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Couple Claims LIC Tower Fences Off Affordable Units

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It's not quite the Poor Door, but a new rental building in Long Island City has cordoned off the terraces of affordable units, in what residents are calling Jurassic Park-style fences, according to The New York Post.

The Q41 at 23-10 41st Avenue offers 117 units spread across 17-stories, most of which are deemed affordable for middle-income renters, with studios costing about $1,100/month studios and two-bedrooms costing about $2,200/month. However, tenants claim that the building management has started fencing off a large, wraparound terrace shared by both affordable and market-rate renters, despite being assured multiple times that they would have full use of the area. Now, a 6' wire barrier is blocking them in and interfering with their view.

"I can't imagine them saying [to market-rate tenants], 'You get this beautiful view of Manhattan behind a giant metal fence,'" said resident Erik Clancy. A market-rate apartment with no terrace fence rents for $3,692/month .

Developer Queensboro Development argued that the fence is necessary to set up a staging area for window washers, but when pressed as to why middle-income residents' were barred from using the rest of the terrace when the windows were not being washed, the developer simply said it was not "feasible." Instead, they have repeatedly sent missives forbidding Clancy and his girlfriend Erin McFadzen from straying across the wire.

"Every time someone comes over, I have to explain why the fence is there . . . and tell them we're rent stabilized, like it's a badge I have to wear," McFadzen said.

The former super of Q41, Gjon Chota, told the couple that "the fence is there to stay."
· Luxury building fences off low-rent tenants' terraces [NYP]