Community advocates are putting pressure on the city to require the developers of a mixed-use building in Chelsea’s Ladies’ Mile Historic District to add affordable housing into its plan, reports DNAinfo.
Acuity Capital Partners, the developers behind the Morris Adjmi-designed condo coming to 38-42 West 18th Street, had already received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to bring 40 residential units, commercial space, and a parking garage to the site. The firm is now seeking a special permit that would allow for 26 additional market-rate apartments.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Community Board 5, and the Municipal Arts Society of New York have spoken up to insist that the developer be required to comply with the city's new zoning rules. Because the developer received a special permit to add significant residential floor space, it must abide by Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) rules and incorporate a specified amount of affordable housing units within the new development. However, a spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning charged that the rule doesn’t apply to this development since the appeal only changes the shape of the building and not square footage that was already allowed.
Nevertheless, critics are not pleased with this excuse, countering that the additional 26 units should qualify as "a significant increase in residential floor area" meaning the developer should have to adhere to MIH rules.
Department of City Planning believes that forcing developers into adhering to the zoning law when square footage is not being increased would discourage them from building residential units and result in more commercial space.
The project will be up for discussion at a public review session scheduled to take place in the beginning of August.