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'Poor Door' Critics Don't Stop 88,000 From Vying for 55 Spots

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The Hudson River-facing building known by many names—50 Riverside Boulevard, One Riverside Park, and 470 West 62nd Street—has attracted its fair share of controversy over Extell chief Gary Barnett's plan to have separate entrances for its market-rate condo tenants and its 55 affordable rentals. Critics and some elected officials exclaimed, "A poor door?!?!" Unfair and inhumane, they said.

Then again, when a $833/month studio, an $895 one-bedroom, and a $1,082 two-bedroom are up for grabs on the Upper West Side, controversy won't stop the affordable housing-seeking hordes from trying their luck. Earmarked for applicants with incomes ranging from $30,240 to $50,340, depending on the unit, the 55 affordable rentals had received 88,000 applications by yesterday's deadline, Extell told the Times. With those numbers to back him up, Barnett confidently concluded that the poor door brouhaha was a "made-up controversy."

The 55 rental apartments face east, while the 219 condos, for the most part, face the river. The former use the 62nd Street address, while the latter use the Riverside Boulevard one. The latter range in price from $1.175 million to $25.75 million. Some units have super decadent private pools. Rental tenants, selected by lottery from those that qualify, won't have access to the owner' amenities, such as a pool, gym, bowling alley, and theater, but they will have a laundry room, a community room, and bike storage

And while the anti-poor door camp has been vocal—and the issue has attracted commentary from bold-faced names like Robert A.M. Stern, for one—it's clear that no amount of theoretical arguing will do anything to stymie the city's unffordability problem.

Which means that when coveted affordable housing becomes available, people will apply. According to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), over 10 affordable-housing lotteries this year, 698 units that have been up for grabs attracted 486,000 applications.

So really, One Riverside Park/50 Riverside Boulevard/470 West 62nd Street isn't a unique case at all. It's just one building that managed to garner a whole lot of controversy. But the demand for those apartments hasn't abated in the slightest. Affordable rent > dignity, apparently.
· 88,000 Applicants and Counting for 55 Units in 'Poor Door' Building [NYT]
·: Architect Robert A.M. Stern Weighs In On the 'Poor Door' [Curbed]
·: Just Look at the Private Pools At Extell's 'Poor Door' Building [Curbed]
·: All One Riverside Park/50 Riverside Boulevard coverage [Curbed]
· All "Poor Door" coverage [Curbed]
· All Affordable Housing coverage [Curbed]