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It's Not a Poor Door, It's a 'First-Class Entrance Experience'

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To prove that their poor door really is going to be nice, Silverstein Properties and El Ad Properties showed members of Manhattan's Community Board 7 Land Use Committee the designs for the entranceway of the affordable component of their Riverside Center development, saying that is of comparable quality to the market rate entrance. At the Wednesday night meeting, Janno Lieber of Silverstein Properties, refuted claims made in the press that the affordable entranceway at 10 Freedom Place represents a "poor door," a practice of separate but equal segregation that the de Blasio administration wants to put a stop for. As for now, "these are the rules we were given," said Mr. Lieber. "There was no cheaping out" on the affordable entranceway," he added. "This is a caliber of design never before seen in affordable housing." The company labelled it a "first-class entrance experience" in their design materials.

The development in question has two separate buildings in a single envelope that was designated in the original master plan for Riverside Center. Ten Freedom Place, consisting of 116 affordable units, is an eight-story stone structure whose limestone facade will have a "townhouse pattern," according to a representative of Pelli Clarke Architects. On top of it sits 1 West End Avenue, a 41-story "floating glass tower" that cantilevers over the edge of its stone base. The glass tower consists of 247 market rate units.

The affordable building will be operated by a not-for-profit and will benefit from a $120,000 a year subsidy from the market rate owner. They will not, however, share amenities with the market rate building, except for a small courtyard and 12,000-square-foot roof deck on top of the affordable building that will provide grilling areas for residents of both buildings, a feature was not originally part of the plan. As for the roof deck pool that overlooks the park on 1 West End Avenue, which the architect described as "simply incredible," is for market rate residents only. Lieber was quick to add, "It's a small pool."

The general air among the Silverstein representatives was that the renters of the affordable units were getting a bargain for the quality of their apartments, only paying between $800-$1,400 a month. The members of the committee, who will now provide HPD with comments on the discrepancy between the affordable and market rate components of the development, did not object to anything in the presentation. Co-chair Richard Asche joked that there were more guys from Silverstein present at the meeting than from the community.

Silverstein will spend $800,000-$900,000 to develop the 116 affordable units, which will be rented to candidates within the 60 percent to 80 percent AMI range. Overall the company will have spent close to $100 million on the affordable building, which made co-chair Asche wonder how much affordable housing that could provide elsewhere in the city.
—Evan Reeves
· 10 Freedom Place coverage [Curbed]
· 1 West End Avenue coverage [Curbed]

1 West End Ave

1 West End Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10023