Ad Properties worked out with city officials a way to make a door at 10 Freedom Place really nice, with shared access to a courtyard and roof deck. The intending effect would be maybe taking the edge off the segregation between affordable housing and market-rate tenants. The negotiations could mean that any future poor door plans could be eased with compromise. The De Blasio administration however has said it is already working on a law to ban them. The Upper West Side might not even have to draft anything at the community board level (the lowest level of government), but its voice will be heard for sure. CB7's land use committee will discuss 10 Freedom place at its meeting on October 15.
· All Poor Door coverage [Curbed]
· Silverstein: Our 'Poor Door' Is Going to Be Really Nice, Though [Curbed]
Lead photo via Phil/Curbed Flickr pool

40 Riverside Boulevard

40 Riverside Boulevard, New York, NY 10069