Development firm Property Markets Group purchased the lot at 111 Leroy Street at the corner of Greenwich Street, and plans to build a 12-story condo building, with five stories of LGBT senior housing next door. Preliminary renderings were revealed for the 30-unit building at community board 2's Land Use Committee on Wednesday, but the project was not warmly received.
The property currently holds a parking lot and a small commercial building. The new 125-foot-tall, 79,000-square-foot building would have two penthouse levels, while the small building to its east would have 13 affordable units for LGBT seniors, plus a first floor community space. The building would be run by the Stonewall Community Development Corp. and the organization's Marianne Nicolosi said it would remain an LGBT-friendly building "in perpetuity." Additionally, there would be landscaped public open space on a strip of the lot that opens on to Morton Street.
Architect Andrew Kotchen of workshop/apd designed the building, and, apparently, designed an alternate plan as well. The alternate proposal calls for a 43,872-square-foot, seven-story, 21-unit building. Seventeen of those would be market rate, and four would be affordable, but the building would still be 125-feet-tall. No renderings were presented for this plan.
The members of the committee absolutely opposed the larger building. The LGBT building was called too small and Terri Cude, CB2's First Vice Chair, compared it to so-called poor doors, calling it a "poor old gay door." In the end, a vote on the proposals was tabled.
To be clear, nobody raised opposition to the idea of LGBT-friendly senior housing. In fact, at least one person who rose to speak in opposition to the proposal identified herself as homosexual. The discussion become quite heated. One person called the building a "little dangle" to get approval for the larger proposal. Still, there was some support for the building, including one woman who said it was a "long time coming."